Farrukh Dhondy

The destruction of history anywhere in the world through acts of vandalism is wrong.

Articles by Farrukh Dhondy

Excerpt: From the Translator’s Note to Rumi; A New Collection Selected and Translated by Farrukh Dhondy

In the age of the Internet, Rumi quotes are everywhere. Like pop songs they sometimes provide instant gratification. At other times, their mysterious vocabulary lends itself to a range of interpretations. In the note appended to his new translation of the Persian mystic’s poetry, Farrukh Dhondy explains that contemporary readers err greatly when they overlook the fact that Rumi’s work is devoted to the philosophy, doctrine and poetic interpretation of Islam
The Semazen or whirling dervishes: The Sufi mystical sect was inspired by Rumi and formed in 1273 after his death.(Shutterstock)
The Semazen or whirling dervishes: The Sufi mystical sect was inspired by Rumi and formed in 1273 after his death.(Shutterstock)
Updated on Jul 30, 2020 08:45 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

Britain’s attitude to religious symbolism is tolerant, with a few exceptions

A reporter wearing a hijab and reporting an Islamicist terror attack has kicked off a lot of debate and has also provoked outrage
On the day IPSO published its deliberations on the case, a man randomly attacked a woman who was wearing a hijab on London’s busy Oxford Street in broad daylight, shouting at her, wrenching off her headdress and punching her. He immediately ran off and was lost in the crowds (Representative Photo)(REUTERS)
On the day IPSO published its deliberations on the case, a man randomly attacked a woman who was wearing a hijab on London’s busy Oxford Street in broad daylight, shouting at her, wrenching off her headdress and punching her. He immediately ran off and was lost in the crowds (Representative Photo)(REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 28, 2016 01:33 AM IST
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It’s no more a safe haven

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Published on Jun 28, 2016 11:12 AM IST
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Will Brexit jeopardise the position of people evading the law in India?

The Leave camp wants to abolish laws which prevented the extradition or expulsion of criminals who claimed their protection to remain in Britain. This is bad news for Indian citizens who have for landed up here in defiance of Indian requests for their return to face charges
The front page of the London Evening Standard showing British Prime Minister David Cameron holding hands with his wife Samantha as they come out from 10 Downing Street to make an announcement following the results of the EU referendum are seen in London on June 24, 2016(AFP)
The front page of the London Evening Standard showing British Prime Minister David Cameron holding hands with his wife Samantha as they come out from 10 Downing Street to make an announcement following the results of the EU referendum are seen in London on June 24, 2016(AFP)
Updated on Jun 28, 2016 12:18 AM IST
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Jaipur Lit Festival in London: Why this fuss about Vedanta

I genuinely wonder how many people participating in or attending these festivals pay any attention to the logos of sponsors printed on the programmes....how would I, or anyone for that matter, support Vedanta? Will the company advertise themselves as patrons of literature in order to attract and get capital investment?
Visitors during the inauguration of Jaipur Literary festival 2016, in Jaipur, India.(Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)
Visitors during the inauguration of Jaipur Literary festival 2016, in Jaipur, India.(Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)
Updated on May 23, 2016 08:58 PM IST
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London shows the way with Citizen Khan

Sadiq Khan is today the first Muslim mayor of a western metropolis. It’s not as significant as the United States electing a black president, but for Britain it is a gigantic step in defining its contemporary nationhood
London's new mayor Sadiq Khan (R) addresses the media at City Hall in central London.(AFP Photo)
London's new mayor Sadiq Khan (R) addresses the media at City Hall in central London.(AFP Photo)
Updated on May 08, 2016 09:41 PM IST
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Defining minorities and their uses in India requires a change of thought

Muslims in India ought to have the status of a ‘smaller majority’. It is from such quibbles that policies for social justice can flow
I don’t suppose the ministry of minority affairs has any business with the question of banning ‘Sikh Jokes’. It doesn’t seem to have attracted the support of Sikhs, who, as the late Khushwant Singh did, see laughing at oneself as a sign of cultural maturity.(REUTERS)
I don’t suppose the ministry of minority affairs has any business with the question of banning ‘Sikh Jokes’. It doesn’t seem to have attracted the support of Sikhs, who, as the late Khushwant Singh did, see laughing at oneself as a sign of cultural maturity.(REUTERS)
Updated on Mar 18, 2016 09:03 PM IST
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Stretching the Schengen: Migrant crisis leaves EU ideals fragile

The influx of refugees from war-torn nations is the most serious crisis the EU has faced and is threatening to alter it in irreversible ways.
The nations of the EU agreed that holding the refugees in camps, distributing them after vetting and processing them to make sure they are genuinely fleeing war and terror and supervising their absorption into Europe are just one part of a ‘solution’reuters.(REUTERS)
The nations of the EU agreed that holding the refugees in camps, distributing them after vetting and processing them to make sure they are genuinely fleeing war and terror and supervising their absorption into Europe are just one part of a ‘solution’reuters.(REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 03, 2016 11:49 PM IST
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‘Secular’ the most misused word? Not quite the same meaning these days

More than the relevance of the word ‘secular’ in the Constitution, India should take issue with ‘scheduled’ and ‘backward’
Are Rajnath Singh’s words a signal that the government will reinterpret ‘secularism’?(PTI)
Are Rajnath Singh’s words a signal that the government will reinterpret ‘secularism’?(PTI)
Updated on Dec 24, 2015 02:19 AM IST
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Shiv Sena’s leaders, members should worry about attack on Kulkarni

The people who ought to be worried about the Shiv Sena’s attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni are its leaders and members, writes Farrukh Dhondy.
The Sena must realise that attacks on books and musical recitals are seen all over the world as manifestations of the sort of intolerance that the Isis displays for anyone not of their narrow religious persuasion.(Hindustan Times)
The Sena must realise that attacks on books and musical recitals are seen all over the world as manifestations of the sort of intolerance that the Isis displays for anyone not of their narrow religious persuasion.(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Oct 22, 2015 09:40 PM IST
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Britain is fated for an Attlee moment

My prediction is that Britain is fated for an Attlee moment when, after it was led to victory in the World War II by Winston Churchill, the nation voted for a quiet and modest leader of the party that opposed him and promised them universal healthcare, free education and opportunities for the working classes, writes Farrukh Dhondy.
Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of Britain's opposition Labour party. (Reuters Photo)
Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of Britain's opposition Labour party. (Reuters Photo)
Updated on Sep 15, 2015 10:45 PM IST
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Looking at history through different prisms

There can be revisions in history. But some changes cannot be accepted by modern countries which are mindful of their image.
The Confederate battle flag flies at the South Carolina state house grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. (AFP Photo)
The Confederate battle flag flies at the South Carolina state house grounds in Columbia, South Carolina. (AFP Photo)
Updated on Aug 07, 2015 02:20 PM IST
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Modi, Vaz episode shows UK’s systems of grace, favour still in place

There you have it! An adaptation of the Shakespearean speech from Julius Caesar as perhaps Keith Vaz, Indian-born Leicester MP, would render it today to the Westminster parliament in answer to the controversy that surrounds his acts of patronage or, as he insists, of clear duty.
Updated on Jun 17, 2015 03:03 AM IST
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Bollywood: It’s a masala the West cannot digest

The 2015 Cannes Film Festival began on May 13, and concluded on Sunday. At the same time the Jaipur Literary Festival came to London’s South Bank Centre, the artistic hub of Britain’s capital. One of the sessions at the JLF’s Brit debut was a discussion on Bollywood.
Updated on May 25, 2015 12:03 AM IST
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No excuse for the destruction of history

The destruction of history anywhere in the world through acts of vandalism is wrong.
Updated on Apr 14, 2015 10:57 PM IST
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Flag bearer: The future of democracy lies with India

This month Hachette, India published a book by British historian Roderick Matthews entitled The Great India Rope Trick with a questioning subtitle: “Does the Future of Democracy Lie with India?”
Updated on Mar 15, 2015 10:07 PM IST
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Right to wear niqab? Clash between attire and law

Farrukh Dhondy gives his views after a top British judge's call for rules that force women to take off niqabs when giving evidence in court sparked off a debate on the right to wear veils.
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Updated on Jan 05, 2015 05:21 PM IST
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For Clean India, do not sweep your dirt under the carpet

In many countries, people who litter roads are liable to be taken to court and fined. Will it take generations before such laws become feasible in India?
Children-hold-placards-to-support-PM-Modi-s-Swachh-Bharat-campaign-in-Borivali-The-Swachh-Bharat-Abhiyan--aims--to-clean-up-the-country-in-the-next-five-years-Pratham-Gokhale-HT-photo
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Updated on Oct 24, 2014 12:11 PM IST
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An imaginary account of Scotland's 'independent' future

As this columnist predicted on September 19, 2014, the fatal day when the results of the Scottish independence referendum were announced, this partition of the United Kingdom would lead to ultimate instability and disaster, writes Farrukh Dhondy.
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Updated on Sep 16, 2014 10:59 PM IST
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Mr PM, beware of attempts to mix history with myth

Debating history is necessary. But when myths are used as political weapons to further a certain agenda, their contentions become dangerous, writes Farrukh Dhondy.
Updated on Aug 18, 2014 11:13 PM IST
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The false one: Islamic State's Caliph is a fantasy enterprise

Some disillusioned men from Europe and other places may join the Caliphate but the ISIS is unlikely to win over transcontinental territories.
Updated on Jul 21, 2014 11:05 PM IST
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Politicians often attempt to threaten press into silence

In any democracy the Press should be subject to the law but not to any power held by elected politicians. Wouldn’t such powers curtail the ability of the press to investigate and expose the crimes and the conduct of politicians? Farrukh Dhondy writes.
Updated on Apr 25, 2014 02:21 AM IST
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Alleged rapists too should be afforded anonymity like survivors

Any rape trial is an invasion of the privacy, shame and trauma of the victims who allege rape and, if the accused is innocent, of the alleged rapist.
Updated on Feb 28, 2014 02:08 AM IST
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Section 377 may not be a priority with any parliamentarian

The SC’s plea to Parliament is mouthwash. However glaring the case for a modernisation of this law, it is doubtful whether it will be a priority with any parliamentarian, writes Farrukh Dhondy.
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Updated on Dec 25, 2013 01:41 AM IST
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Malala is not the best mascot for universal education

Even though Malala probably has a full scholarship to her school, it is from a platform of very narrow elitist privilege that she is seen as championing universal education. Farrukh Dhondy writes.
Updated on Nov 21, 2013 02:41 AM IST
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The Daily Mail has unwittingly begun a debate on press freedom

In the past two weeks a debate about press freedom has been initiated by the Daily Mail, a national newspaper which attacked the Labour party leader’s late father Ralph Miliband, writes Farrukh Dhondy.
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Updated on Oct 15, 2013 10:57 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

15 minutes of fame and more

Andy Warhol, the famous artist and fraud said that everyone is destined for 15 minutes of fame. My last wish is to have those 15 minutes as an acquaintance or advocate of the convicted serial murderer Charles Sobhraj.
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Updated on Sep 16, 2013 11:28 AM IST
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A divine intervention

The Archbishop of Canterbury intends to use the Church’s moneyto save the poor from loansharks. Would any head of such a religious foundation in India follow suit? Farrukh Dhondy writes.
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Updated on Aug 22, 2013 07:29 AM IST
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Show them the money

The backers and funders of political parties in India are not philanthropic benefactors of the democratic process — they are funding their own political and financial influence. Farrukh Dhondy writes.

Updated on Jul 23, 2013 11:17 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Chasing an illusion

Jihadists who want to ‘start a war in Britain’ are perhaps stupid enough to believe their actions will gain them followers and lead to some sort of ‘British spring’. Farrukh Dhondy writes.
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Updated on Jun 18, 2013 11:12 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
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