December 30, 2011
The great Indian betrayals
Anna Hazare, promise us, you are here to stay to take the nation forward beyond heroic acts, and find ways to utilise and sustain this support we are giving you, says Deepak Warrier. India wants Dr Singh to go!
'At the end of 2011, everyone had forgotten the so-called India Story and double-digit growth. Outside the members of the official economist clique, led by the prime minister's sidekick Montek Singh Ahluwalia, no economist predicts that GDP will grow at nine-plus percent. The last quarter saw growth slip alarmingly. At this rate, instead of Ahluwalia's 9% we will soon be back to the Hindu rate of growth of 3.5%,' notes Virendra Kapoor. Bigg Boss's Sunny Leone reveals dark truth about Indians
Imagine the response if a dark-skinned Indian woman who had acted in porn films had gone to the Bigg Boss house instead of an Indo-Canadian porn actress, says Faisal Kidwai.
December 29, 2011
2012: Year of the Street, Court and Polling Booth
'What happens if the judge should accept Dr Swamy's arguments? Can P Chidambaram continue as home minister if he is an 'accused' in a scam? Leave aside the morality of it, will he be able to function in his highly sensitive post if he is distracted by legal battles?' US-India ties: The year of the drift
'The current period of implementation and consolidation will put the relationship on an even sounder footing when the leaders in both capitals determine it is time to quicken the pace,' US experts tell Aziz Haniffa. J&K interlocutors: They came, they saw, they went
Now that the Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors have seen the problems of the people and submitted their report on a year-long exercise, it is time for the government of India to be serious over the intricate matters concerning Jammu and Kashmir, says Varad Varenya.
December 28, 2011
California Diaspora: Some blows, some clout
Despite the Tri Valley University case and hate crimes, the Indian-American community gained ground in California, says Ritu Jha. 2011, the year of hedging in foreign policy
'Hedging has become inevitable in the emerging global scenario and we too should have our share of hedging. But it has to be combined with firm positions and sturdy alliances wherever necessary,' says T P Sreenivasan. Lokpal vote: The mystery of the missing Congress MPs
Neerja Chowdhury on the various theories doing the rounds on why several Congress MPs we missing during the vote on the constitutional amendment bill. It's going to be 2012, not 1912!
In the tug of war between modernity and tradition, we often don't know which side we are on. As a friend said the other day, "As parents we are contradicting ourselves every day. We ask our daughters to look for jobs and at the same time we say get married soon. We keep asking them, 'Why are you writing on so many private things on Facebook?' We want to micro-manage our children's lives, but we want to portray ourselves as liberals who give our children lots of freedom." Aftermath of 2011: Do Frequent Elections Beckon?
'In many ways, 2011 had come to resemble the mid-1990s when an unusual number of politicians found themselves in prison or out of office over various charges of corruption. It is not a happy parallel to draw on for the then Congress government was followed by two long years of political instability and frequent elections.'
December 26, 2011
Did Chidambaram rescue a former client?
The fact that S P Gupta was a former client of P Chidambaram is not germane to the controversy. The withdrawal of the cases in itself was scandalous. Not one of the three cases against Gupta impinge on the wider public interest, says Virendra Kapoor.
December 21, 2011
Season of Southern Discontent
'I am more pessimistic than ever that any amicable solution to the Mullaperiyar Dam problem is possible. Neither state is prepared to accept that its neighbour might have legitimate fears, of a dam collapse in Kerala and of water famine in Tamil Nadu.'
December 18, 2011
Coping with GenNext journalists
Concepts keep evolving. When I was in service, one used to talk of media management by the police. It is now a hated concept. After I left service in August 1994, one started talking of perception management. This too has now fallen into a disfavour. One now talks of perception correction. It is a politically neutral concept acceptable both to the police and the media.
December 15, 2011
India-Russia summit: An open house of friendship
Pious pre-summit homilies cannot hide the ugly truth that cooperation in energy security is going at snail's pace despite it being a strategic area for India. The high hopes raised 3 years ago during the visit by Vladimir Putin to Delhi remain unfulfilled, says M K Bhadrakumar. We have leaders who refuse to lead
Where is the much-vaunted Congress 'high command, asks T V R Shenoy. Exactly where it was when Anna Hazare was shaking Delhi in August? Exactly where it was when the FDI-retail concern brought Parliament to a halt in November?
December 12, 2011
My Rediscovery of India
The aspirations of India's people have gotten far ahead of the political debate as one sees the malls in tier-2 cities and car showrooms in 'rurbanised' towns, notes Shashi Shekhar, who visited India after two years. Military ties: India and China try to 'break the ice'
Srikanth Kondapalli on the significance of Chinese military official Gen Ma Xiaotian's visit to India.
December 08, 2011
Bonn conference on Afghanistan fails to achieve much
Beyond assurances of support, the 100-plus delegations that congregated in Bonn failed to articulate anything particularly meaningful, says Amir Mir Dr Singh, the prime ministership of India is a political job
If the prime minister doesn't plan to step down post the FDI fiasco, he should get down to real governance -- and can start by having the numerous clowns in his court shut up, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
December 07, 2011
Sriramulu's Bellary win: More to it than we think possible
Sriramulu has proved that a politician is true to his own self, his own needs, his own mentors of the moment, and that the public does not matter after the vote is cast. The voter is to be remembered only at the next round of elections, whenever it is, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Every day, frictions increase between India and China
America's Asia-Pacific policy will come unhinged without Indian support and Indian desire to effectively balance China will remain just that, a desire, without American support, feels Harsh V Pant.
December 06, 2011
The prime minister no longer enjoys any authority
The prime minister, I believe, still enjoys a majority in the Lok Sabha if push comes to shove, but 'majority' and 'authority' are two different things. When you look at Dr Manmohan Singh you must now automatically insert 'lame duck' before 'prime minister,' says T V R Shenoy. Let not Afghanistan slip back: SM Krishna
The text of the speech made by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna at the international Afghanistan conference in Bonn
December 05, 2011
WANTED: A gutsy political leadership
The leadership vacuum in the Congress due to the lack of political stature in the party as well as the government has led to an undesirable abrasive style of politics poisoning the conduct and proceedings inside Parliament, writes B Raman
December 01, 2011
VIEW:: How Parliament can function without disruptions
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha member of Parliament who has been extremely vocal about issues such as this and also the 2G spectrum scam, feels that there is a need to create special sessions of Parliament twice a year apart form the normal sessions in which only issues pertaining to legislation and also issues of national interest agenda must be discussed. The BJP's lame excuses on FDI are hardly credible
There is palpable disappointment within a section of Young and Aspirational India that has come to identify with Centre Right economic thinking and had looked up to the BJP to advance that agenda in the years to come, says Shashi Shekhar. Why the UN didn't respond to 26/11
Today, at the national and regional level, large loopholes still exist in the security system. On the international front, however, there have been a lot more initiatives, yet the apex body of the UN remained silent post-26/11. Were they justified in holding back?
November 30, 2011
FDI logjam: Was it a Congress ploy to stall Parliament?
The question being tossed around is this: Is there a 'method in the madness' being seen in Parliament? Did the Congress choose to take the decision knowing its consequences? asks Neerja Chowdhury.
November 29, 2011
Kavita Karkare's call should not fall on deaf ears
Her concern was the continuation of security breaches and terrorism and the apparent mood to move forward in normalising relations with Pakistan, without any guarantee that terrorism will not be its State policy anymore, says T P Sreenivasan.
November 28, 2011
Our main political parties have become deaf and blind
The Mayawati government's resolution for partitioning Uttar Pradesh and Manmohan Singh's move of allowing FDI in the retail sector are classic diversionary tactics to draw eyeballs away from the real issues that concern people, says T V R Shenoy.
November 25, 2011
26/11: The questions we need to ask
Three years after the event the country is still waiting for the answer to these questions. But instead what it is served is harebrained theories, half truths and downright lies to rope in 'politically correct' suspects to throw dust into the eyes of the public, says Colonel (Dr) Anil Athale (retd). India's great fear? The Outsider!
The Indian middle class has largely moved away from its old, irrational fears of the West. Why, then, is the New Delhi Establishment still extremely sceptical of 'outsiders,' asks Rohit Pradhan.
November 24, 2011
Car-free day: An idea whose time has come
I for one would not use a car on Novermber 27, which is car-free day for Sounth Mumbai. For from tokenism and symbolism good ideas can come to grow and make a difference, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why is the PM on a foreign policy overdrive?
Indian foreign policy is listlessly meandering. At times, it stands still lost in thoughts and then it dashes forward -- and the next thing you know, it begins dashing backward. The pantomime seems to be happening with no greater logic than that it creates the illusion of a flurry of activity -- and our PM feels good and dynamic, says M K Bhadrakumar. Why don't we demand a right to security act?
An active, vigilant citizenry is a vital partner in the fight against terrorism. However, Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, founder of the Lok Satta Party, argues that this can only be possible with a new legal framework that emphasises efficiency and inclusiveness. Fake outrage over fake encounters
The lessons from the Ishrat Jehan episode should be about providing a remedy in the process of law enforcement so fake encounters are prevented, and to remedy the process of justice so that officers of law are held accountable for their illegal actions.
November 22, 2011
Why India needs to fine-tune its ties with Nepal
The increasingly loud and belligerent assertion of Beijing's claims in South China has become a matter of strategic concern for many nations for diverse reasons. It comes at a time when nations with diverse interest in the Southeast Asia from the India to Vietnam to Japan and the United States are already concerned about China's growing strategic strength.
November 21, 2011
The marketing of Rahul Gandhi
If a creed has to work, it must carry the weight of conviction, not just the frippery of an electoral tactic. Is Rahul Gandhi indulging in ritual appeasement, or is he seeding the climate for economic policies that he will implement when he becomes prime minister? asks M J Akbar.
November 20, 2011
Zardari should jettison Hussain Haqqani
There are enough indicators regarding the utter naivete of the ambassador which could ultimately burn the credibility of Zardari himself and drive a further wedge between him and the Army, says B Raman
November 15, 2011
India's nuclear dilemma in West Asia
The strategic reality that confronts New Delhi in West Asia today is that India has far more significant interests to preserve in the Arab Gulf, and as tensions rise between the Sunni Arab regimes and Iran, India's larger stakes in the Arab world will continue to inhibit Indian-Iranian ties, says Harsh V Pant. Ruma Pal, former Supreme Court judge, slams higher judiciary
Justice Ruma Pal is to be saluted for her courageous dissent of conviction and reminding her peers that they need to put themselves on self-trial. The alternative is for India to sink further into the cesspool of even greater corruption, says C Uday Bhaskar.
November 12, 2011
Suu Kyi, Myanmar govt trying to work with each other
Cooperation and national reconciliation, and not political confrontation, seems to be Aung San Suu Kyi's objective, believes B Raman
November 11, 2011
Biting the hands that protect Omar and India
The proposal to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in some parts Kashmir is a ploy by anti-India forces to show that they are still relevant, says Tarun Vijay.
November 10, 2011
US and China: How India must play its cards
The US is in desperate need to conjure up an ideology-driven relationship with India, to enable it to boost its arms exports to the Indian market, says M K Bhadrakumar.
November 09, 2011
Why I miss the postman
Mahesh Vijapurkar laments the decline of Indian Post. The importance of Narendra Modi's visit to China
The success of Gujarat has today put it in a place where it can negotiate and navigate international relations of direct economic consequence to it without being held back by the timidity in New Delhi, says Shashi Shekhar.
November 08, 2011
Neither sport nor entertainment: The fraud called Formula One
A major antagonism is visible the world over between capitalism and democracy. But the Indian elite and the media continue to glorify capitalism, with all its sleaze. Their celebration of F1 is part of this, says Praful Bidwai. Is this government paralysed?
Many people think that the present government is paralaysed. On one hand, we have a prime minister who does not think his first duty is to the people of the country but to the Congress president.
November 04, 2011
A grand chessboard: Afghanistan and the regional powers
Regional rivalries will only intensify if the perception gains ground that the security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. India will have to ensure that it does not lose out as in the past as new realities emerge in the region, says Harsh V Pant.
October 29, 2011
War of words with US over Haqqani making Pak uncomfortable
With the next elections to Pakistan's National Assembly due in the beginning of 2013, Pakistani politics has started picking up momentum and sliding into the contentious and venomous mode.
October 28, 2011
Muttemwar too fails as Sonia's monitor of central schemes
The appointment of Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar, a former Union minister, in July as the party's general secretary to monitor central programmes appears to have failed in delivering any results so far. Bangkok braces for the flood
The government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is in deep waters on account of the inept handling of the flood situation. Her political obituary is being written even as she is struggling to keep the Bangkok flood under control, says TP Sreenivasan
October 27, 2011
A road accident and an Alice in Wonderland State
The case of Mahesh Patil, who was arrested for negligence after his mother fell off his bike and died after it hit a pothole, should serve as an eye-opener for the authorities and the legal fraternity, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Afghan endgame: US sows discord in South Asia
The Afghan endgame is moving into a crucial phase. Much will depend on regional politics involving Pakistan, Iran, India and China. How far the US's 'divide-and-rule' strategy succeeds remains to be seen, says M K Bhadrakumar.
October 25, 2011
An unnecessary Mahabharata over the Ramayana
'Let us rescue history from the leftist high priests of history. In the process, let us also rescue history from the narrow mindset of the political right that has reduced reconstruction of history to an exercise in political victimhood.' Shashi Shekhar on the furore over the removal of an essay on the Ramayana from the syllabus of Delhi University. Lesson from by-polls: Unsure Cong on sticky wicket
While, the Congress is seemingly the biggest loser in the by-elections, they were other big losers, points out T V R Shenoy.
October 24, 2011
Helicopter episode a great opportunity for India, Pakistan
The handling of the October 23 incident involving an Indian Army helicopter straying into Pakistan air space should be used as a starting point for setting up a more substantial military-military relationship between the armies of the two countries as a distrust-reducing measure, writes B Raman
October 18, 2011
Koodankulam nuclear project: Separating fact from fiction
Uncritical acceptance of any major project is undesirable. So also is unbending opposition to it. Constructive criticism of the project could bring about greater safety in design, construction and operation or even lead to abandonment of the project. The scientific and engineering community in the country should play an active role in such criticism instead of remaining mute spectators, leaving the ground to the lay public, says L V Krishnan.
October 17, 2011
The national implications of the Hisar bypoll
Hisar has turned out to be a double edged sword for Team Anna. While it can now take credit for the Congress' rout in Hisar, its stance in the bypoll has divided its own core team, says Neerja Chowdhury. How the IFS is finding its soul
A number of younger diplomats have begun to search for the soul of the foreign service, to give its members a sense of belonging and pride, observes former ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
October 15, 2011
Call for protests by Tibetans on October 19
According to Tibetan sources in the Sichuan province of China, leaflets in the Tibetan language have been circulating in the Tibetan areas of the province calling for a day of protests and fasting on October 19 in solidarity with a similar observance by Tibetans all over the world to condemn their continued oppression by the Chinese and the military detention of a large number of Tibetan monks of the Kirti monastery in the province since March following the self-immolation.
October 13, 2011
Should India talk with General Kayani?
We need to take the bull by its horns and confront the Pakistan Army directly. However blasphemous and anti-protocol it may seem we must insist that General Ashfaq Kayani be a part of the dialogue process, says Vivek Gumaste. Making amends: Myanmar govt takes first hesitant steps
In an attempt to rectify the anti-democratic policies and human rights violations of the past by the military junta that ruled the country for 23 years till a few months ago, the government of President Thein Sein has started releasing from October 12,2011, political prisoners who were languishing in jail under the military dictatorship for many years.
October 12, 2011
A new phase in India-Afghan ties
India cannot be expected to ignore its genuine interests in Afghanistan just to keep Pakistan in good humour. While for Afghanistan, the pact is a way of trying to deal with an increasingly more menacing Pakistan, says Harsh V Pant. What Putin's return means for India
In diplomacy, like in politics, there are no permanent friends or foes. Only interests guide policy. The same principle must true for India-Russia relations in the coming Putin era, says Tarun Vijay.
October 11, 2011
View: LK Advani could've won the race by sitting out
What has gone against Advani is the sense that he is desperate to become PM, says Neerja Chowdhury What Putin's second coming would mean for India
India will be well advised to welcome Putin's second coming as Russian president wholeheartedly, yet try to build up its independent capabilities, says Tarun Vijay
October 10, 2011
Secular riots in Congress-ruled Rajasthan!
To fight communalism, you cannot have two standards, one for the so-called secularists and the other, and far more stringent and unreasonable one, for the alleged communalists, says Virendra Kapoor. Why the Congress needs to fear its allies
'A defeat in the Hisar by-election would not make any difference to the numbers in the Lok Sabha for the simple reason that the Congress had not won that seat in 2009 anyhow. But alienating the Trinamool Congress (19 Lok Sabha MPs), the DMK (18 Lok Sabha MPs), and the Nationalist Congress Party (nine Lok Sabha MPs in addition to all the MLAs in Maharashtra) is another story. Those 46 MPs are crucial to the survival of the Manmohan Singh ministry.'
September 29, 2011
Why does the Congress have such a poor culture of accountability?
It is Andhra Pradesh and not Uttar Pradesh which is the real litmus test for Rahul Gandhi's political leadership, says Shashi Shekhar. Narendra Modi can't be India's prime minister. He should move on!
Let the Jaitleys and Swarajs struggle for political supremacy while Modi can be the power behind the throne. In short, he could play the Sonia Gandhi card. In a country so enamoured with symbolism, that may yet prove to be a political masterstroke, says Rohit Pradhan. Why is the Congress aggressively defending Chidambaram?
It is no longer about A Raja alone. It is not even truly about P Chidambaram. It is about rescuing Dr Manmohan Singh, says T V R Shenoy.
September 28, 2011
Anti-corruption movement: Disappointments ahead
The common man thinks that the stringent Lokpal law promised would take care of all corruption and rid the country of the malaise. It will not, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
September 27, 2011
China takes a cautious stance on US-Pak tension
China would avoid giving the impression of taking sides with Pakistan in its dispute with the US on the question of action against the Haqqani network, says B Raman.
September 26, 2011
India must pause before venturing into choppy waters
Realpolitik demands that India now crafts its own approach to counter China's Indian Ocean 'string of pearls' strategy and its new stance on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, says Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd). Why the PM's UN visit won't help India's cause
Prime Minister opportunistically engaged flawed leaders and regressed into NAM rhetoric during his UN visit, says K C Singh. At the UN, Dr Singh spoke not just for India, but for the world
By speaking for all nations without going into details, India expressed its confidence that it cannot be excluded if the Council is expanded. This was more effective than the usual assertion of the Indian claim on every occasion, says T P Sreenivasan.
September 23, 2011
India needs to stake its own claims in East Asia
India is right to forcefully reject Chinese claims of sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. It should now build credible strategic partnerships with other regional states so as to prevent a Chinese regional dominance, says Harsh V Pant.
September 22, 2011
Why Rabbani's assassination is a wake-up call for India
Co-operation with the US is India's only strategic option. The US is now as concerned as we are over Pakistani machinations in Afghanistan. It could be more amenable to feelers from India for joint moves by India and the US to prevent a return to power of the Taliban with the ISI's backing, says B Raman. This is also corruption
In India democracy is only notional. One can see the discriminatory nature of policies for different classes of citizens. The policies adopted have increased the gap between the rich and the poor. This is not just corruption, it is a big scam! says Sandeep Pandey.
September 21, 2011
L K Advani's yatra to nowhere
As even a cursory perusal of modern Indian history suggests, one party hegemony is a recipe for disaster. In that respect at least, the BJP's troubles are India's tragedy, says Rohit Pradhan.
September 20, 2011
PM steps on to the shifting sands at the UN
T P Srinivasan outlines the importance of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly session Why Narendra Modi is the best bet for brand BJP
If the BJP has to pose any sort of challenge to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in the next Lok Sabha elections, it needs to go back to what it has always stood for in the mind of the voter, says Shonalee Biswas Women chief ministers show path to nuclear sanity
Two women chief ministers in India have taken a statesman like courageous stand against nuclear projects Bengal. This sets the precedent for other states and visionary leader to take decisive steps to save present and future generation of Indian from unpredictable and inevitable nuclear emergencies, says Gopal Krishna. The debate over Narendra Modi
Whether one likes Narendra Modi or not, one cannot deny him the credit of putting the national debate back firmly in the political realm and on the merits of relative political choice, says Shashi Shekhar
September 16, 2011
Why Mani 'dichotomous' Aiyar is WRONG
It is quite possible that Aiyar was really trying to be humourous when he made a few funny remarks about Maken's English. But in a country where calling the economy class passengers as 'cattle class', can cost a certain minister his job, Aiyar should be more restrained in his humour, says Sudhir Bisht.
September 15, 2011
Why I fear for the future of Anna Hazare's movement
The campaign should have started as a demand for total revolution to usher in good governance of which probity in public life as a quintessential element, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Koodankulam: People's movement against nuclear energy
Villagers protest against the Koodankulam nuclear power project. Should India be condemned to suffer vote bank politics forever?
We must make politics that uses demographic identity as a wedge, less and less relevant, says Shashi Shekhar.
September 14, 2011
Did Chidambaram convince us?
Till the time there is an efficient leadership in place, it would be difficult to elicit popular support for the government's moves in fighting terror. However, I am still convinced that P Chidambaram is our best bet as home minister, says Bibhu Prasad Routray. When bribery became official in India
It is now on record that the Congress has a history of paying money -- call it 'donations' for 'cooperation' if you like -- to MPs from the Opposition benches, says T V R Shenoy.
September 13, 2011
Vote bank politics over 'clemency'
Whether it is clemency for Rajiv Gandhi killers or Afzal guru or Bhullar; the motive behind this 'clemency' is same -- vote bank politics. The punishment whether life term, death sentence etc needs to be carried out, says Varad Varenya. 9/11: Memories of another day
Saisuresh Sivaswamy, who was in New York on 9/11, relives the day that changed America and the world. Should Modi's burden be India's too?
I do not know if Modi is personally responsible for the killings and rapes of hundreds of Muslims -- that is for the courts to decide -- but I do know that being the chief minister he is at the very least morally responsible, says Faisal Kidwai
September 09, 2011
The HuJI-B links in India must be re-examined
It has been reported that three claims of responsibility have been received by the investigating authorities in the wake of the explosion outside the Delhi high court on Wednesday. India cannot afford another lost decade
There cannot be any fence sitters in this political churning. The 'apolitical' campaigns will have to take a political stance sooner than later. How the CBI has helped the BJP
By any rational reckoning the CBI has done the BJP an enormous favour by arresting Janardhana Reddy. It gives the party one more chance at redemption, says T V R Shenoy. The government must act!
The government must seriously consider enlarging the scope of its counter-terrorism policy to covertly target organisations across India's borders that are sponsoring terrorism in India, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
September 08, 2011
Why New Delhi's groundwater is highly saline?
Dr Nitish Priyadarshi list the factors that make New Delhi's ground water saline and methods to prevent it. No end to preparedness in the fight against terror
India has certain special features -- a strange disconnect between thought and action, lack of strategic focus in fighting terrorism and a national inability to focus on core issues for immediate response, says Colonel R Hariharan (retd)
September 07, 2011
PM's Dhaka visit: By no means a write-off
Indian commentators are inclined to view the country's relations with its neighbours almost exclusively through the prism of the ascendancy of China's diplomacy in South Asia, says M K Bhadrakumar.
September 06, 2011
Burying the ghosts of Kashmiri graves
The Kashmir conflict has many sides. There are victims and perpetrators on all sides. If the demand for retributive justice is pursued by all sides, it will end up finishing whatever little is left to salvage in Kashmir, says Sushant K Singh WikiLeaks: Narayanan is more credible than Roemer
M K Narayanan had nothing to gain by misrepresenting the Indian position to Timothy Roemer, while the latter had to impress upon his government that his demarche on the phone was very effective.
September 05, 2011
Army chief's age: A needless controversy
A chief lodging a 'statutory complaint' sends a very wrong signal to the rank and file of the service. Does India need a spectacle like this? Even more dangerously, this also signals the breakdown of communication at the highest levels of the defence ministry, says Colonel (Dr) Anil Athale (retd) Anna's problematic agenda: End of a grave crisis
Team Anna must show some humility instead of imposing its will on society. It doesn't hold a monopoly on understanding how to make governance more inclusive, clean and people-responsive. It must recognise that finally, it is Parliament that prevailed on the Lokpal legislative process, and that's how things should be, says Praful Bidwai. Saving the Sundarbans
The Sundarbans is at the epicentre of both India-Bangaldesh bilateral diplomatic challenges and of the most intense global battles against climate change. When are we happy?
There are many unknowns about happiness, but one thing is known: Thinking about happiness does not make you happy, says B S Prakash. How to get to know Parliament better
According to C V Madhukar, a senior member of PRS Legislative Research, an independent Delhi-based think-tank, 'the debate on the Lokpal Bill reflected how Parliament functions about 80 percent of the time.' Rajni Bakshi on how we can engage better with Parliament.
September 02, 2011
Capacity building for future conflicts is crucial
There is a requirement to establish a permanent National Security Commission mandated by an act of Parliament to oversee the development of military and non-military capacities for national security, says Gurmeet Kanwal.
August 30, 2011
Will Lokpal become just another law?
Anna Hazare fever gripped India and Lokpal became the buzzword. But after the 12-day rollercoaster, will the government keep its promises? Once implemented, will the Lokpal become just another anti-corruption law, asks Ganesh Nadar Anna effect: Robbing Parliament of its primacy
The Indian establishment has finally got what it fully deserved; it is never known to react to reasoned debates and gentle persuasions. It understands only the language of coercion, terror and of course influence. Either it will coerce you or will get coerced by you, says M R Venkatesh. Why Anna Hazare's movement is first of its kind
I am amazed that Anna had been able to achieve what no political party or movement has ever before been able to do -- create a national focus, says Col R Hariharan
August 29, 2011
Team Anna: What about medical corruption?
The Hazare movement and media have focussed on corruption of the 'spectacular' variety. But what has escaped the discussion is the institutionalised corruption in-built in the conduct and practice of professions ike the medical profession in India, says Dr Sanjay Nagral. A retreat has been sounded in Anna vs govt battle
'The public perception at this stage of the battle is that the victory thus far belongs to Anna and his followers, but in reality it may turn out to be a victory of mixed proportions,' says B Raman. What Anna Hazare's new plans mean for democracy
That the political philosophy of Anna Hazare closely resonates with the overall anti-democratic Hindutva ethos owes, in part, to the Brahminical worldview that they share, says Yogi Sikand
August 27, 2011
How the PM turned down Anna Hazare's solution
The prime minister has to blame himself because he refused to make up with Anna Hazare when the social activist from Maharashtra was willing to meet him more than half way, says Kuldip Nayar.
August 26, 2011
Anna Hazare is no common dude
'What does the poor common man do?' asks Brigadier Krishan Mehra (retd). 'He does not have the wherewithal to fight the system. Anna has provided this Aam Aadmi a ray of hope.' Want to live in the India Anna wants to build?
'All societies possess conservatives and India can't be an exception. The difference is that when upper castes display their conservatism, they turn into a Taliban. Anna has come to harvest that social constituency,' says Chandrabhan Prasad. I am Anna Hazare?
'Democracy must be nurtured, or else it gets corrupted. Voting is just one part of your duty as a citizen of this democracy. But another duty that most of us overlook is participation,' says G V Dasarathi. Let's not end up needing a Lokpal for the Lokpal
'A system that is judge, jury, and executioner, with draconian and apparently ill-defined powers and a haphazard system of oversight is not necessarily a better denouement, even if the current situation is untenable,' says Ram Kelkar. Why hasn't PM faced Anna between April and August?
'The answer to that must lie between Dr Singh and his conscience,' says T V R Shenoy.
August 25, 2011
View: The Ayatollah in waiting
'Like the Iranian religious supremo, Anna Hazare demands supreme power and he dreams that with the present dysfunctional government, he could wield power from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and everybody would just obey his fiats,' says Govind Talwalkar Caste and the anti-corruption campaign
'Reservations are anathema to many of the core supporters of Anna Hazare.' Has Congress lost the ability to fight a crisis?
You cannot fight a defiant person by being defiant in politics. This is a lesson the prime minister and his team have to learn if they want to remain in power, says Aslam Hunani. No quick-fix solutions to corruption
'Much of what we call corruption is but a side effect of a deeper malaise. The chalta-hai attitude and its innovative twin jugaad. Shortcuts have become endemic. Every shortcut we take compromises a principle, corrodes an institution and sets a wrong precedent,' says Shashi Shekhar.
August 24, 2011
Lieutenant, did you die in vain?
'You will not get the adulation from the government that a martyred soldier gets in the US. Your name will not be read out in any obituary reference in Parliament, as is done in the UK for all soldiers who fall in combat in the line of duty. Your name will not be etched on any national memorial because we do not have one!' Sarvar Bali salutes a fallen hero. The selective winds from the Arab Spring
The most surprising part in the whole so-called Arab Spring is that the countries which were relatively more liberal and secular were the ones to see mass uprisings, while the countries that are more inward-looking and theology-driven, such as Saudi Arabia, have yet to see the kind of protests witnessed on Cairo or Tunis streets, says Faisal Kidwai What is the way out of the Lokpal deadlock?
Probably for the first time in the history of independent India, a struggle has been given respect due to a peaceful protest by the people, says Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey Oh, this poor, befuddled Indian middle class!
The desperation of the middle class in heralding Anna Hazare as the Second Gandhi is symptomatic of a typical Indian mindset, says Navneet Anand Why Dalits are not enthusiastic about Anna Hazare
Babasaheb Ambedkar was the chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Indian Constitution, and so Dalits have an emotional attachment to the Constitution. If a movement sets itself above the Constitution and challenges democracy, a key pillar of the Constitution, Dalits will refuse to support it, says Bhanwar Megwanshi
August 21, 2011
Why 'civil war' in Karachi could destabilise Pak
The civil war-like situation in Karachi continues without respite. Seventy-three persons belonging to different communities and religious sects were reported to have been killed -- many of them in targeted shootings and some kidnapped and tortured to death --during four days of fresh violence between August 16 and 19. The level of violence considerably came down on August 20.
August 18, 2011
Ironies of the Hazare versus government tussle
In this mindless game of the back-and-forth, the government and its several eloquent but stubborn actors seemed to have lost the plot. Too much of spewing to spin a fact deluded them into thinking that the game was already won; that Hazare would quietly leave Delhi, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
August 17, 2011
Hazare is not the issue; govt mustn't make him one
'Hazare is not the issue, and the government should not make him into one. Rather, it should focus on the issue he has voiced: Corruption that is depriving people of the mind-boggling welfare funds but for which India would already be a member of the Comity of Nations the prime minister often speaks about.'
August 12, 2011
We've thrown India to the lions
'India is independent, but we've thrown her to the lions -- bribe-loving, paan-chewing lions who sing Hakuna Matata,' says Sanaya Dalal.
August 10, 2011
India, you've come a long way
From coal engines and phone calls that took two days to come through, to the cellphone revolution, and scams that have become mindlessly bigger, A Ganesh Nadar on a country that has seen remarkable changes in its 64 years as a nation. Violence has dented Britain's global reputation
'The breakdown in the family structure in large sections of British society and the lack of discipline in young Britons is being looked at once again as the underlying reasons for growing criminality and lack of respect for authority among the youth.'
August 09, 2011
Sino-Pak: An 'all-weather' friendship under cloud
The deteriorating regional security environment and the rising tide of Islamist radicalism in Pakistan might just force Beijing to change its course towards India, says Harsh V Pant. A humiliating retreat from Kabul in store for US?
The recent catastrophic attack on US troopers underlines the undamaged capability of the Afghan Taliban to take the NATO forces by surprise and inflict heavy casualties on them and its determination to make the US withdrawal from Afghanistan a humiliating retreat and not a successful withdrawal, says senior analyst B Raman.
August 08, 2011
US seeks consulate in Tibet, China fumes
India should emulate the US and not allow Beijing to open any more consulates until it permits us to open a consulate in Tibet, opines B Raman When the government defends the indefensible
'Can governments which consistently let their lawyers down, be trusted to uphold the rights of their people? How much longer will the State fight against its own citizens, inside and outside court?' asks activist Nandini Sundar.
August 05, 2011
The Gandhi dynasty: Politics as usual
The transition for India if Sonia Gandhi cannot continue her duties as head of the Congress party, could be dangerous. India's democratic institutions are already corroded by political corruption and dynastic politics and its economy in rigor mortis from lack of any serious economic reform for the last seven years of Congress rule, say Neelam Deo and Manjeet Kripalani.
August 03, 2011
Mumbai's poor roads, poorer management
It needed the high court to ensure proper roads in 2006 and the civic body has assumed that having met the court's demands was time-barred and confined to only that year. Accepted specifications had to be adhered to, work standards had to be followed and roads had to last monsoons, the court order implied. If these were successfully met for one year, why is it so difficult to do so in the subsequent years? asks Mahesh Vijapurkar.
August 01, 2011
The method behind Digvijay's campaigns
'Praise me, condemn me, but do not ignore me. Given that the Congress party has a whole army of office-bearers, a vast majority of Indians would find it hard to name even a couple of them. But you can bet that they will readily recall the name of one general secretary: Digvijay Singh. Fame and notoriety being two sides of the same coin for present-day politicians, Singh would not mind being abused by the 'aam aadmi' so long as he enjoys a fair recall value.' Pakistan's charm offensive works, and how!
'India seems to have been charmed into conceding ground to the new Pakistan foreign minister on many of its established positions. HRK has established her credentials and the US will be particularly impressed.'
July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010