April 30, 2012Hamid Mir: How Obama fulfilled Osama's dreams
A year after Osama bin Laden's death, Al Qaeda is determined to make stay alive, feels Hamid Mir
, the last journalist to interview bin Laden.
Machiavelli explains our politicians best
As politicians dismantle the levers of power, whether it is subsidies, allotment of land or spectrum, etc, they fear the prospect of losing the power of patronage much more than the power to extract rents therefrom, says Sonali Ranade
India's skewed internet censorship debate
The current mechanisms of internet censorship in India are draconian and unconstitutional. They need to be replaced with a new set of rules that are fair, transparent and accessible for public scrutiny, says Shivam Vij
CM Parrikar is Goa's Narendra Modi?
With Manohar Parrikar's methodical approach to governance Goa may see better days ahead, says Aditi Phadnis
April 25, 2012Citizen's dilemmas: Deficits of all kinds
I wonder if I can find anyone I could trust as a citizen, asks Mahesh Vijapurkar
April 23, 2012Menon abduction: Giving into the Maoists not an option
Serious brainstorming at the national level is fast becoming a necessity to deal with this phenomenon of abductions by the Maoists. The home ministry's hands-off approach is certainly not what India needs at the moment, says Bibhu Prasad Routray
Sushma puts the focus on what Rajapaksa needs to do
There is no change in Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa's game plan in dealing with Indian leaders -- agree with what they say and carry on as before. Thus, we can expect the 'un-reconciled' reconciliation process in the island-nation to drag on further, says Col R Hariharan
April 21, 2012Agni-V is a Chinese-centric missile
In our euphoria over the successful Agni V test, we should not lose sight of the continuing gaps in tactical capabilities and the need to close them, writes B Raman
April 20, 2012Maoist guns fall silent, it's now up to Nepal's politicos
Top leaders of Nepal's major political parties have met over two days in an attempt to arrive at a consensus, but the discussions were inconclusive. Another round of meetings and discussions are due to be held over the weekend before the constituent assembly meets on April 23, says Shubha Singh
'You, Mr Bachchan, are really a champion'
Here's what makes Amitabh Bachchan the epitome of humility and a great human being.
RTE ruling: Minority schools won't teach their poor
Let the poor and underprivileged among the minorities understand that when it comes to uplifting them, the so-called minority leaders show no sympathy or sense of responsibility, writes Ram Madhav
explaining the import of the Supreme Court verdict on the Right To Education Act
April 19, 2012Is Rahul Gandhi's vision for India based on caste?
Rahul Gandhi's remark 'I am a Brahmin, and I am general secretary of the party' would have been dismissed as a stray thoughtless remark if it were not for the fact that it shows a trend in his thinking, feels T V R Shenoy
Agni 5 -- going ballistic over a missile
If India's nuclear and missile capability before Agni-5 was not enough to deter China, then it is unlikely that Agni-5 will, argues Sushant Sareen
All is not yet lost in Afghanistan
The ability of President Hamid Karzai to maintain inter-ethnic unity will determine whether history will be repeated in Afghanistan, says B Raman
April 17, 2012Where is the prime minister?
India is being governed by a prime minister who has barely put forth his views on important problems in the public domain, says Varad Varanya
For the CPI-M, politics is still in command
Despite the intense internal questioning, for Karat and CPI-M politics is still in command, writes Aditi Phadnis
April 16, 2012Is the worst over in the Army-government tug of war?
The tragedy -- and paradox -- of the present situation is that the spat has occurred between two figures known for their integrity -- AK Antony and Gen VK Singh -- who should have walked in step in the larger national interest, says Neerja Chowdhury
Centre's attempt to browbeat states is unacceptable
I am afraid there is an emerging pattern wherein the powers vested with the States are sought to be abrogated without the attendant responsibility... Every time, I visit the capital, I come with great hope of receiving assistance for Tamil Nadu which till now has eluded us. Hope, however, springs eternal.... Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa tells the Conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security in New Delhi
Internal security a struggle in which we cannot relax: PM
The text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech at the Conference of CMs on Internal Security in New Delhi on Monday.
April 15, 2012Fresh sanctions against N Korea: A serious mistake by US
The US is unwittingly proving to the North Korean leadership that its experimentation with transparency was unwise, says B Raman
April 13, 2012Why India cannot afford to give up Siachen
The strategic advantage accruing to India in Siachen should not be given up for apparent short-term political gains. Giving up Siachen as a gesture of friendship would also mean that its recapture would be extremely expensive to India in men and material, says Vikram Sood
April 12, 2012Will the jihadi tiger devour Pakistan?
Pakistan has no alternative but to surgically eliminate its bonds with jihadi groups, cleanse its security establishments of jihadi patrons and focus on rebuilding the State on democratic lines, says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
April 11, 2012Prime Minister Modi? The idea is inevitable
'With the Special Investigation Team's closure report finding no case to be made against Modi on Zakia Jafri's complaint, the public debate has once again returned to The Narendra Modi Question.'
The sad decline of Mumbai's BEST bus service
Once one of the best bus services in the country, the Bombay Electric Supply & Transport company has regressed into a loss-making, lumbering giant that clearly is not interested in serving the Mumbai long-suffering commuter, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
April 10, 2012Why the scaremongering over the army is worrisome
The real worry is the apparent panic the army movement generated in the government circles. This shows a total breakdown of communications and atmosphere of suspicion and intrigue, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale.
April 09, 2012 Has India become less violent?
India is less violent, privately and publicly, than ever before, says Devesh Kapur
April 07, 2012Mr Zardari, will you protect Hindus in Pakistan?Tarun Vijay
, the BJP MP, would like to ask President Asif Ali Zardari: 'Is the ease available to a Pakistani Muslim to visit his places of faith in India also available to an Indian Hindu to visit his places of worship in Pakistan?'
Mr PM, don't expect spectacular results from Zardari meet
Look for or try for a little more goodwill, a little less venom, writes senior analyst B Raman
in a open letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the eve of Pakistan President Asif Zardari's visit to India
April 06, 2012Is Zardari's India visit badly-timed?
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's decision to visit Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti's Dargah at Ajmer Sharif with his family members on April 8 indicates his willingness to walk the extra mile to normalise relations with India. But is his timing wrong? Alok Bansal
April 05, 2012Odisha's 'real' hostage crisis!
Abduction for the release of jailed Maoists is becoming a trend in Odisha. Considering the almost habitual surrender of various state governments to their demands, extremists will use this tactic regularly, says Bibhu Prasad Routray
April 04, 2012Revealed: The real story behind CBI's Tatra probe
'A K Antony's office receives something like ten letters a week, all alleging corruption. That works out to better than an allegation a day on average, holidays included.'
Why we shouldn't take US bounty for Hafiz Saeed seriously
Other than the satisfaction of seeing a US bounty on Saeed and Makki, India shouldn't expect anything much at this stage, certainly not any concrete action against either of these two terrorist chieftains, says Sushant Sareen
April 03, 2012The Arab League's April Fool joke
The Arab world believes that many of those leaders present in Baghdad for the Arab League summit last week do not represent them and that the wave of changes will hit their shores sooner than expected. We may thus have to wait for more summits to see true Arab leaders emerging, writes Dr Waiel Awwad
Why civil-military conflict is GOOD for India
The ongoing dispute between General V K Singh and the government is an important -- albeit costly -- test of policy and institutional efficacy in an area of governance that is normally hidden from public view, feels Dr Sunil Dasgupta
, co-author of the acclaimed Arming Without Aiming: India's Military Modernization.
April 02, 2012Why India's defence preparedness is hollow
The army chief has rightly pointed out the deficiencies in our defence preparedness that exist today. However, what is not pointed out are the real reasons for such hollowness and the corrective actions needed to plug the holes, writes Laxman Kumar Behera
It's time to reform the Rajya Sabha
Chief ministers who have been championing federalism must take the lead in reforming the Rajya Sabha so that it truly represents the interests of their states rather than the permanent political interests of unelected party apparatchiks in Delhi, says Shashi Shekhar
Excuse me! Am I an Indian?
How do I cope with being on the fringes of being an Indian and an alien in a country that refuses to embrace me and my brethren, asks Chitra Ahanthem
March 30, 2012BJP's shrinking base, wilting leadership
The Congress's plight, self-inflicted and terrible as it, should give very little consolation to the Bharatiya Janata Party which is itself in bad shape, says Praful Bidwai
March 29, 2012No issues! Why you don't need to learn a foreign language
'As a vegetarian in this mainly carnivorous nation, how does he manage food; how does he commute in a complicated city; what does he do for news and entertainment since virtually everything is only in Portuguese in Brazil, etc. "No issues," he kept saying.'
March 28, 2012Who is responsible for embarrassments facing the govt?
'India faces a very peculiar situation where the two most honest men in the Union Cabinet are suddenly facing the charge that massive scams took place in their own departments. Is that just coincidence?'
Not politicians, but vocal critics find resonance
What Arvind Kejriwal or his other colleagues say finds resonance. It cannot be dampened. Now it has come to pass that people do not have to prove that politicians and politics are dirty; the latter have to prove that they are not, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
March 26, 2012Have reforms weakened national political parties?
Given our long and disastrous history of regional satrapies, to allow central institutions to weaken further would be playing with fire, says Sonali Ranade
What to expect from the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit
The '2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit', which starts in Seoul today, is the largest summit in the nuclear security sector to discuss international cooperative measures to protect nuclear materials and facilities from terrorist groups. Srikanth Kondapalli
, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, explains what to expect from two-day long deliberations at Seoul
Koodankulam: Dr Singh's grand and faulty obsession
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited foreign money and entities, including the Koodankulam plant, into India like no other PM and most of it is hurting the interests of local communities, says Sandeep Pandey
March 25, 2012Sri Lanka: Moving forward
If Sri Lanka continues to follow the path of evasion and tries to impose a dictated solution on the Tamils, India has to act tough, says B Raman
March 24, 2012S Korea an able partner in India's quest for nuke energy
Nuclear energy cooperation is just one of the promising features of the relationship between the two nations, says Jinwoog Kim
March 22, 2012Is 2012 witnessing the birth of the Fourth Front?
'Make no mistake, that nightmare is inching closer to reality. What should concern the BJP, CPI-M, and Congress is the manner in which they are losing -- often coming third -- and the states in which they are losing,' says T V R Shenoy
A win-win India-Pakistan project
This is an opportune moment in the geopolitics of the region for India to think along the medium and long-term direction of creating underpinnings of a cooperative relationship with Pakistan, says MK Bhadrakumar
March 21, 2012Dual membership could make third front viable
It is not inconceivable that elections in India can be fought by a party maintaining a distinct regional identity in state elections while merging to fight on a common symbol in the national elections, says Shashi Shekhar
March 20, 2012Budget funding for Aadhar is in contempt of Parliament
Civil society groups welcome the submission of a memorandum opposing Aadhaar and other anti-people policies to the prime minister along with a big truckload of signatures numbering 3.57 crore on March 14, says Gopal Krishna
Abstain on Lanka vote now, vote in favour next time
It may not be desirable in the 21st century, in the context of the emergence of human rights as a powerful emotive factor and of India's rise as an important player on the regional and global scene, to place self-imposed restrictions on the way we deem fit to vote on human rights resolutions, says Satish Chandra
March 19, 2012Long live Marx, Netaji zindabad!
A memorandum opposing Aadhaar and other anti-people policies was submitted to the Indian National Congress-led government along with a big truck load of signatures numbering 3.57 crore to mark the 129th death anniversary of Karl Marx, one of most influential socialist thinkers post industrial revolution amidst a huge People's March to Parliament comprising about one lakh citizens on Mach 14 in the national capital.
March 15, 2012Congress, BJP don't understand big changes in politics
The Congress First Family seems more comfortable with somebody like Vijay Bahuguna -- a scion of a political dynasty -- than with a man like Harish Rawat who carved his own path, feels T V R Shenoy
. That attitude, he recalls, drove out Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal and Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra.
March 14, 2012New civic bodies in Maharashtra, but cities will not gain
The city can wait, indefinitely. Of course, its citizens don't count. Those who thought they did and went to vote for a change have fooled themselves, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
March 10, 2012Congress must correct course or perishPraful Bidwai
deciphers the election verdict's real meaning.
March 09, 2012Congress has NO CLUE what Muslims WANT
India's grand old party is still not able to comprehend what the country's largest minority group wants. What their issues are. What their demands are. With whom they want to associate. And what their needs are, says Ehtasham Khan
Why inter-linking of rivers is not possible
Can we laugh away the Supreme Court order on implementation of inter-linking of rivers as a comedy or tragedy, asks Himanshu Thakkar
March 08, 2012Is Congress ready to look away from politics of dynasty?
If there is one lesson that should be heard by every political party it is that both candidates and campaigners need something more than a famous surname to push them over the winning line. T V R Shenoy
lists the lessons of Election 2012.
March 07, 2012Is the BJP becoming a caricature of the Congress?
For far too long, the BJP has postponed an uncomfortable debate on the need for radical change. The outcome in Uttar Pradesh presents the perfect opportunity to force that debate, says Shashi Shekhar
March 06, 2012'Indian politics has a new star'
The fact that 200 million people have shown the willpower and 'national identity' to hand down -- on two successive occasions in the past five years -- such cohesive mandates to two regional parties to lead their government in Lucknow shows the powerful yearning for federalism in our country, notes M K Bhadrakumar
BJP wins some, loses some: BIG blow to Hindutva politics
Tuesday's results have given the Bharatiya Janata Party has every reason to smile, but to win the 2014 Lok Sabha battle, it has to improve its position in Uttar Pradesh, says Neena Vyas
Why Mayawati's defeat is the BSP's victory
Mayawati must not be shattered right now. Had she not done what she did, she would have lost the Dalit votebank -- that would have been the end of her political career. As someone told me during the elections, the BSP was not fighting this election for power. It was fighting this election to save its core, says Shivam Vij
Poll debacle: Time for a change of guard at the Centre?
Though Congress leaders tried to put a fig leaf to their misery with arguments of increased vote share and seats, specially in UP, the way the electorate voted in different states has demoralised party cadres and put a question mark over its leaders to motivate voters and inspire its supporters, feels Saroj Nagi
Verdict: Why Cong should not protect its first family
Nothing offered by Rahul Gandhi and his family has worked and the Congress will have to take stock of the ability of its first family to not just deliver the votes, but to pull it out of the doldrums where it has been left after this assembly election, says Seema Mustafa
March 02, 2012Why India needs control over its technical intelligence
Some developments of recent months have highlighted the need for a tight control over electronic snooping by intelligence and security agencies, writes security expert B Raman
To contain China, focus on its vulnerabilities
Unless we take into account the vulnerabilities of China in shaping our policy, we may end up being over-focussed on traditional military aspects and under-focussed on non-traditional aspects of internal frictions and fragilities in China, cautions B Raman
March 01, 2012Talks later, let Pakistanis sort out Pakistan first
In dealing with Pakistan, India's first step should be to stop treating it exclusively as a Muslim nation, writes Vikram Sood
February 29, 2012Gujarat Riots: Justice or Retribution?
The tenth anniversary of the Gujarat 2002 riots comes at politically importune moment unfortunately for the process of justice inside the courts and for the process of reconciliation outside the courts, feels Shashi Shekhar
Why are toilets low priority in India?
No amount of stink, or raising one to correct it, would work quick enough to change the order of things. Toilets, you see, are our least priority, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
February 27, 2012Gujarat genocide: The State, law and subversion
The Gujarat genocide in 2002, resulting in the killing of nearly 1500 innocent citizens, mostly from India's major minority community, and the subsequent pervasive subversion of governmental machinery to sabotage justice delivery to riot victims, has to be understood as a man-made disaster, writes R B Sreekumar
February 24, 2012Can the Congress afford a high-handed approach anymore?
The Congress has been reduced to dust in Tamil Nadu by its allies. The Trinamool Congress is set to do the same in West Bengal. And the NCP is gaining at the Congress's expense in Maharashtra, notes T V R Shenoy
Maldives crisis: India acted hastily and dumped Nasheed
In its hurried recognition of the new government in Male, has India lost sight of the ground realities in Maldives?
February 23, 2012What a monster Steve Jobs could be!
Are the great always good? Few of his associates would use the adjective 'good' for Steve Jobs. The circuitry and the code that runs an individual is more complex than that which runs a computer. The world, feels B S Prakash
, would be a duller place if it were not so.
Kerala fishermen's killings: A crisis beyond diplomacy
If only the Italians had accepted that it was a wrong judgement on the part of the crew of the ship, apologised and offered adequate compensation, the matter could have been resolved. But their whole approach has been defiant, says T P S Sreenivasan.
Can't the government help an Indian mother in distress?
In Norway, an Indian mother and father are struggling for the custody of their children taken away by a Norwegian child care agency. Nine months passed and India has been able to do nothing, says Tarun Vijay
NCTC: A good idea handled badly
The proposed agency to counter terrorism will be preoccupied defending its arrests before the courts and against allegations of human rights violations, points out B Raman
February 22, 2012Rahul is too busy now to worry about India's future
Rahul Gandhi can force the Congress to get rid of its old socialist baggage and become a truly secular and forward looking political formation. Instead, he has confused minority communalism with secularism and entitlements with development. This 'youth icon' is too busy fighting 20th century wars to worry about India's future, says Rohit Pradhan
February 20, 2012After the Dalai Lama
Future of millions of Tibetans around the world will depend on who takes his place as the spiritual leader, says Nitin Pai
No reasons for India to raise tensions with Italy
'In the absence of hostile or malafide intents (politically speaking), it is best to agree to pursue the matter soberly in courts of law. Fattening lawyers is far more conducive to international peace than agitating politicians,' says Nitin Pai
Iran or Israel: India must make the choice
Tehran continues to be hyper-critical of the Indian government on Kashmir, even forcing New Delhi to issue a demarche last year as a protest against Iranian interference in Indian domestic issues. Iranian interference in Indian domestic politics has been going on for a long time with sections of the Indian government suggesting that Iran 'has been buying off journalists, clerics and editors in Shia-populated areas of UP and Kashmir,' says Harsh V Pant
February 17, 2012Why aren't Chidambaram and Madhavan Nair treated equally?
G Madhavan Nair is punished by being barred from all government jobs. P Chidambaram continues to hold one of the most powerful offices in the government. Is that equal treatment? asks T V R Shenoy
Threat of magnetic bomb: What security agencies need to do
From the Israel embassy car blast in New Delhi, which injured a diplomat's wife along with three others, counter-terror agencies have a few lessons to learn. Most importantly, security experts need to devise new procedures to protect terror targets that do not enjoy VIP protection, says B Raman
An avoidable controversy over the NCTC
By creating a multiplicity of organisations having powers to arrest and by giving these powers to the NCTC which will work under the director, IB, we will be taking an unwise step which could further politicise our handling of counter-terrorism, says B Raman
How India missed the opportunity in the Maldives
India's decision to fall back on an Islamic and authoritarian government to protect and promote its interests is a sad commentary on its neighbourhood policy, says T P Sreenivasan
February 15, 2012If you don't vote, don't complain over bad services
Today is the day to mull and tomorrow the day to walk to your polling booth and decide what you want: a good city where there is a compliant corporator or a bad city with an arrogant politician ruling our civic destiny, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
February 14, 2012Israel attack: Is Home Min walking diplomatic tight rope?
While Home Minister P Chidambaram has declared the Israel embassy car bombing as a terror strike, he has opted not to name the perpetrators of the attack. Anil Chowdhry
Why is Indian culture so anti-female?
'There is the hangover from colonial practices, which should disappear with greater educational freedom for women, and also, ironically, because of the looming woman shortage due to selective foeticide.'
February 13, 2012The Congress and its desperation for the Muslim vote
It is clear that the Congress party is now in a last ditch attempt to raise the Narendra Modi bogey with an eye on the Muslim vote in Uttar Pradesh, says Shashi Shekhar
February 08, 2012Is corruption truly an issue in India?
Kanimozhi and Kalmadi were welcomed as if they were freedom fighters emerging from jail. Getting bail does not mean that the cases against them have come to an end, or that they have been found innocent by the trial courts, says T V R Shenoy
February 07, 2012UP's Muslim parties don't talk of social justice
The urge of democratisation among the Muslim communities remains unaddressed by these emerging Muslim outfits. Do they wish to pursue the emotive identity politics of religious exclusivism which may degenerate into the politics of religious reaction, asks Mohammad Sajjad
The foreign service has lost its Bhishma pitamaha
Ambassador A K Damodaran was the last link between the freedom struggle and Indian diplomacy, the last of those, who walked from a British prison to take on national responsibilities.
February 05, 2012Syria vote: India falls for charms of 'green money'
India should have abstained from voting for the draft resolution backing an Arab League peace plan for Syria at the United Nations Security Council, opines former diplomat M K Bhadrakumar
February 03, 2012India's MMRCA decision continues to create ripples
Major defence purchases should be a means of helping a nation achieve its strategic objectives. It's not readily evident what strategic objectives of India are being served by choosing Rafale over Typhoon, says Harsh V Pant
February 01, 2012Why Mumbai needs citizens contesting civic polls
Mumbai city, overcrowded, run down, filthy, gasping, is far too precious a city to continue to remain in the clutches of the professional politicians who owe nothing to themselves and have made local self-government a caricature of what was the ideal -- people governing themselves and their spaces, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
January 25, 2012Does General V K Singh know what he's up against?
'General Singh does not have the reputation of a greedy, grasping, man. Far from it, and his word along with the records should have carried weight with the government. Unfortunately, the pettiness of the ruling class has pushed the senior officer to a corner where not wanting to, he has had to approach the civilian courts as a last resort.'
How Indian women can head the household
If the Food Security Bill is enacted as per the draft, then women shall be considered the 'head of the household' and the potential implications are staggering, says T V R Shenoy
January 24, 2012Why Krishna's visit to Lanka can't be termed 'successful'
S M Krishna's praise for the Sri Lankan government-appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission will diminish our credibility as an honest broker in the eyes of the Sri Lankan Tamils who are becoming increasingly bitter towards India, feels Satish Chandra
Rushdie issue: Only in India can one get away with such farces!
Ashok Gehlot may very well pat himself for winning over a few Muslim votes, but he has simply provided the template for the next offended group: The past is often the prologue to the future, says Rohit Pradhan
January 23, 2012What the change of guard in the PMO means
The change of media advisor may be about the changing power equation in the PMO. The Congress party's view may once again get greater weightage in the government's decision-making processes than had been the case so far in UPA-II, says Neerja Chowdhury
'Every case of helplessness is a result of a corrupt act'
'In our society... a corrupt man is not a social outcast. He is most of the time a hero, a leader,' says Supreme Court Judge Justice A K Ganguly
January 19, 201223 years on, Kashmiri Pandits remain refugees in their own nation
The government of India has a moral responsibility for working towards a consensus for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland, says B Raman
What price the civic elections?
Once civic elections are done with, the system discards the voter from the realm of self-governance, the essence of the grassroots democracy. The voter's vote, it appears, has been subverted by a system, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
India-China: Protracted talks, contested sovereignties
In addition to the legal claims of territories, the political signals from Beijing also need to be deciphered and considered before a territorial dispute resolution can be made by India, says Srikanth Kondapalli
To You Who Speak of Rushdie
'The chief minister and other ministers who speak of possible law and order problems that Rushdie's visit raises, you know little about governance and democracy and therefore you should explain exactly why you occupy those ministerships,' says Dilip D'Souza
January 18, 2012Rushdie brouhaha is another strike against Free Speech
When Truth dies along with it dies the 'Fabric of Trust' that holds nations and societies together. From raising dishonest questions over the Batla House encounter to raising false bogeys over the Rushdie visit, the Congress stands guilty of causing irreversible damage to that fabric of trust, says Shashi Shekhar
January 17, 2012Independent-minded editors are an endangered species: Ansari
The slow erosion of the institution of the editor in Indian media organisations is a reality. When media space and media products are treated solely in terms of revenue maximisation strategies, editors end up giving way to marketing departments, says Vice President M Hamid Ansari
January 16, 2012Mayawati, Mulayam's caste-iron strategy
Uttar Pradesh, unlike almost any other Indian state, is ruled and run on caste. There are more than 60 castes in the state and all compete with each other for political patronage and benefits. In some ways, caste is a bigger player in the state than either religion or national issues, says Faisal Kidwai
January 13, 2012Kayani and his troops won't fall into Gilani's trap
Seema Mustafa believes that Pakistan Army chief Ashfaq Kayani would not march his troops into Islamabad for it would only play to the advantage of an unpopular Yousaf Raza Gilani's government.
January 11, 2012India must offer the Maldives statehood within the Union
The Maldives will be the nucleus of future security order in the Indian Ocean. Patently the Maldivians will have to migrate before the portended watery grave. Given what could happen by 2100, it is imperative for India to act in good faith, and also with an eye on our national interest. India should offer Maldives statehood within our Union.
January 06, 2012Why India needs a leader like Narendra Modi
'Let us start the debate in 2012 in favour of a directly elected executive with a civil society-based Electoral College as a check for a directly elected strong leader in the mould of a Narendra Modi with civil society as a check which serves the national interest far more than an indirectly selected, weak but acceptable prime minister vulnerable to pressure from regional parties and outside groups that may have propped him or her up,' argues Shashi Shekhar
Army chief age row: Government must show sagacity, grace
'Befitting the government of a great nation, it must act suo moto to correct (NOT change) the chief's date of birth, thus setting right an anomaly, which an honourable soldier strongly feels impinges on his 'izzat.'
Is this what my country has come to?
'We have,' says Anvar Alikhan
, 'proved right Winston Churchill, when he warned in 1947 that 'Power will go to rascals, rogues, freebooters... leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw... They will fight amongst themselves for power and will be lost in political squabbles.'
January 05, 2012Mulayam better option than Mamata for the Congress?
'The bottomline is that Rahul Gandhi's dream of ruling Uttar Pradesh has been buried. The talk is no longer of 'strengthening' the party, but of 'extending' the life of the Congress ministry in Delhi -- at almost any cost,' says T V R Shenoy
Army chief's age issue: Government loses face either way
For the men and women in armed forces, for whom their chiefs have been the sole leader, the age controversy has only eroded their confidence in our State. It's time for the defence minister and the army chief to decide the issue based on legally tenable evidence, says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
January 04, 2012The politics over Mumbai's slums
The move to legitimise the occupants of pre-1995 slum homes till the year 2000 is welcome, but incomplete in managing the issue of Mumbai's slums. It is once again, a patchy effort, not fully thought through, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
India in 2012: Another 2011 coming up
'I would not be surprised if there is a spectacular act of Pakistani terrorism in India in 2012 intended to celebrate the triumph over the hyperpower. Of course, the home minister of India will once again mouth the terrifying formula: 'If there is another terrorist attack, we will...'
January 03, 2012Why is Gopal Das free and not Khaleel Chishty?
If Dr Khaleel Chishty, a 79-year-old Pakistani accused of murder in 1992, dies in an Indian jail not only would it be a matter of shame, it would also be a setback in bringing home many Indian prisoners in Pakistan, says Shivam Vij
Bad Chinese taste in India's mouth
'The Government of India should insist on strong action against those responsible in the instant case while discouraging our media from blowing the incident out of proportion.'
India in 2012: Strategic and security challenges beckon
The greatest challenge to India is that its political class seems oblivious to the contours and challenges of the big picture and national security does not receive the objective and constructive attention it warrants in Parliament, points out C Uday Bhaskar
January 02, 2012Myanmar, the US, China: Shifting sands
'Amongst all the Southeast Asian countries, 2011 has witnessed one of the greatest changes in Myanmar. A military dictatorial regime in power for decades made way for an elected government; albeit not as per democracy's definition by the book, but, at least a transition towards a freer nation.'
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