Pankaj Mishra Quotes
Indonesia is hardly immune to catastrophic breakdowns, as the anti-Communist pogrom showed. But, like India, it has been relatively fortunate in evolving a mode of politics that can include many discontinuities - of class, region, ethnicity, and religion.
Though there are laws against blasphemy and insult to religion in many European countries, France has institutionalised its anti-clerical past by proscribing religion from public life.
The advocates of retaliatory wars will continue to assume a much simpler reality with their hoary oppositions: Religious and secular, backward and enlightened, free and unfree. But if we are to admit how deeply and irrevocably interconnected our world is, then we must find new ways to break the cycle of counter-productive violence.
So much of western self-perception and intellectual worldview has been shaped by the moral rhetoric of the Cold War, the discourse in which communism featured as a clear enemy, determined to rule the world.
The clash of civilizations or the clash between Islam and the West may be cliches. But there is an even bigger cliche around: that this clash actually goes on within Islam, between reformists and fanatics.
I grew up in small towns in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra - places like Akola, Betul, Wardha, Jhansi; I thought the rise of provincial India would be an interesting subject to tackle.
Economic disasters or foolish wars are hardly guaranteed to bring about large-scale individual self-examination or renew the appeal of truly participatory democracy.
In 1980, shortly before my 11th birthday, I wrote my first essay in English.
The Indonesian nationalists, mainly Javanese, who threw the Dutch out - in 1949, after a four-year struggle - were keen to preserve their inheritance and emulated the coercion, deceit, and bribery of the colonial rulers.
Basically, I think of fiction and non-fiction as different ways of engaging with the world. You reach a point where you feel you have said all you possibly can, in reportage or a review essay or a reflection on history, which 'From the Ruins of Empire' was.
Tiananmen Square in early 1989 attracted many dreamers like Ma Jian, who returned from Hong Kong to a one-room shack in Beijing in order to join the student protests.
As an Indian, you feel easily connected with certain histories in places like Indonesia, where one sees, because of the presence of the Hindu-Buddhist past, Hindus still living there or Muslims performing rituals that are instantly familiar.
In the 1950s and 60s, geopolitical intrigues did not much engage masses in Asia and Africa; it was something for elites to sort out.
I think there is no reason for us to bring to Islamism or political Islam the fear and ignorance of Western commentators and their hysterical vocabulary.
Obama was expected to restore an ethical sheen to post-9/11 foreign policy, but he has intensified drone warfare in Yemen and Pakistan, pursued whistle-blowers, and failed to close down Guantanamo.
The Sino-Indian War in 1962 has fundamentally shaped and distorted Indian attitudes towards China. It also obscured a great deal of what has happened in China since 1962.
Devout Anatolian masses rising from poverty have transformed Turkey politically and economically.
Britain's unique success as an industrialised nation-state prompted strong imitative endeavours not only across Europe, but also in Asia. Now many people, who were once humiliated into a sense of nationality by British rule, loom larger than their former masters.
Showing 1 to 20 of 92 results