The Corruption Carnival

27 09 2011

The Anna Hazare fronted anti-corruption movement has been successful in pushing the locus of Indian politics to the right. Will it also succeed in defeating the Congress led United Progressive Alliance in the next general elections and putting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh backed Bharatiya Janata Party into power? That remains an open question. Read the rest of this entry »

Brothers in Arms: The Tragedy of China and Tibet

1 04 2008


On 6th March this year over 4,000 workers of the Casio Electronics Company’s factory in Panyu, China marched the streets and fought battles with over 1,000 riot police. The workers had come out in spontaneous protest when they realised that while they had been given a 90 yuan raise in their wages, the company had cut between 80 to 150 yaun from their bonuses and their “official” trade union had acquiesced in this daylight robbery. They did what any self respecting worker would and refused to work, came out of their factory and were marching towards the Mayor’s office. They were met by a wall of riot police and other security officers who dispersed them with baton charges in which about two dozen workers, including women, were injured.

This was no flash in the pan incident. Over the past decade and more workers, farmers and students are increasingly coming out on the streets to protest and often turning violent. Almost always, their protests are met with severe police action and an information black-out in the Chinese media which is dutifully replicated in the West’s free media. Read the rest of this entry »

Evaluating China’s Role in Tibet

18 03 2008


The recent protests in Tibet have again put the spotlight firmly on China and its politics. By global standards, both the violence and the Chinese Government’s efforts to control it are not unprecedented. More people die in the US colonies of Iraq and Palestine in a week than have been reported killed in Tibet over the past week by even staunchly pro-Tibet information sources. Even the information clampdown and externment of foreigners ordered by the Chinese authorities, pales in comparison to the track record of the US and its allies in media manipulation. Moreover, it is also likely that Governments and media in the US and Europe are encouraging a bigger coverage of the events in Tibet for clearly political reasons. It is easy to do this since unorganised citizen protestors facing heavily armed soldiers and armoured personnel carriers readily lends itself to heroic adulation. Read the rest of this entry »

The Discipline of Spectator Sports

21 03 2007


As we recover from the dismal performances of India and Pakistan in the on-going cricket World Cup, it may be a good time for everyone to take another look at the role spectator sports play in our lives today. It is well known that cricket, the unassailable king among sports in the Subcontinent, rides on and sustains a multi-billion economy, provides super profits to those who own and administer its performances, and gives our people a distraction from the unhappy grind of their daily lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Religious Demography in India

3 03 2007


This is a review of Religious Demography of India, A.P. Joshi, M.D. Srinivas and J.K. Bajaj, Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai, 2003, pp. i-xxii + 358, Rs. 800.

I wrote it in October 2003 when I was working for The Hindu, but unfortunately, it never got published. The issue of “religious demography” remains as important today as ever and the carnards spread by Hindutva propagandists as vile as ever, therefore I am posting this review. Read the rest of this entry »

India Stinking & Dalits in Dravidian Land

21 02 2007

  • Dalits in Dravidian Land: Frontline Reports on Anti-Dalit Violence in Tamil Nadu (1995 – 2004), S. Viswanathan, Navayana, Pondicherry, 2005, pp. xxxviii + 318, Rs. 300.

  • India Stinking: Manual Scavengers in Andhra Pradesh and their Work, Gita Ramaswamy; Navayana, Pondicherry, 2005, pp. xii + 108 + 8 pages colour photos, Rs. 100.

I reviewed these two books together for HardNews magazine in 2006. India Stinking is perhaps a book everyone should read. It documents, in all its horrendousness, both the conditions of life of the shit cleaners as well as social and governmental responses to their existance.

~ ~ ~ Read the rest of this entry »

War and the Media

21 02 2007

This book is a collection of articles by journalists and academicians analysing the role of the media in conflict situations. This review was published in 2005.

War and the Media: Reporting Conflict 24/7, Daya Kishan Thussu, Des Freedman (eds.), Vistaar Publications, New Delhi, 2003, pp. xiii+266. (ISBN: 81-7829-333-1(India-PB)).

Read the rest of this entry »