Himal Southasia

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Kathmandu and the Reality of Bollywood

From Himal Southasian (1 SEPTEMBER, 2013) The popularity of Hindi films in Kathmandu is such that, while awaiting the rise of ‘national cinema’, there is a need to adjust philosophically to the presence of Bollywood In the early 1960s, Kathmandu was a valley just awakening to the 20th century. Matters already commonplace in the metropolises
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The reformatting of India

From Himal Southasian (13 MARCH, 2013) (This is an essay from our December 2013 print quarterly, ‘Are we sure about India?’. See more from the issue here.) It has been six and a half decades since India the nation-state was established as a truncated version of historical ‘India’. The single Subcontinental colony was divided into
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Lady Liberty and the Ethnic Cauldron – II

From Himal Southasian (12 JULY, 2012) This piece continues from the first part of the article, available here. Burma, while firmly a part of Southeast Asia, has also had historical and contemporary links to Southasia through the time of the British Raj to the present. The Southasian Northeast forms a continuum of geography and demography between
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Lady liberty and the ethnic cauldron – I

From Himal Southasian (29 JUNE, 2012) As the applause for her singular democratic struggle subsides, Aung San Suu Kyi will have to tackle the challenge of defining a viable nation-state while responding to the multiple assertions of identity and autonomy within Burma. As Aung San Suu Kyi returns to Burma from her two-week tour of
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The Pentagon’s Southasia

From Himal Southasian (2 APRIL, 2012) A new web portal run by the US military could herald an interventionist rather than home-grown regionalism. In December 2011, a new Southasiannews portal became available on the web – Khabar South Asia. This could have been a welcome development, given the decades-long campaign to promote Subcontinental regionalism as a
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Right to Information: Seeping to the capillaries

From Himal Southasian (1 MARCH, 2012) Aruna Roy interviewed by Kanak Mani Dixit.   Kanak Dixit: We have with us Aruna Roy, from Devdungri village in Rajasthan, who has been able to take the Right to Information (RTI) from janasunuwais, or public hearings at the village level, all the way to national legislation that encompasses
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The Spinal Beetle of Southasia

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 12 (JAN 2011) PESHAWAR, 16 November: We hopped into the sky-blue Volkswagen Beetle on 4 November in Kathmandu, being seen off by Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav, and have now arrived here in the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwah. We have completed all of 1100 miles for the sake of
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Adventures with a Nepali Frog

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 10/11 (OCT/NOV 2011) Looking back at a children’s travel-adventure tale, featuring a Kathmandu frog, is one way to see how Nepal has changed as a country and society, and how it hasn’t. The young frog Bhaktaprasad Bhyaguto started out from his home terrace in one corner of the Kathmandu
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Keep it up!

From Himal Southasia, Volume 24, Number 8 (AUG 2011) When we import alien contraptions, we lose our bearings. Southasians, particularly those in the monsoonal Subcontinent where water is abundant, like the idea of wet bathrooms. Wholesome water, from the well, step-well, pond or rivulet, is used copiously for bathing and ablutions. Enter the dry bathroom
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