August 31, 2012
India-Pak signals from Iran point to early polls
If the Congress decides in favour of mid-term polls, a visit to Pakistan by the prime minister could prove unwise and counter-productive, says B Raman People's voice: Scrap Jaitapur and Koodankulam
Three important developments in the nuclear sector have put the department of atomic energy and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India on the back foot, says Praful Bidwai
August 30, 2012
The new media is a friend and not a foe
The government used the opportunity to block politically inconvenient content, criticism it was receiving for its mishandling of a sensitive situation. Many in our political class are threatened by this new participatory medium where incriminatory information can spread rather quickly and cannot be suppressed, says Arvind Gupta. 26/11 and the media's 'unwise' role
In its judgement upholding the death sentence passed on Ajmal Kasab, the sole surviving perpetrator of the terrorist strikes carried out by Pakistan's Lashkar-e-Tayiba in Mumbai from November 26 to 29,2008, the Supreme Court has made some observations on the role of the media, particularly the Indian TV channels, in covering the terrorist strikes.
August 29, 2012
Democracy loses when politicians 'take to the streets'
Tying up Parliament's either houses without doing any business but behaving as if it is already a street ill-behoves the nation which calls itself the largest democracy. Here, the maturity is measured, unfortunately, by the number of voters and the size of the Parliament than by the wisdom, reason, reasonableness, persuasion being its backbone, say Maheah Vijapurkar.
August 28, 2012
Why is the Indian media pro-internet censorship?
There's so much internet censorship in India now that it is surprising that instead of outrage you find the Indian media actually building the case for censorship, writes Shivam Vij Message for PM: Avoid cosying up to Iran
Our strategic and national security interests should be the decisive factor in our policy-making towards Israel, the US and Iran, says B Raman. How India must leverage its opportunities in Iran
India has a great opportunity to act as go between Iran and the rest of the world, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. A kilo of contentment
'My Indian guests were to get a slice of the authentic Brazilian experience, the cuisine being only one part of it,' says B S Prakash of a typical Brazilian institution.
August 27, 2012
'Wheels of democracy on the straight road'
C Rajagopalachari sometimes referred to as the conscience-keeper of the Mahatma himself, once famously remarked that 'a government by the majority without an effective Opposition is like driving a donkey on whose back you put the whole load in one bundle.' What will Anna Hazare's legacy be?
The feeling is gathering strength in the Congress that it can see off Anna Hazare if it comes to a fight in the political arena, and that there is nobody else of his stature left to call it to account, says TVR Shenoy.
August 26, 2012
Not interested in a one-day debate in Parl: Jaitley
Debate and accountability must co-exist, says leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley
August 24, 2012
BJP unyielding; search on for way to end coalgate logjam
Some of Bharatiya Janata Party's allies have proposed a "via media" which could end the current impasse in Parliament over "coalgate" which disrupted Parliament all of this week. Why we need a national memorial for fallen soldiers
If the British can make a memorial for Indian soldiers, why don't we have one even after 65 years of India's independence? When we can have statues and parks dedicated to politicians, why not one for our defence personnel? It is astounding, says Varad Varenya. Why we need a national memorial for fallen soldiers
If the British can make a memorial for Indian soldiers, why don't we have one even after 65 years of India's independence? When we can have statues and parks dedicated to politicians, why not one for our defence personnel? It is astounding, says Varad Varenya.
August 23, 2012
The real threat from nuclear Pakistan
India needs to be aware of the potentially catastrophic implications of the collapse of governing authority in Pakistan. A boost to fundamentalist forces in India's neighbourhood will have some serious consequences for the utility of nuclear deterrence in the subcontinent, says Harsh V Pant. Raj T's rally, not biggest exodus ever, gets more press!
Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in Assam. But it is Raj Thackeray's fire and brimstone speeches that make it to the front pages of the newspapers, says Sherna Gandhy.
August 22, 2012
Where is Rahul Gandhi going?
'Rahul Gandhi is one of the few in the UPA with the political clout to carry out those much-needed reforms in the railway and power ministries, even if it means bruising a lot of egos in the short-term. Becoming a minister without portfolio is undoubtedly the safer option, but if there is no pitfall neither is there the opportunity of solid achievement.' Pakistan opts for nuanced approach to India
Those in Pakistan who always preceded the possibility of talks with a 'Kashmir being the core issue' argument are now insisting that dialogue is the only way to peace, and both countries should work together to ensure all around stability and peace, says Seema Mustafa. Assam: Deja vu tinged with sadness
The pattern is invariably the same: One targetted killing followed by a retaliatory attack; and then the dam bursts. Violence gets unleashed. And it has been no different this time, says Nitin Gokhale who has reported on major ethnic/communal riots across Assam over the last three decades Patnaik deserves credit for controlling Mumbai violence
We saw the best of the Mumbai police commissioner from the way he handled a volatile situation. Will we see the best of him again from the way he pursues the cases against the rioters, asks B Raman.
August 21, 2012
India hurtling towards chaos and uncertainty
Only a strong and sustained leadership can only bring it back from the brink, says Pramod Kumar Buravalli.
August 18, 2012
PM Singh's growing weaknesses hurting the government
The manner in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has used his good and clean image to provide a protective umbrella to the corrupt makes him equally culpable, says Sanjay Kapoor.
August 17, 2012
Bullying intellectuals, submissive BJP
It is time those who claim to champion the cause of Hindus became a little more assertive and took on the peddlers of moral equivalence and exposed their lies, says Ravi Shanker Kapoor. What China's space capabilities mean for India
China's manned missions and the space station also indirectly showcase the country's ability to use space for military purposes, says Dr Manpreet Sethi. Psyjihad against NE people may recreate forgotten barriers
In the psyjihad directed against the people from north-east, one sees the beginning of an insidious attempt to re-create the mental divide and drive a new wedge, says B Raman
August 16, 2012
Equality and justice as important as independence
There is a wide gap between 'chamakta bharat' (shining India) and 'tadapta bharat' (dying India), and unless this gap is filled nothing is going to happen, says Syed Hassan Kazim.
August 15, 2012
A Canadian visa in New York is no cakewalk
I decided to record the experience because the country concerned was Canada, a country that prides itself as a champion of human rights around the globe.... It appeared to me that the Canadian consulate in New York was trampling upon the human rights of nearly two hundred men and women, mostly Indians and Chinese, says T P Sreenivasan.
August 14, 2012
What really happened in August 1947
Why did Mountbatten suddenly declare that the Partition of India would take place with inexplicable haste on August 15, 1947, almost a year ahead of schedule? Colonel Anil Athale (retd) explains the likely reasons for the British decision to hastily grant India independence. So what, if they are VIPs?
In India traffic comes to a virtual standstill whenever there is 'VVIP movement'. At the Rio+20 Conference there were hundreds of world leaders, but no security agency seemed to hassle the locals, notes B S Prakash. Dismayed, I can't celebrate I-Day
I am disgusted enough not to celebrate the Independence Day. Call this a rant, but that is all a citizen is left with. My promised tryst with my destiny has been elusive. It does not even seem to be round the far corner, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why it is tough to trust the ISI
There have been three interactions between R&AW and the ISI before reveals B Raman, warning of the perils of dealing with the treacherous Pakistani spooks. Advani should have negotiated with UPA to make Jaswant VP
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad. Whether Hindus or Greeks coined that aphorism, it resoundingly describes the Bharatiya Janata Party's blundering ineptness. Obsessed by 2014, the party has missed the chance of creating a precedent for statesmanship and squandered the asset it has in someone of Jaswant Singh's calibre.
August 13, 2012
What is causing Muslim radicalism?
Muslim youth are neither meant for being indoctrinated and hired by any destructive foreign agency like the ISI, nor are they meant for being fired by their own security agencies, says Mohammad Sajjad. How India can reach out to Pak Hindus
India should push for re-opening of the consulate in Karachi for better protection of the Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan. DMK's rally: Political alignment changing at the Centre?
The ministry of external affairs allowed the Dravida Munetra Kazhagham to hold a pro-Tamil Eelam meeting in Chennai on Sunday on the condition that it did not issue any declaration or outcome that questioned the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of any foreign country with whom India has diplomatic relations, namely, Sri Lanka.
August 10, 2012
Decentralised power generation is need of the hour
The take home message from the grid failure is that the paradigm of centralised generation of electricity and grid based distribution has outlived its usefulness. Syrian uprising challenges Indian diplomacy
The extent and nature of India's role in the ongoing turmoil in West Asia must be defined primarily by its strategic interests in the region. Few are, however, sure if New Delhi has any idea about its regional strategic interests, says Harsh V Pant. Why we need to remember Krishna & the Gita's teachings
The decline in society began when we reduced the message of Gita to fatalism. We are forever waiting for a messiah to come and rescue us as promised in Gita. But we have forgotten the central message of Gita to do our 'karma' or duty without the attachment to rewards and its fruit, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. The Anna Hazare fan club
A believing reporter is no reporter. He is a propagandist and an apologist. He also loses the right to write the first draft of history. Ashutosh may like to look back at the 13 heady days of Ramlila Maidan and review his book himself, says Apoorvanand. Last chance with Bangladesh
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party must understand the importance of the east, says Jyoti Malhotra
August 09, 2012
The day Kashmir changed forever
The chain of events set off by 'August 9, 1953' has swept away many illusions, demolished quite a few landmarks and woven an altogether new tapestry of the Centre-state relationship, says Mohammad Sayeed Malik.
August 07, 2012
Sikh killings in US and the sense of white supremacy
The attack on Sikhs in a US gurdwara is not a mistaken attack. Sikhs are not mistaken for Muslims, but seen as part of the community of outsiders, says Vijay Prashad India and the Great Olympic Tamasha
Even those of us who shudder at the thought of walking to the neighbourhood store, or who have never dipped a foot in a swimming pool or kicked a football in our lives, will watch avidly as great athletic feats are performed by humans of all shapes, sizes, colours and dress codes -- from the head-scarved Saudi ladies to the show-it-all bikini-clad beach volleyball beauties, the beefy weightlifters and immaculately coated and cravat-ed equestrians, says Sherna Gandhy.
August 06, 2012
Seven simple steps to curb terrorism in India
The steps require the least amount of expenditure and can be implemented with existing institutional structure and laws, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale.
August 05, 2012
PM must avoid visiting Pakistan in November
To visit Lahore in November, even in fulfilment of a religious obligation, could be seen as an act of disrespect to the memories of the over 160 innocent civilians and members of the security forces killed by the LeT and an act of insensitivity to the feelings of grief of the relatives and their outrage over Pakistan's failure to act against the Pakistan-based conspirators of the terrorist attack, notes B Raman.
August 03, 2012
Why it may still be advantage Congress-UPA
After the presidential elections, it may still be advantage Congress-UPA but at some point the utter lack of governance is going to cost it dearly. Meanwhile the BJP has largely failed to take advantage of the disarray in the Congress, says Rohit Pradhan.
August 02, 2012
Your real test starts now Mr Sushilkumar Shinde
The Pune blasts serves as a point of reckoning for Shinde that the position of the home minister is not a job for the frail hearted. He will be keenly watched on the parameters of activism, transparency and more importantly, on his ability to deliver on Chidambaram's unfinished agenda, says Bibhu Prasad Routray.
August 01, 2012
Cabinet rejig offers 3 potential prime ministers for 2014
The decision to make these changes to the Union Cabinet was apparently taken last week, but the timing of its announcement could not have been more unfortunate, writes Neerja Chowdhury News and the common man
The concern is low-budget coverage, not in-depth. Hype replaces substance, breathlessness providing it the requisite gravamen, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar What the change of guard in home ministry means
One has the impression that dictates of political accommodation rather than dictates of professional management of internal security have influenced his appointment as the home minister, says B Raman
July 31, 2012
Truth behind the Kokrajhar violence
Kokrajhar happens when the State colludes with foreigners to capture power and as a result its own loyal citizens are uprooted and killed, says Tarun Vijay
July 27, 2012
Can Congress hear Assam's wake up call now?
The latest flare-up in Assam is a wake up call for the Congress governments at the state and the Centre that they cannot afford to ignore ethnic equations that generate cyclical clashes, writes Anirban Ganguly South China Sea: Why India cannot afford to be silent
How to manage China's rise and mould its behaviour will be one of the biggest diplomatic challenges facing New Delhi in the coming years, says Harsh V Pant. Why is a non-Muslim mass murderer not a 'terrorist'?
Why are crimes by Muslims regarded as some sort of terror acts while the crimes of others are treated as acts carried out in some type of frustration, asks Syed Hassan Kazim. It's not Hindu vs Muslim in Assam but Indian vs foreigner
Assam's plight has originated in the fact that the Congress party, for its shortsighted political considerations, has refused to acknowledge that infiltrators are foreigners, says Sudheendra Kulkarni Sharad Pawar's brinkmanship and coalition pains
Sharad Pawar's real grievances have to do with the frustration of his prime ministerial ambitions, and his inability to gain high stature, including the Number Two slot in the Cabinet, says Praful Bidwai
July 26, 2012
Assam's cycle of violence needs to be broken NOW
The genesis of Assam's violence and the manner in which it has escalated are yet another reflection of government apathy and neglect compounded by political ambitions and interests, writes Seema Mustafa
July 25, 2012
What are Mamata's political options now?
Political equations are changing rapidly and post the monsoon session, national politics seems to be poised for another swivel. Can the West Bengal chief minister handle it, asks Anirban Ganguly.
July 24, 2012
What the CPI-M needs to do to rejuvenate politically
The CPI-M's decision to support Pranab Mukherjee came at great cost, and given Mamata's Banerjee's decision to back him, clearly without any political dividends. Left unity at this crucial juncture was cracked, with the CPI deciding to abstain, says Seema Mustafa. US-India ties: A sagging 'strategic partnership'
Even as the prime minister's office and the foreign ministry deepen ties with Washington, the defence ministry cold-shoulders the Pentagon, notes Ajai Shukla. Oprah's comments on India reveal our shortcomings
We should use criticism constructively instead of getting offended, says Faisal Kidwai
July 23, 2012
Bal Apte built the generation Vivekananda aspired for
Bal Apte's life was his message, writes Tarun Vijay paying tribute to the RSS stalwart who passed into the ages last week Are we condemned to another term of Manmohan Singh?
When elections are held, the composition of the UPA may change, yet the UPA could well emerge as a winner. With such a remarkable electoral success it means that a person who has won three consecutive terms will have to be necessarily be our PM, writes M R Venkatesh Walking, skydiving, flying. All in a weekend's work
A Ganesh Nadar recollects the unsual last weekend he spent in Mumbai before returning to his native village in Tamil Nadu India is in a mess
I worry about India. It is in a mess. We do not need President Obama to tell us that, nor Time, nor The Independent, says TVR Shenoy.
July 20, 2012
Violence against women: Blame prejudices, NOT the victim
It won't be easy to fight entrenched patriarchy and male-chauvinist prejudice without an extensive campaign of social reform, says Praful Bidwai West, Israel using 'Arab Spring' for regime change
The US and Israel, using the guise of the Arab Spring, have decided that they have the authority and the mandate to change regimes for the people of the Middle East regardless of what the people think, says Seema Mustafa.
July 19, 2012
Minority prejudice: We don't need to learn from the West
The disturbing phenomenon that we have been seeing for some years is alienation of our minorities due to accumulation of unaddressed grievances. Unless these are addressed sincerely and effectively, this could degenerate into radicalisation, warns B Raman.
July 18, 2012
With no one to trust, whom does the citizen turn to?
These days when things are slipping a lot more than ever in the country, most citizens are in despair, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Cricket with Pakistan? Have we forgotten 26/11?
A Ganesh Nadar expresses anguish at the Board of Control for Cricket in India's decision to play host to Pakistan, barely days after the nation observes the fourth anniversary of the bloodbath in Mumbai. Myanmar's two million stateless people
A report published by the Indian government reveals that about 400,000 people of Indian origin have no official recognition in Myanmar, they have limited or no access to education, employment and healthcare, reports Venessa Parekh. Pranabda and the burden of two past Presidents
Unlike Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and Giani Zail Singh, one hopes Pranab Mukherjee will do a better job when asked to 'preserve, protect and defend the Constitution', says T V R Shenoy.
July 17, 2012
Why Pakistan's rebels are attacking Chinese projects
There is a perception amongst those fighting the government in Pakistan that the only sure shot way of drawing Islamabad's attention is to attack the Chinese, as the government does not pay much heed to attacks on hapless Pakistani citizens, says Alok Bansal. Why cricket with Pakistan is not a good idea
While Indian officials never stop berating the Americans and Europeans for mollycoddling Pakistan despite its rank bad behaviour, the Republic of BCCI and the Republic of India have gone ahead and done something similar to what the West does, says Sushant Sareen. Purno Sangma: The rise and the tumble
After the presidential poll, Sangma may well realise that 'miracles' and 'conscience' do not really exist, especially in Indian politics, they have long become extinct, says Anirban Ganguly.
July 16, 2012
Do Congressmen want Rahul to make space for Priyanka?
Having seen the spectacular failure of Rahul Gandhi in the UP assembly election, is that 'what' Salman Khurshid is suggesting is Priyanka Gandhi? Like habitual gamblers, Congressmen are reluctant to let go of the apron strings of the family and, therefore, keen to try their last dice in the photogenic Priyanka, who seems promising only because she remains largely untested, says Virendra Kapoor The Guwahati case: Not the city I knew
A culture of impunity has gripped the Assamese society at large, and the absence of fear of law among lumpen elements is particularly noticeable in the past decade, says Nitin Gokhale who worked as a journalist for 23 years in the state The perils of India trying to look good on PTV
In its campaign against India, Pakistan has used terror and its electronic media to great effect proving how useful a psywar campaign is in these adversarial situations. This will not change and let us not be under any delusion about this, writes Vikram Sood
July 13, 2012
The Higgs Boson: Is it the end of physics?
'Without demeaning Einstein, I believe the most astounding achievement of a single human mind in all of history was that of Panini, 2,500 years ago. He achieved a Grand Unified Theory of Language: An even more daunting task... Computer scientists in the 1950s rediscovered the Paninian rules for formal languages; for instance, the C language is defined by 100 or so rules in the Panini-Backus form.'
July 12, 2012
Legal battle likely AFTER Pranab becomes President
The Opposition says Pranab Mukherjee, who was the chairman of the Indian Statistical Institute Council, did not quit that office before filing the papers for his Presidential run. Mukherjee knows exactly how tricky these details can be, and how they can trip up even the most seasoned politician, says T V R Shenoy.
July 10, 2012
Nepal: Why a new constituent assembly must deliver
Failure to move from a feudal monarchy to an inclusive society with equal opportunities for all in a federal State structure will result in anarchy and lead to Nepal's Maoists taking up arms again, says Brigadier (retd) S K Chaterji. Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu: Trampling each other's toes
If the two Dravidian parties up the rhetoric it increases the risk of Tamil Nadu becoming a safe haven for Tamil extremism with serious implications for national security. As these developments affect Sri Lanka's internal security, it would kindle legitimate concerns in Colombo, says Colonel (retd) R Hariharan. India needs to be alert about border dispute with China
China will cheerfully discuss human rights, environmental degradation and a raft of issues. But say the word 'Tibet' and the shutters come down, writes Ajai Shukla
July 09, 2012
The jihadi foot soldiers of Pakistan
The Lashkar-e-Tayiba's global mission is quite extensive something the West has now begun to realise. Many now assess the LeT to be a bigger eventual threat than the Al Qaeda because the Lashkar has state sponsorship, says Vikram Sood.
July 06, 2012
MGNREGA 2.0: We need it now more than ever
With the threat of a failed monsoon and an impending drought, the need for public works and for greater numbers of workers will arise in many states, says Aruna Roy Bhopal verdict is against public health and democracy
The quest of Bhopal victims for justice must continue and till the truth prevails because it is not their struggle victims of Bhopal alone. It is a litmus test that will determine that what prevails in the conflict between naked lust for profit at any human cost and public health of the present and future generations, says Gopal Krishna.
July 05, 2012
Notes from past: President as holder of other offices
Our current presidential candidates can perhaps take a cue from history and subject themselves to greater self-examination and scrutiny; it will surely augur well for the dignity of the exalted office that they so eagerly aspire for, says Anirban Ganguly. US blinks but Pakistan won't celebrate
Pakistan's decision to reopen transit routes for Nato convoys holds big implications for the future trajectory of the US-Pakistan relationship and regional security -- and for Pakistan's domestic politics, says MK Bhadrakumar
July 04, 2012
Why is society apathetic to our children's needs?
Children as a collective seem to be no one's concern anywhere. Nothing is made child-friendly including the toys which being cheap and poorly made, putting them at risk, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
July 03, 2012
Of 'unglamorous' spies and unsung heroes
One thing I can tell you about the R&AW people after having spent nearly three decades in that organisation, having been a spy myself and controlled dozens of other spies. We may not be as glamorous as Smiley's people, but we are not stupid, writes B Raman
July 02, 2012
How to handle collateral deaths in anti-Maoist ops
If the government does not take the precaution of verifying the facts and circumstances of operations resulting in large fatalities and if these prove to be wrong, the resulting embarrassment will damage the future effectiveness of counter-insurgency operations, writes B Raman against the backdrop of the June 29 anti-Maoist operation in Chhattisgarh The last stand in the Muslim world
The political change in the Muslim world is the recognition that the street has emerged as a source of considerable political power, writes Shahid Javed Burki Anti-Naxal ops: A monumental blunder in Chhattisgarh
It is beyond doubt that the Indian State has gravely erred in its latest counter-insurgency operation in Chhattisgarh and has indeed ended up killing non-combatants, says Bibhu Prasad Routray
July 01, 2012
Abu Jundal arrest: Saudi's changed attitude towards LeT
Action against Abu Jundal does not mean a dilution of Pakistan's geo-strategic importance for Saudi Arabia. Pakistan continues to be as important to Saudi Arabia as before, says B Raman
June 29, 2012
Presidential race indicates new political trends
The BJP and the Left have come out poorer, while the Congress was galvanised to push Pranab Mukherjee's into the race. The political permutations and combinations also indicate the possibility of a non-Congress, non-BJP 'third front' being in the fray for the 2014 general elections, says Praful Bidwai.
June 28, 2012
Pranab: Inflation, self-reliance and Reliance
Anirban Ganguly recounts moments from the past when Pranab Mukherjee had to face uncomfortable questions from opposition MPs. Pakistan: SC, govt set for another showdown
With apex court shows no sign of backing down and the government planning to clip the wings of the judiciary another clash between the two is inevitable, says Amir Mir. Mamata Banerjee is nobody's fool
T V R Shenoy explains the likely reasons behind the West Bengal chief minister's seemingly bizarre political behaviour. Surjeet-Sarabjit episode: Unnecessary comedy of errors
The slow lethargic response of the government in the Surjeet-Sarabjit drama and the hyper, superfast response of the media can make for a lethal dose in India-Pakistan relations, says Seema Mustafa Abu Jundal arrest: Who stands to gain?
It's intriguing why Pakistani security establishment sent 26/11 handler Abu Jundal to Saudi despite being aware that he would be highly vulnerable. M K Bhadrakumar analyses
June 27, 2012
Restoring confidence in Army: Agenda for the new Chief
General Bikram Singh enjoys an excellent reputation as a professional soldier and will no doubt lead by personal example to arrest and correct the downslide in the moral standards of the Army's higher ranks, says Gurmeet Kanwal Why LeT may be tempted to launch fresh attack on India
The ISI and the LeT will be determined to demonstrate that the action of Saudi Arabia, in deporting Abu Jundal, will not weaken their anti-India motivation by orchestrating a fresh terrorist strike against India, says B Raman. India, US and Saudi Arabia: The 'new' great game!
Does the deportation of 26/11 prime accused Abu Jundal/Abu Hamza/Zabiuddin Ansari by Saudi Arabia signal a tectonic shift in India's Middle-East policy? Colonel (retd) Anil Athale tries to explain. Building a narrative of 'opportunity' in Afghanistan
The international community's willingness to build on a 'window of opportunity' in Afghanistan now would be seen as the real test of the commitment of these countries to Afghanistan's future. While military and development assistance are prone to be fickle, willingness to invest is a commitment to the future, says Shanthie Mariet D'Souza.
June 26, 2012
The possible diplomatic impact of Abu Jundal's arrest
Security expert B Raman wonders what would be the impact on the peace process between India and Pakistan if Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jindal alias Abu Jundal alias Abu Hamza, a co-conspirator of the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, makes any sensational disclosures regarding involvement of the Inter-Services Intelligence in Mumbai attacks Be afraid, be very afraid of the Bombay Prohibition Act
With the almost universal breach of the alcohol licensing conditions, once the powers-that-be decide to crack the whip, every restaurant will run into problems. Huge problems, says Sunil Phatarphekar Mulayam Singh Yadav: The king of U-turns
There's a method in the Samajwadi Party supremo's serial flip-flops.
June 25, 2012
The arrest of Abu Jindal: What happens next?
If back-channel intelligence co-operation has played a role in the arrest, the government of India will not be forthcoming in order not to embarrass the other two governments. However, if back channel co-operation had played no role and if the complicity of the Pakistani agencies with the LeT had played a role in this matter, the implications could be more serious, says B Raman. Secularism an excuse to deny Modi his due
If Nitish Kumar is calling Narendra Modi names to endear himself to the minorities, or for severing ties with the BJP, he ought to be most welcome. The problem with the BJP is that in the face of persistent abuse that it is communal, it has developed an inferiority complex, forcing it to be on the defensive, says Virendra Kapoor.
June 22, 2012
Will fresh elections solve Pakistan's problems?
There is a growing feeling within that country that these might provide a fresh start by bringing a new, and perhaps less corrupt and more responsive, government to power, says Seema Mustafa Suu Kyi recalls Nehru in historic speech at UK parliament
Myanmar democracy icon made history as she became the first non-head of state to address both houses of Britain's parliament. In a speech at the Westminster Hall, Suu Kyi has implored Britain and "the world beyond" to reach out to help Burma at "the moment of our greatest need". Here's the transcript: An open letter to the new Chief Election Commissioner
Making the electoral process inclusive and giving voting rights to the maximum number of citizens is worthy cause to make our democracy better, says Col Anil Athale.
June 21, 2012
Why the Comrades will support Pranab
Pranab Mukherkee's remarkably workable political relationship with the Left is will known in Bengali political lore as is his animosity with Mamata Banerjee, says Anirban Ganguly. Pakistan judiciary vs executive: What comes next?
The confrontation between the two will continue in other forms and other arenas, but to describe the recent judgement disqualifying Gilani as a judicial coup would be overstating its significance and implications, says B Raman.
June 20, 2012
Mumbai runs because of its people, not rulers
If the city runs, it is thanks to the people who brave every odd. The city has to thank the people, not its governors for its survival, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Reinventing God for the present times
What can be said with certainty is that the changes that are necessary to the present mode of living will not be possible without the aid of religion or something like it, says Sonali Ranade
June 19, 2012
Advani has tied the BJP up in knots yet again
Will numbers 1 to 8 in the BJP pull together so that it is a strong and formidable BJP which makes for a BJP-led NDA and not an NDA where the multiple docked tails are wagging the dog, asks Radha Rajan
June 18, 2012
The dangers of India's water policy
A global water report promotes privatisation narrative which could be disastrous for India and the world, says Gopal Krishna. Analysis: Why Kalam bowed out of the presidential race
The BJP is a divided house on whether to oppose Pranab Mukherjee or not. Mamata Banerjee has been totally isolated and only the Congress seems to be on a strong wicket, says Neerja Chowdhury. Return to Rio
Over a hundred world leaders including the Indian prime minister will be at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio.
June 16, 2012
For Mamata, the Presidential game is over
Once AJP Abdul Kalam exits the Presidential race noting can stop Pranab Mukherjee for winning.
June 15, 2012
Mulayam emerges as the pivot in presidential poll
Mulayam is a street fighter of old, and not new to the art of bargaining and pressure politics. He obviously used Mamata's antipathy towards Pranab to go along with her and moot three names, different from the ones suggested by Sonia Gandhi. The idea was obviously to send his own message to an otherwise unheeding Congress party, that they had to take his concerns on board, says Neerja Chowdhury. Will America's Afghan gamble pay off?
By letting Delhi keep an open line with Tehran, the United States seeks to balance its dependency on Pakistan in managing Afghanistan, says Jyoti Malhotra
June 14, 2012
Political uncertainty over prez polls is a Cong trait
It has always been in the nature of the Congress to ensure that the entire process of electing the President be mired in uncertainty, one-upmanship, official confusion and rumour-mongering. Anirban Ganguly recalls an instance from the early days of the republic. The new President also needs to lead our defence forces
In the changed geo-political situation that India finds in the 21st century, defence issues and the armed forces both need careful nursing and due attention. One hopes we get a President who is competent to handle the duties as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. India is facing a crisis of leadership
This should have been India's moment to lead the way. But the Indian story seems to be over even before it began, says Harsh V Pant.
June 13, 2012
Murder and mayhem: What's going on in AP and Kerala?
It is hard to say who is pursuing the more stupid course -- the CPI-M in Kerala or the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, says T V R Shenoy. Make Dr Singh the President; Priyanka, the PM
In an open letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi senior analyst B Raman says that the credibility of the Manmohan Singh government is withering and what the nation needs is a psychological turnaround.
June 12, 2012
India must be cautious while seeking SCO full membership
A full membership of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation could be counterproductive for India as there is little compatibility between our internal security concerns and interests and those of China and Pakistan. B Raman analyses Why Non-alignment 2.0 does us a disservice
The document, prepared by an eminent 8-member group, has attracted both criticism and praise. The latter is mainly for drawing attention to India's innumerable foreign policy challenges and for generating debate thereon. On the negative side, a major shortcoming in the document is the failure to clearly spell out a vision for what India should aspire to be and how precisely should these aspirations be realised, says Satish Chandra. Why do we blame the victim of a rape?
That the justice system, of which the police are a part, does not work for rape or other victims is no accident, writes Sonali Ranade With China on mind, India needs to re-think naval strategy
India needs a strategy to work in tandem with the United States navy without creating an impression of ganging up with it against China.
June 11, 2012
Why is US Secretary of Defence Panetta so angry?
It was one thing to hold India to ransom and periodically threaten nuclear blackmail. But it was not going to work against the US. The US, as always, learned the hard way that it was not or need not be all that dependent on Pakistani cooperation and generosity, says Vikram Sood. Unseen thaw in Pak army thinking
India goes into Monday's Siachen talks with its army's hardline position in Islamabad, but if it makes some effort to probe attitudes over there, it might be surprised, says Jyoti Malhotra How the presidential poll could shape BJP's future
By endorsing the Sangma candidacy the BJP could take the first steps towards a new federalist coalition that shares something more than a common enemy, says Shashi Shekhar.
June 07, 2012
Target the rot in Indian healthcare, NOT Aamir Khan
Attacking the messenger with the threat of a defamation suit is a misguided attempt on the part of our medical leaders which is likely to further erode public trust in doctors, warns Dr Kunal Saha US search mission in Arunachal: How will China react?
The Obama administration has overcome its reservations of the last two years because of the Chinese sensitivities in this matter and decided to send US search teams back into Arunachal Pradesh, says B Raman
June 06, 2012
When political ideology stops public good
Mahesh Vijapurkar on phoney ideology excuses and the spurning of brand ambassadors. Why not other CMs instead of Modi as prime minister?
If Bihar is clocking much higher growth than Gujarat, and Nitish Kumar enjoys the confidence of Hidus and Muslims alike, does it not make Nitish Kumar a much better contender for Prime Ministership than Narendra Modi, asks Shivam Vij
June 01, 2012
Why Modi must be stopped in his tracks
With Narendra Modi set to take over as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, a combination of big capital and Hindutva could prove the undoing of the rule of law and Indian democracy. He must be stopped -- to start with, in Gujarat, says Praful Bidwai. Is the CPI-M writing its obituary in Kerala?
'The CPI-M faces multiple investigations, with the CBI, the SIT and the Kerala police pursuing different cases. It is said as many as 70 to 90 CPI-M leaders are under the scanner, and that as many as 30 of these leaders are under imminent danger of being arrested,' notes T V R Shenoy. Why India must not withdraw from the South China Sea
If China can operate in India's backyard and systematically expand its influence, then there is no reason why India should feel diffident about operating in areas that China considers its own sphere of influence, argues Harsh V Pant as the Asia Security Summit convenes in Singapore.
May 30, 2012
Interlocutors' report has little for people of J&K
The report by the three interlocutors is a highly conservative document that does not deal honesty and truthfully with the situation on the ground. And having failed in this assessment, it stands to reason that the conclusions arising out of this are faulty, says Seema Mustafa. The significance of self-immolations in Lhasa
While Tibetans outside the TAR continue to defy the Chinese authorities, Tibetans of TAR, who were subjected to brutal suppression after the violent incidents of 2008, have continued to remain subdued, says B Raman
May 29, 2012
Parliament@60: Time for some stock taking
The most positive development over the last 60 years is the political empowerment of disadvantaged groups, introduction of the committee system and better policing of members. However, we still need to address the issue of dysfunctionality of Parliament, MPs' disdain for law making and the absence of periodic audit of the working of Parliament by independent citizens, says A Surya Prakash. 'B' for Bofors, 'N' for Nobody?
The Bofors affair wasn't a scam at all. It was a sting mounted by the mysterious 'N' of the Ardbo diaries, writes Mani Shankar Aiyar
May 28, 2012
If people don't hold Parliament accountable, who will?
Parliament is essential to the success of Indian democracy and the citizenry should be in the forefront of demanding reforms which help improve and strengthen Parliamentary democracy, says Rohit Pradhan.
May 27, 2012
China has lost the 'Jade kingdom', India must not
As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh walks the red carpet at the Ela Airport in Myanmar on May 28, he would be seen by many there as arriving a little too late. Is New Delhi really prepared to take China's lost ground? Atishay Abbhi examines Tough task ahead for the new COAS
General V K Singh, who will be retiring as the chief of the army staff on May 31,2012, will go down in history as a highly competent General, who did not deserve to be the head of the proud Indian Army despite his excellent record in the battle-field against our adversaries, writes B Raman PM's visit to Myanmar opens great opportunities
The Chinese influence on Myanmar needs to be contested. They have invested heavily in Myanmar's economy. India needs to ensure greater integration of the Myanmarese economy to relieve it of the stresses that it would otherwise feel should the Chinese put pressure on them, says Brigadier (retd) S K Chatterji.
May 26, 2012
India should supply energy to power-starved Myanmar
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Myanmar should offer to help its government on an emergency basis to increase the power supply in the country.
May 25, 2012
A dismal third anniversary for UPA-2
At the end of UPA-2's three years in power, India has become a more unbalanced, strife-torn and unhappy society, with reduced human security and tattered social cohesion. Rather than correct policy course, the government deals with the resulting discontent with brute force, says Praful Bidwai Maharashtra's man-made water woes
Why are so many regions in the state facing water scarcity despite normal to excess rainfall? Mahesh Vijapurkar blames the government. How important is Dr Singh's visit to Myanmar?
Leaders of only a few Asian countries have visited Myanmar in the new era. Notably, China is not among them. Dr Manmohan Singh's visit, the first by a prime minister since 1987, is imbued with larger regional significance, says Rajiv Bhatia. Rescuing the rupee: What can be done
'Well, what can be done now, when the economy is tanking? 'Austerity', the officials cry. That would be fine, but austerity by whom? Normally, the answer is: Belt-tightening by the common man (Indians already pay some of the highest prices in the world for petroleum products, and a lot of that is punitive taxes), but ostentatious spending and extravagance by the political classes and their cronies,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.
May 24, 2012
Why India is wary of Myanmar-NSCN-K agreement
The ceasefire agreement between the Naga faction and Myanmar was signed without India being informed. It is likely to have long-term implications not only for the ethnic politics of the Naga-inhabited regions, but also for India's northeast and Myanmar, says Rahul Mishra.
May 23, 2012
Will US-Pak relations EVER go back to normal?
Pakistan missed a valuable opportunity to create goodwill with the United States and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members when it failed to announce a reopening of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan at the summit held Sunday and Monday in Chicago, says Lisa Curtis.
May 22, 2012
North Indian Muslims will keep Modi's ambitions at bay
The BJP's post-Vajpayee succession battle will resolve itself only when it is in a position to form a government. For that it will need to woo regional satraps, many of whom have prime ministerial ambitions of their own.' <P> 'Even if the numbers are on the BJP's side, many regional leaders can't afford to support a Modi-led government for fear of losing their Muslim vote blocs,' says Shivam Vij.
May 21, 2012
Let us not pretend that our system is flawless
Years ago, as finance minister, Manmohan Singh popularised the term 'systemic failure.' Today he appears to believe it is a case of individuals being at fault rather than the system. I believe he was wrong then and is wrong now, says T V R Shenoy.
May 17, 2012
Special: The glue that keeps this country together
No one can deny that but for Parliament our unity as a country could never have been what it is today, says Suresh Prabhu, who has been elected to the Lok Sabha four times. Cartoon row: Why our MPs don't get the joke
Since governance in this country is increasingly tyrannical, ruled by bans and censorships, and intolerant of any criticism, the parliamentary committee on textbooks is almost certain to pander to politicians, feels Sherna Gandhy.
May 16, 2012
Is the future of education leaving India in the dust?
The digital revolution in education is coming at a most opportune time for India. Leadership in this is something India could seize, if only it had the vision, feels Rajeev Srinivasan.
May 15, 2012
India can offer its services to RESOLVE US-Iran row
New Delhi, as the only agent that enjoys trust in all the key capitals, must offer itself as a back-channel interlocutor, says Ajai Shukla
May 14, 2012
Are we surrendering our minds to?
Are we submerging our individual abilities, memories and consciousness to a larger anonymous cloud over which we have no control? Is this a surrender of our mind to an omniscient, omnipotent Viswa Chaitanya, a Universal Consciousness that the great scientists or rishis dreamed of? Why are some army officers becoming Dabangg?
Is the Nyoma incident, where a group of army officers allegedly thrashed a jawan for alleged misbehaviour and then defied their commanding officer, an aberration? Or is the matter more serious than what the army is making it out to be?Colonel Anil Athale (retd) explains the origins of this Dabangg-giri.
May 13, 2012
We wish to see a change in Parliament
In simple terms all that the people of this country are asking for is honest individuals with sincerity of purpose to be their voices in Parliament. Is it wrong of us or is it too much to ask, wonders Vivek Gumaste. Parliament: Is it even worse than it looks?
'India's parliamentary democracy is ridden with flaws,' argues Rajeev Srinivasan. 'Parliament has become a monarchy, with seats captured by a strongman, and then inherited by his wife or children.' Nothing diminishes the fact that we are a Great Nation
The history of our nation may not always have charted a linear trajectory to greatness. But that must not distract us from recognising that we as a nation we continue to find new and innovative ways to reconcile contradictions, transcend fault-lines thus avoiding the pitfalls of so many of our neighbours, says Shashi Shekhar. Exclusive! Arvind Kejriwal: How Parliament can change
There is no mechanism for the people to intervene in the affairs of Parliament, to direct it to enact laws on particular subjects, to prevent it from passing certain other kind of laws. The People are supreme, not Parliament. But unfortunately, in India, the People do not have any control, whatsoever, on the functioning of Parliament, says Arvind Kejriwal. Exclusive to
May 11, 2012
Why did we forget Alex Menon's dead bodyguards?
Life may have returned to normal for the Sukma collector, but will the lives of the families of his two bodyguards who died during his abduction be the same again, asks Shobha Warrier. Systemic change needs sustained effort, not just Aamir
The appeal of a courageous superstar with a conscience on a Sunday morning television show may help resolve some of the issues that affect us. But to for us to change as a people needs much more effort and awareness, feels Sherna Gandhy.
May 10, 2012
Rajeev Srinivasan: Why Indian education sucks!
'Indian education has, after Independence, produced nothing whatsoever -- yes, absolutely nothing -- of global calibre. Not one earth-shaking discovery or invention, not one outstanding theoretical insight!' Rajeev Srinivasan on how Indian education is unable to anticipate what the future holds. Is India serious about investigating Tatragate?
Did an Indian agency place a 'mole' within the Tatra subsidiary in Britain? Did powerful forces in India snuff out a life before anything emerged?T V R Shenoy asks some uncomfortable questions about the Tatra case. Parliament's role in making India Great is over
Give this fact that the middle class is not responsible in India and cannot be trusted to lead, it is remarkable that our legislature, even given all of its vulgar traits, has performed as superbly as it has, notes Aakar Patel. The first column in a series as India celebrates the 60th anniversary of the first sitting of the Joint House of Parliament on May 13.
May 09, 2012
Good monsoon, yet people can't wait for tankers
Mahesh Vijapurkar is not surprised that 41 villages in Sangli district want to be merged with Karnataka because of the perennial drinking water shortage in their villages.
May 08, 2012
The looming Haqqani Network threat to India
The Haqqani terror Network, is likely to step in as a 'service provider' to groups re-launching terrorist activities in Kashmir, says Wilson John
May 07, 2012
Why India needs a Sardar Patel today
From NCTC to GST and from economic reforms to targeted subsidies/entitlements the political need of the present times is leadership in Patel's mold that can engage, negotiate, build trust and confidence where possible, awe and overwhelm when necessary, says Shashi Shekhar. Iran's strategic relevance for India
Lingering tension and looming war clouds within the region pose grave threats to India's interests. It is therefore imperative for India to try and mediate between the US and Iran, says Alok Bansal. How to neutralise the Maoist challenge
The key to fighting Maoists lies in isolating them in urban areas and containing them in forested areas, says Sonali Ranade Bye Sarko: What France's new president means for India
A solid political relation with France could balance India's foreign relations, which have often tilted towards the United States or Russia, says Claude Arpi.
May 05, 2012
In Abbottabad, Osama was reduced to an armchair amir
After Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden moved to Abbottabad he was neither the commander-in-chief nor an ideologue par excellence, but a senior jihadi who mattered little.
May 04, 2012
Why the Congress and BJP are having sleepless nights
The squabbles we are seeing today over the election of the next President will be nothing compared to the all-out war ignited by a fragmented verdict after the 2014 General Election, says TVR Shenoy.
May 03, 2012
Abduction: A failed Maoist tactic
Would the Maoists lose the support of the middle-class and urban intelligentsia by continuing to use kidnapping as a propaganda tool? Dr P V Ramana analyses Do we need Sachin and Rekha in the Rajya Sabha?
Shouldn't the government's nominees for the Rajya Sabha have shown some interest in public affairs, some evidence that they have an understanding of national issues, asks Sherna Gandhy.
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