OUR ATOM STATE, The Telegraph [Saturday, December 5th, 2009]

The most secretive institution in India is the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Although its power plants profess to produce goods for the benefit of the public, they are not judged by the standards of profitablity and accountability that the market imposes on other industries. Nor, like other government-owned and managed firms, do they have to [...]

 
 
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  MANIPUR TRAGEDIES, Hindustan Times [Monday, November 23rd, 2009]

Every Indian city has a road named after Mahatma Gandhi, each presenting in its own way a mocking thumbs-down to the Mahatma’s legacy. The M. G. Road of my home town, Bangalore, is a celebration of consumerism, with its glittering array of shop-windows advertising the most expensive goods in India. In other cities, government offices [...]

 
 
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  THE HONEST LEFTIST, The Telegraph [Saturday, November 7th, 2009]

In a recent lecture, delivered in Mumbai in memory of Nani Palkhivala, the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, attacked ‘left-leaning intellectuals’ and ‘human rights groups’, who in his view ‘plead the naxalite cause ignoring the violence unleashed by the naxalites on innocent men, women and children.’ ‘Why are the human rights groups silent?’, asked the [...]

 
 
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  MERCHANDIZING GANDHI, Hindustan Times [Tuesday, October 6th, 2009]

In twenty years of studying Gandhi, I have had, as friends and advisers, three brothers who grew up in a flat in Connaught Place owned by the Hindustan Times (of which paper their father was then the editor). They all went to the same school (Modern) and college (St. Stephen’s), and all had a deep [...]

 
 
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  KASHMIR PAST AND PRESENT, Hindustan Times [Monday, September 7th, 2009]

Sorting out some papers, I came across an old essay in an obscure periodical on a topic of contemporary relevance. Published in December 1973 in the Sarvodaya journal Bhoodan-Yagya, it was written (in Hindi) by Chandi Prasad Bhatt, the pioneer of the Chipko Andolan and, arguably, of modern Indian environmentalism itself. I have known Bhatt [...]

 
 
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  THE ABSENT CELEBRANT, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 15th, 2009]

It is well known that when India became free on the 15th of August 1947, Mahatma Gandhi declined to join the festivities in New Delhi. While his follower Jawaharlal Nehru spoke in the Council Hall about India’s tryst with destiny, and the crowds danced on the streets outside, Gandhi was in Calcutta, seeking to restore [...]

 
 
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  FAITH AND FREEDOM, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 15th, 2009]

It is well known that when India became free on the 15th of August 1947, Mahatma Gandhi declined to join the festivities in New Delhi. While his follower Jawaharlal Nehru spoke in the Council Hall about India’s tryst with destiny, and the crowds danced on the streets outside, Gandhi was in Calcutta, seeking to restore [...]

 
 
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  THE GLOBALIZING GERONTOCRACY, Hindustan Times [Thursday, July 30th, 2009]

In the sixty years since Independence, there have been three periods in which India has faced serious challenges in the sphere of foreign policy. In the late 1940s, we were being asked to take sides in the Cold War, then about to get hot. Then, in the early 1970s, the crisis in East Pakistan forced [...]

 
 
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  NEHRU IN A NOVEL, The Hindu [Sunday, May 24th, 2009]

Arguably the best single-volume study of India’s first Prime Minister is Nehru: A Contemporary’s Estimate, by the Australian diplomat Walter Crocker. This is a book that I have long known (and admired). However, when I met the author’s son recently, he presented me a copy of a lesser known work by his mother, a novel [...]

 
 
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  NEHRU IN A NOVEL, The Hindu [Sunday, May 24th, 2009]

Arguably the best single-volume study of India’s first Prime Minister is Nehru: A Contemporary’s Estimate, by the Australian diplomat Walter Crocker. This is a book that I have long known (and admired). However, when I met the author’s son recently, he presented me a copy of a lesser known work by his mother, a novel [...]

 
 
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