The post-apartheid state in South Africa inherited many colonial legacies. It has transformed considerably over the past 25 years. But it retains mechanisms of a state that secured power for a select few at the expense of most of its citizens.
When Akbar, at the age of only 13, succeeded to the throne in 1556, the Mughal empire was vast and powerful. When he died, in 1605, he left it three times the size: It was a flourishing empire that encompassed much of the Indian peninsula, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, which gained him the epithet of Akbar the Great.
One of the key factors of his success was tolerance of diversity, and a harmony amongst different rulers. The Mughals were Muslims, a minority in the land they ruled, so it was vital to involve Hindus and other non-Muslims in the running of the state. That’s what Akbar did: Non-Muslims held positions of all levels within the administration—from generals to ministers, from artists to scribes. He didn’t impose an Islamic rule, and he discontinued the levying of the jizia, a tax on non-Muslims, and of any taxes imposed on Hindus traveling to their pilgrimage site.
As Esquire magazine discovered a little too late, nobody wants to hear about “what it’s like to grow up white, middle class, and male” in today’s America – especially not during Black History Month. Esquire’s current cover story is about a Trump-supporting 17-year-old from Wisconsin in the era of #MeToo and toxic masculinity, and has been met with Twitter outrage and conservative counter-outrage. “Well, they don’t yet have a middle-class, teen, white boy month,” observed one Fox News pundit. Perhaps they should go to the movies a bit more. It’s been middle-class, teen, white boy month there for years, but now nobody wants to hear about it.
“Oh, God, another Asian girl/white boy couple,” I groan, dropping my fiancé’s hand.
He hates it when I do this. So do I, really. I know it’s unkind and self-loathing, but every time I see another couple of our racial makeup, a little part of me sinks. We live in San Francisco, so this dip is as common as the hills. In these moments, I wish we were anything else ― that he were my gay best friend or we were startup co-founders, that he were Asian and I were white, that we were exquisitely ambiguous races, or that I could sink like my feelings into the sidewalk, be a little worm, and date whomever I want without considering social perception.
“Because you wouldn’t want to be historically inaccurate.“