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Arundhuti Dasgupta

Arundhuti Dasgupta

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  • Plagues, disasters and heroes

    08-05-2020 21:49:00

    Why turn to a hero, not a god? Joseph Campbell has said a hero scores over a god when it comes to resolving the problems of the here and now because "a hero's sphere of action is not the transcendent"

  • The gods of medicine and healing, and their sought-after power to cure

    10-04-2020 20:56:00

    In many cultures, medicine men were among the most important gods and spirits.

  • Trailing an epidemic

    13-03-2020 21:40:00

    In the Indonesian island of Sulawesi (Celebes), the outbreak of misfortune or an epidemic was blamed on unseen devils

  • Aide and abet

    14-02-2020 23:22:00

    In epic literature, the chief aide is painted in many shades of grey too

  • Young and angry

    10-01-2020 21:09:00

    The most tyrannical among rulers is considered to be Roman emperor Caligula. A historical figure, he fits the mythical archetype of arrogant and cruel rulers whose end is foretold by their actions

  • The colour of persecution

    13-12-2019 22:23:00

    Invoking the past to justify the present is the last resort of the rogue, but to do it with narrow sectarian lenses is worse

  • Bringing power to heel

    09-11-2019 00:18:00

    Pride and arrogance are the fatal fault lines that destroy power, flaws that mortals must watch out for

  • Cutting the branch we sit on

    11-10-2019 23:54:00

    In India, almost every tree has a story running through it. The banyan, the fig tree, the eucalyptus - all trees are sacred because of their association with a divinity.

  • Tied to a nation state

    20-09-2019 21:42:00

    To believe that one language unifies all would mean that many languages divide the people. However, to cast language in this role seems antithetical to its original intent

  • The art of the con

    16-08-2019 21:38:00

    The road to survival in the ancient world was often paved with bluff and deceit. The cons pulled were largely harmless and the subtext was: to survive, man had to trick the gods

  • The rebus of the skies

    20-07-2019 00:06:00

    The fascination for the skies and what lies beyond has fathered an expansive stockpile of astronomical myths and legends and in India, also an elaborate astrological system

  • The shape of water

    21-06-2019 22:07:00

    Water was among the prime deities in an animistic universe. Its influence permeated the world of myths and folklore and impacted the rituals that helped perpetuate a chosen way of life

  • Divide and thrive

    17-05-2019 22:06:00

    The many versions of the Ramayana within the country are well known, but the text has also travelled into the rest of Asia, taking on forms that would be unrecognisable to many among its followers

  • 'Other' choices

    12-04-2019 22:33:00

    'One of the overriding themes of the political campaigning so far has been fear', says the author

  • Bad blood

    22-03-2019 21:57:00

    From the Indian epics we have stories of brotherly love, of obedience and subservience