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Dec 22, 2015

Barkha Dutt on India’s ‘fault lines’ and personal reinvention

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ARVIND KEJRIWAL | BARKHA DUTT | MEDIA | NARENDRA MODI | NAWAZ SHARIF | NDTV | RAHUL GANDHI | THIS UNQUIET LAND – STORIES FROM INDIA’S FAULT LINES | TV JOURNALISM

Lesson for journalists: don’t publish your memoirs unless you plan to break some news. Indian television journalist Barkha Dutt shows how to do it in her book, “This Unquiet Land – Stories from India’s Fault Lines.”

Her biggest scoop: a “secret” meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the SAARC summit in Kathmandu. Indian industrialist Sajjan Jindal facilitated the meeting in his hotel room. The meeting, Dutt writes, could have led to Modi openly reaching out to Sharif through a phone call two months later, characterized as an “innocuous good-luck call for the World Cup.”

Dec 22, 2015

Interview: Barkha Dutt on TV, media and India

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A. RAJA | BARKHA DUTT | JOURNALISM | NARENDRA MODI | PRIYANKA GANDHI | RADIA TAPES | RAHUL GANDHI | THIS UNQUIET LAND – STORIES FROM INDIA’S FAULT LINES

Barkha Dutt, one of Indian television’s best-known journalists, recently published her first book, “This Unquiet Land – Stories From India’s Fault Lines,” chronicling major events that she witnessed during her career, as well as notable events in her life and the way Indian media has changed in that time. Here are edited excerpts from an interview that she did with Reuters India Insight.

Dec 8, 2015

Being gay and ‘No One Else’ in India and the USA

Siddharth Dube’s latest book, “No One Else – A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex,” is more than a memoir of a gay man’s life growing up in India and the United States. It is also a firsthand account of the lives of sexual minorities in these two countries during the 1980s, a time when being gay for many meant living in fear – of disease, abuse and public scorn.
The book, which was released in New Delhi on Nov. 20, begins more than four decades ago in Calcutta’s (now Kolkata) The Grand hotel. A bikini-clad woman swayed through a ballroom, entertaining guests, including 10-year-old Dube and his parents. Then she stripped off the bikini to reveal breasts and, to the boy’s horror, a penis. The striptease exposed him to impending conflicts — the transgression norms of masculine and feminine behaviour, and with it sexual desire.

Dec 4, 2015

Baby steps for India art market, best yet to come

As Christie’s gets ready to hold its third art auction in Mumbai in December, the growing international appeal of Indian artworks is fuelling optimism about the country’s fledgling art market. Here’s why:

* A retrospective of abstract painter Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde is on at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, a year after its New York debut.

Dec 4, 2015

Glimpses of Indian Buddhist art

The latest exhibition at India’s National Museum gives the impression of an art gallery turned into a Buddhist shrine, one soaked in spiritual asceticism, devotion and artistic ornamentation.

About 90 ancient and some modern exhibits – including sculptures, manuscripts, religious objects – are part of a narrative on the rise and expansion of Buddhist art in India and neighbouring countries. The artifacts roughly cover a span of 1,800 years from the 1st century CE until the 19th century, drawn from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the west to Bangladesh and Myanmar in the east. From India, the objects belong to Bihar (including important pilgrimage sites of Nalanda and Bodh Gaya), Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Tamil Nadu.

Oct 6, 2015
via India Insight

Reliving ‘Aruna’s Story’ – on stage

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Lushin Dubey returned to the stage after her performance. As the applause died down, she introduced the production crew of her play about Aruna Shanbaug, an Indian nurse who died this year. She had been assaulted and raped, and was in a coma for 42 years. Dubey fought back tears as she spoke.

Even in death, Shanbaug’s story seems to lack closure. “Isn’t it true of so many cases?” Dubey said as we chatted after the show.

“Aruna’s Story”, directed by Arvind Gaur, is an adaptation of journalist Pinki Virani’s non-fiction book of the same name. The show debuted on Sept. 26 in New Delhi.

Oct 6, 2015
via India Insight

Imaging Sri Lanka’s colonial past

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For a journalist, it’s hard not to think of Sri Lanka as an island country recovering from a decades-long conflict. But, there is a country that far predates this bloodletting and warfare. It’s called Ceylon, Sri Lanka’s colonial “other”.

What was it like living in Ceylon? How did it look? What about its people? What kind of clothes did they wear? What did they do at work? What was God to them?

Sep 23, 2015
via India Insight

Photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta’s homecoming

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He was no stranger to Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art. He spent several years in this Lutyens’ Delhi edifice because his father, a sculptor, was the gallery’s director. So it’s a homecoming of sorts for the museum to hold a retrospective of photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta, whose sudden death three years ago during an assignment shocked the art community.

Born into a family of artists in 1956, he had no formal training in photography. But he rose to become one of India’s most well-known photographers, most prominently in the field of fashion. After studying history at Delhi University, he began his career at an advertising agency and got his first photography assignment in the late 1980s.

Jul 30, 2015

Music video celebrates Udham Singh for avenging Jallianwala Bagh killings

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian pop group has made a music video honouring a freedom fighter who assassinated a British official in revenge for a 1919 massacre, at a time of renewed calls in India for reparations from Britain for the excesses of colonial rule.

The animated video tells the story of Indian freedom fighter Udham Singh, who shot dead Michael O’Dwyer for sanctioning the killing of hundreds of Indian protesters during a festival in Punjab, a massacre that hardened opinion against British rule.

Jul 30, 2015

Indian music video celebrates fighter who avenged massacre by British

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian pop group has made a music video honoring a freedom fighter who assassinated a British official in revenge for a 1919 massacre, at a time of renewed calls in India for reparations from Britain for the excesses of colonial rule.

The animated video tells the story of Indian freedom fighter Udham Singh, who shot dead Michael O’Dwyer for sanctioning the killing of hundreds of Indian protesters during a festival in Punjab, a massacre that hardened opinion against British rule.

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      "I joined Reuters over five years ago after working at NDTV as a bulletin editor. As Online Producer at Reuters, I am responsible for the India website’s news content, including multimedia packaging and social media. Through our Market Jockey module, I post real-time updates from the Indian and global stock markets. Besides business news, I write about art, books, theatre and music."
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