MUSIC OF THE GODS, The Hindu [Sunday, July 30th, 2006]

As a rule, this column does not mention or review books recently published. If I make a exception this fortnight it is because the work in question is exceptionally good, and because its author died before seeing it in print. The book is Kumar Mukherji’s The Lost World of Hindustani Music, a wonderful anecdotal history [...]

 
 
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  CONSCIENCE OF THE NATION, The Hindu [Sunday, July 2nd, 2006]

There are basically two kinds of autobiographies. The first kind lays bare the individual self, speaking in detail—sometimes too much detail—about the autobiographer’s life, loves, conquests and failures. The second kind seeks to subordinates the life to the times, using individual experience to illuminate wider social trends and processes. In the Indian context, Gandhi’s autobiography [...]

 
 
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  THE GREAT AND THE GREATER GAME, The Telegraph [Saturday, June 24th, 2006]

Some months ago, a reader wrote in to dispute my characterization of cricket as ‘the most subtle and sophisticated sport known to humans’. He gave twelve reasons as to why it was football, rather than cricket, that should be accorded this honour. He began by quoting Albert Einstein, who once posited a connection between beauty [...]

 
 
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  GALBRAITH THE GREEN, The Hindu [Sunday, June 4th, 2006]

John Kenneth Galbraith, who died recently, was an economist of capacious interests and controversial views. His many works of scholarship were widely read, acclaimed by some and dismissed by others. I am not an economist, and thus not in a position to judge the merits of Galbraith’s writings on the modern corporation or the free [...]

 
 
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  GALBRAITH THE GREEN, The Hindu [Sunday, June 4th, 2006]

John Kenneth Galbraith, who died recently, was an economist of capacious interests and controversial views. His many works of scholarship were widely read, acclaimed by some and dismissed by others. I am not an economist, and thus not in a position to judge the merits of Galbraith’s writings on the modern corporation or the free [...]

 
 
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  A MANAGED MEDIA, The Telegraph [Saturday, May 13th, 2006]

Being an old-fashioned kind of guy, brought up in an old-fashioned sort of home, I came to believe that the duties of a newspaper were to inform, educate, and entertain. It was about a decade ago that I first learnt that, for large sections of the English-language media, these three duties had been superseded by [...]

 
 
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  A DRIVE INTO THE PAST, The Hindu [Sunday, May 7th, 2006]

Delhi is a city deeply layered in time, with the juxtaposition of the centuries manifest in styles of architecture, in the names of roads and buildings, in the dress of the city’s inhabitants and—not least—in the languages they speak and read. I am told that Delhi has as many as twelve daily newspapers printed in [...]

 
 
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  THE SOCIOLOGY OF RESERVATION, The Telegraph [Saturday, April 29th, 2006]

The announcement that reservation for OBCs is to be extended to IITs and IIMs has provoked much debate in the press. Critics say the move will undermine the functioning of these institutions by devaluing the principle of merit. Cynics add that the announcement was a consequence of the HRD Minister’s wish to outstage and embarrass [...]

 
 
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  THE GREATEST INDIANS, The Hindu [Sunday, April 23rd, 2006]

Speaking to the singer Dilip Kumar Roy in February 1924, Mahatma Gandhi said that he was very fond of music although he ‘could not boast of the power of any expert or analytic appreciation’. He added that he could not ‘conceive of the evolution of the religious life of India without music’. Towards the end [...]

 
 
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  AMARTYA SEN FOR PRESIDENT, The Telegraph [Friday, April 14th, 2006]

In a little over a year’s time, the term of the current President of India will come to an end. Good man though he is, Abdul Kalam is unlikely to get a second term, a privilege thus far accorded only to the first holder of the office, Rajendra Prasad. Who will succeed him? In political [...]

 
 
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