Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Sunanda Datta.jpg

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.

Colourblind kingdom

A Muslim and a Sikh in a tight hug would be a stagy illustration of communal harmony in India. But the picture I mean was published in London’s Evening Standard newspaper last Friday. The intention was not to highlight inter-religious cordiality but the Labour Party’s success in Britain’s current municipal elections.

Of past glories

Greece brings to mind the late Nani A. Palkhivala’s fear that a nation that had peaked once would never be great again. He was speaking of India but my expensive hotel clinging to the mountainside above the Aegean Sea in the Greek island of Santorini reminded me of the remark.

Waiting for history to be rewritten

If there is a change of government in New Delhi, we will probably see many historical events presented in new garb. History is bunk, according to Henry Ford. It would be more accurate to say history is how the victor sees events and wants posterity to see them.

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.

Why terrorism has an Islamic stamp

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

The conscience of Justice Markandey Katju, dormant for over 10 years, erupted recently, throwing out allegations against everyone around him — mostly in the nature of ipse dixit. His targets — three former Chief Justices of India in the collegium (Justices R.C. Lahoti, Y.K. Sabharwal and K.G. Balakrishnan) that could have but did not select Justice Katju to the Supreme Court in 2004 or earlier.

If you care about India’s children, prepare to shed a tear now. If you care about Gujarat’s children, prepare to cry buckets now. Because Dinanath Batra, ace scholar, perfervid activist, slayer of Donigers, is a revered figure in the schools of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s motherland.