2008

You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war’

What is the connection between a long forgotten US naval battleship that was blown up in the Havana Harbour in 1898 and the state of the post-Mumbai television discourse? Actually, quite a lot. When the USS Maine inexplicably blew up at the height of tensions between Washington and the then Spanish colony of Cuba, the […..]

Eyes on terror

Just after the attack on Gandhinagar’s Akshardham temple six years ago, a senior general with the NSG told me quite candidly that live television coverage of the attack proved to be a blessing in disguise, allowing him to coordinate the rescue attempts better while sitting on his desk in Delhi. The NSG commandoes could not […..]

Barack Singh Dhoni

When George W. Bush barely scraped through in Florida in 2000, many Indian observers rightly pointed in glee to the successes of our own Election Commission and the inherent checks and balances in Indian democracy. At a time when America was turning red-necked, the seeming superiority of Indian democracy was underlined in 2004 with the […..]

It’s Not Just Sport: Delhi and the Olympic Torch Relay

13LACover

Abstract: This paper literally follows the Indian leg of the Olympic flame relay in Delhi and focuses on how the relay personifies intercultural encounters, conflict, and negotiation. Focusing on the harmonious, sometimes perilous encounters with the officials, protesters, and discourses, a context is created for understanding the significance for the Olympic movement and what it […..]

Give them their due

The hero of the Bangladesh war, Lt Gen J F R Jacob, once commented, only partly in jest, that today’s generals do not even enjoy half the authority that he had once enjoyed as a major. The general should know, having served as an army commander and much later as a governor of Punjab and […..]

Narendra Modi 2.0

On the morning of December 23, 2007, as Narendra Modi celebrated his second triumph in Gujarat, the street outside the BJP’s Ahmedabad office overflowed with delirious supporters wearing the now ubiquitous Modi masks. As the masked men pranced before the TV cameras in a surreal celebration of Moditva, the obvious question was — when would […..]

We were hand in glove

When K.D. Jadhav won India’s last wrestling medal at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 the celebrations at home were extremely muted, restricted to the sports pages of newspapers unlike the megahype now around Sushil Kumar and the new phalanx of Indian boxers. To compound Jadhav’s agony, the political class gave the victorious hockey team of […..]