Once, This Dust Was Ours…

Article published on Saturday 12th August 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

A true story arising from the Partition   Many decades later, the third son, now a grown man with grey sprinkling his beard, stood on the land, the sun shimmering on him, feeling the grains of soil beneath his feet. Eyes slowly taking in the fields around him. As he turned a little, the village came into view in the far...

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Udham Singh: The Lonely Revolutionary

Article published on Sunday 30th July 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

  On 31st July 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison, in London. On 29th July 2017, I went to see the poignant and heart-breaking documentary about the partition ‘Rabba Hun Ki Kariye – Thus Departed Our Neighbours.’    In one of its early scenes letters are being read, from a prisoner who was in Brixton jail in 1940,...

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The Dangerous Rise of Gender Segregation in Faith Schools

Article published on Sunday 9th July 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

  da.azadiradio This is precisely why I have no faith in faith schools. Religion is one thing and social convention another, but in faith schools the two are practised as being interdependent. This is most often true of ‘revealed religions,’ such as Judeo-Christian and Islam. As if ideas of the religion, rely on replicating the social traditions and dress of...

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Let’s Make Happiness the Gross National Product

Article published on Monday 19th June 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

Blog first published on Huffington Post Dear Theresa May and Honourable Members of Parliament, From the emergence of the youth vote, Jeremy Corbyn’s elevation to political rock star, and goatskin vellum trending on twitter, who would’ve thought a snap general election would deliver such delights, or have others in store. I understand the Prime Minister and her party may not...

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1000 Lashes for Raif Badawi

Article published on Monday 19th June 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

Blog originally published on  Huffington Post Every Friday morning, a small group of us, sometimes three, sometimes five, hold a vigil outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia. We’re the most genteel and well-behaved protestors anyone could want, yet the embassy always posts a guard behind the railings, watching and monitoring us. As they must be watching and monitoring vigils across...

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Brexit Unsafe – in Teresa May’s Hands

Article published on Wednesday 7th June 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

I’m really scared about Teresa May getting her hands on Brexit. In June 2016, Brexit became reality – and Sadiq Khan, mayor of London went into overdrive. Announcing to the world that ‘London Was Open For Business.’  ‘Our city and our country will continue to be the best place in the world to do business. And we will continue to...

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Taking Food Out of the Mouths of Children

Article published on Monday 5th June 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

  Amid the smoke and mirrors of a general election, what Teresa May wanted to do, was to make us feel baffled, bewildered and unconfident. So she could step in with her ‘Strong and stable,’ hypnotic chant and mesmerise us into voting for her. Well, events have moved on, and her shiny exterior is now rather tainted. But nothing can...

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We Need Joined Up Politics

Article published on Thursday 18th May 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

  PA WIRE/PA IMAGES  First published: Huffington Post The General Election is looming and never have I seen such dark clouds on the horizon, and never have I seen the Labour Party, the main party of opposition, in such disarray. I blame Labour MPs, for all the in-fighting, and for failing to take a broader view. There’s a fine line...

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Justice for Seeta Kaur

Article published on Friday 5th May 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

  Seeta Kaur, a 33-year-old British-Asian woman, died in India on 31st March 2015. She was the mother of two sons and two daughters, all under the age of 10. Married to Pawan Saini, Seeta was a hardworking mother and wife, running her own beauty salon in London, and a woman clearly committed to her marriage and children. She observed...

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Women: Reclaim Your Gods

Article published on Saturday 15th April 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

* “It is we sinful women who are not awed by the grandeur of those who wear gowns … It is we sinful women who come out raising the banner of truth up against barricades of lies on the highways … Extracts from ‘We Sinful Women’ By Kishwar Naheed. Translated by Rukhsana Ahmad. Ah, we sinful women! If only Eve...

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What’s At The Heart Of Us?

Article published on Tuesday 4th April 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

  image: After my last post, discussing the question of morals and values existing independently of God, I was left wondering if there was one moral, or value, or distinctive ethical attribute, which we could say defines the human. Which we could even say, is the essence of the human. I believe we have a moral sense, evidenced to...

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Are Morals and Values Possible Without God?

Article published on Monday 20th February 2017 by Ravinder Randhawa

Harper’s Bazaar On 21st January 2017, as part of their ‘Belief and Beyond Belief Festival,’ the Southbank Centre organised a weekend of talks and discussions titled ‘The Search for the Meaning of Life’. At a couple of the sessions, though worded differently, a common question was asked by several participants. Boiled down, it went like this, ‘Can we have morality...

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Democracy and Dictator Trump

Article published on Monday 7th November 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

  (photo: Business Insider)   On the eve of a momentous presidential election in the United States, ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear from – Immanuel Kant. “Only two things inspire genuine awe: the starry sky above and the moral law within.” Kant went on to define a good will, as part of this moral law within, because, a good will,...

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Fiction and Identity Politics

Article published on Thursday 13th October 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa   Fiction and Identity Politics? Since Lionel Shriver’s speech on the subject at the Brisbane Writers Festival, old ghosts have risen and new imperatives exalted. I’m a fiction writer (novels and short stories), and yet when people ask me what I write about, I go speechless – I stutter, stumble and nervously laugh off the question. Because there isn’t...

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Killing the Creative – in Creative Writing Courses

Article published on Wednesday 31st August 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

image from These days, creative writing courses are offered by so many universities, publishing houses, newspapers or literary agencies, you can’t order a cappuccino without tripping over one or open a newspaper without being invited to go for publishing stardom. So ubiquitous is their presence and acceptance, we’re in serious danger of forgetting that literature has been flourishing and...

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No Country for Bold Women

Article published on Sunday 17th July 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

Reposted from ‘Action For a Progressive Pakistan’ The title comes from Twitter user @BilawalKhoso   ***PLEASE SIGN THIS STATEMENT HERE.*** We, the undersigned, condemn the murder of Qandeel Baloch by her brother, Waseem, and demand that the government put the alleged killer on trial. Qandeel, born Fouzia Azeem, was a rebel, an artist, and a gutsy feminist provocateur. Her sensual social media videos...

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Trump, Trust and Governance

Article published on Sunday 29th May 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

                                                              gettyimages-5086450001.jpg   “Although it tends to get lost in the showbusiness of electioneering, politics is ultimately about governance.” (Professor Philip Bobbit writing about the rise of Donald Trump) We’ve...

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Arranged Marriage Detectives

Article published on Sunday 10th April 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

    First published Huffington Post 5.4.2016. My elderly parents tell this story about how some marriages were arranged in their time: ‘if the girl next in line to be married wasn’t very pretty, when the boy’s family came to see her, they’d show them the prettiest daughter, but actually marry off the other girl. Brides were heavily veiled so...

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Burning Oil and Not a Single Scream

Article published on Tuesday 22nd March 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

image from   This post first published on Huffington Post U.K.   ‘…in the middle of beating her up, he picked up the pan of hot oil and poured it on her head, and that woman … that Jat woman …  didn’t let out a single scream, not a squeak.’ That was a story I heard in my childhood,...

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British-Asian and All Things Wild and Wonderful

Article published on Friday 4th March 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

  From BBC website. Nadiya Hussain, winner of The Great British Bake Off 2015 This post was first published on Huffington Post U.K.  I’m going to say something rather revolutionary: it’s an amazing thing to be a British-Asian, and in addition to be a British-Asian woman. This may be rather a different song to the one that some others are...

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The British-Asian Secrets Project

Article published on Monday 15th February 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

 British-Asians are invited to lighten their souls and unburden their secrets. We live in two worlds: the known and unknown, the revealed and the secret. Both travel together, like light and shade, night and day. Both shape our lives and destinies. And both live inside us. I doubt there’s a human being upon this planet who doesn’t have a secret,...

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Modi, Brady and Omar Khayyam

Article published on Friday 1st January 2016 by Ravinder Randhawa

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. (From The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, 1859. Translated by Edward Fitzgerald.)   I had decided not to write an Old Year/New Year post given that cyber...

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Why We Need Diverse Books

Article published on Wednesday 9th December 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa×215.png   We live in a diverse world, of diverse people with diverse cultures. The world contains a treasure trove of knowledge, philosophy, art, music, history and so many other subjects. Looking around our world, at the magnificent architecture, the technological achievements, the social and political organisations, I’m amazed, astonished and humbled by what humans have achieved. This frail,...

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The Challenge of Writing British-Asian Characters.

Article published on Monday 30th November 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa

      That’s a long title. The challenge of writing British-Asian characters is almost the challenge of writing a new kind of human being, a new kind of character. Because they’re at the juncture, the confluence of major cultures (with lots of sub-cultures thrown in). Stir into this bubbling cauldron the history and legacy of East and West. Like...

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Dialogue Not Drones

Article published on Friday 30th October 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet Beating off hotly tipped favourites such as Pope Francis and Angela Merkel, the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was won by the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. ‘The Tunisian what…?’ asked everyone in surprise. Is it a string quartet? A debating society? Well, actually, it’s a rather unusual coming together of four major Tunisian organisations. Two of...

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The Political Hunger Games

Article published on Friday 25th September 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa

fasting, force-feeding and suicide bombers   Day 1… day 2… day 27… day 90… day 118… day 174… day 200… day 253…. proceeding one after another, impossible numbers delivering both relief and pain, telling their tale of suffering, endurance and sacrifice. Cataloguing the body’s drawn out deterioration, the protracted anguish of its shrinking and shrivelling; the flesh thinning, the bones...

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Corbyn, Content and Consensus

Article published on Monday 31st August 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa

What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason, How infinite in faculty? In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! In apprehension how like a God! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights me not. Shakespeare. Hamlet....

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Dishonour, Disobedience and Death

Article published on Wednesday 29th July 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa

July 14th was the first memorial day for victims of honour based violence in Britain. The memorial day was secured by the charity Karma Nirvana, in conjunction with Cosmopolitan magazine and the Henry Jackson Society, and is officially called The Day of Memory for Britain’s Lost Women. It occurs on the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed who was suffocated by her...

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Bloggers, Floggers and the Magna Carta

Article published on Monday 15th June 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa

 Bloggers, Floggers and the Magna Carta 15th June 2015 is the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. 17th June 2015 is the 3rd anniversary of the arrest of Raif Badawi. A mighty 800 years separate these two events and yet they are intrinsically and fundamentally linked. Both are to do with the rights and liberties of people...

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May 2015 Blog Tour

Article published on Wednesday 27th May 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa

  I am excited to announce this week (May 25th to 31st) I will be doing a blog tour, guest-posting, having reviews or interviews on a different blog every day. Thank you to all the brilliant bloggers for hosting the tour. Monday 25th May Blog Tour kicks off: Tuesday 26th May Wednesday 27th May the wonderful Michelle from...

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In Praise of Doubt

Article published on Tuesday 7th April 2015 by Ravinder Randhawa

‘I tell you, the first duty of manhood and womanhood is a Declaration of Independence.’ (Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw) ‘I don’t know’ ‘I’m not sure,’ are often received as statements of weakness, vacillation or lacking intellectual rigour. I beg to disagree. I believe they are two of the strongest statements a person can make because they express...

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Complicity With Barbarism

Article published on Thursday 23rd October 2014 by Ravinder Randhawa

The most terrible things hit our computer screens every day: injustice, suffering, calamity, wars, violence, and a hundred other cruelties and degradations. We choose which ones we’ll watch and which ones we won’t. In general we exercise a reasoned approach and self-restraint based on our ethics, politics and beliefs; we don’t want to be colluding with anything that is unacceptable,...

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Letter to an Unknown Soldier

Article published on Thursday 21st August 2014 by Ravinder Randhawa

Letter to an Unknown Soldier was a project initiated by Kate Pullinger and Neil Bartlett to create a memorial of words. For me, the best kind of memorial. I felt a need to write my letter, not because I celebrate war, but because I empathised with the suffering of individuals amidst that carnage and wondered how they managed to keep...

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