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Posts by Anindya Sengupta

Anindya Sengupta is a civil servant interested in History and Public Policy.

LUCKNOW AND ABDUL HALIM SHARAR

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  In 1775, Asaf-ud-daula chose the ancient city of Lucknow as his capital. More interested in refined enjoyments than military conquests like his predecessors, he was the right ally for the British. But it was not possible for Asaf-ud-daula to immerse himself in total luxury under the watchful eyes of his mother, the much-respected Bahu [...]

Aurangzeb: History as Nationalist Pro...

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He tossed a coin and it fell on the floor and the packed audience looked at the speaker in curious anticipation. It was at the Physics Lecture Theatre or PLT1 at the Presidency College, Calcutta – sometime in the 1960s. It was the turn of this science student to proclaim the superiority of science over arts. His opponent had just finished a [...]

Ravi Shankar: Strings of Power

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On Sunday 1 August, 1971, a unique charity concert was organized at the most high profile centre of American music – New York’s Madison Square Garden. This concert, planned for the victims of a devastating cyclone and ongoing liberation war in Bangladesh, was the first charity concert ever to be held. The concert, a brainchild of Pandit Rav [...]

Enlightened Path: Rabindranath

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Even though his 150 birth anniversary had been celebrated with much fanfare by the government, seven decades after his death, Rabindranath Thakur’s legacy seems largely restricted to Bengal. Even in Bengal, as well as in Bangladesh, his chief legacy seems to be his songs. In reality, Rabindranath(1861-1941), the greatest flower of Bengal Ren [...]

Anglo-Indians: A Forgotten Chapter of...

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During the 2012 London Olympics, tube stations have been temporarily renamed after the greatest heroes in Olympic history. There are three Indians in the special Olympic Legends map – two of them, Dhyan Chand and his brother Roop Singh are well known. But even Indians using the Bushey station of busy London tube may not able to recall the i [...]

No country for fallen soldier

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What is our name? Ghadar(Revolution). What is our work? Ghadar. Where will be the revolution? In India…” Within a few years – thus started the first issue of The Ghadar, published from San Francisco on 1 November, 1913. With the publication of this weekly magazine in Urdu and Punjabi began the Ghadar movement. In its famous masthe [...]

Renaissance King of Gondal

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When we hear of an Indian Prince of 19th-20th century, the first image, which comes to our mind, is that of limitless luxury and self-indulgence. Could you imagine an Indian ruler in late 19th century, who studied medicine abroad, became a Fellow of Royal Society, made women’s education free and compulsory in 1880s and abolished taxes in his [...]

At the Confluence of East and West

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“Today transcendental meditation, Yoga, Indian philosophy, Hindu and Buddhist religions are some of the strongest points in enhancing India’s soft power quotient in the West. Many Indian religious teachers and organizations have since followed the same path to their Western audiences but it was the pioneering mission of Swami Vivekanan [...]

Special Category Status for Bihar ?

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Before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the then Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar – in an apparent political bid to counter BJP and its then Prime Ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, raised the pitch for special category status for Bihar. Though a lot of changes have taken place politically both in New Delhi and Patna since then still on th [...]

Evelyn Nesbit: The world’s first supe...

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Evelyn Nesbit achieved great fame more than a century ago as a model. She revolutionised cultural life, writes Lindsay Baker. What makes a supermodel? A preternatural beauty, of course, but there is more – a certain charisma, an unerring fashion instinct, a steely resilience, sex appeal. And a mere model becomes a ‘super’ when she becomes n [...]

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