Shiv Visvanathan

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Shiv Visvanathan

Amitabh, sensuality & the social sciences

One of the exercises I perform daily is to read the newspaper supplement for quotes. I love filmstars and celebrities when they play Socratic.

Sori’s story: How an adivasi turns fugitive

The history of disasters brings with it a new narrative of heroes and heroines, men and women whose life, whatever the flaws, becomes an epic of the times.

It’s time for a debate on GM crops

Two recent events have emphasised the urgency of introducing GM crops on a large scale. The first was a letter by 107 Nobel laureates chiding Greenpeace for criticising the introduction of GM crops.

The power of a verdict

High court verdicts are often good news.

Defeats define Leo legacy

Being a legend is being vulnerable. Legends do not make mistakes unless they are legendary mistakes. They have to redeem them in epic ways. A legend’s mistake haunts an entire nation.

Democracy’s warning signals

Sometimes in the annals of history, a place evokes more emotions than the mere idea of territory.

Re-reading Mathura

In my childhood, one of the most cherished films was by top Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. His Rashomon was something we all saw — it was a mark of our literacy and our cosmopolitanism.

Whither democracy?

There is a celebratory air about the recent elections in West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu that is intriguing. The celebration is at two levels.

The strange case of Kanak Dixit

Nepalese journalist-activist Kanak Mani Dixit, who was arrested on April 22 and released on May 2 on the orders of that country’s Supreme Court, is now free, and it is in the nature of the media to th

The death of the university

The university is one of the strangest, grandest institutions. It is a theatre of knowledge, a site for debates, a custodian of democracy and the epitome of pluralism.

The troubled India-Pakistan relationship and the disturbances in the Kashmir Valley following the July 8 killing of Burhan Wani are eliciting some international attention.

The business of child surrogacy — it is a business, no matter what anyone says — is a problematic one. Questionable ethics, commercial exploitation, specially of poor Indian women and much more.