2014

Bindra: He shot for India

Just before the London Olympics, he forced himself to jump off a plane: hoping to train his mind to work under extreme conditions, attempting somehow to simulate the pressures of the shooting range and the way his instincts would react under duress. Before the Beijing Olympics, where he won India’s first gold, he forced himself […..]

Soft power, hard battles: Inventing the Asian Games is a forgotten facet of the Nehruvian idea of India

As Indian athletes get ready to compete in Incheon today few remember how the modern Asian Games themselves were virtually invented by India, how central these Games were for the hopes, aspirations and ideals of Nehruvian India and the role they played in soft power diplomacy in the early years after independence. “You have certainly […..]

Why Ban wants Modi

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s first overseas posting as a South Korean diplomat was to Delhi, his son-law is a former Indian Army officer but as Secretary General he has rarely put out a personal appeal to an Indian prime minister as he has done now. His latest appeal to Modi to attend next week’s […..]

Memo to BJP: Keep the Yogi and India’s ‘greatest sensuous acharya’ in closet

Yogi Adityanath must have been hoping that his recent anointment as the new Mahant of Gorakshpeeth would coincide with a celebratory victory run in the UP byelection, which he spearheaded. That other relic from the Ramjnmabhoomi movement, Unnao MP, Sakshi Maharaj, was upping the ante too by putting out an alleged Muslim rate card for […..]

Oh Nalanda! We need a thousand Nalandas, but if Rajgir’s current experiment is a trailer then God save us

Aspiring students at the ancient Nalanda Mahavihar could only enter by answering tough questions from the ‘dwara pandit’, guardian of the entrance gate. Only one in 10 passed satisfactorily to join this Oxford of India which was already a few centuries old before even the idea of Oxford became a glimmer in the eyes of […..]

You can’t build a sport without putting it on TV – we don’t have to be a one-sport nation: Uday Shankar

cover14am

Uday Shankar is CEO of Star TV India, which broadcast and backed the Pro-Kabaddi League. Kabaddi surprised India, garnered 2.5 times more viewers in its first week than the FIFA World Cup and became the most-watched Indian live sports event after IPL. He discusses India’s prospects as a sporting nation, the role of TV as […..]

The story of how an Asiad remade a city

cover73am

India may not be a major sporting power, but as Indian athletes get ready for the Incheon Asian Games, few remember the central role the Asian Games have played in the remaking of Delhi. The Asian Games themselves were virtually invented by India as part of Nehru’s attempt to forge a new Asian solidarity and […..]