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July 06, 2015
India's entry into the SCO may bring it closer to China
It seems China is ready to cooperate with India in the central Asian region through the SCO framework, the reasons for which are manifold, says Sana Hashmi. Why Modi retains his personal support
'Modi is given a longer leash by his fans than any other leader of our time.'
July 03, 2015
The monk who thinks Indians are his gurus
Can you find a world leader who has met generations of Indian politicians, most US Presidents, European head of States, several Popes, celebrated cricketers, Hollywood and Bollywood stars, some of the greatest scientists and many ordinary people, including what he calls, 'Chinese brothers and sisters?' Meet the Besharam Janata Party
Last year, he was the BJP's darling. Today, Arnab Goswami is a hated figure for the Modi bhakts. What changed?
July 02, 2015
Bobby Jindal's identity crisis
'The height of irony is that Bobby Jindal will always be known as the first Indian-American Governor, the second Indian-American Congressman and the first Indian-American Presidential candidate, regardless of his claim to be just American. Given the situation in the US, no one will be able to erase his identity in relation to his origin.' Whatever happens, Jaya will return to power in 2016
'The AIADMK has no Number Two, frankly it does not even have a Number Hundred and Two. There is the Numero Uno, and there is everybody else -- a point that was made very clear when Jayalalithaa made her ministers take the oath of office in unison on May 23. What, after all, was the point of having them do so individually when they lack individuality?' China's support to Pak terrorists will cost it dearly
'By extending its support to the LeT, China is not helping the cause of containment and eventual destruction of radicalism and terror.'
July 01, 2015
Are we a nation of thieves?
'The major reason is the reluctance of the Indian citizen, particularly in the middle class, to pay his dues. Only around three per cent of Indians pay any income tax and these are mostly those who are employed, and whose taxes are deducted. I often refer to us as a nation of thieves, who steal from our government,' says Aakar Patel. Is India forever condemned to live with corruption?
Democracy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for rooting out corruption
June 30, 2015
BRICS Summit: Opportunities for India, Russia and China
Srikanth Kondapalli on what to expect from the seventh BRICS summit meeting to be held in Russia in July.
June 26, 2015
The myth of the Magna Carta
The Magna Carta was not quite a grand demand for equality, freedoms and rule of law but just a narrow demand for restricting the ruler's powers to ring fence the interests of the elite. But its consequences greatly expanded over the centuries into a charter, which guarantees individual liberties, equality and justice to all, irrespective of race, religion and class, says Mohan Guruswamy. Why the RSS and BJP are the true champions of our democracy
Ironically, it was the members of the BJP (which the Indian press loves to dub as fascist) who resisted the assault on democracy and were jailed for 18 months. The RSS too played a stellar role in the resistance movement during the Emergency. Yet by some strange warped logic, the Indian media deems the Congress party with an established record of authoritarianism as a standard bearer of democracy while damning a true champion -- the BJP, says Vivek Gumaste
June 25, 2015
Praful Bidwai's final column: Why covert ops are wrong
In his last column for Rediff.com, Praful Bidwai joins issues with those lauding India's covert operation against Naga rebels based in Myanmarese territory. Emergency: Why Rajan's story resonates with me
Rajeev Srinivasan tells how he came very close to being another number in the 'disappeareds' during the Emergency. How Modigate has transformed the Modi sarkar into UPA III
The scandal surrounding Lalit Modi serves as a reminder for how similar our mainstream political parties are in resisting institutional reform.
June 24, 2015
When mother tongue is used for political vendetta
Given India's political scenario, where parties seek votes on the basis of caste and religion, the issue of using mother tongue in schools is more of a political vendetta, says Devanik Saha How yoga came to the UN
It was almost 10 years ago that the idea of a Yoga Day was mooted by some NGOs, but it had no takers till Prime Minister Narendra Modi realised its potential, probably at the instance of Sri Sri Ravishankar, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. What we can learn from Tripura's withdrawal of AFSPA
Tripura should be taken as a case study on how misuse of the AFSPA can be avoided even while transforming public opinion and controlling insurgency, says Sanjib Deb. Why the regional journalist is at threat
The murders of journalists in 2015 underscore the rising power of regional language media, especially local-language newspapers, says Nilanjana S Roy
June 23, 2015
Assets case: SC may yet create problems for Jaya
A case that J Jayalalitha 'does not want' is back and in the Supreme Court. N Sathiya Moorthy reports on the possible repercussions of the disproportionate assets case on Tamil Nadu politics. Will 'Na Khaane Doonga' PM allow corruption of high office?
A Union minister and a chief minister stand accused of corrupting their office. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi lets them continue, he will have broken his election promise substantively, says Aakar Patel. Only because his name is Hamid Ansari?
Just like with millions of Indian Muslims, even the vice president of India has been forced to undergo the covert loyalty test: 'you are presumed to be pro-Pakistan until you demonstrably prove you are a nationalist', says Shehzad Poonawalla. How Parrikar is failing the armed forces
Our large military requirements make for an enormous buyer's leverage, which the defence ministry fritters away in piecemeal purchases For Ram Madhav and RSS-BJP, Muslims will always be 'Yavana snakes'
BJP leader Ram Madhav's rant about Vice President Hamid Ansari's absence at the International Yoga Day celebrations goes deeper, says Syed Firdaus Ashraf, deep into their brain. How the BJP did the shoot-yourself-in-the-foot asana on yoga day
The fracas over the vice-president's absence and alleging Rajya Sabha TV's blackout of the event took some sheen off the event.
June 22, 2015
Why Chhagan Bhujbal is on slippery ground today
The politician who has come a long way, from being a one-time vegetable vendor to one of the most powerful politicians in the state, is in big trouble today, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
June 21, 2015
Yoga day is a good beginning, but only a beginning
India needs to build its Grand Narrative, and its cultural power, which conquered all of ASEAN (then known as Indo-China), needs to be forcefully projected while simultaneously hard economic and military power are also emphasised, says Rajeev Srinivasan.
June 20, 2015
The frenemy of the people
Politicians have continued taking people for granted and managed to stay above the law, says T N Ninan
June 19, 2015
Is yoga a 'Hindu' practice?
In an age of patents and intellectual property rights, it would be improper to deny that yoga comes from the Hindu tradition, says Sankrant Sanu. Is Surya Namaskar religious? I don't think so
'Few practitioners of yoga doing the Surya Namaskar, including lakhs of Americans and Europeans, see it as a form of worshipping the sun. They do it because it is good exercise.'
June 18, 2015
How we have become what we are
We need credible retellings of the times we have lived through, or the events in the immediate past that have shaped our today, says Mihir S Sharma
June 17, 2015
Yoga, Akbar the Great and no jobs
Job creation was mentioned 13 times in the BJP's 2014 election manifesto, yoga only twice.
June 16, 2015
Curious case of Jitender Singh Tomar LLB
The fiasco over the former Delhi law minister's college degrees has damaged the reputation of the Aam Aadmi Party, says Nupur Sharma. Pakistan's wrong takeaway from India's Myanmar op
It would be foolish for Pakistan to assume that India would not act no matter what the provocation is, just because it is militarily more powerful than Myanmar and is armed with nuclear weapons, says Anand Kumar. Why engaging China at sea is both unavoidable and necessary
If the aim is to become a player with some strategic space of its own, not just in the Indian Ocean region but also in the adjoining region, then greater interaction with China is desirable, even necessary.
June 15, 2015
What the Myanmar raid signals to Pakistan
'In the short to medium term, the Myanmar raid will impose caution on Pakistan in planning another 26/11-like adventure. As a result of this caution, even if the proxy war ebbs, it will reduce the danger of escalation to a nuclear stand-off,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). Why Gujarat model won't work in Delhi
While a centralised approach to running things expedited decision-making in Gujarat it may become the very thing that decelerates Modi in the Centre, opines Nilmadhab Mohanty. In (partial) defence of the IAS
Administration is an evolving process, requiring the civil service to constantly re-invent itself to meet new challenges. The administration must become accountable to the law of the land and to the people. Giridhar Gamang - Congress' loss, BJP's gain
The Congress' fortune in Odisha has been on the slide ever since it lost power to the Biju Janata Dal in the 2000 elections. Party loyalist Giridhar Gamang's resignation has only added to its problems, says Dillip Satapathy
June 12, 2015
Riding on the ordinance highway: Why the Supreme Court should step in
Repromulgation is a perennial malaise; and judges must clarify -- indeed, revisit -- the rules that govern this practice, argues Shubhankar Dam.
June 11, 2015
BJP remains ambivalent as Jaya awaits runaway victory in by-poll
Even as political parties in TN have decided not to field a candidate against CM Jayalalithaa in the assembly by-election, the BJP's ambivalence has shown up once again.
June 09, 2015
A fake encounter of justice?
An accused D G Vanzara gets bail months after Modi emerges as PM and hails it is as a return of 'Achche Din' while the blind-folded lady justice, almost mocks the rest of us, by suggesting that nobody is guilty for the cold blooded killing of Ishrat Jahan, Kauser Bi and the 2,000 odd innocent people in Gujarat, says Shehzad Poonawala. Development will have 0 effect on separatism
'Our experience in Nagaland and Kashmir for the last 60 years has shown our insanity, defined by Albert Einstein as doing the same thing again and again and yet expecting different results,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
June 08, 2015
Post-ambush, focus shifts to North-East but for how long?
The Centre should focus on achieving peace either through long-term ceasefire agreements or sustained military operations. Military operations which are just intermittent responses to particular incidents won't lead anywhere, says Devanik Saha. It's time to shut the IAS down
If Prime Minister Narendra Modi fails to live up to the expectations that he has raised, it will be entirely his fault. He should have started by ending the IAS Five wrongs don't make a right
Nitish Kumar is on the brink of taking another wrong turn. It is hard to fathom why he would tie up with the Congress, which has little political capital left in Bihar. Aditi Phadnis reports Let the women fight
Given how the armed forces struggle to attract talent, they cannot rule out hiring half the population, says Nitin Pai
June 04, 2015
Army ready to thwart Pakistan's diabolic plans for J&K
'I am aware that mention of a threat to Gulmarg emanating from my perception may send negative signals to tourists but there are realities which need to be taken stock of.'
June 03, 2015
Beef, Bikini Killer & Amit Shah
Syed Firdaus Ashraf spends a week in Goa in pursuit of his favourite dish, and discovers a few other things about the state as well. No Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas for Atali's victims, alas
The test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be to convince not just friends in the media with crisp sound bytes but the very people most affected by the politics of hate through concerted action, says Shehzad Poonawala. PM proposes, babu disposes
'We should hope and pray that the PM's sentiment is not held ransom by machinations and craftiness of a few junior babus who throw in an imaginary impediment at every welfare measure and snigger and giggle at the sidelines every time a soldier is ill at ease,' says Major Navdeep Singh on the one rank one pension debate.
June 02, 2015
AFSPA removal: Why Tripura and J&K are very different
My travels made me realise how different the ground situation and people's mindsets in the two states are. People seemed happy and secure in Tripura whilst there was only complaining and suspicion in J&K, says Sanjeev Nayyar. Why PM's Bangladesh visit couldn't be better-timed
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has positioned himself as a credible partner for Bangladesh. He has scored by getting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to travel with him to Dhaka, says Srinath Raghavan The Rafale deal is Modi's 'masterstroke'
'Under the present Defence Procurement Procedure, it would have been a nightmare, and a long, long one at that, to build 108 Rafales in India. Modi realised this and took the wise decision, though it is a definitive setback for his Make in India scheme.' Why India must pay attention to China's defence plans
In the case of India, there are no specific references in China's white paper. However, there are several takeaways for India, says Srikanth Kondapalli.
June 01, 2015
We killed Aruna Shanbaug
We allowed her to rot daily. We simply did not care. Soon she will be forgotten and the stories of the nurses who cared for her will become Mumbai's urban legend, says Neeta Kolhatkar. Can Karnataka's decision to move SC against acquittal thwart Jaya's plans?
Karnataka's SLP against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's acquittal has as much for the legal community across the country, as its electoral fallout may have for the political fraternity, says N Sathiya Moorthy. How India must counter Pakistan in Afghanistan
New Delhi must indicate to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that it has a long-term strategy for his country. It should point out that Pakistan's present Afgan policy will destabilise Afghanistan and help Islamic State, says Gautam Sen. Manohar Parrikar and his big mouth
'The defence minister should concentrate on acquiring a bigger stick, rather than brag of using terrorists as State policy.' Why China is in no hurry to sort border dispute with India
As of now, in the case of China's border dispute with India, China is not likely to lose much if it does not resolve the dispute. In fact, the unresolved border dispute has much to offer to China, says Sana Hashmi.
May 29, 2015
Modi's fashion sense is a welcome relief
His sartorial taste is not something he acquired suddenly as the chief minister of the prime minister. His "god-given" dress sense is like his politics: inventive, imaginative if slightly unconventional, often loud. It goes well with his oratory, robust persona and penchant for coining terms, says Mahendra Ved.
May 28, 2015
Why the future of environment looks so bleak
Prakash Javadekar's one year as India's minister of state (independent charge) of environment, forests and climate change has been an unmitigated disaster, says activist Himanshu Thakkar. Obama's ISIS dilemma
ISIS' advances in Iraq and Syria are not just tactical but strategic victories -- born of US errors and confusion
May 27, 2015
Modi's visit will boost India-China nuclear cooperation
There is enough scope for India and China to cooperate on nuclear energy issues despite the lingering issues which not only includes the Sino-Pakistan nexus, but also the Sino-India border dispute over the LAC, says Debalina Ghoshal. Modi@1: The PM's story is yet to be told
Modi needs to get his act straight and get it straight soon. Five years down the line, Modi may continue to have support from his ardent supporters, but for the masses he would lose the plot on his sudden inability to tell a good story. After all in the end, all that matters is a good story. Even if the man is remarkable and the story simple, it is always a good story that leaves a lasting impression.
May 26, 2015
Can Modi succeed where Gandhi failed?
'Will Modi succeed with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan? He will not, because cultural change does not come purely from legislation and never overnight. It comes internally and this is something Gandhi understood,' says Aakar Patel. How Modi can make our diplomats more effective
Has the Modi government ensured that the MEA keeps abreast of the times, asks Ambassador Vivek Katju. Modi@1: Some positive steps, long way to go
It has been said that by 2025, India could become among the top five economies in the world. If India does become a $5 trillion economy but gets all its rivers polluted, food chain poisoned and genetic pool depleted and biometric database of Indians sold or stolen at the behest of commercial czars, will it not be a pyrrhic economic victory, asks Gopal Krishna. Can a re-energised Rahul revive the Congress?
Congress gets into the opposition groove but still has miles to go, says Saroj Nagi. Why the Modi hope lives on
The government is following a path where it will not be irresponsible or profligate with public money but will intervene in the interest of the poor
May 25, 2015
Tamil Nadu sans Amma: A state interrupted?
Inaugurations and foundation-stone laying ceremonies might have been low-key but that doesn't mean Tamil Nadu stood still while J Jayalalithaa was out of office, Aditi Phadnis opines Modi@1: BJP's 7 popular defensive tactics
A simple guide to the strange defensiveness of the government and its supporters, and how and why the arguments they're making are wrong. Remembering the other 'Panditji'
When Prime Minister Modi observes the first anniversary of his government at Nagla Chandrabhan, Deendayal Upadhyaya's birthplace in Mathura, on Monday, he shall be essentially reiterating his commitment to achieving the ideal of Upadhyaya's 'Dharma Rajya', a State free of inequality and of division, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. PM's second year to be as busy as first on foreign policy front
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will focus on extended neighbourhood, particularly the ASEAN and Central Asian regions, says Archis Mohan
May 24, 2015
Why Mr Modi may have missed the bus
Narendra Modi promised to be A B de Villiers but has batted like a Geoff Boycott, says T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan
May 23, 2015
For Jayalalithaa, the ball is in Karnataka's court
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's celebrations on amma's return are peppered with possibilities, probabilities and problems of one kind or the other, says N Sathiya Moorthy
May 22, 2015
Did Karnataka shy away from 'fixing' Amma?
Karnataka would have served no useful purpose by initiating a sensitive legal move in a sensational case, where its locus standi might have been confined to appealing against the high court verdict and not extend to a demand for stay of its application Modi@1: Ten things I learned this past year
For the past, blame the Congress. For the present, blame the Congress. For everything, blame the Congress. But for your future, vote BJP. The right to die with dignity
Best tribute to Aruna Shanbaug would be to take some legislative action on ending the mental trauma of those who can't live outside of a hospital again.
May 21, 2015
Modi@1: Why Modi has to succeed
Modi cannot afford to fail the Indian people and in return the Indian people cannot fail Modi. There is too much riding on this equation for failure to be an option. There is too much invested in this relationship for it to splinter, says Vivek Gumaste. Modi's 'hometown' diplomacy with China
I am the Best! I am the Best!
'I told all those Indians in Cheen there are some netas who go on holiday and don't work. Here I am, working and working, going on so many yatras, shaking hands with all big world netas till my hands feel they will fall off'
May 20, 2015
Jairam Ramesh rebuts Amit Shah's defence of land bill
Jairam Ramesh, architect of the UPA's 2011 land acquisition bill, reacts to Amit Shah's interview to Rediff.com in which he defended the NDA government's land bill ordinance. Modi and the art of propaganda 101
From France to Canada, from Japan to South Korea, all of Modi's barbs came in front of an NRI audience. Over the last one year, with 19 foreign visits, Modi has tried to use diplomacy as a PR event and foreign policy as a means to shore up his image back at home, says Shehzad Poonawalla. The return of Amma: Will Karnataka play party pooper?
The Karnataka government is divided over filing an appeal in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of former Tamil Nadu chief minister. N Sathiya Moorthy analyses the possibilities The shocking state of Mumbai's firemen
Do you know firemen who risk their lives every day earn salaries equivalent to clerks?Last week's tragedy where three Mumbai firemen died fighting a fire must wake up the city's rulers, says Neeta Kolhatkar. Rescuing the Ganga and the country
If the Ganga manages a rebirth, so will the country.Roy
May 19, 2015
Modi@1: All that did not happen. The 'No's have it
'In the last one year, it looks like there were bad things that didn't take place, and there were good things that didn't take place,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. Aruna Shanbaug, euthanasia and whose life is it anyway?
'Aruna Shanbaug's death has again opened up the euthanasia conversation in the public domain. For a health care discourse often dominated by inane news, this is not such a bad thing.' At last, an Indian leader who knows how to deal with China
'Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have gone beyond the cautious approach usually advocated by the tightly-knit 'China group' in the ministry of external affairs in dealing with Beijing.' Modi's year on the world stage
'Modi's promise of change during the election campaign was on the domestic front, but his first year in office focused on foreign policy beyond all expectations,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. India and China: Cooperation, competition or contestation?
Four major political takeaways from Narendra Modi's much-anticipated trip to China At last, an Indian leader who knows how to deal with China
'Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have gone beyond the cautious approach usually advocated by the tightly-knit 'China group' in the ministry of external affairs in dealing with Beijing.'
May 18, 2015
Will the Supreme Court's 'Tridev' ruling reduce govt ads?
'So in the tens of thousands of ads released in India from now on, we will get to see the photographs of only three people: The President, prime minister and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.' Modi@1: Disappointing record on security
'There is simply no evidence of any new or clear policy direction in internal security, and mounting evidence of policy incoherence.' 7 reasons why Modi's visit to China was different
Unlike in the past, Modi made candid, frank and direct remarks on his hosts by suggesting that the Chinese side is holding back on further improving relations, says Srikanth Kondapalli. Rahul as PM in 2019? Why ever not!
What is the road ahead for Rahul Gandhi? Shehzad Poonawalla offers a blueprint. The armed forces' strategy is still anchored to 1964
Every demand of the armed forces remains essentially anchored to 1964 and its fulfilment or otherwise largely a function of money availability Why BJP, JD-U & RJD are not ready for fierce Bihar battle
While the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal-United are busy fighting each other, the BJP is trying not to repeat the mistakes it made the last time out, says Satyavrat Mishra
May 17, 2015
Major defence breakthrough on cards as PM heads to South Korea
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to South Korea is considered essential in strengthening defence ties, enhancing economic cooperation and forging cultural ties between the two countries, says Dr Rahul Mishra
May 16, 2015
Modi@1: Cut the PM some slack
Call for balance in assessing the first year of the PM -- and less prickliness on the part of the BJP Modi@1: The PM is wasting away great power
Narendra Modi is squandering a mandate for change on feeble, unimaginative incrementalism.
May 15, 2015
Modi-Li talks: Aspirational, productive and positive
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone to China with a bagful of initiatives, but not all seems to have been fulfilled given China's reluctance to go the whole hog with him Will China and India be partners -- or rivals?
It would be a chance lost if India cannot learn from and lean more on China to kick-start trade, infrastructure programmes, and increased ties, says Ravi Agrawal
May 14, 2015
China must address India's persistent security dilemma
'Difficult issues should not be brushed under the carpet, but should be raised upfront, particularly by India. While engagement and dialogue are always welcome and desirable, there should be some tangible results. Mere signing of agreements, MoUs, joint declarations are not enough.' Pragmatic Modi will achieve India's strategic goals in China
If the chemistry between Modi and Xi Jinping goes well, it will herald a new future not just for the region but for the world, says Tarun Vijay. Can Modi and Xi 'reset' Sino-Indian ties?
'China's excessive military aid to Pakistan is the real elephant in the room as far as Sino-Indian relations are concerned. India should be confident enough to accept a degree of closeness between China and Pakistan, since China may wish to use this link for its foray into the Muslim world.' Economics for India, strategic trust for China
While the two sides' objectives may appear to differ, it is clear that both India and China are emphasising on the common minimum possible areas of cooperation between them, says Srikanth Kondapalli. How Beijing's insecurity over Tibet affects the border issue
Public interest centres on whether the two leaders might make headway in resolving the Sino-Indian boundary dispute. Why the RTI Act is in danger
'The prime minister has taken pre-emptive action by not appointing a Chief Information Commissioner at all to render it dysfunctional.'</p></strong><p><strong>'The bureaucracy is also hardening its stand and in most cases has realised that the commissioners are not really committed to transparency,' says former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.
May 13, 2015
China is moving away from co-operation to confrontation
Right from conducting nuclear deterrence patrols in 2015 to its destructive space programme, from its back-tracking on economic commitments to its hardened positions on Sino-India border deal -- its approach with India spells Adversarial with a capital A, says Shehzad Poonawalla Why Modi changed his media tune
A series of political reverses like the government's failure to get crucial bills passed by the Rajya Sabha has made the prime minister realise that he needs to fine-tune his approach to both the Opposition parties and the media, says A K Bhattacharya. Jaya 'acquittal maths' keeps TN political pot boiling even more
And in the midst of it all, Jayalalithaa keeps the guessing game going, on her returning as chief minister and on calling for early assembly polls, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Pulls, pressures and the Pakistan Army
The recent postings and promotions of three-star generals in the Pakistan Army have propelled some of former chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani's favourites to traditionally important positions
May 12, 2015
The unbridgeable distance between words and meaning
A time comes when the distance between words and meaning becomes unbridgeable. Or, words become shells, which hide the real intent of the speaker. To understand how language works in the case of a person like the present prime minister, you'll have to analyse the way language is practiced by the RSS, says Apoorvanand. Modi's Mongolia visit is important too
India should enhance its economic, cultural and defence ties with Mongolia. It is high time Modi should focus on gaining clout in smaller Asian countries such as Mongolia. It is in this context, India's engagement with Mongolia would give much-needed impetus to India's foreign policy, says Sana Hashmi. A wasted year
The National Democratic Alliance government has adopted half measures instead of moving decisively on defence.
May 11, 2015
Why Bollywood cannot be neutral about Salman
Three or four stars are disproportionately powerful in the industry. All the others in Bollywood, no matter how talented, must be aligned to one of these stars or be reconciled to doing small movies with the others, says Aakar Patel. Will Jaya order fresh polls to neutralise a DMK stunned by her acquittal?
The moot point is if a re-energised Jayalalitha will order snap polls when the Opposition is in disarray and her own political starts are on the rise, says N Nathiya Moorthy. Watch out for Modi's robust engagement with China
'Building on the potential for closer ties is the changing narrative in each country about the other. The Chinese narrative on India has become significantly more positive over the past few years,' says Walter Andersen and Zhong Zhenming.
May 09, 2015
A year of Modi sarkar: Oh, such a letdown
Not only is Modi's India not the shining land of dynamism and prosperity that he promised -- though it may be that, for some people, in a few years from now -- but socially it has the positively regressive tendencies that were entirely predictable.
May 08, 2015
We don't need religious freedom lectures from the US
'Your constant reiteration on the lack of religious freedom in India has sown doubts about the kind of information that you are being fed and based on which you seem to be making adverse references to India and its tradition of religious tolerance.' Why did the Pakistan army warn R&AW?
'After General Raheel Sharif took on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, some sections of the military establishment may have felt unease as to whether the crackdown could be extended against friendlier 'non-State' actors like the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.' Mr Modi, don't avoid the 'P' word
''The avoidance of the 'P' word had less to do with reality and more to do with the politics -- domestic and international -- of Mr Modi and his efforts to both appear statesman-like (vis-a-vis Pakistan) and rid himself of the taint of being some kind of Muslim-baiting hardliner.' Be warned. The Pak army is planning something against India
'All the anti-India groups like LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen have been activated with terrorist camps and launching pads in place.' Why Rahul Gandhi needs to be careful
The leader should be cautious while accusing the Modi government of cronyism. Salman Khan: Bad boy, good samaritan?
He may or may not have changed, but one thing is certain: his friends and fans are going to stick by him
May 07, 2015
India has a mind of its own and flaunts it
'There is much symbolism in President Pranab Mukherjee's participation in the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow.'
May 06, 2015
Why India must not tinker with B'desh border deal
By revising the India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement, the NDA is going for short-term gains and losing the long-term perspective, says Gautam Sen.
May 04, 2015
Six reasons why Arun Shourie is wrong
You could step aside from the BJP membership, don the mantle of a full-time journalist again and then go ballistic against the government, Sudhir Bisht tells Arun Shourie in this open letter. Why SRK-Aamir-Salman had no need for Hindu screen names
'Muslim actors like Dilip Kumar thought they had to give themselves Hindu names to be acceptable. Was their caution justified?' 5 things Modi should understand about China
'While visits and personal meetings are useful, changes of strategic significance have occurred recently, with Beijing trying to take the lead which Modi must take note of.' Rahul Gandhi's big-ticket comeback
How the Congress vice president conducts himself over the next few months will determine whether or not he has understood his serendipitous situation Did you know 8 soldiers were killed on Sunday?
'The sad truth is our news managers know much more about Houston and Boston than Kohima and Kokrajhar...' The diary of a traditional Indian wife
'Odd thing: Parliament says this marital rape thing doesn't apply in India, but official reports say that 97 per cent of women are raped by people they know and intimate partners. Hmm. But that means... That means... Can it be true? Oh god'
April 30, 2015
Why the Parivar wants Dr Ambedkar
'The Parivar's ideology and politics was and remains the very opposite of what Dr Ambedkar stood for.' The danger behind Pakistan's new swagger
'Pakistan may feel emboldened to give an upswing to the proxy war in J&K, having secured a better international consensus on its strategic importance.'
April 28, 2015
How CBI plans to fight crimes of the future
For the CBI, crimes are likely to become more innovative, complex, driven increasingly by technology and transcending geographical boundaries, says Anil Kumar Sinha. What is the Shiv Sena up to?
The stakes are high. While targeting Muslims for its political game plan, the Sena needs to check its own political path. Else it will face the same debacle as that of MNS and lose its identity completely, says Neeta Kohlatkar. Generals, quotas damage the army
A soldier cannot justifiably demand faster, easier promotions based on frequent field tenures
April 27, 2015
How much does India really spend on defence?
No one really knows what proportion of the nation's wealth and income are available for defence The potential of opening up Iran
The possibility of a deal between Iran and the world on its nuclear programme has some perils but much promise for India, says Uday Abhyankar How India should handle the Ghani visit
The India-Afghanistan relationship does not have to be a template of each country's relations with Pakistan, and Delhi will do well to leave it to Ghani to redefine the parameters of Afghanistan's security cooperation with India. A zero-sum mindset can only exacerbate regional tensions, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar. Is anything big brewing in Modi's China visit?
'Both Modi and Xi know that if all that there is to show for Modi's visit -- barely eight months after Xi's India trip -- is a repeat of the same old declarations, there will be a terrible sense of letdown in the public mood resulting in future summits losing credibility. Only the possibility of new ground being broken can justify Modi's trip at this time,' says B S Raghavan. Who politicised deaths of farmers if not Modi?
Having made farmer suicides a campaign issue, Modi and the BJP should have no complaints in now having to live with it, says Aakar Patel. Exclusive! Sachin Pilot: Damocles' sword of dispossession hangs over our farmers
Livelihoods and lives are being destroyed in the name of building a 'better' India, writes Congress leader Sachin Pilot, in an exclusive column for Rediff.com.
April 26, 2015
The point of no return
Is there anything any one can say after Gajendra Singh's suicide that will not come across as inadequate, insincere, fatuous or too little too late?
April 25, 2015
Modi needs to get out of his bunker
The media has given the PM and his government a far easier time than it probably deserves. Battling ISIS remains the prime objective
'What needs to be pursued as the operations progress is a degree of reconciliation amongst the other parties, less the more orthodox Al Qaeda affiliates.' For Muslims, election results will always be a defeat
'The BJP is spreading slow poison in India. The effect will not be seen now, but after 10 years you will see it for sure.'
April 23, 2015
How to effectively fight cyber terror threats
Total security against cyber attacks is misnomer but we can mitigate such threats to a large extent by establishing a robust mechanism to govern the use of IT in the country, centralised structure for proactive defence of information assets, effective cyber forensic analysis and regulatory risk evaluation enabled through legislation and across the board cyber-security awareness and training, says Lieutenant General (retd) Prakash Katoch. Why Rahul is wrong about the Indian farmer
'Rahul Gandhi accuses the Modi government of being in thrall to corporate fat cats at the expense of farmers and other common folk. But the facts do not bear out this argument, as Indian farmers are relatively better off compared to the really wretched of the earth, the unfortunate landless, often itinerant, labourer. And since Rahul's ancestors are the ones who failed them, it is a little disingenuous of him to ignore them in his rhetorical flourishes,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. 10 lodestars from Xi's Pakistan visit
'The Modi government's lurch toward America has not brought it any dividends so far. The Western world is simply not in a position to make big investments in India... India needs to take a leap of faith vis-a-vis China.'
April 22, 2015
Rahul Gandhi, lost and found?
'I hope Rahul Gandhi's interventions in Parliament are not flashes in the pan and that he is in it for the long haul.' Xi's Pakistan visit: High on substance, low on values
Considering Modi's style of practicing diplomacy, it is likely that a clear message would be conveyed to China that it is high time Beijing stops using its good relations with Pakistan as a pressure tactic against India. This is imperative not only for strengthening India-China relations at the bilateral level but also for maintaining stability at the regional level, says Sana Hashmi. Will Yechury give the CPI-M a makeover?
'It is not impossible that there will be some arrangement with the Congress in West Bengal after the ongoing local body polls.' Why our judiciary continues to ail
The recent meeting of chief justices and chief ministers skirted vital issues, which could have helped in improving the efficiency in the functioning of courts
April 21, 2015
Why Rahul is not the man who will save the farmers
The Gandhi scion can't be central figure on land bill debate unless he completely changes the way he functions and immerses himself in politics 24/7
April 20, 2015
A fundamentalist sounds more reasonable than the mainstream
'Masarat Alam is today one of the the undisputed leaders of Kashmir's Islamists. And all he had to do was to get someone to hold up a flag. He has accurately placed us and we can look forward to many more years of this from him.' Did Cuban cigars thaw US-Cuba relations?
'The irresistible Cuban cigars, which acquire their unique flavour as they are rolled on the thighs of Cuban women, have always been the ultimate temptation for cigar connoisseurs in the US.'
April 18, 2015
Rahul's 'eat, pray, love' moment
One man's vacation is another man's enigma
April 17, 2015
So how does Airtel Zero violate net neutrality?
Is the Airtel Zero plan really a big blow for net neutrality? Will it end the 'free' internet as we know it? Amidst the hullaballoo over the issue, Sudhir Bisht provides a contrarian view.
April 16, 2015
It needs more than symbolism to restore the Congress's shine
'Sonia Gandhi can't rejuvenate the party, her heir is fodder for stand-up comedians, and nobody in the Congress has the guts to question the Nehru-Gandhis.'
April 15, 2015
Modi's Rafale deal: Inventive, sudden, non-transparent
'Having himself tweaked the Rafale deal Modi may find that he may knock defence agents out of the fine print of a deal, but they lurk not only in chateaus around Paris, but in the ante rooms of ministers -- French and Indian -- or even the homes of Indian ambassadors.' Land Ordinance 2.0: Better but not good enough
On the face of it, some clauses in the new land ordinance looks pro-farmer but in reality it is not so. The problem is two-fold. The first is the vagueness of the law itself. The other problem with this ordinance is that it is against the very ethos of judicial interpretation, says Vidhan Vyas. Modi's visit to Canada is the first by an Indian PM in 42 years!
'Notwithstanding the physical distance, the two countries historically had a convergence of approach and outlook to many international issues.'
April 14, 2015
Sena needs to stop its vada-pav protests
'It is time the Sena realises that voters can see through its divisive actions. It needs to have a wider vision before the party is reduced to a slapstick political comedy.' No votes for Muslims: Sena's demand, a cry in the wilderness
'It was Dr B R Ambedkar's foresight which saved us from some marauding state political leaders who could have indirectly disfranchised large sections of our population as we see some attempts even now,' says V Balachandran.
April 13, 2015
Modi's op-ed in German newspaper
Prime Minster Narendra Modi's op-ed in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeines talks about development, New Age India and his 'Make in India' campaign. Here's the complete text of the column. The benefits of having a Gujarati prime minister
'Narendra Modi knows how to calculate and remain pragmatic. Take the unexpected Rafale deal - perhaps the first time a PM has considered the country's defence procurement as a priority, over the considerations of the babus... and over his own pet project 'Make in India',' says Claude Arpi. Why cowardly encounters will never cease in India
'If 25 black men had been executed illegally in the US in one day, the government would have fallen and the population would have rallied to the victims. In India, those of us who did not applaud the police only yawned,' says Aakar Patel.
April 11, 2015
Can Pakistan afford to antagonise the Gulf kingdom?
How long can Pakistan remain neutral in the Saudi Arabia-led Yemen conflict?
April 10, 2015
Why the Iran nuclear deal will be useful for India
'If the Iran nuke deal holds, Iran becomes a gateway to Afghanistan, and a better one than Pakistan because the route is not so mountainous. Correspondingly, I imagine Pakistan's value to the US will fall,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. Iran's last chance to shed the pariah tag
To the extent the nuclear race in West Asia is slowed down by the Iran nuclear deal, the world as a whole has reason to be happy, says Virendra Kapoor. 'France is more mercenary than we like'
'Despite frequent high-level interactions there has been little traction on substantive issues between India and France,' says Mohan Guruswamy.
April 08, 2015
Time veggies joined the Indian non-veg mainstream!
'In a country like India, it is clear that respecting religions -- in politics or in the kitchen -- is disastrous,' says Amberish K Diwanji.
April 07, 2015
PM has given a recipe for undermining the Constitution
'To suggest that activists -- and that too 'five star activists' -- are driving the courts, is to betray an ignorance of the functioning of the legal system of the most gross kind,' says Senior Advocate and former Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising.
April 06, 2015
Modi agreed with every word Giriraj said
'Modi deliberately chose such unhinged people because they said what he wanted to, but couldn't,' says Aakar Patel. Narasimha Rao carried his nuclear secrets to his grave
'If Rao had, in fact, given a word to President Clinton in 1994 that India would not test, he would not have encouraged Vajpayee to test. The note, said to have been handed over to Vajpayee by Rao with the words, 'Now is the time to accomplish my unfinished task' may not have been a reference to nuclear tests at all,' says T P Sreenivasan. Who will pay the cost of local self-governance?
With Centre, state and municipal governments passing the buck on issues as critical as sanitation, Aditi Phadnis looks at the revolving door politics that is often played with the running of local self government
April 05, 2015
Star Wars: India set to test anti-missile defence shield
DRDO's latest test towards developing an anti-ballistic missile shield, to protect Indian targets against nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles fired from Pakistan or China will provide a technology that is akin to striking a bullet with a bullet, say Ajai Shukla
April 01, 2015
Let the army decide whom to promote!
'The government must make clear once and for all that promotions in the Indian Army are not the right of individuals, but a privilege given in accordance with role and function.'
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