Diplomacy · South Asia · World

What Nepal’s New Aggression Reveals For India And Its Neighbours

For the second time since its transition to a democratic republic, India's relations with Nepal have deteriorated sharply. The latest controversy over the inauguration by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh of an 80-kilometre stretch of road that connects the Lipulekh Pass in the north eastern corner of Uttarakhand to Kailash Mansarovar in order to make the… Continue reading What Nepal’s New Aggression Reveals For India And Its Neighbours

Media · Politics · Social Media

On Misinformation and Hate Speech (notes from a talk)

In August 2019, police in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh decided to open an investigation into a local journalist- Pawan Jaiswal all because he had exposed a government school for feeding its children salt and a chapati as a mid-day meal. This meal was well below the government’s minimum nutrition standards. But the state didn’t care about the… Continue reading On Misinformation and Hate Speech (notes from a talk)

India · Sexual violence

The danger of cheering the Telangana police 

December 16th marks seven years since the brutal Delhi gang rape. Nirbhaya- or “fearless”- was the name the young intern  was given by an anguished nation for the two weeks she survived after the horrific attack. As she battled for life, an entire country prayed with her family. We prayed for her recovery, we prayed for justice… Continue reading The danger of cheering the Telangana police 

Conflict · Kashmir · Politics

Kashmir: Betrayal, Uncertainty and Fear make a Potent Brew

The drive from Srinagar to Shopian in South Kashmir on the sixth Friday since the nullification of Article 370 is eerily calm. On one stretch of the road near Kakpora, just before Pulwama, stones and the odd, felled tree trunk appear as makeshift roadblocks- laid by local youth to prevent any vehicular movement- military or… Continue reading Kashmir: Betrayal, Uncertainty and Fear make a Potent Brew

Conflict · Media · World

When Professional Is Personal (lessons from the field)

No man is an island, Entire of itself, Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main… Any man’s death diminishes me, Because I am involved in mankind… And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls It tolls for thee. —John Donne Nothing breaks a heart more than… Continue reading When Professional Is Personal (lessons from the field)

Conflict · Poetry

Untitled. Or A Reporter’s Diary. (Written, 2017)

They arrive in darkness from the depths of memory of faraway lands and blood soaked streets. Shadows move noisily in the night. Fingers point accusingly Wails a cacophony of regret. Dismembered, limbless, sightless sometimes lifeless faces, bodies, voices questioning. Asking when I will return. If I will return. I am the itinerant, welcomed into hollow… Continue reading Untitled. Or A Reporter’s Diary. (Written, 2017)

Conflict · Poetry

Silent River (Or Whose Side are you On? Written November, 2016)

A mother sings a lullaby. In the moonlight stars sparkle over the Jhelum. A father walks outside to lock the gate. And looks across the bund on to the silent river, black as night. Footsteps in the dark Stomp, crush Tar and leaves Dry as paper. Where are they headed? He wonders and hurries back… Continue reading Silent River (Or Whose Side are you On? Written November, 2016)

India · Media · Politics

Scaling the Media Mountain- Modi 1.0 and the Indian Press

Days before the results of the 2019 general elections came in, and just 48 hours before his own constituency went to the polls, millions of Indians watched Prime Minister Narendra Modi, election campaign done, labour his way up the steep hills of Kedarnath, pray inside the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, meditate inside a cave. Television channels… Continue reading Scaling the Media Mountain- Modi 1.0 and the Indian Press

India · Media · National Security · Politics · Rights

Elections 2019: Democracy in the face of majoritarianism

If the strength of a liberal democracy is judged by the space it offers for critique and dissent; or by the protection it offers to all its citizens, irrespective of caste, creed or gender, then Indian democracy is on a perilous path. Whether it was in the case of a young Kerala girl’s right to… Continue reading Elections 2019: Democracy in the face of majoritarianism

Conflict · Diplomacy · Kashmir · South Asia

After Balakot, time for a diplomatic offensive

War is politics by other means, said Karl Von Clausewitz, the Prussian military strategist in the eighteenth century. As societies change, and politics changes, so does the nature of war, and the battlefields wars are fought on. The two weeks since the Pulwama attack has shown us that the battlefield is now also on television… Continue reading After Balakot, time for a diplomatic offensive