India Insight

Why does Mahendra Singh Dhoni need a gun?

Two images have seared themselves into my mind. The first is the brutal treatment meted out to a young girl working as a domestic maid in Gurgaon. I didn’t really know what beaten black-and-blue meant. Until I saw her photograph.

The other image was even more nauseating by virtue of being captured on video. Students armed with sticks rained blows on other students in Tamil Nadu as the police merely looked on.

Violence in domestic and student life is not something new. But what hit me was the nonchalance of the police — it was so in contrast with my own wincing reaction I could not shrug the image off.

Over the years, we have learned to settle personal scores with violence. It is almost a rite of passage. In almost every family, there is someone who has earned bragging rights for having beaten up somebody.

Is violence so much a part of Indian life? Our epics are full of violence in the service of a ‘just’ cause. But is being violent part of our cultural DNA? Probably not.

The night bombs scarred my son’s dreams

The other night I was surprised to see my seven-year-old son walk out of bed, shivering, crying and barely able to speak.

Calming down after 10 minutes, he said that he was getting regular nightmares about bomb blasts.

India has seen a series of bombings in recent years, this year serial blasts have rocked three major cities.