Swaraaj Chauhan describes his two-decade-long stint as a full-time journalist as eventful, purposeful, and full of joy and excitement. In 1993 he could foresee a different work culture appearing on the horizon, and decided to devote full time to teaching journalism (also, partly, with a desire to give back to the community from where he had enriched himself so much.)
Alongside, he worked for about a year in 1993 for the US State Department’s SPAN magazine, a nearly five-decade-old art and culture monthly magazine promoting US-India relations. It gave him an excellent opportunity to learn about things American, plus the pleasure of playing tennis in the lavish American embassy compound in the heart of New Delhi.
In !995 he joined WWF-India as a full-time media and environment education consultant and worked there for five years travelling a great deal, including to Husum in Germany as a part of the international team to formulate WWF’s Eco-tourism policy.
He taught journalism to honors students in a college affiliated to the University of Delhi, as also at the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication where he lectured on “Development Journalism” to mid-career journalists/Information officers from the SAARC, African, East European and Latin American countries, for eight years.
In 2004 the BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) selected him as a Trainer/Mentor for India under a European Union project. In 2008/09 He completed another European Union-funded project for the BBC WST related to Disaster Management and media coverage in two eastern States in India — West Bengal and Orissa.
Last year, he spent a couple of months in Australia and enjoyed trekking, and also taught for a while at the University of South Australia.
Recently, he was appointed as a Member of the Board of Studies at Chitkara University in Chandigarh, a beautiful city in North India designed by the famous Swiss/French architect Le Corbusier. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students there.
He loves trekking, especially in the hills, and never misses an opportunity to play a game of tennis. The Western and Indian classical music are always within his reach for instant relaxation.
And last, but not least, is his firm belief in the power of the positive thought to heal oneself and others.
It had to happen sooner than later. The US now seems to be realising that foreign affairs and international relations are best managed through discussion and dialogue rather than twisting people’s arms and invading other nations, a la Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. An indication to this effect came when the US President Barack Obama [...]
After humiliating and bycotting Narendra Modi, India’s powerful leader beloging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the US administration has finally woken up from its Rip Van Winkle sleep after almost a decade. The US ambassador to India, Nancy Powell will meet Narendra Modi on Thursday in Gandhinagar, the capital city of Gujarat, India’s western [...]
One of the fascinating things I find Down Under is the dedicated participation of volunteers in all spheres of life – cultural, educational, economic and social. It is because of the involvement of the volunteers that Capri Theatre, one of the oldest cinema Halls in Adelaide (the capital city of South Australia), has become a [...]
New Delhi not only summoned the US ambassador to register its protest against the arrest of a senior Indian diplomat in America but also initiated a series of steps to strip US diplomats and their families of privileges, including withdrawing all airport passes and stopping import clearances for the embassy. Asking all American consulate personnel [...]
During the past decade, the world has somehow come to believe that the US State Department has just become a sidekick of the Pentagon and the CIA in formulating the American foreign policy. In other words, the US has given up the traditional and time-honoured style of conducting diplomacy through dialogue, discussion and consensus in [...]
Internationally-acclaimed and India’s pioneering environmental activist, Ms Sunita Narain was seriously injured when her bicycle was hit by a speeding car in the heart of New Delhi. Narain hit international headlines, and made several enemies a decade ago, when her NGO revealed that famous soft drinks brands, including Coca Cola and Pepsico, contained unacceptably high [...]
Although there is no anti-Semitism in India and the Jews have even occupied top government and military posts, the number of Jews in the country is dwindling fast. The latest development is likely to reduce their number in a dramatic fashion. Of the 5,000 estimated Jews in India, Israel has allowed 899 Indian Jews from [...]
Rahul Gandhi, the vice-president of India’s ruling Congress party, dropped a bombshell on Friday when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was set to enjoy his usual bonhomie with the US President Barack Obama in Washington DC. Rahul Gandhi’s vicious attack on the government caused political tremors and confusion. His powerful mother Sonia Gandhi heads the Congress [...]
If one goes by the findings published in the latest Transparency International report, 76% of the respondents in the United States felt that political parties were corrupt/extremely corrupt. Transparency in campaign and political financing suffered a major setback in 2010. This followed a Supreme Court decision that de facto removed all limits to political spending [...]
Important Update: “In her first reference to whistleblower Edward Snowden’s case, UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay has called on all countries to protect the rights of those who uncover abuses and stressed the need to respect the right for people to seek asylum. Commenting on the fugitive former US intelligence contractor, who is presently [...]
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government has created a serious political crisis by introducing a slew of controversial “economic reforms” to “save the crisis-ridden economy”. The entire Opposition has risen as one to protest against the reforms that would allow the entry of “predatory major foreign investors in sensitive sectors.” (See here…) The Congress-led UPA coalition [...]
India’s general elections are still far away and scheduled to be held in 2014. Interestingly,some leading TV channels and political pundits have already begun to project two candidates for the Prime Minister’s post. While the leading Congress party leaders are now openly proclaiming their party general secretary Mr Rahul Gandhi as their messiah, the leading [...]
Many rulers and architects have left behind their imprint on the historic Indian city of Delhi over the centuries. While a Mughal king’s artisans built an impressive Shahjahanabad in Old Delhi, the English architect Edward Lutyen’s legacy is the sprawling ‘Imperial’ New Delhi at the height of British Raj. In 1952, the American architect Joseph [...]
Who would be the next Prime Minister of India where the General Elections are due in 2014? Indian leaders, ‘public intellectuals’ and the media are showing little interest in this subject as the national electoral exercise in the world’s largest democracy is still two years away. But is this a hypothetical question? However, it is [...]
The attack on Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua Koren in New Delhi seems to be part of larger terror plan. According to the Indian police, the conspiracy was hatched for over a year before the first strike on the Israeli diplomat on February 13, reports The Times of India. Police claim the conspirators have been identified, [...]
Challenges that the internet poses to health, economic and social well-being of people, especially the young, is becoming a major topic of concern worldwide. The first internet addiction rehab clinic in the United States of America, reStart, has opened in the state of Washington. The clinic works mainly with young adults who have lost control [...]
Tal Yehoshua Koren, 40, the Israeli diplomat’s wife who suffered spine and liver injuries in Monday’s bomb attack in New Delhi, today left for her country after she was discharged from a hospital in India’s capital city. (Meanwhile Israel’s Counter Terrorism Bureau has warned of additional attempts to hurt Israelis worldwide, following the recent attacks [...]
Pakistan’s former ISI chief General Ziauddin Khawaja, also known as Ziauddin Butt (head of the ISI, 1997-1999), claims that then President Pervez Musharraf knew about Osama bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad. Even if this news is true, it is not shocking. What the world would be eager to know is whether the then American President [...]
India’s security agencies are worried. Initial investigations have revealed that the modus operandi employed by the person who attacked Israeli embassy staff in New Delhi – by fixing bomb to a car – “mirrored the method used by Mossad earlier to assassinate Iranian scientists.” (Meanwhile, the Israeli diplomat’s wife who was in the car when [...]
The attack on Israeli embassy staff in New Delhi on Monday has brought into sharp focus India’s growing dilemma. While India has strong ties with Israel, it has robust trade ties with Iran owing to its growing energy needs, and is one of Iran’s largest crude oil customers New Delhi also has burgeoning ties with [...]
A 5-member Israeli team, including 2 MOSSAD members, has arrived in New Delhi to help in the investigations following a deadly attack near the Israeli embassy in which Ms Tal Yehoshua-Koren, a staffer of the Israeli embassy’s accounts department, was seriously injured. She was on her way from office to the American Embassy School to [...]
As compared with the Brits, few Americans have made India their home. Among those Americans who became well-known, I wrote about the legendary Samuel Evans Stokes Jr who fought along with Mahatma Gandhi to free the country from the colonial rule, and also brought horticulture revolution in the hills. The other well-known figure is an [...]
At a time when President Barack Obama seems to have handled relatively well diverse foreign policy challenges, many inherited from his predecessor, his handling of the economic policy and the Wall Street have remained a big question mark. Obama’s continuing reliance on U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and kowtowing to the bankers, makes one wonder [...]
Ever heard of a place where you can enjoy live Western classical music round-the-clock? Perhaps there is none. However, if you are interested in attending a non-stop Indian classical music concert round the year, then the place to visit is the Golden Temple (or Harmandir Sahib) at Amritsar in northern India. This place is the [...]
At a time when America appears lost, and its leadership continues its reckless bid for global supremacy, it is interesting to recall the story of the only American who participated in India’s freedom struggle and was imprisoned by the British-Indian government. He gave up Western clothes and donned home-spun Khadi dress. A highly impressed Mahatma [...]
Anna Hazare, 73, is no ordinary social activist. Hazare has emerged as a sort of national hero battling against the government that has been reeling under mind-boggling corruption scandals. An Indian government attempt to head off a political crisis by arresting him appeared to backfire Tuesday when parliament’s opposition members walked out and demonstrations broke [...]
The shooting down of an American helicopter carrying the elite Navy SEALs in Afghanistan has been described as the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan. See here… A Pakistani newspaper says that the Abbottabad raid by US Navy Seals was not the first venture into Pakistan. The team had [...]
Was this tragedy waiting to happen? Are Anders Behring Breivik’s murders another brutal manifestation of the hysteria that started building up post 9/11? George W. Bush and his team in the White House began an era of hatred and revenge, and have added enough fuel to create confusion and fire to last a few decades. [...]
Damning evidence has been surfacing during the past decades revealing how different US administrations have been looking the other way despite Pakistan military establishment’s open role in supplying nuclear know-how to rogue regimes. Now A.Q. Khan, the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program, asserts that the government of North Korea bribed top military officials in [...]
The New Yorker sums up the murky media Mughal Murdoch scandal thus: “Rupert Murdoch and his people have claimed that the newspaper scandal in London was caused by a few rotten apples. Now that a very large apple, Rebekah Brooks, has been arrested, it is clear that it is the entire barrel that is rotten.” [...]
More trouble for the Australian-American media mughal Rupert Murdoch and his family. It is likely that Andy Coulson, a former News Of The World editor who most recently worked as the chief spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government, would be arrested Friday on suspicion of illegally paying the police for information during his [...]
The Obama administration had at least the guts to justify the continued squandering of public money on the so-called war-on-terror in Afghanistan by formally handing over the foreign policy to the CIA and the Pentagon with a seemingly “limitless budget”.(see here). But why is the American media quiet on the cost of war that is [...]
I get to see Ezekiel Isaac Malekar at least twice a year. A pleasant person wearing a kippah, Malekar is a permanent invitee at many Indian government’s national functions, including the birth and death anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi at the Gandhi Smriti, in the heart of New Delhi, where Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. Sitting [...]
As David Headley gets ready to spill the beans at a Chicago court about Pakistan ISI’s direct involvement in Mumbai 26/11 attacks, the White House in Washington is nervous. Headley’s statements during Chicago trial “will be explosive,” said one senior Obama administration official, who confirmed that White House officials are well aware and closely watching, [...]