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Lakshmi Chaudhry

Lakshmi Chaudhry, a senior editor at and a Nation contributing writer, is the author, with Robert Scheer and Christopher Scheer, of The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq, published by Akashic Books and Seven Stories Press.

  • Feminism January 16, 2013

    Rape in the ‘New India’

    Exploding the myth of the “two Indias,” the brutal attacks on women have shown that there is only one, where social Darwinism reigns. 

    Lakshmi Chaudhry

  • Regions and Countries January 15, 2009

    Slumdog President

    Many Indians believe Obama's victory makes all things possible for people of color--but for all the good will, there is little mention of India's ever-present racism.

    Lakshmi Chaudhry

  • Politics December 3, 2008

    Mumbai’s 9/11 Meme

    We have much to fear from easy evocations of 9/11, but in India, it is a call to the world to recognize their loss.

    Lakshmi Chaudhry

  • Election 2008 February 7, 2008

    California Dreaming

    The Golden State's lesson for Clinton and Obama is that they each need to craft a more daring politics of transcendence.

    Lakshmi Chaudhry

  • Amnesia at the Multiplex

    Two films address US adventures in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with a big dose of historical amnesia, political pandering, moral superiority and outraged innocence.

    Lakshmi Chaudhry


  • Will the Real Generation Obama Please Stand Up?

    The cranky, quirky and sometimes progressive politics practiced by a generation once considered slackers could be a deciding factor in this presidential election.

    Lakshmi Chaudhry

  • November 14, 2007

    New Girl Order

    In the autumn issue of the City Journal, Kay S. Hymowitz eulogizes the rise of a new international role model:

    "Yes: Carrie Bradshaw is alive and well and living in Warsaw. Well, not just Warsaw. Conceived and raised in the United States, Carrie may still see New York as a spiritual home. But today you can find her in cities across Europe, Asia, and North America. Seek out the trendy shoe stores in Shanghai, Berlin, Singapore, Seoul, and Dublin, and you'll see crowds of single young females (SYFs) in their twenties and thirties, who spend their hours working their abs and their careers, sipping cocktails, dancing at clubs, and (yawn) talking about relationships. Sex and the City has gone global; the SYF world is now flat."

    And why is this a good thing? Because it points to a "New Girl Order" where, one, women are getting married and having kids later in their lives. Two, this is because "today's aspiring middle-class women are gearing up to be part of the paid labor market for most of their adult lives; unlike their ancestral singles, they're looking for careers, not jobs." And three, their leaving home to live in big cities to do so, which in turn implies greater economic and personal freedom.

    Lakshmi Chaudhry

  • November 5, 2007

    The New Prohibition

    Reason magazine offers a stinging critique of a new crop of increasingly draconian DUI laws titled, "Prohibition Returns!" One example: In Washington DC, cops can arrest you for any blood alcohol reading above 0.01, even if you are not legally drunk.

    David Harsanyi writes, "Neoprohibitionists aim to muddle the distinction between drunk diving and driving after drinking any amount of alcohol. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) endorsed the idea at a Senate Environment and Public Committee hearing way back in 1997, contending that we 'may wind up in this country going to zero tolerance, period.' Former MADD President Katherine Prescott concurred, in a letter to the Chicago Tribune, where she stated 'there is no safe blood alcohol, and for that reason responsible drinking means no drinking and driving.'"

    Now, that's crazy talk, and much like the recent push to ban people from smoking in the privacy of their own apartments, it's a classic case of our puritanical instincts run amok. We seem unable to maintain the distinction between between a personal vice and a legal crime. People do and should have the freedom to do things that are not necessarily good -- even outright bad -- for them. They don't however have the right to be a hazard to others. So it makes sense to ban smoking in public spaces due to the dangers of second-hand smoke, but not to designate cigarettes a controlled subtance so you can get the FDA to essentially ban it.

    Lakshmi Chaudhry

  • October 29, 2007

    Aliens in America

    Most fish-out-of-water stories are told at the expense of the poor fish. But not so with Aliens in America, which may well be the best television show you're not watching. Well, you'd first have to find that misbegotten offspring of the WB/UPN marriage, the CW channel.

    Your efforts will be well rewarded with a very funny comedy that takes on racism, the war on terror, Islam, and that most hallowed of American institutions: high school. How can you resist a show that throws together a devout Pakistani teenager and small-town America?

    Hollywood is usually at its excruciatingly racist worst when it comes to any plot that involves foreign exchange students of the non-white variety -- think Long Duk Dong slobbering over Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles. The joke is always at the expense of the "fish."

    Lakshmi Chaudhry

  • October 22, 2007

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

    Rebecca Solnit, as usual, offers plenty of food for thought in her essay, "Finding Time." As often with Solnit, I was both impressed by her insight, and impatient of her tendency to draw tenuous connections to all her pet issues/peeves, irrespective of the subject at hand.

    Who can resist a piece that begins, "The four horsemen of my apocalypse are called Efficiency, Convenience, Profitability, and Security, and in their names, crimes against poetry, pleasure, sociability, and the very largeness of the world are daily, hourly, constantly carried out. These marauding horsemen are deployed by technophiles, advertisers, and profiteers to assault the nameless pleasures and meanings that knit together our lives and expand our horizons."

    Solnit offers some wonderful insights into the ways in which our lives are shaped by the tyrannical regimen of these four values, but the only downside is that much of it leads inexorably to a litany of the standard complaints against automobiles, commerce, McMansions, consumerism etc. There's even the obligatory admiring nod to those darned Europeans.

    Lakshmi Chaudhry