/2022

50 for 75 – An Independent India Reading List


The Telegraph

In an earlier column (The Telegraph, 13th August), I provided a brief analytical history of India’s democratic institutions since Independence. In this column, I offer a list of non-fiction books that I have myself found useful in understanding the complicated career of our Republic. I would have liked to choose seventy-five books, both in the interests [...]

The Real Game – The joys of watching cricket in whites


The Telegraph

As a member of the Karnataka State Cricket Association I have free entry to all matches played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. However, I have never exercised that privilege in the case of the Indian Premier League. More or less my only IPL memory is from the first edition of the tournament, when, dining in a Bangalore [...]

Growing Old with the Telegraph


The Telegraph

Although I grew up in north India, the newspaper that came into our home was headquartered in a great city then called Calcutta. This was The Statesman, whose main edition was published in the first capital of British India, but which had a small subsidiary edition printed in the second and last capital of the Raj. [...]

In Praise of Desmond Tutu


The Telegraph

I have been thinking a great deal about South Africa these past few weeks, in part because of the Test series being played there, but mostly because of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with whose passing the last of the great stalwarts of the anti-apartheid struggle has left the stage. Although best known for the work he did [...]

The Mahatma’s Words


The Telegraph

One of the most remarkable individuals I have known was K. Swaminathan, a professor of literature from Madras who went on to become Chief Editor of the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Swaminathan was born in the town of Pudukkotai on 3rd December 1896. When his centenary was observed in 1996, I wrote a biographical profile [...]

For a Free Press: The Legacy of B G Horniman


The Telegraph

When, in 1995, Bombay was renamed Mumbai, it led to a spurt of such renamings of buildings, streets, parks, and railway stations in the city. However, a few dead foreigners were spared the fate of being consigned to the dustbin of history. Among them were Annie Besant, after whom a major thoroughfare in central Mumbai is [...]