Ashwin's Articles

Sanatana Dharma: The Ancient Liberal Doctrine

What is a ‘liberal’? I asked Google Baba. He answered that a liberal is one who ‘respects or accepts behaviour or opinions different from one's own’. Next, I asked Swami Webster.

The Times of India | 01 August, 2022

The Dangers of False Hope

From Siraj ud-Daulah to Zelenskyy, they would have done better had they been guided by fear

The Times of India | 17 March, 2022

Maeeshat, hifazat, abadiyat … The new J&K strategy

Modi’s emphasis on economy, security & demography more realistic than Vajpayee’s doctrine.

The Times of India | 14 January, 2022

The Big Bhang Theory: India’s Cannabis Law Needs Change

Legend has it that the shade of a tall cannabis plant once brought Lord Shiva relief from the blazing sun. Curious, he chewed some of its leaves and felt so invigorated that he adopted its usage—hence the use of cannabis in Shiva worship.

The Print | 15 November, 2021

Walking the Dharmic Path To Secularism

What does the term ‘secular’ mean? Strictly speaking, secularism means separation in entirety of church and state. In a secular nation, the government must stay away from anything religious. But India fails entirely if that is indeed the definition. How could a government have codified and modified Hindu personal law in the 1950s if it was secular?

The Times of India | 15 September, 2021

Let's Not Talk About It

A virus that was possibly spawned in a Chinese laboratory has played havoc with the world over the past two years. As I write this, there have been 209 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 4.4 million deaths globally.

The Week | 19 September, 2021

Covid’s Silk Road

The term “Silk Road” can mean different things to different people. In 2013, someone called Ross Ulbricht was arrested by the FBI for narcotics trafficking.

The Times of India | 21 July, 2021

Evolution is Always Noisy

In recent weeks there has been much talk about the government’s Central Vista Redevelopment Project with the Supreme Court having cleared the final roadblocks.

The Times of India | 12 February, 2021

India’s Draupadi Moment

India is a country where soldiers chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ or ‘victory to mother India’ as their call to arms.

The Times of India | 08 October 2020

Want To Preserve Secularism In India? Well, Preserve The Hindu Ethos First

August 5, 2020 marked the Bhoomi Pujan of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. I have noticed that many have been genuinely anguished by this event.

Swarajya | 08 August 2020

The Dragons Within

The recent clashes in Galwan between India and China are a stark reminder of how complicated the relationship between the Elephant and the Dragon is.

Navbharat Times | 08 July 2020

The Problem of Distory

In recent weeks we have seen a spate of statues being pulled down. A statue of the confederate Robert E. Lee and the British slave-trader Edward Colston.

Times of India | 06 July 2020

Quantum Theory of Ideas

It is quite normal to believe that ‘cold’ is the opposite state of ‘hot’. But the state of coldness is merely the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness is the absence of light.

Times of India | 09 March 2020

The Philosopher and the Stone

There is an interesting story in the Srimad Bhagvatam about a king called Kakudmi. He had a beautiful daughter of marriageable age.

The Man | 01 March 2020

Kindred Spirits

I always knew that one of my books in the Bharat Series was going to be about the flow of knowledge and ideas between China and India.

Outlook Traveller | 01 February 2020

The Truth Often Lies

Popular mythological fiction writers of today are often asked why we ‘distort’ the ‘accepted’ narrative of our epics and puranas.

Times of India | 10 December 2019

Yeh Dil Maange More

Now that PM Narendra Modi and his cabinet have been sworn in, I thought of sharing some thoughts with you about what I believe should be priorities (not that my views count).

TOI Blog | 31 May 2019

The Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva of Holi

Every festival in India is imbued with alternate meanings. For example, Holi is often called a “spring festival” signifying the transition from winter into summer.

TOI Blog | 20 March 2019

First Journeys

The journey that changed my life was a chance visit to Srinagar, Kashmir. It was not my first time into Srinagar but it was the first journey that inspired a new avatar.

India Today Spice | 14 May 2018

Kalachakra and its Significance in the Modern World

The Buddha is said to have preached during the last year of his life at a place called Dhanyakatakam in the present-day Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Open Magazine | 05 February 2018

How To Beat Stress & Succeed in Exams

Most schools and colleges are busy telling students what they should learn but they never seem to tell them how they should learn.

Legends of Diwali: Boodhi Diwali

Most of us associate Diwali with the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya on the darkest new moon night of the month of Kartika.

Sunday Mid-Day | 15 October 2017

Deconstructing The Indian Billionaire

On a flight to America, I was watching the popular HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. In one of the episodes, a wealthy investor is plunged into gloom.

Sunday Mid-Day | 31 October 2016

Worshipping the Wealth Trinity

In India, we have always worshipped trinities. Hindus worship the female trinity of Lakshmi-Saraswati-Kali as well as the male trinity of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva.

Huffington Post | 27 October 2016

Holi High

One is 114 times more likely to die from overdosing on alcohol than from cannabis, reports a study from the Scientific Reports journal.

The Asian Age | 01 March 2015

5 Things Lucky People Do

Let me tell you the five most important things that most lucky people seem to do: Luck hates loneliness. It’s almost impossible to be lucky alone.

Rediff | 05 December 2014

The Year of The Sheep

In the Chinese calendar, 2015 is called the year of the sheep. Do keep this in mind when you read the rest of this article that attempts to show you how to be luckier in the New Year.

Telegraph | 01 December 2014

The Prophecies of Ashwin Sanghi

“I always avoid prophesying beforehand, because it is a much better policy to prophesy after the event has already taken place,” quipped Churchill famously.

The Man | 01 September 2014

Where is Harsha?

Allahabad, or the Garden of Allah, was once known as the Site of Ritual Offerings. After all, the ancient town of Prayag (which translates from Sanskrit to “site of ritual offerings”).

New Indian Express | 01 April 2014

The Journey Is The Destination

My fondest memories of my childhood are centred around one particular train journey that my family would repeat each year during Diwali.

Railbandhu | 01 May 2013

Certainties, Conspiracies & Cliff-hangers

Fact is stranger than fiction. You have heard this particular statement hundreds of times without giving it much thought.

Mandate | 01 April 2013

A Tale of Two Martins

"I am ashamed of being an Indian male." There, I've said it. And as expected, I am equally ashamed of the statement that I have just made.

Times of India | 14 January 2013

A Big Bore

What is spirituality? Numerous sages, philosophers and thinkers down the ages have attempted to answer that question.

TOI Speaking Tree | 09 December 2012