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Strategic partnership with UAE is India's moment

Sunday, 05 Feb 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with UAE is India's opportunity to forge a regional order that looks beyond a moribund SAARC weighed down by a cussed Pakistan, based on prosperity, stability and tolerance It's a tough choice to decide as to what is the most memorable sight in Abu Dhabi, the largest of...

Consumed by prejudices against the West, India

Sunday, 22 Jan 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

It would be erroneous to trace the Muslim rage that we see to post-9/11 American policy and the war on terror waged by President George W Bush. It predates 9/11 and, according to a Muslim writer, has to do with Israel Strolling along a flagstoned Byzantine lane in the Arab quarter...

‘Problem is that other cultures want Islam to accept them ... Freedom for Muslims is not absolute, it is defined by Islam'

Sunday, 15 Jan 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

Dr Abbas Shoman, deputy Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, the world's oldest surviving university and global centre of Islamic theology, talks about Muslim Brotherhood, terrorism, Middle East in turmoil, Islam and democracy, and related contentious issues, in a conversation that happened in Cairo Al Azhar is the oldest Islamic seminary in...

The Empire's Second City is now a second-grade city

Sunday, 11 Dec 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

Calcutta was fashioned after London. But while the towering facades of Victorian buildings still stand tall and proud in the Empire’s First City, in Kolkata, the iconic New Market has been allowed to fall apart Sir Stuart Saunders Hogg didn’t quite have native shoppers in mind when he built Kolkata’s New...

Do you even know the story of National Anthem?

Sunday, 04 Dec 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

What is now the National Anthem of the Republic of India is the first stanza of a five-stanza Brahmo Sangeet or psalm. It was composed by Tagore on December 11, 1911, in adulation of Para Brahma Every time the National Anthem is in the news, as it is now courtesy the...

So Manmohan lived for his present, not India’s future?

Sunday, 27 Nov 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

As Prime Minister, he didn't even bother to change the dressing of the maggot-infested cake. Theft turned into robbery and robbery into loot. His utterance may have been slip of a mind haunted by scams of his time Ages ago there was a Hindi film called, Kasme Vaade, starring Amitabh Bachchan,...

In Hillary's defeat, three lessons for our politicians

Sunday, 13 Nov 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

The US presidential election has three lessons for India's politicians — conceit can make you feel bigger than life; trust opinion polls only to a point; leaders must desist from talking down to people and labelling them as the ‘other' So the long and tortuous presidential election in the United States...

Tata versus Mistry. Is it indeed a capital crisis?

Sunday, 30 Oct 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

We don’t have to constantly look critically at ourselves while wearing baseball caps the wrong side front. Corporate and commonplace life in India is layered and have a million shades of grey. Leave it that way In his latest article, published in The Indian Express on Friday, noted commentator Pratap Bhanu...

Transforming India by feeding a billion aspirations

Sunday, 16 Oct 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

Simple living, high thinking was a mantra of sorts. Being spartan was fashionable. Mahatma Gandhi would not have approved any deviation from the Biblical strait and the narrow. In a sense, being un-rich was nice I once read a scintillating article by poet-writer-filmmaker Pritish Nandy. Titled ‘The way we are today’,...

Durga comes home for an all too brief visit

Sunday, 09 Oct 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

Over the years life has changed in India, so has the way we celebrate our festivals. Tradition is hostage to a long-forgotten past. What remains unchanged is the blossoming of kaash phool Where I live, far away from the madding crowds, kaash phool grows in great abundance in vacant housing plots,...

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