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Mumbai Notebook by Anil Dharker

July 11, 2019 Multi-crore cricket betting racket busted, two arrested’. That was the headline of a newspaper story half-way through the World Cup. The article talked about a police raid on a Grant Road hotel; apart from the two young men who were caught, all the paraphernelia of betting rackets was there. As a matter […]

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On Stage by Anil Dharker

July 2019 Last month the great playwright Girish Karnad passed away. Later in June, Amitav Ghosh, one of our very best novelists, was given the Jnanpith Award. Apart from their eminence, did the two writers have something in common? It could have been language; Amitav was the first English language writer to win in the […]

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Girish Karnad by Anil Dharker

Girish Karnad, without doubt, was one of the greatest literary figures of Indian literature. Uniquely, he also had a versatility which made him a true Renaissance man. A quick look at his CV confirms this: Playwright, translator, film director and actor, screenplay writer, Director of FTII in Pune, Director of the Nehru Centre in London […]

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Mumbai Notebook by Anil Dharker

Not surprisingly, our Literature Live! Evenings launched a spate of political books in quick succession during the period of elections. There was Yashwant Sinha’s ‘India Unmade: How the Modi Government Broke the Economy’, P. Chidambaram’s ‘Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India’, Navin Chawla’s ‘Every Vote Counts: The Story of India’s Elections’,  Prannoy Roy and Dorab Sopariwala’s […]

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Mumbai Notebook by Anil Dharker

When protests against the Coastal Road project started, most people dismissed them saying, “Aha, the privileged folk with sea-side apartments are up in arms because they are affected!” It was reminiscent of protests against the Pedder Road redevelopment plan when residents of expensive buildings on that road came together to become single-cause activists. It`s a truism all […]

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A Battle for India’s Soul by Shashi Tharoor

Every Indian general election beats its predecessor’s record to become the largest in world history. This time, Indian voters must decide whether they want an inclusive country that embodies hope, or a divided one that promotes fear.   NEW DELHI – As India gears up for its general election, one must not lose sight of […]

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Mumbai Notebook by Anil Dharker

March 20, 2019 Do people need to die for Swachh Bharat even if it is the Prime Chowkidar`s pet project? That, at least, was the excuse being bandied about after the foot over bridge (FOB) near VT/CST collapsed and six people died, with 31 injured. Apparently, towards the end of 2016, the rail terminus was […]

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India’s China Problem in Pakistan by Shashi Tharoor

The deadly terrorist attack in Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir last month has triggered renewed questions about China’s continued protection of the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. Will China continue to block international sanctions against JeM’s leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, who has claimed credit for the attack? NEW DELHI – One can only hope that the latest […]

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[Video] Straddling Three Spheres : A Straight Talk by Stephen Daldry

Stephen Daldry is not a writer. But he is a storyteller, often being inspired by literary works such as in The Hours or The Reader. He uses the actor as his pen and the stage or screen as his parchment. However, it is not easy working across all three mediums. How do the audience expectations […]

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On Stage by Anil Dharker

“Does a thousand-year-old sculpture worshipped in a thriving religion belong to a foreign museum or to the temple from which it was extracted?” That`s Shashi Tharoor in his Empire-bashing mood. The British Museum had just posted on-line its prized sandstone sculpture, saying “sculptural pieces like this, once decorated the outside of temples. Here the gods […]

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Pakistan’s 50-year self-destruction in blood-feud with India & how Imran Khan can halt it by Shekhar Gupta

There are two challenges when you talk about Pakistan today. First, whether you focus on the history, geography or politics. And second, whatever tack you choose, where do you begin? I could have begun this National Interest, for example, with 2019, today, as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman returned home. I could have also chosen 2009, […]

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