rediff.com  web 

Columns

May 31, 2010
Is the US strategically encircling China?
A reading of recent articles in the Chinese media show a broad picture -- in Beijing's view, a strategic partnership with the US can be established only if core issues like Tibet and Taiwan dividing them can be solved, writes China expert D S Rajan. Why Headley's interrogation is a charade
A delay of eight months in giving India limited access to David Coleman Headley reduces the entire exercise to a charade. Should the Manmohan Singh government have literally colluded with the Obama administration in playing a fraud on the Indian people by creating an illusion of US cooperation? asks strategic expert B Raman.
May 30, 2010
India doesn't need to be apologetic to Iran
India should have the self-confidence to engage Iran on its own terms and on the basis of a clear understanding of its national interests, says Harsh V Pant
May 28, 2010
An army officer recounts Canadian visa woes
As more and more cases of Canadian visa rejection to Indian men in uniform pour in, certain ugly facets of double standards are getting illuminated. Brigadier S K Chatterji, a retired Indian Army officer, recounts his experience:
May 27, 2010
Lessons for India from Thai insurgency
Rajeev Srinivasan on why the Thai troubles should be an eye-opener for India, which faces similar insurgents with covert agendas. Who authorised the Raja tapes?
'These conversations, please understand, were not a one-off exercise, and nor should anyone pretend that they were recorded by accident. I learn that they run to at least 1,200 hours of conversation -- over fifty full days if played from end to end.' Shashi Tharoor is being missed in South Block
A delegation of Latin American ambassadors, which visited Thiruvananthapuram when Tharoor was the MoS, were all praise for him for the attention he gave them, particularly to facilitate their visit to his own constituency. Now, with only one MoS in the ministry, the ambassadors from Africa, Latin America and the Gulf have no chance of meeting the MoS. By his exit, Tharoor has left a wide gulf in the ministry
May 26, 2010
UPA-II loses momentum as challenges mount
The Congress' 206 parliamentary seats in last year's election had unleashed a wave of optimism but that feel-good mood is now a thing of the past, writes Harsh V Pant. Why we need limited air power to battle the Naxals
The air element has a great psychological effect on the adversary as it can raise the morale of our forces while lowering that of the adversary, says Colonel (Dr) Anil Athale (retd).
May 25, 2010
Dr Singh's blind spots: Pakistan and Maoists
The prime minister's remarks on relations with Pakistan and on the Maoist issue do not bode well for our success in dealing with these two challenges to our national security in an effective manner, writes B Raman. India needs to re-tweak its Sri Lanka policy
India cannot stop China from trying to make deep inroads into Sri Lanka which has emerged as the pivot for the new "great game" that is unfolding in the Indian Ocean. China's aggressive forays into the region stem from its belief that the Indian Ocean is not 'India's Ocean". The prime minister doesn't have all the answers
'The prime minister's worst achievement is that in the one year of his second government, he has not sent out the message that he means business,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
May 24, 2010
Nepalese woes require Indian support
Nepal cannot continue to drift. The volatility shimmering in the mountain kingdom can barely withstand more turmoil. It is in our and Nepalese interests to address the fundamental problems in that state, keeping Nepalese sensitivities at the core, writes Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
May 21, 2010
UPA-2: Time to change course
'The government must give up its neo-liberal polices and obsession with GDP growth and shift its ideological centre of gravity leftwards.' Less proactive, but Sonia sets agenda for UPA-2
There is a lack of connect between the Congress president and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in UPA-2. But Sonia Gandhi has ensured that the government does not waver from her pet policies -- NREGA, RTI etc, notes Neerja Chowdhury.
May 20, 2010
What is the reason for the recent Maoist attacks?
Are the recent attacks by Maoists desperate attempts to take the revolutionary struggle to a level which would precipitate a crisis in which it would be impossible for right thinking people not to take sides? asks Apooravanand. A wasted year: Common man's woes only increased
In first year of the UPA-2, non-performance is visible in all areas of governance, writes Virendra Kapoor. Sonia Gandhi: Address the root causes of Naxalism
'The rise of Naxalism is a reflection of the need for our development initiatives to reach the grass roots, especially in our most backward tribal districts.'
May 19, 2010
UPA's concern for 'aam aadmi' is shallow: Karat
Politically, the striking outcome of the first year of the UPA government is its increasing vulnerability, says Communist Party of India Marxist's General Secretary Prakash Karat US addressing intelligence gaps in Pakistan
The US may re-look its human and technical intelligence apparatus in Pakistan following the attack on seven CIA officers in Khost and the failed New York bombing plot, writes security expert B Raman Shyam Saran on rising Indonesia
Few people in India are aware that India and Indonesia are geographically contiguous, sharing a settled maritime boundary. The last island in the Andaman and Nicobar chain is only 80 kilometres from the first island of the Indonesian archipelago.
May 18, 2010
The UPA, a house divided
'The alliance doesn't seem cemented as much as held together with staples and tape.' Does memory matter anymore?
Memory was the most important endowment and instrument in the process. And here was someone, questioning the very value of memory? Chhattisgarh needs a special anti-Maoist strategy
While there is need for a pan-Indian strategy to deal with the Maoists under the leadership and co-ordination of the Government of India, a special strategy to protect the people of Chhattisgarh and to neutralise Maoist activities there has to be worked out based on a larger surge of better equipped, better motivated and better informed security forces to help the local police
May 17, 2010
'Is this the India we should be proud of?'
'Manipur is on fire today. Terrorist organisations demanding secession from India, local tribal conflicts and a total collapse of the civil administration has turned this state into a virtual hell.' The larger issue behind Ramesh's outburst in China
The larger issue behind Jairam Ramesh outburst is about the lack of foreign policy institutionalisation in India. India doesn't really have a China policy and so various departments deem it fit to put their own spin on Indian's ties with China, writes Harsh V Pant. The challenges of caste-based census
Collecting caste-based data will be a major challenge, but it would have to be delinked from the census, to prevent respondents from misrepresenting facts, says Amitabh Kundu The role of lawyers is not confined to courts: PM
The role of lawyers extends to being an integral part of our system of administration of justice, and justice not just in the legal sense but justice that's social, economic and political as set out in the preamble of our Constitution, says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh UPA II is proving even worse than UPA I
'It is best for Sonia to retreat to the background and let Rahul gradually come to the fore to stand by Manmohan Singh.' Fear of public backlash restricts foreign policy
Increasingly, the space for India to engage other countries is shrinking and hardening, primarily because post-Sharm El Sheikh, we have a leadership that worries about the public backlash all the time, and because the two communities who should be tasked with preparing the ground for engagement --the ministry of external affairs and the media -- are instead drawing red lines.
May 14, 2010
SAARC: The Way Ahead
Irrespective of SAARC's banal performance audit, it would be at South Asia's peril to accept the idea that SAARC as a framework has little to offer, especially to its poorer members, writes Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).
May 12, 2010
Why India is so full of charlatans
By not putting in place mechanisms to ensure there is punishment for sinning, India is creating the right environment for 'moral hazard'. Jairam saga: Roaring in China, sleeping in India
While the tiger will most likely not go extinct in the next half-century, its current trajectory is catastrophic. A combination of poor governance, bureaucratic sloth and lack of leadership is leading us towards an ecological disaster. Why does India want to hide its war documents?
India was not involved in genocide in Bangladesh for it to shred the papers related to the 1971 war. Their release could have been controlled, even delayed, but to destroy it was a crime, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why do we ignore our war dead?
India even after 65 years of independence finds it bothersome to build a memorial for the Unknown Soldier in the national capital. The soldiers died so that we may live. And the least we can do is to remember them, writes Colonel R Hariharan (retd). Recalling Prabhakaran's end
Nitin Gokhale, Defence Editor, NDTV, recalls his encounter with then Sri Lankan army chief General Sarath Fonseka soon after the LTTE's defeat last year. A fascinating column on how Velupillai Prabhakaran finally met his nemesis.
May 10, 2010
China breaks the Himalayan barrier
China's profile as the South Asia's leading interlocutor highlights India's inability to lead its own sub-region. This is the stark message that the Indian establishment needs to cull from the Thimpu SAARC summit. Why India should declassify historical documents
The government's policy of keeping all such information permanently classified under the Official Secrets Act has resulted in a situation in which no authentic account of national security management is available, writes B Raman. The State has alienated me, should I remain quiet?
Gladson Dungdung, a human rights activist from Jharkhand, talks about his experiences with development and how his demands for constitutional justice has often resulted in people asking whether he is a Maoist. The Kasab verdict alone is not enough
It is time we moved beyond abstract wooly notions and formulate a sound plan of action that produces concrete results. For all the brouhaha that followed the Mumbai massacre we have let things slip into a state of ennui, writes Vivek Gumaste. War or peace, Chinese firms pose a security risk
Prudence demands that in our enthusiasm for expanding our economic ties with China, we should not allow suspect companies such as Huawei a free run of our country and access to our communications network, which could facilitate their collection of intelligence in times of peace and war and paralyse our critical infrastructure during any military conflict. The degeneration of India's universities
'How is this rush to decay to be halted before Indian universities become the laughing stock of the world, the (few) good ones unfairly tarred by the misdeeds of the worst of the lot?'
May 07, 2010
View: A muddled verdict from Britain
James Cameron does not have enough votes in the Parliament to activate his agenda. But what he has indeed done is to bring the Tories back from oblivion to the centre of British politics and reminded us that ideas do have a place in politics, writes Harsh V Pant What the radiation leak in Delhi means
'The DAE is easily the worst-functioning department of the Indian government, says Praful Bidwai. Pakistan gets nuclear deal by proxy
While India is waiting to begin nuclear trade with the US, Pakistan may well have two nuclear reactors constructed on its own soil.
May 06, 2010
Kasab's death will not bring any closure for India
The bottom line is that carrying out Kasab's death sentence is not going to bring closure to the 26/11 case. For that matter, the conviction of the terrorists being tried in Pakistan will not end the menace of terrorism in India. The real closure will come only with the closure of the Jihad factory in Pakistan, which in turn will happen only if Pakistan takes concerted and sincere efforts to de-radicalise its society and its polity, neither of which are on the anvil. Sentence delayed is sentence denied
'True closure will come only when we as a people, as a civilisation, can relax in crowded, public places without fear, when the ugly metal detectors that greet us at the entrance of every single public space goes forever. That is a distant dream, towards realising which Kasab's sentence is but a baby-step.' Column: The banality of evil
'It is not the individuals, but the system of propaganda and inducement of hatred that is to blame. And that suits the Pakistani establishment just fine: It sustains their failing State.'
May 04, 2010
Terror in Big Apple: A Pakistani hand?
The claim made by Qari Hussain Mehsud of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan taking responsibility for the attempted incendiary attack in the Times Square is now being taken a little more seriously by the FBI because the message making the claim had been recorded before the incident, writes security expert B Raman Looking Beyond Kasab's Conviction
At a time when the US is finding it extremely difficult to deal with the 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, within its judicial system, the way India has dealt with Kasab is reflective of the maturity of Indian democracy and its judicial system, notes Harsh V Pant.
May 03, 2010
Kasab is living proof of Lashkar's role in 26/11
'While Kasab was helpful in the investigation of the 26/11 terrorist attack, he was of no use in detecting and neutralising Lashkar's sleeper cells and the Indian Mujahideen.'
Archives
April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010