Provocative commentaries on international issues, social development, and people and places by a veteran journalist
PranayGupte's Articles » Page 13
December 30, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
By Helen Abby Becker

One tries very hard not to be indignant over the extravagantly festive holiday goings-on reported daily in newspapers across the United States, when other headlined stories regularly feature details of the horrors of the war in Iraq, the genocide in Rwanda, the extraordinary cruelties of jihad extremists, and now the extraordinary cruelty of nature to an unprepared and poverty stricken Asian populace. The massive tidal wave that has sopped the energy of much of coastal As...
December 29, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
As an international journalist, I get to meet fascinating people all over the world. "Fascinating" doesn't necessarily mean "nice." But I've always been intrigued by men and women who accumulate power. My central question always is: How do they do it?

Single-mindedness is certainly one characteristic that I see in such people. They are very focused on their objectives. Ruthlessness is another quality that I find in some superachievers. They don't let anything, or anyone, stand in their way, ...
December 23, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
By Pranay Gupte

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Just the other day, a senior official here was talking about the Indian government's quiet disclosure that it would spend $500 billion over the next five years on strengthening the infrastructure.

"That mean roads, power systems, airports, telecommunications, you name it," he said." That's a lot of contracts."

Malaysia, like its Southeast Asian neighbour and longstanding rival, Singapore, wants not just a spoonful of the contracts curry, but a l...
December 23, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
Rami G. Khouri is a professional commentator on the Middle East. He wrote the following piece on the new, but unpublished Arab Human Development Report, produced by the New York-based United Nations Development Programme. Pranay Gupte's reaction is reproduced after Mr. Khouri's article.

A View from the Arab World: Time to bring home Arab human development
By Rami G. Khouri, in Beirut, Lebanon

For all those activists and reformers in the Arab world who have worked for years to promote demo...
December 21, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
By Pranay Gupte

1. The beautiful women of Orchard Road.
2. The energy, bustle and great roadside stalls of Orchard Road.
3. The really exceptionally pleasant service at stores.
4. Mezza Nine restaurant at the Grand Hyatt and its ebullient manager Mike.
5. The wonderful hawker food centers.
6. The museums, especially the ones on Asian art and heritage supervised by Ambassador Tommy Koh.
7. Borders Book Store.
8. The tightly crafted editorials in The Straits Times written by Mr. Chua Huc...
December 16, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
The legend of M. S. Subbulakshmi (published in the International Herald Tribune, December 16, 2004)

By Pranay Gupte

She was known as the "nightingale of India," but that scarcely captured what Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi -- who died on Saturday at the age of 88 -- was all about. Known widely as just "M.S.," she was the greatest singer of Carnatic music, the South Indian genre that's considered to be one of the oldest systems of devotional music in the world. Subbulakshmi was more ...
December 14, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
By Pranay Gupte

DUBAI -- From his glass-walled office in the building that he shares with MasterCard, Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman sees a tranquil scene. There's a small lake in his backyard, ringed by neatly trimmed hedges from which rise gently sloping lawns. The glass exteriors of neighboring edifices reflect the tranquility. Soon, if Dr Sulaiman has his way, such vistas will be replicated in India, Pakistan, Iran, Malta, New Zealand, South Africa and the Central Asian states of the erstwhile Sovi...
December 10, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
By Pranay Gupte

The central issue in India today is that of good governance and how it will affect the country's economic prospects.

Those prospects would appear to be promising, on the surface at least. With a population of 1.2 billion people, including a growing middle class of 300 million mostly urban residents, India is rapidly becoming the world's fourth biggest consumer market -- after the United States, the European Union, and China. The annual economic growth rate is expected to be...
December 8, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
Human Rights Day Statement
By Kenneth Roth

New York, December 10 — As we commemorate Human Rights Day, we are challenged by how little the world has done to save the people of Darfur, in western Sudan, from the year’s greatest human rights disaster. With the Sudanese government and its ethnic militia well along in their campaign of murder, rape, pillage, and forced displacement, and after several Security Council resolutions on the Darfur crisis, the governments of the world can no longer c...
December 3, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
By Pranay Gupte

You have only one constituency in journalism: your readers.

Never forget who signs your paycheck: Your publisher. It is his newspaper.

A journalist is, above all, a story-teller.

Write simply and clearly.

Use verbs liberally.

Use adjectives sparingly.

Don't just tell: show and tell.

Use short sentences.

Make that extra phone call on your story before you write it.

Read your own story before sending it to your editors.

Journalism should be ...
December 1, 2004 by Pranay Gupte
Dear Zak:

Thanks for your gracious and thoughtful letter. I was quite touched by your sentiments concerning journalism, and I hope that you will be able to adhere to your values upon your return to Singapore. You write very eloquently indeed, and I will treasure your note for its substance, sentiments and sheer structure.

As you must know by now, surely, all news organizations respond to the tone and track record of their leadership. As long as bureaucrats and internal-security apparatch...