Category Archives: Indian traditions

Sujit Suvisundaram = Director of The Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge University

Sujit Sivasundaram is the Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies, Reader in the Faculty of History and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He works on the Indo-Pacific world, with a deep commitment to South and Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. His last book was ‘Islanded’, on the makings of Sri Lanka. He is co-editor of ‘The Historical Journal’ and a Councillor of the Royal Historical Society.

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Kishani’s “Danno Budunge” in 2016: Further Vibes and Reverberations


In February 2016 I borrowed an article  by Sasanka Perera in Groundviews and placed it in Thuppahi   When I recently advertised this article in FACEBOOK it drew a critical comment from Vinod Moonesinghe of Sri Lanka and then a spate of comments. Several of these thoughts provide food for thought …and debate.  So, let fruitful reflections flow –beginning here with my original note and then deploying the critical line penned by VINOD MOONESINGHE to encourage more sparks to kindle flames.

 Vinod Moonesinghe Tony Donaldson Darshanie Ratnawalli

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Anagārika Dharmapala’s Anti-Colonial Mission

Kamal Wickremasinghe, in Island, 19 September 2018, with this title “Anagarika Dharmapala needs no rescuing” … reproduced here with highlights by The Editor, Thuppahi

Social scientific study, for better or for worse, is the only available method of gaining insights into social structures including aspects of social organisation, governance and rituals, as an aid to solving problems in social relations. Social science, however, often yields erroneous results originating from prejudices associated with the frame of embedded cultural assumptions within which evaluations take place.

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Filed under accountability, British colonialism, British imperialism, Buddhism, cultural transmission, disparagement, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, life stories, nationalism, patriotism, pilgrimages, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, world events & processes

Visvakarma’s Celestial Manifestatations in Asia and Sri Lanka

Lopamudra Maitra Bajpai, in, 17 September 2018, where the title reads “Vishwakarma, the celestial architect who built Sri Lanka”

The Vishwakarma puja, which was observed on September 17, is not restricted to India but is observed in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The puja closely follows the celebration of the Ganapati festival. In some places, it is performed the day after Diwali in October or November.

Vishwakarma puja or Kanya Sankranti is celebrated in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand in North India; Karnataka in the south; and Assam, West Bengal Odisha and Tripura in the east, in honour of Vishwakarma – the celestial architect.

Vishwakarma idols of Bengal made of clay

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, cultural transmission, elephant tales, female empowerment, heritage, Hinduism, historical interpretation, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, life stories, pilgrimages, psychological urges, Saivism, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes

Anagārika Dharmapāla: In Search of a Rounded Evaluation

Michael Roberts, courtesy of The Sunday Island 16 September 2018

Recently an anonymous hand writing as “A Dharmapala Devotee” presented a sarcastic opinion piece in the Island of the 5th September targeting myself, Gananath Obeyesekere and HL Seneviratne. My immediate response was short and rushed. This essay is a more considered set of comments.

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Revelations: Oppression of the Dalits in India via A Family History

Tariq  Ali’s essay entitled THE UNSEEABLES  in the London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 16 · 30 August 2018   …. reviewing  Ants among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla Daunt, 341 pp, £14.99, May, ISBN 978 1 911547 20 4


This is a family biography that encompasses a history rarely told: despite its longevity, caste, and caste oppression, is not a popular theme in India. Sujatha Gidla writes of poisoned lives, of disillusionment, betrayed hopes, unrequited loves, attempted escapes through alcohol and sex. What distinguishes her book is its rich mix of sociology, anthropology, history, literature and politics.

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Imran Khan is Ultimate Hope for Indo-Pak Amity — says Gavaskar

S.  Venkat Narayan, in Island, 21 August 2018 where the title is “Sunil Gavaskar: If “Immy” Khan’t usher in a new eram of friendship between India and Pakistan, nobody can”

Sunil Gavaskar, the Indian cricket legend, friend and rival of Imran Khan during their cricketing years, has expressed the hope that Khan will succeed in improving the strained relations between their nuclear-armed countries.  “Not just Pakistanis but the Indians also want him to take care of the problems between the two countries and bring a new zest to the relationship, for if Imran ‘Khan’t then nobody can!” Gavaskar declared in a special article published in The Times of India today.

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