Sunday, December 08, 2013

Kejriwal makes it at last! Stunning debut.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tarun Tejpal's day of shame

Tarun Tejpal is, of course,  more powerful and influential than I ever thought. The top lawyers - and the big politicians of a major political party - are backing him. But he could not save himself from being arrested by the Goa police.

A sessions court in Goa on Saturday rejected Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal’s anticipatory bail petition in connection with the sexual assault case against him. He was taken into custody by Goa police shortly after the verdict..

Friday, November 22, 2013

Where shall we hide our face?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Boualem Sansal interview

..the selling of weapons to dictators and the supporting of Islamists has to stop – as Germany has done and is still doing. I also criticise Muslim intellectuals. What are they doing in Europe? They sit in Paris and complain about the Algerian government not being democratic. They should be saying this in Algeria! Democrats need to fight for democracy in Muslim countries. And Muslims must fight for Islam. They must take it back from the Islamists. It is they who must fight Islamism because it is destroying their religion

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Art is a kind of resistance: Mia Couto

"After 16 years of war, it became clear to me that art (and particularly poetry and literature) was a kind of resistance. The first intention of war is to dehumanize. And artistic language can be, in those circumstances, a clear way of rebuilding humanity."


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cliche-free writers

There are a lot of cliché-free writers, and there are still dozens who make a very good living at it. Alice Munro is a number-one bestseller in Canada. Ian McEwan had a string of hits, and so did Cormac McCarthy, belatedly. I’m not the only one.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

The rise and more rise of Arvind Kejriwal

The irresistible rise of Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Admi Party (AAP) is nothing short of a miracle. It is a political rags-to-riches story, for it shows that politics and power are not the exclusive preserve of fat cats with money and lineage. Arvind has had his share of reverses (the bad-tempered split with Anna Hazare, alle­gations of links with the Sangh parivar which almost saw his party gobbled up by the likes of Ramdev and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar), yet today opinion polls suggest he is a serious challenger both to the Congress and the BJP. Moreover, he is the most “preferred” candidate for the post of chief minister. All this in just over one year.


Saturday, October 05, 2013

America has an addiction to whiteness: Junot Duaz

This country is more diverse than it’s ever been, yet the addiction to whiteness is more pernicious than ever. It’s like America has an addiction to whiteness; if we don’t get our five doses of whiteness a day we’ll die.”

Let us start the conversation: Does Capitalism work for you? Yes/No

Steve Lambert's art installation asks people to vote in an effort to open up the discussion about capitalism. That word can be a red flag for many, Lambert says.
Steve Lambert's art installation asks people to vote in an effort to open up the discussion about capitalism.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Is Narendra Modi the next Prime Minister of India?

Now it's official: Narendra Modi is BJP's PM candidate.

Pity LK.  He  thought he would be chosen a second time. In such matters and in these dicey times, one gets only one chance: make it or leave it for ever.

But is NaMo - what an abbreviation for Narendra Modi -  prime minister material?.

Pros: he's built up the dazzling Gujrat as it is today. A good administrator, perhaps. A disciplinarian. A darling of corporate and business houses. Millions of fans.

Cons: fundamentalist, foul-mouthed, talks aloud and there is a lot of bunkum in his oratory,  a tad unpolished, and hugely repulsive with a ghastly past of engineering a genocide.

The BJP chose him because  it had no better candidate than NaMo at the moment, and it's going to gain from this decision.

The Congress may not admit it, but it has already been scared by NaMo in the race for primeminister's post. Note what Digbijoy Singh is telling the press these days.

Rahul Gandhi is no match for Narendra Modi. Modi has the capability to blow Gandhi off with his hysteria and rhetoric - the two things which Modi is very good at, and most Indians are very fond of..

So I'll not be surprised if Modi gets to be next the Prime Minister of India.  But whether it would bode well  for India and its another matter.


Saturday, September 07, 2013

The most obsequious Prime Minister ever?

"I've always maintained that Rahul Gandhi would be an ideal choice for Prime Minister after the 2014 elections. I would be happy to work for the Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi."
--Manmohon Singh on the way back from G20 summit at St Petersburg.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Can the Nobel Prize committee give it to Manning and Snowden?

You can’t precisely compare conditions in America and China, and I’m not saying that the widespread surveillance and secrecy that Manning and Snowden have exposed in the U.S., as frightening as it is, is the same as the forceful suppression of dissent and civil liberties in China. Or at least not yet. But the Nobel committee now has an opportunity to declare its independence, balance the scales a little on its most lamentable decisions, and make clear to Americans and the whole world that China isn’t the only superpower to go down the dark and dangerous road toward tyranny.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Of a masterly headline

Telangana born, Hills in labour
- The Hindustan Times, Kolkata edition

I've not read such a masterly headline in a long time.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Manmohan Singh Govt forces GM foods on Indians!

I would say that the PMO is bulldozing us, as a nation, into doing what’s not backed by evidence and what should never be done. The PMO is pushing the GMO agenda, especially GM foods, because it’s a commitment he made, under the Indo-US Agriculture Knowledge Initiative, to the US government. So, the PMO is talking the language of the GMO industry.
- Dr Vandana Shiva 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What things should we offload?

I have not memorized a phone number that was not my wife’s or kids’ in 10 years. I don’t think that makes us less human. We have evolved to do this. What we do need to do, though, is to be more attuned and more sensible about what things we offload and what things we don’t. We are, in a real sense, the sum total of our memories. The human task of understanding yourself is one that requires being able to think back and construct sensible stories.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Edward Snowden: A hero of our times

I am moved by your choice of our future over yours, the world over yourself.  You know what few do nowadays: that the self is not the same as self-interest. You are someone who is smart enough, idealistic enough, bold enough to know that living with yourself in a system of utter corruption would destroy that self as an ideal, as something worth being.  Doing what you’ve done, on the other hand, would give you a self you could live with, even if it gave you nowhere to live or no life. Which is to say, you have become a hero.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What is journalism?

"Journalism is not content. It need not be a profession or an industry. It is not the province of a guild. It is not a scarcity to be controlled. It no longer happens just in newsrooms. It is no longer confined to narrative form. So, then, what the hell is journalism?
It is a service whose end is an informed public. For my entrepreneurial journalism students, I provide a broad umbrella of a definition: journalism helps communities organise their knowledge so they can better organise themselves. So, anything that reliably serves the end of an informed community is journalism. Anyone can help do that. The true journalist should want anyone to join the task."

Monday, July 08, 2013

Sarah Schulman on being a writer

To me, a writer is someone who writes. The best thing to me is to read eclectically, to go to readings, to have experiences, to live in the world, to mix with all different types of people, to take some chances, and to find some people and start a writing group. Or ask a writer you respect to teach a class. I charge $40 a class, it's not that much. Start your own thing. There used to be all these alternative schools, the University of the Streets, the Brecht. There were these left-wing places you could go and study outside of the structure of a university. As we know, universities are becoming more and more corporate, and universities themselves are gentrifiers. If you look at what NYU has done to New York City, for example, it's been one of the worst influences on the city. Now we are seeing universities that are selling their brands to Abu Dhabi and repressive regimes in China. Universities are becoming more and more globalized, corporate entities. To rely on these people to determine the artwork or the cultural output of your own time is pretty dangerous. If they're asking you for something -- money -- don't give it to them.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Zadie Smith would no more support Barack Obama

Any artist who aligns themselves with a politician is making a category error, because what politicians do is not on a human scale, it is on a geopolitical scale. Individual humans are being killed by anonymous planes in the air, and artists should be interested in individual humans. I would no more give support to Obama than I would to David Cameron — the decisions they have to make are not conceivable to me.’

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Vinod Mehta on Narendra Modi's current status

Mr Modi is something of a loose cannon. If handed over unfettered power, there is no certainty in which direction he willfire. Besides, he has no record of forgiving and forgetting his real or perceived enemies. Happily, now there is a check. And it is Lal Krishna Advani. When he wields his recently acquired power, Mr Modi will need to constantly look over his shoulder to see what Mr Advani and his troublesome acolytes are doing; what ‘black mischief’ they are up to. This must be a source of great irritation for the new, decisive, strong leader who had assumed that since he had acquired absolute power, no one would question, much less dispute, his diktat. Well, an 85-year-old man is there to do the questioning and the disputing. And he is not going away.

Monday, May 20, 2013

An Indian techie on start--ups

Start-ups are like distance- running; after a point, it's about mind than anything else.
- Chet Kanojia, Indian techie.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

After the Saradha scam

These days I'm trying to understand the post-Saradha-scam stratosphere in West Bengal. The scam, to the tune of twenty thousand crores, has left millions of people, in rural areas specially, battered and wretched in an unprecedented way.

Sudipta Sen is the man responsible for the mess, but this massive scam is a gigantic feat, and is only possible with people in power. Who is going to believe in Mamata Banerjee's  explanation that she didn't know anything about the activities of the group?

The fact is, she and her party actively patronized Sudipta Sen. Still fresh in our memory, she recommended the group's two daily newspapers for  the state's public libraries. She was seen in numerous occasions promoting Saradha's stuff.

She might have a personal reason. Sudipta Sen would buy her pictures. Most recently, he got to buy one of her artwork with a whopping one crore and eighty six lac rupees.

It's now confirmed that Sudipta Sen funded her party in the last Assembly election and helped it win the power. No wonder the conman wanted his return by duping lacs of depositors with connivance of its leaders and party men.

Mamata's on back foot. She loses her credibility. Pity it occurred so soon - in barely two years.

This may be the beginning of her fall..

But the thing that emerges in the din is the devaluation of money in people's perception. Being a crorepati is no big deal now. You find ordinary people talking money in terms of crores, not in lacs, these days.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The point of Narendra Modi's massive campaign

This election the Corporate Candidate will be the person who is seen as being able to ‘deliver’...and that will include being able to put down people’s rebellions across the country by deploying the army if necessary, in places like Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, where, in the corporate view, massive reserves of cold cash are languishing in the forests and mountains—not quite the US model, but getting there.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

A great filmmaker in the making

I don't want mediocrity or ugliness to seep into my consciousness. Life is too short for that.
--Anand Gandhi, director of Ship of Theseus

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rushdie's opinion of Rahul Gandhi

"I don't  have much of an opinion, because there is not much to have an opinion of. I don't know what Rahul Gandhi does."
-Salman Rushdie in an interview published in the Hindustan Times


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