Kapil Komireddi

I am an author, journalist, and book critic. My book, Malevolent Republic: A Short History of the New India, was published in May 2019 in India (Context) and the United Kingdom (Hurst). I have written from South Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East; and my work has appeared, among other publications, in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Economist, the Spectator, TIME, Los Angeles Times, CNN, the National, the Jewish Chronicle, Foreign Policy, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Tablet, Daily Beast, London Review, New Republic, New Statesman, Newsweek, Guardian, Daily Mirror, the Australian, Le Monde diplomatique, the Independent, the Times of India, Hindustan Times, and Haaretz. This website features some of my published work.

Shashi Tharoor’s book is a polemic, says Kapil Komireddi – beware of Hindu nationalism

Most religions bind their adherents into a community of believers. Hinduism segregates them into castes. And people excluded from the hierarchical caste system — the ‘untouchables’ — are permanently doomed to a life of scripturally sanctioned calvary. This hideousness doesn’t, however, hinder Shashi Tharoor from breathlessly exalting Hinduism as ‘a religion for the 21st century’.

Will the uncomfortable truths of a movie about India's Emergency survive the censor's cuts?

The Emergency, only four decades old, already feels like ancient history. It is not taught in school and many young people have never even heard of it. Such widespread unawareness permits Congress to attack prime minister Narendra Modi as an unusual strongman in Indian history, while proffering itself as the enlightened alternative. But a new film is threatening to complicate matters for Congress.

Revenge of the workers?

Western liberalism is in peril. Europe is disintegrating. America is in retreat. Liberal democracy is shrinking. Russia is on a rampage. China is positioning itself as the de facto leader of the world. How did we get here? In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Edward Luce advances answers as potent as hand grenades – and he hurls them without a sliver of sympathy at the nabobs who make the annual hegira to Davos. They have seceded from reality, he argues, and their insights are anachronistic piffle.

The politics of time reveals deep fault lines in the harmony of society

Sunshine swamps India’s north-east while the rest of the country is sleeping. But the clocks, controlled by New Delhi, repudiate nature. The westernmost and easternmost parts of India are divided by 28 degrees of longitude. As Indian schoolbooks make clear, 15 degrees of longitudinal distance correspond to an hour’s time difference. This means that the north-east is almost two hours ahead of western India. Yet, strangely, Indians in the east are compelled to hold their lives in abeyance in deference to Indians in the west.

The End of the Asian Century?

Raymond Aron, writing about Europe in the 20th century, called it a "denial of the experience of our century to suppose that men will sacrifice their passions to their interests". That is also Auslin’s message about Asia in the 21st century. He warns against the naïve belief that "China and Japan will not go to war over disputed island territory because their economic ties are too deep, or that North Korea will not launch a nuclear missile at Seoul or Tokyo because to do so would be suicidal".
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