April 2012

Less Bofors hypocrisy please

The Bofors case has been compared to Banquo’s ghost in Macbeth, a symbolic returning embodiment of downfall and guilt, and also to the Terminator series, with its ability to constantly startle even when you think the tale has ended. If it is a returning ghost, it actually seems more akin to the pantomimic creatures of […..]

Capital Loss for Congress in India

The fog of war is confusing. The fog of defeat can be even more debilitating: the comfort of denial and post-defeat rationalization are its natural offspring. The Indian National Congress Party’s comprehensive defeat in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections in April 2012 has added to its growing list of recent electoral setbacks and […..]

Capital loss

The fog of war is confusing. The fog of defeat can be even more debilitating: the comfort of denial and convoluted post-rationalisation are its natural offsprings. The Congress response to its stinging defeat in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi elections has followed a time-worn typescript. Swinging between defensiveness and despair, its official statements have ranged […..]

Lessons in self-destruction

Mamata Bannerjee’s official biography on the West Bengal government’s website describes her as the author of no fewer than thirty books, one of which is called ‘Slaughter of Democracy’. No prizes for guessing who the ‘slaughterer’ was in this 2006 polemic against the Left Front. Now, less than a year into a government that was […..]

The Amar Chitra Katha of 1857: The Nation in the Comic

17LACover

EXTRACT I am a child of Amar Chitra Katha (ACK hereafter). Growing up in the 1980s, poring over the ACK comics on history and mythology was one of the greatest delights of my childhood. The comics opened up a world of wonder from the past that first ignited my interest in history. My first mental […..]

For a Monsoon Wedding: Delhi and the Commonwealth Games

14LACover

INTRODUCTION EXTRACT Delhi’s Tihar Jail is reputed to be the largest prison in South Asia. Among its more famous inmates, at the time of writing, is Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of the Organising Committee (OC) of the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010, Member of Parliament from Pune and head of the Indian Olympic Association. He is being […..]

Satellites, Politics and India’s TV News Revolution: Challenges and Prospects

24LACover

Abstract This article explores two themes. First, it looks closely at the profusion of regional language news television in India, the patterns in its growth, its politics and its social impact. In particular, it looks at how political parties and politicians appropriated satellite news channels and cable networks in various states (Punjab, Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu), […..]