Ashok Gehlot: The Desert Fox

Sure, the Jodhpur-born two-time Chief Minister of Rajasthan (1998- 2003 and 2008-2013) has over time pulled off several magic-like tricks in politics that have helped him rein in rivals and rise rapidly in the party, especially in the 1970s and 1980s when Indira Gandhi and son Rajiv were party chiefs. Currently national general secretary of … Continue reading Ashok Gehlot: The Desert Fox

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Radicalisation of the Kashmiri Mind

THE FAMED BLUE SKIES of the Valley are dotted with ominous clouds as I wait with my photographer colleague outside ward No 8 of the worn-down Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) in Srinagar for Dr Adil Ashraf, president of the resident doctors association. On the wall ahead of us is a warning scribbled in … Continue reading Radicalisation of the Kashmiri Mind

Can BHU be Redeemed as the University Turns 100?

An apocryphal story goes that an enthusiastic Palestinian student who came to study Hindu Philosophy at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) returned home a few months later because he was convinced he had greater access to Hindu scriptures and literature in libraries in the Middle East than the place he once considered the ‘Mecca of Hindu … Continue reading Can BHU be Redeemed as the University Turns 100?

Nicolas Hénin: ‘France Should Not Make the Mistake the US Made After 9/11’

French journalist Nicolas Hénin wrote the best-selling Jihad Academy: The Rise of Islamic State after he was released by ISIS in April last year, 10 months after they captured him from the Syrian town of Raqqa and held him in inhuman conditions. He was held hostage along with James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Alan Henning and … Continue reading Nicolas Hénin: ‘France Should Not Make the Mistake the US Made After 9/11’

How Emigrants from Madhapar in Gujarat Made It One of Asia’s Richest Towns

When he is in Madhapar—and he is here every October without fail—what Laalji Patel loves most are those lazy mornings he spends at the vathan, a windy open space lined with neem trees and populated by cool- headed, friendly cows. Here he plays cards with friends, who he has known since primary school, until it … Continue reading How Emigrants from Madhapar in Gujarat Made It One of Asia’s Richest Towns

War Room: The People, Tactics and Technology Behind Narendra Modi’s 2014 Win (Roli Books)

In May 2014, the largest democracy in the world chose a dynamic leader in an election that broke several barriers, records and traditions. Narendra Modi’s rise from being a tea vendor to Prime Minister is the stuff of legend. But the real story lies behind the scenes. It is a tale of ambitious planning, clockwork … Continue reading War Room: The People, Tactics and Technology Behind Narendra Modi’s 2014 Win (Roli Books)