If India is the future, worry about its 1%

India is often heralded as the great hope of the democratic state in the 21st century. Let the wonderful Arundhati Roy, writing in Outlook, show you otherwise: Is it a house or a home? A temple to the new India, or a warehouse for its ghosts? Ever since Antilla arrived on Altamont Road in Mumbai,…

What the internet can (and cannot) do to hasten revolutions

My book The Blogging Revolution was recently released in India in an updated edition.…  Here’s a pretty good review of it by J Jagannath in a leading Indian newspaper, Business Standard: The little spark that the Tunisian fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi ignited in December 2010 to torch himself in retaliation against corruption has engulfed the…

The out of control drone future

So this is where our supposed civilised world is heading. A disturbing piece in the weekend’s New York Times: At the Zhuhai air show in southeastern China last November, Chinese companies startled some Americans by unveiling 25 different models of remotely controlled aircraft and showing video animation of a missile-armed drone taking out an armored…

This is how writers with spine relate to the real world

Literary events aren’t devoid of real world politics (well, they shouldn’t be, anyway). The recent cancellation of a proposed Kashmir literature event was a stunning example of such issues being brought into the public domain. One of the key players behind protesting the event, Basharat Peer, writes wonderfully in The Hindu about why he acted…

Kashmir writer’s festival over before it began

As someone who believes in the responsibility of artists and intellectuals to take a stand against tyranny, this news is positive: Indian-administered Kashmir’s first major literature festival has been cancelled after local writers and artists said it would give the false impression that basic freedoms are allowed in the troubled region. The Harud literary festival…

Killing fields of Sri Lanka

Here is the devastating Channel 4 in Britain documentary on the brutal civil war in Sri Lanka. Assisted by China, Israel, India and the US, Colombo murdered over 40,000 Tamil civilians. We will not forget. And we will demand accountability:

We dismiss Wikileaks at our intellectual peril

Last night here in Sydney I helped launch – MC really alongside author Andrew Fowler and journalist Kerry O’Brien – a wonderful new book on Wikileaks and Julian Assange, The Most Dangerous Man in the World. Go buy immediately! What was clear during the discussion was the significance of Wikileaks challenging the media class in…

Wikileaks causes massive waves in India

While the West is focused on bombing Libya, Wikileaks’ cables are convulsing the world’s largest democracy: The Wikileaks’ expose on the cash-for-votes issue paralysed proceedings in Parliament on Tuesday with the Opposition demanding immediate discussion on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on the matter. The Rajya Sabha witnessed three adjournments and the Lok Sabha one…