iOS app Android app

Pranay Gupte

Pranay Gupte is a bestselling author, historian, biographer and a veteran foreign correspondent who worked for the New York Times. He was also a columnist for Newsweek International. His 14th book, Healer: Dr. Prathap Chandra Reddy and the Transformation of India, has just been published by Penguin Portfolio. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Entries by Pranay Gupte

Prime Minister in Waiting: India's Shashi Tharoor, Man for All Speeches

(23) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 3:46 PM

Far be it for me to advise Sonia Gandhi from far away, but rapping Shashi Tharoor on his knuckles for making allegedly intemperate remarks in Parliament against Congress strategy may not be the most prudent thing to do right now.

Mr. Tharoor's voice -- on virtually any topic --...

Read Post

Marlene Sanders: One of a Kind, the Last of Her Kind

(3) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 8:22 AM

She was stern yet kind. She was disciplined to the point of demanding, yet she had empathy for less talented colleagues and for the dispossessed that she covered during her long career in television around the world.

She possessed a keen sense of story, she was creative, and she...

Read Post

Remembering Jack Freeman: Jack of Journalism, Jack of the World

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 10:41 AM

He was always "Jack" - never Jacob, his given name - and his byline at news organizations that he worked at for nearly seven decades all around the world was always "Jack Freeman."

He would have been 82 years old this month, but his energy, his enthusiasm, his sheer zest...

Read Post

Lee Kuan Yew's Legacy: The Singapore Model of Clean Governance

(13) Comments | Posted March 22, 2015 | 7:17 PM

A couple of days ago in Singapore, I drove past Lee Kuan Yew's modest house on Oxley Road and wondered how he was. Rumors were rife that he was unwell, and I was tempted to break protocol and pay him a visit. Had I done so, I wouldn't have found...

Read Post

Tea And Biscuits With Manmohan Singh

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 4:02 PM

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India is not a man to be easily ruffled, so it's not entirely surprising that he took with typical calm the recent summons as one of the accused in a governmental investigation into the illegal allocation of coalfields to Indian corporations.

"Truth will...

Read Post

A Date With Pranab Mukherjee At Rashtrapati Bhavan

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2015 | 7:04 AM

No matter how formidable the stature of the person who occupies it, Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi seems simply too grand to serve as a home for any individual, even if that person happens to be the President of India.

When I was invited to interview the current occupant, President...

Read Post

Goodbye, Mister Michael: You Cannot Be Replaced

(4) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Not many people outside the Arab world and the Indian Subcontinent may have heard of Patrick Michael, let alone worked with him. But Mr. Michael is one of the greatest editors of his generation. And to the dismay of his fans, he will soon retire from Khaleej Times in Dubai...

Read Post

Meeting Mr. Mukherjee: A Visit to India's President Palace

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 11:31 PM

No matter how formidable the stature of the person who occupies it, Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi seems simply too grand to serve as a home for any individual, even if that person happens to be the President of India.

When I was invited to interview the current occupant, President...

Read Post

Says Astrologer D. Nagarajan: 'The Answer, Friends, Is Found In The Stars'

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 9:19 AM

D. Nagarajan of Chennai sees things in the stars well beyond the ability of astronomers, telescopes and satellites.

Growing up in a small village in India's Madras Presidency, Mr. Nagarajan knew that the gods had gifted him with special powers. He was able to look at people's faces and ascertain...

Read Post

The Writing Life: Why Telling Stories in the Global Bazaar is Important

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 10:16 AM

I have always admired men and women who are able to sustain writing over a significant period of time. I often wonder, "What do they consume at breakfast that gives them such mental energy and willpower?"

Not long ago, after I'd praised on Facebook a number of prolific writers for...

Read Post

For Victors and Whiners Alike, Important Lessons From India's History

(9) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 11:53 AM

This piece was co-authored by Mohan Guruswamy, former Secretary of Finance in the Government of India.

The people of Delhi, who strongly supported Narendra Modi by electing all seven of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates in last year's parliamentary election, delivered him a stunning rebuke in the state elections....

Read Post

No Mr. Dhoni, Cricket Is Not More Important Than Your Daughter

(15) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 7:05 AM

Mahendra Singh Dhoni of Ranchi is the captain of India's cricket team in one-day internationals. That makes him a public figure. That also means he needs to be a role model for the millions of young people out there who follow cricket and who worship cricketers. The obligation to be...

Read Post

With Obama Visit, The Indian Woman Comes of Age Globally

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 7:11 AM

So much was said, so much was promised, and so much was suggested during President Barack Obama's just-concluded visit to Delhi that it's hard to imagine what else could have been packed into a mere 60 hours on the ground in Asia 6,600 miles from Washington.

The TV channels...

Read Post

For the Saudis, Sorrow, for the World, Not So Much

(12) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 9:27 AM

It was painful, even pathetic, to see television images of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the last few months of his life.

It was impossible not to feel for the nonagenarian. Even taking into account that he had enjoyed a rich and full life of royal indulgence; even...

Read Post

A Captain's Departure: Cricket, Lovely Cricket, Timeless Cricket

(6) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 11:38 AM

It had been rumored for some time now, of course, it had been anticipated and it had been demanded in certain circles. Still, the retirement of Mahendra Singh Dhoni not only as India's captain in Test cricket but from Test cricket altogether -- now that was a surprise.

All through...

Read Post

Sour Statistics and Rising Hope in India

(6) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 12:08 PM

As a journalist and author who's covered international affairs for five decades, I have, of course, my favorite places and people. I also have my peeves. There are some countries that I'd rather not re-visit, although these are only a few -- and getting fewer as stubbornly anti-democratic regimes yield,...

Read Post

Murli Deora: The Last of India's Tammany Hall Chieftains

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 8:49 AM

Murli Deora, who died of cancer at the age of 77 in Mumbai early Monday, was sui generis -- one of a kind, and arguably the last of his kind.

He towered over Indian politics without smothering the landscape with his ubiquitous presence. And, in the classic mold of Tammany...

Read Post

Nostalgia for Times Gone, For the Camaraderie That Once Was, and the Loyalty That Still Is

(2) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 3:00 PM

In these days of musical chairs and institutional revolving doors, concepts such as loyalty to one's previous employer are at a premium. Not so with those who worked -- or still work -- at the New York Times.

A longtime reporter for the Times -- acclaimed for his coverage of...

Read Post

Indira Gandhi: 30 Years Later, Not a Fond Memory

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 3:27 PM

It's hard to believe now that three decades have rolled by since Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India was assassinated in her own garden in New Delhi by two Sikh bodyguards. India changed forever on that day.

It changed because Mrs. Gandhi's death triggered the worst sort of communal fury...

Read Post

Celebrating Words and Wordsmiths in Mumbai

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 10:36 AM

Anil Dharker, who's widely known in India as a columnist and TV personality, had this idea of celebrating his home city of Mumbai. But what to celebrate in a city of religious festivals and great institutions and huge phenomena like Bollywood?

Then it struck Mr. Dharker that Mumbai was a...

Read Post