Maharashtra

After Nobility
September 14, 2011

The politics of anti-politics is a great American comedy. Contempt for Washington has become one of the primary qualifications for elevation to Washington. Those who despise government are desperate to join it; those who despise politics are politicians. And those who cherish government and cherish politics are ominously instructed by their consultants to be silent. Inside the system they pretend that they are outside the system, and denounce the institutions as if they are not talking about themselves.

Clerical Terror
December 24, 2008

If we needed reminding, the carnage in Mumbai proved yet again that South Asia is home to some of the world's deadliest Islamist terrorists. Usually missing from press coverage, though, is any sense of the origin of these movements, which are often assumed to be tied to the grievances of the Arab Middle East and the fate of Jerusalem. That is a misconception. Historically, the roots of radical Islam belong at least as much in South Asia as in the Middle East. And one individual, wholly unfamiliar to most Westerners, played an indispensable role in founding and shaping that movement.

Snub-Continent
May 21, 2007

MUMBAI, INDIA LAST YEAR, a 25-year-old Mumbai native named Savita went out with her boyfriend to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (The names of characters in this piece have been changed to protect their identities.) The couple chose an expensive Middle Eastern restaurant in Mumbai where, a few minutes into the meal, a group of men burst in and began to verbally harass them. “Why are you celebrating this American holiday?” they demanded before leaving. After Savita and her date finished their meal, they found the same group waiting for them outside. The men beat Savita’s companion badly.