General

A tin can tied to a dog’s tail. An overwhelmed Rabindranath Tagore thus described the euphoria surrounding his Nobel Prize in Literature 103 years ago. “The perfect whirlwind of public excitement it has given rise to is frightful,” he wrote in a letter to close friend William Rothenstein, the English painter and intellectual who played…

Read more A tin can tied to a dog’s tail: Tagore’s post-Nobel experience

Arnab Goswami “throws out” actor Mita Vashist, a panellist and an invited guest, from his show and Twitterverse has erupted in a frenzy of ecstasy at the anchor’s heroic deed. They are celebrating that she got her “comeuppance”. I did not watch that debate (I don’t watch Arnab Goswami’s shows. I am too weak for that). And I do…

Read more Arnab ‘throws out’ a TV guest, and how does that make him look?

Not happy with the government? Angry with the pizza deliverer? Got a headache? Baby’s irresistible in her new dress? Or, simply feeling like a poem? For every situation, there’s social media to bank on. Put it up on Facebook, or Twitter, or other such places. Grievances may still remain and anger may amplify, but you are still happy; happy that you’ve…

Read more Connecting people in war zone

Joseph Nye defined soft power as “the ability to get what you want through attraction rather than coercion or payments.” Ever since Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister and began travelling the world on carefully scripted, much publicized missions, a lot is being spoken about the country’s soft power – how the land of the…

Read more ‘If India wants to be taken seriously internationally it has to deal with its fault lines’

Last month, I attended a weekly rally of the infamous Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West, better known as Pegida, a far-right organisation that shot into news last year for its mass demonstrations against “Islamisation” of Germany. I had a long conversation with its founder Lutz Bachmann and leader Tatjana Festerling. Both were…

Read more Germany’s anti-Islamist group has a new hero: Narendra Modi