Faisal Devji

1. We would like to know about your journey as a historian...
 I sometimes think that it was my experience with immigration that made me interested in history. Having been born and grown up in East Africa, I had to make sense of my identity as an Indian, not least because the name had become a kind of abuse in the 1970s. This was a time when 'Asians', as we were known in English, and Indians or 'Wahindi' in Kiswahili, were being accused of dominating the economies of these newly-independent African countries by corrupt means, and to the detriment of their indigenous majorities. As Indians were expelled from Uganda, those of us living in neighboring states were made ever more anxious, and eventually many were encouraged to leave by a mixture of legal incentives and threats. How and why did this happen, I wondered as a child, and what role did an India I'd never seen have in this history?
2. Why did you choose to write about India and Pakistan?
Having emigrated to Canada, I had to deal with other perceptions of what being Indian meant, and also to come to terms with others of Indian descent there who had no connection with East Africa and didn't belong to its largely Gujarati and Punjabi communities. Being called by a name meant that I either had to refuse it altogether, which many people of my age did, or answer to it and thus be compelled to own the identity. I think that was the origin of my interest in India. It had little to do with some nostalgia for an ancestral land, though of course we were fed with stories of Mumbai and Gujarat by grandparents and other relatives who had been born, visited or brought up there. And whereas in East Africa, the name Indian referred to an ethnic and indeed civilisational identity rather than a national one, in the West it was always the Indian state with which we had to engage, even though we were not its citizens.
3.  Would you like to throw some light on your  book : "The terrorist in search of Humanity"?
My book was an attempt to think about the new Islamic militancy of Al-Qaeda in terms of globalization. For while commentators repeatedly described it as being global in character, very few took that description seriously enough to analyse the phenomenon in terms of what I argued was the new global arena that came to light with the end of the Cold War. Instead scholars and journalists were much more interested in medieval history and theology, whereas I thought that much of Al-Qaeda's strength came from the same resources that defined globalisation more generally, from financial and technological instruments to popular culture. In my view the globalisation of Islam was a sign not of its strength or 'revival' but weakness, since it was unable to maintain its historical integrity and spread instead as a set of disconnected fragments. The book dealt with the way in which these militants made a claim on the universal through the figure of humanity, whose supposed victimhood Islam was said to represent.
4. What do you think is the role of literature festival?
A literary festival is not a conference but a celebration of books and writing. It is meant not to impart knowledge so much as make conversations possible between those who love reading. It is, in other words, an event dedicated to pleasure and its varying intensities rather than to learning, though of course there is plenty of learning available in festivals as well, but only ever as a side show. Unlike most cultural events having to do with art, cinema or theater, however, a literary festival isn't a performance to be enjoyed by an audience, but precisely a conversation and sometimes a cacophony of people sharing their interests, a bit like collectors of stamps, coins or other objects. It is always informal and democratic, and isn't weighed down by expectations of specialist knowledge or the duty of appreciation. Of course such events are also leveraged or 'enriched' by cities, corporations and other hosts or donors to encourage tourism, make profits and the like.


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                 Issue 6

Blog Posts

sincere love

Posted by Arpana Bina Vora on March 22, 2017 at 4:32pm 0 Comments


Is love’s paradise actual?

Candid and dear??

Indesigning and upfront??

Regular and unaffected??

Yes,what women love

First make the truffles,

I just want to let her know

She mean the world to…



Posted by Arpana Bina Vora on March 22, 2017 at 4:30pm 0 Comments


Looking deep down the mirror and I said ‘ I love you’

Immediately an electic current ripples throughout my soul,

I be in my own skin,

Longer than in anywhere else,

I always promise myself




Posted by Arpana Bina Vora on March 22, 2017 at 4:28pm 0 Comments

Soul love

I have not fallen in the love of body

But merely wwith a soul,

And it makes a difference..

And then my soul saw you and

It kind of went on ‘oh there you are I have been looking

For you.’

He was…


It takes it personally when you do commit a personal offense

Posted by narendrasinh chauhan on March 22, 2017 at 1:44pm 0 Comments

It takes it personally when you do commit a personal offense


Economical Moving with Packers and Movers in Gurgaon

Posted by raj malhotra on March 22, 2017 at 6:36am 0 Comments


House is just a place that is constructed of bricks but house is made of love. Along side enjoy you can find so a number of other things that are needed to make home a great place for living and these essential things of the…


સ્વર્ગ પર હિસાબ !

Posted by pravin patel on March 21, 2017 at 6:40pm 0 Comments

મૃતાત્માઓ સ્વર્ગના પ્રવેશદ્વારે લાઈનમાં ઉભા હતા !

ધર્મરાજે પ્રથમ ઉભેલા મૃતાત્માને પૂછ્યું " તમે કોણ હતા ? "

મૃતાત્માએ કહ્યું " મહારાજ હું એક ટેક્ષી ચાલક હતો વર્ષો સુધી ટેક્ષીમાં મુસાફરોને તેઓના ઈચ્છીત સ્થળે મુકી આવતો હતો !… Continue


Posted by Manisha joban desai on March 21, 2017 at 3:56pm 1 Comment

હેપ્પી વિશ્ર્વ કવિતા દિવસ 2017...

આંખથી જે રંગ છલ્કયા યાદ છે?

ને,પછી જે રંગ બદલ્યા યાદ છે?

લાલ લીલો વાદળી ને જાંબલી,

દિલમા જે મેઘ વરસ્યા યાદ છે?

કાન-રાધા ગાઇ સંગે રાગ જે,




Posted by Payal on March 20, 2017 at 1:33am 0 Comments

The stars are willing to fall on the

Blank paper of earth

And wanting to write an unending poem of

Love , care and share:

But the sky is holding them tight

Aware of the difficulties lying

Beneath the look of… Continue


Posted by Payal on March 19, 2017 at 8:07am 0 Comments

The lights went dark

I hid myself within me..

Had made up mind to fight the loneliness

Was determined to win the conquest of solitude

Will I win the war within me..?

The truth that

Solitude is… Continue


Posted by Dhruvkumar Rana on March 18, 2017 at 9:26pm 0 Comments

મસ્તી -મસ્તીમાં થઈ ગઈ દોસ્તી, દોસ્તો : આ દોસ્તી છે ઘણી સસ્તી, પણ રસ્તામાં પડી નથી મળતી,લાગણીઓની મજૂબત દોરે બંધાય છે આ દોસ્તી, હસાવે અને રડાવે પણ છે આ દોસ્તી, સુખમાં મજા અને દુ:ખમાં સાથ પણ અપાવનારી છે આ દોસ્તી, દોસ્તીની આ જ વાત તો છે બહુ નિરાલી તેમાં… Continue

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