Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

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Historically challenged

A glittering throne in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace recalled Dr Karan Singh’s comment many years ago when he gave me a copy of Sardar Panikkar’s The Founding of the Kashmir State.

Shopping for divine

No prizes for guessing why the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s N. Srinivasan was seen recently with a bare-bodied priest in a Chennai temple.

Bleak house

The post-election prospect fills me with dismay. The men and women who would rule then are all chiefs with no Indians. That’s what I wrote of the Janata Party in 1977 when Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Jagjivan Ram, Chandra Shekhar and others were all prime ministers-in-waiting.

Wonder woman

Mamata Banerjee must be one of the very few women politicians of consequence to have risen to the position she occupies without the help of a man.

Household and other names

A reader’s correction to my column, Saffron Schizophrenia, in this paper (January 21, 2014) reminded me that while we are saddled with surnames, first names allow some personal choice.

Ruthless realpolitik

Do all nation-states originate in conquest and chicanery? Can people of the same colour colonise each other? These questions flashed through my mind when Srinath Raghavan, senior fellow of the Centre for Policy Research and probably the most respected historian of modern India, quoted Edmund Burke’s famous opening words when impeaching Warren Hastings, “There is a sacred veil to be drawn over the beginning of all governments.”

Saffron schizophrenia

If Narendra Modi gets an American visa it will be thanks largely to the diligent efforts of the influential Hindutva lobby in the US.

Death of courtesy

Politeness is hardly a political privilege. But then Jaswant Singh, the Lok Sabha member from Darjeeling, is very different from your average run of politicians. He is a gentleman.

Why terrorism has an Islamic stamp

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

Little Laila was taught that God creates everyone and also leads everyone back to Godself after death. So, she prayed: “Dear God, instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you got now?” Laila’s prayer may never be answered; but, Easter does assure us that life, not death, is what we’re created for.

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.