pigeons and domes

The Periscope™

rakshanda jalil book

The bygone year has gone down in the history of India for trending intolerance. It made Indians rethink about acceptance of the ‘other’. Well-known author Rakhshanda Jalil has embarked on putting together an anthology of stories on communalism.

The phrase strikes you immediately — on communalism? Why not on secularism? The editor justifies her decision by saying that she looked for stories on the ‘dark twin of secularism — communalism’ because we cannot understand the first without understanding the other, and the communal stories have not been explored since the Partition days.

However, can secularism and communalism be separated and put in compartments? Isn’t the story on communalism, in fact, a story of secularism itself? Perhaps, the editor wants to show that even when she has picked up stories which are dark, gloomy, murky and morbid, they have the power to touch your heart with ominous fingers, thereby questioning your…

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