Culture & Life · History · History of Medicine · Public health

The “oppressive” history of family planning and population control in India

I wrote this for Swaddle on July 8 2018. Here is the original article. I based it primarily on the book ‘Reproductive Restraints: Birth Control in India, 1877-1947’ by historian Sanjam Ahluwalia of Northern Arizona University Below are some excerpts: Birth control began in India not as a free choice by individuals to manage their fertility, but as… Continue reading The “oppressive” history of family planning and population control in India

Culture & Life · History

A guide to finding historical images about India through free online resources

During my research into the history of India and the history of medicine in India, I have often come across very useful resources for images and photographs from the past. Many of these are free and do not require any payment or subscriptions. Below is a list of those, and I will continue to add… Continue reading A guide to finding historical images about India through free online resources

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

Dr PK Sen in 1968 – India’s first heart transplant in the time of Nehruvian science and self-reliance

This was published in thewire.in on 30th June 2018. Here is the full article, and below is an extract. “When Sen decided to make cardiovascular history around early 1968, large scientific projects had already entered public imagination as modern ‘temples’ a la Nehru. In fact he had previously performed India’s first ever operation on the heart… Continue reading Dr PK Sen in 1968 – India’s first heart transplant in the time of Nehruvian science and self-reliance

Culture & Life · History · Recommended movies, books etc. · Religion

Butalia’s ‘The Other Side of Silence’ – Human stories from the Partition of British India – 1

Over the next few weeks I will be reproducing some important passages from Urvashi Butalia’s landmark 1998 book about the human side (as against the political/social side) of the partition of British India in 1946-47: The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India. (Please read here the introduction to this book.) Today we… Continue reading Butalia’s ‘The Other Side of Silence’ – Human stories from the Partition of British India – 1

History · Politics

Creating a reliable, accessible resource for knowledge about India

There is way too much fake and misleading laden ‘history’ floating around on social media and other corners of the Internet, deeply influencing people’s opinions and evaluations of events and personalities. [For one worrying example, see here.] I think, like many others, that we need to radically change the way we talk about the nation… Continue reading Creating a reliable, accessible resource for knowledge about India

Culture & Life · History · Politics

We need to teach kids to feel responsible, not proud, to be Indian

This piece was published in The Wire on Independence Day 2017. Here is the link, and below is an extract: “While some may argue that it is possible to be ‘proud and responsible at the same time’, pride is too personal and egoistical to allow for the nuance that responsible citizenship entails. Besides, when we… Continue reading We need to teach kids to feel responsible, not proud, to be Indian

History · Politics · Recommended movies, books etc.

Saving yourself from govt propaganda and fake news in India

The recent book I am a Troll: Inside the secret world of the BJP’s Digital Army was instrumental in exposing a trend in India which had been going on for the past few years – that of the BJP (and its co-ideologists like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – RSS) employing thousands of young men and women… Continue reading Saving yourself from govt propaganda and fake news in India

History · Politics · Recommended movies, books etc.

William Dalrymple explains how corporations today, with their powers, resemble the East India Company

This piece was published on the platform ‘The Logical Indian’ on May 4 2017. Here is the link. Below is an excerpt: In his most crucial insight for our times, Dalrymple argues that many of modern India’s rich industrialists have amassed wealth in ways similar to Robert Clive’s, the EIC’s ruthless official who had won… Continue reading William Dalrymple explains how corporations today, with their powers, resemble the East India Company