GIVING AND GAINING, Hindustan Times [Sunday, December 12th, 2010]

Arguably the most important crucible of Indian nationalism was the ashram run by Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad from 1915 to 1930. It was here that the programmes for the major satyagrahas were designed, and the activists and social workers who led those satyagrahas trained. Gandhian ideas of non-violence, the upliftment of women, Hindu-Muslim harmony, and [...]

 
 
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  THE AESTHETIC CASE FOR VEGETARIANISM, The Telegraph [Saturday, November 20th, 2010]

The finest meal I have had was in the Admaru Mutt, a home for priests connected to the famous old Krishna temple in Udupi. The year was 1994; and I had come to the neighbouring town of Manipal to attend a seminar on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 125th birth anniversary. The seminar was organized [...]

 
 
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  REFUGEES AND THE REPUBLIC, The Telegraph [Tuesday, November 9th, 2010]

At a meeting in Chennai that I recently attended, an official of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, herself a Swiss national, remarked that ‘the Indian Government has a very humane atttitude towards refugees’. She was not merely showing courtesy towards her hosts. For, as another speaker at the symposium pointed out, in its [...]

 
 
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  QUESTIONS OF PROPRIETY, Hindustan Times [Monday, October 25th, 2010]

When, in the year 1974, Mrs Indira Gandhi and Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) became bitter political opponents, there was a peculiar poignancy to their rivalry. For JP and Jawaharlal Nehru had been close friends. So, independently, were JP’s wife Prabhavati and Nehru’s wife Kamala. In fact, before starting an all-India movement against the policies of the [...]

 
 
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  FAITH CYNICAL AND SUBLIME, The Telegraph [Saturday, September 25th, 2010]

In the spring of 1907, the London publisher John Murray published a book on Persian mystics by one F. Hadland Davis. The book appeared in a series called ‘The Wisdom of the East’, whose editors desired their publications to be ‘ambassadors of good-will and understanding between East and West, the old world of Thought, and [...]

 
 
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  THE LIVING LEGACY OF SANJAY GANDHI, The Telegraph [Saturday, September 11th, 2010]

The only time I have been less than sorrowful at a premature death was when Sanjay Gandhi perished in an air crash. He was truly a nasty piece of work. Having dropped out of the Doon School, and then dropped out of an apprentice scheme in the Rolls Royce factory in the United Kingdom, he [...]

 
 
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  THE SPORTING-AND UNSPORTING-POLITICIAN, Hindustan Times [Friday, September 10th, 2010]

In the first week of August, a senior woman Congressman with a home in Shimla was elected President of the Indian Hockey Association (or Hockey India as it is now called). Her election was both surprising and backward-looking, for the person she successfully contested against was the great full-back Pargat Singh. Vidya Stokes’s elevation to [...]

 
 
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  TWO KINDS OF GLOBALIZATION, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 28th, 2010]

At the beginning of this century, my home town, Bangalore, became a showpiece for the advantages to India of an outward-looking economic policy. The city’s Information Technology industry was generating large amounts of foreign exchange by providing high-quality services to global companies. Thousands of new jobs had been created. Besides, as compared to the traditional [...]

 
 
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  THREE CHEERS FOR TEST CRICKET, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 14th, 2010]

At close of play on the fourth day of the last Test of the recent India-Sri Lanka series, I rang up the legendary slow bowler Bishan Singh Bedi. The match was intriguingly poised. India needed a little over two hundred runs to win, and had seven wickets in hand. One of the overnight batsmen was [...]

 
 
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  A PROPHET ANNOUNCES HIMSELF, Times Literary Supplement [Thursday, August 12th, 2010]

In the third week of September 1909, The Illustrated London News published a withering attack on the idea of Indian nationalism. Its author was G. K. Chesterton, who was then writing a weekly column for the magazine. The Catholic novelist was not especially known for his interest in Britain’s colonies; indeed, this may have been [...]

 
 
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