December 30, 2011
Bigg Boss's Sunny Leone reveals dark truth about Indians
Imagine the response if a dark-skinned Indian woman who had acted in porn films had gone to the Bigg Boss house instead of an Indo-Canadian porn actress, says Faisal Kidwai.
December 29, 2011
US-India ties: The year of the drift
'The current period of implementation and consolidation will put the relationship on an even sounder footing when the leaders in both capitals determine it is time to quicken the pace.
J&K interlocutors- They came, they saw, they went
Now that the Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors have seen the problems of the people and submitted their report on a year-long exercise, it is time for the government of India to be serious over the intricate matters concerning Jammu and Kashmir, says Varad Varenya.
December 28, 2011
California Diaspora: Some blows, some clout
Despite the Tri Valley University case and hate crimes, the Indian-American community gained ground in California.
It's going to be 2012, not 1912!
In the tug of war between modernity and tradition, we often don't know which side we are on. As a friend said the other day, "As parents we are contradicting ourselves every day. We ask our daughters to look for jobs and at the same time we say get married soon. We keep asking them, 'Why are you writing on so many private things on Facebook?' We want to micro-manage our children's lives, but we want to portray ourselves as liberals who give our children lots of freedom."
Aftermath of 2011: Do Frequent Elections Beckon?
'In many ways, 2011 had come to resemble the mid-1990s when an unusual number of politicians found themselves in prison or out of office over various charges of corruption. It is not a happy parallel to draw on for the then Congress government was followed by two long years of political instability and frequent elections.'
December 26, 2011
Did Chidambaram rescue a former client?
The fact that S P Gupta was a former client of P Chidambaram is not germane to the controversy. The withdrawal of the cases in itself was scandalous. Not one of the three cases against Gupta impinge on the wider public interest, says Virendra Kapoor
December 19, 2011
Here's to the folks of Goa, Daman and Diu!
'The 67 sorties mounted from Jamnagar broke the Portuguese's will to fight, the army columns advanced unresisted, and the Portuguese threw in the towel. The formal surrender took place about midday on December 19.'
December 12, 2011
My Rediscovery of India
'The aspirations of India's people have gotten far ahead of the political debate as one sees the malls in tier-2 cities and car showrooms in 'rurbanised' towns.'
December 07, 2011
Every day, frictions increase between India and China
America's Asia-Pacific policy will come unhinged without Indian support and Indian desire to effectively balance China will remain just that, a desire, without American support, feels Harsh V Pant.
November 15, 2011
Ruma Pal, former Supreme Court judge, slams higher judiciary
Justice Ruma Pal is to be saluted for her courageous dissent of conviction and reminding her peers that they need to put themselves on self-trial. The alternative is for India to sink further into the cesspool of even greater corruption, says C Uday Bhaskar.
November 11, 2011
Biting the hands that protect Omar and India
The proposal to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in some parts Kashmir is a ploy by anti-India forces to show that they are still relevant, says Tarun Vijay.
November 09, 2011
Why I miss the postman
Mahesh Vijapurkar laments the decline of Indian Post.
Shashi Shekhar: The importance of Narendra Modi's visit to China
The success of Gujarat has today put it in a place where it can negotiate and navigate international relations of direct economic consequence to it without being held back by the timidity in New Delhi, says Shashi Shekhar.
October 12, 2011
What Putin's return means for India
'In diplomacy, like in politics, there are no permanent friends or foes. Only interests guide policy. The same principle must true for India-Russia relations in the coming Putin era.'
Can China and Pakistan launch a Kargil-like foray?
Army chief General V K Singh has spoken recently of Chinese troops in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
The impending American withdrawal from Afghanistan and the US-Pakistan divorce has the potential to destabilise the region. China may become more assertive in South Asia.
October 11, 2011
LK Advani could've won the race by sitting out
What has gone against Advani is the sense that he is desperate to become PM, says Neerja Chowdhury
What Putin's second coming would mean for India
India will be well advised to welcome Putin's second coming as Russian president wholeheartedly, yet try to build up its independent capabilities, says Tarun Vijay
September 29, 2011
Why does the Congress have such a poor culture of accountability?
'It is Andhra Pradesh and not Uttar Pradesh which is the real litmus test for Rahul Gandhi's political leadership.'
Narendra Modi can't be India's prime minister. He should move on!
'Let the Jaitleys and Swarajs struggle for political supremacy while Modi can be the power behind the throne. In short, he could play the Sonia Gandhi card. In a country so enamoured with symbolism, that may yet prove to be a political masterstroke.'
September 28, 2011
Anti-corruption movement: Disappointments ahead
The common man thinks that the stringent Lokpal law promised would take care of all corruption and rid the country of the malaise. It will not, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
September 20, 2011
Women chief ministers show path to nuclear sanity
Two women chief ministers in India have taken a statesman like courageous stand against nuclear projects Bengal. This sets the precedent for other states and visionary leader to take decisive steps to save present and future generation of Indian from unpredictable and inevitable nuclear emergencies, says Gopal Krishna.
Why Narendra Modi is the best bet for brand BJP
If the BJP has to pose any sort of challenge to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in the next Lok Sabha elections, it needs to go back to what it has always stood for in the mind of the voter, says Shonalee Biswas.
The debate over Narendra Modi
Whether one likes Narendra Modi or not, one cannot deny him the credit of putting the national debate back firmly in the political realm and on the merits of relative political choice, says Shashi Shekhar.
September 15, 2011
Why I fear for the future of Anna Hazare's movement
The campaign should have started as a demand for total revolution to usher in good governance of which probity in public life as a quintessential element, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
Koodankulam: People's movement against nuclear energy
Villagers protest against the Koodankulam nuclear power project.
Should India be condemned to suffer vote bank politics forever?
'We must make politics that uses demographic identity as a wedge, less and less relevant.'
September 14, 2011
Did Chidambaram convince us?
'Till the time there is an efficient leadership in place, it would be difficult to elicit popular support for the government's moves in fighting terror. However, I am still convinced that P Chidambaram is our best bet as home minister.'
September 13, 2011
Should Modi's burden be India's too?
I do not know if Narendra Modi is personally responsible for the killings and rapes of hundreds of Muslims -- that is for the courts to decide -- but I do know that being the chief minister he is at the very least morally responsible, says Faisal Kidwai
September 09, 2011
India cannot afford another lost decade
'There cannot be any fence sitters in political churning. The 'apolitical' campaigns will have to take a political stance sooner than later.'
The government must act!
The government must seriously consider enlarging the scope of its counter-terrorism policy to covertly target organisations across India's borders that are sponsoring terrorism in India.
September 08, 2011
No end to preparedness in the fight against terror
India has certain special features -- a strange disconnect between thought and action, lack of strategic focus in fighting terrorism and a national inability to focus on core issues for immediate response.
September 07, 2011
PM's Dhaka visit: By no means a write-off
Indian commentators are inclined to view the country's relations with its neighbours almost exclusively through the prism of the ascendancy of China's diplomacy in South Asia.
September 06, 2011
Burying the ghosts of Kashmiri graves
The Kashmir conflict has many sides. There are victims and perpetrators on all sides. If the demand for retributive justice is pursued by all sides, it will end up finishing whatever little is left to salvage in Kashmir.
September 05, 2011
Army chief's age: A needless controversy
A chief lodging a 'statutory complaint' sends a very wrong signal to the rank and file of the service. Does India need a spectacle like this? Even more dangerously, this also signals the breakdown of communication at the highest levels of the defence ministry, says Colonel (Dr) Anil Athale (retd).
Saving the Sundarbans
The Sundarbans is at the epicentre of both India-Bangaldesh bilateral diplomatic challenges and of the most intense global battles against climate change.
How to get to know Parliament better
According to C V Madhukar, a senior member of PRS Legislative Research, an independent Delhi-based think-tank, 'the debate on the Lokpal Bill reflected how Parliament functions about 80 percent of the time.'
August 29, 2011
Team Anna: What about medical corruption?
'The Hazare movement and media have focussed on corruption of the 'spectacular' variety. But what has escaped the discussion is the institutionalised corruption in-built in the conduct and practice of professions ike the medical profession in India.'
August 26, 2011
Want to live in the India Anna wants to build?
'All societies possess conservatives and India can't be an exception. The difference is that when upper castes display their conservatism, they turn into a Taliban. Anna has come to harvest that social constituency.'
Anna Hazare is no common dude
What does the poor common man do? He does not have the wherewithal to fight the system. Anna has provided this Aam Aadmi a ray of hope.'
I am Anna Hazare?
'Democracy must be nurtured, or else it gets corrupted. Voting is just one part of your duty as a citizen of this democracy. But another duty that most of us overlook is participation,'
Let's not end up needing a Lokpal for the Lokpal
A system that is judge, jury, and executioner, with draconian and apparently ill-defined powers and a haphazard system of oversight is not necessarily a better denouement, even if the current situation is untenable
August 25, 2011
Caste and the anti-corruption campaign
'Reservations are anathema to many of the core supporters of Anna Hazare...'
'The deeply disturbing aspect of this whole event is the reactionary trend that political and social life, especially as dominated by "shining India," seem to be taking.' Reproduced with kind courtesy,Kafila.org
The Ayatollah in waiting
'Like the Iranian religious supremo, Anna Hazare demands supreme power and he dreams that with the present dysfunctional government, he could wield power from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and everybody would just obey his fiats.'
No quick-fix solutions to corruption
'Much of what we call corruption is but a side effect of a deeper malaise. The chalta-hai attitude and its innovative twin, jugaad.
August 24, 2011
Lieutenant, did you die in vain?
'You will not get the adulation from the government that a martyred soldier gets in the US. Your name will not be read out in any obituary reference in Parliament, as is done in the UK for all soldiers who fall in combat in the line of duty. Your name will not be etched on any national memorial because we do not have one!'
August 10, 2011
India, you've come a long way
From coal engines and phone calls that took two days to come through, to the cellphone revolution, and scams that have become mindlessly bigger, A Ganesh Nadar on a country that has seen remarkable changes in its 64 years as a nation.
This violence has dented Britain's global reputation
'The breakdown in the family structure in large sections of British society and the lack of discipline in young Britons is being looked at once again as the underlying reasons for growing criminality and lack of respect for authority among the youth.'
August 09, 2011
Sino-Pak: An 'all-weather' friendship under cloud
The deteriorating regional security environment and the rising tide of Islamist radicalism in Pakistan might just force Beijing to change its course towards India, says Harsh V Pant
August 08, 2011
When the government defends the indefensible
'Can governments which consistently let their lawyers down, be trusted to uphold the rights of their people? How much longer will the State fight against its own citizens, inside and outside court?'
August 01, 2011
The method behind Digvijay's campaigns
'Praise me, condemn me, but do not ignore me. Given that the Congress party has a whole army of office-bearers, a vast majority of Indians would find it hard to name even a couple of them. But you can bet that they will readily recall the name of one general secretary: Digvijay Singh. Fame and notoriety being two sides of the same coin for present-day politicians, Singh would not mind being abused by the 'aam aadmi' so long as he enjoys a fair recall value.'
July 15, 2011
All the while you push away the pain, the shock
Now the pain is back and it is unbearable. It sort of chews mercilessly at you as you chug through your day. It pulsates as you drive past knots of dead-bored cops. Or bump over pot-holed roads. Or past a drawing of a happy face that says India Smiling. It pricks sharply as you read articles on what politicians have to say. Vaihayasi Pande Daniel on every Mumbaikar's agony
July 14, 2011
It can only happen in Mumbai
'Yes, Mumbai has been sucker punched again. As much by its own as by the bastards who routinely put bombs in crowded places.'
In wake of Mumbai attacks, Pak could help save dialogue with India
'The US should make clear to Pakistan that, whether or not the attack originated in Pakistan, now would be an opportune time to move ahead with the prosecutions of the LeT members involved in the 2008 attacks.'
India's Forever War
'The terrorists who have done this know well that the ever-forgiving Indian government knows only one way to respond -- with high-sounding, but meaningless words.'
July 13, 2011
'People' factor missing in anti-Maoist operations
The government needs to get the tribals in the Maoist-dominated areas on their side, if they are going to win the battle against the Maoists. But that is easier said than done, says Bibhu Prasad Routray.
June 20, 2011
Judicial activism: How far does it go?
Colonel Anil Athale (retd) on the state of the judiciary in the country.
June 13, 2011
Tribute: J Dey was first among equals
MiD DAY executive editor Sachin Kalbag pays tribute to J Dey, the veteran investigative journalist, who was shot dead by unknown assailants in Mumbai on Saturday.
June 02, 2011
Fatal flaw in communal violence bill
The manipulative syntax of the bill smacks of a furtive agenda to tilt the scales in favour of a specific community at the cost of the majority and violates the basic tenet of equality before the law, says Vivek Gumaste.
May 21, 2011
India on a road to rediscover Africa
India is on a rediscovery of Africa. India and Africa, as maritime neighbours have an ancient tradition of trading links. But a modern day engagement is taking shape between them with the Indian government going ahead with a Focus Africa policy for a structured interaction with all regions of the African continent. The second Africa-India Forum Summit is to be held in Addis Ababa next week.
Propaganda vs public diplomacy
Public diplomacy works better with multiple channels of communication, including web 2.0. Propaganda cannot survive multiple channels and web 2.0; it works best in information starved place, says Abhay L.
May 17, 2011
What is the road ahead for the AMU?
Before it plans to show light to others, Aligarh Muslim University has to put its own house in order and be what it always was -- a centre of excellence where tradition and modernity do not collide but complement each other, says old student Arfa Khanum Sherwani.
May 16, 2011
Can Sanya be the beginning for a new world order?
BRICS should reinforce the actions of G-20 for creating a new world order. It will also be a good idea to attempt to get Security Council replaced by the G-20, says C M A Nayar.
Sonia's call to Jaya: The political implications
The Congress may say that Sonia Gandhi's call to new Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa was a courtesy call. But there was a clear message that the Congress president wanted to send, says Neerja Chowdhury.
Sympathy for Pakistan?
By a mix of deception, subterfuge, ingratitude and crocodile tears, Pakistan has begun to get sympathy rather than condemnation when it stands exposed as the haven for the most wanted terrorist in the world.
May 13, 2011
Let's give Mamata Banerjee a chance
Mamata must be whole-heartedly congratulated and supported. If she errs in future, we must be ready to correct her, says Tarun Vijay.
May 2, 2011
Osama death: An embarrassment Pakistan can't live down
'It was impossible for bin Laden to live in the luxurious building with a huge compound in Abbotabad without the knowledge of the Inter Services Intelligence or the Pakistan military.'
April 25, 2011
Anna's team: A lamentable letdown
In the whole sordid series of happenings after Anna Hazare broke his fast, the only side to emerge with credit is the government. In fact, it is outshining the civil society, says B S Raghavan.
April 12, 2011
Is Tamil Nadu witnessing a silent anti-DMK wave?
On the eve of the elections it is advantage AIADMK, says M R Venkatesh.
Are Indian nuclear weapons facilities safe?
Parliament must insist that the government should direct its Department of Atomic Energy to immediately examine and make recommendations to the government on the structure of an independent surveillance and regulatory authority for the defence nuclear facilities, says Dr A Gopalakrishnan.
Must university students know English or perish?
Let us not create 1,500 or more institutions, which are world class but disconnected to the socio-cultural milieu, which houses them, says Apoorvanand.
April 06, 2011
Will the Marans take over the DMK in case it loses?
The Marans know for sure that these elections are extremely testing times, more for them than for Karunanidhi or his sons. Given this paradigm, and should the DMK win these elections, it is a matter of time before they attempt to take over the party reins, says M R Venkatesh.
Why World Cup win was a national catharsis
The World Cup victory has come as a badly needed morale booster for the country. But it is also a warning to the political class that their leadership can be usurped. This apolitical trend can be unhealthy for a democracy, says Neerja Chowdhury.
April 05, 2011
Why Indian defence needs to keep pace with China
'The defence capability differential between China and India is rising at an alarming rate. This will continue to constrain India's rise as a major regional and global player of any significance.'
March 31, 2011
Changing Census and sensibility in a new India
'I realise that in some ways the Census is a peephole into a changing India. It's not just about transgenders or the disabled. This time marital status includes separate categories for divorced and separated. Mental illness has been separated from mental retardation. For the first time, the census taker is asking for the date of birth.'
March 29, 2011
Libya op: Humanitarian? Bah, it's about oil silly!
Whatever the humanitarian stance taken by the leaders in Washington, London and Paris, the real catalyst for action in Libya is not the deaths of countless civilians, but the need to secure the supply of oil to an increasingly thirsty developed world.
March 21, 2011
India's very own blasphemy law
The social media purveyors of India need the government in the trenches with us, not high above, in disconnected office buildings, passing judgment and deciding what we are allowed to say and what not, says blogger Vijayendra Mohanty.
March 18, 2011
Can corrupt India handle nuclear safety?
'From the resurrected cash-for-votes scandal to a rigged process favouring four foreign vendors -- and from new safety concerns to the special legislation that caps the foreign suppliers' accident liability by burdening the Indian taxpayer -- the nuclear deal's future looks more troubled than ever.'
March 14, 2011
India finally makes an entry in Iraq
India will have to seriously think about its role anew as a new Iraq emerged in a new Middle...
Will Kashmir see an Egypt-like uprising?
The indifference, apathy and inaction in Kashmir by the governments both at the Centre and the state has added to a rush by the young people to become the masters of their own destiny, says Seema Mustafa.
February 28, 2011
Who is mucking up India's defence build-up?
The reality is that Indian defence modernisation is lagging behind and the government and the present defence minister is largely responsible for the sad state of affairs today in the military realm.
February 24, 2011
Centre must take lead in police reforms
The Supreme Court's directives embody an inclusive package that can play an instrumental role in transforming the police. First by following the directives, and then persuading Congress-ruled states to follow suit, the Union government must set the ball rolling on police reforms.
February 17, 2011
Deoband and the machinations of the mullahs
For many mullahs, religion and religious institutions are simply tools to feather their own nests and to whip up the support of the credulous by projecting themselves as pious defenders of the faith, says Yoginder Sikand
February 16, 2011
PoP Ganesh idols -- sentiment v reason
The Constitution lays out a laborious process for removing a judge, deliberately so because it must never be done on a political whim. History shows that no Supreme Court or high court judge has ever lost office in such fashion. The best defence against judicial misbehaviour, to use the American term, is 'peer pressure.'
February 14, 2011
Sharm-el-Sheikh like surrender in Thimphu
The Indian people need to know what the Manmohan Singh government expects to achieve from the dialogue from Pakistan. This obsession of normalising of relations with Pakistan, even if this is at the cost of India's territorial unity and integrity, is acquiring dangerous dimensions, says Sushant Sareen.
February 07, 2011
A static government and its bumbling ministers
When educated ministers like Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram are forced to defend the indefensible it shows a certain desperation in the top power structures in the ruling UPA, says Virendra Kapoor.
January 28, 2011
With its eyes on China, Delhi woos Jakarta
India and Indonesia have a vested interest in ensuring that China's hegemony in the region does not go uncontested.
January 19, 2011
A crying need to restore public confidence
Just because the 14 elders spoke for us is not enough; each of us needs to add his voice and convert it into a clamour to be heard across the length and breadth of the country, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
Kashmir Hindus: Forsaken, forgotten for 21 years
The Kashmiri Hindu community despite homelessness and horrendous ethnic cleansing has survived and will survive. It is the tenacity to weather any storm and belief in its values and morals that has kept the Kashmiri Hindu alive, says Lalit Koul.
What Tunisia's revolution means for the Arab world
The Jasmine Revolution has consecrated a milestone which will go a long way in ushering in people-led movements in the Arab world, says Tenzin Thargay.
January 18, 2011
Swami Aseemanand, as I know him
'It is hard to connect this Hindu terror mastermind over-drive with the Swami Aseemanand of tribal simplicity and boundless energy, whom I have known since the last 11 years and interacted with closely.'
January 10, 2011
Taseer's death gives power to forces of tolerance
Hamid Mir, once a friend, once an enemy of the assassinated Punjab Governor, pays tribute and also speaks of the challenges that now face Pakistan.
January 07, 2011
Why Brazil tops the modelling world
'Tall frames, blond hair, blue eyes, high cheek bones -- some of them inherit an explosive mix of attractive features. They may come from modest backgrounds and farming families, but spotted early they can be trained and transformed into super models.'