Saturday, January 9, 2016

A debate, assassination and escape

Benazir Bhutto
Just after Christmas in 2007, my best friend and I received a call from Kinnaird 's debating club. Everyone was away during the winter break and a surprise debating tournament had come up. We were new to debates and very keen to participate, so we readily agreed.

She dropped by at my place from Valencia, a suburb of Lahore. My grandfather was supposed to drive us to Government College University (GCU), on the other side of Lahore, but our car broke down on the University Road near the Punjab University.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The subcontinent’s syncretic religious identity

A painting said to be of Mastani

Mastani’s character in the latest film, Bajirao Mastani, is fascinating not just because of her beauty, wit, and bravery - but also because of her syncretic religious identity.
Mastani, as historian Kusum Chopra asserts in her book, was a Muslim princess from Bundelkhand, the daughter of Maharaja Chhatrasaal, who was a believer in the Pranami, a faith that brings Hinduism and Islam together. Consequently, Mastani was a Krishna bhakt, who sang bhajan and offered Namaz


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