|December 31, 2007|
Why Musharraf is not responsible for Benazir's death|
People are gunning for Musharraf because they feel he is partly responsible for Benazir's assassination. Nothing could be far from truth. In fact, Musharraf and Benazir might have entered a secret pact, says Sudhir Bisht.
She resorted to anti-Indianism to please voters
Is Benazir Bhutto one of the outstanding leaders of our sub-continent, who always looked for reconciliation between India and Pakistan?
Remembering the truth about Benazir
She was the prime minister who gave the ISI the go-ahead to wage jihad on India. She was the one who exhorted the Pakistan trained and financed terrorists to 'jag-jag mo-mo han-han' Jagmohan the then governor of Jammu and Kashmir, with an explicit chopping motion of the right hand across the open left palm. She was the one who shrieked 'Azadi-azadi' from across the LOC and extended Zia-ul-Haq's doctrine of death by a thousand cuts to Kashmir
Indo-China army drill is symbolic, more to be done
This programme is qualitatively a downgraded version as compared to the Chinese military exercises with others such as with Russia (in August 2005), Pakistan (in 2005 at Taxkorgan area north of Sakshgam valley and in December 2006 at Abbotabad in Pakistan), Central Asian Republics (in August 2007).
|December 28, 2007|
Benazir's death won't have long-term impact|
'The military is so deeply entrenched in Pakistan's economic and political life that no democratic entity in the country can survive a challenge from it.'
Al Qaeda does not have a mailing address
'In all such cases of assassinations, the opportunity to act, and access to the target, are the most important aspects. Once these two are available and there are guns for hire, the rest is easy as a matter of patient waiting, or a speedy arrival and quick escape.'
Brave Bibi Benazir
'She was not a politician a newly created country like Pakistan needed. But, among the choices that are available, she was the best.'
Bhutto murder brings US-Pak ties to breaking point
The tragic irony could well be that what Bhutto couldn't achieve over the recent years, she might well have managed by laying down her life -- the beginning of a parting of ways between Bush and Musharraf.
|December 24, 2007|
Will Modi now modify his style?|
'He will have to undertake course correction. He will have to be respecful to the norms of a democratic system and observe the rule of law. He may become more cautious lest he looks abrasive and authoritarian.'
How secularists played into Modi's hands
As opposition to Modi by the secularists become shriller, they will end up doing the job of polarising the voters for him and not the other way round.
Idols are better vote-getters than ideology
'Cynicism does not necessarily fetch votes, nor does mindless populism. Good governance, strong leadership and a squeaky clean image now command a premium.'
Dear Father Christmas
'Today, when the planet is in danger, why should India's leaders use petty arguments instead of showing the way?'
|December 23, 2007|
Next step for Modi -- the national stage|
Modi has proved to be a formidable vote-catcher at a time when the BJP leadership is full of political bureaucrats without mass following. The survival of the party demands that these bureaucrats make way for Modi or else they and the party will perish. Surrendering to Modi is their last chance for long term survival.
Reading Gujarat's message right
The message from Gujarat is that people want to see in their leaders the time-honoured values of intellectual honesty, personal integrity, performance-oriented governance and straight dealing. They do not any longer want to put up with politicians who speak differently from different corners of the mouth and soft-pedal the looming dangers to the nation from hostile forces and traitorous groups.
|December 19, 2007|
Chinkara gazelle or Kashmiri Hindu?|
Do you feel it is okay for government agencies to let terrorists roam free and be more concerned about Chinkara gazelles?
|December 12, 2007|
Pakistan: Will the fatal cycle continue?|
What is even more tragic is that US diplomacy, which might have made a difference, instead acted as an enabler of authoritarianism by pursuing a militarised grand strategy almost exclusively fixated on short-term tactical results when what Pakistan has always needed if it is to avoid political self-destruction is comprehensive social reform.
Judicial accountability is at stake
While Justice A K Mathur and Justice Markandey Katju said there have to be limits to judicial activism, Justice S B Sinha retaliates the following day refusing to decide the issue whether women prisoners in jail are being denied their rights. Then, the high court retaliates by refusing to decide a petition relating to beggars, for being chastised by the Supreme Court in entertaining all petitions in public interest. While the judges fight it out, justice suffers.
When grief weighs us down...
Sharing grief allows us to ease our burden, as someone else helps us carry it. This helps us process our inner thoughts and feelings through the filter of a trusted and beloved partner, says Shankerprasad S Bhatt.
|December 10, 2007|
Pakistan: Doomed to a fragile democracy?|
The military-bureaucratic dominance is a menacing reality in Pakistan, as a result of which the nation is unable to build a vibrant democracy, says Mohammad Sajjad.
|December 07, 2007|
Bhutto's manifesto hits at Musharraf's power base|
Some promises made in Benazir Butto's new manifesto strike at the very root of Musharraf's power base while others -- including handing over control of the Military Initelligence and the nuclear arsenal to the prime minister -- go even beyond that.
Why Modi will score a landslide win again
This is the most one-sided election I have covered in my 28-year journalistic career, where there is no electoral issue except the incumbent chief minister who looms larger than life before the Congress's has-been and would-be small-timers. When a Tendulkar faces gali-mohalla bowlers a double century is certain.
Will the real Indian please stand up?
The Malaysian Hindus used to be Indians hundreds of years ago. Now, they are as Malaysian as any ethnic Malay.
|December 06, 2007|
Think consumer, engage society|
Vote for clean politics without being afraid that your vote will be wasted, compare prices, join a social network and share information. There's a lot you can do to make 2008 be better.
|November 30, 2007|
Catch me if you can|
Pervez Musharraf is taunting Pakistan, just as Osama bin Laden is taunting the West.
General Kiyani's appointment has US nod
Kiyani's appointment could be seen as part of the US grand strategy to pass off democracy on Pakistan with Musharraf as the civilian president and a civilian prime minister.
Musharraf must exit both politics and the army
To salvage what remains of his legacy, Musharraf should as soon as possible let the chairman of the senate take over as an interim president and withdraw from politics.
|November 28, 2007|
Dear Taslima, let's forget Nandigram|
The Islamists are unhappy with Taslima, there is no confusion about that. But what baffles me ? what has that got to do with an issue as grave as Nandigram? I fail to see any connection between the two. Nandigram, Taslima; Taslima, Nandigram -- I give up. Which is exactly when realisation dawns.
|November 27, 2007|
This Jest In|
Aditi Nadkarni looks at the funnier side of life as an immigrant.
Jettison the no-first-use nuke policy
The NFUP smacks of an extremist version of masochism. It's tantamount to: You, there, c'mon clobber me, but if you leave me alive I'll disembowel you!
|November 26, 2007|
Pakistan: Towards democracy?|
The Pakistani elite seem to be realising for the first time that they need to move away from the idea that Pakistan must necessarily confront India as a matter of honour.
|November 20, 2007|
Nandigram was Stalinised the same way Stalin had Siberia-ised Soviet Russia.
|November 16, 2007|
The nattering nabobs of negativity|
The nuclear quagmire illustrates our historic bent towards shooting ourselves in the foot, our indecisiveness, and the perils or the pretensions of an unbounded 'universalism.'
|November 15, 2007|
Busharraf of Pakistan |
If Pakistan is today on the brink, the blame should be squarely put on the US and the other Western nations.
|November 14, 2007|
Who did what in Nandigram?|
The happenings of the past 10 months in Nandigram -- that once obscure hamlet of the hinterland of West Bengal, which has now begun hitting headlines in world media -- do not lend themselves to any clear appraisal of the situation. Nobody knows for sure who did what there.
|November 13, 2007|
Of Bengal's Magaj Dholai & lost dynamism|
When Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee became chief minister after Jyoti Basu stepped down in 2000, the younger generation could not have been happier. 'Change is about to set in' they thought. But the euphoria was short-lived.
|November 07, 2007|
Tehelka sting: Time to speak up|
'The response the sting has evoked from some among us is both shameful and dangerous. And when it comes from leaders -- the so-called intellectuals and especially editors who are supposed to mould public opinion -- it is despicable.'
|November 05, 2007|
'We need to be creative about federalism'|
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks at the inauguration of the International Conference on Federalism in New Delhi on November 5, 2007.
Will Musharraf survive and succeed?
'Any weakening of army support would spell doom for Musharraf. The Pakistani army's image is much dented and it is doubtful if it can withstand a civil war with the Taliban.'
Where does Pakistan go from here?
'The question of whether General Musharraf will remain army chief for another five years or take off his uniform then will have to be settled by the new parliament in 2008 as happened in 2003.'
|November 04, 2007|
Musharraf has support of US, UK|
It is quite evident that the timing of Pervez Musharraf's decision to impose emergency rule in Pakistan is linked to the impending judgment by the Supreme Court regarding the propriety of his re-election as president for another term. But that is only part of the story.
|November 01, 2007|
Emboldened extremists threaten Pakistan, US|
In the past six months, (Pakistan President Prevez) Musharraf has been seriously weakened, the major non-religious political figures have been diminished, and the US has been publicly involved in the deal-making leading to Pakistan's next government. The biggest security challenge for the US, however, comes from the newly emboldened violent extremists who are challenging the authority of the Pakistani state.
|October 31, 2007|
India's foreign policy running aground|
The idea of India under compulsion harmonising its foreign policy with the US global strategies -- militates other powers. Which is why Iran becomes a test case. The world watches us, and it takes us seriously. We shouldn't appear as one-dimensional men.
|October 30, 2007|
Sonia in China: Mending fences|
Sonia referred to her trip as a 'milestone' in bilateral relations, while Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao termed her work in improving bilateral relations as 'of great importance'
|October 29, 2007|
Barak Obama and the Pakistan conundrum|
His declaration that the Pakistani junta will no longer be given carte blanche to stonewall further on dislodging Al Qaeda from Waziristan cannot, therefore, be dismissed as the ranting of a politically immature novice, as his detractors aver; it is the right thing to say and should be seen as another instance of Obama once again getting ahead of the pack.
Colombo port adds to India's China woes<
'A Chinese company is in the final fray to get a foothold in the strategic Port of Colombo.'
|October 25, 2007|
The price of pusillanimity|
'The N-treaty volte face is a big loss of face for our country. I wonder who will take a frivolous India seriously now. Given the resounding triumph of Leftist blackmailers, wannabe blackmailers can roll their sleeves up and expect a field day hereafter.'
|October 24, 2007|
Mayawati goes after UP’s Big Three|
Mayawati was, pre-election, hell-bent upon preventing Amar, Mulayam and Subroto Roy from 'running away' from India. But for Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh's temporary intervention with behenji, Amar Singh would have been put behind bars the day she took over as chief minister.
Bangalore is the best Indian city I've seen
We watched the Global Bazaar come to IIM Bangalore. The days before the recruiting marathon began it felt as if there was a wedding on campus.
|October 19, 2007|
Benazir Bhutto's magic works|
Now comes another test in the coming days. As Benazir travels to the province of Punjab in the coming days, what will be her reception? Will it match another homecoming - no less fortuitous, no less breathtaking - two decades ago?
|October 17, 2007|
A gold medal for the Tibetan cause?|
The award to the Dalai Lama is good 'for the conscience of the US,' but it does not help the Tibetans in their aspiration for freedom.
|October 15, 2007|
Why India must watch China's communist congress|
What India needs to take note of is that relatively younger and educationally qualified candidates are getting elected to the congress over a period of time.
BJP must step in and save N-deal
Failure or inordinate delay in taking forward the deal, by way of engaging with the Internation Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group will actually result in keeping India's sovereignty shrunk and eroded ? the very objective that the Left parties are claiming to advance!
|October 11, 2007|
The RTI movement will lead India to Swaraj|
In its true sense, the RTI is a citizen's search for the truth about how his government functions -- a satyagraha. The movement is growing relentlessly and will lead India to the 'Swaraj', which we missed in 1947. A quiet peaceful revolution called the 'Right To Information' campaign is sweeping across the nation.
|October 02, 2007|
Futile bloodshed in Myanmar|
Myanmar's history of the last 47 years or more makes it extremely unlikely that change will come through a popular uprising. The military is so well entrenched and the people are so patient that change has to come through a process of reconciliation.
|September 26, 2007|
India@60: Still a long way to go|
Everything in India has happened despite the system. However, the system needs a complete overhaul -- into one of strict meritocracy -- and until that happens India will continue to play second fiddle to China.
|September 25, 2007|
Sonia must back Priyanka, not Rahul|
She has all the charisma sentimental Indian voters look for in a popular leader. Priyanka can try and mobilise the youth, cutting across caste lines.
|September 24, 2007|
The real Ram Setu fight|
The attack on Ambika Soni is aimed at stopping her return to the party during election time.
|September 14, 2007|
Denying Ram is denying India|
Gandhi stood firmly for Ram Rajya. He died with Ram's name on his lips. His samadhi in Delhi has only one inscription etched on it, He Ram. But Hindus are asked to provide proof of Rama's birthplace and the data of his bridge's construction plans.
|September 12, 2007|
As difficult as 123|
It may not be the easiest of deals to forge, but with patience and understanding it can be done.
|September 05, 2007|
Pakistan and the 'minus 2 formula'|
Musharraf was serious about sharing power with Bhutto but her demands exposed her real intentions; she actually overestimated her importance and tried to grab everything from Musharraf through negotiations.
|August 28, 2007|
Mayawati’s plans to rule India|
With her pan-Indian Dalit following her in a frenzy, slogging for her in the field, with their dreams of seeing a Dalit prime minister in India, the possibility is not as distant as most Indians wish/dread it to be.
|August 27, 2007|
India and Japan: Limits of convergence|
India, which has kept its distance from the militaristic dimension given to the SCO by the recent Sino-Russian exercises, should equally avoid closer involvement in a quadrilateral combine which will harm its relations with China.
|August 23, 2007|
Amend Constitution to enable debate|
The Left has raised an important issue using their bargaining power. Non-party people's formations may not have the power in Parliament, but we have an important set of issues that need to be considered
Why Japan and India are moving closer
Although Shinzo Abe's itinerary in India indicates a bias towards financial-related issues, several issues of concern would have been discussed between the two sides
|August 22, 2007|
Who holds the Indian flag in Kashmir?|
It is these 7,000 Kashmiri Hindus who still believe in the Constitution. If we lose them, we lose Kashmir.
Shinzo Abe is an admirer of India
Between India's democracy and China's opaque political system, non-military transparency in particular, Abe sides with the former. On India's nuclear programme, the Japanese prime minister had refused to compare India's case with that of North Korea.
|August 21, 2007|
We need to tend to the grassroots|
'The fault is not in our freedom but how we are milking the magnificent opportunity it has afforded. Should we not ponder and correct the course?'
Why the Japanese PM's visit is crucial
'On the agenda: A nearly $100 billion Delhi-Mumbai fast track freight corridor, a similar corridor for Delhi and Kolkata, cooperation in counter-terrorism and security matters, and civil nuclear cooperation.'
|August 14, 2007|
The US cannot dictate to Pakistan|
Pervez Musharraf's willingness to be persuaded by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to attend the Kabul jirga underscores the criticality of Pakistan's cooperation for Washington.
India should not waste this last chance
The future may not be as rosy as the cheerleading cohort may think, and yet it need not be as bleak as the pessimists fear.
We need to set lofty goals
We need to set lofty goals just as our forefathers. Like them, we need to be dreamers with a pragmatic approach.
Nuclear steal: It's the Constitution, stupid
`The Constitution needs one more amendment to overcome the perils of anything like the latest 123 Agreement. But a repair job will not do; what is wanted is a total overhaul to overcome contradictions and complications.'
Which part of India are you from?
After 60 years, we know from our own everyday experience that there is 'an idea of India' which transcends sub-identities and unifies us when needed.
|August 10, 2007|
The nuclear deal: A positive fallout|
The boldness of the nuclear deal could provide a much-needed boost of confidence to a country which, at 60, is only now learning to tightrope across the world stage without the safety net of the United Nations or the Non-Aligned Movement.
|August 06, 2007|
Nuclear deal: It could have been worse|
'In the event of a nuclear test by India, the Agreement will stand automatically terminated.'
Nuclear deal: India has no leverage
'We are now in effect reduced to a mere recipient State mandated by the Hyde Act to carry out a set of dos and don'ts and to strive to earn a good behaviour report card to become eligible to continue receiving what the Americans can offer.'
Abuse as argument
It is only the apex court that can decelerate, though not stop, the march of casteism. Politicians have not opposed and will not oppose the expanding scope of reservations.
|July 27, 2007|
Does N-deal really solve issues? |
What we are fed up with is one-sided interpretation of the text by the official side though there is promise that the text will be made public soon in consultation with the US.
|July 18, 2007|
Weaving it together: Web 2.0|
'It is early days as yet and what is certain is that like all technology Web 2.0 will irrevocably and irreversibly change the way we interact with the Web and with each other.'
|July 17, 2007|
Pakistan after Lal Masjid|
The perception that the extremists have got a clear signal from the establishment regarding its threshold to tolerate such nonsense will keep others in check.
|July 16, 2007|
Lal Masjid: What should Musharraf do now?|
'The Lal Masjid battle is part of the wider civil war within the Islamic world waged by totalitarian forces that seek redemption through violence. Their cancerous radicalism pits Muslims against Muslims, and the world at large.'
Karnataka is a state in danger from itself
The real, frightening problem is that there is no one fighting communalism in Karnataka.
|July 12, 2007|
11/7: We MUST remember|
July 11 did not deserve to be an ordinary day. It is a day of anger. A day to respectfully honour hundreds of citizens -- who could have been you or me – killed in the space of minutes. Of lives lost. Of homes shattered. How can we not remember?
|July 10, 2007|
Beyond the Lal Masjid operation|
'Pakistan faces no such danger as a takeover by the Islamist radical forces. The temper of the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis is also such that they share a dislike toward the forces of extremism.'
|July 07, 2007|
Goal post shifts for Indo-US nuclear deal|
The heart of the matter is that the Indo-US nuclear deal, unless it is closed now ? right now ? and on American terms, will soon need to be harmonised with the new Russian-American format and the international regime emanating out of it.
|July 06, 2007|
Lal Masjid + judicial crisis = emergency?|
'Any outbreak of civic disturbances and that too at a time when the Pakistani State is tackling the onslaught of the Islamists will almost certainly make a regime change inevitable.'