Description   |   Syllabus

Reporting on India, Pakistan, and Tibet: Covering Crisis in the Subcontinent
UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Spring 2000

Mark Danner, Rone Tempest, and Dean Orville Schell 
 Description: This course is called "Reporting on India, Pakistan and Tibet," and will be taught by former Los Angeles Times New Delhi bureau chief (and current Sacramento bureau chief) Rone Tempest and Dean Orville Schell with in-put from Teaching Fellow Mark Danner. The course will have frequent visits from journalists who have covered the area, will require a substantial amount of assigned reading that will center around some of the monuments in reportage on this area over the past half century, and one long paper on some aspect of the diasopora from the sub-continent and how it has played into economic development in the region.

*January 18: Covering the Subcontinent - An Introduction* 
An outline of the course. Why cover the subcontinent. The conflict in Kashmir. The effects of the Afghan conflict. The nuclear threat. Prospects for peace. Writing about India and Pakistan: Obstacles and Guidelines. A survey of what to read and how to do it. The view from the emigre community. Required Reading: Strunk and White, The Elements of Style George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," in Selected Essays. 

*January 25: A Short History of the Subcontinent* Periods of Unity: Asoka, Shah Jahan, Lord Curzon. Mahatma Gandhi. and Partition. We examine periods of unity in under Asokan, Mogul and British colonial rule. Study journalistic treatment of the Gandhian prelude and tragic consequences of Partition. To what degree does the legacy of Partition remains central to South Asian instability today in divided Punjab and Kashmir as well as the slums of Karachi? Required Reading: Kim Rudyard Kipling Gandhi--A Memoir by Williams L. Shirer Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre "Blood" by Urvashi Butalia (from India (50 Years Independence Edition) Granta 57 (March 1997) Suggested Reading: The Wonder that Was India A.L. Basham (relevant chapters on Asoka) India Britanica by Geoffrey Moorhouse Heaven's Command: An Imperial Progress by James Morris and Pax Britanica: The Climax of Empire by James Morris The Great Mutiny by Christopher Hibbert Train from Pakistan by Kushwant Singh Sons of the Yellow Emperor (A History of the Chinese Diaspora) by Lynn Pann 

*February 1: A History of the Subcontinent II* We continue our inquiry into the history of India and Pakistan, and launch writing projects, discussing what is needed to produce publishable, newspaper/magazine feature article focused on the overseas Indian/Pakistan communities. Writing Project: India-abroud: Why don't successful overseas Indians invest in their homelands as do overseas Chinese? Chinese and Indian immigrants to the United States and Europe have enjoyed remarkably similar success in business, science and industry. In the massive economic rebuilding of the People's Republic and Taiwan, overseas Chinese have been key, investing hundreds of billions of dollars in the ancestral homeland. Although there are exceptions, Indians have not been nearly as willing to invest in India. This fact is often cited as one reason why India has not fared as well as China economically. Why do we see such a difference in commitment? To find the answer, we interview in depth a wide range of >overseas Indians and produce a publishable newspaper feature with graphics. 

*February 8: The Evolution of Tibet As Mythology* An historical look at how what we have imagined Tibet and how this mythology has evolved over the past three centuries to influence almost everything we have known and written about Tibet since the beginning. Required Reading: Schell, Orville, Virtual Tibet: The Search for Shangri-La From The Himalayas To Hollywood, Holt/Metroploitan, 2000. Hilton, James, Lost Horizon, Bantam, New York, 1933. Paperback 

*February 15: Contemporary Indian Politics I* The Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty. The Rise and Fall of the Congress Party. The Assassinations of Indira and Rajiv Gandhi. An insider's look at the Indian political system. We discuss the corruption and crumbling of the post-Partition Indian political order with examples of coverage in the American and British press. Set directions for writing project. Required Readings: The Insider by P.V. Narasimha Rao. The Emergency by Kuldip Nayar. "After Gandhi" by Trevor Fishlock from India (50 Years Independence Edition) Granta 57 (March 1997). Selected American journalism following the assassinations of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Suggested Readings: Nehru by M.J. Akbar An Area of Darkness by V.S. Naipaul India: A Wounded Civilization by V.S. Naipaul India: A Million Mutinies Now by V.S. Naipaul  

*February 22: The Pakistani View* The Partition from the Pakistani side. The Rise of Jinnah. Religious politics and the building of the an "Islamic Side." Traditions of the Pakistani Army. The Bhutto Family. Required Reading: Ayesha Jalal, The Sole Spokesman Jinnah, The Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan M.J. Akbar, India: The Siege Within Salman Rushdie, Midnights Children Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation Matlubul Hasan Saiyid, Mohammad Ali Jinnah: A Political Study Philips and Wainwright, The Partition of India: Policies and Perspectives, 1935 -1947 

*February 29: Tibet As A Cold War Tension Point* The Chinese occupation, and the evolution of opposing myths of "liberation" as Tibet becomes a Cold War political football. Required Reading: Goldstein, Melvyn Siebenschuh William and Tsering Tashi, An Autobiography of Tashi Tsering, M.E. Sharpe, 1998. Paperback Avedon, John F., Exile From the Land of the Snows, Alfred A. Knopf, London, 1982. Paperback. [Tempest/Schell] 

*March 7: Contemporary Indian Politics II* The Rise of regionalism and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Hindu-Muslim conflict over Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. Civil disorder in the slums of Mumbai. Women in contemporary Indian society. The politics of caste and poverty in Bihar and Orissa. We discuss the socio-political issues facing a journalist working in India today. Required readings: "Mumbai" by Suketu Mehta (photography by Sebastiao Salgado) and "Caste Wars" by William Dalrymple) from India (50 Years Independence Edition) Granta 57 (March 1997) "The Other India" by Pankaj Mishra from The New York Review of Books (Dec 16, 1999) "Far from Plenty: Class Divides and India's Vicious Cycle of Starvation" by Rone Tempest (LA Times December 25, 1997) Suggested Readings: The BJP and the Compulsions of Politics in India (Selected Articles) by Thomas Blom Hansen and Christophe Jaffrelot The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India by Christophe Jaffrelot (Columbia Univ. Press 1996) May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India by Elisabeth Bumiller(Random House 1990 and Fawcett Books) Gender, Law and Resistance in India by Erin Moore (Oct 1998) University of Arizona Press The Sikh Diaspora: The Search for Statehood by Darshan Singh Tatla (April 1999) Univ. of Washington 

*March 14: Catching Up (Open Date)* Writing Assignment: Conflicts. When Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus go abroad, do they carry their animosities with them? Northern Indian Hindus and Muslims? Mumbai muslims and Shiv Sena supporters? Shri Lankan Sinhalese and Tamils? Indians and Pakistanis in general? The Indian sub-continent is a land of near perpetual caste, class, religion and linguistic conflict. But there are also many unifying factors. We interview some of these peoples to see if the hatred maintains its virulence abroad. 

*March 21: Indian Punjab and Kashmir* The Indian Perspective. India and The Bomb. We discuss the central geo-political flashpoint between India and Pakistan from an Indian perspective. We explore political compulsions of the bomb. Required Readings: India: The Siege Within Challenges to a Nation's Unity by M.J. Akbar (Penguin Books 1985) India, Pakistan, and Kashmir Dispute: On Regional Conflict and Its Resolutions by Robert G. Wirsing "A New Nuclear India?" by Pankaj Mishra from The New York Review of Books (June 25, 1998) "Kashmir" by James Buchan from India (50 Years Independence Edition) Granta 57 (March 1997). 

*March 28 No class (Spring Break)* 

*April 4: Kashmir: The Pakistani Perspective* Origins of the conflict: the struggle for Kashmir. The post-Partition chess game. Strategic issues of the 1960's. The Pakistani Army: the nationalist card. The War in Afghanistan, the CIA and the coming of the Taliban. The radicalization of the conflict. Required Reading: Asia Watch and Physicians for Human Rights, The Human Rights Crisis in Kashmir: A Pattern of Impunity Victoriaf Schofield, Kashmir in the Crossfire Sumit Ganguly, The Crisis in Kashmir: Portents of War, Hopes of Peace David G. Wirsing, India, Pakistan and the Kashmir Dispute: On Regional Conflict and Its Resolution Henry A. Kissinger, "The Pakistan 'Tilt,'" in The White House Years assorted shorter newspaper articles 

*April 11: Tibet - Trying to see behind the screen* Reporting on the Chinese occupation. Required Reading: Barnett, Robert, Resistance and Reform In Tibet, Hurst & Co, London, 1994. Paperback Schwartz, Ronald D., Political Ritual In The Tibetan Uprising, Hurst & Co., London. 1994. Paperback Goldstein, Melvyn, The Snow Lion and the Dragon, UC Press, 1997. Paperback Beijing Review, Tibet: Myth Vs. Reality, Beijing Review, Beijing, 1988. Paperback Human Rights Watch, Cutting of the Serpent's head: Tightening Control in Tibet, 1994-95. HRW/Asia, New York, 1996. Paperback. 

*April 18: Working press/writing project* We discuss different models for covering India and the sub-continent, examining 25 years of outstanding reporting from the region. We evaluate progress on writing projects. Readings: Butter Chicken in Ludhiana Travels in Small Town India by Pankaj Mishra. May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons, A Journey Among the Women of India by Elisabeth Bumiller On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia by Steve Coll India File by Trevor Fishlock India (50 years independence edition) Granta 57(March 1997) India: The Most Dangerous Decades by Selig S. Harrison Selected Articles by working journalists: Rone Tempest, Los Angeles Times Barry Bearak, Los Angeles Times and New York Times Dexter Filkins, Los Angeles Times Elisabeth Bumiller, Washington Post Steve Coll, Washington Post Edward Gargan, New York Times Abraham Rosenthal, New York Times Michael Kaufmann, New York Times Joseph Lelyveld, New York Times Anthony Spaeth 

*April 25: War in Kashmir, The Nuclear Question* The evolution of the nuclear stand-off in Kashmir. The two nuclear programs compared, in history and design. Deterrence on the Subcontinent. The Chinese perspective. Testing and declarations. A scenario of nuclear conflict and the US response. Required Reading: George Perkovich, India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation Paul Bracken, Fire in the East: The Rise of Asian Military Power Seymour M. Hersh, "A Reporter at Large" (On the Secret Nuclear Standoff of 1986); The New Yorker; Brookings Institution and Council on Foreign Relations After the Test: US Policy Toward India and Pakistan Theodore Draper, Present History Henry A. Kissinger, Diplomacy McGeorge Bundy, Danger and Survival 

*May 2: Retrospectives, Conclusions and the Subcontinent in Perspective* Evaluation of papers. Discussions of current developments in India and Pakistan, with special attention to the developing Kashmir conflict. The prospects for development and for peace. US policy toward the subcontinent since the end of the Cold War. Looking ahead.

© 2022 Mark Danner