Little Lhasa – August 15, 2008 (Chennai)
Once upon a time, the sahibs and memsahibs of the Raj liked to escape the scorching summer of Delhi and spend some time in Dharamsala, a sleepy village in the foothills of the Himalayas in what used to be the state of Punjab (today Himachal Pradesh). It is even said that Lord Elgin, a Viceroy of British India was so enamoured of the luxuriant pine and deodar forests that he asked to be buried in the graveyard of St. John’s Church in the Wilderness, a few kilometers above the town.
The French Connection – April 18, 2008
It came back in a strange way. Twenty years later, pioneers started settling on a desert of red laterite, some 12 km north of Pondicherry town. It was the beginnings of Auroville. Life was rather tough; plates were not always full, particularly in the predominantly French Aspiration community. By pure necessity, the first settlers began baking their own bread, gaining fresh knowledge whenever a new ‘expert’ would come by.
India-France relations set to move into high gear – September 28, 2008
With the India-US nuclear deal nearing congressional approval, India and France are expected to sign a bilateral civil nuclear cooperation pact that will restore nuclear business with France after a gap of more than three decades.
Though Indo-French relations have never had the high profile character of the Indo-US, this agreement will mark the culmination of ten years of a successful strategic partnership.
Father of modern Olympic spirit largely forgotten – August 5, 2008 (IANS)
The Beijing Olympics are almost here, but not many remember Pierre de Coubertin, the French baron who restored the Olympic Games in 1896. The spirit with which the ancient Games were revived and Coubertin’s objectives seem to belong to a bygone era, though remembering the first steps of Olympism is inspiring. Coubertin was a man of exceptional talent; he was not only an organiser, a pedagogue, a historian, a sportsman, a writer, an aesthete, but also a visionary, a great humanist and a man of action. Olympism was for him nothing else than the ‘religion of mankind’.
Chinese settlements in Tibet ’demographic aggression’: Dalai Lama – January 24, 2008
The Dalai Lama is still hopeful of resolving the Tibetan issue with China but he fears that a “demographic aggression” by the Han Chinese will make autonomy for his homeland meaningless.
The Tibetan spiritual leader also described as “very serious” reports that the Chinese had built very good quality roads on their side of the border that India and China dispute.
The City of Dawn is alive and well – December 2, 2007
Was it a mirage? Five thousand people of different races and nationalities assembling on a piece of totally barren land in Villupuram district! They had been invited by Unesco to inaugurate a new city in this desert of red laterite, a city that would “belong to nobody in particular, but humanity as a whole”…
Puducherry, A French Window on India – December 6, 2007
“Give time a break!” is the motto coined by the Pondicherry (now Puducherry) department of tourism to attract tourists to what used to be a sleepy colonial town. But things have changed.
In 2006 alone, nearly 700,000 tourists (among them 46,000 foreigners) visited the former capital of French India. This represents a staggering increase of 20 percent over the previous year – nine percent above the national average – and this makes the union territory one of favourite tourist spots in India …
Pitroda calls for 1,000 community radio stations in a year – September 15, 2007
Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission Sam Pitroda has called for at least 1,000 community radio stations to be set up in the country in a year’s time.
In a video message to participants at a media workshop in Auroville here, Pitroda also called for greater awareness of radio’s usefulness.
Grave implications of Chinese Hydro Projects – October 2010 (Power Politics)
Recently a ‘political’ novel, Shengshi: Zhongguo 2013 (the Fat Year of China), written by Taiwanese art critic Chan Koonchung
was released in Hong Kong. Today everyone understands the meaning of ‘fat years.’
To maintain a tempo close to a double-digit growth, the Communist regime in Beijing has become an ogre devouring energy world-wide. Most
of the raw materials (such as oil, gas, wood, minerals, etc.) necessary to feed the economic engine can be ‘bought’ from outside China, except
for one: water.
Deadend in Lhasa – Combat Law (September-October 2007)
The Indian habit of sugar-coating Chinese sensibilities has always proven costly. Tibet is no exception while China has retracted from its promise to make it an autonomous region. Instead, they have been militarising the ‘occupation’ with rail and road links so that they can colonise and subjugate it completely…
Engaging China : Historical Perspectives – July 2007 (Freedom First)
When President Hu Jintao landed in Delhi last November, India and China forgot to celebrate a memorable event: fifty years earlier the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai paid three state visits to India in less than two months. It was the zenith of the brotherhood relationship. Premier Zhou was in India from November 28 to December 10, 1956, December 30 to January 3 and again from January 24 to 26, 1957. Worth an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, isn’t it?
The Simla Convention: Ninety Two Years Later – july 2006 (Colonial India)
The Younghusband expedition was seen by Lord Curzon and the Government of India as the best way to call the Russian bluff. If Russia failed to abide by her presumed assurances, her prestige would be destroyed in the eyes of the Tibetans and they would have no alternative but to request Britain’s help and friendship…
Evolutionary crisis: The way out – April 2004 (The Life Positive)
At present mankind is undergoing an evolutionary crisis in which is concealed a choice of its destiny…. Man has created a system of civilisation which has become too big for his limited mental capacity and understanding and his still more limited spiritual and moral capacity to utilise and manage, a too dangerous servant of his blundering ego and its appetites…