The Banality of Government Advertising

A few weeks back, major newspapers carried a two page ad for the Ministry of Tourism that was really a brochure for its Minister, Dr K Chiranjeevi. It contained 11 photographs of the megastar, doing various things. A couple of weeks of ago, we saw another two page advertising salvo, ostensibly to express solidarity with… Read more »

The Politics of Representation

One of the recurring themes in the debates that have surrounded the Anna Hazare led movement against corruption is the supremacy of the Parliament by virtue of its being the only genuine representative of the aspirations of the people of the country. This is a powerful argument, for in a country as large as India,… Read more »

Why the world is so angry?

Across the world, a wave of anger seems to be rising as a tide doing someone’s bidding. Its not just the reaction of those who have been ruled by tyrants for decades, although that clearly seems to help; we also saw this anger on display in the UK during the riots that had analysts scrape… Read more »

A deity in a cape & the eternal pedestrian in chappals

No two women are more different or more alike than Jayalalitha & Mamata Banerjee, both victors by landslide majorities yesterday. Both come from humble backgrounds, have fought long and hard as outsiders in a world that has been implacably opposed to them and both have shunned dependence on others, particularly, men. Both have learned to… Read more »

Civil disobedience, middle class style

Mass protests have, historically, been used by the truly powerless. But beginning with the Jessica Lall verdict, there’s a change in the profile of the protestor and in the nature of the protest itself. Aided by media, it is now the middle class that is leading the charge. It is spring again for protests laced… Read more »

Politics as business

What does a politician wake up at night worrying about? Is he likely to be agonising about bettering the lot of the marginal farmer or going over the draft legislation of some new policy in his mind? Or is he likelier to be worried sick about the turnout at a rival’s rally, or counting his… Read more »