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Kejriwal vs Bedi public debate would deepen our democracy
Posted by Gul Panag on February 3rd, 2015
A version of this piece appeared in today's (Feb 03, 2015) Hindustan Times. There were many memorable highlights of my debut Lok Sabha election campaign from Chandigarh last year. But the one experience I cherish most was a public debate we three major candidates held for NDTV. I really hoped that if there is one thing that would catch on and become a regular feature of our elections, it would… more
AIR POLLUTION – Why Full Statehood for Delhi will Help my Half-Marathon Timing
Posted by Gul Panag on January 31st, 2015
This appeared in The Economic Times (Delhi) on Jan 31 2015 When I informed a good friend in Mumbai about my intention to participate in the Delhi Half-Marathon last November, she asked, “With or without the mask?“ A typical Mumbaikar's retort for Delhi. She might have been half-serious, but she wasn't wrong. The problem of air pollution in our national capital has reached alarming levels. If for air pollution, we… more
Party planning
Posted by Gul Panag on January 13th, 2015
This appeared in The Indian Express on January 13, 2015 In a country where political awareness and interest levels are at new highs, there is a simple question that few, including the highly educated, have asked: How do political parties actually raise funds to fight elections? At the root of that simple question lies the answer to many of our complex social, economic, political, governance and moral problems. Our public… more
Pageants and prejudice
Posted by Gul Panag on September 23rd, 2013
This appeared in DNA Sep 22, 2013 To mistake Indians for West Asians is one thing. But to even cast a racist slur against people of Arab origin, is not an America we know of, says Gul Panag, referring to the recent geographical and racial hoopla in the Miss America pageant, and the undercurrents of international beauty parades. What is a beauty pageant? It’s a contest amongst equals. It doesn’t… more
Social media, social ignorance
Posted by Gul Panag on June 3rd, 2013
This appeared in The Indian Express on June 01, 2013 Twitter outrage over the mannequin ban does not reflect Mumbai’s many conflicting moralities Applying Western liberal standards of gender equality to Indian society is perhaps premature. Being the world’s largest democracy is no mean achievement. However, political democracy and equality alone is cited as a measure of its relative success. Social and economic equality, emancipation and empowerment have failed to… more
Posted by Gul Panag on May 19th, 2013
Andamas Day 1 We arrived in Port Blair ( from Chennai) amidst cloudy skies and the remnants of puddles from rain the day before; hoping that the next 3 days would have clear skies. The clearer the skies the clearer the water too,I'd been told. The airport at Port Blair has a holiday feel to it.Things move at an easy pace. It's quaint in a modern way, yet functional. And… more
Let's portray women as more than just arm candy
Posted by Gul Panag on January 25th, 2013
This appeared in the Hindustan Times on 25th January I was brought up to believe that the world is by and large a fair place, but that you have to watch out for yourself. I was taught to believe in the system and be prepared for the worst case scenario, always. Despite the recent and 'sudden' national awakening about the lack of safety of women in India, I firmly believe that… more
Made by patriarchy
Posted by Gul Panag on December 26th, 2012
This appeared in the Indian Express While women’s lack of safety is a societal problem, the state makes it worse The fact that there exists a gender bias in a patriarchal society is beyond contest. Also the fact that it leads to unequal opportunity in all spheres is a foregone conclusion. The debate starts at the point where a perpetual cycle of subjugation begins. The stage is set. From yearning… more
A perfect mountain getaway
Posted by Gul Panag on October 22nd, 2012
Published in Hindustan Times Himachal has been one of my favourite states for camping and trekking for a while. The fact that it offers easy accessibility from my hometown Chandigarh is definitely a plus, since almost all our trips begin from there. Let me add here that the whole rationale for us as a family to “head out” is to escape the crowds. Our preferred destination should have a height… more

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