The history of secret education for girls in Afghanistan – and its use as a political symbol

Elaine Unterhalter, UCL In August 2021 the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan, and since then secondary education for girls in the country has been banned. However, there have been reports of clandestine girls’ schools operating despite the ban. Teenage girls … Continue reading The history of secret education for girls in Afghanistan – and its use as a political symbol

Five myths about the partition of British India – and what really happened

Navtej K Purewal, SOAS, University of London and Eleanor Newbigin, SOAS, University of London This August marks 75 years since the partition of the Indian subcontinent. British withdrawal from the region prompted the creation of two new states, India and Pakistan. The process of transferring power grossly simplified diverse societies to make it seem like dividing social groups and drawing new borders was logical and even possible. This decision unleashed one of the biggest human migrations of the 20th century when more than ten million people fled across borders seeking safe refuge. Anniversaries can be a critical moment to pause … Continue reading Five myths about the partition of British India – and what really happened

Honour and masculine pride for the country: how the Bollywood sports biopic 83 furthers India’s nationalist cause

Radhika Raghav, University of Otago Contemporary Bollywood films tend to focus on stories of the Indian underdog emerging triumphant after facing adversity or a threat from an “outsider”: the triumph of the charismatic masculine Hinduised hero who fulfils his duty, … Continue reading Honour and masculine pride for the country: how the Bollywood sports biopic 83 furthers India’s nationalist cause

The British and Pakistani Armies: Sharing Both a Personal and Institutional Future

The long relationship between the British and Pakistani armies is transforming, from one based mostly on pomp, ceremony and personal friendships, to one based on shared strategic interests. The Pakistan Army can sometimes be more British than the British Army, at least when it comes to pomp and ceremony. Its cavalry officers have the best horses, and they play in the top polo competitions in Argentina and England; many of their sons go to Britain’s top boarding schools; and they even fashion their moustaches in the same manner as Field Marshal Herbert Kitchener. According to Carey Schofield in her book … Continue reading The British and Pakistani Armies: Sharing Both a Personal and Institutional Future