A Writer Among His People, The Telegraph [Saturday, December 29th, 2012]

Last week, the novelist, essayist, and polemicist U. R. Ananthamurthy turned eighty. His Bangalore home is named ‘Suragi’, after a flower that retains its fragrance even after it has aged and dried up. Some might find the name self-regarding; but then Ananthamurty is a man with much to be immodest about. His novels Samskara and [...]

 
 
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  Appreciating Nehru, The Hindu [Tuesday, November 13th, 2012]

The most admired human being on the planet may be a one-time boxer named Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. To spend three decades in prison fighting racial oppression, and then guide and oversee the peaceful transition to a multi-racial democracy, surely ranks as the greatest personal achievement since the end of the Second World War. For the [...]

 
 
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  Sonia’s Rise, The Telegraph [Saturday, November 3rd, 2012]

In Zareer Masani’s recent memoir of his parents, And All is Said, he quotes a letter written to him by his mother in 1968. ‘Yesterday we went to Mrs Pandit’s reception for Rajiv Gandhi and his wife’, wrote Shakuntala Masani, adding: ‘I can’t tell you how dim she is, and she comes from a working-class [...]

 
 
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  The Greatest Living Gandhian, The Telegraph [Saturday, June 2nd, 2012]

When Dr Manmohan Singh went to call on Aung San Suu Kyi earlier this week, I wonder whether the great Burmese lady recalled her first encounter with India and Indians. In the 1950s, as a young teenager, she moved to Delhi with her mother, who had been appointed Burma’s Ambassador to India. The years she [...]

 
 
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  States of the Nation, The Telegraph [Saturday, March 10th, 2012]

General Elections are all-India affairs, with citizens in twenty-eight states taking part to elect a new Parliament. On the other hand, elections to Legislative Assemblies have a particular resonance for the citizens of the state, or states, going to the polls. Some state elections, however, are of national significance. The first such was the Kerala [...]

 
 
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  A MAN TO MATCH HIS MOUNTAINS, The Telegraph [Saturday, September 24th, 2011]

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 [...]

 
 
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  LOST IN THE WOODS, Hindustan Times [Thursday, September 15th, 2011]

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 [...]

 
 
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  A PATRIARCH FOR THE NATION?, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 27th, 2011]

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 [...]

 
 
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  THE THOUSAND BINAYAK SENS, The Telegraph [Saturday, April 23rd, 2011]

Last week, the Supreme Court granted bail to Binayak Sen, the doctor and civil rights activist who had been sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Raipur on the charge of sedition. Dr. Sen was charged with being a Naxalite sympathizer, and of acting as a courier for the Communist Party of India (Maoist). [...]

 
 
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