13
Mar

The Quint: Why AAP lost Punjab?

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

The Punjab result in the assembly election 2017 was stunning. Congress won 77/117 seats. The huge hope AAP had created was belied.  My quick comments on why AAP lost – beholden to the central power figure.

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4
Feb

The Hindu: Winter of Discontent

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Friends, today is a historic day for Punjab. Whoever wins or loses the election, half a century after it was created, the fortress called Punjab is breached.

My piece in The Hindu along with Gurdeep Singh’s excellent picture.

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Friends, I have known Asha Mokashi for so long but we have seldom met. Today she reminded me of this piece from a long time back. It is such a delight. Thank you Asha. Promise to meet soon!

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4
Feb

OneIndia: Who will win Punjab elections?

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

Friends, here are my views on the Punjab elections as discussed with Vicky Nanjappa Februray 3 morning.

Note: a minor correction: not Haryana but one or two cities or nearby villages.

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Friends, when I came to Punjab to observe the elections I was surprised. Aam Aadmi Party which we all saw bungling over the last year and half seemed to have regained lost ground and is very much in contention.

Here is a story from a few days on the AAP trail.

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Friends, it was lovely to meet Mrs & Mr Kiran Doshi at The Hindu Lit for Life. The charming and gracious couple make one feel absolutely at home. The morning after Kiran Doshi won The Hindu Best Fiction Prize 2016, we have breakfast together. My report.

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22
Jan

The Hindu Review: Jinnah Often Came To Our House

   Posted by: aman   in Other

It was my pleasure to review Kiran Doshi’s novel Jinnah Often Came To Our House for The Hindu. The novel went on to win The Hindu Best Fiction Prize 2016.

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12
Jan

Comments on Punjab Sacrilege in Hindustan Times

   Posted by: aman   in Punjab

India does find it hard to understand Punjab. That is why I like it when journalists travel and come back and seek to understand issues by talking to who they think are experts. At least, there is an attempt. Recently the Hindustan Times team travelled and asked me for my comments on their experiences. Now I am no expert but as a learner I am able to figure out a few things which I suppose can help them.

For example, the word agency. It is used everywhere in Punjab when the matter of politics comes up. Politics comes up everywhere, anyway. ‘The word agencies originates in the 80s and reveals deep-rooted mistrust in shadowy government officials and outsiders. It signifies death, disappearances and unclaimed bodies.’

This was an article on sacrilege that rocked Punjab in October/November 2015.

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9
Jan

Mention in The Hindu on Books

   Posted by: aman   in Other

The Hindu features its speakers at the Lit for Life in different ways as a run up to the program. This time they featured me.

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Friends, it is a matter of immense satisfaction that almost a decade after this book came out, it still evokes interest. The lovely and talented Sheila Kumar came to the recent book reading at iBrowse, Catholic Club hosted by the gracious Marianne Furtado De Nazareth.

Sheila wasn’t fully satisfied by the interaction because it veered towards the subject of the book – mental illness – which is critical but was less about the craft of the book and the author position. So, as she does, she wrote a review but also interviewed me. Frankly, I was quite blown by the questions. There were about a writer’s relationship with a story. We hardly talk about it. I loved answering them.

‘Also, though I am a writer and like to connect with the world, (I even seem extrovert and warm to friends, readers and strangers), I am actually very private and shy. I am very hesitant to single out myself with a ‘why me, God’ kind of question or use the first person narrative: the ‘I.’ I constantly ask myself: doesn’t the world suffer much more than me? Aren’t there much bigger issues to talk about? Why would someone read what I write? Yet, all my writing is first person. The inflection point is: when I know that the story is no longer about my emotions but taps into a universal consciousness, then I put it out for readers. Then they earn the epithet you just gave them – honest.’

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