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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

Mahi and the Indian Man

This is the 24th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

Narendra Modi Makes Some New Year Resolutions

This is a guest column published today in the Sunday Times of India edit page. Every December, I like to…

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most macho of them all?

This is the 34th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. This…

Three Reasons Why A Cashless Society Would Be A Disaster

This is a guest column published today in the Sunday Times of India edit page. I am a great admirer…

Lost in the Shallows

So I finally saw ‘Dear Zindagi’ (after invoking it for the sake of my column last Sunday), and I was…

20 February, 2010

The Exploding Donkey

In his brilliant book, The Forever War, Dexter Filkins informs us that DBIED can stand for either Dog-Borne Improvised Explosive Device or Donkey-Borne Improvised Explosive Device. In a passage that I feel provides a perfect metaphor for the War on Terror, he writes:

In the fall of 2005 some marines discovered a donkey walking around Ramadi [in Iraq] with a suicide belt on. They didn’t want to kill it, of course, but every time they tried to get close enough to remove the suicide belt, the donkey scampered away. They they tried using a robot, one of those bomb-disposal things, which tried to waddle up to the donkey and defuse the payload, but the robot, too, kept scaring the donkey away. Finally the marines shot the donkey. It exploded.

And so it goes…

Posted by Amit Varma in Arts and entertainment | Excerpts | Small thoughts

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