Anam Khan

Shaun Randol

Salman Rushdie reads at PEN World Voices Festival's opening night (© Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center)

Leila Seth


My name is Leila Seth. I am eighty-three years old. I have been in a long and happy marriage of more than sixty years with my husband Premo, and am the mother of three children. The eldest, Vikram, is a writer. The second, Shantum, is a Buddhist teacher. The third, Aradhana, is an artist and filmmaker. I love them all. My husband and I have brought them up with the values we were brought up with—honesty, courage, and sympathy for others. We know that they are hardworking and affectionate people who are trying to do some good in the world.

Ather Zia

As a people living under an occupation [in Kashmir] which is camouflaged within a patina of democratic set-up and draconian laws, there is a constant erasure of our bodies, memories, and identities. We are inflicted with active forgetting in order to survive. At the border where the direct gaze of prose is constricted with barbed wires of multiple coercions, poetry spurts forth. Poetry makes one a witness, rather than just an archivist. One’s life-blood, all that is political and emotional; lived, remaining, and forgotten coagulates into a poem.

Dorjee Cairang

Nearly a half a century ago in Vietnam, a photograph taken on a Saigon street shocked people around the world. At the center of the photo was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk sitting uptight in a lotus position; his entire body was engulfed by flames. This image reportedly prompted then President John F. Kennedy to reconsider his Vietnam policy.

World Policy Journal

by Ananya Vajpeyi

From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals who Remade Asia
by Pankaj Mishra (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)

Shaun Randol

In the past sixteen years, over 250,000 farmers have committed suicide in India. That's one suicide every thirty minutes. By the time I finished watching a documentary about the sad epidemic, three more farmers had taken their lives.

Chris Eberhardt (汪哲伟)

BEIJING - About a week and a half ago a co-worker sent a message in Chinese that army vehicles were spotted in east-central Beijing near where I used to live. That day and the next rumors swirled, in no part due to the fact that Bo Xilai, the Mayor of Chongqing, the largest city in China had recently been dismissed.

Ed Hancox

According to a report in Foreign Policy, sales of the Nano automobile in India have been disappointing.  Launched with great fanfare just two years ago and billed as the “world's cheapest car”, the Nano has been equal parts savvy marketing campaign and act of social responsibility on the part of its creator, Tata Motors.  A marked transition has been underway in Indian society as the population becomes more affluent and more urban.  Unfortuna

Ather Zia

Since 1947, Kashmir has been subjected to three full scale wars between India and Pakistan. The last one occurred as the two nations were poised to become nuclear powers. Until the late 80s, the nature of tension in the valley between these full scale battles can be viewed as latent violence. This period was dogged by rigged elections, corruption, dissent, and awry political coalitions, which led to shaky governments. It was in 1989 that the armed militancy broke out.