Rustom: populism and prejudice in the age of ‘post-truth’ politics

Last year’s Bollywood hit film Rustom was just the latest fictionalised retelling of the story of Indian Navy Commander KM Nanavati. In 1959, Nanavati shot his wife’s lover dead, only to be found not guilty by a jury that seemed convinced not so much of his innocence as his righteousness. Continue reading “Rustom: populism and prejudice in the age of ‘post-truth’ politics”

Yeh hai Bambai meri jaan!

Western observers with no particular knowledge of Indian politics and society tend to assume the renaming of Indian cities in the 1990s was simply a belated anti-colonialist gesture. Some might even wrongly assume as I once did that ‘Mumbai’ had been an established Indian city before its takeover and mispronunciation by the British. Gyan Prakash’s book is meant as a challenge to more sophisticated misunderstandings than these, but it is equally valuable as an introduction to many of the issues facing modern India, through the story (or rather stories) of its most glamorous city. Continue reading “Yeh hai Bambai meri jaan!”