May 19, 2017Will Trump serve his full term?
The ongoing civil war in the White House between representatives of the Alt Right, such as Steve Bannon, and the pragmatists has to end for Trump to complete a four-year term, says Hardeep S Puri.
The Half Truth
In this age of fake news, there are so many things I cannot say for sure anymore, says Veenu Sandhu.
Rajini 2.0 and the making of a political 'Thalaiva'
Tamil Nadu has time and again proved that it needs a decisive leader even if corrupt, rather than an indecisive leader, however good-hearted, good-natured and honest he may be, writes N Sathiya Moorthy.
Who is a liberal?
'Is he one who defends individual liberty at all costs, or is he one who allows some give and take that recognises the primacy of the social contract, our coming together to live in a society?'
The Jadhav case is best handled at the political level
'The ICJ may take its own time to give the final verdict -- say, even 2 or 3 years -- and that would give us the respite to negotiate bilaterally to resolve the issue,' says Ambassador M K Bhdrakumar.
Why the world needs to know this ancient Indian myth
Today humanity is churning the ocean with a thoughtless vengeance -- with toxic wastes, plastics and hazardous substances being dumped into our once pristine seas. And there is no benign Lord Shiva to rescue us from our collective greed, says Shyam Saran.
May 18, 2017Going to the ICJ was a blunder
'There are thousand ways to pressure Pakistan to make it behave.'
ICJ Verdict: Rejoice, But be Wary!
'The verdict will open up the floodgates for Pakistan to take the ICJ route on many issues in context of Jammu and Kashmir,' warns Rajeev Sharma.
After his latest missile, what does Kim want?
'Pyongyang's strategy seems to be a cry to be treated as equal with the US and Beijing and this aspiration is premised on equipping itself with weapons as devastating as theirs,' says Rajaram Panda.
Modi@3: Scary security failures
'If you put colour-coded internal security maps of India in May 2014 and now, the picture won't be flattering to Modi.'
May 17, 2017Have Pakistan army and Nawaz Sharif struck a deal?
While some say an agreement was reached over the Panama Papers, others suggest that Nawaz Sharif may have handed the CPEC to the military in exchange for his survival.
Is India losing its key ally?
India is failing to take advantage of its important ally, Japan as much as it should, notes Mihir S Sharma.
China's Belt and Road Initiative: What are India's options?
'Whichever option India chooses, it should be clear to the government that the China-Pakistan nexus poses a clear and present danger to national security,' says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
May 16, 2017The President is wrong again on the Nehru-Gandhis
'His assessment is wide off the mark from what is expected to be history's final verdict -- which is that Indira was the most unacceptable of all prime ministers because she was the only one who tried to throttle Indian democracy,' says Amulya Ganguli.
May 15, 2017These Indo-Pak games have gone on for a long time
'There are retaliatory incursions, ambushes, captures and killings by Indian forces along the 700 km border; alleged spies are caught on both sides, then mutually traded as pawns; envoys are summoned in both capitals to be routinely given dressing downs.'
For those who look for Gujarati martyrs
'Gujaratis need not be ashamed of the lack of martial tradition.'
May 13, 2017India doesn't want to join China's OBOR, but...
'Does the country risk being enclosed in a geographical cocoon if it spurns a multi-continent project for which everyone else has signed up,' asks T N Ninan.
Welcome to the New Normal
'It's amazing that a country that claims to be the world's largest democracy is getting into the business of micro-regulating personal and professional lives in this fashion,' says Devangshu Datta.
What we need to learn from Nepal and Sri Lanka
'There is an observable difference between Nepalis and Lankans and the rest of us.'
May 11, 2017Lt. Umar Fayaz's death may be a turning point in Kashmir
'In times to come this will be considered a watershed event, but only if the establishment can see the flag which is up and the straws in the wind which are flying,' says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd).
Make no mistake, we are at war!
'India has both the wherewithal and the will to fight the enemy, but is living in a make believe world of its own since it is yet to accept that it is indeed at war,' says military historian Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
Will NGT call the Yamuna expert panel's bluff?
The Art of Living case will go down as a test for environment activism in the country, notes M Rajaque Rahman.
May 10, 2017Who benefits from the Sino-Pakistan corridor?
The CPEC poses a clear and imminent danger to Indian security interests, says Kulbir Krishan.
Has India lost Kashmir?
India isn't Israel, nor can it, or should be, says Shekhar Gupta.
May 09, 2017Is the world sniggering about our cow obsession?
'Guys, you're going to say, Who cares what the world thinks? We're the best, it is our destiny to lead the world; look, everyone's doing yoga, everything the world has was originally ours.'
The new faces of Kashmir's protests are a problem for India
Girls in the Kashmir valley hurling defiance at the security forces will detract from the legitimacy of India's response and its standing in the world, says Ajai Shukla.
May 08, 2017What we need to do in Kashmir. Now!
The escalating situation in the Kashmir valley is the vanguard actions of global jihad, says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
The Butcher of Kabul and I
'Gulbuddin is reputed to have harboured a visceral hatred toward India. But I still keep wondering.'
May 06, 2017The rise of Hindutva 2.0
The Modi-Shah definition of secularism is, India is a confident, resurgent Hindu, and therefore secular, country.
May 05, 2017The truth about Swachh Bharat
Building toilets, however essential, must not be confused with sanitation and the crying need for a revamp of India's sewage systems.
Soon computers will overtake our ability to think
In the next 25 years or so, we will have intelligence in computers that will exceed man's in every way.
Train to Tawang? Build roads first
Before undertaking such difficult projects as a 378-km railway line to Tawang, the government must seriously examine whether having quality roads is a better option.
May 04, 20175 reasons why PM Modi is different
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has five key aspects to his style of leading -- total command over bureaucracy, direct approval on every decision, flexible approach to issues, importance of communication and adept at repackaging schemes, says A K Bhattacharya.
A Parisian affair: He is 39 and she 64
'In a world where the corridors of power are packed with sexually promiscuous men, it would be interesting to see what sort of a president a man committed to one woman 25 years his senior would make.'
Can Pakistan do a 'Bangladesh' in Kashmir?
'The Pakistan army feels it can inflict a similar defeat on India in Kashmir and make it "India's Bangladesh".'
May 03, 2017'We are in a dark and dangerous period'
'Those of us who care for the Indian Constitution worry,' says Aakar Patel.
May 02, 2017Why you should know what's going on in France
'France's challenges revolve around an uncertain economic future, multiple terrorist attacks on French soil and a European migration crisis tied to the situation in Syria and Iraq.'
Modi-Sharif meeting: Can we expect a deal for Jadhav?
'Will Muhammad Habib Zahir -- who was part of the team that arrested Kulbhushan Jadhav and went missing in Nepal -- figure in a Jadhav-for-Zahir deal?' asks Aditi Phadnis.
BJP's 'look east' politics may come at a cost
Even as the BJP makes inroads into previously unfamiliar territories in eastern India, the party will have to be wary of losing out elsewhere, says Amulya Ganguli.
May 01, 2017Why India-Turkey ties won't transform overnight
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's has been trying to mollycoddle India with sweet nothings while having a very close relationship with Pakistan.
April 29, 2017When a dreaded snake came a-visiting
'As it coiled around the stick and the gardener started to walk out, our house help kept reminding him about the fact that Russell's Vipers jump and can jump towards you.'
April 28, 2017Will terror attack mar Iran-Pakistan ties?
'A Russia-Iran-China-Pakistan geopolitical grouping is evolving at this point of time.'
When the Minister became a Bollywood heart-throb again
Ambassador B S Prakash has fond memories of Vinod Khanna, his minister.
The futility of massive bombs
'Large-impact aerial weapons have no use against dictator regimes or terrorist entities,' says Group Captain Murli Menon (retd).
Making a mockery of the Supreme Court order on Aadhaar
'The attempt to make Aadhaar mandatory has now emerged as an act of bullying by government agencies, turning citizens into subjects by making fundamental rights conditional on biometric identification,' says Gopal Krishna.
2019: Has Modi peaked too early?
'Eventually the law of averages has to play catch up with Modi and the BJP, sooner or later,' says Rajeev Sharma.
April 25, 2017For the thuggish Naxalites, revolution is a pretence
'The Naxalite strategy is to periodically attack police forces to provoke a reaction.'
The Great Election Funding Fiddle
'The anonymous electoral bonds means that political affiliations will be even harder to ascertain for the voter or the minority shareholder.'
April 24, 20174 ways to deal with the Kashmir crisis
'The strategy has to be restoring order in one part and countering the very effective propaganda through a very nimble monitoring and response system,' says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain, who retired as the General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps.
April 22, 2017A happy story, for a change
'I may not have had a lot of money to spend on her, but I certainly make sure the government did,' a Delhi electrician who inspired his daughter to study tells Geetanjali Krishna.
5 reasons to be wary of Aadhaar
Not only is your privacy stripped stark naked, says Mitali Saran, the system itself is illegal and vulnerable.
To Sonu Nigam, with love
'How did you sleep through the cries of a Mohammad Akhlaq, or a Pehlu Khan being beaten to death? Did you then tweet, 'Goondagardi hai, bas'?'
April 21, 2017Did Trump pull a fast one with Syria?
Rajeev Srinivasan on why there is the strong possibility that this whole thing is an elaborate charade and how the mainstream might have just played into Trump's showman hands.
What does being pro-India mean?
Those who feel the irresistible need to express strong sentiment for our nation and its contents must consider being pro-Indian, whether this Indian be jawan, cobbler, Kashmiri, lesbian, Dalit, protester, pujari, businessman or child.
NDA and UPA: Not all that different, after all
Similarities between NDA and UPA on some key policy issues are now becoming too stark to be ignored, says A K Bhattacharya.
Mr Modi, please heed loss of morale in armed forces
'The non-implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission, almost a year after it was implemented for civilians, is gradually beginning to hurt morale in the armed forces,' says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
April 20, 2017The Grandmaster behind OPS' comeback
There is a hidden hand behind the political developments in Tamil Nadu...
Post-merger too, Jaya's party will be at sea
To elect, or re-elect a chief minister, the AIADMK needs to call only the MLAs for a meeting. But to elect a new general secretary, it would have to conduct direct elections with all registered cadres participating and voting.
Trapped between two Indias
The appointment of Yogi Adityanath as UP CM, the revival of the Ram Temple movement, the elevation of a ban on cow slaughter as a national priority, and the targeting of any social behaviour deemed contrary to a set of narrowly prescribed Indian values point to a social regression that contradicts the inclusive and forward-looking impulse that underlies Modi's vision of a modern India.
Dhaka, Delhi bonded under Beijing's shadow
The Sheikh Hasina-Narendra Modi summit put India-Bangladesh ties on a firmer pitch.
April 19, 2017China has moved from assertive to aggressive
'The men in black suits and hair dye in Beijing have not only completely blown the cover story of "peaceful rise," but have managed to antagonise regional powers in the Indo-Pacific.'
100 days of Trump: The good and the bad for India
'The domination of American foreign policy by the military poses some hidden dangers for us.'
Why Indian politics will not get cleaned up
No matter how much the likes of Modi brag about cleaning up politics, the goondas and the godfathers will flourish until India can deliver justice to its poor and the system can work to the benefit of ordinary Indians, says Vir Sanghvi.
Why the 2 videos from Kashmir show our Army is the best
Indian soldiers in Kashmir are not on a joy ride scouting for people to kill, says Vivek Gumate.
April 18, 2017Should US mediate in the Indo-Pak dispute?
Any settlement with Pakistan won't last unless it comes with big power guarantees, says Shekhar Gupta.
In which direction is India headed?
'The Dancing Girl is only one of the many symbols they threaten today.'
April 17, 2017Why are politicians uncomfortable with military men?
'Why can't a person who has supervised military intelligence head RA&W?'
Why Kejriwal should pass on the mantle to Sisodia
Manish Sisodia's elevation as Delhi CM would set Arvind Kejriwal free to take up a significant role in national politics, or he could return to activism, says Sudhir Bisht.
100 days of Trump: The method in his madness
The world is still figuring out the man as he continues his enigmatic journey towards the first 100 days of his presidency.
April 15, 2017Justice with judiciousness
While the judiciary remains our most trusted institution, it should debate its internal health, argues Shekhar Gupta.
Foreigner? Will rent. African? Will not
'Over the years, I have come to realise that middle class Indians are amongst the most racist people I have come across, says Geetanjali Krishna.'
April 14, 2017Ambedkar answers: Why Muslims doubt the BJP on triple talaq
Right actions might help reduce this trust deficit.
April 12, 2017Did Assad launch the gas attack against his people?
'There seem to be no reason why Assad should have launched such an attack when he was gaining acceptability,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
Will our liberals support Madhu Kishwar?
Madhu Kishwar is a patriot whose freedom of expression needs to be supported by all, especially the liberals, says Sankrant Sanu.
If Trump continues to challenge Kim Jong-un...
Rajaram Panda explains why the US president needs to restrain himself and build a relationship with China to put any credible pressure on North Korea.
Health for all: Much-needed in UP
Uttar Pradesh still remains far behind the Indian average on most health indicators, says Dipa Sinha.
Pakistan must know retribution will be devastating
'India can replicate what Pakistan did to Kulbhushan Jadhav should the need arise.'
April 11, 2017Time for India to talk directly to Pakistan army
'The Modi government will be wasting its time talking to Nawaz Sharif.'
Jadhav is unlikely to be executed
Was the death sentence provoked by a retired Pakistani colonel going missing in Nepal, presumably abducted by Indian agents?
April 10, 2017'Not my Hinduism' should be our slogan
'The cow is sacred to many of us, but these killings are definitely not part of the Hinduism we know and practise,' says Jyoti Punwani.
April 07, 2017Are we that different from Ravindra Gaikwad?
'Do we not all exhibit a sense of entitlement every day,' asks Savera R Someshwar.
US attack in Syria will strengthen ISIS
'Every single American act to weaken Syrian forces would only tilt the military balance in favour of ISIS whom Trump pledges to vanquish from the face of the earth,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Russia spends $2.4 million daily in Syria
'Surely, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not be able to pay or compensate the Russians for deployment and use of Russian men and equipment,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
The Romeos of Hazratgunj: An elegy
In Yogi Adityanath's Uttar Pradesh wayward Romeos would all be in the lock-up, says Sunil Sethi.
How to survive on a fake SC card
'This is just a harmless card that helps me beat the system occasionally... being labelled a Scheduled Caste is another cup of tea altogether.'
April 06, 2017Making the Ganga, Yamuna people is good
According personhood to the Ganga and Yamuna is probably the best way to ensure the protection of natural resources, says Arundhuti Dasgupta.
All eyes on Election Commission in RK Nagar bypoll
Will the EC would make an example of the RK Nagar by-election, either by ensuring free and fair polls or by countermanding the same, asks N Sathiya Moorthy.
It's time for Rahul to step aside
'He should bring in a working president from outside the family.'
Is this the India we want?
'There is a discomfort among many of us at the fact that the Republic is not more Hindu than it could or should be.'
April 05, 2017Why India must focus on China, not Pakistan
'Whether it is the One Belt One Road project or building relationships in the Indian Ocean Region -- supposedly our area of concern -- the Chinese are seriously outpacing us,' points out Vice-Admiral Premvir Das (retd).
April 04, 2017Who is behind TN farmers' protest?
While a lot of TN farmers are indeed in a very bad condition, the agitation at Jantar Mantar doesn't seem to be apolitical, says Sudhir Bisht.
Why I would not support a ban on meat
Banning meat is cruel demonetisation. It is stealing from the poor, nothing less, writes Sunita Narain.
April 03, 2017Will you eat at a restaurant with a public toilet?
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation's decision to make washrooms in hotels and eateries open to the public for a fee highlights India's failure to expand access to toilet facilities.
Decoding Malaysian PM's 6-day visit to India
Considering the common linkages, high-level trust, complementarities, and convergent interests between the two nations, Malaysia has the potential to become India's key partner in Southeast Asia, says Dr Rahul Mishra.
Is India ready to play the Tibet card?
The Dalai Lama's Arunachal visit is not likely to derail the relationship but it is enough to signal the Chinese that India is also willing to flash the Tibet/Taiwan card should the need arise, says Sana Hashmi.
April 01, 2017What Modi learned from Indira Gandhi
'The choice of chief minister after the win is a pointer to what issues really mattered at the polls.'
Wonderful to be a liberal in today's India
'The wonderful thing about being a liberal is that you can go ahead and be the very last one left standing.'
March 31, 2017Why is India silent on the crackdown in the Maldives?
India's silence on this week's troubles in the Maldives is puzzling, says Rajeev Sharma.
Decoding the Muslim representation in UP assembly
Besides the polarisation in favour of the BJP, there could be other reasons for the under-representation of Muslims too, says Shafeeq Rahman.
Why a 'no-fly' list is a good idea
A public blacklist that bars you from flying for a certain period -- based on the severity of your offence -- could in fact deter others from behaving badly, says Anjuli Bhargava.
Even BJP needs to look beyond caste and religion
The party's most important electoral challenge lies in whether it can meet the aspirations of the youth who were drawn by the promise of gainful work.
March 30, 2017Indians in America are victims, not targets
Three hate crimes have deepened the fear among South Asians that Trump's rhetoric encouraged violence against them, but there is no evidence that Indians have been specifically targeted, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
March 28, 2017Khalid Masood is a product of the West, not Islam
'Did Islam kill those five people in London?'
Anti-Romeo squads... and those Italian marines...
Why 'anti-Romeo'? Why not 'anti-loafer' squad? Or 'anti-Majnu' squad?' wonders Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
Why hope is running out for the Congress
'The Congress in 2017 stands for nothing positive, not even secularism.'
March 25, 2017The Aadhaar Effect: Say bye to your privacy
'In <em>1984</em>, George Orwell dreamt up the concept of a dictatorship that worked on surveillance.'
Kejriwal could end up the Vinod Kambli of Indian politics
'...a dazzling flash, and then, fizzle,' argues Shekhar Gupta.
What reality will replace the dream of 1947?
'Our prime minister manifests a vision for India to be great and powerful, but the modernity required -- of thinking, attitudes, behaviour -- seems alien, if not abhorrent, to his constituency and associates,' says Ambassador K Shankar Bajpai.
Exclusionary 'nationalism' won't solve everyday needs
'The top-most functionaries and destiny-makers of the nation have thrown away the pretensions of statesmanship.'
March 23, 2017Sidhu with Kapil is just not cricket
'It is best Sidhu shuns his role as Kapil Sharma's Paaji and instead concentrates on serving the people of Punjab,' says Sudhir Bisht.
What led to Akhilesh's downfall
Since the Mahabharata the Yadavs have been known for infighting.
March 22, 2017Will the defence ministry shift gears?
Jaitley can make his innings -- notwithstanding its likely length -- to be a watershed tenure, or just add to the image of the MoD drifting rudderless, says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
What does 2019 hold for Narendra Modi?
The numbers, however, look very good for Modi.
March 21, 2017Soul of the army and spirit of the nation
'The vocal pacifists who monopolise the media in India need to answer a simple question: Would they have the Taliban or ISIS take over Kashmir or the rest of the country or let the army do its duty so that we are safe in our beds and free to demonise the soldiers in our cozy drawing rooms and television studios,' asks Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
The shock of denied parenthood
'The inability to have children with the person you love is a foundational shock of being gay,' says Vikram Johri. 'Karan Johar's becoming a parent through surrogacy focuses attention on exactly the demographic that India's divisive Surrogacy Regulation Bill targets.'
Parrikar could have been a great defence minister but...
'A month after assuming charge, Parrikar promised a policy within six months to "end or at least reduce" terrorist infiltration across the Line of Control.'
March 20, 2017Secularists, Muslims need to accept Yogi
Will he take Modi's 'sab ka saath, sab ka vikas' route? Or will he turn UP into Egypt under Morsi, asks Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
If Yogi is communal, who was secular?
'I hope he will continue to be what he is. And doing so, he won't be much different from those whose example he is being given right now,' says Utkarsh Mishra.
Why Adityanath will be a good CM
'Yogi Adityanath will prove to be the most popular and effective chief minister, overseeing a regime of peace and justice, harsh on wrongdoers and rabble rousers, encouraging those who work for India,' says Tarun Vijay.
March 19, 2017Modi, you have broken my heart
'What has hit me between the eyes is Modi's seeming utter contempt for public perception of the yogi being an unrepentant bigot who also carries the baggage of many criminal cases against him,' says B S Raghavan, the distinguished civil servant.
Is Adityanath Modi's Advani moment?
'It is for the first time that Modi has chosen someone as CM who happens to be a mass leader, a polarising figure, a vote catcher, a powerful orator and a Hindu mascot all at once -- qualities usually associated with Modi,' points out Rajeev Sharma.
March 18, 2017Yogi in UP, but eyes on Gujarat
'The coronation of Yogi Adityanath as the surprise chief minister should set at rest all speculation over the nature of the UP mandate,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
The joys of bazaar shopping
The real challenge, says Subir Roy, is to go for something affordable whose quality is just right.
A mountain of challenges awaits new UP CM
Nazarwala, who predicted a triple century for the BJP in the UP elections, lists the challenges that await the new chief minister.
Dangerous to be a journalist in today's world
Journalists all over the world have been disappearing and some have never been heard again, says Narain D Batra.
March 17, 2017Saluting the Vishaka judgment, 20 years on
This historic Vishaka judgement brought the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace into the mainstream discourse says Kanika Dutta.
Kejriwal's dangerous rhetoric on EVMs
It would be far more sensible for AAP to build on what they have achieved than to destroy what credibility they have by floating wild conspiracy theories, says Sankrant Sanu.
Don't look now but China's military is changing!
In a few years from now, India will be looking at an entirely different type of military adversary across the borders, in our waters, in the air, in space and in our communication networks, says Nitin Pai.
Time to fight Trump's war on human rights
'Responding with outrage is not enough. It is the time, and the responsibility of all who hold those rights dear, to fight back, says Aakar Patel.
March 16, 2017Why Indian celebrities choose silence
"A Meryl Streep or Jimmy Kimmel can speak their mind, and stay assured that they won't be harmed.
BJP's response to Ram Mandir will decide India's history
'It is imperative that all parties make a commitment that they shall abide by the final decision of the Supreme Court.' 'This will be the best way to bring a closure.'
Why India should watch out for Trump's agenda
India needs to consider whether the Donald Trump administration can actually deliver, observes former foreign secretary Shyam Saran.
March 15, 2017India on the sidelines as the big boys spend
As the United States and China joust for supremacy, India might remain on the sidelines with its limited resources.
Modi and Muslims need a political outreach
'For the sake of the nation, and the preservation of its polity, it is high time the country's largest political party and the country's largest religious minority make peace between them,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
March 14, 2017Why PM needs a Parrikar 2.0 as Raksha Mantri
In 28 months, Manohar Parrikar as defence minister developed easy relationships with the top brass of the three Services as was rarely ever witnessed before.
A tale of two Akbars, and of Muslim women
Have Muslim women taken to the BJP under Modi even while their menfolk cling to 'secular' politics, asks Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
Why Two Leaves symbol is crucial for bypolls to Jaya's seat
For the AIADMK's cadres, it is much more than an election symbol, they believe the party's electoral chances rest on owning it, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
March 13, 2017My Agenda for Modi's New India
'I hope Prime Minister Modi will take the population bull by the horns,' says Sudhir Bisht.
March 12, 2017Amarinder, not Rahul, won Punjab for the Congress
'His success confirms that the infirm 132-year-old party can still get to its feet if it allows regional leaders to come to the fore,' argues Amulya Ganguli.
What Verdict 2017 says about 2019
BJP's overwhelming win in UP shows that 2014 was no fluke, says R Jagannathan.
Maximum Modi, minimum opportunity
The question is no longer whether he will win 2019; it's what he will do with the new status, says Shekhar Gupta.
March 11, 2017After saffron Holi, saffron Onam isn't far
Tarun Vijay on why the victory in Uttar Pradesh belongs to Narendra Modi and the road ahead.
Modi, master of his craft, is on top of his game
'We are in the presence of a truly great politician,' says Aakar Patel.
5 things Modi needs to do quickly
'The monumental first Modi wrought in 2014, followed by the miracle in Uttar Pradesh, is not a matter for celebration, but an ominous warning of the perils ahead.'
What BJP's UP win means for Indian politics
Political Pundit R Rajagopalan lists his big takeaways from the election results.
How to defeat Modi in elections
'Modi is larger-than-life, but not invincible. Yet,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
Nazarwala in 'Rediff' on Jan 18: BJP will score triple century
Writing on January 18, 2017, Nazarwala had this to say: 'The Modi wave may help the BJP score a triple century; its vanvaas in UP shall end before Holi.'
Why UP's new CM must improve life in the east
There is nothing the young Purvanchali wants more desperately than to escape to a place with less hopelessness, and some opportunity, discovers Shekhar Gupta.
March 10, 2017Defence: China spends 2.5 times more than India
'The Chinese being focussed more seawards is definitely better for India with China being the looming threat along our land borders,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
Only students can oppose, resist and dissent today
'The only forum for resistance and dissent has become the university.'
March 09, 2017My experience with Ayurveda
'The benefits may not be visible immediately, but the general feeling of wellness, rejuvenation and relaxation is palpable.'
Hate has its own momentum
'Hate cannot be channelled only in one direction,' warns Amulya Ganguli.
Why Manipur's Holi is the best in India
'For us, North Indians, who are habitual late comers and lackadaisical in our temple attire; who go to temples in jeans and shorts; who keep our temples dirty; where deities are placed amidst all prasadam and where rotting flowers are strewn on the pathway -- Manipur teaches us grace and discipline,' says Tarun Vijay.
Before the Owaisis there was Shahabuddin
Today as one sees the Owaisi brothers of Hyderabad seeking to lay claim as the custodian of the Muslim vote and the upholders of the community's interests, it is Shahabuddin who springs to mind for having been there, done that, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
March 07, 2017Have you met an Ignoramus?
'Ignorance isn't a problem when it's a question of common citizens having forgotten (or never learnt) middle school science.'
Is Kim Jong-un planning for war?
Will the unpredictable North Korean leader provoke conflict on the Korean peninsula?
March 06, 2017War and Pakistan's 3rd front
India is not making a choice of war over peace. Rather it is at war, a war thrust on it by a sick militaristic State, says Sankrant Sanu.
My rights end where yours begin
Freedom of speech and expression does not merit debate; it exists with conditions to regulate its use. However, a citizen's rights end where another citizen's begin
March 04, 2017Do Mumbaikars have much to celebrate?
The city needs some autonomy, or it will continue to decline in all the ways that are familiar, observes T N Ninan
Hey students, fight for your own minds!
There is going to be no defence of freedom of thought from this government.
March 03, 2017A POTUS so out of his depth!
Distressing as the first month of the Trump administration -- with its missteps on matters of governance, ethics and protocol -- has been, it has been a comic opera of buffoons by comparison to the horrors that await us, fears Rahul Jacob.
The Congress party is comatose if not dead
'When it vanishes as a national force (meaning when it can no longer get sufficient votes to hold onto its symbol, the hand) it will not have been the first large Indian party to die,' says Aakar Patel.
March 02, 2017Kashmir is stuck in a time warp
Both the separatists in the Valley and the Indian establishment have failed to fathom that the world's alignments have changed, writes Col Dr Anil Athale (retired).
Free speech: Don't let them finish off your rights
Don't let people with repugnant ideas abrogate your rights by taking advantage of your commitment to free speech, observes Mihir S Sharma
March 01, 2017Gurmehar is our daughter, protect her rights
Even if I completely disagree with what Gulmehar says, I must, as a father, as an Indian, protect her rights and her dignity. Otherwise I am not entitled to be called an Indian, says Tarun Vijay.
February 28, 2017Can the niece claim Amma's legacy?
There is no denying that the Deepa identity has overnight caught the people's imagination across the state. But converting that into an imagery and from there as support and vote-base is a different matter altogether, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
February 27, 2017What Modi can expect from Trump
'Trump's stated strong stance against Islamist extremism and terrorism could play into the Indo-US relationship.'
What of the troubles within, Mr Modi?
Much of the pre-2014 peace in our hotspots is diminished. Kashmir is on the boil and the Northeast is anarchic, observes Shekhar Gupta.
Facts be damned!
'Politicians have always dealt in lies and propaganda.'<br />'But the scale of the propaganda and the impunity with which it is being unleashed now is stunning,'
Why India-US nuclear trade is still in limbo
'At a time when the entire India-US relationship needs to be defined by President Trump and Prime Minister Modi, a fresh look at the liability issue has become urgent,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan, former Governor for India at the IAEA.
February 24, 2017Akhilesh, the man to watch out for
Akhilesh, the man to watch out for
Demonetisation has failed to curb militancy in Kashmir
'The more harder India pushes its nationalism on to its population, the further away we send Kashmiris.'
Brand Devendra bulldozes all in Maharashtra
With 8 out of Maharashtra's 10 municipal corporations under the BJP's belt, and a stunning show in 25 zilla parishads and panchayat samitis, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, says Prasanna D Zore, is all set for an encore when his party next faces the polls.
Is Tamil Nadu the new Bihar?
If the people of Tamil Nadu stop deifying their leaders and start evaluating them more objectively, the political masters too may change their wayward behaviour, argues Sudhir Bisht.
February 22, 2017Time for TN to get a full-time governor
Now that an elected chief minister is at the helm, it is high time the Centre initiate discussions to appoint a full-time governor at the earliest, given that the state is set to face some challenging times, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Just when I thought I was superior to the Americans...
'Watching American protesters get their act together so quickly and so forcefully only reminds me of all the resisting that Indians should have been doing for the last three years,' says Mitali Saran.
February 21, 2017Why India continues to fail its school children
'We have not taught children their rights and responsibilities, nor life skills,' says Mitali Saran.
Is BJP fine-tuning its line on nationalism?
'Since the general election is only two years away, the BJP will need a surefire plan of action -- and it cannot be either the Ram temple or ultra-nationalism,' says Amulya Ganguli.
Time to trim the fat army of babus
Just 5 departments account for about 88 per cent of the Union government's civilian employees.
Is Shiv Sena changing the goalposts again?
From son of soil to Hindutva and from the BJP to Hardik Patel, the Shiv Sena has changed its stand time to time to reinvent itself.
February 18, 2017General Rawat knows the challenges his men face
'The scope of cordon and search operations has changed drastically.'
The Indian Army is not asking for immunity
'General Rawat's unambiguous stand has acted as a much needed confidence booster to the troops -- young officers and soldiers at the cutting edge -- who were often left wondering if they were doing the right and necessary thing in combating the terrorists, many times paying with their own lives,' says Nitin A Gokhale.
February 16, 2017DMK in driver's seat, but not ready to drive
If either faction of the AIADMK failed to muster a floor majority, then the governor would be called upon to ask MK Stalin as the leader of the opposition if he would like to try his hand at government formation.
Did Uma Bharti violate her oath of office?
'We expect mobs on the subcontinent to hand out punishment without trial.'
February 15, 2017India must reach out to Trump. Now.
Trump's foreign policy juggernaut has shelved the 'Deep State' and 'Axis of Evil'. But where is India?
Hamid Ansari: Rising inequality can lead to conflict
Democracies avoid serious political turbulence only so long as they ensure that the relative level of inequality between the rich and the poor does not become excessively large, says Vice President M Hamid Ansari.
Will Mayawati spring a surprise in UP polls?
The BSP supremo is looking forward to the support of Dalits and Muslims to seize the throne in Lucknow, writes Amit Shankar.
February 14, 2017SC verdict shifts focus to TN floor test
The problem for OPS lies in the fact that most party MLAs believe Sasikala's clan was the force behind their obtaining the party nomination as much as it was Jaya's charisma that won them their seats in the May 2016 assembly polls.
After Donald Trump stumbled...
'The setback for Trump carries a message not only for him, but for the far right in general.'
February 11, 2017Is this what Freedom is all about?
'Free India turns 70 this year.'
A saint who stood by as sinners ran amok
It is time to take the sainthood away from Dr Manmohan Singh, says Sudhir Bisht.
Donald in the House: What Indians must know
'It behoves us in India to watch how the US is pushing back.'
Does India require a border fence with Myanmar?
Fencing the border between Myanmar and Nagaland is expected to adversely affect the Naga tribals.
February 10, 2017The Fake News Epidemic
'So potent is the menace of false news that scientists have now devised a psychological vaccine to target it,' says Veena Sandhu.
A baffling week in Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu, Divya Nair encounters jallikattu, a ban on colas and a water shortage.
Lessons India can take from America
'It will be a fine day when we can claim to have institutions in civil society as influential and as popular as ACLU, which is a strong body only because millions of Americans support its values.'
February 09, 2017When they came for the Muslims, where were you?
Civil rights activist Lakshmi Sridaran argues why South Asians must stand on the right side of history and resist the Trump administration's "systematic attack on the entire spectrum of the US immigration system."
Why using cash can be risky these days
Do you know what kind of currency notes are illegal?
Why 2017 is crucial for China
'The mood in Beijing is already nervous and feverously watchful.'
February 08, 2017Trump won't shy away from acting against Pakistan
'Even if someone other than Trump had become president, the US distancing from Pakistan and coming closer to India was already set in motion.'
A dangerous new world: Governance by social media
'You worry when serious people, with control of our and our children's future, begin to start obsessing over social media, seeing it as an easy, lazy, fun, low-cost substitute for boring, old-fashioned practices of politics, governance and serious, fact-based debate,' says Shekhar Gupta.
OPS revolt puts ball firmly in governor's court
OPS is just now friendless in the party's second-line, but the situation could change as and when Governor Rao arrives in the state capital, and sets the constitutional ball rolling, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
February 07, 2017Tagore's university to Mamata's university
While the standards of Visva Bharati University fall, the chief minister of West Bengal fantasises about a Biswa Bangla University a few kilometres away. Keya Sarkar ponders the sad state of affairs.
February 06, 2017For a democracy, Modi's words are ominous
'Modi followed a prime minister whose second term was marked by such tragic passivity that Indians, it would seem, are willing to go to great pains to help this one realise his ambitions for them.'
The US under Trump: Why this American is worried
'I have had a US passport for 26 years. I have a Hindu name. But none of that matters it seems.'
It was now or never for Sasikala
'Sasikala, already determined to keep both the party and CM's post for herself, might not be able to do it, if she were to wait any longer,' says N Sathiya Moorthy.
February 04, 2017The end of the world, as we knew it
'An isolationist US and a disintegrating European Union will create a power vacuum that only China is in a position to fill -- a conclusion that is uncomfortable but unavoidable,' says Nitin Desai.
The Power Rush
Like Mr Trump, says Kanika Datta, politics tempts many businessmen.
What was Myanmar's NSA doing in Delhi?
India was U Thaung Tun's first port of call after his appointment, which should intrigue China and Pakistan, says Rajeev Sharma.
February 03, 2017Nehru's Aksai Chin Blunder
'Delhi was not concerned.'
Will the 1984 victims ever get justice?
'The BJP has the opportunity to undo a lot of the damage that we have suffered as a society which looks away from mass violence.'
Nationalism? What's that got to do with Trump and Brexit?
Nothing, according to Deepak Lal. He argues that the contemporary attempts to control immigration in the US and UK are not nativist.
February 02, 2017BSP or SP: Who will UP's Muslims vote for?
Muslims constitute 20% of UP's electorate.
February 01, 2017China's new admirals: What it means for the world
At a time when Donald Trump is making belligerent noises, Chinese President Xi Jinping responds by overhauling the People's Liberation Army and restructuring the command of the PLA Navy to emphasise Beijing's resolve to dominate the South China Sea.
January 31, 2017Database State to Surveillance State
The plan of UID/Aadhaar-based surveillance does not end with the collection of fingerprints and iris scan, it goes quite beyond it and poses a lethal threat to the idea of India, says Gopal Krishna.
January 30, 2017Why playing the Tibet card may backfire on India
'Given Chinese sensitivity to anything to do with Tibet -- and the fact that in the 1950s it was the Tibet issue which led to the deterioration of India-China relations and the border war in 1962 -- India should be particularly careful in not triggering a Chinese reaction which it may not be able to handle,' says former foreign secretary Shyam Saran.
Do Muslims really need government upliftment?
While there is no denying that certain sections of the community deserve aid, the politics of reservation can be suicidal for India.
No surprises if the Sena-BJP form a post poll alliance
'Nothing will change in the richest municipal corporation in the country.'
January 26, 2017The little joys to be thankful for
It is a little like glimpsing old photographs and feeling a sense of sweetness, or sorrow, says Kishore Singh.
R-Day musings: Why India needs to behave like an elephant
'An elephant has to behave like an elephant and not shy away from confronting the jackals,' argues Colonel (Dr) Anil A Athale.
The soldier has done more to unite India than netas
'Often reviled, mostly ignored, sometimes venerated, he has taken it all in his stride.'
January 25, 2017How Jallikattu protests left the State on the backfoot
The governments at the Centre and in the state were unprepared to handle the massive response to the large numbers of people, as they were not aware of the groundswell of public admonition that was against the Establishment, says N Sathiyamoorthy.
Demonetisation: Can the Supreme Court intervene?
It has always been accepted in various apex court rulings that economic policy is not justiciable. It can intervene only if the legislation is seen to violate fundamental rights says Sukumar Mukhopadhyay.
Why the BJP has a stake in Jallikattu's revival
'The BJP is so keen to use this opportunity to make its foray in a state where it hardly exists, says Amulya Ganguli, that it has silenced the vociferous animal rights activist in its ranks -- Maneka Gandhi.'
Digital India, Virtual Reality
Why is the government unwilling to disclose the winners of its DigiDhan Yojana?
January 24, 2017Master Diplomat, Malgudi Maestro, Mysore
R K Narayan's house has been preserved as a simple museum with his memorabilia, thanks to the imagination of a commissioner of Mysore, who stopped its sale by RKN's successors to a property developer and purchased it for the government.
Donald Trump and the lessons for India
'The real problem of joblessness and democratic politics is happening here in India. And it is happening now, right before us.'
January 23, 2017China's olive branch: What India must do
China's white paper on Asia-Pacific security cooperation extends an olive branch to India.
January 21, 2017No need for the world to fear Trump
Other countries need not be worried by Trump putting America first, says B S Raghavan.
Sangh mutiny against Modi, Shah if BJP fails to win UP
'The disquiet in the Sangh is, of course, over demonetisation.'
January 20, 2017What kind of First Lady will Melania Trump make?
Does Mrs Donald Trump realise that her immediate predecessor, Michelle Obama, is not the only hard act to follow, wonders Kanika Datta.
That US is losing one of its best-read presidents, and will gain one of the least likely to have ever read a book. Does that matter? Mihir S Sharma explains why it should.
Will Trump go after Pakistan's terrorists?
'His secretary of defence nominee, General James Mattis, says he expects Pakistan to take action against terrorists operating from its soil.'
January 19, 2017By 2020, there will be no newspapers
The end of newspaper reporting will produce a landscape so barren that it will be terrifying, says Aakar Patel.
January 18, 2017Has Jallikattu ban revived TN's regional pride?
The jallikattu issue has revived pan-Tamil political sentiments especially among youths, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
What a Trump presidency will be like
'The optimistic advice might be "fasten your seat belts" and the pessimistic one might just turn out to be "brace for impact",' says Claude Smadja.
Stop this showy nationalism!
'If Amazon's officials had secured their visas through proper paperwork, under what rule or law was Swaraj threatening to cancel them?'
BJP's 'vanvaas' in UP likely to end
Amit Shah's meticulous planning and Modi's charisma will turn the tide in the BJP's favour, says Nazarwala.
January 16, 2017Ordinary lives, extraordinary struggles
'As I look back on 2016, I see yet another year in which our country -- not just the government -- has failed to move ahead,' says Geetanjali Krishna.
January 14, 2017What Parrikar needs to focus on in 2017
'The defence minister needs to focus on human resources-related issues at the same pace in 2017 as he did on acquisitions in 2016,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
What I learnt after fracturing my foot in the UK
The UK spends about Rs 1.5 lakh per citizen.
Sport is now as much about the game as money, tamasha
Using a sledgehammer to fix some ills can cut down a game at its peak, warns Shekhar Gupta.
January 13, 2017Why China is angry with the Puja in Bodh Gaya
China's ruling Communist Party has cracked down on Tibetans who planned to attend the Kalachakra Puja in Bodh Gaya.
January 12, 2017A big challenge to Modi's Congress-mukt Bharat dream
Priyanka Gandhi will strike a deal with Mayawati and not Akhilesh, says Nazarwala.
The A to Z of 2016
It was the year 'anti-national' became the 'it' gaali, and our humble haldi-doodh became the toast of the West's wellness brigade as 'Tumeric Latte.' It was the year 'cash' became unholy and 'fake news' became real. Shuma Raha looks back.
With a shrinking fleet IAF has tough choices ahead
The IAF has just 33 squadrons, 9 short of the 42 squadrons needed to tackle China and Pakistan together, says Ajai Shukla.
Eye to eye
Bereft of options when Keya Sarkar arrives at a charitable eye hospital in Santiniketan she is pleasantly surprised -- not just by the building but also by the patience of the tribals who await their turn and the overburdened doctors.
January 11, 2017Where is the go-getter Parrikar?
Instead of ramming through change, Mr Parrikar has tied his own hands by placing reform at the mercy of numerous committees, says Ajai Shukla.
Why do we treat our soldiers like this?
'We owe our existence to the men in uniform, and we owe it to them to cleanse the armed forces by driving away every bit of corruption that eats into it,' argues Sudhir Bisht.
Supreme Court verdict: Back to square one, if not minus one
'Disturbingly, the dissenting judgment of the Supreme Court has raised doubts whether religion, race, caste, community, language etc can be separated from politics at all. It has rightly underlined that this question should to be addressed by Parliament rather than the Supreme Court,' says Dr Madhav Godbole, the former Union home secretary.
January 10, 2017Sidhu will be a liability for the Congress
'It will be a mistake to imagine that Sidhu will be a permanent feature of the Congress' Punjab scene,' says Amulya Ganguli.
January 09, 2017Shining the light on an Era of Darkness
'I would recommend every young Indian reads Shashi Tharoor's book to get a perspective of our colonial past in the present day mesmerising euphoria of the global village in spite of Donald Trump, says Shivanand Kanavi.
Unnerved by Trump's stand on Taiwan, China flexes muscle
'Chinese pressure on Taiwan is unlikely to ease till Beijing feels that stability is being restored in the Sino-US relationship,' says former RAW officer Jayadeva Ranade.
Can Jaya's niece spoil Sasikala's party?
If anyone is targeting Sasikala or the AIADMK, then they should be looking elsewhere, not at Deepa for leading a revolt successfully, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Lord of the trolls
'If the prime minister wants to be seen as a global statesman, then is it not embarrassing to be so closely associated with a gang of foul-mouthed bullies?' asks Vir Sanghvi.
January 07, 2017Crisis in Command: The challenges that lie ahead
'No one needs to lose sleep if a person with better operational credentials supersedes lesser endowed peers,' says Group Captain Murli Menon (retd).
A year on, can Mehbooba preserve Mufti's legacy?
One year after his death, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's legacy stands crucially poised, says Mohammad Sayeed Malik.
January 06, 2017Fragile 'Samajwadi unity' is about to crumble
And ticket redistribution could be that moment, says Nazarwala.
January 05, 2017Father rewards Stalin for long wait, will voters follow suit?
At a time when the AIADMK has chosen the late Jaya's personal aide to lead the party, M K Stalin re-enters the scene with greater credibility and better clarity of his own role in the DMK, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
January 04, 2017An agenda for General Rawat
The new army chief's highest priority must be to address the critical hollowness in the Indian Army's operational preparedness, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
On not reading hope into a Supreme Court verdict
'Of course, I would like a world in which candidates don't ask for my vote on religious (etc) grounds.'
January 03, 2017140 characters of gloom
#RIP #Brexit #Trump #Aleppo made Twitter a pretty distressing place in 2016. Dhruv Munjal wonders what 2017 will bring.
The newsmakers of 2017
Who will make the most of the disruptions of 2016 this year? Mihir Sharma's list of probables.
January 02, 2017Time to keep religion out of politics
Let India rise on the prowess of development, honest money and a non-religionist political discourse.
For AIADMK cadres, MGR-Jaya's poll symbol comes first
Whatever the circumstances the cadres will not let themselves be seen as challenging 'MGR's symbol'. It's an emotional identification for most of them, and many consider it an 'eternal sin' for them to defy 'Two Leaves', says N Sathiya Moorthy.
As we exit a year of horrors, the one we enter may be worse
'If tempers all over the country are so fragile that they can be lost because a couple of film stars give their child the same name as a 14th-century warlord, exactly what sort of compromises can be palatable,' asks Mihir S Sharma.
The year India and China hoped high, delivered low
India and China met and spoke a lot this year, but failed to produce any meaningful results.
BJP will continue its successes in 2017
'Even if we expect that the economy will be hit and GDP is lowered for a few quarters by the reckless demonetisation, this will itself not be sufficient to dislodge Modi's popularity,' says Aakar Patel.
December 31, 2016Modi will recast himself as champion of the underdog
'Modi was in as sweet a spot as is possible for an Indian prime minister in mid-term.'
December 30, 2016Modi, Indira Gandhi and bad economics
'All of Indira Gandhi's bad economic ideas are being strengthened, from nationalised banks to anti-poverty, handout yojanas,' says Shekhar Gupta.
Why Sasikala's elevation is a challenge to the BJP
Despite the BJP's displeasure over Sasikala's elevation as AIADMK general secretary, the Dravidian party has sent a message to the Modi government that it will not be cowed down, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
December 28, 2016Choosing an army chief: The perils of choice
With ambitious generals knowing that political patronage might be rewarded, a worrying era of politicisation of the military looms ahead, observes retired Colonel Ajai Shukla who has known Generals Rawat, Bakshi and Hariz for a long time.
Watch out for Mamata from here to 2019
Political observers say Banerjee is fast emerging as the face of the Opposition and would be a force to reckon with in the next general elections in 2019.
No leader could have achieved what Modi has
'If one is looking for evidence of his talents as a mass leader, it has been on display since he announced demonetisation on November 8.'
December 26, 2016A year after Pathankot, has anything changed?
'More needs to be done in less time,' says Vivek Gumaste.
Modi is the inheritor of Vajpayee's legacy
'The Vajpayee personae is so mirrored in Modi's initiatives that one wonders if the similarities are merely a coincidence or a divine design,' says RSS ideologue Tarun Vijay.
Maybe we need to 'shut down' Delhi
'It is clear that nature is not in a mood to give us leeway to be lazy, inefficient or just do business as usual.'
December 25, 2016The Jaya you didn't know
'We spoke of everything but politics.'
December 24, 2016Why the note ban backlash needn't worry Modi
'While people complain of the difficulties they are experiencing because of the lack of currency, they remain supportive so far of Mr Modi's initiative.'
Don't go to Goa if you want to escape people you know!
In Goa, says Kishore Singh, you are defined as much by the village that makes up your address as by the neighbours who keep you company.
Prepare to be surprised in Tamil Nadu
Prepare to be surprised in Tamil Nadu
December 22, 2016Reading the signals from the TN tax raids
In private, AIADMK spokespersons say that the raid on Chief Secretary P Ramamohana Rao might be aimed at weakening the AIADMK, and demotivating the party from selecting/electing Jayalalithaa's confidante, Sasikala Natarajan, as her successor -- first as party head then possibly in the government, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
December 21, 2016Speaker, VP must share blame for winter washout
If the Opposition is bent upon shouting its own agenda on a deaf ruling dispensation, then it becomes binding upon the chair to ensure that the parliamentary affairs aren't reduced to a farce.
One can be sure General Rawat has what it takes
'One can be sure that General Rawat will have all-round support and that the Indian Army will have a strong chief,' says Rear Admiral Sudarshan Shrikhande (retd).
December 20, 2016The conqueror-king Kareena's son is named after
When Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor-Khan decided to name their firstborn Taimur, Syed Firdaus Ashraf delved into history to bring back into focus the fierce warrior king who bore that name many centuries ago.
Trump's America needs this Indian
On his latest trip to the US, Kishore Singh could not help but relate to the worries about coming times, and think what President Donald Trump's America needs is an Indian export -- the "commoner" and street rabble-rouser, Arvind Kejriwal.
Why I support General Rawat's appointment
'A seniority-based system created a situation where officers in the higher rank would know, years in advance, who amongst them would be the chief at some future date and the rest would not have a shot at the highest post!'
How Rahul messed up the chance to corner Modi
'We are in the middle of the biggest self created crisis of this government.'
Can IS make its presence felt in India?
The next big destination for IS in South Asia could be India.
The queue jumpers of India
Kanika Datta reflects on Indians and our relationship with snaking queues from the license raj to demonetisation.
December 19, 2016Some advice and a word of caution for the next Army Chief
'Pakistan thinks it is winning this low intensity conflict.'
Will General Bakshi be India's first CDS?
'In the present era of strategic uncertainty and rapidly changing threats, no military professional now disputes the unavoidable necessity of a joint planning staff for the planning and conduct of joint operations so that integrated operations can be planned 'top down',' says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
Could 2016 be a repeat of 1975?
'It would be too sweeping to say that the elites and the middle-class don't care about liberty.'
Will Gen Rawat be a better chief than Gens Bakshi and Hariz?
Over the past two decades, six of the eight army chiefs have been from the infantry and the other two from the artillery division.
December 17, 2016Explained: Why America voted for Trump
The narrative in America after Donald Trump's victory sounds like the questions and debates that took place in India after May 2014.
Who will be proved right? NaMo or Manmohan?
'Singh has written that he fears demonetisation will end up a mammoth tragedy.'
Winter washout: Why was Modi so stubborn?
'Modi has lost a great opportunity to show himself to be a leader, mentor and path-setter, capable of rising above narrow party interests,', says B S Raghavan, the distringuished civil servant.
December 16, 2016They still won't say the 'C' word
Donald Trump denied it. Hillary Clinton avoided saying it. But the Climate Change crisis is frighteningly real, says Sunita Narain.
If given the reins of AIADMK now, will Sasikala become CM too?
Should Sasikala seek to follow Jayalalithaa's footsteps in the matter, and if at all she is not disinterested in keeping the twin posts together, the by-election to Jayalalithaa's constituency R K Nagar could be the starting point, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Modiji, how can these Indians cope with the note ban?
How are the illiterate and aged coping with Modi's demonetisation, wonders Subir Roy.
December 15, 2016Easier to travel Bangalore-London than Bangalore-Surat
What is required is boring leadership that ensures that the basics are right and not genius leadership that dreams of bullet trains, says Aakar Patel.
December 12, 2016Donald Trump is a blank sheet of paper
'You can ascribe any ideology to him, and it will be equally right - or equally wrong.'
December 10, 20165 reasons why Jokowi's visit is important
It is often said that the India-Indonesia relationship is overshadowed by mutual neglect.
Five reasons why Indonesia's Widodo's visit is important
Despite regular meetings between the two sides, it is often said that India-Indonesia relationship is overshadowed by an element of mutual neglect. Jokowi's visit has the potential to rejuvenate what is otherwise called as one of the most underrated relations, says Dr Rahul Mishra.
The race to demonetise Modi
The note ban is Modi's make-or-break gambit for 2019.
Now, rise and prove your patriotism
After the Supreme Court ruling on playing the national anthem in all movie halls, Veenu Sandhu misses the innocent days when patriotism was part of our being, not a prescribed potion to bring all our problems to an end.
December 06, 2016What heights she would have taken India!
'She dwarfs every known politician of recent times with her imperious aura, iron will, tremendous drive, dauntless pursuit of goals she set before herself, ability to capture the people's imagination and unshakeable grip over her party and government,' says B S Raghavan, the distinguished civil servant.
Why OPS has the toughest job in Indian politics
'Going by his political conduct over the past 15 years since first becoming chief minister, he has made enough enemies among equals as friends and followers.'
She has left a void in Indian politics
'Her elevation in public life signified the end of parochial extremism and hate on a casteist basis.'
December 05, 2016How India should deal with Pakistan
Sanjeev Nayyar suggests 16 measures by which we can tackle our unrelenting and untrustworthy neighbour.
December 03, 2016Why China is upset at Trump's call with this lady
Donald Trump is believed to be the first US President or President-elect to have spoken to a Taiwanese leader since 1979, when the US severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan after its recognition of the People's Republic of China, points out former RA&W officer Jayadeva Ranade.
December 02, 2016India must be wary about China's plans for a Pakistan port
'Gwadar has the potential to facilitate PLAN's operations in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.'
Spare a thought for Obama
'His popularity is still high; respect for his intellect and integrity is still discernible; but his long night may just be beginning,' says Ambassador B S Prakash.
December 01, 2016How Modi thought of demonetisation
'In the coming months, expect more government action that will be packaged as an assault on black money,' warns A K Bhattacharya.
Message from Nagrota: India must be ready for the long haul
'The devious minds across the border will test us to the hilt, but in the course of that will offer us opportunities for which we must be prepared,' says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd), who commanded the Uri Brigade, the Baramulla Division and the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps.
November 30, 2016A soldier is a symbol of our nationhood, let's salute him
Is a martyred soldier just a statistic?
November 29, 2016How demonetisation will stop terror funding
One thing is certain: Demonetisation has broken the back of terror funding, says Colonel Anil A Athale.
My sobering encounters with Modi's Digital India
In these times of Rs 2,000 notes and digital payment apps, Syed Firdaus Ashraf tries to book tickets for Dear Zindagi.
November 28, 2016What to expect from Pakistan's new army chief
General Bajwa, who commanded the 10 Corps that looks after Pakistan's border with India, is unlikely to change his army's and nation's policy on Kashmir,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
When Communists part ways, it is painful to watch
'Castro's huge appeal lies in the fact that he stood up to the Americans.'
Modi has been let down by bureaucracy
'The experience so far is a shocking example of how critical scheme of national importance can be brought into disrepute by inefficient and badly designed implementation,' says Dr Madhav Godbole, the former Union home secretary.
Why Modi continues to enjoy wide popular support
'I have no doubt that the government means well.'
November 27, 2016Will Pakistan's new army chief cool down tensions with India?
'General Bajwa is believed to consider the internal threats to Pakistan's security as far more serious than the bogey of the Indian threat.'
November 25, 2016The real enemies of social media
The trolls on Twitter, the rumour mongers on WhatsApp and the serial abusers on Facebook are the enemies of social media.
Demonetisation simply shows that Bharat lives on
'The effect of demonetisation has been largely to drive black money above ground. But there are several interesting side-effects. One is the uncomfortable realisation that this can happen again, which is a deterrent to future sinners,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.
Why we can't write off Stalin despite DMK losing the by-polls
AIADMK's Jayalalithaa won three assembly by-elections from her hospital bed. However, the DMK heir's decision to disempower second-line satraps, who were running personal fiefdoms in their districts, and his fresh approach, could prove beneficial in the next polls, observes N Sathiya Moorthy.
What Star Trek tells us about reaching out to others
'In the lingo of Star Trek, how willing are we to keep all hailing frequencies open in order to listen more closely and with empathy to whoever we consider the 'other'?'
Expect a permanent state of war with Pakistan!
'India has to understand that the permanent state of war that exists between India and Pakistan has to be expected,,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
November 23, 2016An India-Israel reset is overdue
India-Israel relations are at a crossroads. Simply chanting old hackneyed mantras on terrorism, secularism, democracy, et al, won't suffice. There is danger of stagnation setting in, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
November 22, 2016America in the Trump era: What desis must do
'For some South Asians, it may be tempting to think "I'm not Muslim, this doesn't really affect me".'
Having shown decisiveness, Modi needs to show governance
'With the country is a crisis that directly affects hundreds of millions, we will know if Modi has grip,' says Aakar Patel.
What Indian media can learn from US elections
Perhaps one aspect of the way modern media particularly print and news television works need some soul-searching: Their tendency to "frame" news stories as a conflict between two personalities, says Ajit Balakrishnan.
November 21, 2016Better late than never: The M-777A2 howitzer is coming to India
Flexible, maneuverable, mobile and swift, the M-777A2 Ultra-Light Howitzers are just what India needed to replace its aging battle-tested Bofors guns, says Debalina Ghoshal.
November 16, 2016Trump's Triumph: The Fear of Others
'Competence, experience, matter, did you say?'
Time to Isolate and Disintegrate Pakistan
'India should stop claiming that a united Pakistan is in India's interests.'
November 14, 2016At last, some good news from Kashmir
'Victory it was, but for the students, parents and society at large, who, together, showed that all was not lost, after all,' says Mohammad Sayeed Malik, the distinguished commentator on Kashmir affairs.
Pakistan's rogue army must be punished
'By beheading an Indian soldier, the Pakistan army has demonstrated its proclivity for barbaric medievalism.'
A distracted America is set to pull back from Asia
'Clearly, from the Indian viewpoint, the US retrenchment from Asia cannot be happening as good news.'
How Trump will 'deal' with the world :)
'Europe can be discussed on a golf course...'
November 13, 2016War on cash, India-Japan n-deal: Modi bends like Beckham
'Modi's abject capitulation will play out badly in his core constituency.'
November 11, 2016The world in the era of Donald Trump
The US foreign and security policy establishment, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar, apprehends that Trump may compel them to exorcise the 'unipolar predicament', and bring foreign and security policies to reflect the desires and priorities of the American public.
What India can expect from President Trump
'A bit of marketing, a bit of positioning, and a lot of strategic thinking is required, and all this should be in aid of India's strategic intent: Becoming the third pole in a global G3 and aiming for Numero Uno,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.
November 10, 2016Obama contributed to Trump's win
'It is beyond belief that Obama failed to sense the disconnect that had developed between the ruling elites and the 'masses' in America, something that Trump, albeit a novice in electoral politics, spotted almost instinctively,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Why Trump is likely to embrace India
'India can rely on him to fight terrorism in all its forms, including Pakistan-sponsored outfits.'
Understanding Trump's triumph: Fear is the key
While Trump played on fears about Muslims and immigrants, Hillary played out the fear of Trump, says Sankrant Sanu.
November 09, 2016How Indians can help the army along the border
Sanjeev Nayar offers some ideas on how Indians can help in improving the lives of those living in border areas and in the process help the Indian Army.
We will see what tomorrow brings
'Eight years of what Obama had achieved can be wiped out during the Trump administration,' fears Aseem Chhabra, who worries about his country under'an arrogant bully, who whipped up the worst out of his followers.'
How the world was Trumped
'An America at war with itself, groaning under a mounting debt, with woolly-headed economic policies of a neophyte president who is more feared and suspected among the comity of nations does not augur well for the world.'
Welcome To A Terrifying World
'In a future where newspapers are gone, the public will have a severe lack of material to be properly informed.'
November 08, 2016BSP, Congress likely to tie-up for UP polls
The BSP-Congress tie-up is a done deal. Only the formalities need to be gone through and announced.
Why I hope Hillary loses
'Hillary Clinton is no friend of India,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. 'Not that Trump is necessarily one, but at least he gets the benefit of the doubt.'
November 07, 2016Arnab Goswami and his 9 pm fish market
Now that Arnab Goswami is signing off from the Times Group, his cacophony and his shrill sermons will be missed. So will be the fish market. Thank God for that because for me the fish had started to stink, says Sudhir Bisht.
BJP is testing the limits of censorship
'There is perhaps a need to pay heed to L K Advani's belief about an Emergency re-run,' says Amulya Ganguli.
November 05, 2016This arbitrary dictatorial order must be opposed
'Ever since Mr Modi has come to power NDTV has been facing inquiries from different agencies of the government.'
November 04, 2016Is BJP moving closer to Amma?
Though the 2019 alliance talks, if any, are a long way off, CM Jaya's current state of health and her long hospitalisation maybe a facilitating factor for the AIADMK to consider any BJP initiative favourably at the time, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Do America's voters have a choice at all?
'The American electorate are forced to choose between a shop-soiled spokesperson of crony establishmentarianism and an outlandish boor of a showman, who should never have been where he is now.'
November 03, 2016Has India lost out in the spy vs spy game?
'It will take years for the mission in Islamabad to recover as a top-notch diplomatic establishment,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Did Rakesh Maria go soft on Peter Mukerjea?
Rakesh Maria's tough posture as Mumbai police chief, it seems, ruffled feathers in the Fadnavis government, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
The Narendra Modi of TV news
'To be fair to Arnab Goswami, the television camera is his only fix.'
November 02, 2016The desi at the heart of Hillary's FBI troubles
'Huma Abedin must follow through in the footsteps of her illustrious mentor Hillary Clinton to carry the movement forward to empower American women,' says Kaleem Kawaja.
November 01, 2016Thank you, Sindhu
'Let us see the tricolour flutter and soar as we park our vehicles, as we play cricket in the gullies, as we surf the Internet, as we enter our places of worship,' says Ankita Athawale.
How to TAME Pakistan
'While military acts such as the Uri surgical strikes are one option, cultural, economic and diplomatic isolation should also be part of the arsenal,' argues Sankrant Sanu.
Time to seize the moment in Kashmir
New Delhi has repeatedly missed opportunities for political engagement in Kashmir in the past. It must seize the next one, says Ajai Shukla.
October 31, 2016How Indian soft power can overwhelm Pakistan
'Openness is a great weapon in the armoury of more open societies. That's why the fight with Pakistan isn't just about India be six times bigger, but equally bitter and insecure Pakistan,' argues Shekhar Gupta.
Xi Jinping, most powerful Chinese leader since Mao, Deng
'The title of 'core' of the leadership gives Xi Jinping greater political authority at a time when China is beset by various problems as well as a slowdown in economic growth,' points out former RA&W officer Jayadeva Ranade.
'Koi Sardar hai? Goli se maar dalenge'
Jasmit Singh, 85, recalls a horrific train journey to New Delhi on the day Indira Gandhi was killed.
October 28, 2016Fadnavis, the biggest loser in MNS-ADHM row
'Devendra Fadnavis' brokering the deal between the MNS and the makers of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil raises questions about the chief minister's effectiveness,' says Neeta Kolhatkar.
Sinha in Kashmir: Good visit, but is the Centre listening?
'The first clear cut call for 'engagement with all stake holders including separatists' came, not from the political class but the men in uniform,' points out Mohammad Sayeed Malik, the distinguished observer on Kashmir.
October 27, 2016UP likely to see the return of Mayawati
A full majority might be difficult, but Mayawati is in a commanding position this time.
How do you solve a problem like Pakistan?
'Instead of isolation, India should respond militarily to every act of terrorism assessed to have come from across the border, unilaterally declare Pakistan a State that supports terrorism and cease all economic dealings with it.'
October 24, 2016How SP reached the breaking point
Akhilesh was always seen as someone working under the shadow of his father and uncles. However, overtime, he started asserting his authority.
October 21, 2016So what is your Nationalism Quotient?
Durba Dhyani gets lessons in patriotism from a retired general.
Stalin brings civility back into TN politics, but there's a hurdle
More than the traditional Dravidian political rivalry that's now on display, it's boiling down to father-son one-upmanship within the DMK, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
When China stole India's thunder
The BRICS summit made clear that China's support for Pakistan is unwavering.
Revealed: What Brazil's President was thinking in Goa
'I was a bit startled when our host spoke with such force and at such great length about Terrorism.'
October 20, 2016Why should India crave America's approval?
'Platinum grade support from Washington has not been forthcoming, the christening of the US-Indian ties as a 'defining partnership' notwithstanding,' says A,bassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Does Akhilesh Yadav have a plan?
'It is possible that Akhilesh has set his sights on 2022.'
October 19, 2016Modi distances from Gandhiji -- and Parrikar
'Parrikar should never have bracketed himself with Modi.'
Is Nawaz Sharif a Ravan?
'Nawaz Sharif knows a coup in 2016-2017 will not only complete Pakistan's isolation, but even a whiff of instability will frighten the world into imagining another Islamic State-zone, and this in a fully nuclearised subcontinent,' says Shekhar Gupta.
October 18, 2016What did Modi and Xi's 9th meeting achieve?
China continues to hold out on fingering Pakistan as the 'mothership of terror,' declaring Masood Azhar a terrorist at the UN, and India's membership of the NSG, says China expert Srikanth Kondapalli.
An army is only as good as its officers!
'Our political leadership needs to grasp that there is a difference between a soldier, policeman, trained private security guard and a chowkidar, though all of them provide security.'
India's terrorism narrative needs a rethink
'The crux of the matter is that our narrative lacks credibility with world capitals,' argues Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Justice for all or just another jumla?
'The timing is a little suspect.'
October 17, 2016Modi's BRICS symphony in Goa
Narendra Modi's success at the BRICS summit is the best Diwali gift for India's diplomacy and marks her ascendancy to global leadership, says Tarun Vijay.
Uniform Civil Code: The need to proceed with caution
'Triple talaq and polygamy are likely to be the next ground on which Hindutva will assert itself.'
Why news TV channels changed their tune
'The media today is completely free from the government-induced fear factor.'
Why India's reset of its Russian relationship is important
'One lesson to emerge out of the Modi-Putin summit is that India can be more self-confident that it possesses inherent strengths to leverage its interlocutors to influence Pakistani policies,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
October 15, 2016Donald Trump is wrong for our community
'Given the disdain Trump has shown for our community's values and experiences, it is disappointing that a handful of wealthy, conservative donors have invited him to address their friends this weekend,' say Mira Patel and Gautam Raghavan.
The politics of 'nationalism'
'That's the stunning achievement of two-and-a-half years of this government -- a political bait-and-switch, selling a promise of economic development, and delivering a triumphalist machine that sacralises country, nationalism, majoritarianism and tradition, to achieve Hindutva goals,' says Mitali Saran.
October 14, 2016President Trump, meet President Mallya :)
Could Ambassador B S Prakash's nightmare turn real?
October 13, 2016The communal mood in UP is turning ugly
'When vote-hungry political parties appear to gain power only through communal polarisation, do we really see any possibility of an end to this violence?' asks Mohammad Sajjad.
ALERT! The Chinese are wiping out Tibet
The world must hang its head in shame for being a mute spectator to the 'cultural holocaust' in Tibet, says Major General Mrinal Suman (retd).
October 12, 2016OPS, first among equals for third time in Amma's raj
With Jaya in hospital, the cadres see O Panneerselvam as the natural choice for a stand-in, not just because he had been 'interim' CM twice in the past.
Modi moves the goalpost for 2019
'As is very obvious, a threat to the nation and mere promise of action -- forget performance -- is enough to unite Indians,' points out Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
October 10, 2016Jaya, 4th Tamil Nadu CM in 5 to be hospitalised for long
There is no alternative for the party and the state to wait for CM Jaya to return home as CM Jaya, and make her call, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
The politics of hate is here to stay
Each one of us is guilty of encouraging this hatred and violence of speech and action by laughing at rape jokes, forwarding misogynistic cartoons, giggling at religious bigotry.
Be warned Pakistan, you are dealing with a new reality now
'Since India has to live next to Pakistan, it can't remain under permanent blackmail.'
Hinduism has been hijacked by Hindutva
'When Nawazuddin Siddiqui -- one of India's finest actors -- was told not to perform in a Ramleela, I realised how much Hinduism has been hijacked by Hindutva forces in the last 30 years,' says Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
With pushing and plodding, India-Pakistan may still engage
'The China Pakistan Economic Corridor is Pakistan's number one preoccupation today -- and tensions with India and the $46 billion projects simply do not go together,' points out Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
October 08, 2016Who is discharging the chief minister's functions?
'It is certain Jayalalithaa will be in no position to attend to official business.'
'Modi's brilliance seems to be in combining Indira Gandhi's 'feel' for the Indian pulse and Narasimha Rao's cynicism.'
October 07, 2016Pakistan won't fight a war with India at this time
'Pakistan will try to escalate covert operations through terrorism,' says Dr Shalini Chawla.
New UN chief has an Indian connection
'Antonio Guterres takes over as the UN secretary-general with tremendous goodwill as the process of his election was without the usual horse trading and compromises.'
October 05, 2016Cheap media TRP games damage our military's fighting morale
'Aspects of escalation control and broad targeting aspects have been discussed by all and sundry.'
October 04, 2016What Jayalalithaa's extended hospitalisation means
'It stands to reason that if a CM is hospitalised for long durations, and is perceived to be not fully functional, that it is the governor's Constitutional duty to ascertain by diligent efforts and arrive at a dispassionate conclusion about the CM being physically fit and mentally alert to discharge his/her Constitutional obligations,' says B S Raghavan, the distinguished civil servant.
Why Modi's overture to Nawaz is timely
'Modi's decision to hold out an olive branch to Sharif within 48 hours of the 'surgical strikes' has been a timely move as it helps tensions to 'de-escalate',' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
The changing times of Durga Puja
'Perhaps the greatest curse that modern technology has inflicted on the people during the pujas is powerful public address systems that blare out songs which you have no option but to listen to,' says Subir Roy.
The problem with war
'Will this surgical strike of ours put an end to Pakistani terror?'
October 03, 2016India's surgical strikes ops: Just sufficient and right on time
The current trans-LoC operations is a trailer projected to the Deep State that India can throw caution to the winds and calibrate its response.
October 01, 2016How the Fauji Foundation has ruined Pakistan
'Its internal economic rot and corrupt political elite have made the resurgent supremacy of the military establishment more invincible,' says Sunil Sethi.
Pakistan's army is destroying its country
'This army has lost Pakistan's territory, ideology, financial and intellectual capital, ruined its institutions, democracy, the respect for its passport and, like it or not, reduced its status to a globally acknowledged university of jihad,' says Shekhar Gupta.
September 30, 2016If Pak escalates, it'll lose more than India
'The interesting point about the choice of the area for the surgical strikes is that it is the most sensitive part of the Line of Control,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
Revealed: How the surgical strikes ops unfolded
'A couple of hours before the H-Hour, the Kupwara division opened small arms and mortar fire on posts opposite its area of operation.'
India stands united as a nation today
'The government has sent a clear message to Pakistan: It is no longer business as usual.'
How our commandos delivered the message at Pakistan's door
'The Pakistanis were lulled adequately to provide one of the fundamental prerequisites for successful execution of such an option: Surprise.'
America won't stop India from more such strikes
'The interests of the United States and India are sharply aligned on the issue of Pakistan-based terrorism.'
September 29, 2016After the surgical strikes, what can we expect?
'I feel that any terror strike at this juncture is not on the cards.'
Will military action teach Pak a lesson?
'For India, the phase of pure restraint has passed.'
How to bring about regime change in Pakistan
'In order to achieve Pakistan's psychological isolation and pariah status, breaking all cultural, economic and people to people contacts must become a government policy with clear linkage to a change in behaviour by the Pakistani regime.'
Why the Maratha rallies have rattled politicians
'The participants and organisers have rejected their own political leadership and shown the door to leaders who have tried to claim power at these rallies.'
Teaching Pak a lesson: What India can do about the IWT
'Much can be done by India under the provisions of the treaty to make full use of its rights it has.'
Why the world will not isolate Pakistan
'The call to isolate Pakistan on the ground of sponsoring and supporting terrorism, particularly when the UN has not even defined terrorism, is a wild goose chase.'
September 28, 2016No surge for Clinton, but she may have wooed the undecided
The fight was for the more than 10 million millennials, the undecided and the independents and Clinton clearly came out on top, feels Aziz Haniffa.
Former R&AW chief: How we can fix the Pak problem
'The response to terror is not always reciprocal terror, nor is launching a conventional response the best response.' 'The best response is to make the sponsor pay a price he cannot afford,' says former RA&W chief Vikram Sood.
US strengthens military ties with Pakistan
'Here in Delhi, the Modi government is supposedly looking at 'options' to hit back at Pakistan in any whichever way it can, while in Washington, the Obama administration is looking for ways to strengthen US military cooperation with Pakistan,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Time to target Pakistan's jihadi leaders
'Syed Salahuddin and Muhamed Sayeed would not have survived so long if they were in the cross-hairs of Mossad,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
September 27, 2016Dealing with the troll brigade
Abusers on social media will be rewarded if you just got intimidated or even minimally distracted. If you don't let the noise make you do either, you are winning, without even fighting the battle, says Shekhar Gupta.
What Maharashtra could've done differently with dance bars
Instead of taking the moral high ground and resorting to a ban, the government should've turned the screws on dance bars by enforcing the licence conditions, says Anil Singh.
What a writer this man is!
'One of his most famous scenes is set in a prison in Delhi where the British try to subvert Karla, the legendary Soviet spy who is being transferred back to Moscow and is being temporarily detained by the Indian agencies.'
The social media nationalists
Very few people have access to the granular detail of what options are available to India and what their costs, consequences and benefits are. While Modi considers all of this, he would do well to do one thing. And that is to ignore the media.
What will Akhilesh do next?
The latest round may have gone against him, but the chief minister is planning his counter-attack.
September 26, 2016Ban Pakistani artistes? Are we serious?
'We have never had a policy regarding Pakistani artistes working in India.'
September 24, 2016Why abrogation of the Indus Waters Treaty sucks
'Make no mistake, depriving water deliberately to a nation of 190 million people is a repugnant idea.'
September 23, 20164 reasons why Rafale could ruin Modi and Parrikar's party
There is considerable discomfort within the defence ministry about the Rafale deal.
September 22, 2016This newspaperman's death made no news
For 40 years, he was an efficient cog in Mumbai's newspaper business.
The cost of worshipping Shahabuddin
'At least 6,000 people attended a meal at Shahabuddin's residence in a feast to celebrate his bail. As if the community has no other priorities of channelising such funds for better purposes!,' says Mohammad Sajjad.
India's enemies be warned: Rafale will be a game-changer
India's enemies be warned: The Rafale deal will bring a sea change in India's defence preparedness.
September 21, 2016Why containment of Pakistan is better than war
'Terrorism is merely a symptom of a deeper disease in Pakistan's body politic,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
Time to finish off the ISI!
'There has to be strikes on the ISI headquarters to raze it to the ground figuratively and otherwise,' says Group Captain Murli Menon (retd).
Mulayam and the Samajwadi Party house of cards
How he hopes to retain his fort is anyone's guess, says Nazarwala, the man who called right the 2007 and 2012 UP elections.
Hardball diplomacy on Pakistan won't go far
The American, Russian and Chinese reactions to the Uri attack indicates how tough it will be for India to 'isolate' Pakistan internationally,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
September 20, 2016Why Amit Shah was not wrong
'Politics and religion can be a combustive combination, but this once I am pleased that Pinarayi Vijayan made an issue of a rather innocuous tweet by Amit Shah.'
Modi has discovered there are no plans to punish Pakistan
'NSA Doval and the PM are known to admire Israel's tough response to cross-border terrorism.'
September 19, 2016Pakistan will force India to the negotiating table
'Pakistan's main objective will be to shepherd India toward resumption of talks, preferably with American monitoring.'
Despite warnings Uri camp was not well guarded
The Uri brigade was given pinpoint intelligence warnings about an impending attack. Yet, the Uri camp was taken by surprise.
Are the Days of Restraint Over for India?
'Forget about sending in troops or raining down missiles, but don't rule out occasional covert operations that target specific terrorist leaders.'
September 18, 2016The implications of the Uri attack
'Knee jerk reactions are the worst in this kind of conflict situation.'
Time to hit and hurt the Pakistan army!
'For every act of terrorism on Indian territory for which there is credible evidence pointing to the Pakistan army and the ISI's involvement, carefully calibrated military strikes must be launched against the Pakistan army,' says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
Pakistan tends to resemble a suicide bomber
'The only effective defence against a suicide attack is 'pre-emptive' destruction of the attacker,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
September 16, 2016There is a just solution to the lingering Cauvery row
Verifiable 'distress-sharing' of available water may still be the way out of the Cauvery water row, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
10 actions which may cool down Kashmir
'To re-establish the writ of the State and resume governance, frayed tempers in the streets and in the media need to be calmed.'
September 15, 2016#SavitriShaming and why women must not drink
Rather than shaming Indian women (and men) who don't want to drink, through peer pressure and barbs, let's consider respecting their, perhaps more sensible, choices instead, says Sankrant Sanu.
Modi is prepared to stake his personal reputation
'The book has immense value because it reveals the inner workings of the think-tank which appears to provide facts and insights to Modi, though he himself takes the final decisions and articulates them in his characteristic rhetorical style,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
September 14, 2016Modi's breakout from the past
Modi has debunked the uncontested wisdom of foreign and strategic policy remaining unchanged and running on a broad national consensus. This is clearly seen in his unhesitating embrace of the US and the clear hardening shift in India's stance on Pakistan, says Shekhar Gupta.
September 13, 2016How the world must deal with North Korea
While trying to persuade North Korea to give up its provocative actions, engaging China is the first hurdle that world leaders will have to deal with, says Rajaram Panda.
September 12, 2016Why Bihar will not see a Dalit upsurge like Gujarat
'In Bihar, the Dalits are not a consolidated socio-political constituency,' says Mohammad Sajjad.
Why we don't read about dowry deaths any more
'The media, particularly the national media and especially the English media, do not report these stories any longer.'
September 10, 2016Is it time to divide J&K into three?
Since 1950 successive governments have tried various options but failed to reduce alienation amongst the people, for different reasons, of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. It is best to accept this reality and let each region charter its own path, within the framework of the Indian Constitution, says Sanjeev Nayyar.
September 09, 2016US aid to Pakistan is no panacea, but neither are sanctions
After weighing all the costs and benefits, the next administration is likely to reduce and restructure assistance to Pakistan but not to end it altogether, says Daniel S Markey.
September 08, 2016India's embrace of mediocrity
Indians thrive in ordinariness -- from academia and science to business and military power. Sports is just an apt metaphor, says Shekhar Gupta.
September 07, 2016How trifurcation may help calm Kashmir
'As long as Pakistan exists, the situation will not stabilise and violence is bound to erupt from time to time.'
September 06, 2016Balochistan: Why Modi's speech is a game-changer
'Even if it is difficult to replicate Bangladesh, India can cause sufficient turmoil in Pakistan to keep it off balance,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
AAP's Ashutosh defends column, slams NCW for action against him
"Registering police cases against me is an infringement on my fundamental right to freedom of expression mandated by Constitution," he wrote in a series of tweets.
The 'spiritual desolation' of Saint Teresa
What is strange, for someone who spent a lifetime in seva, is that St Teresa's own personal journals and communication with the Church hierarchy reveal someone in "spiritual desolation", says Sankrant Sanu. Could the Indian sacred traditions have helped her?
Should mother tongue replace English in our schools?
It is a difficult question to answer. This problem will remain with us for a very long time because we are the only major nation whose elite speaks a language that is a foreign tongue, says Aakar Patel.
AFSPA: The Army needs it!
Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd) lists why India must not do away with AFSPA, but ensure enough transparency to avoid confrontation with human rights.
What you didn't know about Indian trains
'Trains, at one point in time, were not just a mode of transport. They told a story,' says Bibek Debroy.
Why I am not eager for a 'Congress-mukt Bharat'
'Like it or not, the Congress is still the only party with the potential to challenge the BJP at a pan-Indian level,' says T V R Shenoy.
September 04, 2016Revere Mother for her work, not 'miracles'
For the thousands of destitute that Mother Teresa treated, she was 'god incarnate' and her hand was the miracle of love the poor needed. Attributing scientifically-unproven remedies as miracles does not help the followers of Missionaries of Charity and humanity in general, says Pallava Bagla.
September 02, 2016Four reasons why Modi's Vietnam visit is important
Modi's Vietnam visit is timely and crucial for several reasons. First, Vietnam lies at the heart of India's vision for Southeast Asia as also its 'Act East' policy. India also wants to boost its defence exports to friendly countries. And it is looking to increase trade between the two countries will now is only $7.83 billion, says Dr Rahul Mishra.
Here's a weapon better than pellet guns
'Crap cannons' can be an effective mob-control weapon.
September 01, 2016How high caste Hindus undermine a great religion
The hypocrisies of high-caste Hindus have cost their followers very dear. Millions have left their dharma, their great religion which boasts of the loftiest philosophical ideas, says Tarun Vijay.
August 31, 2016Well Done, Ambassador T P Seetharam!
'His assignment as the Ambassador to the UAE was particularly appreciated by the Emiratis and Indians alike. He retires in a trail of glory,' says Ambassadpr T P Sreenivasan.
August 30, 2016Why was a horrifying rape at BHU hushed up?
The Hindutva brigade's silence on the rape may possibly be explained that this incident is an intra-Hindu affair for them.
Only those denied access know how it rankles
Could the Haji Ali dargah verdict be the beginning of the end of all social discrimination -- against women, against Dalits, the low castes and the caste-less, asks Durba Dhyani.
The burkini is just a bathing suit!
Sanaya Dalal on feminism, France and the burqa
China shadow over Modi's Vietnam visit
'During his visit to Vietnam on September 3 -- the first visit by an Indian prime minister in 15 years -- Modi will notice the widespread anti-China sentiment in that country.'
Everyone needed Irom Shamila with tubes
Tubes gone, Irom Sharmila the brand is dead. As long as she was trying to kill herself, she had value to the cynics trying to build their careers over her fast, says Shekhar Gupta.
August 29, 2016Like Nalanda, India must remain a melting pot of civilisations
Universities must be the bastions of free speech and expression. It must be the arena where diverse and conflicting schools of thought contend. There should be no room for intolerance, prejudice and hatred within the spaces of this institution. Further, it must act as flag-bearer for the coexistence of multiple views, thoughts and philosophies, says Pranab Mukherjee.
Yet Another Nawaz Gimmick
Pakistan's prime minister is trying to use the unrest in Kashmir to save his government, says Ambassador G Parthasarathy, a former high commissioner to Islamabad.
August 27, 2016Rahul Gandhi's more elastic than steel now
The transformation of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, once a naive politician, into the most elastic entities in Indian politics is complete.
August 26, 2016Did the Last Queen of Kashmir have a message for the present?
The solution to the Kashmir problem does not lie in India speaking to Pakistan; it does not lie in the Indian government speaking to the separatists; it lies in the Kashmiris talking to their inner selves. They need to trace their history to include their rich cultural heritage of Hindu Saivism and Sufi mysticism. Only then will Kashmiris be at peace with themselves, says Vivek Gumaste.
All that is wrong with the new surrogacy bill
As a mother, as a woman, as a human being, Savera R Someshwar is horrified by some of the provisions of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2016.
August 25, 2016Flooded yet 'dry': The great Bihar paradox
Let Bihar be damned under its contradictions of having gone 'dry' and then having been submerged under flood, which is a recurrent phenomena? After all it is a godforsaken land, having lost its promises of overcoming its problems, says Mohammad Sajjad.
Why Bhagwat is wrong about falling Hindu numbers
The RSS does not mind playing politics with religion-based census data despite knowing well that it is completely flawed, says Syed Firduas Ashraf.
August 22, 201610 ways of loving India
'To love all Indians is to love India in reality.'
August 18, 2016Trolls Impact? No Letters to the Editor please
'It may not be coincidental that the rise of these warriors with their bile and diatribes has come at a time when the concept of neutrality in journalism is fading.'
August 17, 2016How NC and PDP have failed Kashmir, and New Delhi
'The National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party, as recent events suggest, are quite content as New Delhi's collaborators rather than trying to be true representatives of the Kashmiri people,' says Athar Parvaiz.
Music, malls, shopping: I-Day vignettes
Blaring music. Manic shoppers. A foreign brand launch.
The scary messages from the Saran riots
'Consider this image of today's youth in Bihar -- armed with a bike, a smartphone and possibly some illegal arms too, imbibing incessant stream of images from the Internet and television.'
August 16, 2016The short shelf life of today's editors
'The sacking of Outlook magazine's Editor-in-Chief Krishna Prasad provides another example of the saffron camp's disrespect for dissent,' argues Amulya Ganguli.
Why Modi played the Baloch card
Modi talking about Balochistan, PoK and Gilgit is a tectonic shift in India's policy towards Pakistan, says Abhay Jere.
As I cheered for Dipa, a part of me wept too
It is time we support Dipa Karmakar and not forget her by the time Tokyo Olympics roll in, the way we've forgotten so many others -- medal winners who have died in penury, who have had to sell their medals to survive, who have taken auto-rickshaws home from the airport.
Why not use IAF's fighter fleet for organ transport?
By undertaking medical mercy missions, the Indian Air Force will win immense political and national goodwill.
Preserving India's democracy is not Hindus' job alone
'The fabric of democracy is fraying,' says T V R Shenoy.
August 14, 2016I-Day inspiration on a Mumbai local
'We met on a Mumbai local some time ago, but the lessons she taught me about money management and life in general have stayed with me,' says Geetanjali Krishna.
August 12, 2016India must tell China it is playing with fire
'While China expressed reservations on the Indian role in the South China Sea, Beijing threw to the winds Indian concerns on Kashmir by announcing $46 billion in investments Pakistan occupied Kashmir,' says Srikanth Kondapalli.
August 11, 2016India must hold its nerve in Kashmir
There is a great danger of the government getting stampeded into actions in Kashmir that could result in long lasting damage, warns Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
August 10, 2016Why Shobhaa De deserves to be booed
'You can ignore someone's passion, but how can you taunt someone for being obsessed with achieving greatness in her/his chosen field?'
Will gau rakshaks inspire a cultural revolution?
'The viral video from Una aroused something that Hindu chauvinists and cow-botherers never take into account: Numbers.'
August 09, 2016Why August 9, 1953 casts a dark shadow over Kashmir
On that day, Sheikh Abdullah, political anchor of J&K's accession with the Indian Union, was unceremoniously removed from power and put behind bars; causing a tectonic emotional breach and setting off disastrous fault lines between Srinagar and New Delhi and its effects continue to this day, says Mohammad Sayeed Malik.
August 08, 2016The calculations behind Jaya's opposition to GST
With Tamil Nadu's economy getting increasingly debt-ridden with each passing budget, any concession to the Centre on the tax front, the state government has argued, would only help forgotten 'minor parties' to start hoping of a revival, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
The Indian Muslim must back a Uniform Civil Code
With its refusal to accept the modern social values, the Indian Muslim community is going down the slope of progress, says Najid Hussain.
August 05, 2016When my wife returned from a 'phoren' holiday
'And when Sarla said she preferred Europe to living in India, my wife's indignation knew no bounds.'
August 02, 2016Why Donald Trump would feel at home in India
Because we mirror his beliefs, says Savera R Someshwar.
Sreexit and After
'Success comes only to those who dare and act,' says proud father Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
August 01, 2016As a nation we unfortunately do not value lives
'Other countries go out on a limb to save even a single life.'
The English news anchor has become overly powerful
'This influence of anchors like Arnab Goswami is mostly negative because their focus is on issues that concern upper class anxieties.'
July 30, 2016One feels sorry for Subramanian Swamy
'Swamy's crash-landing carries a message to all loose cannons.'
Keeping Kashmir, but losing the Kashmiris
'There is a problem with the rise of a popular view that sees Kashmir through the prism of the larger, chronic Hindu-Muslim tensions.'
Lata and Sachin didn't deserve the Bharat Ratna
'They have earned their money and their fame. They could have earned our respect by behaving in more public spirited fashion, but they have chosen instead to be unconcerned on that count,' says Aakar Patel.
July 28, 2016Will South China Sea verdict make region 'cradle of war'?
'The worst case scenario is for China to behave like a bull in China shop, and brazenly and wantonly indulge in further encroachments, create obstacles to free navigation and convert SCS into an Air Defence Identification Zone.'
'Not Now, Nor Later!'
For me, Arundhati (Chukku) Ghose was the last word on multilateral economic issues when we worked together in the ministry of external affairs on UN affairs. If her disarmament persona had not made her a celebrity in that area, she would have been known for the work she did in economic matters in different capitals. She was highly respected for her views and no one wanted to be seen on the opposite side of the argument with her. But she was always patient in explaining her position and in accommodating different perspectives, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
July 27, 2016Will journalists' expulsion affect Modi's China visit?
The expulsion is likely to cloud India-China ties as Narendra Modi visits China for the G-20 Leaders Summit on September 4-5 and Xi Jinping is scheduled to be in Goa for the BRICS meeting on October 15-16.
Donald Trump: A dangerous mind
'India and Indian Americans cannot rely on wishful thinking about the checks and balances in the US system to magically take care of the many dangerous things that Trump could do,' says Chicago-based writer Ram Kelkar.
China-Pak joint patrol meant to provoke India
China's closer and enhanced relationship with Pakistan is putting considerable strain in India-China relations, says former RA&W officer Jayadeva Ranade.
July 25, 20164 ways to tackle Islamic State's terror
'The use of nuclear/biological/chemical weapons by Islamic terrorists is just a matter of time.'
Let the army do its job, please
The military continues to battle difficult circumstances in Kashmir. Let's not add to their woes by spreading half-baked stories, factually incorrect posts and inaccurate articles.
China's plans: Time for India to wake up
Nearly two decades ago, then defence minister George Fernandes said: 'China has built roads up to the border, while there has been negligence on India's part.'
July 21, 2016Kashmir: Not reachable!
The suspension of mobile communication for the past 12 days in Kashmir amid strict curfew has put citizens in a desperate situation, says Athar Parvaiz.
July 20, 2016Pakistan's desperate moves in Valley
Separatists and their wide network must be neutralized for peace in the Valley
July 19, 2016UP 2017: What BJP should do and not do
'The BJP should know that simple caste arithmetic may have ceased to follow the basic law of addition.' 'Adding up seemingly distinct vote banks can even cause overall reduction in numbers,' says Sudhir Bisht.
We seem to be unable to treat Kashmiris as Indians
'The Indian middle class ignores the conflicts areas in Jammu and Kashmir, in Central India and in the North East.'
Why AAP must win Punjab
The party desperately needs another state where, unfettered by the Centre, it can fly its flag.
July 18, 2016Why Zakir Naik is dangerous
Zakir Naik, a gentle, rockstar televangelist, is dangerous as young Muslims may be swayed by his fundamentalist interpretations of Islam and justify victimhood and extremism, says Shekhar Gupta.
July 16, 2016Why ban Internet when alienation drives Kashmir protests?
Mobile Internet, of course, helped Burhan Wani to spread his message. And some rumour-mongers at the inception of the current unrest spread falsehoods at least on two occasions, but why ban all mobile communication including cellular network and cable TV when deep-seated alienation among youth has shaped their ideology which is now playing out in the form of massive protests, asks Athar Parvaiz.
South Korean missile defence: US, China on collision course
Deployment of THAAD in South Korea could unfold a new cataclysm in the Korean Peninsula with unwelcome prospects.
July 15, 2016France's brush with ISIS has lessons for India
Intolerance toward the minority communities or attempts to humiliate them or the refusal to go the extra league to build an inclusive society -- these are all evident today in our society, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
July 14, 2016What China will do next in the South China Sea
'After a strategic pause though, Beijing will revive its policy of slowly creeping towards acquiring sovereignty over the South China Sea.'
July 13, 2016Immigrants: Not welcome in Theresa May's Britain
After Brexit, ethnic minorities in Britain worry about their future.
China is our bitterest enemy today
'Today the Chinese think they can slap India, and there will be no consequences.'
What the South China Sea verdict means
'China, which had earlier blockaded New Delhi's bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group by citing the nuclear non-proliferation law, finds itself in an awkward position and international isolation.'
July 12, 2016Kashmir needs a calming hand, not jingoist media
'Kashmir belongs to us all, even if we differ with each other.' 'Statesmanship demands that we sit together and let the left, right and centre of the political spectrum converge on the solution,' says former MP Tarun Vijay.
Why Modi's Cabinet needs talent from the outside
Modi has the ideas for a new, hopeful India, and an idiom in which to sell optimism to voters. But he doesn't yet have the team for it, and soon enough, questions will begin to be asked by an impatient, non-ideological, I-don't-owe-anybody-anything generation of Indian voters, says Shekar Gupta.
The Army will always be there to keep the country together
'Whether Kashmir or anywhere else, whether in peace or in war, pay commissions or no pay commissions, hollowness and shortages notwithstanding, the Indian Army -- and Sekin Fif -- will always be there to keep India together.'
An Olympics without a smile
'As each week brings fresh tales of the woes of Rio on the eve of the Olympics, I wonder whether my friends had a foreboding that the Gods of the Olympics will bring only misfortunes to their country.'
July 08, 2016Are YOU cruel to animals?
If you were horrified by the report of the two medical students who flung a dog from the terrace of a five-storied building and filmed the grisly act, here's another story that is equally -- if not more -- shocking, since many of us may be unwitting participants, says Supriya Bose.
July 07, 2016Law and order issue hots up ahead of TN local body polls
The incidence of more crimes across Tamil Nadu is threatening to make law and order an inevitable poll issue in the state-wide local bodies elections due only months from now, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
ISIS and the period of anarchy
Everything about ISIS had indicated that this would be a violent Ramzan.
Why buying a house is outrageously expensive
'For such prices you could get a place inside New York City and inside London.'
July 06, 2016The ISIS threat is real, and not far away
Unlike Al Qaeda, ISIS recruiters are proactive and internet savvy.
Why we forget our 'non-high caste' heroes
'Should a leader with such an impeccable record of public life, struggles, meritorious performance and heroism in politics like Babu Jagjivan Ram be weighed on caste and not reviewed for his real worth?' asks Tarun Vijay.
July 04, 2016Why government employees don't deserve a pay hike
Upon implementation of the 7th Pay Commission the expected yearly burden on the central exchequer will be more than Rs 100,000 crore.
Does Swamy think of himself as Kautilya reborn?
Trying to guess Subramanian Swamy's motives or next step has been a rather difficult exercise for decades, says Archis Mohan
Why students unions at universities must not be curbed
The State is trying to curb the students movements, therefore, there are suspicions against some of the Subramanian report on education's recommendations, says Mohammad Sajjad.
Know what India's insurance against ISIS is?
'It is folly to think that religious-identity-based politics and a flourishing economy can co-exist in a diverse society.'
ISIS threat: What Modi must tell Hasina
'When we have a terrorist outfit in a neighbouring nation, we need to do whatever we can to neutralise that threat,' says Ramananda Sengupta.
Nuclear hypocrite China preaches to n-model State India
'This was undoubtedly a premeditated strategy to thwart India's entry into the NSG.'
July 03, 2016What if Pakistan strikes a deal with IS?
Pakistan's military can go to any length to inflict harm on India, so don't write off the possibility of an ISI-IS alliance, says Rajeev Sharma.
July 02, 2016Why the 1972 Shimla accord was a disaster
'Indira Gandhi proved herself a great war leader, but failed as a statesman,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
The Congress is dying because its Team-B is rebelling
'The Congress has become two distinct parties, one of the durbar, the other of the field and if they keep drifting apart, death is a certainty,' says Shekhar Gupta.
Secured in Dhaka, but squandered in Shimla
'Indira Gandhi, it appears, did not to consult her Cabinet colleagues, or diplomats, or civil servants when she decided to sign the agreement in Shimla.'
July 01, 2016Pakistan's Muslim women and the 'Fun' word
'Obedience, service and an over-glorified stress on keeping the family's honour intact keep Muslim women from focusing on their own happiness. So they stay joyless and 'pious,' with an ever-present hint of bitterness for the fun-loving women,' says Zoia Tariq.
June 30, 2016How Indian diplomacy has changed!
'Young IFS officers today would take it for granted that they represent a major country with strengths and capabilities.'
What I learnt about Modi's foreign policy from Arnab's interview
'In these days of a communication revolution, was it necessary for him to go to every country?'
The oldest project in the world comes apart yet again
'The project of a united Europe has constantly been made and remade.'
June 29, 2016How India must stand up to China's provocations
'China's actions at the NSG will certainly taint India-China bilateral relations and enhance suspicion of China's intentions. A fresh clear-eyed and objective evaluation of the India-China relationship is necessary, especially as India tries to correct adversely balanced bilateral economic ties and the two countries engage over the long-term,' says Jayadeva Ranade.
The National Highway: The Kashmir Valley's death trap
The Pampore attack 'has the stamp of LeT written all over it.'<br />'They are exactly like the so-called <em>fidayeen</em> of the 1999-2003 phase, when J&K witnessed a surge in suicide attacks on various important garrisons,' says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd), who served as the General Officer Commanding 15 Corps in Kashmir.
June 28, 2016Why I won't boycott Chinese products
When Syed Firdaus Ashraf received messages last weekend, asking him to boycott Chinese goods, he laughed.
Mumbai's annual rain pain
'At the first sign of rain, Mumbai's infrastructure begins crumbling.'
Why the US of A is on everybody's minds
The parallels between Modi's direct and indirect methods and his fan base, and those of Trump, are blinding.
Bihar's Nirbhaya needs our help
'When rape and molestation are supported by the family, it can no longer be considered merely a criminal act.'
June 27, 2016Rebuff from NSG is of India's own making
Immediate NSG membership will not help India realise its nuclear ambitions any faster.
How could those Brexit idiots win?
Stupidity knows no boundaries just like smartness, oxygen, and maybe football, says Maharaj Damodardas.
June 25, 2016Why this general's visit to India was so important
Thailand's importance to India's Act East policy is too significant to be overlooked.
There isn't a little bit of Salman Khan in all men
I fear for our collective inability to wrestle the plague of rape in this nation, says Prathmesh Kher.
June 24, 2016Is India prepared for Brexit?
'When the Brexit bomb goes off, the shrapnel will wound us.'
June 23, 2016PSLV-C34 rockets India into an exclusive club
The success of the PSLV-C34 mission is a result of ISRO's professionalism and the hard work put in by their scientists over the last many decades., says Ajay Lele.
Is the son not being allowed to rise in DMK?
As the Opposition leader in the state assembly, M K Stalin has to fend off the ruling AIADMK on the one hand and prevent the re-emergence of a non-Dravidian Opposition on the other -- but his immediate challenge comes from within, in the form of his wheelchair-bound octogenarian party leader and father M Karunanidhi, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
June 22, 2016China may soften stance on India's NSG bid
If China's behaviour in the past on ticklish issues is any indication then China could eventually support India's NSG application, says Rup Narayan Das.
How does Smriti Irani plan to fix this problem?
'Gujaratis, among all Indians, are supposed to be born businessmen, but if more than 80% of them do not have the ability to do basic arithmetic, the future is grim.'
India in SCO: Opportunities and challenges
It is important the SCO focus strongly on economic development and regional integration that leads to greater benefits for the least developed regions of member-countries, writes Sana Hashmi.
June 21, 2016How India gains by selling BrahMos to Vietnam
Not just Vietnam, but other countries in the region like Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand, have also expressed an interest in acquiring the BrahMos cruise missile. Debalina Ghoshal explains the significance of the move.
A rockstar in a sanskari world!
'Here, after all, was a fine specimen of intelligence in the field that Adam Smith gave formal structure. And successful RR surely was as RBI chief.'
Raghuram Rajan's Kafkaesque trial in Modi's India
Raghuram Rajan's exit reminds Syed Firdaus Ashraf of Kafka's The Trial.
June 20, 2016Modi explores the frontiers of non-alignment
'We are witnessing a spectacle of breathtakingly creative diplomacy at work, riveted on the firm foundations of the country's strategic autonomy,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
NSG membership: How India countered China's Pakistan card
'The onus is now on China to explain to the world why it feels Pakistan should accompany India on the question of NSG Membership!! China's not so covert help for Pakistan's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes will stand exposed,' says former ambassador G Parthasarathy.
Did the Congress 'steal' the 2004, 2009 polls?
Did we miss the DeepState's Brazil Model in action in India in 2004 and 2009, asks Rajeev Srinivasan.
June 18, 2016Malabar war games are a counterpunch to China
When a Chinese warship entered Japanese waters, the Indian commander called on China to maintain discipline at sea.
June 17, 2016Why India needs a national security strategy
'Ensuring through diplomatic means and in conjunction with strategic partners that India will not be required to fight a simultaneous two-front war with China and Pakistan.'
June 16, 2016Questions the media NEEDS to ask Smriti Irani
Prominent journalists have been giving the HRD minister a hall pass, asking her about politics and TRP-generating issues rather than focusing on her visions for the country's education sector.
Has V K Singh forgotten his history?
'It is possible that in his perambulations from the company of Baba Ramdev to that of Anna Hazare and finally to the BJP, he hasn't had time to refurbish his memory of what he may have read earlier,' says Amulya Ganguli.
June 15, 2016On strike, at play: The two faces of France
As football fans arrive to watch Euro 2016, France's trade unions have undertaken a series of strikes to provoke a make-or-break situation.
June 14, 2016The business of Indian diplomacy is business
Making it easier to do business is a key element of our strategy, says Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
Lessons from a meaningless massacre
By some strange and bizarre twist of fate, Omar Mateen did exactly what he did not intend to do. He took the lives of gay people and made them extraordinary.
Why the Orlando massacre won't be the last
62 mass murders carried out with firearms across 30 US states.
June 13, 2016India's defence needs more money, Mr PM
The PM's vision of a lean, agile, mobile and technology driven force requires more than 1.7 percent of GDP that it now gets.
China drives India into the arms of the US
'If the dimensions of the strategic partnership worked out by India and the US seem like a grand alliance targeted at you-know-who, China had better realise that it has fathered it,' says B S Raghavan, a long time observer of China.
June 09, 2016Boring! What I thought about Modi's US Congress speech
While many praised Narendra Modi's US Congress address, Syed Firdaus Ashraf had only two words to say: SO WHAT?
Modi's US visit improves India's image in China
The American efforts to make India a security partner have enhanced India's importance to Chinese decision makers and new recognition of India's importance and achievements are reflected in a much more positive reporting about India in the State-controlled media, says Walter Andersen.
Did EC set a dangerous precedent with TN re-poll order?
In writing to the government for a change in the law, the Election Commission has actually acknowledged the future possibility of countermanding polls to curb the use of money power, says N Sathiyamoorthy.
June 07, 2016India joins Hague missile code with eye on cracking NSG
The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation is a toothless mechanism, but it may well end up serving India's interests, says Ajay Lele.
India-US relations: The elephant in the room
The greatest challenge before India is how to strike a fine balance of its relationship between its neighbour and strategic rival China, and the US.
June 06, 2016What's the point in trying to be friendly with China?
On his recent visit to China, the President made eminently sensible suggestions to improve relations except that they can't work in the present atmosphere.
Why India's defence indigenisation is in a rut
The end goal of defence procurement should be not import or indeginisation but securing the country through able and ready armed forces, says Air Marshal P V Athawale (retd)
Like Queen Elizabeth, Sonia Gandhi should continue
'It seems to me that bringing Rahul in now would be like throwing petrol on the flames consuming Congress,' says Aakar Patel.
June 05, 2016India's NSG debate: No more spin, please
'An ardent advocate of nuclear disarmament, Obama may even be secretly heaving a sigh of relief that the NSG is unlikely to reach unanimity of opinion on India's candidature,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
June 03, 2016Time to return to Krishna's ways
'The Gita was propounded on a battlefield and regards the use of force to establish Dharma or righteousness, as not only legitimate but one's highest duty,' says Colonel Anil Athale (retd).
June 02, 2016Did Harambe have to die?
'It's a humiliating time to be a human being.'
June 01, 2016Modi is our most Nehruvian prime minister
Like Nehru, Modi is loathe to touch the public sector.
May 31, 2016'Afro-phobia' is not the norm in India
'Our countrymen should be made aware of the need to be polite and friendly to our African guests.'
Why the rich give gold to temples
'Rich Indians don't give cash, they give gold. Why?'
Modi and the art of event diplomacy
In diplomacy, a prime ministerial visit should be viewed as a rare event, not a routine one, which should be taken recourse to only when other options like ministerial visits are not available.
May 30, 2016Make fun of Rahul Gandhi, not Lata or Sachin
Syed Firdaus Ashraf wonders why no one objects to jokes about Rahul Gandhi, but are upset when Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar are mocked.
Why is Kejriwal tweeting so much about Modi?
Twitter is a great medium for political leaders to communicate with their supporters and engage with their opponents. Provided the tweets are coherent and sensible. So why is the Delhi chief minister tweeting illogical stuff about the PM, asks Sudhir Bisht.
Why is Anupam Kher not defending India?
'The valiant upholder of national honour is strangely silent when African envoys are complaining about the insecurity of blacks in 'tolerant' and 'incredible' India,' says Amulya Ganguli.
The Congress party's Rahul problem!
An inchoate anger is brewing within the party against the central leadership after the poor show in the assembly polls.
May 27, 2016Swamy can be BJP's differentiator in UP
All the BJP's present leaders from UP put together cannot win the state for the party. So how about an out-of-the-box leader like Subramanian Swamy, asks Nazarwala, the man who called right the 2007 and 2012 UP elections.
May 26, 2016Dear Mr Modi. Congratulations, but...
As the NDA government completes two years in office, there are more questions on Swarupa Dutt's mind than answers.
Tamil Nadu's new political culture aimed at offsetting 'third alternative'
The assembly polls in the state have shown that the GenNext voters want change -- not necessarily of leaderships but of their behaviour, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Why Taliban chief's killing is good news for India
What does the Taliban chief's death means for various stakeholders?
Modi's foreign policy: A bag of old tricks
Two years of Modi's foreign policy can be best remembered for its flip-flops on Pakistan and the PM's blockbuster speeches to delirious non-resident communities and the grand receptions he has received.
Why Obama's Hiroshima visit is so important
'Obama's visit to Hiroshima must generate a fresh debate in the international community about how to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in international politics and how to disarm the world from these monstrous weapons forever,' says Sanjeev Shrivastav..
Narendra Modi: Governance and that Hindutva image
Narendra Modi seems to prefer that Hindu strongman image remain tucked in reserve, to only come when called; life's been more complicated.
May 24, 2016How Nitish's PM ambitions went up in smoke on May 19
The assembly election results on May 19 altered India's political landscape and with it dented Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar's prime ministerial ambitions.
Has Modi met the soldiers' expectations?
The Modi government has not lived up to the muscularity the prime minister promised while campaigning, says Ajai Shukla
Modi's Iran visit: A strong message to Pakistan, China
The Chabahar message is a reality check for China, which has made deep political and strategic inroads into Iran.
Time for a course correction, Mr Modi
'Modi swept the 2014 elections for two main reasons: First, the disgust with the Congress government with a non-functional prime minister, and second, more importantly, his promise of performance and hope.'
May 23, 2016What is a Chinese nuclear sub doing in Karachi?
The arrival a couple of days ago of a Chinese nuclear submarine for the first time in Karachi port, coinciding with a Chinese military delegation's visit, points to Pakistan's importance for China, says former R&AW officer Jayadeva Ranade.
Why is Nitish Kumar helpless?
Rampant crime challenges the chief minister's promise to maintain law and order. But some say there are other forces at play.
Focusing on Brahmins won't work for Congress in UP
Prashant Kishor wants the Congress to project either Rahul or Priyanka Gandhi as its chief ministerial candidate in UP.
Congress overhaul: Is Priyanka in?
Will Sonia Gandhi finally take a decision she has put off for so long, asks Rajeev Sharma.
May 21, 2016Why Modi's visit to Iran is important for India
India's low passion, very cautious, relationship with Iran of the last 36 years awaits transformation, says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd).
Has the bahubali returned from political wilderness?
The widow of Rajdeo Ranjan, the journalist who was gunned down, has said the killers had a connection with someone in jail.
May 20, 2016Jaitley: 'Congress losing due to 'rent a cause' approach'
The Left has ideologically become irrelevant globally, says the finance minister.
10 reasons why Jayalalithaa won
In an age when the electorate is increasingly impatient and changes governments every 5 years, how did the Tamil Nadu chief minister beat anti-incumbency?
The challenges of ruling Kerala
'Continuity in a common agenda is essential, not to disrupt the progress achieved so far,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
An agenda for Amma
Fulfilling the promises made in the manifesto, a resurgent Opposition in the state assembly, impending local body polls... Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa may have made history by winning two assembly elections in a row, but the real test begins now, says N Sathiyamoorthy.
Whose defeat is it anyway?
If the BJP or even the regional parties delude themselves that they are going to win the 2019 Lok Sabha election, then they are over-interpreting the assembly election results, says Kumar Ketkar.
How Rahul let Assam slip from Congress' hand
The BJP, on the other hand, learnt from past mistakes to clinch power.
May 19, 2016Amma creates poll history as Tamil Nadu remains 'Dravidian', yet
With Tamil Nadu's electoral fate decided, all eyes would now veer round to the pending 'disproportionate assets case' against Jayalalithaa in the Supreme Court, and Stalin's own future within the DMK, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Why Bharat wont be Congress-mukt anytime soon
Congress workers must feel what their BJP counterparts did in 2009, but that could change.
More than a decade in power is bad for political health
What the Congress will have to understand is that it is not enough to have a 40-something vice-president in New Delhi, but young faces with fresh ideas in the states,' says Amulya Ganguli.
Kerala remains the red land, but there's a saffron speck
Rampant corruption by Congress ministers must be counted as the single biggest factor to prompt the electorate to hand over a thumping mandate to the Communist parties, says M K Bhadrakumar.
Assam triumph: BJP's Open Sesame to the north-east
'The win in Assam is likely to have a ripple effect in other north-eastern states like Manipur and Nagaland which have been reluctant to embrace the BJP in the past,' says Nitin A Gokhale, the distinguished commentator on strategic affairs, who lived and reported from Assam between 1983 and 2006.
5 reasons why the DMK lost the plot in TN
For the first time since 1985, Tamil Nadu has voted in favour of an incumbent party which has been a shock to those in Anna Arivalayam -- the office of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Chennai.
And now on to UP!
A section within the RSS feels Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani should be projected as the BJP's CM candidate in UP, says Rajeev Sharma.
May 18, 2016Forget exit polls, wait for the actual results in TN
Barring one of the earliest surveys of the kind in the country, in 1989, none has proved right in Tamil Nadu's case, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Himalayan rebuff to Modi's Nepal policy
India's unpopularity coincides with China lengthening its shadows in Nepal, says Rajeev Sharma.
May 17, 2016Will the Saudis have the last laugh?
The US #DeepState has had a fine run, but will now discard Saudi Arabia as it is no longer useful to them, says Rajeev Srinivasan.
A tale of two 'terrorists' and a cautionary lesson
Syed Firdaus Ashraf explains how two cases separated by ideological motives were curiously similar on one account.
May 16, 2016Why China's NSG decision is good news for India
'With this it is clear who stands with India in the international community and who doesn't and this enables India to take counter measures without being seen as overly pro-US,'says Rajeev Sharma.
May 14, 2016Freebies are the new god in Tamil Nadu
'The irresistible charm of Indian politics is it can always throw up surprises -- even when it looks as predictable as in Tamil Nadu,' discovers Shekhar Gupta.
May 13, 2016Jaishankar's visit shows India's support for Sheikh Hasina
Bangladesh's decision to execute Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes committed in 1971 has provoked anger across the Muslim world.
Why Modi is absolutely wrong to compare Kerala with Somalia
Comparing a state like Kerala with a nation like Somalia shows disconnect unbecoming of a prime minister, says Uttaresh Venkateshwaran.
May 12, 2016Why the Centre needs to help this CM
Kashmir's youth are being radicalised.
May 11, 2016Will Tamil Nadu vote for freebies and pre-poll promises or true deliverables?
The last time Tamil Nadu seriously voted on pre-poll promises was in faraway 1967.
How the 'outsider' factor led US to the Trump conundrum
Trump is the first nominee of a major party in over a century to have no experience whatsoever of any political, administrative or military office.
May 10, 2016Why the turbulence in Bangladesh matters to India
The increase in home-grown radicalised Islamic groups and the rise of Islamic State and Al Qaeda in Bangladesh should be a matter of worry for India, which shares a 4,100 km border with its eastern neighbour, says Rajeev Sharma.
Why Papua New Guinea is critical to India's 'Act East' policy
President Pranab Mukherjee's recent visit to the Pacific Island nation is path-breaking, but much more needs to be done, says Dr Rahul Mishra.
Turning a mirror to judiciary
The CJs' conclave didn't touch core issues and remedies within their reach, says M J Antony.
'Human beauty and cruelty go hand in hand'
If Han Kang wrote only about cruelty and suffering, readers might respect her writings and her conscience, but her novels would not be as loved as they are by readers across the world, says Nilanjana Roy
Did India show a lack of spine in Dharamsala?
Cancelling Uighur leader Dolkun Isa's visa could have been a mutual face-saving exercise for New Delhi and Beijing.
BJP's coast to coast odyssey down under the Vindhyas
Aditi Phadnis and Archis Mohan take a state by state takedown of the party's chances in the poll-bound states.
May 09, 2016Four key steps BJP should immediately take
Two years is when the honeymoon surely starts to sour, so what should Prime Minister Narendra Modi focus on ahead of 2019? Devanik Saha offers some ideas.
Don't be surprised if Oommen Chandy is back!
'Oommen Chandy may well prove to be the Teflon chief minister whose reputation cannot be tarnished,' predicts Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
Why Modi has been a success so far
'It doesn't really matter ultimately what individual commentators say or write about Modi. So long as he continues the BJP's march towards greater vote share, a bigger geographic spread and a crushing of the Congress, he is a success,' says Aakar Patel.
May 07, 2016Remember your place, ladies!
'For every Kangana, every Shreya, every Teri complainant -- for every woman who challenges power, tries to rise in the world, or owns her own decisions, we'll produce thousands of Jishas.'
Why Ahmed Patel is so angry
He is starting to realise that an era is ending. And he is not ready to have a five-decade career besmirched by two alphabets -- AP -- that have cropped up in the AgustaWestland papers, says Aditi Phadnis.
Congress must look beyond the Gandhis
'The Congress president gets into samurai mode only when there is a direct attack on her and her family.'
Guns, thieves and a ghost
We get tangled up in our own crooked web on purchases, and the murky arms bazaar knows it, says Shekhar Gupta.
May 06, 2016Why India must be wary of Nepal's Lumbini Project
For India to endorse Nepal's Buddhist conference will be like sipping from a poisoned chalice, warns former RA&W official Jayadeva Ranade.
May 05, 2016'India' out, 'South Asia' in. How academics ill serve us
"South Asian studies" academics in the US would do well to introspect how they wittingly or unwittingly become part of Pakistan's proxy war in wielding influence over academics and policy, says Sankrant Sanu.
Why is Modi's Pakistan policy so confused?
'The Modi government has turned the basic fundamentals of its Pakistan policy on its head.'
May 04, 2016Prashant's Priyanka card is a masterstroke
Even as the BJP dithers over what it needs to do, the Congress has stolen a lead by projecting its chief ministerial candidate -- Priyanka Vadra nee Gandhi, says Nazarwala, the man who called the 2012 UP assembly elections right.
Nirbhaya to Jisha: Nothing really changes, does it?
I have outraged too much in the past like many others, which hasn't gotten us anywhere. Rapes have merely become statistics in our country, best meant for research reports and discussions at conferences, says Devanik Saha.
Be very afraid of the biometric regime
There are unprecedented political implications of identification based on 'biological attributes of an individual', such as employed by Aadhaar, warns Gopal Krishna.
May 03, 2016What's the point talking to Pakistan?
Pakistan's holy trinity -- its government, military establishment and the ISI -- differ on Pakistan's domestic and foreign policy issues. So when India talks to Pakistan's political leadership it can't be sure that the promises can be delivered, says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
Prashant Kishor will mar his winning record in UP
'It is clear that Prashant Kishor will be nowhere near repeating his earlier massive wins.'
Agusta scandal has put Congress on the back foot
Whether it was the Bofors gun in 1986 or Italian helicopters in 2012, a leak or disclosure at the source overseas is like dynamite, and usually impossible to refute.
May 02, 2016What did this meeting really achieve?
'The Modi government knows that much cannot be expected of Pakistan till the Kulbhushan Jadhav issue is resolved,' says Rajeev Sharma.
A babu shows how it can be done
The information and broadcasting ministry's business-like and result-oriented handling of several issues has set a template for other ministries to follow, says A K Bhattacharya.
Why our institutions are producing unemployable Indians
'I did not bother to collect my diploma certificate because the course was a waste of time and more or less useless. It would be instructive for me to describe it because manufacturing is seen as the way out for India's great unemployment problem. It is? I do not think so,' says Aakar Patel.
Why Bengal could deliver 'Hadda Haddi' this election
Political commentators say the final outcome of the West Bengal assembly elections would depend on how some crucial factors play out this time. Mayank Mishra explains.
April 30, 2016The reasons for Pakistan's arrogance
'A key Indian diplomat who participated in the April 26 foreign secretary talks told me that the Pakistani side was determined not to yield an inch on key Indian demands,' says Rajeev Sharma.
The real message from the Bengal election
'Usually, the Left backed the Congress and other 'secular' parties on the justification of keeping the BJP out. In Bengal, the alliance targets a truly secular rival,' says Shekhar Gupta.
How the BJP has outwitted the Congress
There are two national political parties in India, but only one of them seems to be any good at politics, says Mihir S Sharma.
April 29, 20163 tactical changes Modi & co need to make
The prime minister sees himself as the "vikas purush". But realising his government's agenda for development requires not just a more efficient administration but also a credible implementation plan, says Nitin Desai.
The Celebrity as a Padrone
Ever wondered why a celebrity can charm you?
April 28, 2016How India must respond to growing Chinese military might
As China begins rejuvenation of its military power, there is an urgent need for transformation of the Indian military, says Lieutenant General Anil Chait (retd).
Will the IPL verdict solve our drought problem?
'Why is a commercial venture being held responsible for a situation caused by mismanagement of the state?' asks N Suresh.
Modi has now realised the limits to India's power
Two years into power, there is very little to show for the Modi government by way of 'achievements' on the foreign policy front, and his China, Pakistan policies are gasping for breath, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
April 27, 2016Scam or no scam... Why the BJP will never send Sonia to jail
'Narendra Modi knows that the Congress without the Gandhis is a more formidable and more dangerous adversary.'
Can the EC fight Tamil Nadu's 'cash-for-votes' frenzy?
The EC's actions remain to be seen on 'money-hoarding and transportation' for poll-time use. The question remains if the polity in the state would push the EC so far as to use the countermanding option. Even then EC would have to push its constitutional powers to find a way to prevent 'money-power' in the state's elections, says N Sathiya Moorthy
April 26, 2016Pakistan came with pre-set agenda
'The Pakistani side was so cocksure of itself that it had come to the table with a pre-set agenda -- an agenda of unilateralism, knowing full well that nothing was going to come out of these talks,' says Rajeev Sharma.
A do-or-die battle in Bengal
This is possibly the last election in Bengal where two sides are squaring off against each other. Don't expect the BJP to be a bystander five years hence, says Devanik Saha.
Congress-mukht Bharat is a question of when, not if
It seems the Congress just does not have the energy and vitality to break through even in the states where it has a ground presence and the wind of anti-incumbency on its back, says Aakar Patel.
Mother knows best: The view from a Jayalalithaa rally
A recent Salem event was perhaps the first time many in the crowd were seeing Jayalalithaa in person in the past five years. A brief stint in jail had made her more reclusive. But none of that seemed to matter.
Lessons Americans can teach Indians in military command
Opposition to tri-service structures comes not just from bureaucrats and politicians as the generals like to lament, but equally from within the military. Neither the army, navy or air force chiefs want to relinquish control over their theatre commands, with these cutting edge units placed under some commander who reports elsewhere, says Ajai Shukla.
April 25, 2016Why was I so under informed about Dr Ambedkar?
'Growing up in Karnataka, in middle-class and forward-caste background, Ambedkar did not enter our consciousness at all, I realised.'
Why the RSS is an obstacle for Modi
'The innate fascism of the RSS is overshadowing Modi's development programme,' says Amulya Ganguli.
Did Modi bow to China?
Significantly, reveals Rajeev Sharma, the MEA was not even consulted on the Dolkun Isa issue.
Why Modi's u-turn on China is a smart move
'It needed political courage on the part of the prime minister to make such an intervention at the present juncture when the hawkish opinion rules the roost in the Indian foreign-policy discourses in our media, and, unfortunately, the sane voices have largely fallen silent,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Nepal needs to release Kanak Mani Dixit immediately!
Aseem Chhabra on his friend, the firebrand Nepali journalist Kanak Mani Dixit, who was arrested last week.
'We're doing so much that somebody will always complain'
Anandiben insists her daughter was not involved in any land allocation scandal.
'Why do human beings have to clean shit?'
'I realised we are not doing scavenging because we are illiterate or poor. We are doing it because of the way society is organised.'
April 23, 2016Solutions for a man-made drought in Maharashtra
Farmers who are using traditional irrigation systems and practices are better coping in times of drought.
The Panama Papers effect on Pakistan
How does the country's civilian government reclaim legitimacy after the names of many Pakistanis, including the family members of PM Nawaz Sharif, figured in the leaked documents.
April 22, 2016Hindu country, secular Constitution
Why not agree that, yes, India is a Hindu country though not all Indians are Hindus? And that for those who are not, our Constitution is sturdily secular and always will be, says Karti Sandilya.
April 21, 2016Why this renaming fever continues to burn
'Our priority cannot be better cities. Since real change is not possible, we must satisfy ourselves with a change in name,' says Aakar Patel.
India's Pakistan policy runs into China's Great Wall
'China knows the best way of twisting the knife in its dealings with India: By launching a major incursion into Indian territory,' says Rajeev Sharma.
April 20, 2016Is the Modi government scared of faceless mobs?
If there is a lesson to be learnt from the 1980s, it is that mobocracy never works. And a government that yields before public protests will have ceded its right to govern, says Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
It's chill time for Indo-Chinese relations
The readouts by the Indian and Chinese sides on the meeting on Monday between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow bring out that divergences are crowding into the centrestage of their relationship, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
April 19, 2016Maldives deal: India takes China head on
'An authoritative source in the government tells me that India has emerged as the net security provider of the Maldives,' says Rajeev Sharma.
What did India achieve with Headley's deposition?
The deposition was meant to secure more information and revelations on the 26/11 terror attacks that would make India's case against Pakistan stronger. Instead, the internal conflicts within India's security establishment stood exposed.
April 18, 2016Why Bharat Mata Ki Jai is a secular slogan
'Genuine secularism cannot be built on the backs of Hindus alone.'
April 17, 2016India's military embrace of the US comes at a price
'The Modi government will do well to thrash out a national consensus before taking the leap and put itself in America's pouch,' says Rajeev Sharma.
What will Parrikar achieve in China?
'China refuses to talk to India on nuclear or ballistic missile issues and conclude any de-targeting agreement as Beijing did with Russia or a non-targeting agreement with the US.'
April 16, 2016How India's trains get their names
Why is a Katra-Chennai train known as Andaman Express?
Modi needs to treat Pakistan like a Test, not a T20 game
Modi has been wrong in thinking that he can influence people and win friends in Pakistan through his high-octane brand of diplomacy.
April 14, 2016Prohibition will fail in Bihar as it has in Gujarat
'Its three primary effects are to send the alcohol economy underground (depriving the state of revenue), to criminalise the casual drinker and to criminalise the police,' says Aakar Patel.
Why Jayalalithaa is silent on going it alone in TN polls
If the AIADMK falls short of the 117-mark required to form a government in the 234-member assembly, will it strike a post-poll deal to form Tamil Nadu's first coalition government? N Sathiyamorthy analyses.
The Nuclear Security Summit ignored Pakistan's threat
'Pakistan has been successful in convincing the rest of the world that the Pakistani nuclear terrorists are meant to target only India. This is myopia at its worst,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
'I am hoping that now with the strategic status of our relationship, the Indian voice will get heard in Saudi Arabia,' says Ambassador B S Prakash.
Handwara: Quell passions, institute inquiry, let things cool down
'The Army must always be balanced in response.'
April 13, 2016What the BCCI can learn from Jungle Book
The fictional characters in the movie knew that water was of utmost importance. This is something that the BCCI continues to ignore as they insist that IPL matches, be played in the drought-hit state, writes Rediff com's Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
'I am God' won't Make in India
'Let us remember that Make in India for defence must not be our goal.'
'Bihar's women feel very strongly about banning alcohol'
'We like to believe that it's the politicians who impose such bans. But it's the womenfolk of Bihar who made Nitish Kumar enact the ban,' says Ashis Nandy.
April 12, 2016Coping with water wars
The wars of the future will be fought over water and if they occur on large scale, will be far more devastating than any we have seen yet.
Befriending the US while tempering China: Can India do it?
Even as the United States snuggles closer to India with the thinly veiled objective of containing China, the Indian strategy is to avoid alienating either nation.
It's time to get real in US-India defence ties
New Delhi remains a priggish suitor to Washington's overtures, but it has begun appreciating potential tech benefits to ties with the US.
April 11, 2016How the RSS plans to win Assam for the BJP
The real brilliance of this RSS campaign, therefore, lies in building a dominant power base with, and for, a mostly non-RSS leadership. That is why the rise of the BJP in Assam is their stand-out victory, says Shekhar Gupta.
Expect a Doval-Janjua meeting very soon
Considering the huge stakes, the Modi government is not averse to make more diplomatic efforts to see whatever it can salvage.
The geopolitics of Ashton Carter's India visit
The US intends to break up India's strategic partnership with Russia and to continue to interfere in Indian-Iranian relations, apart from inserting itself into the Sino-Indian bilateral discourse, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar, analysing the US defence secretary's visit to India.
Praying with Fire in Kerala
'Reluctance to go against temple rituals is understandable and the Hindu vote bank is extremely important at the ensuing elections.' 'But even the devout Hindus will not hold it against the government if the opportunity presented by the tragedy is utilised at least for a temporary ban.'
Anupam Kher is learning politics the hard way
'Kanhaiya Kumar and others of his ilk are now out on bail. But what about the NIT 'anti-nationals'?' asks Amulya Ganguli.
April 09, 2016The general, the 'spy' and no talks with India
Nawaz Sharif may have permitted the trial of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists for the Pathankot attack.
'Are we back to the Emergency days?'
'Are we back to Emergency days?' Madhav Godbole, the distinguished civil servant asked, after his speech was abruptly cancelled by the Maharashtra government.
After Basit, Modi unlikely to attend SAARC meet in Pak
SAARC summit in Islamabad in jeopardy.
April 08, 2016China launches new attack on the Dalai Lama
'The first time that China alleged the Dalai Lama was 'anti-national' and 'unpatriotic' was after he affirmed that Arunachal Pradesh and Tawang are part of India,' points out former RA&W official Jayadeva Ranade.
How gullible Modi has been in dealing with Pakistan!
'The Pakistani game plan in making its envoy in India to perform the last rites of a fledgling peace process is madness with a method.'
April 07, 2016The persistence of memory: What it means to be human
Deep-learning machines are conquering realm after realm of human expertise, but is there a difference between Them and Us?
India's Persian Gulf diplomacy is on a roll
If things work out, it will be a great leap forward in the Indian-Iranian economic ties in the new phase of Iran's reintegration with the world market following the lifting of sanctions, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
TN verdict hinges around the 'silent majority'
If Tamil Nadu is to avoid a hung assembly, it is up to the silent voters, whose combined strength is more than that of the two major combines in the fray, says N Sathiyamoorthy.
This isn't what we wanted when we voted you to power
'I may not indulge in chest thumping to express my patriotism every day.'
April 06, 2016A revamp of the Medical Council of India would be a welcome move
A recent report by the parliamentary standing committee on health and family planning pulled no punches on the abysmal state and poor functioning of the Medical Council of India.
April 05, 2016Let us get down to brass tacks on our counter-terror mission
India cannot aspire for great power status unless our leaders truly understand the meaning of national security.
Modi's tightrope walk in Saudi Arabia
The known unknowns in Prime Minister Modi's Saudi visit assume great significance, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Hamid Ansari goes to bat for secularism
How has the Indian State, in principle and practice, given shape to the essential ingredients of the secular principle and composite culture?
Editors I have known
'There are different ways in which some are lucky through their lives. My great boon has been serendipity,' says Subir Roy.
Water crisis, Amitabh Bachchan and Bharat Mata Ki Jai
Maharashtra today faces an acute water crisis. But all that Devendra Fadnavis is concerned about who is not chanting slogans like Bharat Mata Ki Jai, says Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
The dangerous threat of nuclear terrorism
During last week's Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama asked the media to leave and then screened videos depicting plausible scenarios pertaining to nuclear terrorism.
Revealed: Why China can't shield Pakistan for long
'India is currently waging a diplomatic war against Pakistan, to convey to Islammabad that each terror attack on India will come with huge diplomatic costs,' says Rajeev Sharma.
April 04, 2016Why dissent will become more difficult in India
'These trends put at risk not only minorities or the media or some other out-of-favour group, they can and do concern everyone,' warns T N Ninan.
Cracking your iPhone, piercing your privacy
Sadly, governments and their agencies can't be trusted to use private data, or decryption methods responsibly, says Devangshu Dutta.
Why Kulbhushan Jadhav couldn't be a R&AW spy
'He was carrying his Indian passport. This seems like a very different sort of spy than the ones we see in movies, who carry fake passports and are highly trained,' says Aakar Patel.
Doval to travel to China to discuss Pak problem
'China has refused to act upon the threat posed by Pakistan using terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy.' says Rajeev Sharma.
April 03, 2016Once again, Pakistan pokes a finger in India's eye
'India's worst fears have come true because the Pakistan investigating team has, obediently and dutifully, done its masters' bidding by giving a clean chit to Pakistan, the Jaish, the ISI and all other well known actors,' says Rajeev Sharma.
April 02, 2016Why Modi's visit to Saudi Arabia is important
King Salman and Narendra Modi will find common ground to intensify cooperation against jihadi terrorism, says Tarun Vijay, MP.
Pakistan's real 1,000-year war
'Pakistan needs to be constantly at war with somebody, ultimately resulting in it waging war on itself and its own people,' says Shekhar Gupta.
Mr Modi, heed what Dr Singh said on Pakistan
It is because of the feared domestic backlash that the Modi government is now stepping up pressure on Pakistan to accommodate Indian interests.
After the tragedy: We don't need politics please!
'There is no difference morally between politicians scoring points amid the rubble and non-politicians who assume that politics and corruption necessarily had something to do with it,' says Mihir S Sharma.
April 01, 2016Is hung assembly a possibility in Tamil Nadu?
Given the subdued pre-poll voter-behaviour in the state over the past couple of decades and more, and the inability of individual political parties to cobble together an alliance and announce candidates, or both, to launch grassroots-level campaigns early on, close fights with landslide victory is an equal possibility, N Sathiyamoorthy.
Amitabh Bachchan for President? No way!
With the images of Rajendra Babu, Radhakrishnan, K R Narayanan, V V Giri and Kalam in my mind, the image of my beloved hero dancing ungainly to 'Merey angney main tumharra kya kaam hai', doesn't make a smooth transition, says Sudhir Bisht.
March 31, 2016Can the IAF fight the next war effectively?
In the light of India's increasingly 'darkening' threat environment and the convergence of strategic interests between China and Pakistan, the IAF's declining combat capabilities are a cause for concern, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
March 30, 2016Why sting operations have failed in India
'The idea of moral responsibility is not particularly strong in our parts. Showing that people are corrupt or immoral through stings doesn't have the required effect in such a culture,' says Aakar Patel.
Jadhav case: Has India captured a Pakistani spy?
The Indian intelligence brass may have snared a key Pakistani spy and Jadhav's arrest is Pakistan's way of getting even with India, says Rajeev Sharma.
March 29, 2016Will Pakistan now allow India access to Masood Azhar?
If Pakistan allows India to send its investigation team to question Azhar it would take the India-Pakistan camaraderie to a new level, says Rajeev Sharma.
March 28, 2016Xi is the only leader Obama will meet one on one this week
52 world leaders, including Narendra Modi, will attend this week's Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC.
Will Manipur be the next blow for Congress?
After Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, discontent is brewing among Congress MLAs in Manipur.
The curious case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, 'spy'
It is quite likely that the Pakistanis are cleverly using the Jadhav card to derail the outcome of the JIT process.
March 27, 2016Modi's Pakistan policy is bewildering
'Dealing with Pakistan can become dangerous, and even suicidal, for the powers that be in New Delhi,' warns Rajeev Sharma.
March 25, 2016Why Modi okayed Pakistani visit to Pathankot airbase
Denying the Pakistani investigators access to the Pathankot base on operational grounds would not, the government felt, compromise national security, reveals Rajeev Sharma.
Fragrance of Cuban cigars and rum will embellish ties
'I recall an encounter I had with a US Congressman of Cuban origin, who was hostile to India because of our continuing goodwill for Cuba.'
We must guard against ISIS clones in India
'Increasingly, there is a tendency to magnify 'victimhood' of the minority for electoral gains and vote bank politics.'<br>'There is no doubt that there is a worldwide rise in Islamophobia. There is a tendency amongst some in India to react to this in the Indian milieu,' says Colonel Anil A Athale(retd).
March 24, 2016The rise and fall of Lula and Brazil
'He is the man,' US President Barack Obama had said at a G-20 gathering, enhancing Lula's stature.
Where are the leaders who can inspire our youth?
'Are moving towards a political culture that provides more space for violence and a paranoid political rhetoric,' asks Nitin Desai.
Our 'nationalism' is against other Indians
'Our great Indian nationalists are rousing passions against their own people, not against another nation. Our fraud nationalists go after their own citizens for their religion, or for their views. Their concern and their passion is the enemy within. That is not love of nation or love of anything else. It is hatred and it is bitterness,' says Aakar Patel.
How India can avert a Brussels-like attack
'India's counter-terrorism network needs to keep potential jihadists under a scanner all the time,' says Rajeev Sharma.
Vijayakanth: King or kingmaker?
How will DMDK's decision to join the People's Democratic Front affect the political scenario in TN.
March 23, 2016The end of civilisation as we know it? Not really
Ever pragmatic, the Americans are convinced that the future is in the Indo-Pacific.<br />There is a new Indo-Pacific century, and India has to decide whether it has its eyes on the prize, says Rajeev Srinivasan.
Be prepared for the Long War!
The level of preparedness of Daesh sleeper cells is evident from the fact that it took just four days after Salah Abdelslam's arrest to execute the Brussels attacks, says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd).
Time for India to play tough with Nepal
India should put a check on its cheque book diplomacy with Nepal. Nepal must be made to bear the costs of its strategic provocations.
March 21, 2016Pakistan's national anthem and its Bombay connection
What connection does Qaumi Tarana -- Pakistan's national anthem, which millions of Indians heard at the Eden Gardens on Saturday -- have to Bombay?
The Pakistani conundrum
What does Pakistan mean for a young Indian? Devanik Saha attempts an answer.
Punjab and its State-sponsored anarchy
Punjab politics has produced a dog's breakfast on the river waters issue. Except, you'd see even dogs eat better, says Shekhar Gupta.
Forget Eden Gardens, the real test is in Pathankot
'The Pakistani JIT's visit is the first ever experiment by the two South Asian neighbours to probe a terror attack 'jointly.' Well, it is not unlike the scenario wherein the thief himself is made an investigator,' says Rajeev Sharma.
March 18, 2016Why the BJP is playing the Desh Bhakti card
'A second defeat in a Hindu heartland state will be disastrous for its morale and political fortune.'
The end of an era
Balraj Bahri Malhotra and Ram Advani's passing signals the sunset of the era of the many booksellers across India who came over after Partition.
March 17, 2016How Pakistan is holding back SAARC
Connectivity is what SAARC needs the most but Pakistan is not interested, says Rajeev Sharma.
Coalition conundrum cuts into candidates' campaign time in TN
The deadlock over finalising alliances has had a deleterious effect on the candidates of every party. The delay in alliance conclusion has also sent out confusing signals to the grass-roots who are unsure who will be their party candidate, or which party within an alliance will be allotted a particular constituency, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Two PMOs drive India-Pakistan relations
How the two South Asian neighbours will interact with each other in the coming months will be decided by the two prime ministers in Washington.
March 16, 2016If this is not anti-nationalism, what is?
'We in the Anglicised middle class are unconcerned about the vast majority of Indians. We insist on only our concerns and anxieties being debated. All other Indians are irrelevant,' says Aakar Patel.
Is Indian army's secularism under stress?
The foundations of the army's own peculiar secularism are potentially being destabilised
March 15, 2016As ridiculous as comparing Nehru to Pol Pot
'The rise of IS and intolerant Wahabism are the real dangers to Indian democracy and pluralism, not the RSS,' says Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay.
March 14, 2016Beijing warns India about China-Pakistan axis
'It is not possible for New Delhi to take sides between Beijing and Washington.'
The art of gobbling up the Yamuna floodplain
The disagreements over what needs to be done on floodplains allows for illegal takeover by land mafia till nothing is left, observes Sunita Narain
Rahul may care about winning now
'For a party with a fuzzy ideology, one that lives only for power, having a leadership that thought vaguely about returning to power in the distant future was a distinct handicap,' points out Mihir S Sharma.
March 12, 2016The river can go to hell
'Delhi's river has once more been thrown under the bus, by a happy godman backed by a godman-happy government,' says Mitali Saran.
Forgive them, oh Sri Sri, their worldly trespasses
'Not that the trio aren't Art of Living loyalists. They respond to Guruji's summons with more alacrity than if their grandchildren need their diapers changed,' says Kishore Singh.
At 46, has Rahul Gandhi finally grown up?
'Where he used to sit bored, sulky and fiddling with his cell phone in the Lok Sabha (and was often missing during key debates) he is now noisy, aggressive and ready to lead his flock into the well of the House,' says Sunil Sethi.
The BJP is far from winning the ideological war
'What the BJP will have to ensure in order to score an ideological victory is to demonstrate not only its commitment to the rule of law -- which is the first prerequisite -- but to introduce a sense of compassion,' says Amulya Ganguli.
How India must counter Chinese moves in Balochistan
March 11, 2016Green Tribunal: When needed to bite, it growled
The green tribunal has diminished itself in growling when it needed to bite at the Art of Living show
Numbers favour Jaya as Vijayakanth decides to go it alone in TN polls
With Vijayakanth rebuffing both the DMK and the BJP Tamil Nadu will witness a six-cornered fight, which can only benefit Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, says R Ramasubramanian.
Why Mamata is worried about multi-phase state elections
Though it's been just five years at the helm, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress is fighting severe internal dissidence and would crumble like a pack of cards if it loses, says Devanik Saha.
March 10, 2016Protecting privacy in democracies
It is important to track what is happening in the rest of the world to be able to develop in India the best possible protection for citizens' fundamental right to privacy -- becoming for a country which prides itself on being the largest functioning democracy in the world.
Critical thinking about history is dying
Books like Sunil Khilnani's Incarnations: India in 50 Lives, simple and straightforward though they appear, are instead powerful arguments for complexity, for empathy, and for curiosity
Modi can't allow Pakistan SIT inside Pathankot base
'The Modi government can't ignore the political symbolism that the perceived perpetrators are being allowed inside an Indian military base which was attacked by their puppets, either by tacit approval or compliance of the Pakistani military establishment,' says Rajeev Sharma.
March 09, 2016Time for better sense to prevail
'The BJP should avoid escalating every local issue and minor provocation into a national crisis and claiming a 'holier than thou' monopoly on patriotism.'
Modi continues to play into Pakistan's hands
'The attack on the Pathankot base constituted an act of war. Yet Modi's only public comment up until now on that attack has been to blame it on "enemies of humanity".'
March 08, 2016India must change course in the South China Sea
Since 55 per cent of Indian trade passes through the South China Sea, and with over $5 billion investments in the energy sector in Vietnam, it is imperative India actively pursues its national interests in the region, says Srikanth Kondapalli.
Why the World Culture Festival matters
There will remain those, though, who will remain in opposition to this massive endeavour for world peace with an aim not to improve, but to scuttle the project. But for the rest of us, a cultural and spiritual event of this significance and scale is a feast for the mind and soul, say Sankrant Sanu.
Exercise Force 18 takes India's 'Act East policy' to the next level
India is no longer shying away from playing a role on the regional and international stages and is willing to don a bigger role in regional politics. It is showing traits of a responsible stakeholder in the regional security dynamics, says Dr Rahul Mishra.
Modi-Sharif summit in Washington likely on March 31
Pakistan is growing restive with the below the radar screen diplomacy. This is the issue Modi and Sharif will grapple with at their Washington meeting, says Rajeev Sharma.
Farewell, Gentle Titan
'His contagious smile and peal of laughter, his affirmative approach to national challenges, his faith and conviction in India's future and his profound attachment to the welfare of the northeast attracted anyone who came in touch with him,' says Dr Anirban Ganguly.
Pan-Tamil issues have long since outlived their electoral utility
As political rivals clamour to retain their pan-Tamil credentials, the BJP may use the 'nationalist' card to even the odds in its favour, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
How to stop students from cheating
Top universities should stop taking students from UP and Bihar to make these states act against the rampant mass cheating in school exams, suggests Anjuli Bhargava/Business Standard.
On this Women's Day, let us Indians learn to respect women!
'Sexual violence against women is not something unique to India but in our parts the victim must also have to contend with other burdens. Such as the notion of 'honour' and its loss,' says Aakar Patel.
March 07, 2016India must worry over China's $150 bn defence budget
'While China has been hiking its defence spending, India has done precious little in implementing the Manmohan Singh government's decision of raising a 90,000-strong China-centric Mountain Strike Corps,' says Rajeev Sharma.
China's defence spend: $146 bn. India's: $40 bn!
Confronting a slowdown in growth, China says it will only increase its defence budget by 7.6% this year, against the anticipated rise of between 20% and 30%.
Pakistan's crackdown on radicals is a ray of hope
'If the bulk of the Pakistan population and the all powerful army are now against radical elements, there is indeed hope that Pakistan's India policy will be more realistic and less ideology driven,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
March 05, 2016The past is not a foreign country
'Despite a quarter century since India began the uphill battle of moving away from its peculiar hybrid of imperial-feudal-socialism, it remains distressingly -- and sometimes reassuringly -- the country I left in 1986,' says Rahul Jacob.
Can the Congress survive without The Family?
'The family is the final court of appeal, the first among unequals. If there is no family, all leaders are equal. If all leaders are equal, anyone can lead the Congress. So every time the family has stayed in the background, the Congress has split.'
Student Of The Year
Shekhar Gupta has a question for Kanhaiya Kumar, but a bigger, more vital, one for the honourable judge.
March 04, 2016It's time for the government to cut its losses
'In order to restore things to even keel, the government would be very well advised to cut its current political losses and work towards healing wounds across the nation. It still has its work cut out. It will have to work very hard to repair the political damage among Dalit and tribal communities,' says David Devadas.
Why this US admiral's speech in Delhi upset China
US admiral's suggestion for a revival of a strategic maritime quadrilateral with Japan, Australia and India leaves China livid, says Rajeev Sharma.
Kanhaiya, the Leela begins now
'His prosecutors have no doubt turned a student union leader into a national figure - howsoever briefly - with their miscalculations and misdeeds, and have done Kanhaiya a huge favour.'
March 03, 2016Why did G K Pillai not object then?
'Even though he knew full well that the manipulation went against the facts as he knew them, Pillai nonchalantly contented himself with stating that since the file came from the minister himself, he just passed it on as it was,' says B S Raghavan.
The fires have been lit, and the mobs are standing ready
'In Bastar, as in Delhi, being branded 'anti-national' in the eyes of the government now seems to have acquired new meaning,' says Aakar Patel.
What led JNU students to raise 'seditious' slogans?
Rather than make it a BJP or anti-BJP battle, it is more important to have a dialogue with the protesting students and understand their psyche, feels Devanik Saha.
February 27, 2016Make in India or breaking India?
The future of the Make in India campaign looks bleak with a generation of ill-educated jobseekers -- and especially dark if they are cannon fodder for caste riots or put behind bars for breaking India, says Sunil Sethi.
For the Jats, it was a question of 'moochh'
What got the Jats of Haryana so furious?
So who was orchestrating the Haryana mayhem and why?
Current events in Haryana have set the state back 20 years. But this is just the beginning. Let's play a game. Let's try figuring out how much further the state can slide.
February 26, 201650 Years On: Who was the real Veer Savarkar?
'One hopes the younger generation sees Savarkar him for what he was and does not view him through a distorted prism.'
February 25, 2016The seeds of the Modi Sarkar's defeat
The government has displayed a tin ear in its responses to the JNU protests by using the sedition law -- and by encouraging lawyers who wear their political affiliations on their sleeves to display utter contempt for the Constitution. The Modi Sarkar has over three years of its term to run. But it may well have already sown the seeds of defeat,' says Devangshu Datta.
Bleeding hearts! Don't bleed the nation!
'All their idealism, intensity of emotions, acute sense of right and wrong, and burning passion for public causes can never serve as justifiable grounds to be touted by students of any country, let alone of India, with all its fragility and vulnerability, to question its unity in the name of freedom of expression,' says B S Raghavan.
February 23, 2016Our nationalism is only in sentiment, not in behaviour
'Our passionate love for our nation as seen in our anger at slogan shouters does not extend to caring for the nation in other ways. We are one of the dirtiest people on earth and even our holiest river the Ganga can only be cleaned if the Supreme Court orders it, and even then with difficulty,' says Aakar Patel.
How India must select information commissioners
There is a great need to introduce a transparent process to select information commissioners, who are expected to oversee transparency, says former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.
February 22, 2016TN may have the answer for fishermen issue, but what about funds?
It maybe time for the Centre to take a closer look at Chief Minister Jayalalitha's innovative' solution to a long-pending problem, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
Can't courts straighten out the errant lawyers?
When an accused gets attacked on the way to court, and again within the court premises, with no intervention by a judicial officer, which space is safe, asks Jyoti Punwani.
Talks with Pakistan=New terror attacks
'It is possible elements within the Pakistani establishment felt bad about eating humble pie and wanted to avenge the humiliation through a terror attack.'
Will Oli's visit erase the bitterness with Nepal?
Within the SAARC framework, says Rajeev Sharma, Nepal's strategic importance cannot be overestimated as Nepal is a key member of the sub-SAARC group India has created to bypass Pakistan.
What Modi and his ministers must learn from Vajpayee
'Think about how he would have handled Hyderabad, and JNU. He would have been very cross if he found two of his Cabinet ministers weighing in on the side of the ABVP.'
February 21, 2016Why the BJP plays nationalist games
'The emphasis is on nationalism, which the party apparently feels will have greater resonance than one on religious identity which may have lost some of its appeal in recent years.'
Quotas for Jats may encourage Gujjars/Patels to agitate
'The bad dream can turn into a ghoulish nightmare for the BJP if the Gujjars in Rajasthan and the Patels in Gujarat, both BJP-ruled states, were to fish in troubled waters and relaunch their respective agitations for quotas in government jobs,' warns Rajeev Sharma.
February 19, 2016JNU students challenge the Indian State, not the govt
Do the students who chanted pro-separatist slogans and their teachers/supporters want the army to withdraw from Kashmir or not fight the terrorists?
February 18, 2016Why India must be wary of the Chinese dragon
There are signs of China's external behaviour becoming more aggressive in the coming years. If that happens, strategic implications for neighbours having territorial disputes with China can become deeper and imperatives can rise for the former to counteract, says D S Rajan
The mukhota has finally slipped
'What is holding this government to ransom is the Parivar. It is this group's thought process, ideals and philosophies that course through the veins of India's elected government. And it is this that is holding the government, and through it the country, to ransom.'
February 16, 2016Ishrat and the death of nuance
What Headley's testimony does achieve is expose the Congress' ham-fisted attempts to taint an otherwise credible probe. That, however, does not become an assertion of Ishrat's membership of the LeT.
Defence budget must reflect reality
Unimaginative increments, persistent refusal of funds have turned the military into an underfed child scared to ask for a full meal.
History backs AMU's claim as a Muslim university
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi's stand that AMU is not a minority university reveals the anti-minority stand of the political party now in power, says Mohammad Sajjad, outlining the long history behind one of India's premier universities.
February 15, 2016JNU protestors need a debate, not the police
'If JNU students are anti-national, why do we send in the police? Why not send in intellectuals like M V Kamath to have a debate and discussion?'
The JNU protest is linked to caste and prejudice
Why are Dalits protesting against hangings in Hyderabad?
February 14, 2016How does the Army make Mission Impossible into Mission Possible?
'Perhaps the finest example is from the current avalanche itself.'
Look, what China's navy is up to!
'China's moves are of direct significance to India, which will closely monitor Chinese naval activity in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean not least because of Chinese maps depicting claims over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.'
February 13, 2016Indian protests won't change America's Pakistan policy
'India's real concern is that cash-strapped Pakistan is keeping its military hardware well oiled on American money,' says Rajeev Sharma.
Meet the next Benazir
Last year, Maryam Nawaz accompanied her father to Washington, but played a role beyond being the dutiful daughter. She was 'discovered' by the White House, and was hosted by Michelle Obama.
Watch out for China's new, improved, army
Will China's new military reforms endanger Xi Jinping's rule?
Can you call Ishrat's a fake encounter?
'The Ishrat encounter was neither genuine, nor fake. I believe it was a 'controlled killing,' says Shekhar Gupta.
Willl the Supreme Court finally come out on Section 377?
'All judges are conscious of the historical legacy they leave behind. Chief Justice Thakur understands the important question of Constitutional law involved and the change in public mood,' lawyer Anand Grover tells Sunil Sethi.
February 12, 2016Why India suffers from the Panipat Syndrome
'We rarely choose to fight when the threat is still a nascent threat. When we do fight, we fight when the invaders reach Panipat and are preparing to knock on the gates of Delhi.'
What we should learn from Headley's testimony
'Headley's testimony indicates to what extent the Pakistan government and its proxies can go to destroy not only Indian scientific talent but also international expertise.'
February 11, 2016India must not ignore China in order to improve Indo-US ties
In bilateral interfaces relations with China have also to be given due weight, opines Premvir Das
February 10, 2016Mistrust of India is embedded in the Pak army's DNA
'There were assurances that Jaish-e-Mohammad was being reined in as was the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, but Pakistan's security forces could not risk opening too many dangerous new fronts,' notes former foreign secretary Ambassador Shyam Saran, who has just returned from a visit to Lahore.
Beware! ISI may try to attack our scientists again
'Pakistan may have moved back from this devilish plot in 2007, but there is no guarantee it won't be on the drawing boards again,' warns Rajeev Sharma.
February 09, 2016The BJP's losing battle against beef
The BJP sees investments, both foreign and domestic, as their pathways to political power and not the construction of the Ram temple or a nationwide ban on beef.
Check out what India is buying for its defence services!
'The range of purchases throw a light on India's threat perception as also its perceived role of being a stabilising influence in the region,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
February 08, 2016How the government steals tribal land
'Which one of us would give up our flats for development?'
What Headley's deposition means for India
'His deposition shows that the dividing line between Pakistan's State and non-State actors had completely blurred in Mumbai's 26/11 terror strikes.'
'Islamism, a Phoenix waiting to arise from the ashes'
'Small bands of terrorists believe they can destabilise superpowers if they are ready to become martyrs.'
Transfers of civil servants reflect Modi's priorities
The ministries and departments, where bureaucrats are parked after being moved out of key positions, reflect the priorities of the government.
India has lost 900 soldiers at Siachen
'Their failure to take Siachen is an embarrassment to the Pakistan army -- and let them live with it. Our army's shoulders are broad enough to endure the challenge.'
February 05, 2016He couldn't give a damn for what the world thinks!
Pyongyang wants the world to recognise its nuclear capability, says Srikanth Kondapalli.
So who gets to remember old wounds?
'Muslims and Dalits must erase the way they remember their past, or carry out their their performances in private,' says Jyoti Punwani, as Maharashtra's Censor Board denies permission to a play Jai Bhim, Jai Bharat.
Was there a strategy behind Modi's silence on Dravida parties in Coimbatore?
Modi's non-reference could also imply that the BJP may be keeping its alliance options open vis-à-vis the AIADMK. It could also imply that the BJP's national leadership had not given up on the DMK returning to power in the state post-poll, and the Centre having to do business with a new government in Fort St George, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
February 03, 2016Former AERB boss wants India to pause its nuclear plans
'Decisions on nuclear power have so far been taken by a small select group, primarily interested in profiteering from their actions, stating 'secrecy' as necessary from the national security point.'
February 02, 20162016 will be a good year for Amit Shah and the BJP
'In the medium term, the advantage is still with the BJP.'
Pranab's praise for Sanjay Gandhi 'a blot on his record'
'It is palpably prejudiced and totally at variance with public and historical opinion.'
Why should Delhi pay the price for garbage politics?
Stinking politics will only sink the party which practices it, feels Vikas Khanna
February 01, 2016Who is afraid of 'hyphenated' US policies?
''There is the perennial worry in the Indian mind regarding the US 'hyphenating' India and Pakistan. Frankly, this is a completely nonsensical hypothesis. The US has always 'hyphenated' India and Pakistan and it couldn't have been otherwise,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
Why Hamid Ansari is visiting tiny Brunei
As India strives to make its Act East Policy a comprehensive politico-diplomatic and economic success, Brunei gains more salience, says Dr Rahul Mishra.
Beating up an ambassador: This is how Communists are
'Why would the Communists do this? I have three possible answers: One, they are specifically opposed to the Global Education Meet that the ambassador organised. Two, they are beginning to realise their days are numbered in Kerala. Three, the standard modus operandi of leftists is anarchism because they are not constrained by any codes of ethics. Roughly, the bad, the good, and the ugly,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.
January 31, 2016Why Modi needs to focus on the Maldives
'If all goes well, Modi will visit the Maldives later this year. But two Indian concerns remain unaddressed: President Yameen's intentions about Mohammad Nasheed and China,' says Rajeev Sharma.
January 30, 2016Why the battle against Section 377 must continue!
'No country has moved from bigotry to equality fast, and India, with its leisurely, elephant-like pace for the most non-controversial of things, will only take longer.'
Arunachal Pradesh: Hindi, Hindu, Tribalistan
'The Congress, all these decades, worked on a slow Hindi-isation and Indianisation of Arunachal tribes. The RSS wants rapid Hinduisation,' says Shekhar Gupta.
January 29, 2016'Gandhi became the first non-Muslim to lead a jihad'
Incisive Editor, brilliant scholar on Islam, and now BJP leader, M J Akbar is at his intellectual best when he dissects the Muslim world and its problems, and offers up a solution from his unique perspective, as he did in this recent speech at the 10th R N Kao Memorial Lecture in New Delhi.
January 28, 2016How we should honour Rohith Vemula's memory
'Reflex responses to Dalit student Rohith Vemula's suicide are band aids that stem the current hemorrhage but do precious little to the festering wound beneath,' says Vivek Gumaste.
Outside Diggi Palace's walls, things may be getting darker. Speech may be under threat; writers may be getting murdered for their writing. But, inside, it is possible to feel hope that ideas, nevertheless, may have their own power, says Mihir S Sharma.
January 27, 2016Five key factors that will affect BJP in Assam polls
Mudslinging and verbal attacks will definitely surge once the poll dates are announced, but as with any state, there are some crucial issues which will play a significant role in influencing voters in Assam too, says Devanik Saha.
Indian Muslims: Trapped between the devil and the deep sea
'If chutzpah nationalists brought the Babri Masjid down, chutzpah secularists did precious little to stop it from being torn down.'
Why Dalits have no presence in white collar jobs
'The corporate world and the private sector economy take notice of the monstrous and apartheid like division that exists in our offices. The jobs we so casually take for granted in the upper class have come to us on the back of denial to others,' says Aakar Patel.
Arunachal: Big stakes for Prez, Modi, Congress
'If the Congress allows Arunachal Pradesh to slip out of its control, then it sends negative signals to its leaders and allies across the country,' says Rajeev Sharma.
January 25, 2016How to keep the Republic secure
'Even if the national security framework is to be threat-based, then the division of security threats between Pakistan and China is absurd. The two threats are one.'
Is Mehbooba delaying government formation to reset the BJP-PDP equation?
Mehbooba wants a congenial political atmosphere and everybody's support before taking the reins of power; hence the delay in government formation. Aditi Phadnis opines.
Indian Mujahideen cadres now 'ISIS' sympathisers
'There is a very serious terror threat to India in the run-up to Republic Day on January 26 and Beating the Retreat on January 29,' says Rajeev Sharma.
January 22, 2016Mrinalini Sarabhai transformed Gujarat's cultural life
Ahmedabad's cultural scene would not have gone beyond the garba, but for Mrinalini Sarabhai's pioneering efforts.
We are Brahmins, OBCs, Dalits, Muslims, but are we Indians?
Rohith Vemula's suicide exposes all of us as a nation, argues Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
The loneliness of an activist
The loneliness of Rohith Vemula is an indicator that in spite of belonging to a group of activists, such sensitive youngsters have to bear their cross alone.
January 21, 2016Why are French troops marching down Rajpath?
'Parading French troops alongside Indian military personnel, says Rajeev Sharma, turns India's non-alignment policy on its head!'
What will India serve Hollande on R-Day?
While the Rafale deal seems to be the main order of business during French President Francois Hollande's visit, other aspects could help sweeten the deal, says Claude Arpi.
January 20, 2016Why the battle for Sanskrit needs to be joined
'It is a great misfortune that the Nehruvian Stalinists of India have colluded with the grand project of demeaning and destroying Sanskrit. Today, the number of Sanskritists in India is low, and falling,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.
Taiwan's first lady Prez faces the Chinese Challenge
How will China deal with Taiwan's first woman president?
January 19, 2016RIP Aroon Tikekar: The thinker's editor
Mahesh Vijapurkar pays tribute to Aroon Tikekar, journalist, historian, author and an important intellectual voice of Mumbai, who passed into the ages on Tuesday.
Malda decoded: What really happened?
India's Muslims need to assert their educational and economic upliftment and political empowerment rather than be provoked by communal remarks, says Mohammad Sajjad, reflecting on the Malda riot.
Nobody killed Rohith Vemula
We need to question ourselves if we are to be implicated as well in the institutional murder of Rohith and many other Rohiths, if not bodily but in spirit, because of our complicity in naturalising this elitist, exclusionary, discriminatory-to-the-core conception of education, says Kishalaya Mukhopadhyay.
Modi and Doval need a Pakistan gameplan
India should adopt a pro-active strategy on Pakistan -- catalysing, facilitating and making room for a change in its anti-India posture.
China's strategic push in the Middle East
Why is Xi Jinping visiting Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China this week?
January 16, 2016Pakistan SIT in Pathankot: A game of chess
'In this Spy versus Soldier game,' says Rajeev Sharma, 'the two sides will size up each other like never before.'
Modi is not ready to give up on Pakistan
'Unlike Dr Manmohan Singh, who quailed and turned away because the darkness was too frightening, Modi has taken a leap to the other side. He deserves applause for this fearlessness,' says Aditi Phadnis.
India must do more to back Balochistan struggle
The magnitude of atrocities inflicted by the Pakistani establishment on the Baloch people is unimaginable, says Dr Abhay Jere.
General Jake: One of the greatest Indians I've known
'His Promised Land was India.'
January 15, 2016Why Western sanctions against Pyongyang may backfire
Sanctions against North Korea following its H-bomb test could have serious repercussions and may prove disastrous for all the players involved, says Debalina Ghoshal.
Ajit Doval to meet Pak NSA in a third country soon
'The Indian strategy is to rope in the powerful Pakistan army in the negotiating spectrum. This can be done at the level of General Janjua, a former army commander,' reveals Rajeev Sharma.
January 14, 2016'Jacko, your reward will be in heaven'
Tarun Vijay, MP, salutes the General whom he adored as a great friend.
January 13, 2016Rediff said it last Saturday: Pak to arrest Masood Azhar
'If this were to happen, it won't exactly be a game changer because Pakistan is known for treating arrested terrorists as 'political prisoners', who are generally given VIP treatment,' says Rajeev Sharma.
'Swing voter' mood will guide alliance decisions in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu has around 30 per cent or more of 'swing voters', and it is this segment that will swing the pre-poll alliance decision, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
How India must deal with Pakistan's terror attacks
'If India employed a strategy of a 'thousand cuts', Pakistan will wither away.'
January 12, 2016The Malda riots and a defence of the 'sickular' media
The Malda riots occurred on January 3, a day after the Pathankot terror attack. Common sense must dictate that an attack on the nation deserves more coverage than a local riot, says Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
Not talking to Pakistan will not stop terrorism
'In our media and general population the idea of 'strong posture' was successfully sold by Modi. This is now a liability for him, as he has discovered,' says Aakar Patel.
January 11, 2016Why the IAF needs a specialist intelligence branch
The Indian Army and more recently the Indian Navy have already set up dedicated intelligence branches. It is surprising indeed that the IAF, where real time and timely intelligence is most vital for effective and safe prosecution of the air war, has still not done so itself, says Group Capt (retd) P I Muralidharan.
January 10, 2016Doval heads to Paris to fine-tune response to terror attacks
The NSA will meet with officials of the French external intelligence agency to forge a very close counter-terrorism relationship with India, reveals Rajeev Sharma.
January 09, 2016Is it Modi's job to get Indians to be clean?
'This is social reform, which has to be conducted from within society and by its institutions, like religious bodies, not by public officials and ministers. That is why I think the big change Modi seeks is actually not in his power to bring about,' says Aakar Patel.
China wants to show off its military power
'The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.' Former RA&W official Jayadeva Ranade explains what China's military reforms mean for the world.
Doval brings a compulsive operational mind to his job
'He is still compulsively an operations man. Just a whiff of a live operation, and he is back in the field, at least in his mind. That is why the immediate decision to send the NSG to Pathankot.'
Pakistan may arrest Masood Azhar
'If this were to happen, it won't exactly be a game changer because Pakistan is known for treating arrested terrorists as 'political prisoners', who are generally given VIP treatment,' says Rajeev Sharma.
January 08, 2016Mufti Sayeed: From the grassroots to statesman
Mufti's political graph shows his fondness for courting unpopular, politically hazardous ventures in pursuit of his ultimate objective to vindicate his leadership. Towards the end of his life, Mufti's public profile had come to assume the dimensions of statesmanship. One reason being his willingness to learn from his experience, says Mohammad Sayeed Malik.
Hours before attack IAF moved MiGs, choppers out of Pathankot
As many as 29 explosions were recorded after the last terrorist was neutralised, giving an impression of continuing pitched battles!
January 07, 2016The Pathankot Siege and its Lessons
'Jihadi outfits backed by the ISI are now prepared to attack targets not just in J&K, but also in Punjab. This signals an escalation in the range and scope of cross-border terrorism, which cannot be ignored,' says Ambassador G Parthasarthy, former high commissioner to Pakistan.
January 06, 2016How to defend an air base from terrorists
'The sky is the limit for what all could be done at an air base to neutralise terrorists. Good proactive local leadership and delegated operational effort would be key to ensuring that a handful of terrorists cannot hold a whole air base, and by extension, the whole nation to ransom,' says Group Captain P I Muralidharan (retd).
January 05, 2016Doval's actions saved critical air assets in Pathankot
'Ajit Doval has done a splendid job in handling the Pathankot attack and certainly helped save heavy destruction of critical air force assets,' says Abhay Jere.
Security forces didn't want more casualties
'The Pathankot episode shows that the security forces handled the attack well after the initial setback, although there is no denying that there are shortcomings in India's security grid that need urgent correction,' says national security expert Nitin Gokhale, founder, BharatShakti.in
Why the Pathankot op has gone on for so long
'Inept handling by the National Security Advisor transformed what should have been a short counter-terrorist operation in Pathankot into an apparent debacle.'
January 04, 2016The 3-fold moral of the story in engaging with Pak
All Indian prime ministers must know that the route to their Nobel Peace Prize doesn't go through Pakistan, says Rajeev Sharma.
Our inward looking policy has cost us dearly
What India has failed to acknowledge is that sub-conventional war is the name of the game and irregular forces have emerged with greater strategic value over conventional and even nuclear forces, and reliance purely on conventional force and diplomacy is grossly inadequate, says Lt Gen Prakash Katoch (retired).
How do we face future terror onslaughts?
'It sounds hollow when the military -- the last bastion meant to secure India within the State of India -- is itself not found secure on the third day of the Pathankot strike, in spite of so-called definitive intelligence inputs and preparations,' says Lieutenant General Anil Chait (retd), former chief of the Integrated Defence Staff.
Akhilesh Yadav: A CM fighting to emerge from his father's shadow
With the state going to polls soon, Akhilesh Yadav needs to step out of his father's shadow and come into his own as the state's CM.
How India can prevent another act of terror
'India has already suffered in the raid of January 2, and taken punishment. If comparable or higher retribution does not visit Pakistan, there is no reason why it should not undertake such a misadventure again,' says Lieutenant General Ashok Joshi (retd).
January 03, 2016Pathankot attack: 'Someone' is unhappy with Modi-Nawaz talks
'Pakistan's military leaders have to accept that the policy of proxy wars has damaged Pakistan more than it has damaged the enemy,' says former R&AW chief Vikram Sood.
India-Pak talks: The time for realism is now!
'India needs to deeply introspect on the costs of pursuing peace with Pakistan,' says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd).
January 02, 2016India must be ready to attack in the event of a terror strike
'That the terrorists could still kill three security personnel, including men of the Defence Service Corps, indicates highly trained men are being sent across the border,' says national security expert Nitin A Gokhale, founder, BharatShakti.in
Pathankot: India's response has to be measured
'ISI-backed jihadi groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Tayiba are now prepared to cross the International Border and attack targets in Punjab at will,' says Ambassador G Parthasarathy, India's former high commissioner to Pakistan.
Preventing another Pathankot: A soldier's solution
'Attempts at long-term rapprochement have been rather feeble from both sides. The primary cause of the lack of progress is that these efforts do not appear to have the support of the Pakistan army,' says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
The two New Year wishes for India
Great improvements in education and healthcare are the need of the hour.
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