Dilip D'Souza : Thoughts for a nation
Dec 26 2005
Your hands, so warm
It's bad enough that you can pay bribes to officials who are very willing to take them; bad enough that ill-gotten gains are nearly a birthright today; bad enough that values are to laugh at. But corruption is about more than these. Corruption breaks down the very rules we live by. Dilip D'Souza remembers his court appearances.
Nov 24 2005
Nobody touches the Act
OPINION/HOUSING : Nobody touches the Act

"This building is dangerous. It may collapse at any time. Enter at your own risk." So goes a warning sign at the entrance to a building in Mumbai. Buildings that crumble are an old tradition in this city, with at least one cause being the Rent Control Act. Dilip D'Souza says the pernicious law must go.

Oct 17 2005
All down saar
Tsunami relief in Tamilnadu may have taken on an altogether unexpected colour. Some villages escaped the giant tides, and yet in Shanmuganagar, villagers destroyed their homes, when the tsunami itself did not. Why? "We were scared, and they promised us a new house," finds Dilip D'Souza .
Sep 15 2005
Not that lucky
Eight months since the December 2004 tsunami, Dilip D'Souza returned to Nagore near Nagapattinam, Tamilnadu, to find that plenty of boats donated by NGOs were poorly built. As 'relief', many fishermen received boats that leak and one boat reportedly split under their feet on its first trip out to sea.
Aug 12 2005
It says about a city
What does it say about our priorities when a rescue team trying to get help to victims of a landslide has to destroy other homes to reach them? Citizens might be resilient during natural disasters, but this isn't spirit; to find that we have to look elsewhere, and at other times, says Dilip D'Souza.
Jul 19 2005
Talking across the divide
"It's unnatural, to hunker in a hut only a few dozen yards from another few soldiers looking back at you, and not think of them as just like you in every respect. This happens again the next day and the next - eventually, you'd be a robot not to wave, or shout, or something." Dilip D'Souza joins a post on the Indo-Pak frontlines.
May 12 2005
Chutney. That's all.
When does one stop being a migrant and become just one of the residents? Dilip D'Souza finds that the answer can be quite different, depending on who is giving it: the not-so-new arrivals themselves, or the original inhabitants. But it is the offical view that is most troubling, for it shows how much the migrants' lot is hostage to high office.
Apr 20 2005
Dandi: Crowds say something too
Was the salt march an essentially libertarian stand against taxes and government, was it about non-violence, or simply an assault on British rule via its weakest link? The more I reflect on Gandhi, the more I think that his enduring legacy is that you can find your own message in him, says Dilip D'Souza.
Mar 09 2005
But don't be a zero
The world moves to the tunes of two kinds of men: the great kind and the evil kind. The rest of us are somewhere in between. But what heroes and Neros both get us zeros to do is ask questions, says Dilip D'Souza.
Feb 11 2005
Cut-off by the date
Not least because affordable rental housing in Bombay is an urban myth, the jobs we invite our fellow Indians to fill so that we can have all those good things of a booming economy, are filled by people who have little choice but to live in slums. And then we raze those slum homes. Cavalier, says Dilip D'Souza.

Dilip D'Souza was educated in Pilani, Providence, Delhi, Rishi Valley, Bombay, Cambridge, Austin and places in between. He was once a computer scientist, but now he writes for a living, on themes like development, nationalism, science, poverty, as well as travel. He has won several awards for his writing, including the Statesman Rural Reporting award and the Outlook/Picador nonfiction prize. He has published three books and a monograph of essays on patriotism. His most recent book is Roadrunner: An Indian Quest in America.