India Insight

Cauvery River water fight paralyses Bangalore on Saturday

October 6, 2012

(This article was reported by Gokul Chandrasekar, Vineet Sharma and Bidya Sapam. Photos by Bidya Sapam)

Kejriwal 2.0 not enough to change India’s political landscape

October 3, 2012

It wasn’t long ago that social activist Arvind Kejriwal called India’s parliamentarians “rapists, murderers and looters“. After making no bones about his hatred for India’s politicians during his anti-corruption movement, the former Team Anna member may soon be breaking bread and rubbing shoulders with the targets of his scorn now that he has decided to enter politics.

Going vegetarian for Gandhi Jayanti

October 2, 2012

My Indian friends have assured me beyond all reasonable doubt that it is not novel to write that India’s liquor sales stop by law on Gandhi Jayanti, the national holiday celebrating the birth of Mohandas K. Gandhi. What was more interesting to me was a note that I read online on Tuesday from my friend Anoo Bhuyan:

‘Wives and victories lose their charm,’ just like the coal minister who said so

October 2, 2012

My colleague in the Delhi online newsroom asked me today if I felt offended by coal minister Shriprakash Jaiswal’s comment that “wives and victories lose their charm when they become old.” It’s like the remark that John Huston made to Jack Nicholson in “Chinatown” — “Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they last long enough” — but it’s not funny.

Hindi, Tamil and English: linguistic lessons in pragmatism

September 28, 2012

Press Council of India Chairman and former Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju has lived in India all his life, but he made a two-part statement on Sept. 20 that sounds like the kind of innocent remark that would land a visitor like me in trouble.

from The Human Impact:

In India, rapists walk free as victims “shamed” into suicide

September 25, 2012

Of course, it's hard to imagine being raped (and who would want to). But just for a minute try and think about it.

Political crisis in India: Mamata Banerjee moves out, UPA should move forward

September 18, 2012

It wasn’t unexpected. After more than three long years of association with the UPA II coalition government, key ally Mamata Banerjee is taking her name off the lease, packing up her things and getting ready to move out. Whether she has taken Congress’ chances for holding power in India with her depends on how strong — and willing — the party’s other friends are.

Anti-Islam film sparks second day of protests in Chennai

September 15, 2012

Chennai is dealing with a second day of protests against the United States over a film that Muslims say insults the Prophet Mohammad, following an attack on the U.S. consulate on Friday that prompted 86 arrests.

India and the art of the 24-hour economic reform

September 14, 2012

It’s not every day that India makes such a dramatic move as raising diesel prices, or allowing foreign direct investment in its debt-walloped passenger airlines. It’s certainly not every day that it caps this 24-hour period by allowing foreign investment in retail businesses.

Bold move on diesel, but hold the rollback

September 14, 2012

Sometimes the government does what it promises. India raised diesel prices by 5 rupees per litre on Thursday in a move guaranteed to alienate the common man, but please foreign investors, oil marketing companies and ratings agencies.