A Critique of Islamism

Islamism, in current contexts, connotes a political order based on and around Islam. However, these connotations are primarily negative, ranging from a vile and violent overthrow of the modern political system to a petty abuse hurled at Muslims. [1] Professor Salman Sayyid appears to have taken cue from this, and attempts to displace the negative connotations that the term possesses by presenting Islamism in a different light. Although it is a hopeful exercise, exercises like this are susceptible to failure, and at times even dangerous. In this article, I argue against Sayyid’s attempt, elucidating the negative consequences that result from and further the overall employment of Islamism as concept and term. Continue reading A Critique of Islamism

Macauley ke Bache: On Our Relationship to Urdu

The list of dead, white British men who lorded over the Subcontinent is long, but Thomas Macauley holds a special place among them. The archetypal British colonial administrator, Macauley was best known for his instrumental role in entrenching English into the cultural and epistemic life of the Subcontinent. In decreeing the supremacy of English as the language of power, and the displacement of traditional sciences and knowledges, Macaulay famously said: “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, — a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.”  Continue reading Macauley ke Bache: On Our Relationship to Urdu