/2004

TWO BROWN SAHIBS, The Hindu

In the days when V. S. Naipaul could still bring himself to praise somebody else, he wrote of C. L. R. James’s Beyond a Boundary that it gave ‘a base and solidity to West Indian literary endeavour’. James’s opus, he remarked, was ‘one of the finest and most finished books to come out of the West [...]

THE EDUCATION OF A PHILISTINE, The Hindu

A British band had come to town, and my eleven-year-old daughter wanted to go hear them sing. I was resistant to the idea. That should have been the end of the matter—it would have when I was growing up—but nowadays the rhetoric of rights has permeated even the process of child-rearing. So we argued, back and [...]

THE PROSE OF POETS, The Hindu

When Dom Moraes died earlier this year, most obituaries justly focused on the quality of his verse. With his fellow Mumbaikar Nissim Ezekiel, he made Indo-Anglian poetry respectable. He was a Goan Christian, Ezekiel a Bene Israel; both could only have been products of what—despite the endeavours of Bal Thackeray and his followers—remains a stubbornly cosmopolitan [...]

THE SPREAD OF THE SALWAR, The Hindu

Among the most curious of the ‘culture shocks’ I have received was while flipping through the pages of the Islamabad telephone directory. I was in the Pakistani capital for an academic seminar; but had arrived a day earlier than scheduled. This was back before the days of email, so I could not inform my host (the [...]

TRUTHS ABOUT THE TRICOLOUR, The Hindu

‘[Karnataka state BJP president Ananth] Kumar said Gujarat BJP unit president Rajendra Singh Rana will hand over the original national Tricolour to Uma [Bharti]. This flag was first hoisted by the great freedom fighter Madam Cama at the International Socialists Conference held at Stutgert (sic) in Germany in 1903. As Rana’s forefathers were freedom fighters, Madam [...]

KEEPING THE WINDOWS OPEN, The Hindu

Writers in Kannada have won seven Jnanpith awards, a record equalled only by one other language, Hindi. But then there are many more speakers of Hindi. And of the seven Kannada awardees three did not even grow up speaking that language. Thus D. R. Bendre’s mother tongue was Marathi. Masti Venkateswara Iyengar’s first language was Tamil. [...]

THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUICIDE, The Telegraph

Karnataka has a large number of privately run medical and engineering colleges, to which flock students from all over the country. They come in the summer, when, for days upon end, their anxieties and hopes are splashed over the front pages of the newspapers in Bangalore. Every year, two kinds of stories make most of the [...]

By |2011-10-07T22:24:25+00:00August 21st, 2004|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

A MAN TO MATCH HIS MOUNTAINS, The Hindu

On this, the fifty-seventh anniversary of Indian independence, I wish to write about the Indian of my acquaintance who best combines past with present. He is in his early fifties, his name is Shekhar Pathak, and he lives somewhere in the Himalaya—somewhere, but we do not know exactly where. For he is a gumakkad, a traveller [...]

EDUCATING OUR WOMEN, The Telegraph

Some years ago, while working on a history of cricket in India, I was reading issues of a now defunct newspaper called the Bombay Sentinel. It took time to get to the sports pages, for they were at the end, and one was prone to get diverted by the other stories on the way. Searching for [...]

REFORMING THE HINDUS, The Hindu

Three men did most to make Hinduism a modern faith. Of these the first was not recognized as a Hindu by the Shankaracharyas; the second was not recognized as a Hindu by himself; the third was born a Hindu but made certain he would not die as one. These three great reformers were Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal [...]