Shiv Visvanathan

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Shiv Visvanathan

I click, therefore I am

Yearendings are odd times to write thoughtful pieces. As you write them, you want to look back, telescope views across a year to see what’s significant, what’s silly.

The return of AAP

History and newspapers have a tendency to side with victors. When a new regime comes into being, it is declared a fait accompli, an inevitability.

The strange death of cricket

Childhood is eventually a composite of dreams, values, fables, norms that one fashions for oneself.

Congress: Wake up, own up, take charge

A party in doldrums is always an invitation for analysis. The eerie aspect of the Congress’ decline is the reaction to it.

Rituals of cleanliness

Governance as an art form and as a science usually levitates into pomposity of technocratic words. One smells the rituals of decision-making, the power of timetables.

Life in the perpetual Congress-stan

Polling time carries a mark of liminality. It is undecided time, standing at the interlude between campaigning and election results. Every contender, no matter how confident, mimics a question mark.

Gandhi, between hate & cliché

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

The joys of being ‘third class’

Modern theories of efficiency and equality are such that one loses a celebration of the marginal. Ever since socialism, we have removed the category called “third class” from our trains and our lives. As an upwardly mobile nation, we want to travel first class and as a truly global country we want our institutions to be world class. Our presidents and vice-chancellors were upset when they realised that our IITs and IIMs are not world class.

The Babri memory

Babri Masjid is today a photo-montage of images, with each image capturing one angle of a strange and kaleidoscopic event. Babri is also a failure of storytelling because each separate story demands a different sense of ending, and a different idea of consequences.

On the first day of American President Barack Obama’s visit to India, the two most commonly used words were chemistry and optics.

January 27, 2015, was an eventful day. A few events took place almost simultaneously on this day that are likely to impact the future of India’s security and economy.