/2005

A DIVIDED CITY, The Telegraph

The city I live in has two names, these captured in the title of the first chapter of Janaki Nair’s fine recent book on the city’s history: Bengaluru/Bangalore. As Nair explains, the first name refers to the older part of the city, which has had a more-or-less continuous existence since the 16th century; the second to [...]

PRIME MINISTERS AND BIG DAMS, The Hindu

Speaking to the Central Board of Irrigation and Power in November 1958, Jawaharlal Nehru deplored a ‘dangerous outlook developing in India’, which he termed the ‘disease of giganticism’. The ‘idea of doing big undertakings or doing big tasks for the sake of showing that we can do big things’, remarked Nehru, ‘is not a good outlook [...]

TWO INCHES OF FOAM, The Hindu

In the long history of Cabinet Government in India, perhaps only a handful of Ministers shall be remembered for having carried out programmes that radically reshaped the lives of their people. As Home Minister between 1947 and 1950, Vallabhbhai Patel integrated the princely states, thus altering the politics and geography of modern India. As Finance Minister [...]

THE GENIUS AND THE ARTIST, The Telegraph

2005 has been the year when, by becoming the first man to reach 600 Test wickets, Shane Warne further consolidated his claims to being regarded as the greatest bowler in the history of the game. And October has been the month in which two other leg-spinners briefly shifted him from the headlines. First, an unknown sixteen-year-old [...]

By |2011-10-10T12:58:29+00:00October 29th, 2005|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , , |

MAHADEV, The Hindu

A book I cherish greatly, and which I bought in the great Sunday book bazaar in Delhi’s Daryaganj—since closed by a philistine police force—is a 75th birthday tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Four hundred pages long, beautifully bound and printed (at the Karnatak Printing Press, Bombay—also probably by now a victim of history), it assembles essays by [...]

By |2011-11-16T11:20:56+00:00October 23rd, 2005|Categories: Biography|Tags: , , , , |

MAHADEV, The Hindu

A book I cherish greatly, and which I bought in the great Sunday book bazaar in Delhi’s Daryaganj—since closed by a philistine police force—is a 75th birthday tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Four hundred pages long, beautifully bound and printed (at the Karnatak Printing Press, Bombay—also probably by now a victim of history), it assembles essays by [...]

By |2011-10-07T20:42:10+00:00October 23rd, 2005|Categories: History|

THE GREAT HELMSMAN AND THE GOOD BOATMAN, The Telegraph

A social activist I greatly admire recently began a public lecture by saying: ‘We cannot all be Gandhi or Mao, but we can at least try and imbibe some of their spirit’. For a man of my age the juxtaposition made some—if not perfect—sense. But it would perhaps have escaped the many in the audience who [...]

KASTURBA, The Hindu

The wives of the Ieading Indian nationalists lie shrouded in obscurity. Tagore, Nehru, Patel, Rajagopalachari, Bose, Ambedkar—in the meticulous documentation of their careers, their spouses figure scarcely at all. One reason is that in most cases the wives died early; another, that even while they lived the wives were expected to stay out of sight. The [...]

KASTURBA, The Hindu

The wives of the Ieading Indian nationalists lie shrouded in obscurity. Tagore, Nehru, Patel, Rajagopalachari, Bose, Ambedkar—in the meticulous documentation of their careers, their spouses figure scarcely at all. One reason is that in most cases the wives died early; another, that even while they lived the wives were expected to stay out of sight. The [...]

By |2011-10-07T20:41:34+00:00October 9th, 2005|Categories: History|

A TOTALITARIAN TREAT, The Telegraph

Even before it became the IT capital of India, Bangalore was the least left-wing of Indian cities. When it was merely a cantonment town it exuded an air of placid contentment; that air is now aggressive, suffused by the competitive urges of capitalism—but it remains largely inhospitable to Communist thought. In other Southern capitals, Hyderabad and [...]

By |2011-11-16T17:16:08+00:00October 1st, 2005|Categories: Biography|Tags: , , |