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People suspected of Covid-19 being transported to various hospitals after Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin, Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

Coronavirus was a test of secular nationalism. Then Tablighi Jamaat became the scapegoat

The Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin would concern any country. But PM Modi must immediately rein in his media and social media supporters communalising it.
Devotees at a temple in Guwahati, Assam | Photo: Dhiraj Singh | Bloomberg

Dear Taslima Nasreen, God has no KRAs and will survive coronavirus pandemic

Rationalists question people who believe in God in these times. But pandemics, famines, wars have only reinforced religion. COVID-19 will too.
The crude catapult atop Rajdhani Public School | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Are communal riots a new thing in India? Yes, and it started with the British

Delhi riots have brought back the 200-year old debate – did Hindus and Muslims live peacefully in India before British or was there always communal violence?
Women with long hair

Personal, not religious: Why people need to stop asking me about my knee-length hair 

My appearance should be dictated by my desires, and not by my family’s and society's expectations or even the religion that I was born into.
The pamphlet of Historical Gastronomica | Facebook

Harappan meat row not the first. Museums and gods have always collided

Historical facts take a backseat when you have gods on display. And it’s not just the babus in National Museum, museums struggle with religious artefacts world over.
Jagannath Temple in Puri | Commons

Odisha’s Jagannath temple was at the centre of British govt decision to go secular in India

It was not the 1857 Mutiny that set British India on a course towards secularism, but an 1833 letter of instructions from Court of Directors.
Representational photos | Hindu priests perform evening prayers at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi | Kanishka Sonthalia/Bloomberg

Hinduism vs Hindutva debate ignores Hindu people, puts religion where it doesn’t exist

Islam and Christianity, which are more monolithic and organised, benefit from the divide that Indian Constitution creates between ‘secular’ and ‘religious’.
Representational photos | Hindu priests perform evening prayers at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi | Kanishka Sonthalia/Bloomberg

India was a land of dharma but Europeans reduced it to Hinduism, Islam. And we accepted it

Hinduism is a modern-day invention by colonial powers, who mapped world in terms of unities like Hinduism, Islam and Confucianism, each constructed in the mirror image of Christianity.
Imran Khan

Pakistan rejects US report on religious freedom, dubs it ‘unilateral and arbitrary’

Pakistan's Foreign Office said the move was detached from ground realities of the country and raised questions about the credibility and transparency of the exercise.
Representational image | Pixabay

Why most elite married women of Delhi prefer gurus over temples or gods

A conspicuous aspect of the cult of the guru among Delhi’s rich was the global reach and international character of the guru himself.

On Camera

File photo | Dr Li Wenliang, who died of the novel coronavirus | Wikimedia Commons

China’s blunders in Wuhan should settle the debate about democracy and economic progress

The virus exploded from Wuhan to the world because the Chinese form of government abhors transparency. What they need is democracy — and India should learn this lesson.

Is talk of lifting lockdown premature or is it necessary to allow some economic activity?

As the Narendra Modi government considers the option of extending the Covid-19 lockdown beyond 14 April, concerns around its impact on the economy are growing.

Defence

USS Theodore Roosevelt. Photo | Bloomberg

Indian Navy veterans slam ‘childish’ US response to Roosevelt ship incident

Former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash says captain of USS Theodore Roosevelt should’ve resigned if he felt system let him down, rather than leaking mail to media.

Poke fun at taali, thaali, diya and mombatti all you want. Modi couldn’t care less

Modi knows who he needs to speak to, who he should toss, who he can address in kind. People accuse him of infantilising his voters, but it’s a winning strategy.