Mahesh Rangarajan


Mahesh Rangarajan

All the king’s horses

In Masoom (The innocent one), his brilliant debut film as director, Shekhar Kapoor had three children sing a nonsense rhyme, which remains popular to this day. “Lakdi ki kaati, kaati pe ghoda” was an ode to the rocking horse once all too familiar to children across the subcontinent of South Asia.

Let glorious bustard live, fly

The last day of December 1978 found a motley crowd of students and young people — all volunteers of the World Wildlife Fund — at Race Course Road, New Delhi. The conjoint purpose was to meet the external affairs minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to protest against the permission given to Saudi princes to hunt down bustards with falcons in the Thar desert, Rajasthan.

Naturally Nehru

The death anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru is a time to pause and reassess his legacy. For better or worse, he played a key role in the making of modern India and, in more than a tangential way, the world as it is. But even as his record in politics and economics is hotly debated and widely discussed, his

Keeping the stripes on the tiger

News of the new tiger estimation in India, the last stronghold of the great cat, has brought some relief. The numbers are up, though better methods and techniques may have helped. Paradoxically, the same survey shows a shrinkage of the habitat needed to sustain wild populations of the tiger with prey and cover intact.
In a sense the latter matters more than mere numbers. It is easy to ignore but vital to recall that stable breeding populations of a species in secure habitats are more important than absolute numbers.

Nations and Nature

All people everywhere live within the borders of nation states. The web of life, however, knows no such frontiers. Mountain ranges, rivers and glaciers span such man-made lines on the map. Animals, fish and birds walk, swim or fly over them, as the case may be.

India’s green past, barren present

Stuck for an answer about the policies of a king or queen in the dim and distant past, students of history across India fall back on a stock refrain: The ruler is praised for remitting revenues, promo

The Prince and the unicorn

The Timurid prince was amazed by the wonders of India. Crossing the river Indus, he was to recall, you entered not only another country but “another world”. Customs and languages, winds and rains and even plants and animals were all very different from what he and his fellow horse-borne warriors had known earlier.

China’s adorable ambassadors

It was a moment to savour. The First Lady of the United States of America was chatting with China’s Premier at an official banquet. The place and setting were historic. US President Richard Nixon was in Beijing in February 1972 on a visit that would alter the global fault lines of power.
Premier Zhou en Lai, like many of his contemporaries, was a heavy smoker. Pointing to a pack of Chinese cigarettes that depicted two pandas, he said something that led Ms Nixon to scream with joy. Gesturing at the pandas, he said to her, “We will give you two”.

Battles over nature, won and lost

A major project threatens a site vital for natural heritage. Development needs dictate that nothing come in the way of progress. Caution about the web of life imposes on sensibilities another, contrarian reason. Tempers rise. The divide deepens. Each side accuses the other of being short-sighted. Irresistible force meets immovable obstacles.

Gajah: Icon of a new kind

Icons are not new to conservation. But the recent 2010 report of the Elephant Task Force argued that the Asian elephant could serve as an icon of a new kind.

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.