Shiv Visvanathan

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Shiv Visvanathan

Rare & unseasoned

News sometimes creates strange possibilities. A simple event suddenly creates so many possibilities that they become a ganglion of competing narratives.

AAP paradox: Whole is less the sum of parts

AAP is both imagination and imaginary. It is an empirical organisation, a movement still graduating into a party but AAP is part a political fiction, a wish list for the future that its fans, followers and members keep projecting on to it. It is a perpetual hypothesis playing out both fact and future. AAP is still in a constant state invention. AAP faces an obstetric problem, as a midwife of a new politics it has to deliver. Kejriwal and gang have to add the governance halo to their disorderly political style.

AAP is not transparent

There is a paradox to the Aam Aadmi Party which it does not understand. In a deep and fundamental way, the AAP is a thought experiment which belongs to a whole variety of people.

AAP rises again

Politics has a way of pulling surprises on the best of strategists.

I click, therefore I am

Yearendings are odd times to write thoughtful pieces. As you write them, you want to look back, telescope views across a year to see what’s significant, what’s silly.

The return of AAP

History and newspapers have a tendency to side with victors. When a new regime comes into being, it is declared a fait accompli, an inevitability.

The strange death of cricket

Childhood is eventually a composite of dreams, values, fables, norms that one fashions for oneself.

Gandhi, between hate & cliché

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

The joys of being ‘third class’

Modern theories of efficiency and equality are such that one loses a celebration of the marginal. Ever since socialism, we have removed the category called “third class” from our trains and our lives. As an upwardly mobile nation, we want to travel first class and as a truly global country we want our institutions to be world class. Our presidents and vice-chancellors were upset when they realised that our IITs and IIMs are not world class.

The Babri memory

Babri Masjid is today a photo-montage of images, with each image capturing one angle of a strange and kaleidoscopic event. Babri is also a failure of storytelling because each separate story demands a different sense of ending, and a different idea of consequences.

It has now become apparent to the Narendra Modi government that the manner in which it sought to amend the law relating to acquisition of land is not politically feasible.

If a law has not worked well on the ground, do you toss it out or try and improve its implementation?