Jayanthi Natarajan

Jayanthi Natarajan

Jayanthi Natarajan

The Walk & the talk

I was not particularly astonished to find that the word “slut” does not have a male equivalent. In many languages other than English, there is no male word for “prostitute” or “widow”. Thus the entire debate over the “slut walk” is obviously centred on the rights and current disempowerment of women.

Why this civil unrest?

The cameras did not flash in the room just a few feet away from the deluxe ward where Baba Ramdev broke his fast in the Himalayan hospital of Dehra Dun where Swami Nigmananda died, after having been on a fast for 115 days against illegal mining on the banks of river Ganga in Hardwar.

Those were salad days

Yesterday was the World Environment Day. In India, it passed without too much notice thanks to Baba Ramdev sitting on a fast to ask that black money should be brought back to India, and the entire Indian media camped inside his tent. Indeed, the attention of the country has been focused upon Baba for the last few days. And the media — which is at the mercy of that powerful remote control — urgently feels the need to concentrate on what everyone else is doing.

Diabolical designs

According to news reports, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has taken to the streets in Karnataka, demanding the recall of Karnataka governor H.R. Bhardwaj. BJP leaders claim that they have a massive majority and that Mr Bhardwaj should immediately call a session of the Karnataka Assembly. There have been impassioned declarations against Mr Bhardwaj

PAC cauldron bubbles

Public memory is not quite so short that we cannot remember how the entire Winter Session of Parliament was washed out due to the Opposition MPs, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left, trooping to the well of both the Houses of Parliament and chanting slogans demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) into the 2G spectrum allocation issue.

Of faith & followers

The passing of Satya Sai Baba has plunged his multitude of devotees into grief and despair. Although many close friends and hundreds of people I know were fanatical devotees, I myself have never been to Puttaparthi, nor have I ever seen the Baba in person. However, there was never a moment in time when the image

Let ideas flow

The news of the week has been Anna Hazare’s fast, and the tremendous media attention, which was focused upon it. The issue of fighting corruption in the public domain finds resonance with every Indian, and most people want to be part of a campaign that fights corruption.

Charitable thoughts

The Indian media has been recently awash with reports regarding the visits of Warren Buffett, and Bill and Melinda Gates and their campaign for The Giving Pledge. As the whole world knows, this is a campaign to persuade the richest people in the world to pledge half their profits to charity and to make the world a better place to live for millions of disadvantaged people. A noble cause, no doubt, and a very praiseworthy effort indeed. Yet, by and large, the visit of Mr Buffett and Mr and Mrs Gates has not left a great impact on the hearts and minds of the Indian people (and, of course, the Indian billionaires).

Inclusive republic of...

The Budget Session of Parliament is always a time when economists, experts, politicians, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and all stakeholders in our society participate in active debates about national economics. How should our public money be spent? What should our priorities be? And it is eternally interesting for me as a non-expert politician to absorb and understand the vast rainbow of well-argued presentations, with industry leaders at one end of the spectrum and the welfare state (for want of a better word) at the other.

Women seek fair deal

The Union Budget 2011 will be presented in Parliament today. Naturally an important day for every citizen of our country, whose life will be directly impacted by the schemes and taxes and proposals in the Budget. There can be no doubt, however, that the most severely impacted in every section of society, notwithstanding class,

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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.