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Prasenjit Chowdhury
Articles by Prasenjit Chowdhury

Review: The Language of Trees by Katie Holten

Beautifully illustrated by author Katie Holten herself, The Language of Trees, which is a mix of texts, poems, song lyrics, essays, quotations and even recipes, is about trees and the natural world and their relationship to human lives

Amaltas trees in bloom. (Keshav Singh/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Nov 11, 2023 06:36 AM IST

Review: The Soviet Century by Karl Schlögel

From hydroelectric dams to prison tattoos and Stalinist cookery books, this compendious volume touches on nearly every area of Russian history and the Soviet experience

Vladimir Lenin, founding head of the government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924. (ismailyildiz/Shutterstock)
Updated on Jul 28, 2023 05:43 PM IST

Review: Connected History: Essays and Arguments by Sanjay Subrahmanyam

Irreverent in tone and free of ideological baggage, Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s wide ranging essays look at the politics behind history writing

A painting of Akbar conversing with Jahangir. Historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam notes that the Mughal empire left a powerful cultural and institutional legacy of cohesion, “which we tend to neglect today because of Hindu right-wing rhetoric”. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 21, 2023 05:35 PM IST

Review: The Retrospective Raj: Medicine, Literature and History After Empire by Sam Goodman

On the use of medicine as a defining trope by novelists like JG Farrell, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and Salman Rushdie to explore the complex relationship between Britain, India and Empire

British officials with a group of Indian villagers at Hapur in UP on 7 March 1937. (HT Photo)
Published on Dec 09, 2022 06:07 PM IST

Review: Read Dangerously; The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times by Azar Nafisi

Written as a collection of letters to her dead father, Azar Nafisi’s new book exhorts authors and readers to write and read outside their comfort zones

Azar Nafisi’s book encourages individuals to ask hitherto unasked questions despite the costs. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Sep 08, 2022 06:55 PM IST

Review: America’s Wars by Thomas H Henriksen

Revisiting American hubris in a book that looks at US interventions in regime changes and insurgencies after the Cold War

Aerial view of destroyed Iraqi vehicles beside Highway 80 west of Kuwait City. The ‘Highway of Death ‘ was bombed by coalition forces led by the United States on February 27-28, 1991. (Shutterstock)
Published on May 26, 2022 03:36 PM IST

On flattery and merit in politics

The culture of exercising flattery for the political elite is unparalleled in magnitude in the politics of any other country.

Though it has blown the Congress away, the cult of Modi is built around it. Other political parties might draw a lesson. (PTI)
Published on May 19, 2022 03:13 PM IST

Review: Dostoevsky in Love: An Intimate Life by Alex Christofi

A study in counterfactual scholarship, this “reconstructed memoir” draws heavily upon Dostoevsky’s letters, notebooks, journalism and fiction to recreate an unreal life

Alex Christofi reconstructs the memoir Dostoevsky might have written. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Mar 31, 2022 03:09 PM IST
ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

English can be the ambassador for ‘bhasa’ writers

Leaving aside the role of English accounting for the international acclaim of Tagore and, subsequently, the number of Bookers for Indian writers, English in India is yet to take up the assimilative role of integrating Indian literature.

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Updated on Oct 05, 2014 10:33 PM IST
ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Swimming upstream on water availability

Could there be a mechanism that can make agriculture in India more drought resistant and increase agricultural water use efficiency to produce ‘more crop per drop’, asks Prasenjit Chowdhury.

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Updated on Jul 17, 2014 11:27 PM IST
ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Congress was always adept at political polarisation

Politicians wrongly believe that Muslims exercise their votes en masse on the instructions of an influential cleric.

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Updated on Apr 17, 2014 10:13 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury, New Delhi

First look North-East, then Look East

Narendra Modi’s real test would be, if he becomes PM, to implement a North-East policy with no room for sectarianism. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

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Updated on Mar 03, 2014 10:54 AM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury, New Delhi

Deconstructing the mask of anarchy

It is for Kejriwal to disprove that his brand of anarchism is a variant of populism masquerading as social activism, writes Prasenjit Chowdhury.

Updated on Feb 05, 2014 11:55 PM IST
ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

The tragic hero in a Greek tragedy

If reforming India iconised Manmohan Singh, his conformism and ‘intellectual dishonesty’ became his tragic flaws.

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Updated on Jan 17, 2014 12:36 AM IST
ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

You can’t govern India with 19th century laws

Now that a Supreme Court Bench has reversed the 2009 Section 377 verdict, it came to side with a warped zeitgeist firmed up though a century-and-a-half-old piece of law.

Updated on Dec 19, 2013 10:30 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury, New Delhi

Nowadays everything is brilliant, awesome, mind-blowing...

Sardar Patel was the 'most powerful man of his time', and Sachin Tendulkar, 'the greatest batsman of all times'. In this era of two minutes of fame, circumscribed by pockets of influence, people take to superlatives quicker than they catch a cold. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

Updated on Nov 08, 2013 09:43 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Right to reject insufficient to register protest

Now that the apex court has allowed us to press the none-of-the-above button in EVMs, it is too small a symbol to register our protest against a bigger systemic malaise. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

Updated on Oct 17, 2013 01:39 AM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Muzaffarnagar was waiting to happen

Before you ask who posted the video of the two youths being lynched in Muzaffarnagar, remember in riots there are no truths, just beliefs. They are run by a well-oiled political machine and are here to stay, writes Prasenjit Chowdhury.

Updated on Sep 19, 2013 03:13 AM IST
ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Both a prince and a pauper

For the Indian middle class, being rich is a state of mind. It stands equidistant from the two top extremes of the Indian economy, a vantage point from where it's both a prince and a pauper. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

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Updated on Aug 27, 2013 10:00 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury, New Delhi

Battered and bruised for democracy

The ordeals a polling officer has to undergo to facilitate an election is nothing short of military service. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

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Updated on Aug 07, 2013 12:40 AM IST
ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Where rape is a conspiracy

One could ask that whether Mamata Banerjee’s almost maniacal paranoia in divining that almost everybody is trying to cook up a conspiracy, whenever there is a negative publicity, is a sign of her siege mentality, writes Prasenjit Chowdhury.

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Updated on Jun 20, 2013 11:10 PM IST
None | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Inside the offender’s head

To make society safer, we must understand the tortuous minds of criminals. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

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Updated on May 02, 2013 11:27 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

No country for old men

Average Indian life expectancy has gone up. But more years don't mean more life. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

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Updated on Oct 08, 2012 10:09 PM IST
None | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Shackled to the vote-bank

The dismal state of Bengal’s economy proves once again that populism as a public policy only promotes greed. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

Updated on May 10, 2012 10:33 PM IST
None | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

The shame of it all

Exposing offenders to public disgrace and ridicule acts as good deterrence, writes Prasenjit Chowdhury.

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Updated on Mar 13, 2012 11:09 PM IST
None | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Specialist in generalisations

Life has too many good things to offer. So why run after one particular interest? Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

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Updated on Feb 05, 2012 09:18 PM IST
None | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

Time changes things

Mamata Banerjee has proved that even West Bengal can vote for the new, writes Prasenjit Chowdhury.

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Updated on May 17, 2011 10:37 PM IST
None | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury

A requiem for the alpha male

In this season of celebrating 'manhood' — November 19 has been the International Man's Day for some years now — I wondered why no sociologist is discussing the greatest danger that today's men face: the virtual obliteration of their gender identity. Prasenjit Chowdhury writes.

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Updated on Nov 23, 2010 09:22 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury, New Delhi

The art of the matter

If the future of studying arts is so bleak, how does the nation think of creating a talent pool of sociologists, historians and linguists? Wonders Prasenjit Chowdhury.

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Updated on Jun 07, 2007 04:24 AM IST
None | ByPrasenjit Chowdhury
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