FOREIGN CERTIFICATES, The Hindu [Sunday, January 4th, 2009]

I recently wrote a piece in a Delhi magazine about a Bangalore-based holy man lobbying for the Nobel Peace Prize. Among the mails I received was one which enclosed, as proof of the holy man’s holiness, the English translation of an article in an obscure Finnish weekly which praised him and his works. My article [...]

 
 
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  THE IMPURITY OF CULTURES, The Hindu [Tuesday, September 9th, 2008]

In the 1950s, inspired by Jawaharlal Nehru, some very brilliant young Indians went into the Foreign Service. Among them was the Rhodes scholar Peter Lynn Sinai. A former Ambassador to Austria and Iraq, Mr Sinai has now chosen to make his home in Bangalore. At a dinner recently, I got talking to him, to discover [...]

 
 
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  TWO CHEERS FOR BLASPHEMY, Hindustan Times [Friday, June 29th, 2007]

How one reads the protests by the Governments of Iran and Pakistan at Salman Rushdie being made a knight depends on where one is placed on the political spectrum. Those who incline to the right might dismiss it as yet another illustration of the illiberalism of Islam. On the other hand, some on the left [...]

 
 
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  WHO IS A PATRIOT? , The Telegraph [Saturday, May 12th, 2007]

The novelist U. R. Anantha Murthy has long objected to the characterization of the Sangh Parivar as the ‘saffron brigade’. Saffron is a beautiful colour, the colour of renunciation, worn by monks and others of great and good character. Why should we cede it so easily to a bunch of bigots? To me, at any [...]

 
 
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  BIGOTRY VS. BROADMINDEDNESS, The Telegraph [Saturday, July 9th, 2005]

Can the BJP reconstitute itself as a sober, responsible, right-wing party, a party that respects tradition and order without necessarily advertising itself as ‘Hindu’? Put more directly, can it free itself of the RSS and the VHP? Or must it always, in the last instance, be hostage to the beliefs of the Parivar’s fundamentalist fringe? [...]

 
 
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  WHERE LEFT MEETS RIGHT, The Telegraph [Saturday, April 30th, 2005]

Earlier this year, I was at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, where I had been asked to given an after-dinner talk to the students. I reached ten minutes before schedule, so my hosts took me for a coffee while the audience was being rustled up. While we drank the coffee, at a modest [...]

 
 
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  A PLAGUE ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES, The Telegraph [Saturday, May 15th, 2004]

Bangalore voted on Sunday the 20th of April, the first round of polling. Anticipating crowds in the morning, my wife and I went to the neighbourhood booth in the afternoon. Outside, the names of the candidates were pasted on the walls. There were a dozen candidates in all but here, as in many other parts [...]

 
 
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