Indian Standard Time Breaks Down

Assam's rejection of Indian Standard Time has sparked a set of fiery debates about nationalism, federalism, daylight, energy, geography, the tyranny of the (Indian) west over the east, and time in its real, psychological and metaphysical aspects.

The northeastern state of Assam (population 30 million) is associated in the Indian imagination mainly with lush tea gardens and a long-running insurgency that seeks to establish an independent Assamese state. But last week, Assam rebelled against an order perhaps even more tyrannous on an everyday level than the one embodied by distant New Delhi: It announced it would soon secede from Indian Standard Time.

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