articles by Partha P Chakrabartty


With a new book, Ganesh Sitaraman is primed to be key contender for role of Democratic Party's chief ideologue

Astonishing as Ganesh Sitaraman’s proximity to two of the most prominent political figures in the US (Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg) at this time is, a review of what he has done in his 37 years makes this moment seem a natural progression


The idea of a Muslim vote bank and demographic takeover: How data shows up this narrative as contemporary mythology

There are a few myths about the Muslim population in India that have assisted in the growth of the politics around this community. One has to do with the rapid growth in Muslim population, debunked both globally and in India. The other is the ‘Muslim vote bank’, and the accompanying narrative that the current turn towards Hindutva is a reaction to decades of ‘minority appeasement’. But it is necessary to consider the data in order to properly examine these formulations.


This is Billie Eilish's World, and we are all living in it: How the young singer-songwriter is re-defining pop

Billie Eilish lands a bomb on the tinsel-and-glam landscape, announcing that pop, as you knew it, is defunct. That none of that will feel as real now that Billie’s brand of real is here.


Hyderabad encounter killings achieve little more than satiating collective bloodlust, delaying meaningful action against rape culture

A move such as the Hyderabad encounter killings is not likely to make any significant dent in the problem of our country’s heinous rape culture.


Through her stories, 16-year-old Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee implored adults to lend an ear to adolescents

Rudrakshi Bhattacharjee's This is How It Took Place is a collection of short stories written by the 16-year-old author, who passed away in 2017. Though the book has been endorsed by Jeet Thayyil, who calls the writer ‘Prodigious, gifted, precocious,’ many of the stories remain raw and uneven. And yet, the three stories that are truly complete — the title story, ‘A Vacancy’, and ‘La Mer’ — are enough to justify Thayyil’s blurb.


Reading Fikr Taunsvi's The Sixth River in 2019: Searing account of horrors of Partition resonates even today

The first-person account of the Partition by Fikr Taunsvi, titled The Sixth River: A Journal from the Partition of India, refers to the five rivers of Punjab, to which a sixth river, that of ‘fire and blood’, was added during that bloody period. Maaz Bin Bilal’s translation brings this stunning account to readers in English, and does so at a time when those histories are repeating themselves.


World Mental Health Day 2019: A new book explores the many faces of depression and provides a wealth of resources

Real Stories of Dealing with Depression is the first book in Simon and Schuster’s ‘Mindscape’ series. The book includes a set of first-person accounts and informative articles written by mental health professionals.


An Orchestra of Minorities review: Chigozie Obioma delivers a contemporary Nigerian tragedy through Igbo cosmology

Chigozie Obioma, whose first novel, The Fishermen, was selected as a finalist for the Man Booker Prize in 2015, has made it back to the 2019 shortlist with his latest effort, An Orchestra of Minorities.


Facing the Mirror: 20 years after the lesbian anthology was first published, it remains a riveting read

Facing the Mirror takes us back in time to give us an unfiltered part of lesbian history, with some of the earliest articulations of lesbian experience in independent India.

News & Analysis

Making of an audiophile part 6: Bluetooth DACs explained, and why you'd want one

The Fiio BTR3 and the EarStudio ES100 are great choices for an entry-level Bluetooth DAC/Amp.


How Babu Bangladesh! combines unfiltered history with imagination, style to create compelling literature

Numair Atif Choudhury’s novel, Babu Bangladesh!, which has been shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2019, pretends to be a biography of a Bangladeshi politician. Choudhury conjures nostalgia — evocative of youth and deep love of one’s homeland — and places it amid the squalid and terrible politics, the massacres and the disappearances.


Kiran Nagarkar dies at 77: For many, the passing of the icon began many months before his death

Some will say that Nagarkar’s death is not the occasion to speak of all this. And yet, if there is one lesson to draw from death, it is that no one is indispensable in the dance of existence.


Prof Arvind Sharma on how history suggests religious tolerance leads to peace, prosperity

Prof Arvind Sharma's latest book is a comprehensive and encyclopedic survey of the concept of tolerance in the texts, philosophies and histories of ten major religions.


Kashmir after Article 370: Today, the government is not being fully transparent on the Valley; what will it do next?

In a classic case of shooting the messenger, the Indian Right has taken up cudgels against the BBC for its reporting from the ground during the 'siege of Kashmir'

News & Analysis

Making of an audiophile part 4: The best studio headphones under Rs 8,000

Headphones are the centrepiece in a beginner audiophile’s arsenal and so it is prudent to find the best.

News & Analysis

Making of an audiophile: What to look for in headphones and finding the best value

Differentiating between different types of headphones and picking the ones best suited for you.

News & Analysis

Making of an Audiophile: How to find audiophile-grade recordings of Indian music

A look at how to source high-quality tracks and how to train your ears to hear the difference.

News & Analysis

Making of an audiophile: How to get started on the path to musical nirvana

A look into the importance of the tools one needs to get started on the journey of becoming an audiophile.


In crediting Narendra Modi with disempowering India's elites, TIME cover story ignores regional parties' achievements

Time Magazine’s cover story on Narendra Modi declaims him as India’s ‘Divider in Chief’ but its lead essay, written by journalist Aatish Taseer, seems to credit the BJP with disempowering the elite, a feat actually achieved by the many regional parties of India.


A Quantum Leap in the Wrong Direction?: A data-driven look at NDA's policies, but selective in its critique

A Quantum Leap in the Wrong Direction? claims it moves away ‘from partisan debates that resort to propaganda and provide no answers’ and that ‘the authors rely on an assessment of available official data and other reputable information, and thereby, let the facts speak for themselves.’