corruption

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 […..]

For a Monsoon Wedding: Delhi and the Commonwealth Games

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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 […..]

TO SLEEP OR NOT TO SLEEP

Eight months after all of India saw the ugly spectacle of the Delhi Police enforcing the full power of the state on Baba Ramdev’s supporters in the capital’s Ramlila Maidan, there is little to quibble with the Supreme Court’s primary finding that the police went overboard with “uncontrolled force”, that some of its teargas-shooting stick-wielding […..]

THE MOB AND THE CAMERA

A couple of days ago, a prominent TV anchor, not associated with the Anna protest coverage, posted sardonically on his Facebook wall that he wanted to go on a fast against TV. He may have been only half-serious but his page was quickly flooded with ‘likes’ and supportive messages, most of them from cynical TV […..]

THE GAMES OF GLOATING

Back in the 1970s, Willie Whitelow, who later became Margaret Thatcher’s deputy prime minister, famously responded to a crisis in the then Labour government by tut-tutting to reporters: “Mustn’t gloat, wrong to gloat, mustn’t do it, no, no, no. Well, I can tell you, I am gloating like hell.” The parliamentary debate on the Commonwealth […..]

THE IN-BETWEEN MOVEMENT

By now it is fair to characterise the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption campaign as the ‘in-between’ movement. In-between because of its curious timing between the World Cup and the IPL, because the particular version of the Lokpal Bill it is rooting for has led to discord even among its most ardent supporters, because the wide coalition […..]

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 […..]