just one part of my interview with Carnatic vocalist, Magasaysay Award recipient and generally, agent provocateur TM Krishna - this bit on the politics of lineage and dynasty in the AIADMK "what is astounding to see, is that not only is it politically flowing towards her, but the ritualism attached to amma, is now completely… Continue reading TM Krishna, The Agent Provocateur
This piece appeared on my page at ndtv.com In keeping with the message the Government of India has been pushing even before the Uri attack, the Prime Minister's stream of tough words aimed at isolating Pakistan for its support to terror groups that act against India, made headlines through the two day BRICS and BIMSTEC… Continue reading India Overplayed the Pakistan Issue at BRICS in Goa.
For all interested in rivers, legends, water and food security & South Asia- my paper for the Observer Research Foundation on the Teesta river dispute. I travelled down the river from Sikkim to the Bangladesh border at the end 2011 after the agreement between India and Bangladesh on water sharing fell by the wayside of… Continue reading The Teesta River Dispute: Geopolitics, Myth and Economics.
In Haryana, a controversy brewed over the Assembly's invitation to Jain monk Tarun Sagar to give an address. While much of the outrage over his speech is around him doing so in the nude, his comments were even more controversial - on the fact that religion and politics have the relationship of a husband and… Continue reading Monk Ki Baat In Haryana Assembly: Sexist And Misogynist?
Over a month after Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter by security forces, the question of whether the ongoing protests are about glorifying a terrorist or whether his death was simply a trigger for simmering rage to boil over is moot. As ‘Azadi’ protests pierce the silence of curfew, and the stillness of strikes brings… Continue reading Kashmir: Behind the Rage
The project's supporters say it is about more than providing water for a parched state - it is steeped in the search for culture and heritage. Appropriately, it is not the water ministry, but the culture ministry that's in charge of it. As questions arise over whether the state government is using a Vedic legend for… Continue reading As Gurgaon Drowns, Haryana Searches For Mythical River Saraswati
The change in Iran's capital, Tehran between my last visit in August 2012, and this May seemed dramatic in many ways. In a post sanctions world, the economy needs help, but Iran’s people are hungry for the comforts of our times—fast cars, fine foods, designer clothes and travel. Read here
Like everywhere else in the world, in Iran too, art is a reflection of society and politics of the times. Small new galleries are cropping up in Tehran's downtown cultural hub every day - reflecting the desires of a society governed by rigid religious constructs to push boundaries. They want to make the most of… Continue reading With Sanctions Gone, Iran’s Contemporary Art Scene Takes Flight
The collaboration on Chabahar, on Iran’s southern coast, was first agreed on 13 years ago. But sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme, lifted only recently, meant a long wait for India to get what it needs – a foothold in Iran and much easier access to central Asia and Afghanistan. Read my report from Tehran here… Continue reading Blog From Iran: PM Modi Cinches Game-Changer Deal On Chabahar Port
Corruption, scams and tainted ministers in the Congress-led UDF, rampant infighting in the CPM-led LDF. Will the BJP be able to tap in to an electorate tired of Kerala’s limited political choices and open their account in the upcoming polls? Are fears of religious polarization in a state known for its communal harmony real or… Continue reading God’s Own Election. Kerala, May 2016.