/Tag: democracy

LEADER AND FOLLOWERS


Hindustan Times

Returning to Bangalore after a fortnight on the road, I discovered that while I was away my Chief Minister had acquired a new wardrobe. I knew B. S. Yediyurappa to dress always in white trousers and white shirts, but now, on hoardings that peppered the highway from the aiport into town, I saw him clad in [...]

BEYOND TELANGANA


The Telegraph

The United States has less than half as many citizens as the Republic of India, yet almost twice as many states. The map of that country has been drawn and re-drawn very many times in the course of its history. On 1st January 1800, for example, the U. S. had only sixteen states; fifty years later, [...]

THE LIVING LEGACY OF SANJAY GANDHI


The Telegraph

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 used [...]

By |2011-11-30T19:43:20+00:00September 11th, 2010|Categories: Biography|Tags: , , , , , , |

A BRIEF HISTORY OF BIPARTISANSHIP


Hindustan Times

When the politician-social worker Nanaji Deshmukh died last month, none of the obituaries mentioned what may have been his finest moment. This occurred during a debate in the Rajya Sabha in the first week of May 2002. The subject being discussed was the recent Gujarat riots. As members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress [...]

RECONCILING THE MAOISTS


The Telegraph

Soon after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) was banned. This was in part because Gandhi’s murderer, Nathuram Godse, had once been a member of the RSS; and in part because RSS leaders played a crucial role in the polarization of Hindu-Muslim relations that led to that tragic event. [...]

By |2011-12-01T11:42:16+00:00February 26th, 2010|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

THE NORTH-EAST AND THE NATION


The Telegraph

Earlier this year I spent ten days travelling through three states of north-eastern India. My journey began in Manipur, where, on my first night, I had dinner with a bunch of academics and journalists. The humour on display was black: it was aimed chiefly at the two agencies that between them control and dominate the Imphal [...]

By |2011-10-07T23:44:58+00:00June 21st, 2008|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , , , |

SELECTIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS


The Telegraph

A mail arrived in my Inbox last week, as part of a circular sent to many people with some connection to the press. Addressed to ‘the Chief Editor/ Photographer’, it read: ‘We request you to cover the demonstration that AIDWA is organizing against the violence perpetrated on a (sic) tribal women in Assam at 1.30 pm [...]

POWER WOMEN OF NORTH AND SOUTH


The Telegraph

The day the U. P. election results came in I was having lunch with a friend in Mumbai. ‘Mayawati appears to be the Jayalalithaa of the South’, he said, before passing on to other matters. But his remark stayed with me; the more I thought about it, the more the comparison made sense. Mayawati and Jayalalithaa [...]

CHOLBÉ NA!


The Telegraph

In Marginal Men, his fine history of refugee politics, Prafulla Chakrabarti recounts how Kolkata acquired its by now well founded reputation as a city of protests and protesters. To demand fair compensation and citizenship rights, writes Chakrabati, the leaders of the movement aimed to throw ‘regimented bands of refugees in the streets of Calcutta and to [...]

THE SOCIOLOGY OF RESERVATION


The Telegraph

The announcement that reservation for OBCs is to be extended to IITs and IIMs has provoked much debate in the press. Critics say the move will undermine the functioning of these institutions by devaluing the principle of merit. Cynics add that the announcement was a consequence of the HRD Minister’s wish to outstage and embarrass the [...]