Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, passes away at 87

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, passes away at 87

Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez crafted intoxicating fiction from the fatalism, fantasy, cruelty and heroics of the world that set his mind churning as a child growing up on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. One of the most revered and influential writers of his generation, he brought Latin America’s charm and maddening […]

Nobel literature laureate Doris Lessing dies at 94

In this January 30, 2008 file photo, Nobel literature laureate, Doris Lessing holds up the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature medal after being presented it by the Ambassador of Sweden, Staffan Carlsson, during a ceremony at the Wallace Collection art gallery in London.

Doris Lessing emerged from a black cab outside her home in London one day in 2007 and was confronted by a horde of reporters. When told she had won the Nobel Prize, she blinked and retorted “Oh Christ! … I couldn’t care less.” That was typical of the independent — […]

Privacy from government monitoring is a right

Privacy from government monitoring is a right

Excerpted below is the introduction to Cory Doctorow’s young adult science fiction novel Little Brother. It is being reproduced here under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. While it talks about ‘Big Brotherly’ behaviour by Governments in the West, it is of particular value to Indians right […]

When tradition offers a way out of modern societal problems

When tradition offers a way out of modern societal problems

What if, in trying to figure out the best way to lead our lives, we could conduct tests on the different methods? According to author Jared Diamond, such trials are already taking place. In his new book, The World Until Yesterday, Diamond argues, “Traditional societies in effect represent thousands of […]

Her eyes distract, so banish them!

niqab

The Muslim clergy issues fatwas for two primary reasons: First, to impose their interpretation of shariah; and, second, to maintain their stranglehold over the community of believers lest they break free and move with the times. This is most evident in Saudi Arabia, the powerhouse of Wahabi Islam, which inspires […]

Shaping the mind of the believer

Islam-resize

A fatwa is a decree, a ruling. The mufti who is authorised to issue fatwas has to have encyclopaedic knowledge – for he will be required to pronounce on matters that range from personal hygiene, to marital relations, to the fine points on the law of inheritance, to whether the […]