Shiv Visvanathan

shivvis.JPG

Shiv Visvanathan

The story of Kashmir, in pellets and stones

There’s an old Chinese quotation that quietly claims one picture is worth a thousand words. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a cartoon is sometimes worth more.

The difficulty of being Indian

The other day I was thinking of a teacher of mine, who was a strange mix of a philosopher and a sociologist.

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.

“Grab ‘em by the *****, their hearts and minds will follow.” — An American soldier, Vietnam, circa 1960s

After hearing the Pakistan PM’s ramblings on Kashmir at the UN General Assembly last week, one began to wonder how “sharif” (civil or civilised) Nawaz Sharif could possibly be, with or without officia