Research Articles

Beijing 2008: A Watershed for Indian Sport

Extracts from Olympics: The India Story, rev. and updated 2012 edition

The Games Politicians Play

The world turns on its axis, night comes after day, the Olympic Games are held every four years. The Olympics are so ubiquitous, so much a predictable, fixed feature of the rhythms of the world that it is easy to forget that they essentially began as a private initiative by a French aristocrat. In the […..]

Colonial India’s Olympic encounter: a photo essay

ABSTRACT India’s Olympic encounter has been a battle ground where an emerging nation’s internal dissensions were given full play: issues of national representation, colonial and postcolonial resistance, sports diffusion and participation at the global stage. This photo essay, with hitherto unseen photographs, seeks to detail some moments from colonial and early post-colonial India’s encounter of […..]

Hybridity and subversion: the Olympic flame in India


Abstract This article presents the results of a field study of the 2008 Olympic Flame Relay in Delhi, India, where Tibetan and pro-Tibetan protests against the Chinese Olympic hosts generated a state security transformation of Olympic ritual and a parallel Tibetan counter-performance. These events are placed in the context of earlier Indian practices of indigenization […..]

Politics of the Indian Presidency

Debating the role of the President in the Constituent Assembly on 21 July 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru articulated some of the dominant political expectations of the time, arguing that even though ‘we did not give him any real powers’ in the proposed Constitution, ‘we have made his position one of great authority and dignity’.2 As the […..]

Capital Loss for Congress in India

The fog of war is confusing. The fog of defeat can be even more debilitating: the comfort of denial and post-defeat rationalization are its natural offspring. The Indian National Congress Party’s comprehensive defeat in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections in April 2012 has added to its growing list of recent electoral setbacks and […..]

The Amar Chitra Katha of 1857: The Nation in the Comic


EXTRACT I am a child of Amar Chitra Katha (ACK hereafter). Growing up in the 1980s, poring over the ACK comics on history and mythology was one of the greatest delights of my childhood. The comics opened up a world of wonder from the past that first ignited my interest in history. My first mental […..]