/Tag: Indian democracy

The Pen Over The Sword Always

The Telegraph

In a recent essay in Frontline magazine, Ghulam Murshid writes of the ups and downs of Tagore’s reputation in Bangladesh. So long as it was East Pakistan, the poet was not looked upon very favourably-in part because he came from a upper-class landed family, in larger part because he was a Hindu. As the Tagore centenary [...]

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: , , |


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: , , , , , |


The Telegraph

In 1905 and 1906, Mohandas Gandhi, his wife, and their children shared a home in Johannesburg with an English couple, Henry and Millie Polak. Later, writing of their life together, Gandhi recalled that ‘Polak and I had often very heated discussions about the desirability or otherwise of giving the children an English education. It has always [...]


The Telegraph

At a meeting in Chennai that I recently attended, an official of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, herself a Swiss national, remarked that ‘the Indian Government has a very humane atttitude towards refugees’. She was not merely showing courtesy towards her hosts. For, as another speaker at the symposium pointed out, in its sixty-year-career [...]

By |2011-11-18T10:32:47+00:00November 9th, 2010|Categories: History|Tags: , , , , , |



Not long ago, I found myself in a panel discussion on television with three politicians. One was a Congress Member of Parliament, a second an MP from the Bharatiya Janata Party, the third the President of one of the smaller regional formations. In the course of the conversation I found reason to criticize the three netas [...]


Hindustan Times

Every Indian city has a road named after Mahatma Gandhi, each presenting in its own way a mocking thumbs-down to the Mahatma’s legacy. The M. G. Road of my home town, Bangalore, is a celebration of consumerism, with its glittering array of shop-windows advertising the most expensive goods in India. In other cities, government offices are [...]