2010

A tale of two Indias

Shortly before India began its economic reforms in the early-1990s, Shashi Tharoor, a former junior foreign minister, published The Great Indian Novel, a somewhat immodestly named but sharply written allegory on modern Indian politics and the ancient Mahabharat, where he famously argued that India is not “an underdeveloped country” but “a highly developed one in […..]

COUNTING THE COST OF PM’S GAMES

The comment of the week: Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Secretary General Lalit Bhanot saying in all seriousness that foreign standards of cleanliness may be different from ours, when accosted by the filth of the Games Village. If this had come from a Westerner we would have pilloried him for racism and for besmirching the name […..]

A BRIDE AND TWO HUSBANDS

As the all-party delegation heads to Srinagar today to try and find a meeting ground for dialogue, they will be mindful of an old aphorism of the Chief Minister’s grandfather Sheikh Abdullah, who in his speeches in the mid-1960s often described Kashmir as a bride cherished by two husbands, India and Pakistan. Then, as now, […..]

MANMOHAN’S ‘DISMAL SCIENCE’

Responding to Malthusian theories about population growth, the Victorian writer Thomas Carlyle coined the term ‘the dismal science’ to denote the newly emerging discipline of economists. It’s a different matter, of course, that Carlyle himself thought that slavery was morally superior to the laws of demand and supply. The term has long since gained currency […..]

PAKISTAN’S RAW OBSESSION

There is a curious phenomenon that has taken shape in sections of the Pakistani press in the past 3-4 days. At least two TV networks, Express TV and Aaj, reportedly went big with the news that the match-fixing scandal engulfing the Pakistani team was a conspiracy hatched by RAW, the Indian intelligence agency. According to […..]

A VILLAGE BUILT ON FALLACIES

As the Prime Minister inspected Commonwealth Games sites on Sunday and Sheila Dixit extended the deadline for the venues yet another time, the last-gasp dash to the finish line has overtaken the deeper questions at the heart of these Games. There are structural reasons for the quagmire Delhi finds itself in. The story of the […..]

PAISA OVER PARLIAMENT

“If I were a man of money, I would be in a different profession.” This was French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a TV interview last month on allegations of being too close to the high life and the wealthy. The jury is still out on charges of illegal political donations that have beset the French […..]