Shiv Visvanathan


Shiv Visvanathan

The lost magic of time

This essay is an attempt to establish ideas against the mainstream.

Budget musings

Years ago, a wise political scientist reprimanded me for my lack of interest in the Union Budget. I saw the Budget as a fait accompli.

My name is Khan, and I am Indian

Shah Rukh Khan is one of the world’s most popular actors. If the New York Times is allowed its claim to excess, he is the world’s most popular actor. Shah Rukh is an intelligent man who reflects on acting and his life and this produces its own script. Between script and act, we get sociology of script and act. We also get sociology of our own worst fears and anxieties produced around the word “Muslim”.

Fun with science

The Indian Science Congress is a venerable ritual. It is an annual Kumbh of Indian scientists, a professional circus, though the Kumbh is better organised and has deeper memories. Today the Indian Science Congress sounds dated and yet it had its moments of romance.

Dreams of childhood

Every time I pass by a school, I shudder. I feel schools are institutions meant to destroy childhood. I remember my years as a child in a small town called Jamshedpur. It was a snooty, well-heeled company town but it allowed for innocence and dreamtime.

Is Gujarat a suitable model for India?

Narendra Modi’s victory for the third time in Gujarat is a moment of triumph that is an invitation for reflection. The question to ponder is not why Mr Modi won but what are the consequences of Mr Modi’s victory. One has to ask what it means for Gujarat and India.

Delhi is sad, angry, and rightfully so!

Politics has a way of stereotyping responses. The older generation expected politics to be collectively organised and articulated through trade unions and political parties. Or as social movements. All these responses look outdated as we watch the recent protests against gangrape in Delhi.

The Babri memory

Babri Masjid is today a photo-montage of images, with each image capturing one angle of a strange and kaleidoscopic event. Babri is also a failure of storytelling because each separate story demands a different sense of ending, and a different idea of consequences.

The modified Modi

Narendra Modi is not just a political fact, he is one of India’s most interesting political fables. He is a man who created his own style of politics by divorcing himself from politics. This statement might sound contradictory but it needs to be understood to understand the current success of Modi.

Yash Chopra and the alchemy of romance

This essay is not a film review. A review of Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ) would be mundane, even harsh. This essay is a tribute to a man, Yash Chopra, and the worlds of romance he chose to construct.

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.