Arcot: The Prototype of Divide-And-Rule

WHEN THE CURRENT prince of Arcot, Mohammed Abdul Ali, called on Pranab Mukherjee soon after he became President in mid-2012, the Congress veteran and former Union minister welcomed him to Rashtrapati Bhavan with a gleeful remark: “It is because of you people that British ruled India.” Ali didn’t say a word but grinned because he … Continue reading Arcot: The Prototype of Divide-And-Rule

Caste Politics: The Disillusionment Behind the Dalit Resurgence

FILMMAKER STALIN K’S AWARD-WINNING 2007 documentary on untouchability, India Untouched, features a Varanasi priest, Batuprasad Sharma Shatri, who declares animatedly before the camera that only animals use intelligence while human beings fall back on ancient textbooks for answers about life. “Therefore, I believe in caste and untouchability,” he announces with a melodramatic flourish, dismissing the … Continue reading Caste Politics: The Disillusionment Behind the Dalit Resurgence

Cho Ramaswamy: The Provocateur

IN AN INTERVIEW to the peripatetic French filmmaker Louis Malle, who had travelled across India to produce the stunning documentary series L’Inde Fantôme (‘Phantom India’) in 1968, a young and dashing ‘Cho’ Ramaswamy talked about the eccentric 14th century Delhi sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq, and the eponymous play he had penned to satirise the Congress … Continue reading Cho Ramaswamy: The Provocateur