• Anna Hazare in the Light of Gandhian Ideals

    In the past two weeks, the world was captivated by the bitter confrontation between the Indian government and a short, bespectacled, seventy-four-year-old man called Anna Hazare, a self-styled anti-corruption crusader.  On August 16th, Hazare’s arrest and internment in Tihar jail, South Asia’s largest complex of high-security prisons, sparked candlelit marches across the country, leading a […]

  • India’s ‘World Class’ Heist: What the Commonwealth Games Audit Shows

    This has been a turbulent week in India.  On August 5th, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India released its final report on the 2010 Commonwealth Games, placing it before the parliament. No one expected good news.  The games, which were held in Delhi last October, have been under a cloud of corruption and […]

  • India’s Easy Villains: Why the Indian Government’s Concessions on Corruption Will Achieve Very Little

    When India’s disgraced sports tsar, Suresh Kalmadi, walked into a New Delhi court on the morning of April 26th, a chappal (open-toed shoe) hurled at him missed by a few inches, “robbing him,” as the Calcutta Telegraph gleefully reported, of his “all seasons grin.” Kalmadi, the chief organizer of the 2010 Commonwealth Games and President […]

  • The 2010 Commonwealth Games: Delhi’s Worrying Transformation

    Amid spells of heavy monsoon rain and sticky, sweltering heat, Delhi is an anxious city, struggling to meet a deadline.  Preparations are furiously underway for the nineteenth Commonwealth Games, to be held in town in less than three months (from October 3-14).  Delhi residents expect that their upturned streets, recurrent blackouts and impassable traffic jams […]

  • Toronto G20: Remembering Politics, Celebrating Activism

    As news of the G20’s Toronto Summit recedes from the headlines, which memories shall prevail?  The answer to this question will not only shape official decisions, such as whether allegations of police brutality are seriously investigated, but may also have a profound impact on the political sensibilities of a generation of Canadians.  Given the constant […]

  • Hollywood’s Predatory Altruism

    The unusually lengthy list of nominees for this year’s Best Picture Oscar features a slew of do-gooder films about the suffering of others.  Most are about people who’re at a considerable cultural distance from the white, middle-class Americans who are the primary consumers of these films. Lee Daniel’s Precious transports us to Harlem, to the […]

  • The Resurrection of India’s Congress Party — A Worrying Road Ahead

    On May 16th, some 60 percent of India’s 714 million-strong electorate delivered a definitive victory to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), giving it a commanding 262 seats in India’s 543-member parliament.  The UPA’s principal opponent, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), took a severe beating, dropping down […]

  • The World Bank’s Reforms: Different Image, Same Tune?

    The World Bank’s Board of Governors has approved the first of a series of reforms aimed at amplifying the voice and influence of developing countries inside the World Bank Group.  The centrepiece of these much-awaited reforms, announced in mid-February, is an additional seat for Sub-Saharan Africa on the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, a change […]