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September 17, 2002
Afghanistan's 'pipeline police'
'American troops have landed in Afghanistan for a long stay. The danger cannot be ruled out that Afghanistan will become a battlefield for an oil war between Iran, Russia, and America,' says Hamid Mir.

September 5, 2002
The Gujarat deadlock
'If the Parliament was clear about its objective and had the will to see it through, the clear option was to issue a presidential ordinance enabling the completion of Gujarat elections before the next session of Parliament,' says Subhash C Kashyap.

August 30, 2002
A reply to Robert Hathaway
'American meddlers, Hathaway among them, consistently turn a blind eye towards Hindu victims of Muslim violence, in India as well as in Pakistan and Bangladesh,' says Koenraad Elst.

August 14, 2002
The BJP's blessing in disguise
'Vajpayee's decision of canceling all petrol pump allotments since January 2000 may prove to be a turning point in the history of the malady called political favouritism,' says Dinanath Mishra.

July 25, 2002
'The freedom to err and correct is the essence of democracy'
'We represent the people of India, most of whom are poor and illiterate. We have to ponder about our responsibilities and ensure that this Parliament has responded well to the aspirations of the people.' K R Narayanan's farewell speech to Parliament.

July 20, 2002
Now some governance please
'The Vajpayee government's real problem is governance -- or the lack of it,' says Sajid Bhombal.

July 19, 2002
The Great American Ignorance
'Here's a country that calls itself... what, the Land of Freedom? Freedom to do what? Point fingers at a person because his colour doesn't quite match yours?' asks Chindu Sreedharan.

July 18, 2002
The dangers of intelligence co-operation
'Indira Gandhi had laid down strict dos and don'ts about intelligence co-operation. This was done both orally and through orders written in her own hand, without even dictating them to her personal assistants,' says B Raman.

July 17, 2002
The blow hot phase
'If there has been a conflict of interest, it is largely because of America's perception of its global role and its unwillingness to give India a legitimate share of what we think should be our role,' says Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal.

July 12, 2002
A South Asian Confederation by 2020?
'India should start the process of a loose federation to be achieved by 2020 excluding Pakistan,' says Dinanath Mishra.

July 6, 2002
Shifting sands in Kashmir
'Unlike in the past, the major segments of the separatist conglomerate like the Hurriyat Conference and Jammat-e-Islami have been labouring hard to avoid giving a boycott call,' says Mohammad Sayeed Malik.

July 2, 2002
A man of India's vision
'Kalam, even if he has not directly participated in the affairs of the community (as alleged by Zakaria), has, by example, given enough inspiration to Indian Muslims to succeed,' says Sajid Bhombal.

June 28, 2002
Kalam and Islam
'In the circumstances Muslim concerns about using Kalam's Islam as a licence for putting a curtain on Gujarat, if not carrying Gujarat to other states, will not appear to be without a basis,' says Najid Hussain.

June 27, 2002
Messrs Musharraf and Arafat
'There will be a limit to how far Israel can go hand in hand with India. Defence? Okay. Offence? Probably not,' says Pinhas Inbari.

June 13, 2002
India and Pak should lose a little to gain something
'If Vajpayee agrees to withdraw few thousand troops from the border, Musharraf will regain strength to crack down on militants and stop cross-border terrorism,' says Hamid Mir.

June 11, 2002
Terror should not be rewarded
'If Pakistan wants to remain a member of the international coalition against terrorism, then support for terrorists in Kashmir must end -- completely and permanently,' says Congressman Gary L Ackerman.

June 5, 2002
New icons of Kashmiri politics
'Kashmir politics is bound to undergo not only an outward change of form as a result of the younger generation coming to the forefront, but also possible variation in its content,' says Mohammed Sayeed Malik.

June 4, 2002
Looking beyond the rhetoric
'For the first time American and Indian interests have converged as far as dismantling the extremist network is concerned. This has created some difficulty for General Musharraf, but has also provided him with a huge opportunity,' says Shafqat Mahmood.

June 3, 2002
The race of fanaticism
'Let us not become pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-secular just because we are repeatedly challenged by such rhetoric. Despite all expressed apocalyptic fears, Hinduism cannot be destroyed or weakened. And nor can Indian Muslims,' says Najid Hussain.

June 1, 2002
If 'Patiala peg' can't, what else can?
'There is no point hoping for peace between India and Pakistan till Musharraf stays in power. Not because he is any worse than the alternatives available in Pakistan, but because he has burned all bridges and left no option open,' says Sajid Bhombal.

May 28, 2002
Mr Straw, do you know who created the Kashmir mess?
'If he says "No", he should politely be told to go back to London and visit the India Office Library and records and spend a weekend in the Broadlands Archives Trust in Romsey, Hampshire, to consult the Mountbatten Papers. He will get the answer,' says Claude Arpi.

Musharraf's speech was an anti-climax
'America should remove the blinkers from its eyes, but it does not want to do so lest it start seeing Musharraf for what he really is -- the godfather of international terrorism emanating from this region,' says B Raman.

May 27, 2002
Who killed Abdul Gani Lone
'The manner in which state security is provided to public figures in Kashmir defies common sense. Many non-entities have too many escorts while the more vulnerable are left dangerously uncovered,' says Mohammed Sayeed Malik.

May 21, 2002
War Book already in operation
"The reason Home Minister Advani has made this statement now seems a move directed at Pakistan to convince it that India means business,' says retired Colonel Anil Athale.

May 17, 2002
Kaluchak and after
'Persisting weaknesses in our internal security infrastructure and the lack of a counter proxy war policy through covert actions continue to be our weak points in dealing with Pakistan's proxy war,' says B Raman.

May 16, 2002
What the hell were they doing in this galley?
'France following in the steps of the US has long chosen to close her eyes to what is going on inside 'ally' Pakistan's house,' says Claude Arpi.

May 10, 2002
What is new about Gujarat?
'Narendra Modi failed to govern when it was needed the most. How could a man who failed in his primary duty ever be a hero?' asks Sajid Bhombal.

April 30, 2002
'To call Narendra Modi Chhote Sardar is an insult of that great man'
The first of a series in which eminent Gujaratis speak about the riots that have engulfed and traumatised their native state. Today, former RBI governor I G Patel.

April 26, 2002
Homelands in Pakistan
'One does not see how Musharraf -- even if he gets a five-year new lease as the master of Pakistan -- will be able to contain the centrifugal forces in his country with his cosmetic reforms and grandiloquent anti-India speeches,' says Claude Arpi.

Press, Polity, People
'Do we deserve this kind of press? It does no credit to the mainstream press that it does not readily entertain an alternative view that blames the media and the political parties for condoning communalism of one kind and condemning communalism of another kind,' says Dasu Krishnamoorty.

April 17, 2002
Please give me my India back!
'Mr Vajpayee, your task is cut out for you. Let us repair this gulsitan so that you can stand up and sing Sare Jahan Se Achcha... in thought, word and deed and the nation can join you in chorus,' says Sajid Bhombal.

April 10, 2002
Jinnah's true inheritors: The Sangh Parivar
'The Parivar's idea of a Hindu Rashtra is an imitation of the concept of Islamic state and borrows heavily from the European concept of nation state,' says Anil Athale.

April 8, 2002
This is banality, Mr Advani
'As home minister, Sri L K Advani's record has been disastrous, but for his loud rhetoric every time Pakistan-based terrorists have struck,' says Arun B Srivastava.

April 2, 2002
A defining moment for Hindu nationalism?
'All electoral indications and research continue to suggest that a rabidly anti-Muslim, right-wing Hindu nationalism has no mass base in India. Only a fringe of the country supports such ideas,' says Ashutosh Varshney.

March 16, 2002
The omens of Anaconda
'The key to the end of the Al Qaeda-inspired terrorism against the international community lies in the Pakistan-southern/eastern Afghanistan region and not in Iraq, Iran, North Korea or Yemen,' says B Raman.

March 14, 2002
How many more Gujarats?
'We proudly proclaim our land to be the birthplace of non-violence -- the land of Buddha, Mahaveer and Mahatma Gandhi. But do we really deserve to be known as their descendants?' asks Tushar Gandhi.

March 6, 2002
Would Ram Rajya have been like this?
'We Hindus must stand up to save our culture and religion, not from others, but from the bigots, lumpen and vandals who in the name of religion are exploiting the people and ruining our country,' feels Gourisankar Ghosh.

The monster of fanaticism
'With one stroke of incompetence the state government reduced India to the status of Rwanda or Burundi and brought disgrace on the country by giving a free rein to mobs on the streets of Gandhi's Gujarat,' says Anil Athale.

February 25, 2002
Thus returns Jayalalithaa Jayaram
'Amma' -- Mother -- is how Jaya is referred to in Tamil Nadu. The DMK's posters showing Karunanidhi as 'Daddy' may have been an attempt at wry humour -- but for a party that took birth in the womb of Tamil pride, 'Daddy' was political poison,' says A Ganesh Nadar.

February 21, 2002
What did Musharraf gain?
'While there is no question of India being dragged to mediation, it will be wise for India to note that Washington is eager to be asked, and that it might not prove to be an honest broker,' says K P Fabian.

February 14, 2002
The U-turn in UP
'It is good for UP that people from the upper caste have approached Mayawati's Dalit party to beg for tickets. Ask me, we the people of UP know what this means. This is the beauty of Indian democracy,' says Rajiv Shukla.

February 2, 2002
Bird cage
'For every parakeet or munia that is kept in a tiny cage in a house, there is one tree less in India,' says Maneka Gandhi.

January 28, 2002
The Indian giant finally breaks free
'By reacting aggressively to the attack on Parliament, India has attempted to wipe out the memories of Kargil. By doing this it has certainly benefited by the current climate of opinion against terrorism,' says Anil Athale.

January 24, 2002
Relations improve, but fresh challenges lie ahead
'New Delhi should resist putting too much emphasis on the Sino-Pak relationship and denying itself the opportunity to improve relations with China,' says Jing-dong Yuan.

January 23, 2002
Sino-Indian relations: a growing maturity
'Although on opposite sides of the political spectrum, India and China share a common interest in seeing Pakistan evolve as a modernising, non fundamentalist state,' says C V Ranganathan.

January 19, 2002
Why blame the army chief?
'The response to Gen Padmanabhan's remarks indicates confusion and fears in political circles about how far to trust the military on nuclear matters. It also shows ambivalence on the role expected of the service chiefs,' says Lt Gen (retd) V R Raghavan.

January 14, 2002
Next, Musharraf must prepare to face reality
'Empty rhetoric based on manufactured myths can hardly go well with the "Pakistan First" policy,' says Sajid Bhombal.

December 14, 2001
America's selective war
'America's reaction to the attack on the Indian Parliament needs to be keenly watched. It will be the acid test of whether the US wants to fight a war against global terrorism or merely terrorism against America,' says Anil Athale.

December 8, 2001
Death of a chicken
'The deadliest drug trafficker in the world is not the heroin smuggler -- it is the poultry farmer,' says Maneka Gandhi.

November 17, 2001
Playing with lives
'There are thousands of people who unknowingly support the exploitation of animals by using products made from their parts. Knowing an animal died for your amusement could ruin your whole game,' says Maneka Gandhi.

November 8, 2001
The masters, the media, and the war
'We, the people of South Asia, have been fighting terrorism in various forms for years. So for America to now declare a "war against terrorism" smacks of political opportunism and self-righteousness,' says Beena Sarwar.

October 25, 2001
Osama's evil genius
'Each cruise missile or bunch of cluster bombs unleashed on Afghanistan has furthered Osama's mission to divide the world into two camps, Muslims and non-Muslims, true believers and infidels,' says Ajoy Bose.

October 23, 2001
The war is on the wrong track
'When political considerations begin to dictate military tactics and strategy, it is a sure recipe for disaster,' says Colonel Anil Athale.

October 20, 2001
How many Ladens?
'American intelligence agencies have found that there were at least four Laden lookalikes moving in fake convoys from Kandahar to Jalalabad to fool their satellites. But are the same agencies aware that there are plenty of other Ladens in the madrassas of Pakistan?' asks Claude Arpi.

October 17, 2001
'Pakistan has suffered most due to Afghanistan's chaos'
'It was the only country, which had opposed Pakistan's entry into the UN. Afghan refugess brought with them the culture of guns and drugs, and smuggling via Afghanistan has taken a heavy toll on the country's economy,' says M Ziauddin.

October 11, 2001
Enduring freedom or enduring terrorism
'Bush and Blair have given bin Laden the halo of a religious leader. The war is no longer looked upon as one against international terrorism. It is perceived as a war against Islam and, more particularly, a war against the Pashtuns,' says B Raman.

October 3, 2001
America -- the last meritocracy
'Has life no meaning at all, is nothing sacrosanct then? I am horrified for all parents like me in India whose childrens' destiny is in some far off nation,' says A Venkatraman.

September 24, 2001
From Mao to bin Laden
'Indeed, the new jehad of bin Laden is as fanatical as Mao's Cultural Revolution or Great Leap Forward which saw 40 million people slain on the altar of pure Marxism,' says Claude Arpi.

September 22, 2001
Who does the US want to vanquish?
'Even if Washington does decide to grit its teeth and plunge into a military occupation of Afghanistan, it may in no way minimise the terrorist threat to Americans at home and abroad,' says Ajoy Bose.

September 19, 2001
Diary of a broken spirit
Asif Saleh wonders whether he, and New York, will ever be the same again

September 18, 2001
Payback time
This is the time for us to destroy the Afghan/ISI-run camps in PoK. Neither Pakistan or the Americans will have the time or the guts to ask us to back off. The Americans would, in fact, display double standards if they as much as criticise our 'affirmative' actions, says Devi Prasad.

September 18, 2001
God, America and the aftermath
'A public crisis, like the terror attacks, pushes American insecurity to the brink and a rootless collective -- scared and frightened -- turns to 'God', in a public way, to get back 'normal' life,' feels R Swaminathan.

September 13, 2001
Nothing is secure now
'There is now going to be a realignment of forces in fighting radical Islamic forces all over the world. The Indo-US collaboration to fight terrorism will only increase. However, India would rather restrain itself from entering a conflict between Christians and Muslims,' says Sreedhar.

September 12, 2001
Scourge of terrorism: Time to act!
'The world needs to arrive at a consensus that whatever be the cause, any organization that indulges in the killing of the 'innocent, unconnected and unarmed', must be banned worldwide. Any nation that gives sanctuary to these organizations should be isolated economically, politically and militarily,' says Anil Athale.

August 25, 2001
The sadism behind horse racing
'Why does a jockey whip a horse? It is because the fine for over-whipping is much less than that for under-whipping!' says Maneka Gandhi.

August 4, 2001
Dawood, Shakeel & Co
'When there are violent incidents in Karachi almost every other day which are ignored by Mumbai's underworld, why did it get excited by the grenade attack, triggering off rumours about Chota Shakeel injury or death?' says B Raman.

August 4, 2001
From Agra with Love: A Reality Check
'In the subcontinent there is no alternative to peace. Unfortunately, the Pakistani president with a 'company commander's' mindset (narrow focus, clear definable goals and reductionist logic of military appreciation) does not seem to have understood the logic of nuclearisation, says Anil Athale.

July 7, 2001
The only solution
'Unless there is a geopolitical restructuring of J&K that provides territory and political authority to the Kashmiri Pandits, their return in a dark and uncertain situation may not be possible,' says Ashok Pandit.

July 7, 2001
Exchanging life for toilet paper?
'Use less paper. Otherwise, forget forests and animals, your life and mine,' says Maneka Gandhi.

June 22, 2001
Operation whitewash
'India should not fall prey to attempts to re-package Pervez Musharraf as a man of peace and goodwill until his sincerity in wanting to control the rogue mullahs is proved,' says B Raman.

June 21, 2001
Here comes President Musharraf
'Can Pervez Musharraf afford to jettison the two-nation theory and yet keep Pakistan and his head?' asks Anil Athale.

June 20, 2001
High stakes and low expectations
'India and Pakistan are geographically ordained to live with each other even if they fight from time to time. We may question the timing of the summit but the talks were, and are, inevitable,' says General Ved Prakash Malik (retd).

June 14, 2001
Unfulfilled hopes
'The all-India services have been a mixed bag. But it is difficult to agree that they have succeeded greatly in pushing up standards of administrative professionalism or ethics,' says former CBI director R K Raghavan.

June 7, 2001
Waiting for Musharraf
'Musharraf looks upon Afghanistan as his greatest success story and believes this can be repeated in J&K. He interprets the change in Indian attitude as indicators of the onset of battle fatigue in the Indian security forces,' says B Raman.

June 1, 2001
The Curse of Kandahar
'If we do not evacuate the Hindus and Sikhs now, there is every chance that the mad regime in Kabul will at some point in time use them as a human shield and blackmail us and the international community when the world finally decides to take action against them,' says Anil A Athale.

May 11, 2001
Whither Indian Police?
'The police station and the police constable are too diseased to call for the skills of an eminent specialist. Be honest and tell me whether you will ever venture into a police station on your own to seek any service! As for me, I will not!' says Former CBI director R K Raghavan.

The Burkina-Faso syndrome
'Like the Indo-Soviet convergence of interest lasted nearly five decades, the new Indo-US common interest is based on an equally sound footing,' says Colonel Anil Athale (redt).

May 10, 2001
The American proposal
'India is irrelevant in this 'big league' and our support or opposition is of no consequence to the US. But out of all the countries, it is India that needs BMD and a theatre missile defence system to protect its borders!' says Colonel Anil Athale (retd).

April May 3, 2001
Corruption, crime & punishment
'Political corruption in India did not begin with Narasimha Rao, Buta Singh or Jayalalitha. Nor will it end with them,' says P C Punnen.

April 20, 2001
Abortion and choice
'There is a contradiction in our law which permits abortion in general while prohibiting sex-selective ones. If gender equality is the touchstone, then the rights of the female parent take precedence over the right of the female foetus,' says Bharat Jhunjhunwala.

April 10, 2001
The claque and Pavlovian responses
'India will always have a bunch of persons moulding public opinion on whom the powers that be can bank on. Governments may come and go but the claques in the media will soldier on. They can never stop clapping,' says P C Punnen.

April 9, 2001
The Tehelka impact
'Let us not forget that the military -- about 1.5 million officers and men -- after all is only a part of the whole Indian society. If most of the Indian society is corrupt, how do we expect it to remain unaffected?' says General Ved Prakash Malik (retd).

March 30, 2001
Can corruption in defence deals be avoided?
'Transparency is the latest buzzword in India. But there are obvious limits to it,' says Colonel Anil Athale (retd).

March 22, 2001
Indian nationalism in US dollars
`The BJP marketed nationalism and then became quite willing to sell the nation, for a few lakh rupees (or few thousand dollars),' says Sajid Bhombal.

March 20, 2001
A tale of two Laxmans
'On a day when V V S Laxman was hammering the wind out of the hapless Australian bowlers in sunny Calcutta, the weather in faraway New Delhi was turning decidedly darker for a namesake... we are talking about Bangaru Laxman, the first, and possibly for some time, only Dalit president of the predominantly Brahmin BJP. So, what's in a name, you ask?' says Lancy P Correa.

February 21, 2001
Candles anyone?
'We do not want or need future foreign investment. Not if it means further impoverishment for our already poor nation,' says Dr Samir Kelekar.

February 7, 2001
The Graded Path to Rumtek
'The Rumtek Monastery is the most important seat of the Karmapa. Why then is the young Karmapa not permitted to go to Sikkim?' asks Claude Arpi.

February 6, 2001
Call in the ex-servicemen
They are used to a rough life and, in all probability, have participated in some kind of relief operation during their active career, says Wg Cdr Ravindra Parasnis (retd).

Vithal Gadgil belonged to an increasingly rare breed
'Bare fangs and bunched up knuckles were not for Vithal. For him, dignity held more weight than bluff and bluster,' says former Union Minister N K P Salve.

February 5, 2001
God save us from the Babus
'Kutch is not the Himalayas, and the armed forces could have in matter of 24 hours assessed the damage and directed the stream of relief to various places,' says Colonel Anil Athale (retd).

February 1, 2001
The key murderer is the government
'The earthquake is a natural phenomenon, but the death of thousands of people is the result of Man's errors or, rather, the government's errors,' says leading environmentalist Anil Agarwal.

January 25, 2001
End this uncertainty
'Under tremendous pressure from the jihadis, Musharraf needs more concrete initiatives from India than just a ceasefire extension,' feels M H Askari.

January 12, 2001
Sino-Indian relations: Time seems appropriate for a rapprochement
'For the first time in 50 years, China may well see some advantage in securing peace with India,' says Colonel Anil Athale (retd).

January 11, 2001
Sino-Indian relations I: Burying the hatchet in the new millennium -- I
'The first step towards a realistic China policy can only be taken when the people of India come to know the truth about the 1962 Chinese disaster,' says Col Anil Athale (retd).

January 8, 2001
Awards 2000
Vajpayeeji takes 'The Mason of the Year Award, Laloo and Jayalalitha share 'The Chori Aur Seena Jori Award and Karnam Malleshwari gets 'The Marion Jones Award.' A Ganesh Nadar's take on Awards 2000.

January 5, 2001
Will our media grow up?
'Public memory may be short, but many would recall the editorial comments in the so-called national media that virtually swallowed the line that the Chattisinghpora massacre was actually a handiwork of the Indian army. Is the Indian media any better than their Nepalese counterpart?' asks Colonel Anil Athale (retd).

December 21, 2000
Warning: Strategic encirclement!
'If Nepal also becomes a Chinese ally, and distances itself from India, then Pakistan, China's bosom buddy, will soon set up a much-improved office in Nepal,' warns Siddhu Warrier.

Everything, but a solution!
How come we leave a matter as serious as Ayodhya in the hands of ineffective, self-proclaimed community leaders, asks Sajid Bhombal

November 25, 2000
A Woman To Blame
'Blame the woman is the motto of all those who find fault with changes in Azharuddin since he married her. How can a good, innocent, generous man metamorphosise into a monster just because he marries a wrong woman?' asks Sonal Shukla.

November 24, 2000
Even Jesus would not object!
'I do not believe that there is a direct relation between religion and patriotism. Only if India survives can the faith -- any faith survive. The world is aware of the dirty role played by the Vatican in the disintegration of the Soviet Union,' says Tarun Vijay.

November 4, 2000
Thank you, Mr Nandy!
'If not for his column about these chance meetings with three "patriotic" Muslims, we may never have known that "we stand together as one community under one flag",' says Sajid Bhombal.

September 21, 2000
My own country
Balram wonders if the lives of brave jawans and officers have any value for an insensitive government.

September 16, 2000
Fountainhead of intolerance
The Vatican has exposed its chauvinist, intolerant and unreasonable ideology, argues Mac Kher.

September 14, 2000
India, its pride and spirit taken hostage
Vijay Rangaraju's heart bleeds for Abdul Kareem, who is fighting the government on the Veerappan issue.

September 12, 2000
Can we make a difference?
'Typical work pressures and family chores give us little free time. But, this thought does dominate; for most time, in any given week/month. I'm sure there are many out there thinking on similar lines,' says Venkat Prakash.

September 11, 2000
How many criminals will we release?
'With the kidnapping of Kannada film icon Dr Rajakumar, all semblance of common sense, decency and rule of law seem to have disappeared from the list of obligations due from the governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,' says Aravind Sitaraman.

September 6, 2000
One for the road
'We have a prime minister who calls a four-lane highway connecting major metros, which is a basic necessity and which should have been built 20, 25 or n years back, as an 'ambitious project'. Well, we definitely need a leader with higher, much higher, ambitions,' says Sajid Bhombal.

September 5, 2000
A bird in the sky?
More than one and a half months after the Alliance Air crash in Patna, Pallavi is unable to come to terms with it

July 11, 2000
Different Tunes
'By indulging in typical BJP *double-speak*, the BJP has fooled many people on its way to power,' says Sajid Bhombal.

July 4, 2000
The global consequences of creating an Eelam
'To use a nuclear metaphor, dividing Sri Lanka could provide the critical mass necessary for a chain reaction that would rapidly spread throughout the world,' says Roshan Paul.