Remembering Maqbool Fida Hussain – Shashi Tharoor శనివారం, జూన్ 9 2012 

M.F. Husain
Artist, 95


I first met M.F. Husain in New York when he was already a legend — “India’s Picasso,” the barefoot reinventor of Indian traditions through his prolific and iconoclastic paintbrush. We collaborated on a book about my home state of Kerala — 22 of his fine paintings together with my prose — and formed a friendship that was to last nearly two decades, till his passing at a youthful 95.

In an astonishing 60,000 paintings, sketches and murals Husain created an artistic idiom that was instantly recognizable as his — the Cubist slashes, the splashes of vivid colour, the variety of sources of Indian inspiration, especially from Hindu mythology, to whose richness and diversity he brought worldwide appreciation. His output was so prodigious that some of it is uneven. His restless creativity and desire to experiment in other fields led him to become a filmmaker, without conspicuous success, as well as to dabble in poetry and photography, architecture and even furniture-making. This was imaginative energy bubbling over, a zest for life he carried to his deathbed. It was a measure of how youthful he was in his 90s — sprightly, without stick or hearing-aid, fond of fast cars and beautiful women — that his passing came as such a shock to his friends, who had begun to think of him as immortal. (మరింత…)


Anti dam stir in Northeast – Nitin Sethi మంగళవారం, జూన్ 5 2012 

Small numbers drown northeast anti-dam stirs
Nitin Sethi, TNN June 5, 2012

NEW DELHI: It’s a tough one to sell to the rest of India. A dam in northeast India displaces a much smaller number of people than, say, a Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh that would displace more than a lakh. Or a project on the Narmada in Madhya Pradesh that threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands.

So when the gigantic 1,750-MW Demwe Hydroelectric Project comes up on Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh, just a couple of hundred households of the small Miju Mishmis and Digaru Mishmis tribes are displaced. India hasn’t heard of them.

This number of people could fit into a single block of a Delhi housing colony. Moreover, they are not ‘us’. For the rest of India, Arunachal Pradesh has been India’s border land, not someone’s home.

The government assesses that the dam is needed for ‘strategic’ reasons as much as for the power it would generate. So the impact on the flora, fauna and environment comes second.

The few hundred families in the way can be taken care of with contracts, jobs dole – a minor cost of development. No one questions if the dam would wipe out an entire community’s way of life. Such as in the case of the Tipaimukh hydroelectric dam in Manipur, where the Zeliangrong Nagas stand to lose their sacred spots and half their fertile hills or the sacred mountains of Sikkim’s Lepchas in the case of dams on the Teesta. (మరింత…)