HindolSengupta Profile picture
12 books; Wilbur Award; Valley of Words Award; PSF Prize; Shortl'td Hayek Prize; WEF YGL; Oxford; Columbia; MCRC, Jamia; DU, PhD (IR) Geneva School of Diplomacy
Jun 5 5 tweets 1 min read
Few thoughts on narrative building:
- there is no such thing as ‘Right’ and ‘Left’ in India. There are political parties who do what they must to win, and then there is the CPI, CPIM.
- copy pasting Western narrative points does not help any parties. Not to reach 100/400.
- It must be recognised that India resides in the MIDDLE and anything extreme is not appreciated by Indians. If today someone people feel that talking about ‘40,000 temples’ is extreme, one day others will find out that trying to push caste based civil war and caste reservation in
Jan 26 6 tweets 1 min read
Happy #RepublicDay everyone, every Republic Day is special but this one more so because India is now in its Second Republic, unfurling its wings as a confident civilisational state. India's First Republic founded after independence in 1947 was remarkable in many ways, and it paved the way for a post-colonial nation that maintained a certain internal stability which was critical after the bloodshed during Partition. But the First Republic based itself on a constitution, which, while being a pioneering act of post-independence nation-building and being
Nov 27, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
On this holy day of #Gurupurab when everyone remembers the teachings of the Guru Nanak, it is important to recall how divisiveness and hatred between Sikhs and Hindus was fuelled and who is responsible. Primarily, this man, Max Arthur Macauliffe, the pre-eminent translator of Image Sikh sacred texts who deliberately mistranslated these texts to show disunity and divisiveness between Sikhs and Hindus which was never true. His translations were mindlessly adopted as autentic and they sowed the divisiveness that the colonial administratuion wanted. It is a
Jul 17, 2023 17 tweets 4 min read
Since, @_YogendraYadav ji does not wish to debate me, and at some distant date has onpassed the Vivekananda debate to a writer - meanwhile - a quick look at all the things that are wrong in the article the promoted. In the very first sentence, YY sets up a strawman argument which he then proceeds to try and bring down using this book. The argument is - is Vivekananda 'an ally of the politics that seeks to reclaim our republic today? Or is he an ideologue of Hindu supremacy'. This means nothing. Vivekananda is neither. He is the most imp historical figure
Feb 22, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
Seattle has passed a controversial resolution banning caste discrimination in Seattle. While this is not well understood, the main target of this has nothing to do with equality or law, it is aimed at breaking the privileged position of Indian tech talent in the US. The Ambedkar Phule Network of American Dalits and Bahujans, in a statement, said that the inclusion of “caste” as a specific protected category would unfairly single out and target all people of South Asian descent and origin and that included Dalits and Bahujan Samaj.
May 27, 2019 5 tweets 1 min read
A quick explainer for people saying silly things about Ram Mohun Roy: in that period (18th-19th c), faced with a combination of extreme orthodoxy, social malevolence and oppression, many reformers aimed at theological overlap and unity to rid social evils. As Lynn Zastoupil wrote in the 2002 paper 'Defining Christians, Making Britons: Rammohun Roy and the Unitarians', "Rammohun's religious development led him toward a universal theism that owed something to Islamic rationalist, Hindu Vedanta, and radical Christian traditions.
May 19, 2019 4 tweets 1 min read
Anyone who is mocking this image has no idea about what moves India and the imagery that has the power to stir India. The last person who understood this was Gandhi. Our entire political analysis is trapped in juvenile, pedestrian elitism. You mock this at your political peril. The most curious thing is how easy it is for the Indian prime minister to get his opponents to do exactly what he wants. The more they spread images of him in a Himalayan cave, meditating, with their disdain, the more these images are going viral. His opponents are so deracinated
Apr 4, 2019 8 tweets 2 min read
One of the most thought-provoking, though barely scrutinised, aspects of India's 'world's biggest elections' is this: in the last couple of years many individual 'influencers' have risen to great power in India. In public imagination, these are a by-product of tech or tech plus good cadre work of political parties. But this might not be the entire story. While some are genuinely active and keen individuals, and some, enthusiastic party workers, there are several others about whom we know very little. Who are these people, what work did they do in
Mar 20, 2019 6 tweets 3 min read
A reminder of the glorious art of #Holi through the ages. The Holi mythology has two parts. 1. The perishing of the demoness Holika who came to kill the boy devotee of Vishnu, Prahlad, and was burnt to death instead (seen in the C'Kesava Temple, 13th century) and 2. the love and frolic of Radha and Krishna, for instance seen here, in a 19th century Pahari painting. Quite a marksman Krishna, this!
Mar 5, 2019 6 tweets 2 min read
We are at a very interesting juncture of the psyop where there is a concentrated effort to focus not to the terrorists who come into attack India - but on India's ties with Israel. This is orchestrated. India at the moment has equally strong ties with Israel and other Gulf states For instance, ties with UAE and even Saudi Arabia are at a high. As are ties with Iran. But by highlighting Israel, there is an attempt to create a global propaganda that shifts attention away from Pakistan's nature as the command and control centre of global terrorism to India's
Feb 24, 2019 11 tweets 3 min read
Between 2017 and 2018, the #Oscars, #Grammys, and #GoldenGlobes lost 14 million viewers around the world, and there is a lot of shocked questioning in America on why this is happening. The reason is simple, though it would be hard for America to accept it. For a long time, the rest of the world accepted Western culture as the epitome of artistic achievement and took at its cues from Western culture. But slowly and subtly this has changed. The West, especially America, does not charm people by its lifestyle anymore. In fact in the East a lot of people
Jan 11, 2019 6 tweets 2 min read
Even though I am a liberal, this "conservative = closed = insecure" is not true, in fact has never been true. Let's try and understand through a few examples. Edmund Burke, in a sense founder of modern conservatism, not only supported the American Revolution but also led the impeachment of Warren Hastings on his conduct in India, the American Declaration of Independence comes from Republicanism, in Germany it was the conservative Helmut Kohl helped formulate German reunification, Angela Merkel, let us not forget, is a conservative politician,
Jan 3, 2019 28 tweets 7 min read
As a writer of history, I have been wondering whether it is possible at all to make an objective, non-partisan assessment of what has (and is) taking place at #Sabarimala, one of Hinduism's most sacred shrines? Let us try. To begin with, let us accept that in a world where, after many centuries, the voices of women are being heard, a shrine that bars women of menstruating age, seems dysfunctional to all of us. The question arises, how can this even be an issue today - after all these years of battling for liberty? This is a vital and important question
Dec 15, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Weeks before his death on Dec 15, 1950, Sardar Patel wrote two critical letters warning Pandit Nehru and G. S. Bajpai about the dangers that India faced. He mentioned everything from Communists smuggling arms in the north-east to the influence of missionaries on the Naga tribes to India's unbalanced equation with China. He pointed out that 'there was a lack of firmness and unnecessary apology' in the attitude of the Indian ambassador to China. In fact, he pointed out that often the Indian ambassador to China sounded like the Chinese ambassador to India!
Nov 21, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Several people, as compliment or not, have in recent days commented on my 'education' and 'reading' and I want to share something with all of you about these. There was a time when we barely had enough to eat. When, by the end of the month, money would run out, and anxiety rise about how we could, gingerly, tip-toe into the next month. When the shadow of disease could topple us into a poverty from which we might never again rise. But through the luxury of books, through the prosperity of reading, I have learnt,
Jul 8, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Disturbing research on 6 decades, 50 films of Bollywood from IIM-A professor: "In nearly 78% of the movies promiscuous women had a Christian name; 58% of the corrupt politicians in films had a Hindu brahmin last name; and, 62% of the corrupt businessman had a vaishya last name. "Eighty-four of the Muslims in films were shown as strongly religious and honest (even when they are shown in the film as engaged in crime) and 88% of the films presented kshatriya last-name individuals to be courageous. Nearly, 74% of the films presented Sikhs as laughable.