2011

India-China Media Relations: Panda and Elephant at Cross-purposes

India and China are doing better at reaching understanding on the ocean waves than the air waves. While their navies are talking to each other, their media organisations encounter each other’s country with the astonishment of a panda bumping into an elephant on a dark night. Ten months ago, Indian and Chinese navies were muscling […..]

ERILS OF RAMBO-NATIONALISM

One of the more interesting and revealing comments about the Osama killing this week came from a gushing academic at the French Institute of Foreign Relations who took the debate into the realms of psychology and gender impulses. What was great about the raid on Abbotabad for American voters, in this view, was that it […..]

ROBBER BARONS OF YAMUNA

When the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III died in 1250 without an agreed successor, his empire went into turmoil. Among the first administrative casualties of the flux were the toll collectors on the river Rhine, which for a thousand years had been the commercial heart of Europe and its principal economic highway. With the government […..]

FIVE ELECTIONS AND A VERDICT

South American poet Jorges Luis Borges writes in his poem ‘Happiness’ (La Dicha) that “everything happens for the first time”. “Whosoever embraces a woman is Adam,” he muses. Just as “whosoever lights a match in the dark is inventing fire”. It is a feeling that may well describe some Bengali voters as they participate today […..]

REVOLUTION? THINK AGAIN

Revolution is always an easy word to bandy around. Sometimes too easy, and when it suits your ratings, it is easier still. The tricolour is flying high again on news television and the people have registered a great triumph, we are told. Anna Hazare is the new middle-class icon and Gandhi is back in fashion. […..]

CUP TO CUP, AND THE NATION WITHIN

Six years after India first won the cricket World Cup in 1983, the sociologist Ashis Nandy famously wrote, “Cricket is an Indian game, accidentally invented by the British.” With the euphoria over Dhoni’s triumph still washing over us, those words spring back. Cricket has long had a social and political dimension in this country and […..]

THE MYTH OF AMERICAN DISPENSABILITY

The last time the British and French indulged together in a military adventure in the Middle East, they were humiliated and their noses rubbed in the dust by the Americans. In 1956, Dwight D. Eisenhower was so incensed at the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt over Nasser’s nationalisation of the Suez Canal that he threatened economic […..]