Inside the Wacky World of American Yoga

May 31, 2019

“Namaste, brother” says Chaitanya, a pudgy, rosy-cheeked man from Charlotte, North Carolina, smiling broadly at me and my friend Alison. He wears a sleeveless orange tank top and white cotton balloon pants. He tells us the moniker was bestowed on him after an elaborate naming ceremony conducted...

Understanding India’s Hindu-Muslim Divide

October 11, 2018

The question that still haunts rational minds is whether Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s two-nation theory — one that Islam and Hinduism constitute two incompatible cultural, social, political and religious systems — was right or wrong. A journey back in time exploring the motives both of...

India: Between Religious Murder and Secularism

January 05, 2018

As a society, India must admit that religious extremism and hatred are deeply entrenched in its sociocultural body politic. On December 6, 2017, a Muslim migrant laborer, Mohammed Afrazul, was hacked to death and set on fire by an unemployed Hindu fanatic Shambhu Lal Regar in a small, sleepy...

Modi Must Clarify His Position on Hindu Nationalism

February 17, 2015

Modi should publicly clarify his position on Hindu nationalism and not allow others to frame the issue for him. After nearly nine months in office, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing a fearsome enemy: a resurgent militant, chauvinistic and violent Hindu nationalism. The identity of...

The Colors of a Potential Indian Prime Minister

April 10, 2014

Transparency and accountability are hardly Narendra Modi's forte. India's Hindu Right is associated with the color saffron. The saffron flag, or bhagwa dhwaj, adorns the offices of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS or Sangh for short), which is at the core of the Hindu nationalist movement....

The US and Narendra Modi: To Engage or Not to Engage?

Should the US begin greater engagement with Narendra Modi? By Harshita Kohli India's leading opposition party, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), has officially announced Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the state of Gujarat, as the party’s prime ministerial candidate for national...