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Oct 31, 2013
via India Insight

Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh slip in Forbes’ most powerful list


India’s top politicians Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh have fallen out of the top 20 in Forbes’ annual list of the world’s most powerful people.

Gandhi, leader of India’s Congress party, was No. 21 on the 2013 list, down from 12 last year. Prime Minister Singh took the 28th spot in the list, also losing nine spots since 2012.

Jul 16, 2013
via India Insight

In search of the lost telegram


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

I sent my first and last telegram over the weekend, thanks to the flood of newspaper reports that warned of India’s telegraph service winding up after more than 160 years.

My curiosity was fuelled by memories of Bollywood movies from the 1960s and 70s. On receiving a telegram, the hero’s mother either fainted or treated the family to sweetmeats – depending on whether the news was good or bad.

May 30, 2013
via India Insight

Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw among Asia-Pacific’s biggest givers


Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Bollywood mogul Ronnie Screwvala are among the most generous people in the Asia Pacific, according to a Forbes Asia list of the region’s philanthropic heroes.

The annual list, compiled by the magazine for a seventh year, features 48 of the region’s most prominent altruists and will appear in its June 10 issue.

Mar 14, 2013

Book Talk: The tale of an arranged marriage in Pakistan

NEW DELHI, March 14 (Reuters) – Shazaf Fatima Haider was
always interested in how it happened. How strangers met in
contrived settings, were expected to like each other and get

Eventually, the 30-year-old teacher from Karachi saw the
funny side of arranged marriages and cultural backgrounds in
Pakistan and decided it was the perfect subject for her debut
novel, “How It Happened.”

Mar 8, 2013
via India Insight

The comma that let a Malaysian airline sneak in


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes has big plans for his budget airline. This week, the government approved the Malaysian carrier’s proposal to set up a new airline in India with the Tata group – and it happened thanks to a comma.

Feb 22, 2013
via India Insight

Chidambaram may use Morton’s fork to make rich pay


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

The countdown to Budget 2013 has begun, and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram must try to keep India’s fiscal deficit from gaining weight.

One idea we’re hearing a lot lately is turning to India’s super-rich citizens to boost tax revenue and improve the tax-to-GDP ratio. In a television interview aired in January, Chidambaram’s comments on the subject didn’t reveal much, but led to media speculation over higher taxes for the well heeled.

Jan 22, 2013

Childhood memories come alive in 81-year-old’s debut novel

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Writing a novel wasn’t the tough part for Srikumar Sen, a sports journalist. He just didn’t have the time – for a long time.

In fact, it took nearly half a century after he had his idea before he sat down to write. But when he did, the first draft just poured out.

Jun 13, 2012
via India Insight

India’s North Korea envoy: experience preferred, but not essential


Asking someone to represent India in North Korea is a little like belling the cat. Everybody knows they need to pick someone, but no Foreign Service officer wants to go to “godforsaken” Pyongyang.

Finding someone to take the job must have been hard, but was it so hard that they finally had to settle for a stenographer? India’s ministry of external affairs might be wondering the same thing. It is reviewing the appointment of Ajay K. Sharma after some officials raised questions about his qualifications to represent India in the isolated country.

Jun 13, 2012
via India Insight

Earning $1,613 per month and poor? Only if you are Parsi


How poor do you have to be in India to get the government to say you’re poor? The Indian government used to say that 28.6 rupees (51 cents) a day or less for urban Indians — about 858 rupees or $15.30 a month was about right. Activists for the poor said that it was unrealistic to think that people who were making more than that amount a day were well off.

As a government-appointed commission works on defining a new poverty line, it might want to consult India’s Parsis, descendants of Zoroastrians who migrated to India from Persia (present-day Iran) several centuries ago.

May 13, 2012

Book Talk: Rupa Bajwa on ‘Tell Me a Story’

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Eight years after her acclaimed debut with ‘The Sari Shop’, Rupa Bajwa is back with a novel about the daily lives of India’s lower middle class.

Set partly in Amritsar and partly in New Delhi, Bajwa’s ‘Tell Me a Story’ focuses on Rani, a young woman who works in the local beauty parlour and is in love with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. Rani’s dreams are shattered when her family is torn asunder in their struggle to make ends meet.

    • About Tony

      "Tony Tharakan is Editor, India Online and looks after the Reuters India website, managing the desk's 24/7 operations in New Delhi. He has been with Reuters since September 2006 and has previously worked with The Times of India and Press Trust of India. He holds post-graduate degrees in journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and in English from Hindu College, Delhi University."
      Joined Reuters:
      September 2006
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