February 19, 2001 Issue

India Today, February 19


The New Boom

Better Off Than Dad

Services Sector: Growth Engine

Faces: Adventure Capitalists

Adapters: Tradition Meets Technology

Industry: Being Indian

Careers: Techies Line Up For Jobs Online



The Scindias: Will Power
The contentious will of Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia virtually disinherits her only son Madhavrao Scindia. This controversy threatens to mar the reputation and respectability of one of India's best- known and highly regarded royal families.



Gujarat: Shaky Regime
Confronted with a monumental disaster, the Gujarat Government is at the centre of relief operations. Was its reaction timely and efficient? Could more lives have been saved?

And Greed Hits Home
More than anything, it was corruption that killed people in Gujarat as buildings constructed by getting around norms came crashing down.



Public Sector: Shotgun Exit
First large PSU where workers agreed to leave the company.


Tavleen Singh




Singing Sheriff

Vintage Dockyard
Q&A CNN Anchor:
Riz Khan
Conservation Culture
Ramp Review
Back To Beatles
Pottering Around
Looking Glass

This sheriff doesn't have to flash a badge or be faster on the draw. She might have to sing at all official ceremonies, though. That's how the banter went at the institution of Kolkata's new sheriff, singer Suchitra Mitra, last week. At 76, the feisty, free-spirited exponent of Tagore songs is ready to take on a new role. "One never stops learning," she told a crowded Calcutta High Court sheriff's chamber. "I think this is going to be one more new experience Singing Sherifffor me." As an artiste, Mitra should be grateful her new job doesn't have a nine-to-five schedule. There's not much workload either: she has to merely put her signature on arrest warrants and court documents. But as Kolkata's first woman sheriff-there hasn't been one since the post was set up in 1774-Mitra sees her commitment to women's empowerment as a priority. And there's an annual privy purse of Rs 20,000 for charity.

That's a lot of money for a titular figure. Kolkata and Mumbai are the only two metros that still have a sheriff, but neither seems to want to do away with the post. "You can't just wish it away," says deputy Biswajit Mitra. "It's instituted under the High Court Original Side rules." It might be less complicated to keep it. And having Mitra around certainly helps.

-Labonita Ghosh


Hack Of A Workshop

TECHIE TRICKS: Mumbai IITians compete to master the art of computer hacking

I wonder if we're doing the right thing, giving them such ideas," says Vinayak Borkar, with the air of a magician who's just revealed his best tricks. But substitute "tricks" for "hacking techniques" and you have a small army of wannabe hackers. Brimming with insights offered by Hacked, a hacking workshop at IIT's three-day Techfest in Mumbai last week at their, close to a 100 computer geeks gleefully slid behind keyboards and roared off on dubious cyber pathways. The task? To be the first to break into a LAN (Local Area Network) in a three-hour open hacking session. Second year student Sandeep Bala was the first (in 45 minutes) to yell "Crax" "Eureka" in IITianese. But the organisers weren't happy with him though and revealed that "he bypassed the lab systems and simply went to the main computer centre and did his work from there". Talk of ethics at a hacking session.

-Sandeep Unnithan

Pandit Ravi Shankar and doughter Anoushka ShankarSTRING HARMONY: It was one of those rare concerts at Chennai's Music Academy. For father-daughter sitarist duo Pandit Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar (below), it was their first performance together in the city, organised by M S Subbulakshmi's music and dance resources institute Samudri. The younger Shankar belted out compositions "the way she was taught", prefacing one in faultless Tamil: "Now I am going to play a keertana as a tribute to my mother. Pardon me if I err." When the maestro took over, Anoushka looked on reverently. "I thought it unnecessary to introduce Anoushka," said Shankar as an afterthought, "you all know my darling daughter well." The applause said it all.

-Arun Ram



Care Today

Random Readings
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra would rather be "accurate" in his latest undertaking, a book of Kabir's poetry in English, even if he says "Kabir's greatest hits may not have been written by him at all".

Looking Glass

Kolkata: Restaurant

Art Exhibition

New Delhi: Play


    Web Exclusives

Who says Indian theatre is dying? Playwrights--both veteran and budding--in the country had a chance to interact with those from the Royal Court Theatre, London, at its first residency workshop in Bangalore recently.
It was a fortnight
of enrichment, concludes Principal Correspondent Stephen David in



"I was very much against the idea of India," says William Dalrymple, author, The City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi. In conversation with INDIA TODAY's Sonia Faleiro, he talks about his old girlfriend, Delhi and his "enormously exciting" next book, The White Moghuls in Interviews.





India Today, February 12, 2001

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