Here are two images you may remember from television. The first was the Oscar ceremony. Simon Beaufoy won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire. Read more
Most of us forget nearly everything we learned in university within months of graduating. I doubt if I am an exception. But there’s one particular Politics tutorial that comes back to haunt me again and again each time Pakistan is discussed. Read more
Life can sometimes come full circle. On that fateful night in 1984 when the Indian Army seized control of the Golden Temple, I was part of a tiny minority who regarded the operation as a disaster. Read more
Do you sometimes feel that intellectuals and experts like complicating issues needlessly so that lay people like you and me are not only excluded from the discussion but are also left hopelessly confused?
Do you wonder why so many activists and self-proclaimed scholars take the positions of lay people and then caricature them so that they can construct men of straw to attack? Read more
Now that the Bombay/ Mumbai controversy has returned to the headlines, thanks to the Maharashtra elections, this may be a good time to examine the whole issue of the naming and renaming of places. Read more
Enough has been said and written about Shashi Tharoor and the austerity drive: why does he use terms like cattle class? Why does he need privacy in a deluxe hotel? Who is the holy cow? Etc.
But while I’m mostly on Tharoor’s side on this one, the contretemps seems to me to be one more reminder of how difficult it is for successful professionals to fit into the Indian political mainstream. They usually don’t understand the system, they rarely master its idiom, and most times, the system unites to repel them. Read more
On the grounds that there’s not a lot happening this week, I’m going to focus on something that seems slightly obscure and out of the headlines but is actually crucial to the future of India.
If you look at the way the election campaign was conducted, two sets of economic issues kept cropping up again and again. Read more
The first time most of us heard of Mushirul Hasan was in 1992. Asked whether he supported the ban on The Satanic Verses, Hasan said that while he found the book deeply offensive, he did not believe in banning books. Read more
As the BJP begins post-mortems of its defeat in the General Election and tries to institute a generational change in its leadership, many suggestions have been put forward about how it can recast itself.
The first suggestion — made by Arun Jaitley in an article in the Indian Express — is that the party must abandon shrillness because voters prefer moderation. Read more
Those of us who have been involved with the running of the Hindustan Times over the last decade like to think that we made many revolutionary changes. Well, perhaps we did. But increasingly, I get the feeling that we give ourselves too much credit. Read more