December 31, 2012
Why no law against rape will work
There are at least two reasons why no anti-sexual violence law, however stringent, will work. One is our police. The other is, sadly, ourselves, says Sumit Bhattacharya
When our government isn't ours anymore
In Delhi this December, we understood how many others from Kashmir to Koodankulam have long felt, says Shivam Vij
Be the story you want to tell
2012 marked the shift of the news media becoming the story rather than reporting it, says Mihir S Sharma
Make 2013 the year of Angst, Revolt and a New Order
Preserve this rage. Learn to be more angry and dissatisfied with the status quo. Revolt against all boxed sacredness. Nothing is sacred except the People of India, says Tarun Vijay
Go, get out there with a placardMitali Saran
believes that a little yelling in the streets can help the government to prioritise the work it does or facilitates on the ground
View: Is Rape a new Development Indicator?
If rapes are rising dramatically in India over the last 20 years, is it logical to blame traditional Indian culture, asks Sankrant Sanu
What kind of a nation fails to protect its women?
'Good bye little Angel. Fly away from the dirt, din and mire of this Republic that neither could protect you in life nor allow you to breathe your last on your own soil. Protecting their own hides,' says Sudarshana Dwivedi, 'has become more important to our protectors.'
For the Lionheart Who Wanted to Live
'How can a group of men GANG-RAPE a woman? How can a father rape his daughter? Or an uncle his niece? Or a brother his sister? And, as it happens in most cases, how can a mother stand by and just allow it to happen? Does it not rip their soul to shreds?How are they able to sleep, or eat, or breathe, or live after committing such a heinous act?'
December 28, 2012
It is time Delhi's protesters went home
The protest against the gang rape itself is not bad. But to provoke the police, to disobey the law and to insist on protesting wherever they want, whenever they want and however they want is not done, says S Pushpavanam.
Gimmicks do not save India and its people from terror
'Some said this wild goose chase was a deliberate ploy of Chidambaram, a reluctant home minister, who believed that keeping all the agencies and forces spinning around all the while, would ensure him a safe career in an otherwise dicey charge, no matter how much enduring damage it did to the institutions.' R N Ravi, retired special director, Intelligence Bureau, assesses how India can meet the challenges of terrorism in 2013.
December 26, 2012
India at Raisina: The People were the Heroes
'The youth atop the poles on Raisina Hill need respect and an accommodating attitude. Not lathis and water cannons,' says Tarun Vijay.
December 21, 2012
View: Why Narendra Modi spoke in Hindi
To assume that Narendra Modi chose Hindi only to reach out to a national audience because he had prime ministerial ambitions was more than a stretch, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
December 20, 2012
View: What Narendra Modi needs to do now
Chief Minister Narendra Modi needs to win over either the RSS or his rivals in Delhi to emerge as the undisputed leader within the Sangh Parivar. Without one or the other, he cannot win. This triangular contest is what constrains Modi's emergence as a national leader in his own right, feels Sonali Ranade.
Gujarat 2012 tells us a larger story beyond Modi
'This victory effectively applies closure to 2002. It is unlikely that Modi will offer anything more than a purely symbolic doffing of his cap to heal the hurts of that calamitous year in his pursuit of greater glory,' says Shreekant Sambrani.
December 19, 2012
Theatre of the absurd to deny Modi a US visa
The move by four US Congressmen to deny Narendra Modi a US visa is a disrespect to India's free and fair ballot and even its Supreme Court, says Aseem Shukla.
December 17, 2012
Gujarat: The election that wasn't
A democratic set-up is a necessary instrument to choose rulers, but it cannot always provide a roadmap to a good society. That needs a moral compass, which is prominent by its absence in the current campaign, says Dr Shreekant Sambrani.
'O Jacintha, we're just kidding...'
Could there have been just a hint of that subtle British complex that still sometimes treats former colonial subjects as the chattel they once were, surmises George Abraham
November 29, 2012
View: Thackeray, a close ally of the capitalists
'Many people are in awe of the power wielded by Thackeray. I found that even R K Laxman shared this feeling though both he and Thackeray began as cartoonists in the 1940s. "See how far ahead Thackeray has gone. And here I am," he told me one day in a sad tone,' recalls Vidyadhar Date who assesses Balasaheb Thackeray's political legacy.
November 27, 2012
The Gadkari issue: The facts without comments
We must understand that we live in extremely cynical times. If it is a politician he must be corrupt. If he is a businessman, he must be equally corrupt. Poor Gadkari, he is a politician and a businessman. That compounded matters for him, says M R Venkatesh.
November 23, 2012
View: In a way, India has given moksham to Kasab
'If Ajmal Kasab had spent his youth in solitary confinement, away from people and society, that would have been the biggest punishment India could have meted out to the terrorist,' feels Shobha Warrier.
November 22, 2012
How family feuds will drive Indian politics
After Bal Thackeray, what consumes most political observers is his immediate political legacy. What is happening in Maharashtra is hardly unique to the state -- indeed, with regional parties increasingly becoming family businesses, such feuds are likely across the country, says Rohit Pradhan.
India needs to TAKE OUT terror targets in Pakistan
Lashkar founder Mohammad Sayeed and 26/11 attacks accused Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi must be neutralised one by one if Pakistan does not act against them, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
November 20, 2012
Decoding Bal Thackeray: Bindhast!
Most people trying to decode the Bal Thackeray phenomenon tend to see him in either black or white probably because they want to arrive at a simple conclusion. I for one believe he was the curious combination of both, but mostly he was all in the grey area, writes Pramod Pagedar
Goodbye Mr Thackeray, you taught me how to love
'I write this piece,' says Javed Iqbal, 'not just to come to terms with my childhood, but to speak about those who were once Shiv Sena loyalists, whose dreams did not die with the passing away of Bal Thackeray, but were dead long before he was gone.'
November 19, 2012
Why Mumbai needs a Bal Thackeray
'Bal Thackeray may have loved Hitler, but I don't think he was one. The fact is, if you put a city like Mumbai, and its numerically dominant single largest group, in chains, intended or not, democracy itself is called into question,' says Sonali Ranade.
In life and in death, Thackeray kept the fire alive
The sea of humanity that turned up on Sunday to bid Bal Thackeray farewell wanted to resurrect the legend that he once was, says Prasanna D Zore.
Balasaheb Thackeray: An unending journey to eternity
He challenged the establishment in many unconventional ways. His style was unique. He was a great orator, prolific writer, stupendous organiser, a fearless leader, an extremely gracious host and was always willing to help anyone who reached out to him. Suresh Prabhu, former Sena MP, pays tribute.
November 18, 2012
After Thackeray, a feeling of darkness
Sena Bhavan in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena headquarters, will carry an empty feeling similar to what Raigad fort must have felt after the death of Shivaji Maharaj, feels Sumit Rajawade.
Balasaheb, the roar of the Lion King
'It is difficult to imagine such a phenomenon anywhere else. From being a cartoonist to becoming an agenda personified, outshining everyone else, is the unique distinction that Balasaheb created.' Tarun Vijay explains why Bal Thackeray was a unique leader.
The Man Who Rode The Tiger
'Thackeray could organise, but lacked a vision and wisdom to take it further. The man who boasted that if he were prime minister for a day, he would solve the Kashmir problem permanently, could not halt Mumbai's slide into an urban nightmare despite his wielding supreme authority over the city government for decades,' says Shreekant Sambrani.
Thackeray, first to use language as political weapon
Bal Thackeray never considered caste while giving tickets or appointing ministers when the Shiv Sena came to power, notes political commentator Prakash Bal Joshi. 'He had the guts to take decisions against popular sentiment on the basis of his convictions.'
November 12, 2012
Why Girish Karnad is wrong
Karnad's invective is not a fact based logical rebuttal of Naipaul's ideological variance. It lacks the grace or elements of an intellectual discourse, says Vivek Gumaste.
November 09, 2012
What we can learn from the US elections
There are some interesting, and even educative, takeaways from the US elections, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
November 01, 2012
What Modi displayed was chauvinism of the worst kind
'Calling the very much married Sunanda Pushkar a "Rs 50 crore girlfriend", though, is not just crude but is meant to demean her. Women may come for a price in Modi's world but that's hardly the mindset we want to see in a modern day leader.'
Sibal's Law: 'Grossly offensive' and of 'menacing character'
'Kapil Sibal has passed a law that anyone posting anything "offensive" on Twitter can be jailed for three years. That's section 66A of the IT Act amended by United Progressive Alliance II in 2008. It's a cognisable offence so you have to be arrested and apply for bail. As though you had committed murder!'
October 30, 2012
How diplomacy and poetry are linked
It is widely accepted that the greatest literature is born when cultures, civilizations or worldviews come together. This often happens in case of diplomat-poets who often find themselves in exotic milieus, novel circumstances and in company of people with diverse viewpoints, says Abhay K.
October 23, 2012
What was missing in both Obama and Romney was humility
'What came through from both candidates instead, was America's exaggerated sense in seeing itself as arbiter of justice, democracy and safety in the world. And a worrisome dismissal of one major truth -- anti Americanism as a result of its sometimes ill strategised interventions in the affairs of another country which is perhaps as grave a threat to America today as international terrorism.'
October 22, 2012
Scarred by war, Nehru destroyed message from Zhou
'He struck a match, and held the paper to the flames... He said it would take more than a quarter of a century to return to any substantive negotiation, provided the Chinese refrained from another attack on India.'
October 16, 2012
Exclusive: What provoked the India-China war?
The official historian of India's 1962 war with China pin-points the reasons for the clash between the Asian giants 50 years ago and the series of blunders that led to India's military humiliation.
October 10, 2012
What India's defence ministry urgently needs to do!
'The central concern in the Services HQ over the last 40 years or so has been a frustrating lack of appropriate and timely government response to many crucial military issues, often till these turn into a full blown crisis.'
October 09, 2012
Dear Varsha, I'm So Damned Sad
'Even while I was bothered, I knew she was doing what any fierce opponent should and must: Forcing me to be clear in my thinking, to spell out my own arguments and reasoning to the best of my abilities. I know I was doing the same to her (how I know, also later). That she pushed me to be at my best is something I am grateful for to this day.'
October 03, 2012
Indiscipline in armed forces: Where lies the blame?
'Over-stretched middle rung officers, high stress levels and the fragile officer-jawan relationship are increasingly taking a toll on discipline, the cornerstone upon which the tradition name, fame, and valour of the armed forces is built.'
September 26, 2012
Why Ajit Pawar's resignation gives rise to cynicism
Instead of simply accepting the resignation of Ajit Pawar and appointing a new man in his place, Maharashtra Chief Minster Prithviraj Chavan's dilly dallying has left room for political posturing, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
September 25, 2012
The Kasab case and why India needs judicial reforms
'Ajmal Kasab's trial was no triumph of justice, but a shameful demonstration of our inferiority complex.'
Are the Maoists 'political prisoners'?
'The bigger issue is the distinction the judgments establish between Maoism and other forms of extremism. It elevates Maoist activities to a higher level.
It makes the Maoist violence an acceptable form of dissent articulation. And it attaches a stamp of legality behind ideology inspired use of carnage for political objectives.'
September 05, 2012
What to expect from Krishna's visit to Pakistan
There is no doubt that if peace prevails between India and Pakistan there is no dearth of benefits to be derived, but even one terrorist attack could derail the whole process, says Alok Bansal.
Why is officer-men relationship declining in the Army?
Is the Indian Army feeling the heat of being in perpetual operations? Are our soldiers' stress levels peaking dangerously? Making them prone to acts of indiscriminate violence?
Kasab, Bajrangi and the case against the death penalty
We should put Ajmal Kasab in jail until he dies a natural death, just like Babu Bajrangi. Rotting in jail knowing you are never going to be a free man again is worse than the finality of death. The punishment for crimes against humanity should be in this world and not the next, says Shivam Vij.
September 04, 2012
No takeaways for India from the NAM summit
There were hardly any positive outcomes at the summit -- what we had instead were rants. We had despots, dictators, autocrats and leaders of banana republics rubbing shoulders with each other, talking of providing a new management for a global order, says Smita Prakash from Tehran.
September 03, 2012
Is Mulayam positioning to lead a third front in 2014?
Mulayam Singh's bid to get a third front on his side is to get into a position where he can barter for the prime minister's job with the support of either the BJP or the Congress, says Seema Mustafa.
Respecting differences in a globalised world
Incidents such as the violent clashes in Assam only tell us that we need to sensitise the youth about our country -- especially the borders states -- of which they have very vague notions, says educator Chitra Jeyakumar.
August 30, 2012
The new media is a friend and not a foe
The government used the opportunity to block politically inconvenient content, criticism it was receiving for its mishandling of a sensitive situation. Many in our political class are threatened by this new participatory medium where incriminatory information can spread rather quickly and cannot be suppressed, says Arvind Gupta.
August 26, 2012
Not interested in a one-day debate in Parl: Jaitley
Debate and accountability must co-exist, says leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
August 23, 2012
The real threat from nuclear Pakistan
'India needs to be aware of the potentially catastrophic implications of the collapse of governing authority in Pakistan. A boost to fundamentalist forces in India's neighbourhood will have some serious consequences for the utility of nuclear deterrence in the subcontinent.'
Raj T's rally, not biggest exodus ever, gets more press!
'Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in Assam. But it is Raj Thackeray's fire and brimstone speeches that make it to the front pages of the newspapers.'
August 22, 2012
Pakistan opts for nuanced approach to India
Those in Pakistan who always preceded the possibility of talks with a 'Kashmir being the core issue' argument are now insisting that dialogue is the only way to peace, and both countries should work together to ensure all around stability and peace, says Seema Mustafa.
August 21, 2012
India hurtling towards chaos and uncertainty
Only a strong and sustained leadership can only bring it back from the brink, says Pramod Kumar Buravalli.
August 14, 2012
What really happened in August 1947
Why did Mountbatten suddenly declare that the Partition of India would take place with inexplicable haste on August 15, 1947, almost a year ahead of schedule?
August 13, 2012
What is causing Muslim radicalism?
'Muslim youth are neither meant for being indoctrinated and hired by any destructive foreign agency like the ISI, nor are they meant for being fired at by their own security agencies.'
August 09, 2012
The day Kashmir changed forever
'The chain of events set off by August 9, 1953 has swept away many illusions, demolished quite a few landmarks and woven an altogether new tapestry of the Centre-state relationship.'
August 07, 2012
India and the Great Olympic Tamasha
Even those of us who shudder at the thought of walking to the neighbourhood store, or who have never dipped a foot in a swimming pool or kicked a football in our lives, will watch avidly as great athletic feats are performed by humans of all shapes, sizes, colours and dress codes -- from the head-scarved Saudi ladies to the show-it-all bikini-clad beach volleyball beauties, the beefy weightlifters and immaculately coated and cravat-ed equestrians, says Sherna Gandhy.
July 25, 2012
What the CPI-M needs to do to rejuvenate politically
The CPI-M's decision to support Pranab Mukherjee came at great cost, and given Mamata's...
July 18, 2012
Sonia Gandhi makes a power statement at lunch for allies
After many months the UPA leadership seemed to exude a sense of confidence that they could get the better of an adverse situation in which they have found themselves for the last two years, writes Neerja Chowdhury
July 10, 2012
Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu: Trampling each other's toes
If the two Dravidian parties up the rhetoric it increases the risk of Tamil Nadu becoming a safe haven for Tamil extremism with serious implications for national security. As these developments affect Sri Lanka's internal security, it would kindle legitimate concerns in Colombo, says Colonel (retd) R Hariharan.
July 05, 2012
Notes from past: President as holder of other offices
Our current presidential candidates can perhaps take a cue from history and subject themselves to greater self-examination and scrutiny; it will surely augur well for the dignity of the exalted office that they so eagerly aspire for, says Anirban Ganguly.
July 02, 2012
The last stand in the Muslim world
The political change in the Muslim world is the recognition that the street has emerged as a source of considerable political power, writes Shahid Javed Burki.
Anti-Naxal operations: A monumental blunder in Chhattisgarh
It is beyond doubt that the Indian State has gravely erred in its latest counter-insurgency operation in Chhattisgarh and has indeed ended up killing non-combatants, says Bibhu Prasad Routray.
June 15, 2012
Mulayam emerges as the pivot in presidential poll
Mulayam is a street fighter of old, and not new to the art of bargaining and pressure politics. He obviously used Mamata's antipathy towards Pranab to go along with her and moot three names, different from the ones suggested by Sonia Gandhi. The idea was obviously to send his own message to an otherwise unheeding Congress party, that they had to take his concerns on board, says Neerja Chowdhury.
June 14, 2012
Political uncertainty over prez polls is a Cong trait
It has always been in the nature of the Congress to ensure that the entire process of electing the President be mired in uncertainty, one-upmanship, official confusion and rumour-mongering. Anirban Ganguly recalls an instance from the early days of the republic.
June 06, 2012
When political ideology stops public good
Mahesh Vijapurkar on phoney ideology excuses and the spurning of brand ambassadors.
June 01, 2012
Why India must not withdraw from the South China Sea
If China can operate in India's backyard and systematically expand its influence, then there is no reason why India should feel diffident about operating in areas that China considers its own sphere of influence, argues Harsh V Pant as the Asia Security Summit convenes in Singapore.
May 28, 2012
If people don't hold Parliament accountable, who will?
Parliament is essential to the success of Indian democracy and the citizenry should be in the forefront of demanding reforms which help improve and strengthen Parliamentary democracy, says Rohit Pradhan
May 27, 2012
China has lost the 'Jade kingdom', India must not
'As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh walks the red carpet at Ela airport in Myanmar, he would be seen by many there as arriving a little too late. Is New Delhi really prepared to take China's lost ground.'
PM's visit to Myanmar opens great opportunities
'The Chinese influence on Myanmar needs to be contested. They have invested heavily in Myanmar's economy. India needs to ensure greater integration of the Myanmarese economy to relieve it of the stresses that it would otherwise feel should the Chinese put pressure on them.'
May 25, 2012
How important is Dr Singh's visit to Myanmar?
Leaders of only a few Asian countries have visited Myanmar in the new era. Notably, China is not among them. Dr Manmohan Singh's visit, the first by a prime minister since 1987, is imbued with larger regional significance.
May 24, 2012
Why India is wary of Myanmar-NSCN-K agreement
The ceasefire agreement between the Naga faction and Myanmar was signed without India being informed. It is likely to have long-term implications not only for the ethnic politics of the Naga-inhabited regions, but also for India's northeast and Myanmar.
May 22, 2012
North Indian Muslims will keep Modi's ambitions at bay
'The BJP's succession battle will resolve itself only when it is in a position to form a government. For that it will need to woo regional satraps, many of whom have prime ministerial ambitions of their own.'
'Even if the numbers are on the BJP's side, many regional leaders can't afford to support a Modi-led government for fear of losing their Muslim vote blocs.'
May 17, 2012
The glue that keeps this country together
No one can deny that but for Parliament our unity as a country could never have been what it is today, says the former Union minister who has been elected to the Lok Sabha four times.
Cartoon row: Why our MPs don't get the joke
'Since governance in this country is increasingly tyrannical, ruled by bans and censorships, and intolerant of any criticism, the parliamentary committee on textbooks is almost certain to pander to politicians.'
May 15, 2012
Why are some army officers becoming Dabangg?
Is the Nyoma incident, where a group of army officers allegedly thrashed a jawan for alleged misbehaviour and then defied their commanding officer, an aberration?
Or is the matter more serious than what the army is making it out to be?
May 13, 2012
Nothing diminishes the fact that we are a Great Nation
'The history of our nation may not always have charted a linear trajectory to greatness. But that must not distract us from recognising that we as a nation we continue to find new and innovative ways to reconcile contradictions, transcend fault-lines thus avoiding the pitfalls of so many of our neighbours.'
MPs are reduced to bonded labour of their parties
'There is no mechanism for the people to intervene in the affairs of Parliament, to direct it to enact laws on particular subjects, to prevent it from passing certain other kind of laws.
The People are supreme, not Parliament. But unfortunately, in India, the People do not have any control, whatsoever, on the functioning of Parliament,' says the Magsaysay Award winner. Exclusive to Rediff.com
May 11, 2012
Why did we forget Alex Menon's dead bodyguards?
Life may have returned to normal for the Sukma collector, but will the lives of the families of his two bodyguards who died during his abduction be the same again?
People feel that for our MPs the nation comes last
'People feel the new breed of politicians in all parties are selfish, power hungry, greedy, dishonest hypocrites and power merchants for whom the nation comes last,' says the former secretary general, Lok Sabha.
Systemic change needs sustained effort, not just Aamir Khan
'The appeal of a courageous superstar with a conscience on a Sunday morning television show may help resolve some of the issues that affect us. But to for us to change as a people needs much more effort and awareness.'
May 10, 2012
Parliament's role in making India a great nation is over
Give this fact that the middle class is not responsible in India and cannot be trusted to lead, it is remarkable that our legislature, even given all of its vulgar traits, has performed as superbly as it has.
The first column in a series as India celebrates the 60th anniversary of the first sitting of the Joint House of Parliament on May 13.
May 08, 2012
The looming Haqqani Network threat to India
The Haqqani terror Network, is likely to step in as a 'service provider' to groups re-launching terrorist activities in Kashmir. This 'confluence' of anti-India terror will coincide with the US drawdown as well as the political transitions in most of the South Asian countries, including India.
May 07, 2012
Why India needs a Sardar Patel today
'From NCTC to GST and from economic reforms to targeted subsidies/entitlements, the political need of the present times is leadership in Sardar Patel's mold that can engage, negotiate, build trust and confidence where possible, awe and overwhelm when necessary.'
Bye Sarko: What France's new president means for India
'A solid political relation with France could balance India's foreign relations, which have often tilted towards the United States or Russia.'
May 03, 2012
Do we need Sachin and Rekha in the Rajya Sabha?
Shouldn't the government's nominees for the Rajya Sabha have shown some interest in public affairs, some evidence that they have an understanding of national issues?
April 30, 2012
How Obama fulfilled Osama's dreams
A year after Osama bin Laden's death, Al Qaeda is determined to make stay alive, feels Hamid Mir, the last journalist to interview bin Laden.
Machiavelli explains our politicians best
As politicians dismantle the levers of power, whether it is subsidies, allotment of land or spectrum, etc, they fear the prospect of losing the power of patronage much more than the power to extract rents therefrom, says Sonali Ranade.
India's skewed internet censorship debate
The current mechanisms of internet censorship in India are draconian and unconstitutional. They need to be replaced with a new set of rules that are fair, transparent and accessible for public scrutiny, says Shivam Vij.
April 25, 2012
Citizen's dilemmas: Deficits of all kinds
I wonder if I can find anyone I could trust as a citizen, asks Mahesh Vijapurkar.
April 24, 2012
Wanted! VIP treatment for ordinary Indians
'When the government has been so vociferous in demanding an apology from the US for Shah Rukh Khan, may I ask for an apology from my own government for not even bothering to inform me and other 'ordinary' citizens that our passports have been revoked.'
April 19, 2012
Agni 5 -- going ballistic over a missile
If India's nuclear and missile capability before Agni-5 was not enough to deter China, then it is unlikely that Agni-5 will, argues Sushant Sareen.
April 12, 2012
Will the jihadi tiger devour Pakistan?
Pakistan has no alternative but to surgically eliminate its bonds with jihadi groups, cleanse its security establishments of jihadi patrons and focus on rebuilding the State on democratic lines.
April 11, 2012
Shashi Shekhar: Prime Minister Modi? The idea is inevitable
'With the Special Investigation Team's closure report finding no case to be made against Modi on Zakia Jafri's complaint, the public debate has once again returned to The Narendra Modi Question'
April 09, 2012
Has India become less violent?
India is less violent, privately and publicly, than ever before, says Devesh Kapur
April 07, 2012
Mr Zardari, will you protect Hindus in Pakistan?
'Is the ease available to a Pakistani Muslim to visit his places of faith in India also available to an Indian Hindu to visit his places of worship in Pakistan?'
April 05, 2012
Odisha's 'real' hostage crisis!
Abduction for the release of jailed Maoists is becoming a trend in Odisha. Considering the almost habitual surrender of various state governments to their demands, the extremists will use this tactic regularly, says Bibhu Prasad Routray.
April 03, 2012
Sunil Dasgupta: Why civil-military conflict is GOOD for India
'The ongoing dispute between General V K Singh and the government is an important -- albeit costly -- test of policy and institutional efficacy in an area of governance that is normally hidden from public view.'
April 02, 2012
It's time to reform the Rajya Sabha
Chief ministers who have been championing federalism must take the lead in reforming the Rajya Sabha so that it truly represents the interests of their states rather than the permanent political interests of unelected party apparatchiks in Delhi, says Shashi Shekhar.
March 16, 2012
Modi: Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't
Narendra Modi's opponents must respect the legal system; otherwise they risk damaging the very cause they protect, says Rohit Pradhan.
March 14, 2012
New civic bodies in Maharashtra, but cities will not gain
The city can wait, indefinitely. Of course, its citizens don't count. Those who thought they did and went to vote for a change have fooled themselves, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
March 09, 2012
Why inter-linking of rivers is not possible
Can we laugh away the Supreme Court order on implementation of inter-linking of rivers as a comedy or tragedy, asks Himanshu Thakkar.
March 07, 2012
Is the BJP becoming a caricature of the Congress?
For far too long, the BJP has postponed an uncomfortable debate on the need for radical change. The outcome in Uttar Pradesh presents the perfect opportunity to force that debate, says Shashi Shekhar.
February 29, 2012
Can the Congress afford a high-handed approach anymore?
The tenth anniversary of the Gujarat 2002 riots comes at politically importune moment unfortunately for the process of justice inside the courts and for the process of reconciliation outside the courts, feels Shashi Shekhar.
February 23, 2012
Can't the government help an Indian mother in distress?
'In Norway, an Indian mother and father are struggling for the custody of their children taken away by a Norwegian child care agency. Nine months passed and India has been able to do nothing.'
February 22, 2012
Rahul is too busy now to worry about India's future
'Rahul Gandhi can force the Congress to get rid of its old Socialist baggage and become a truly secular and forward looking political formation. Instead, he has confused minority communalism with secularism and entitlements with development. This 'youth icon' is too busy fighting 20th century wars to worry about India's future.'
February 20, 2012
After the Dalai Lama
Future of millions of Tibetans around the world will depend on who takes his place as the spiritual leader, says Nitin Pai.
No reasons for India to raise tensions with Italy
'In the absence of hostile or malafide intents (politically speaking), it is best to agree to pursue the matter soberly in courts of law. Fattening lawyers is far more conducive to international peace than agitating politicians.'
Iran or Israel: India must make the choice
Tehran continues to be hyper-critical of the Indian government on Kashmir, even forcing New Delhi to issue a demarche last year as a protest against Iranian interference in Indian domestic issues. Iranian interference in Indian domestic politics has been going on for a long time with sections of the Indian government suggesting that Iran 'has been buying off journalists, clerics and editors in Shia-populated areas of UP and Kashmir, doling out large sums to stoke anti-Americanism.'
February 13, 2012
The Congress and its desperation for the Muslim vote
It is clear that the Congress party is now in a last ditch attempt to raise the Narendra Modi bogey with an eye on the Muslim vote in Uttar Pradesh.
February 07, 2012
UP's Muslim parties don't talk of social justice
'The urge of democratisation among the Muslim communities remains unaddressed by these emerging Muslim outfits. Do they wish to pursue the emotive identity politics of religious exclusivism which may degenerate into the politics of religious reaction.'
February 03, 2012
India's MMRCA decision continues to create ripples
Major defence purchases should be a means of helping a nation achieve its strategic objectives. It's not readily evident what strategic objectives of India are being served by choosing Rafale over Typhoon, says Harsh V Pant.
January 25, 2012
Does General V K Singh know what he's up against?
'General Singh does not have the reputation of a greedy, grasping, man. Far from it, and his word along with the records should have carried weight with the government. Unfortunately, the pettiness of the ruling class has pushed the senior officer to a corner where not wanting to, he has had to approach the civilian courts as a last resort.'
January 24, 2012
Why Krishna's visit to Lanka can't be termed 'successful'
S M Krishna's praise for the Sri Lankan government-appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission will diminish our credibility as an honest broker in the eyes of the Sri Lankan Tamils who are becoming increasingly bitter towards India
Rushdie issue: Only in India can one get away with such farces!
'Ashok Gehlot may very well pat himself for winning over a few Muslim votes, but he has simply provided the template for the next offended group: The past is often the prologue to the future.'
January 23, 2012
'Every case of helplessness is a result of a corrupt act'
'In our society... a corrupt man is not a social outcast. He is most of the time a hero, a leader,' says Supreme Court Judge Justice A K Ganguly.
January 18, 2012
Rushdie brouhaha is another strike against Free Speech
'When Truth dies along with it dies the 'Fabric of Trust' that holds nations and societies together. From raising dishonest questions over the Batla House encounter to raising false bogeys over the Rushdie visit, the Congress stands guilty of causing irreversible damage to that fabric of trust.'
January 16, 2012
I for once hope the PM says 'to hell with the allies'
'I am sick of hearing the prime minister parrot the 'compulsions of coalition government' line. I for once hope he says 'This is what I will do. You have a problem, go hang!'
Mayawati, Mulayam's caste-iron strategy
'Uttar Pradesh, unlike almost any other Indian state, is ruled and run on caste. In some ways, caste is a bigger player in the state than either religion or national issues'
January 11, 2012
How India can eternalise its predominance in the Indian Ocean
The Maldives will be the nucleus of future security order in the Indian Ocean. Patently the Maldivians will have to migrate before the portended watery grave. Given what could happen by 2100, it is imperative for India to act in good faith, and also with an eye on our national interest. India should offer Maldives statehood within our Union.
January 6, 2012
Why India needs a leader like Narendra Modi
'Let us start the debate in 2012 in favour of a directly elected executive with a civil society-based Electoral College as a check for a directly elected strong leader in the mould of a Narendra Modi with civil society as a check which serves the national interest far more than an indirectly selected, weak but acceptable prime minister vulnerable to pressure from regional parties and outside groups that may have propped him or her up.'
Army chief age row: Government must show sagacity, grace
'Befitting the government of a great nation, it must act suo moto
to correct (NOT change) the chief's date of birth, thus setting right an anomaly, which an honourable soldier strongly feels impinges on his 'izzat
Is this what my country has come to?
'We have proved right Winston Churchill , when he warned in 1947 that 'Power will go to rascals, rogues, freebooters... leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw... They will fight amongst themselves for power and will be lost in political squabbles.'
January 5, 2012
Army chief's age issue: Government loses face either way
'For the men and women in armed forces, for whom their chiefs have been the sole leader, the age controversy has only eroded their confidence in our State. It's time for the defence minister and the army chief to decide the issue based on legally tenable evidence.'
January 3, 2012
India in 2012: Strategic and security challenges beckon
'The greatest challenge to India is that its political class seems oblivious to the contours and challenges of the big picture and national security does not receive the objective and constructive attention it warrants in Parliament.'