/2011

A Plague On All Our Houses, Hindustan Times

The Republic of India has a billion (and more) citizens who, at any given time, are involved in a thousand (and more) controversies. Knowing which controversy is the most significant is always hard, and often impossible, to judge. Even so, we can be fairly certain that 2011 will go down in Indian history as the year [...]

By |2012-01-17T10:43:05+00:00December 24th, 2011|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

Jinnah Reassessed, The Telegraph

(17 Dec 2011) It was on a pavement near Bombay’s Flora Fountain, some fifteen years ago, that I discovered Hamid Dalwai. On the hard dark stone the title of his book leapt out for attention: Muslim Politics in India. I bought it (for something like twenty rupees), and took it home to Bangalore. I have since [...]

By |2012-01-17T10:43:48+00:00December 17th, 2011|Categories: History|Tags: |

THE SARDAR OF SPIN, The Telegraph

In the third week of August, I got a call from a friend in Delhi, the great slow bowler Bishan Singh Bedi. ‘Everyone around me is shouting Anna Hazare! Anna Hazare!’, he said: ‘A few months the same people were shouting IPL! IPL’. ‘Instead of a Jan Lokpal Bill’, remarked Bedi, ‘what Parliament should have passed [...]

By |2012-06-03T20:49:44+00:00October 22nd, 2011|Categories: Culture|Tags: , |

NEARER THAN OUR NEIGHBOURS, Hindustan Times

When I was invited to visit Kabul, my family were naturally unenthusiastic. I disregarded their advice for two reasons: first, because my host was a brilliant and brave diplomat, whom I was loth to let down; second, because I had recently received a text message from the actor Naseeruddin Shah describing Afghanisthan as ‘[a] gorgeous country [...]

By |2011-12-28T11:02:38+00:00September 30th, 2011|Categories: Culture|Tags: , , , |

A MAN TO MATCH HIS MOUNTAINS, The Telegraph

The importance of the India International Centre (IIC) in New Delhi is gauged, in part, by the number of armed security men who pass through its portals. These come to accompany—and, one supposes, protect—the big shots, the fat cats, the Ministers and MP’s and Ambassadors and Generals who wish to be seen at a place located, [...]

LOST IN THE WOODS, Hindustan Times

In August 2010 — that is, exactly a year ago — Rahul Gandhi told a group of tribals in Orissa that he would be their soldier in New Delhi. There is no record of his having acted on that promise. The Dongria Konds of Niyamgiri forgotten, his attention has more recently been focused on the Jats [...]

By |2011-11-17T13:24:42+00:00September 15th, 2011|Categories: Biography|

A PATRIARCH FOR THE NATION – DEBATE, The Telegraph

Debating Anna Hazare On the 27th of August, the Telegraph newspaper published an article on Anna Hazare by Ramachandra Guha under the title A PATRIARCH FOR THE NATION?. The article sparked a debate between the author and the social worker Lalit Uniyal. The debate is reproduced below, for several reasons. The dialogue is without artifice; it [...]

A PATRIARCH FOR THE NATION?, The Telegraph

About twenty years ago, I found myself in the same room as Anna Hazare, at a meeting organized by the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi. Mr Hazare was becoming known in environmental circles for the work he had done in his native village, Ralegan Siddhi. His successful programmes of watershed conservation and afforestation [...]

By |2011-12-28T10:50:20+00:00August 27th, 2011|Categories: Biography|Tags: , , , , |

HISTORY’S LESSONS, Hindustan Times

Some commentators have compared the struggle led by Anna Hazare with the movement against corruption led by Jayaprakash Narayan in the 1970s. A man of integrity and courage, a social worker who has eschewed the loaves and fishes of office, a septugenerian who has emerged out of semi-retirement to take on an unfeeling government—thus JP then, [...]

By |2011-12-28T10:29:51+00:00August 24th, 2011|Categories: History|Tags: , , , , , |