You are here: Rediff Home » India » News » Columns » Guest columns
Search: The Web
  Email this Page
December 30, 2010
In 2010 so much has emerged out of India's gutters
'An optimist like me believes that it is the first positive step to clean up the system.'

December 29, 2010
Why this corruption, Mr Prime Minister?
'On January 1, 2010, I didn't imagine Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be fighting a political battle to save his famed credibility.'

The flawed case against Binayak Sen
'Glaring holes in the evidence have been ignored and on flimsy pretexts, Dr Binayak Sen and two others have been convicted of sedition.'

December 28, 2010
Is Chidambaram on top of the Maoist issue?
'Given the raft of errors, fits-and-starts lunges at the Naxals, lack of political traction, he and his war council seem to rely on wishful thinking rather than astute strategy to contain the long festering contagion.'

December 27, 2010
Binayak Sen's conviction should alarm us all
'Governments now know well: Mention the word 'Maoist', and plenty people otherwise sceptical of the government become instant believers.'

December 24, 2010
Mr Prime Minister, lead or step down!
'Despite his noble intentions, Manmohan Singh is singularly failing to either manage the country well or to provide a vision for the nation's future. He may be a nice man, but India needs an effective prime minister.'

December 15, 2010
Varanasi's vibrancy cannot be destroyed by bombs
Last Tuesday's bombing might best be interpreted as an attack against the tolerant, cosmopolitan character of modern Varanasi, which also characterises India at its best.

December 14, 2010
Can India be firm with China on Brahmaputra dams?
The Indian and Chinese premiers have an unprecedented historical opportunity to create such a mechanism for sharing international rivers. It will not only help the two countries but it has the potential to create a remarkable example for the rest of the world, says Himashu Thakkar.

December 10, 2010
What to expect from Wen Jiabao's visit
'Dr Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao can use their great personal rapport to enhance relations between India and China.'

Ayodhya judgment: Where do we go from here?
'If the judgment succeeds in nudging Hindus and Muslims to find a compromise ensuring peace, who am I to question it?'.

National humiliation with capital 'H'
'Anyone who has known Meera Shankar would vouch that she is a proud Indian who never bats an eyelid in articulating her views and convictions'.

December 09, 2010
Why India is not winning against the Maoists
'The government needs to take a leaf from the manual of the Maoists, to be slow and calculated in the way it builds up its response. It is clear that in the hurry to mitigate the menace, some serious compromises have been made.'

December 07, 2010
India's greatest moral challenge ever
'While our politicians get voted out, the industrialist grows from strength to strength irrespective of government shifts till one day he controls the entire political structure... That is the 'real story' of India today.'

December 02, 2010
Dr Omar Khalidi's voice will be sorely missed
Dr Omar Khalidi, the Muslim scholar who passed away on Monday, worked tirelessly to lift a mirror for the Indian polity to reflect on its secular credentials and to the Muslim community about the human potential that lay within, says Altaf Makhiawala

November 30, 2010
UN permanent seat: An unnecessary obsession
'India's candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council will be taken seriously only when it becomes a global economic and military power, able to protect and enhance its interests unilaterally.'

Thedark cabals that rule Delhi
'The political world in Delhi is getting increasingly polarised... those who work, live and breathe with the ruling elite and the handful of 'others' who are really the outsiders, the critics, the rebels and run the risk of being dubbed 'anti-national' by the groupie nationalists at any moment in time. This is largely because they have refused to milk the system.'

November 29, 2010
What Nitish Kumar needs to do for Bihar
'People's expectations are so high that they won't wait for long. They won't tolerate any delay in pushing ahead development work at the fastest possible pace.'

Niira Radia did no wrong
'As a lobbyist, she was within her right to co-opt whoever she deemed fit in her enterprise to service the interests of her clients. She broke no law. If she did, by now she would have been charged since these tapes belong to early and mid-2009.'

November 28, 2010
What Nitish Kumar needs to do for Bihar
'People's expectations are so high that they won't wait for long. They won't tolerate any delay in pushing ahead development work at the fastest possible pace.'

Niira Radia did no wrong
'As a lobbyist, she was within her right to co-opt whoever she deemed fit in her enterprise to service the interests of her clients. She broke no law. If she did, by now she would have been charged since these tapes belong to early and mid-2009.'

November 26, 2010
All is far from being honky-dory in Bihar
'Make no mistake. Bihar remains one of India's most backward, poor, violent, caste-riven states. Its social and economic indicators (per capita income, literacy, life expectancy, child and maternal mortality, etc) would place it among the bottom of sub-Saharan African countries.'

November 25, 2010
Nitish win will redefine Indian politics
'The arithmetic of the outcome shows that Nitish is not likely to jettison the BJP, which he might have been tempted to do had he won a majority on his own.'

November 24, 2010
The true winners are the people of Bihar
'Biharis seem to have broken the caste divide to vote for good governance in a deeply caste-ridden society and that is Nitish Kumar's biggest triumph.'

November 12, 2010
Who said there is justice in the world?
Those with teeth don't have nuts Those who have nuts don't have teeth.

November 11, 2010
Has Obama's visit addressed India's core concerns?
'WeknowKashmir was discussed. What one does not know is to what extent Dr Singh was able to convince the president that dialogue with Pakistan was not possible unless the latter's involvement in terrorism directed against India was not put down.'

November 10, 2010
Strategic geography makes it impossible for the US to fight without Pakistan on its side
'Despite understanding the USA's compulsion, India nevertheless expected an American condemnation of what it perceives as Pakistan's support to terrorism on Indian soil.'

November 09, 2010
'Don't make Pak an ally, India a market'
'We shouldn't attach great significance to Obama's 'qualified' assurance on membership to 'a reformed' Security Council. Nobody knows how many decades it will take and America can easily forget its un-doable promises.'

The TV guide to Obama
'It was the only moment in the three days of Obamania on Indian television that the poor Leftist leader -- no puns please -- looked bushed. So much so, that a rightwing party leader who was also on the panel reached out and gently pressed the Leftist's hand, as a father does to a wounded child.'

November 08, 2010
I am glad the Obamas won Indian hearts
The next two years are not going to be a joy in Washington. All of Obama's charm, intellect and skills will have to be put aside as a new reality sets in. So it is wonderful to see the Obamas having a good time in India.'

November 04, 2010
Obama must unshackle India
'Only then can we play our role in balancing China and deal with the menace of global terrorism. If these minimal concessions are not forthcoming, then the Indo-US strategic partnership is as good as dead.'

Obama's visit: The China angle
Beijing is watching Obama's visit closely. While Chinese leaders have faced opposition from Japan and Vietnam, they view India's rise with caution.

Why is India silent on what it can offer the US
Beyond the strategic aspects of the relationship, India should jump-start the process of economic liberalisation, which, at present, appears to have stalled. Again, self-interest suggests it may be desirable to do so.

What is Obama holding up his sleeve?
The visits may not be a paradigm shift in New Delhi foreign policy but a cautious forward step toward a more global role as seen by experts here, says Arab journalist Dr Waiel Awwad.

November 03, 2010
Why Afghanistan could dominate talks with Obama
Obama's visit coincides with a critical stage of America's longest war in Afghanistan. This will occupy much of the behind-the-scenes activity, which essentially is the core of each other's national security concern.

October 20, 2010
What India must expect from Obama's visit
'A bill for thousands of crores that taxpayers shall be paying off for decades to come... But a successful circus 'We should keep in mind that a deeper and reasonably balanced relationship with the US is in India's interest,' says the former foreign secretary.

October 18, 2010
Dr Singh's message from the CWG probe
Many will hope this is the beginning of a new phase in Dr Singh's tenure, when he lets his office, the government, his council of ministers, his party and coalition and the country know that he means business, that the buck stops with him, that his colleagues and officers must shape up or ship out, says Sanjaya Baru.

October 15, 2010
Time to go, Mr Kalmadi
Suresh Kalmadi's speech on Thursday night had nothing to do with what happened or did not happen at the Commonwealth Games. It was probably crafted to rescue him from all the inquiries that will hopefully begin soon after our guests leave the country.

October 11, 2010
On China, India needs to think strategically
'The emerging security environment in the Asia-Pacific is likely to revolve around China and the US with India viewed as a critical balancer in the region. New Delhi will now have to demonstrate that it is capable of thinking strategically.'

October 07, 2010
How India is undoing China's string of pearls
New Delhi's defence establishment has quietly put in place India'scounter-measures to woo and bolster China's neighbours as a long-term strategy.

October 05, 2010
What the CWG can learn from the Indian Army
'It is a point for consideration for those in authority that, maybe, the huge national embarrassment caused by the CWG organisers would have been avoided had they planned their work with the same vision, methodology, eye for detail and uncompromising integrity as the army is doing, in delivering the bridge on time.'

October 01, 2010
Ayodhya: 10 reasons why India cannot move on
'India does not possess the political leadership with the apposite moral fibre or the necessary willpower among its key battling constituents to create a national reconciliation.'

How the Ayodhya verdict plays out in Pakistan
Pakistani peacenik Hamid Mir's singular idea to ensure extremists in his country do not retaliate over the Ayodhya verdict.

September 27, 2010
AFSPA debate: Soldiers clear, but is everyone else?
'Today's terrorist/insurgent/militant/Naxalite does not allow you the luxury of a magistrate's presence -- you are shot dead or blown-up in a jiffy, unless you are quicker and forestall him.'

Despite the US, India leans towards Iran
'With China investing in Iran's energy sector, India cannot afford to lag behind.'

September 24, 2010
Jama Masjid shooting: Case for extraordinary vigil
The firing incident in New Delhi and the explosion of a car should serve as a warning to security agencies, says Wilson John.

September 21, 2010
Building the Ram temple in Ayodhya is possible
'If the Sangh Parivar is actually interested in constructing a temple, why doesn't it do so on land owned by the VHP?'.

September 20, 2010
Time for PM to say 'No azaadi'
Frankly, who doesDr Manmohan Singh want to talk to and what is his big magical prescription for a Kashmir 'breakthrough'?

How to defuse the Ayodhya crisis
'If ever there was a case for the government to use its power to issue an ordnance and take pre-emptive action, this is it.'

The shocking neglect of Baloch flood victims
Dr Jumma Khan Marri on the pathetic conditions of the flood-affected people of Balochistan.

September 16, 2010
Was re-electing Manmohan Singh a big mistake?
UPA-2 seems to have completely lost direction in almost every single way be it in governance, national security, internal security, development initiatives, poverty alleviation and corruption eradication, says Pramod Kumar Buravalli.

September 15, 2010
Stone pelting: Jihad's new weapon
The jihadis use stone throwing to draw fire from the security forces and cause casualties so that Kashmir is on the boil for a little longer. The solution to the turmoil is not concessions, but good governance.

September 13, 2010
Dr Singh is no 'sanyasi' to kick the PM's chair
'There are people who believe that behind the prime minister's goody-goody exterior lurks a calculating man plotting each move carefully in order to emerge on top of every situation.'

Dr Sethna: Firebrand who realised India's N-dreams
A N Prasad pays tribute to Dr Homi Sethna, one of the pioneers of India's nuclear programme, who passed into the ages recently.

September 08, 2010
Why India cannot take on China
'History and China's recent behaviour makes it clear that China will not rise peacefully.'

Why Singh is not King!
'What India needs more than anything else is an in-command Singh, who assiduously shepherds a difficult slippery path with good footwork and adroit balance. Instead we have a hamstrung leader struggling with a difficult diverse set of issues.'

Chinese string of pearls could choke India
A regional power struggle between India and China, however muted be it, will be more and more evident as China pushes the envelope to be a greater global player. India must prepare for it, says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd)

September 07, 2010
Poor Manmohan Singh!
'Singh hastwo options. Either he asserts the authority of hisoffice or makes way for someonewho is not a proxy for the Family and can commandthe Congress Parliamentary Party's loyalty.'

September 06, 2010
AFSPA's demise will be a victory for terrorists
The shrill politically-driven rhetoric demanding that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act be repealed, if allowed to hold sway, may drive us deeper into the dark world of both Islamist terror and the Maoist insurgency.

Pakistan: How politics fuels Shia-Sunni divide
Apart from religious hatred that makes it kosher for the Sunnis to massacre the Shias, the targeting of Shias serves a political objective of the Islamists in destabilising the Pakistani state. As a result, the Sunni extremists are killing two birds with one stone, says Sushant Sareen.

Some questions for 'tribal soldier' Rahul Gandhi
Environment struggles are now being used to create political space and new form of vote bank politics, alleges BJP activist Bhupender Yadav.

September 02, 2010
Why Sonia's fourth term is not a happy occasion
Sonia Gandhi's unopposed election as Congress president not points to a woeful paucity of leadership material, it also underlines the disturbing presence of feudal characteristics which cannot be welcomed in a democracy, says Amulya Ganguli.

EVM row: Shooting the messenger won't help
Rajeev Srinivasan on how EVM problems are much bigger than technology or politics. Second and final part of the series.

Pakistani floods: A win-win for the US?
M K Bhadrakumar says helping Pakistan with flood relief may help America win some hearts and minds in that country.

September 01, 2010
Is Russia bound by the Nuclear liability law?
What is in store for the Koodankulam nuclear power plants, asks S P Udayakumar.

August 28, 2010
How the world perceives nuclear liability
In this third and concluding part of an ongoing series, Manoj Kumar and Lydia Powell, in an Oriental Research Foundation study, highlight some national nuclear liability frameworks.

August 27, 2010
Why an India-Japan nuclear deal is essential
An India-Japan civil nuclear pact would be critical in signalling that they would like to build a partnership to bring stability to the region at a time when China is going all out to reward Pakistan with civilian nuclear reactors, says Harsh V Pant.

The loopholes in the Nuclear Liability Bill
In the second part of a three-part series, Manoj Kumar and Lydia Powell, in an Observer Research Foundation study, discuss at length the various loopholes in the Nuclear Liability Bill, whose amended version was recently passed in the Lok Sabha.

August 25, 2010
Why a nuclear liability bill is essential
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Bhopal tragedy have brought back into focus the issue of industrial accidents, contractual liabilities and questions of operator liability, notes Manoj Kumar and Lydia Powell in an Observer Research Foundation study, which will be published in a three-part series. Here goes the first part:

August 24, 2010
Kalmadi isn't the only one to blame for CWG mess
'Officially, Suresh Kalmadi had only Rs 6.7 billion to play around with as the Commonwealth Games boss. As against this, Sheila Dikshit's government was allocated Rs 16.56 billion to upgrade the capital's infrastructure in time for the Games.'

August 23, 2010
In Pakistan, the army is firmly in control
India must carefully weigh its options, says strategic expert Gurmeet Kanwal.

Commonwealth Games: Protecting Delhi's Metro
'The vulnerability of the Delhi Metro, with over 125 kms of tracks and 107 stations, 17 of them underground, comes from its easy access, enclosed and restricted space and massive movement of people on any given day.'

August 20, 2010
How Kalam can help end Kashmir's cycle of violence
Colonel Dr Anil Athale (retd) writes an open letter to former President A P J Abdul Kalam to intervene in Kashmir and start a dialogue with the people.

August 18, 2010
The abject failure of our civic bodies
Why are we proud that India is a rapidly urbanising country when we do not know how to handle our cities, asks Mahesh Vijapurkar.

August 16, 2010
Why is China flexing its naval muscle?
Indian policy-makers need a realistic assessment of what China'sgrowing assertiveness means for India.

Can Sonia's family ever be wrong?
'Unlike now where every minister does her/his own thing while Dr Singh minds his business, PMs from the Nehru family were truly in control.'

Kashmir: Delhi still hasn't woken up
'It is still hoping that the intensity will pass, and the National Conference or the Congress or the governor depending whose rule it finally is, will be able to handle the situation.'

August 14, 2010
Please, God, give us independence from what ails India
As Shah Rukh Khan and Yusuf Arakkal and Rana Dasgupta and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw stand for the best of us, there is too much in daily life that showcases us at our apathetic, or misguided, worst. An Independence Day column.

8 things India needs to do urgently
'Yes, we have come far. We have progressed. Does that give us comfort? Probably, not. We have to solve more complex problems to move forward and we are impatient.'

August 13, 2010
Nuclear Liability Bill: PM's Gift to the US
Former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman Dr A Gopalakrishnan makes a case against the nuclear liability bill.

August 11, 2010
So, what will the Kashmiri people accept?
After very hard and acrimonious bargaining they will ultimately settle for unadulterated autonomy, which will allow them the right to rule themselves, within the Indian Union, says Gurmeet Kanwal.

Nuclear energy, inevitable disaster: Worth it?
Gopal Krishna makes a case against the nuclear liability bill.

August 09, 2010
Corruption: Where is our outrage?
The Commonwealth Games is symptomatic of the deeper decay, decadence, and debilitation of our moral and ethical standards. It is not just about Kalmadi. It is about much more.

Time to drastically overhaul our Kashmir policy
Because Indian Kashmiris have not allowed peace a chance in 60-plus years despite thousands of crores of taxpayers' money wasted on mollycoddling them and despite their being accorded a special status under Article 370, the time may have come to totally overhaul our Kashmir policy, suggests Virendra Kapoor.

Telangana results send alarm signals to Congress
The Telangana bypolls and the opposition's united voice on issues like prices should have come as a wake up call for the Congress. Once the Teflon effect begins to wear off -- and this is beginning to happen -- the party will be on a slippery slope, says Neerja Chowdhury.

August 06, 2010
Why is the UPA disregarding our rivers?
The disdain that our politicians, engineers and bureaucrats have for rivers is well known. Even then the indifference that the UPA-I and now UPA-II is showing towards rivers seems scandalous, says activist Himanshu Thakkar.

August 05, 2010
Indian influence wanes in Afghanistan
Harsh V Pant says if India stands on the verge of a catastrophe in Af-Pak, it has only itself to blame.

July 30, 2010
Our language has let us down in Pakistan talks
Apart from S M Krishna's performance in Islamabad, a perusal of the statements made in recent weeks by the Indian side reveals an unfortunate lack of precision in the use of language.

Cameron has made the right noises on India
The Conservatives have been clear about India being a priority for the UK since David Cameron's visit to India in 2006. This sentiment was reflected in the queen's address to the British parliament last month where she laid out the new government's agenda of working 'to establish a new 'special relationship' with India'. This was significant because no other country, not even the US, was mentioned by name.

July 29, 2010
Differences on the rise within Congress
There seems to be a free-for-all in the ruling party, with senior leaders publicly disagreeing with each other on policy issues, which is unusual for a party like the Congress.

July 27, 2010
S M Qureshi, then and now
'Shah Mehmood Qureshi also happens to be the Sajjada Nashin (family custodian) of the dargah of Sufi saint Bahauddin Zakaria in Multan. In 2005, when a Delhi-Multan peace march on the initiative of civil societies of both countries reached the mazar for the culmination of the march, he said something which people in Pakistan would normally avoid saying.'

July 26, 2010
Delhi's radioactive leak: The other side
The inputs collected from the victims by an Atomic Energy Regulatory Board scientist gave vital clues which helped to identify the source of Delhi's radioactive leak, points out Dr K S Parthasarathy, former secretary with the Board.

Why India needs Myanmar on its side
'China has made rapid advances into Myanmar.... Radars have been reported to have been erected on Myanmar's west coast to monitor Indian missile tests.'

July 23, 2010
Forget the peace process with Pakistan!
'India can't be wasting its precious diplomatic capital on a project that despite its repeated attempts just refuses to gain traction.'

July 21, 2010
Deliver the change, Mr Prime Minister
Will Manmohan Singh neuter the rapacious, brutal and greedy elements that thwart the people from getting their entitlements, asks senior journalist Mahesh Vijapurkar

July 19, 2010
India sidelined in Afghanistan
'New Delhi still continues to believe that the US cannot afford to fail in Afghanistan and will not leave unless the problem of Af-Pak is fundamentally resolved.'

A billion people, but where are the leaders?
'Vajpayee was the last of the national leaders. They do not make leaders of that calibre any longer. Maybe astute sociologists will undertake a study of the inverse link between a growing economy and a depleting leadership pool.'

Why Omar Abdullah has failed as chief minister
'Somewhere down the line, Omar lost the plot, and in some ways, his troubles have stemmed from a lack of political maturity which has been evident in his decisions.'

It would be an error to talk to Pakistan again
'The major substantive lesson that we should draw from the foreign minister-level talks is that Pakistan is not serious about addressing our concerns on terrorism. This should have been clear to us long ago because we have been talking to Pakistan on terrorism ever since 1997.'

July 16, 2010
Pakistan's generals don't want the India talks to succeed
India's options are few. Can it drop its insistence on taking the 26/11 file to its bitter end? No elected government in New Delhi can adopt a policy of 'kiss-and-make-up' on the 26/11 file, given the public mood in the country regarding the horrendous nature of the crime that the ISI perpetrated.

July 14, 2010
India-Pakistan: Dialogue without direction
The trouble is that trying anything more than the routine CBMs to affect a paradigm change in the bilateral relationship is a bit of a catch-22 situation: without trust, bold initiatives are not possible; but how do you build trust without bold initiatives, writes Sushant Sareen.

Kashmir: Protests are fine, not motivated ones
The current round of stone pelting in Kashmir is violent posturing that is provocative in design aided and abetted by anti-national elements. Let us not imbue these protests with even an iota of sanctity: they are undeserving of that, writes Vivek Gumaste.

July 08, 2010
A village at the mercy of the Bagmati, officials
Dinesh Kumar Mishra narrates the travails of a village uprooted by the mighty Bagmati.

July 02, 2010
Border talks: How India plays into China's hands
By staying engaged in the useless border talks, knowing fully well that Beijing has no intent to settle territorial issues, India gives greater space to China to mount strategic pressure and gain leverage.

June 30, 2010
Why the army can fight in J&K but not Chhattisgarh
The battle against the infiltrators in Kashmir and the battle against the Maoists need strong but different responses, argues Brigadier S K Chatterji (retired).

June 29, 2010
Mohammad Sajjad: Should Nitish Kumar get a second term?
Nitish Kumar has made the people of Bihar taste the fruits of inclusive development. His rivals don't have that image among the electorate.

June 28, 2010
Recollecting Digvijay Singh, who read my hand
New York-based Aseem Chhabra recollects his New Delhi days with Digvijay Singh, who passed away last week

Will anyone be ever held accountable for Bhopal?
The handling of the Bhopal disaster is reflective of the highly feudal nature of our political culture, writes AV Rajwade

June 25, 2010
Afghanistan: The US surge to nowhere
India should carve out a policy response that protects India and its interests from the negative externalities of the US strategy in Afghanistan, writes Harsh V Pant.

N-plants to Pak: Why China won't budge at the NSG
The implication of this stiff stance by China towards Pakistan could have far reaching consequences for the gains achieved in India-China relations including from last year's Copenhagen dividend and the high-level visits between the two, writes Srikanth Kondapalli.

June 24, 2010
Nitish Kumar wants to be Bihar Purush
'By taking on the BJP, is Nitish rewriting the rules of identity politics, more sophisticated than his predecessor Lalu Yadav?'

June 23, 2010
Jharkhand: The fire in the earth's belly
Unfettered coal mining is causing unchecked underground fires that threaten human habitation and the environment, writes geologist Dr Nitish Priyadarshi.

Towards a more civil civic arrangement
If public-spirited citizens not career politicians could be elected to civic bodies, then our nation's cities would be much better governed, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar.

June 22, 2010
In Pakistan, Chidambaram to face stark choices
The home minister's visit to Pakistan can either open the path to a serious re-engagement or regress us to the rhetoric of the last 12 years, writes K C Singh.

China-Pakistan nuclear deal: Why the surprise?
It's highly unlikely that China will give up playing the Pakistan card vis-a-vis India anytime soon. Indian policy makers would be well advised to disabuse themselves of the notion of a Sino-Indian rapprochement. China doesn't do sentimentality in foreign policy, India should follow suit, writes Harsh V Pant.

June 21, 2010
Extraditing Anderson won't benefit Bhopal victims
The clean up issue, ignored in the Bhopal gas tragedy settlement, emerged 20 years later, with the government trying to hold Dow Chemicals, UCIL's successor, liable on the 'polluter pays' principle. From the legal perspective, for the victims, efforts at Anderson's extradition or a Law Ministry face off with Dow on cleanup are pointless, writes Kumkum Sen

June 18, 2010
Rahul: Why the prince is reluctant to be king
Revamping the Youth Congress and building the party at the grassroots level are positives in Rahul Gandhi's political graph. But on more serious issues facing the country and on foreign policy, his views and leanings are almost unknown. He needs more perspective and experience before he moves on to bigger things.

June 17, 2010
Bhopal: The deception by Union Carbide and Dow Chemicals
There is little hope of any justice in the Bhopal gas leak case. If the tragedy and the shock its finale has created awaken us to work on newer laws on corporate responsibility and accountability, it would be a gain, writes Kandaswami Subramanian.

The importance of being Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi turns 40 on June 19.'s special series will look at various aspects of the life, times and politics of the man who could be prime minister.

Naxalism: It's time to redeem the promise
The central challenge of Maoist insurgency is posed by the lack of political space for disgruntled tribals, writes Nitin Desai.

June 15, 2010
Saving democracy from the corporate veil
Environmental activist Gopal Krishna lists the five things the US should do to quell the global outrage after the recent verdict in the Bhopal gas leak case and provide some justice to the victims.

June 14, 2010
Sinking hopes in the Korean peninsula
As it stands now, the ChonAn incident will perhaps come to pass without a major fallout. However, as and when young Kim Jong Un ascends to power in North Korea a period of greater assertiveness may be anticipated in the North's nuclear agenda, writes Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).

We need accountability on Panna tigers genocide
The insensitive babus were not bothered and the politicians knew the tigers do not vote.... Please cancel the tiger as India's national animal as we are shamefully and disgustingly incapable of protecting the sanctity of its habitat.

June 09, 2010
What use is the Konkan Railway?
The Konkan Railway does not serve the people of the Konkan, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar.

June 08, 2010
US-India strategic dialogue: Move beyond symbolism
Washington seems to be putting in a lot of effort to impart a new dynamism to its ties with New Delhi. But most of it is at the level of symbols. It is time now to move to the substance, writes Harsh V Pant.

June 07, 2010
The new dimensions of global security
At a time of rapid change in the international situation, the price is too high of not understanding the changes around us and of failing to adapt to or manage that change, says India National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon.

Is the Bhopal catastrophe like a traffic crime?
The Bhopal verdict sets and unhealthy precedent, writes human rights activist Gopal Krishna.

June 02, 2010
Why the UID number project must be scrapped
Activist Gopal Krishna makes a case that the Unique Identification Number project is a gross violation of fundamental human rights and points out that a similar project/law in Britain is going to be repealed.

May 31, 2010
US accused of 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.

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
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.'

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.

May 21, 2010
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, writes Neerja Chowdhury.

May 20, 2010
A wasted year: The 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.

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 17, 2010
Delhi sleeps while Manipur burns
'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.

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 12, 2010
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

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.

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.

May 04, 2010
Looking Beyond Kasab's Conviction
At a time when the US finds 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

April 29, 2010
Focus on China, not India-Pakistan rivalry
The reach of China in other South Asian states has been extraordinary. India's protectionist tendencies have allowed China to don the mantle of regional economic leader. The sooner Indian policy makers realise this and take steps to redress this the better, writes Harsh V Pant

View: Communism is on the wane in India
The government and our officers who have been talking to the media do not realise the importance of keeping the Pakistani intelligence guessing as to what Madhuri Gupta has been telling her interrogators. As for the media, it has converted the case into a slapstick serial, writes security expert B Raman.

April 28, 2010
Time to rethink the Mumbai Metropolitan Region
The metropolitan regions of Mumbai generally depend on the core city for its identity and economy. It could be differently designed and developed so the metropolitan region has a better economic activity and help depopulate Mumbai, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar.
April 27, 2010
Army's expertise must be used to battle Maoists
It is necessary to make incremental progress, state by state, rather than aiming for an illusory knock-out punch against the Maoists, write Dr Shanthie Mariet D'Souza and Dr Bibhu Prasad Routray.

The Naxal problem: Failure of political leadership
While security personnel and equipment are important, it is the mindset that is the pivotal tipping factor in the battle against the Maoists, writes Vivek Gumaste.

Time to change your newspaper
It is critical that media brands that don't sell their editorial, and there are dozens of those, get together to shame the brands doing it, writes Vanita Kohli-Khandekar.

April 26, 2010
What India must do in Myanmar and how
The best course of action for India remains to work within the space it has created in Myanmar and not make the junta too apprehensive, while still trying to nudge for greater political reforms, writes Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).

Why operation Green Hunt won't win the war
To win the war against the Maoist insurgency, the underlying issues of tribal alienation needs to be addressed first, writes Shyam G Menon.

India should robustly support Karzai
'President Karzai's visit is an occasion to refine our thinking apropos the 'reintegration' and reconciliation strategy toward the Taliban.'

April 23, 2010
Gadkari has arrived, the hard tasks begin now
'India needs new enthusiasm, and a bold youthful energy unburdened with the prejudices of the past that takes Bharat beyond the faultlines of religious bigotry and caste-based discrimination. A tall order? Seemingly impossible? But then who says leaders must have a cakewalk.'

April 22, 2010
Delhi radiation case: AEC, AERB also culpable
The Atomic Energy Commission and its subordinate organisations have the mandate to put in place a comprehensive plan to ensure nuclear safety in the country, but that does not seem to have been done, writes Dr A Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

April 20, 2010
India's cryo-engine failure: Beginning not the end
'It's time that we, as a nation, stopped fearing failure and waiting for instant success in our space ventures. Let us instead applaud the journey.'

April 19, 2010
Food Security Bill: Cause of elation or grief?
'The poor must be allowed to self select themselves. A poor family must be given a ration card on demand and the government must accept responsibility for providing subsidised food grain.'

Tharoor will make a great leader
In a fashion, his political life may yet be only beginning. Seared by the anguish of the past week's hellish experience, he may henceforth see things and India's political culture in a new, mature perspective. His 'homecoming' may have become complete.

The mistakes Shashi Tharoor made
'Shashi Tharoor should lie low for some time if he plans to continue in politics.'

Tharoor was made a sacrificial lamb
'A man like Tharoor, a breath of fresh air in Indian politics, has been forced to resign for committing no crimes.'

April 16, 2010
Combating Maoists: Into battle sans leaders
With Maoist insurgents offering more lethal battles, police battalions will need a transformation to standards very close to infantry units. Even with the best equipment and training, they will not succeed if they do not have a dynamic leadership, writes Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).

April 15, 2010
Foreign policy: India's diffidence problem
India is a major power today in its own right. While much of the world has started to acknowledge it, Indian policy-makers remain diffident, almost apologetic, about their nation's rising profile, writes Harsh V Pant.

Why we don't need urban political families
The domination of the Ganesh Naik family in recent civic polls in Navi Mumbai is not a good augury for democracy, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar.

April 13, 2010
Is China sympathetic to the Maoists?
While the official media is silent on the issue, Chinese blogs and websites are much kinder to the banned Maoist rebels, writes China expert D S Rajan

April 12, 2010
There is a much simpler answer to Maoism
'...and that is good and honest governance and rule of law. There should be visible evidence that the government is determined to deal summary justice to the corrupt and the venal, rid legislatures and cabinets of persons involved in crimes, and inculcate sensitivity, empathy, responsiveness, commitment to values, dedication to the public weal and, most of all, humility in public servants from top to bottom.'

April 07, 2010
The Naxals must be defeated, here's how
'A demonstration of the force by the State will wean away a large portion of sympathisers. The hardcore ideologically motivated cadres are not likely to be affected by this, but it will ease the path of the impending operations by lowering the morale of the Naxal rank and file and raising that of the police forces as well as common people.'

April 01, 2010
Why the US must not alienate India
'Nobody ever said that moving from US-India estrangement to partnership would be easy. Constant engagement at all levels on disparate issues is necessary to build a strong friendship that is in the interests of both nations.'

March 31, 2010
The trivialisation of our public debates
The huge political furore created after Amitabh Bachchan attended a function at the Mumbai sea-link shows that trivial issues score over issues of substance, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar.

March 30, 2010
View: Obama kickstarts India's nuclear deal
With the agreement over processing of spent nuclear fuel, a major stumbling block for the 'operationalisation' of the Indo-US nuclear deal has been removed.

March 29, 2010
India can't object to US sleeping with the enemy
The US may need to develop a closer relationship with Pakistan to deal with Pakistani state-sponsored terrorism, but it should take India into confidence, writes K Subrahmanyam.

March 26, 2010
The genocide we and the world forgot
When we can raise your voice for 2,000 Muslims (the official figures are much less) killed in Gujarat and we should, we must cry from the rooftops for 2.4 million Hindus killed in 1971 or the 250,000 Kashmiri Pandits forced out of their homes in Kashmir. Why do we not?

Why India needs to nurture Bangladesh
In a deteriorating neighbourhood, only Bangladesh offers a ray of hope, writes Brigadier (retd) S K Chatterji.

March 22, 2010
It's our turn to help in Haiti
It's time for us to think big, proportionate to our size. By contributing in a big way to the relief operations in quake-hit Haiti, India is making its debut into the league of big nations, writes Manjeet Kripalani.

The burnt-out case of David Headley
The Headley case highlights that the Indian government proved incapable of assessing the geopolitical dimensions of the US-led war in Afghanistan, while Pakistan has shrewdly exploited the fallacies in India's foreign policy orientation to navigate itself to an unprecedented geopolitical positioning, writes M K Bhadrakumar.

March 15, 2010
The unfinished business of the nuclear deal
'A strategic relationship entails mutual faith and confidence, which seem to be lacking at present,' says T P Sreenivasan.

The Women's Lottery Bill
Economist, agriculturist and farmer leader Sharad Joshi, was the lone member of Rajya Sabha who voted against the woman's reservation bill on March 9. He explains his reservations against the bill.

March 12, 2010
Sonia has sent a powerful message to Indian women
Congress president Sonia Gandhi appears to be playing for larger -- and long term -- stakes and the move to provide reservation to women is not bereft of political calculations, writes Neerja Chowdhury

March 11, 2010
AMU: Who will stem the rot?
One of India's highest funded institutions of higher learning and research, the Aligarh Muslim University, appears in media, more often than not, for the wrong reasons, for which, essentially speaking, the onus lies more on the AMU.

China slows its defence spending, on paper
India, however, would be well advised to take this decrease in Chinese defence spending with a pinch of salt, writes Harsh V Pant.

March 09, 2010
Chinese media: Half a step towards openness?
Like everything else in China, its largely State-controlled media too is changing, and changing rapidly, writes Nitin Gokhale.

Tharoor is a victim of Hinglish?
But why is Tharoor so much an attraction for the uppish media and the conceited politicians? Here is someone, a new entrant to politics, made a minister despite being a first time MP, well-travelled, armed with a formidable curriculum vitae, techno-savvy and witty. Need any more reasons for good old envy?

March 04, 2010
Pakistan conundrum: Dealing with an unholy trinity
Continued negotiation is a futile and counter-productive proposition with no deterrent value serving merely as a ruse for Pakistan to mollify the world community even as it persists with its anti-India activities, writes Vivek Gumaste.

March 02, 2010
Defence Budget: In need of direction
India has a government that has no strategic vision, a defence minister more interested in maintaining his 'clean' image, an armed forces leadership that is not interested in cleaning the mess within. Is it any wonder then that India presents itself as a sitting duck to its adversaries? asks Harsh V Pant.

Global jihad's evolving strategy: Focus Al Qaeda
The global jihadi network is under pressure but it needs a long-term strategy to keep it in control, writes Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd).

February 26, 2010
India, Pakistan talk -- to catch America's eye
Amidst much grandstanding, the India-Pakistan 'dialogue' got off to a start in New Delhi on Thursday -- albeit on somewhat a bumpy start.

February 24, 2010
The Illegals: Mumbai's Bangladeshis
Not a single Bangladeshi has been found to have been involved in security breaches or terror. But that does not mean aliens have a place of comfort when they illegally enter and stay in Mumbai, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar.

February 23, 2010
India's isolation is not good news for the West
Instead of ignoring Delhi, the West would be better served if it ceases to pander to Pakistan for short-term gains. Not supporting the only secular liberal democracy in the region will only embolden the radical Islamists in the long-term, writes Harsh V Pant.

February 17, 2010
A humbled bully, double standards and people's will
The Shiv Sena may be on the back foot but it is far from finished, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar.

The US-Iran confrontation continues anew
It is imperative that India starts re-assessing its options and think clearly as to what India can do to preserve the balance of power in the Gulf region, writes Harsh V Pant.
February 12, 2010
Bollywood's missed opportunity
Bollywood had an opportunity to show solidarity and give a strong rebuttal to the Shiv Sena. But it chose to protect its short-term interests. Perhaps it's time for ordinary Mumbaikars to call the party's bluff, writes Harsh V Pant.

Nasty turn of events in Sri Lanka
The fallout of the spat between two headstrong and powerful personalities like Mahinda Rajapakse and Sarath Fonseka does not augur well for this small and beautiful Island nation struggling to leave the ravages of war behind, writes Nitin Gokhale.

February 11, 2010
Peace with Pakistan: Chasing a mirage
Peace with Pakistan is not possible in the foreseeable future. Those charged with the responsibility to safeguard our country and its citizens will do well to get a reality check and devise our defence posture accordingly, writes Colonel Dr Anil Athale (retd).

Attacks on Indians: Time to go beyond rhetoric
Anxious parents of the more than 120,000 Indian students in Australia are asking for clear answers to certain questions. A clear message needs to be sent back to them, writes Sujatha Singh, India's high commissioner to Australia.

February 10, 2010
Migrants do more good than harm to Mumbai
Amidst the acrimonious debate over migrants in Mumbai, the city's civic body in a report says that they contribute to the economic growth of the metropolis, writes Mahesh Vijapurkar.

India-Pakistan talks: A counter-productive option
Since India's default policy of extending the hand of friendship to Pakistan has had disastrous consequences is it not time to discard it in favour of one which penalises Pakistan for inflicting terrorism on our innocent nationals?

February 09, 2010
Does India need anti-satellite capability?
In the short to medium term India's scarce resources would be better served by focusing on reducing the disparity with China in space. Developing ASAT capability is something that can wait, write Bharath Gopalaswamy and Harsh V Pant.

Main victims of terror in Pakistan are its women
For militants, controlling women's independence as well as their sexuality becomes the easiest way of showcasing their command and authority. But in the case of Pakistan, it only gives fodder to the pre-existing patriarchal traditions towards women, writes Arfa Khanum Sherwani.

Why India's military needs an urgent update
A strong military cannot be maintained with discipline alone. Today, a strong military means state of the art equipment, steady supply of munitions and morale and most importantly reconnaissance, research and 2nd/3rd strike capabilities, writes Pramod Kumar Buravalli.

February 08, 2010
London conference on Afghanistan: Implications for India
The London Conference on Afghanistan held recently has evoked differing reactions in the Indian media. At one extreme it has been welcomed as providing an effective solution to the Afghan problem, even though it may entail the return of Mullah Omar to power in Afghanistan, and at the other extreme it has been criticised not only for paving the way for the return of the Taliban but also for enhancing Pakistan's influence in Afghanistan at India's cost.

February 04, 2010
Pakistan remains pivotal to an Afghan solution
Faced with a no win situation, elements in Pakistan have so far been, and would continue to calibrate the situation in such a way that a state of stalemate protracts. And, as such a game is played out, the Americans will be permitted to fly their unmanned aerial vehicles and target at their discretion.

India unprepared and unwilling to defend democracy
With the American declaration of an exit from Afghanistan, Beijing and Islamabad are upbeat. This leaves India in the lurch as it is ill prepared to face the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalists and the Chinese Communists.

February 03, 2010
An open letter to Balasaheb from a Marathi Manoos
Mumbai belongs to, Balasaheb... It belongs to Bharatiyas. Don't try to take it away... and please remember, there is a Rashtra in Maharashtra... but there is no Marathi there.

February 02, 2010
Why Pakistan can never be a great neighbour
We, in India are quick to vilify those who propose a hard line approach to Pakistan that includes severing cricket ties by branding them as radical and uncivilised. We cannot mix cricket with politics is the oft quoted mantra. But what is so sacred about this dichotomy? Is it a directive derived from logic or common sense or an abstract feel good notion with no utility value? And has continued cricketing ties mitigated Pakistan's terror shenanigans?

February 01, 2010
India ignored at Afghanistan summit
Despite having invested $1.2 billion (about Rs 55,000 crore) in efforts aimed at Afghanistan's post-Taliban reconstruction, India is being treated as an also ran in the ongoing Afghanistan summit at London. In the run up to the London summit hosted by Turkey a few days ago, India had not been invited to participate. This had been done in deference to Pakistan's opposition to India's presence in Afghanistan.

January 27, 2010
View: There's still time for Obama to redeem his presidency
India should continue with its cautious approach toward Washington as the coming year will find Obama being even more obsessed with his domestic agenda than he has been so far, writes Harsh V Pant.

View: India harbours no aggressive designs on Pak
The groups, who direct such attacks against India, have received the patronage of powerful forces and institutions within that country. It is vital that this support must stop forthwith. Any viable process of normalization of our relations with Pakistan is essentially dependent on this requirement since it is unrealistic to think otherwise.

January 25, 2010
Mumbai a Global City? Not in this lifetime!
Everyone is resigned to inefficient and corrupt governance. The contempt of authorities for the public at large is almost palpable. Everyone jokes how the municipal corporation is easily the world's biggest wastrel. But no one seems prepared or capable to do anything about it. How did these guys get so autocratic? Isn't India a representative republic? Can nothing be done at the ballot box?

January 21, 2010
Be ready for a long haul in Afghanistan
Countries that have ambitions to become a regional power, if not a global one, have to take hard decisions in their national interest. Does India have the stomach for a long haul in Afghanistan?

January 20, 2010
Why India should not get too close to China
Many in India still believe that the priority No 1 of India's foreign policy should be to make friends with China. Once again, there is nothing wrong to be China's 'friend' or even 'brother', but it should not be at the cost of India's interests or by bending backward over each whim and fancy of a single-party regime in Beijing.

January 19, 2010
The night from hell, 20 years later
It was exactly 20 years ago on this day, when Kashmiri Hindus were driven out of their homeland. From 700,000, there are only about 2,000 Kashmiri Hindus left in the valley now, says Lalit Koul,

Is cycling the answer to our urban woes?
Mahesh Vijapurkar on a unqiue business venture in Thane that hopes to popularise cycling.
January 13, 2010
Why India must push for better ties with Bangladesh
Happily, there is today regime compatability between India and Bangladesh on this issue as India's core security concerns arise from the same elements that seek to unseat Hasina. The latter has wisely recognised this and in boldly striking at fanatical and terrorist elements, which pose a threat to India and Bangladesh, has acted with far greater maturity than the Pakistani leadership which continues to nurture jihadi groups.
January 12, 2010
India's foreign policy comes of age
If the decade gone by was one that redefined the contours of global politics in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, it was also a decade that witnessed Indian foreign policy coming into its own, writes Harsh V Pant.
January 07, 2010
How China views India's new defence doctrine
China experts feel Indian defence strategy treats China, not Pakistan, as priority target, which they also believe provides for a partial border war, writes D S Rajan.

January 05, 2010
How India, China can mastermind the Asian century
Colonel Anil A Athale (retd) says that Sino-Indian cooperation at the Copenhagen climate summit is the sign of things to come.

The Ruchika case and the banality of evil
Evil is a coward that preys on the timidity of the weak but retreats in the face of the slightest resistance. All that was necessary was a single person to throw a monkey wrench into this evil works and this satanic march of injustice would have grounded to a halt. But alas there was none.

January-December 2009 | July-December 2008 | January-June 2008 | July-December 2007 | January-June 2007 | November-December 2006 | October 2006 | september 2006 | August 2006 | July 2006 | March-June 2006 | February 2006 | January 2006 | October-December 2005 | August-September 2005 | June-July 2005 | April-May 2005 | January-March 2005 | July-December 2004 | January-June 2004 | September-December 2003 | July-August 2003 | January-June 2003 | 2002 | More  »
Get news updates: What's this?
2011 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback