Compound interest in Myanmar

While the outside world grapples with how much power Myanmar’s new partly civilian government will command, the country’s still ruling generals are literally digging in, taking no chances of a substantial power shift after last November’s general elections.Those who predicted that the blatantly rigged polls would mean something more than further institutionalizing the military regime […]

Why media coverage of natural disasters is flawed

The media generally assume that news of war, crime and natural disasters will always win an audience. "If it bleeds, it leads," is a well-tried adage of American journalism. Of the three categories, coverage of war has attracted criticism for its lies, jingoism and general bias. Crime reporting traditionally exaggerates the danger of violence in […]

Census 2011: Pointing out an anomaly

The census 2011 and the enumeration exercise thereof, has been giving the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste members across the country, a very harrowing time and is set to deprive lakhs of people out of their Schedule Caste/Schedule tribe status. Surely, this has not been done on purpose. However, considering that the Unique Identity Development […]

Amar Chitra Kathakar

My generation, now the forty- somethings, grew up with a series of benevolent uncles. Uncle Badri taught us to draw on national television. Uncle Pai taught us our history, our mythology, and in so doing, had a huge hand in determining how we saw ourselves. But Anant Pai, who died on Thursday after a brief […]

Political Parties in India

There are two types of parties in India. The first category is that which has dynastic control over the leadership and the second is cadre-based parties. Perhaps there is no scope for the third. However, it is also true that at places some cadre-based parties are getting afflicted by dynastic rule, and thus paying the […]

Meet the world’s smallest democratic govt

Just 122 votes were cast in the election which created a “provisional administration in waiting” for the Chagos Islands – the Diego Garcia and Chagos Islands Council – an organisation with a tiny mandate and vast problems stretching all the way to Whitehall and the White House.First, and most pressing, none of its members can […]

The end of Keoladeo’s avian glory?

A serious water crisis at Keoladeo National Park, exacerbated by caste politics and strife, has put its World Heritage Site status at risk. Barely 10% of the migratory birds that used to flock to Bharatpur are to be seen today. How feasible are the solutions proposed? Keoladeo National Park (KNP) in Bharatpur (Rajasthan) has only […]

Food for All

Child undernutrition levels in India are among the highest in the world. This situation has been tolerated for too long, and the National Food Security Act is a unique opportunity for radical change in this field. Even though the National Advisory Committee (NAC) has made some welcome recommendations, we are dismayed to note that children’s […]

US cables' insights into Qadhafi's family

The leader of the Libyan revolution presides over a “famously fractious” family that is powerful, wealthy, dysfunctional and marked by internecine struggles, according to U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. The documents shed light on his eight children. Muammar Qadhafi The patriarch, now 68, was described by U.S. ambassador to Tripoli, Gene Cretz, in 2009 […]

Bid to document endangered languages

You’ll never again hear anyone speaking Laghu, and anyone yearning to communicate in Old Kentish Sign Language is out of luck: it, too, has gone the way of the dodo. But there’s still a chance to track down a conversation in Gamilaraay, or Southern Pomo — if you’re prepared to trek to visit to one […]

Cleaning up

BEING attacked on Fox News was probably the worst, but all the past month has been horrid for the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, backed by $20 billion and one of the world’s biggest do-gooding outfits. Set up in 2002, it is used to appreciative coverage of its efforts to stamp out […]