Sapan Kapoor

Sapan Kapoor

A history buff and India-based journalist, the author has worked with the Press Trust of India. He blogs at sehar-anawakening.blogspot.in/ and tweets as @dRaconteur.

An open letter to Hema Malini: You could have saved Sonam’s life

Dear Hema Malini ji, You may be a superstar but your tweets blaming the dead girl’s father for the unfortunate car mishap reeks of nothing but obnoxious arrogance of stardom on the silver screen, exposing the callous indifference of your ilk from Bollywood to the suffering of others. I beg your pardon for my harsh words, but by my troth, I am hurt. Fie on thee for your remarks. On Wednesday, you finally broke your silence on the fatal car crash in Rajasthan with your tweet: (Contd) How I wish the girl's father had followed the traffic rules – thn this accident could have been averted & the lil one's life ...

Read Full Post

My heart bleeds for thee, little cherubs of Peshawar

O little cherubs of Peshawar, I am sorry for thee: thou departed from this world too soon, To thy heavenly abode. But I am content, for thou shalt at least be safe in heaven, That is bereft of earthly demons.   I am sorry for thee, thou must have gone through immense pain, And suffering at the hands of mindless beasts, Who came to thy school on a bloody feast, Inflicting gaping wounds on thy little, fragile bodies.   What was thy fault, thou must have wondered? Thou were good at studies; thou wouldst do homework on time, Thou were disciplined and punctual too, Besides being messengers of peace.   Thou were no children of a lesser ...

Read Full Post

Five reasons Obama prodded Modi about religious tolerance

After murdering King Duncan of Scotland in his sleep, Macbeth returns to his wife with his hands smeared in crimson blood. He exclaims, “How is it with me, when every noise appals me? What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes! Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No; this, my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.” Later, Lady Macbeth, in a fit of madness whilst walking in her sleep and rubbing her hands, says, “Here’s the smell of blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten ...

Read Full Post

What in the world is ‘Love Jihad’, India?

A few days ago, whilst looking for a flat in Delhi, I approached a broker. With a pleasant smile on his face, the 27-year-old real estate agent ushered me into his two-room office. After I explained my requirements he asked me my name in a serious vein, as though everything depended on my reply. “Sapan Kapoor,” I said. “This is good.” “But what is in a name?” I asked. He paused for a moment and then said laconically, “Hum Muhammadans ko ghar nahi dete hein.” (We do not rent out to followers of Muhammad (pbuh)) When I enquired about the reason behind this discrimination against a particular community, he refused to elaborate. ...

Read Full Post

Gandhiji would have been proud of you, Kailash Satyarthi

Mr Kailash Satyarthi has come a long way since his engineering days at Samrat Ashok Technological Institute, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, literally. My father, who was one year senior to this electrical engineering student, vividly remembers him as that shy, reticent, modest young man, from a middle-class background, who would come to the college in his staple kurta-payjama with a muffler tied around his neck. “Simple living, high thinking,” was his philosophy, recalls my father, a civil engineering student in 1970, adding that “he was different”. Mr Satyarthi would be aloof and would rarely mingle with others. One thing was clear to ...

Read Full Post

Kashmir, a paradise no more

Chhapak…chhapak. The oarsman slowly rows his shikara, a wooden taxi houseboat, as I breathe fresh air and put my fingers into the cold water. This is my first visit to Kashmir and I always wanted to visit it – to take a shikara ride alone on the splendiferous, enchanting Dal Lake in paradise, that is Kashmir. A unique experience indeed; every now and then I go into a state of trance, a psychological state induced as if by a magical incantation. Photo: Sapan Kapoor There is something intoxicating in this air. It puts me in a daze. In a nearby ...

Read Full Post

I am a Hindu and Allah (SWT) dwells in my heart

Mahatma Gandhi shares an interesting anecdote in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth. “One day an ardent atheist heckled a Christian clergyman. ‘Well, sir, you believe in the existence of God?’ ‘I do,’ said the good man in a low tone. ‘You also agree that the circumference of the earth is 28,000 miles, don’t you?’ said the atheist with a smile of self-assurance. ‘Indeed.’ ‘Prithee, tell me the size of your God and where he may be?’ ‘Well, if we but knew, He resides in the hearts of us both.’ And the atheist shook his head in disbelief.” In my view, the clergyman was right to ...

Read Full Post

All the best, Pakistan, we are with you!

What do you do when your neighbour’s house catches fire? Do you sit by, try to extinguish the fire using water or hasten its destruction by throwing petrol in it? Pakistan, our neighbour, my dear friends, has been afire for the last 12 years. Verily, it is one of the biggest victims of terrorism, duh. Statistics reveal an alarming rise in the number of fatalities due to acts of terrorist violence in the Islamic Republic in recent years. As per the data available with the South Asia Terrorism Portal, as many as 52,409 people, including women, children and brave security personnel, lost their ...

Read Full Post

In Pune: Beaten to death for sporting a beard

Five years ago, in 2009, I was in Pune on an assignment. There, I decided to stay with my college friend, a Muslim, for a couple of days, for I thought it would be a good opportunity to revive old memories and spend some quality time together. But, providence had something else in store for us. On a chilly, dank night while returning from a rotisserie on my friend’s motorcycle, we were stopped by a group of seven people with saffron headbands worn around their brows, armed with clubs, hockey sticks, knives and above all, a flag of a Hindu nationalist ...

Read Full Post

Secular India: An obituary

Dear Friends, With a broken and shattered heart, I have to bring to your notice that the secular India we all loved and admired is no more. It was 67-years-old. Just like secular India’s birth in 1947, its demise was also a tragic one. Verily, it came under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s car and got crushed on May 16, 2014. As expected, Modi felt bad about the incident and expressed his regret by saying, “I feel bad even when a puppy comes under the car. After all, I am also a human being.” Even as I listened to Prime Minister Modi’s magnanimous and heartrending expression of ...

Read Full Post