May 2010

Sorry! All Off the Record

The Army chopper was circling over Bhuj. It was 2001, beneath us was an entire city flattened as if with a sledgehammer and the words had dried up over the helicopter’s headphones. We were filming the first pictures after the deadly earthquake and sitting next to us, the general stuck up a conversation. Pointing to […..]

Tiptoeing Through Landmines

In 1967, three months before Naxalbari first burst upon the collective consciousness of India, the London Times published a series of articles painting the picture of a general “deep sense of defeat”, and fraying of the Indian nation so acute that only the army could be an alternative source of civil authority and social order […..]

Raising the Mandal ghosts

Ramesh Sippy knew the menace of numbers when he made Gabbar Singh intone his immortal “kitne aadmi they” line in Sholay. The silky rough voice of Amjad Khan is a world away from the earthy tones of Lalu Yadav but make no mistake, his winning argument in the Lok Sabha for an OBC Census carries […..]

Feudal Sports, Feudal Politics

By moving against the permanent heads of Indian sport, M.S. Gill has revived a forgotten 2004 initiative by the late Sunil Dutt who as Sport Minister quietly tried and failed in a similar move. In the ongoing battle over Indian sport, there is a deeper question that needs to be asked: why are politicians or […..]

Soren’s last gamble

So, did Guruji really press the red button by mistake? Does he really have Alzheimer’s disease? Does he not understand parliamentary procedures? These are the excuses the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has been trotting out for Shibu Soren’s extraordinary volte-face in Parliament last week. Lest anyone forget, the man they call Guruji is a sitting Chief […..]