Inverviews / November 20, 2016

Miscellaneous Interviews

Interviews with personalities, including Irina Bokova, Kiren Rijiju, General Cardozo, Amb Ranjan Mathai

  • Why Arunachal is an ‘undiscovered gold mine’
    Interview with the Goivernor of Arunachal Pradesh (November 2011)
    It is not well known that Arunachal Pradesh, which attained statehood in February 1987, is one of the fastest developing states of India.
    Though the state went through few weeks of instability after the untimely death of former chief minister Dorjee Khandu in a helicopter crash in April, peace has now returned to the state.
    Arunachal is a very sensitive state with a long international border with Bhutan (160 km), China (1,080 km) and Myanmar (440 km). It bore the brunt of the Chinese attack during the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
    Claude Arpi meets General J J Singh, former army chief and now the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, who spells out the priorities and his vision for this border state. The governor also revisits the 1962 war and shares his perceptions for the future.
  • ‘It is time to wake up to Chinese incursions’ – Kiren Rijiju (March 4, 2008)
    Kiren Rijiju, the 36-year-old firebrand Member of Parliament representing Arunachal Pradesh (West), does not share the government’s and Indian Army’s perceptions about Chinese incursions in his border state.
    While Defence Minister A K Antony and army chief General Deepak Kapoor have underplayed the intrusions on several occasions, Rijiju has tried to convey in Parliament the seriousness of the situation in the strategic state. Unfortunately till now his voice has been lost in the corridors of power.
    Rijiju has pointed out for long that the Indian Army is not prepared for a conflict with China and today this is an accepted fact. The young MP still regrets that only cosmetic actions are being taken to correct this imbalance.
    In this wide-ranging interview with Claude Arpi, the MP highlights not only the patriotism of the people of Arunachal, but also conveys in the strongest terms that it is time for India to wake up, to be self-confident and to stand by her interests and her borders.
  • Interview Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO – January 27, 2010 (Rediff.com)
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation was founded at the end of World War II. UNESCO seeks to function as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues.
    On October 15, 2009, Irina Bokova of Bulgaria was elected as the tenth director-general of UNESCO.
    During her recent visit to India, Bokova spoke to Claude Arpi about her vision and aspirations for UNESCO in a changing world.
  • Interview with Dr. Subhash Kashyap – April 27, 2011 (Rediff.com)
    The recent revelations about multi-billion scams perpetrated by India’s top politicians and administrators have managed to jolt the nation’s populace out of its usual apathy towards corruption.
    Dr Subhash C Kashyap, former secretary-general of the Lok Sabha and a well-known expert on parliamentary affairs, has been involved in fighting corruption for years.
    The former member of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution speaks to Rediff.com’s Claude Arpi about the root cause of the massive corruption permeating the Indian system and the need to find a solution.
  • Interview Robert Thurman – March 2010
    Why the Dalai Lama Matters
    Interview with Prof. Robert Thurman (Columbia University)
    Prof. Robert Thurman is a well-know figure in the United States. Not only because he was nominated as one of the 25 most influential Americans by the Time Magazine, but also because he is one of oldest supporters of the Dalai Lama, a respected scholar of Columbia University and …the father of Hollywood beauty Uma Thurman.
    He speaks to Claude Arpi about his years as a monk in North India in the 1960’s; his relation with the Dalai Lama (Thurman’s latest best-seller is entitled Why the Dalai Lama matters); the present state of ‘Capitalist’ China; the Buddhist wave in the West; his idea of a Second Renaissance; his work for the preservion old Indian sastras in Columbia University, the Obama-Dalai Lama encounter and his vision for the future of planet.
  • Interview Shishir Nagaraja – March 2 , 2010 (Rediff.com)
    The recent announcement by the United States giant search engine Google that it might withdraw from China made the headlines in world media. The Google decision highlighted the aggressiveness of the Chinese hackers who had been penetrating cyber fortresses like the Pentagon or the White House (as well as the PMO or the MEA in India!).
    Claude Arpi spoke to Shishir Nagaraja, the co-author (with Ross Anderson) of The Snooping Dragon: Social malware Surveillance of the Tibetan Movement, published by University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory in March 2009.
    Shishir Nagaraja, currently associated with the Information Trust Institute of the University of Illinois (US), tells rediff.com, not only about the Google episode, but also his experience with the Office of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and the world of hackers, in general.
    He believes that we have only seen the beginnings of the cyberwar, the ’war of tomorrow’. In the not-too-distant future, it will affect each one of us.
  • ‘The state has taken more responsibility than it should’ – Interview Gurumurthy (May 2008)
    S Gurumurthy is a chartered accountant by profession, but wears several other hats. He is the National Convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, a mass-movement committed to the promotion of swadeshi industries and culture. He is also a renowned columnist, writing regularly for The New Indian Express and other publications. Often, he also acts a mediator in large industrial disputes.
    In a free wheeling conversation with Claude Arpi in Chennai, Gurumurthy — known for his candid and at times controversial views on various subjects — speaks on the current sub-prime crisis and the civilizational choices which have triggered the present difficulties. He also reflects on the international food crisis, its political repercussions in India, and also on the Finance Minister’s recent decision to waive farmers’ loans.
    This two-part interview covers his comments that deeply reflect upon some of the most serious issues facing Indian society and the future of economic relations between nations.
  • Interview with S. Gurumurthy – May 13, 2008 (Sify.com)
    S Gurumurthy is a chartered accountant by profession, but wears several other hats. He is the National Convenor of the Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, a mass-movement committed to the promotion of swadeshi industries and culture. He is also a renowned columnist, writing regularly for The New Indian Express and other publications. Often, he also acts a mediator in large industrial disputes.
    In a free wheeling conversation with Claude Arpi in Chennai, Gurumurthy — known for his candid and at times controversial views on various subjects — speaks on the current sub-prime crisis and the civilizational choices which have triggered the present difficulties. He also reflects on the international food crisis, its political repercussions in India, and also on the Finance Minister’s recent decision to waive farmers’ loans.
    This two-part interview covers his comments that deeply reflect upon some of the most serious issues facing Indian society and the future of economic relations between nations.
  • One should talk of a global nuclear deal – July 24 (Interview Jerome Bonnafont for Rediff)
    The French ambassador spoke to Claude Arpi about India’s nuclear deal which he terms ’global’ and not uniquely ’US’ as well as the objectives of the French presidency of the European Union. He points out the implications of the global food crisis as well as the energy issue from the European Union’s point of view. He forcefully expresses the commonality of purpose of both France and India in the fight against terrorism and the shared values of democracy, social justice and strategic matters.
  • Faithful amongst the faithful – Interview with George Fernandes
    My first personal meeting with him was when he came to Delhi in Parliament House. He had come to meet Dr Lohia with a young man [Lodi Gyari] (he has grown older now since; he today deals after the external affairs of His Holiness). His Holiness brought this young man to meet Dr Lohia and after their talks were over, Dr Lohia told Lodi Gyari: “You go to George Fernandes (my house was close by) to learn about our socialist policies”. It is how it started…





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