Shiv Visvanathan


Shiv Visvanathan

Fable for democracy

One of the eeriest ironic stories I have read recently is by the Portuguese novelist, Jose Saramango. The novel, titled Seeing is a story of an unnamed country which decides to hold an election.

New India will vote for a new idea

The 2014 election is a landmark of its kind. It is different in many ways and we have to savour every little difference to grasp the new texture of the historical. The future seems to have arrived and, as a novelist explained, this future is a different country where people do things differently.

Murder between fiction and fact

Everyone loves a good detective story. The beauty of a detective story is that it combines science and ethics to restore a disrupted case of law and order. Usually it begins with a murder, unfolds through a whole list of suspects and then comes the detective who restores truth and justice, law and order.

A moment of forgiveness

Violence is often an unfinished story not only because of victims it leaves behind, but because of the silences and emptiness it creates. Often the victim virtually fades into oblivion, waiting for justice. One thinks of caste atrocities accompanied by rape and arson.

The politics and power of words

Language can be life-giving or lethal. Languages are ways of life that give meaning to any activity or event. Politics is often a battle of words, often, in fact, a wordy battle.

The family and other VIPs

Indian society is often like a zoo, with a collection of animals selected for survival. I am not saying anyone of these is an Indian invention. But I must confess that the Indian variant is a peculiarly potent kind.

AAP’s battle hymns

A wise man once said political parties and movements are like a collection of punctuation marks. During the initial euphoria, one greets them with exclamation and interjection marks.

The silence of Muzaffarnagar

If you were to ask most citizens what the most exciting event of the year was, most would talk excitedly about the rule of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Kejriwal: The power of the commonplace

Politics often deals with the unbelievable. It turns somersaults which are unpredictable and yet look inevitable in retrospect.

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.

Of late, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been thoughtlessly and in a hurry jumping into every available situation, without verifying basic facts, to criticise the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Madhu Kishwar, as the editor of Manushi, set the feminism agenda for many Indian women decades ago. Madhu Kishwar as chief media admirer of prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi is another story completely. The first Kishwar has been declared missing, never to be found.