Shadow Power

BOOK REVIEW [First published in Biblio – A Review of Books dated Jan.-Mar. 2019] On January 26, 2019, India observed its 70th year as a constitutional republic. The country celebrated the Constitution of India as a document that empowers Indian citizens to chart their own path to progress, in which their rights (‘Fundamental Rights’) are upheldContinue reading “Shadow Power”

Bashar al-Assad must be brought to justice, says brave Syrian journalist

(First published in The Hindu Sunday magazine dated Nov. 18, 2018) Her hazel eyes have witnessed utmost suffering. Yet Kholoud Waleed remains stoic as she narrates the story of how her world turned upside down in March 2011, when the Syrian people started an uprising against the country’s dictatorial regime led by Bashar al-Assad. AnContinue reading “Bashar al-Assad must be brought to justice, says brave Syrian journalist”

A fig leaf for the world’s woes

[Long version of essay first published in The Hindu’s blog thREAD] Seventy years after it was founded, the United Nations continues to function on a budget lesser than that of New York City’s. Where is this global organisation headed? Vidya Venkat When I was a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl preparing for my All-India UN Information Test, knowingContinue reading “A fig leaf for the world’s woes”

Commonwealth must honour its own commitments

[First published in Groundviews] The choice of Sri Lanka as a venue for CHOGM 2013 has always remained controversial.  Two weeks from now, the Heads of Government of 53 Commonwealth countries will congregate in Colombo’s Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall to discuss, among other things, the Commonwealth’s commitment towards the promotion of human rights, democracyContinue reading “Commonwealth must honour its own commitments”

Daughters in the mill

[First published in Frontline magazine in October 2007] Thousands of teenaged girls are exploited for labour in the textile mills of Tamil Nadu “Earn Rs.40,000. Work as an apprentice for three years,” said the bold print in Tamil on the colour pamphlet. This was “a unique opportunity for young women”, it said. There were otherContinue reading “Daughters in the mill”