Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Sunanda Datta.jpg

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.

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.

Why terrorism has an Islamic stamp

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


Kashmir’s history is dotted with natural calamities and man-made disasters. And over the centuries the people of Jammu and Kashmir have perfected the art of rising from the ashes. They have seen famines and epidemics, floods and earthquakes, blazes and mayhem, organised violence and massacres, forced and voluntary migrations, incarcerations and worse.