/Tag: Indian democracy

Between Rectitude And Responsibility


The Telegraph

One of my closest male friends is a senior IAS officer, now retired. He belongs to a family of scholars and public servants, and has degrees from two of the world’s great universities. He has some special areas of expertise, such as education and health, and speaks four Indian languages fluently. With these skills, and without [...]

By |2018-11-04T13:37:34+00:00April 14th, 2018|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

Anti-Intellectualism In American And Indian Life


The Telegraph

Books set in other countries and published at other times can sometimes be strikingly relevant to India today. This is certainly the case with Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, published in 1963. I first read this book as a doctoral student thirty years ago, and re-read it recently. As a professor at one of America’s [...]

Why Can’t The Congress Dump The Nehru-Gandhis


The Telegraph

In May 2014, General Elections were held in India as well as in the United Kingdom, the country whose electoral system we adopted as our own. In the UK, the Labour Party got 232 seats, twenty-four seats less than it had obtained in 2010. The Labour leader, Ed Milliband, resigned at once, owning responsibility for the [...]

By |2016-01-30T09:01:39+00:00December 26th, 2015|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , |

Are We Becoming An Election Only Democracy?


Hindustan Times

For some time now, Indian democracy has been corroded by what the sociologist André Béteille terms ‘the chronic mistrust between government and opposition’. Parliament meets rarely— when it does, it resembles a dusty akhara more than the stately chamber of discussion it was meant to be. In television studios, representatives of ruling and opposition parties trade [...]

By |2015-12-25T12:45:17+00:00November 29th, 2015|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , |

When Politicians Get Too Close to Businessmen


The Telegraph

I write this on Tuesday the 21st of July, with the Bangalore edition of The Hindu in front of me. The front page carries a large photograph of Mallikarjun Kharge, the veteran Congress leader from Karnataka who is currently the de facto leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha. Interestingly, the photo does not accompany [...]

Carpets Red and Green


Hindustan Times

Shortly after the Trinamool Congress came to power in West Bengal, I was invited to speak at a university convocation in that state. I flew in the day before the event, and was met at Kolkata airport by the university’s Registrar. A three hour drive to our destination followed. I was then taken on a tour [...]

By |2014-07-22T16:11:39+00:00July 20th, 2014|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

A Wish List Revisited


The Telegraph

In an essay published just before the General Elections of 2009, I had argued that for Indian democracy to become more focused and effective, four things needed to happen: First, the Congress party had to rid itself of its dependence on a single family. Rahul Gandhi had a right to be in politics, but not to [...]

By |2012-11-25T11:39:46+00:00November 17th, 2012|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , , , , |

Smash-and-Grab Crony League


The Hindu

I live in Bangalore, down the road from the Karnataka State Cricket Association. I am a member of the KSCA, which means that I can watch all the matches played in its stadium for free, and from a comfortable seat next to the pavilion. I exercise the privilege always during a Test match, often during a [...]

By |2012-06-03T20:42:02+00:00May 26th, 2012|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs, Culture|Tags: , |

Letting Azad Win


Hindustan Times

In the third week of March 1940, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad delivered the Presidential Address at the annual meeting of the Indian National Congress, held that year in Ramgarh in Bihar. Azad here spoke of secularism as India's 'historic destiny', proof of which was in 'our languages, our poetry, our literature, our culture , our dress, [...]

Uttar Pradesh Past and Present


The Telegraph

In his charming memoir, Lucknow Boy, Vinod Mehta writes of the leisurely pace of life in his home town. Like most students of his class and generation, he paid little attention to books and exams, spending his time rather in the streets and cafés of Lucknow. A Punjabi Hindu, Mehta numbered two Muslims among his closest [...]