Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Sunanda Datta.jpg

(Un)magical broom

Every time I see images of Narendra Modi surrounded by acolytes sweeping a rubbish-strewn pavement, I ask myself if this drama doesn’t reduce an essential function of civilised life to political tamas

Terrorism & semantics

It was a cliché of the 1960s, the great age of decolonisation, that one man’s freedom fighter was another man’s terrorist. That duality had earlier produced the possibly apocryphal story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt declaring in 1939 that Nicaragua’s dictator Anastasio Somoza “may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch!”

Can Modi make desi better than pardesi?

As commentators trip over each other to applaud Narendra Modi’s first address to the nation as Prime Minister, I must confess to the slight feeling of scepticism that laced my own admiration as I sat glued to the box on August 15.

The diplomat PM

It was a nice touch for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include the young Nepalese he has befriended in his team to Kathmandu.

Tracks of diplomacy

Much as I am tempted to see the fuss over Ved Pratap Vaidik’s posturing as a warning against busybodies and meddlers, wholesale condemnation of what is known as Track Two diplomacy might be unfair.

To China, via Tibet

A group of red-robed monks waited in a curve of the road that wound up from Teesta towards Gangtok. A Kalimpong lama had died, my Nepalese Hindu driver said indifferently.

To China, via Tibet

A group of red-robed monks waited in a curve of the road that wound up from Teesta towards Gangtok. A Kalimpong lama had died, my Nepalese Hindu driver said indifferently. “They are waiting for him.” It wasn’t until a day later that I learnt the deceased monk was Kunzig Shamar Rinpoche, the 14th Red Hat Lama, a powerful prelate whose passing, on June 11, can have repercussions on Himalayan religious politics.

Why terrorism has an Islamic stamp

A Muslim is not a terrorist. A terrorist is not a Muslim”.

Foreign funding of NGOs is a topic that never seems to lose currency.

The recent comments of Justice Markandey Katju, a retired Supreme Court judge, in support of the uniform civil code on the ground that the Muslim personal law is “barbaric, backward and unjust” has ra