November 2015

Great Indian tradition of debate alive and well: Wendy Doniger

Wendy Doniger

Indologist Wendy Doniger is the author of seminal books on Hinduism and mythology. She tells Nalin Mehta that protests by writers can be effective, book bans don’t work and that Hinduism’s great tradition of debate is alive and well. Do you agree with the writers and film-makers who returned their awards to protest against rising […..]

What we can learn from Paris

There was something ethereal and heart-stopping about the mysterious musician who silently rolled up a grand piano outside the blood-soaked Bataclan Theatre in Paris to poignantly play the notes of John Lennon’s 1971 classic ‘Imagine’ (See here). In India, TV channels would have gone berserk screaming the usual clichéd nonsense – remember the “spirit of […..]

Accusing veterans of insulting the nation sign of desperation

For the second time in a week Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has personally taken on military veterans who are returning their medals in organized agitations across the country over the one-rank-one-pay (OROP) standoff with the government. Speaking in Arakkonam in Tamil Nadu, he said, “burning and returning them [medals]is an insult to the nation and […..]

France’s 26/11 will change Europe

Much like Mumbai on 26/11, the terrorists in Paris have attacked the heart of what it is to be a Parisian. Attacking cafes in a city of cafes, blowing up of the Bataclan Theatre in a city that is symptomatic of culture and bomb blasts that shook the Stade de France where the French football […..]

Bihar’s egg on TV’s face

Remember Al Gore? There is a loose parallel between how some Indian TV channels mucked up the Bihar counting day coverage last Sunday with the embarrassing on-air calls that American TV networks made during the 2000 ‘Bush vs Gore’ presidential polls. Announcing the results on November 7, 2000, channels first called Florida in favour of […..]

TV channels losing it on Bihar?

BJP may have lost its big gamble in Bihar, but many TV news channels may also be losers in the viewership stake of credibility. With different channels showing such widely divergent numbers on assembly seats through the morning, viewers were left floundering on what to believe and who to trust. Even the broad trend lines […..]

Why Chetan Bhagat is wrong about Indian liberals

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India’s biggest-selling novelist Chetan Bhagat has taken a huge swipe at Indian liberals in the Times of India (November 2), arguing that they usually have “no clue” and “no solutions” about what India should be like. This is primarily because behind their modernist façade, liberals are just superior English-speaking children coming out of class privilege, […..]