|December 31, 2009|
'The people of Telangana are treated as second-rate citizens'|
Dr Srinivas Raj, one of the leaders of the Telangana movement has prepared a ready reckoner on the issue. Raj along with several others has been distributing this booklet among the people of Telangana and convincing the people as to why this movement is important and how their lives would change once their state is given back to them.
|December 28, 2009|
'India is a worthy target for global jihadis'|
'Global jihadis want to promote internal tensions that will steer one community against another. They are trying to do that in every part of the world and I do believe that we didn't even see that in the magnitude that we will probably see in the future, in India too, and this is on top of the Kashmir conflict,' feels counter-terrorism expert Dr Boaz Ganor.
|December 23, 2009|
'The level of violence has gone up tremendously in Chhattisgarh'|
'I think the people who are living under those circumstances are showing a higher degree of courage. The wish of the people who want to be associated with the resistance that the poor there are showing in living their ordinary existence is what inspires a lot of people to speak out for them,' says Dr Binayak Sen
|November 25, 2009|
Ex-IPS officer wants probe into Karkare's death
'I would not say I am 100 per cent sure. But I would also not rule out the possibility. This is an alternative theory which must be probed into,' says former Maharashtra Inspector General of Police S M Mushrif.
'Not enough to find out about an attack when it is in progress!'
'You cannot deter somebody who is ready to die. You need to either catch them before they start their journey and before they start implementation or while they are on their way,' says former Mossad chief Danny Yatom.
|November 24, 2009|
'I felt there were more than ten terrorists'|
'Since I felt there could be more, I had told the local authorities to screen every hostage carefully, since we felt that some could have been staying as guests.' Former NSG director general J K Dutt in an exclusive interview.
|November 17, 2009|
'Chidambaram's action endangering peace'|
'Operation Green Hunt is nothing but an operation to get the tribals out of their villages. The paramilitary forces and Salwa Judum are attacking innocent old men, women and children,' says Gandhian Himanshu Kumar.
|November 06, 2009|
'BJP committing suicide in Karnataka'
'Some personal issues led to the present crisis. We should have had a mechanism to tackle the personal problems. We always thought such personal issues would not go out of hand. But it did,' says state Law Minister Suresh Kumar.
|November 05, 2009|
'Why can't Muslim women also lead the community'
Zakia Nizami Soman, one of the founder members of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, speaks of her organisation and and reflects on the daunting challenges facing Muslim women in India today.
|November 04, 2009|
The human face of Indian religion
William Dalrymple discusses his latest book, which delves into nine spiritual lives and uncovers multiple Indias, with Vaihayasi P Daniel.
|November 02, 2009|
'Sushma Swaraj is a better bet than Narendra Modi'|
'We are like a joint family where when the father dies the brothers quarrel and kill each other. What is going on in the BJP is similar. Unless the BJP comes up with a stellar figure like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, these brothers will quarrel and the cousins will disintegrate,' says Professor Dipankar Gupta.
|October 14, 2009|
'This kind of democracy is fascism'|
'This is not China. There is freedom of movement in Kashmir, even in Sikkim. I can go anywhere. But in the SEZs created in my own hinterland I can only enter if I have a pass issued by a civil servant who is appointed as the caretaker of that SEZ,' says Magsaysay Award winner Aruna Roy.
|October 13, 2009|
'China fixed all border issues but India'|
'China has strengthened defences along all its borders, not the one with India alone.' An exclusive interview with M Taylor Fravel, the premier expert on China's border disputes.
|October 12, 2009|
'Brahmins dominate all modern professions'|
'We can’t overlook the crucial importance of cultural capital in intellectual achievements; and virtually all the Nobel Prize winners possessed cultural capital,' says social scientist Dr P Radhakrishnan .
'The Mumbai ATS is a brand new force today'
'The Force One team has given the ATS a big boost. There are several commandos who are trained to fight terrorist groups and equipped with state-of-the-art arms and ammunition. We do not want this force to be lacking in anything. They are being constantly trained,' says ATS Chief K P S Raghuvanshi.
'The Congress needs the Gandhi family'
'People think Sonia, Rahul and Dr Singh are honest people. They are not burdened by ideology,' says sociologist Dipankar Gupta.
|October 05, 2009|
'Bal Thackeray wants his son to become the CM'|
On the eve of the Maharashtra assembly election, Loksatta Editor Kumar Ketkar, one of the most accomplished commentators on the state's politics, speaks to Prasanna D Zore.
|October 01, 2009|
'China and India are true friends, partners'|
'Most Chinese are out of the shadow of the 1962 border conflict. They are thinking of how to make money and not about threatening another country,' says Professor Wang Dehua, who advocates better India-China ties.
|September 23, 2009|
The MP with an IIT and IIM degree|
'The Northeast is the biodiversity saviour of the country,' says Sikkim MP Prem Das Rai. 'Thirty to 40 per cent of the biodiversity of the country is housed in the Northeast. It is the battery of India. Not only oil and gas but it has a hydroelectricity capacity of 70,000 MW. It has so much colour and diversity within itself.'
|September 22, 2009|
'The BJP will not disintegrate'|
'There are certain issues and mistakes from which we all have to learn and I am sure that our party too will do so. These problems are short-lived,' says former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
|September 18, 2009|
'We are concerned about the Tamil refugee camps'|
'Children and their families need to return to their homes and put the pieces of their old lives back together again after the trauma of conflict,' says UNICEF official Sarah Crowe.
|September 17, 2009|
'LK Advani rules the BJP as a dictator'|
'The BJP uses its partners as a stepping stone to grab political space. They are in the habit of betraying their partners. That is how they treated Naveen Patnaik, Chandrababu Naidu, the Asom Gana Parishad and Farooq Abdullah.'.
|September 16, 2009|
'Growth in fundamentalism is expected'|
'It is our constant effort to keep issues, which might snowball into law and order problems, under check,' says Director General of Kerala Police Jacob Punnoose.
|September 14, 2009|
'The Gujarat police are in denial about post-Godhra riots'|
After spending five years in jail, Maulana Mohammad Naseeruddin was granted bail by the Supreme Court. He spoke to Vicky Nanjappa about his detention and the charges against him.
'Prabhakaran was a good weapon to use'
'Sri Lankan army chief General Fonseka told me that 10 minutes before they were killed, ambassadors were calling up Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse to save Prabhakaran and top LTTE leaders,' reveals Nitin Gokhale, author of the new book, Sri Lanka: From War to Peace..
|September 10, 2009|
'It's been a dramatic transformation of my life'|
'It's a rare privilege, within a matter of months, I have changed my residence, my profession, my daily thrust of work, and it's in some ways quite invigorating,' says Shashi Tharoor, minister of state for external affairs, tells Aziz Haniffa in an exclusive interview..
|September 09, 2009|
How the Mumbai police will get better intelligence|
Intelligence officers have been recruited and are being trained at a state-of-the-art intelligence academy, reveals Mumbai Police Commissioner D Sivanandan in an exclusive interview to Sheela Bhatt.
|August 28, 2009|
'Santhanam was worried about India signing CTBT'|
Dr A N Prasad, former director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and a distinguished nuclear scientist, explains the reasons behind K Santhanam's statement on Pokhran II and its possible implications for India.
Why K Santhanam said Pokharan II was not a success
'There is a change in the administration in the United States of America. They are bound to further pressurise India to sign the CTBT. In such an event it was necessary to make such a statement or speak the truth on the issue so that India does not rush into signing the CTBT.'
'Our goal-post right now is Dr Singh's State visit to Washington'
'This is the first State visit in the Obama administration which is a signal of the importance we attach to our relations with India,' says Robert Blake, US Assistant Secretary of South Asian Affairs, tells Aziz Haniffa.
|August 26, 2009|
'The Lankan government gave the LTTE arms'|
'They told them to use it against the Indian Peace Keeping Force. It was they who gave them arms, so it has to be them who give the Tamils amnesty. It is their ethical duty to do so,' says S C Chandrahasan, founder of the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation.
|August 24, 2009|
'Pakistan, an albatross around India's neck'|
'The unresolved problems with Pakistan are a bit of a drag on its other international ambitions,' Teresita C Schaffer, director of the South Asia programme at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, DC, think-tank and former US diplomat, tells Aziz Haniffa.
'India only gives moral support to Balochistan'
Baloch political leader Dr Jumma Khan Marri on the struggle for greater autonomy from Pakistan and a greater share of the region's natural resources.
|August 18, 2009|
'Canada offered $7.1 m for Lankan refugees'|
Canadian Conservative Member of Parliament Deepak Obhrai was in Sri Lanka July 5 to 7 on an official visit. The lawmaker discusses his Sri Lanka visit with Ajit Jain. The lawmaker, who is also the parliamentary secretary to the foreign affairs minister, visited refugee camps in Sri Lanka to monitor Canadian aid to the Tamil refugees. His mandate also was to locate Canadians, if there were any, in the IDP [Internally Displaced Persons] camps and get them back to Canada.
|August 10, 2009|
'Water shortage is a very, very serious situation'|
'It will get worse if we continue to behave like it is business as usual. At all levels at the central, state official level and the people's level, we are not treating it as seriously as we should' says Ashok Jaitly, director of water resources at The Energy Resources Institute.
|July 31, 2009|
'It is time for the Lankan govt to reach out to Tamils'|
Conservative Member of Parliament Deepak Obhrai, who's also Parliamentary Secretary to Minister for Foreign Affairs Lawrence Canon, was on an official visit to Lanka from July 5 to July 7 to visit refugee camps and ensure that Canadian aid is reaching the Tamil refugees there.
|July 16, 2009|
'If something like 26/11 happens, we are ready'|
Home Secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai in an exclusive interview with Sheela Bhatt about his new job and the need for a huge dose of pragmatism when one is home secretary of India.
|June 24, 2009|
'Pak cannot try 26/11 accused'|
'It will not make any difference to our war against terror. Those persons ought to be extradited questioned and tried in our courts,' says Mumbai ATS Chief K P S Raghuvanshi.
'Lashkar moving into mainstream of global jihad'
'It should be an imperative of American policy to support the demand for Pakistan to shut down Lashkar-e-Tayiba,' says influential Afpak strategist Bruce Riedel.
|June 22, 2009|
'Diversity index is high-priority for UPA govt'|
Salman Khurshid, who holds the portfolios of minority affairs and corporate affairs, tells Sreelatha Menon that he wants greater public participation in development programmes.
'If I'm arrested, Lalgarh will be torn by violence'
'The people at Lalgarh die of starvation regularly, there is no health infrastructure, our children don't get proper education, the tribal languages are neglected and no steps are taken for the welfare of the Jangalmahal residents. If the PCAPA is given power, it can really do wonders,' says PCAPA convenor Chhatradhar Mahato.
|June 05, 2009|
'India is respectful of its history'|
'Macaulay would be less dismissive of India if his Sanskrit dictionary had not fallen off the boat.' A fascinating interview with historian Piers Brendon, author of the provocative The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997.
'The moment erosion happens, the entire ecosystem is lost'
'People think of development only. They don't look at the economics of the environment. They look at the profits of development. They should also look at the cost of restoring the environment,' says environmental activist Probir Banerjee.
|May 21, 2009|
'Youth have to be taken on board'|
'The demographics is that the majority of our voters and the majority of the population are youth, so we must make serious efforts,' says Biju Janata Dal MP 'Jay' Panda.
|May 18, 2009|
'We drove out an evil force called Left'|
'People have suffered for long. Their patience level is very low. We have to act double quick to improve the state of life in Bengal,' says senior Congress leader Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury.
|May 17, 2009|
'BJP rout was clearly the swansong of Advani'|
'The BJP ran a miserable campaign and the Third Front, happily, was clueless. It also showed the disutility of a negative campaign where the BJP could not proffer any viable policy alternatives to Congress,' says Professor Sumit Ganguly.
|May 15, 2009|
'It will be a thorny road for Mamata'|
'The Congress is the only party that can counter US imperialism and the Left Front has always attempted to put up a fight against imperialism. Logically, therefore, the Congress and Left must work together to battle against it,' says outspoken Bengal Minister Subhas Chakraborty
'This is the biggest gamble the Third Front has undertaken'
'If the Left can get its plans and policies in place and is able to influence the direction of the new government, then we will join,' says powerful CPI-M leader Biman Bose.
|May 13, 2009|
'Abusing power is in the DMK's genes'|
Madurai's two-time sitting MP P Mohan is known for his simplicity. Whether he is being accessible to his voters or roaming across town on his moped, he has a down-to-earth image. In what is probably the toughest ever election, the CPI-Mt veteran is up against M K Azhagiri, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's elder son.
|May 12, 2009|
'My music will help me get votes'|
'Unlike other candidates, I did not have to give money to the voter asking them to vote for me,' says singer and Akali Dal candidate from Jalandhar, Hans Raj Hans.
|May 07, 2009|
'272 is not a magical number for govt formation' |
'A majority in Parliament is not necessary to run the government,' says Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap, explaining the legal options before the President once the election results are declared.
'Glamour has limited power, but power has unlimited glamour'
'Stars do not translate into votes because film stars do not know the subject, they have not struggled, have no direct rapport with the people, they are not role models. I must say it is also the fault of the party. They must prepare, educate and counsel the stars, but they use them misuse them and abuse them,' says Shatrughan Sinha, one of the first Bollywood stars to join politics.
'Thousands of Tamils are getting killed for the sake of one lady'
Legendary Tamil movie director Bharathiraja explains why he is campaigning against the Congress in Tamil Nadu.
|May 05, 2009|
'No lunatic right wing fringe in BJP'|
'Modi obviously has support.' Barmer MP Manvendra Singh speaks about the unfinished work in his constituency and how we can change as a country by changing the way we drive.
'No constituency in India can be won on caste grounds'
'There is no winning formula. If there was a formula do you think politicians would lose? Would they face anti-incumbency? Would they run pillar to post to win an election if caste votes were just enough?' asks political science scholar Dipankar Gupta.
|May 01, 2009|
Will ensure every riot witness' safety'
'Everyone is keen that the case should succeed and the Special Investigation Team will be a model in this case. The Supreme Court is sensitive to this case, what more do we need?' asks Gujarat SIT chief R K Raghavan.
'Church attacks have strengthened BJP'
'When we protest against something wrong, there is nothing wrong about it,' says RSS leader Prabhakar Bhat Kalladka.
|April 30, 2009|
'Civilians are part of the LTTE concept of war'|
'India should not confuse fighting the LTTE with fighting for the Tamil cause because the LTTE forfeited that expectation when it fought a needless war with India and alienated its support,' says intelligence expert Colonel R Hariharan (retd).
'Politics has become a really bad word'
'There are people who want to come into the system and make a difference, but we need everyone's support to do that. Otherwise, nothing will happen -- everyone will sit on the fence and criticise,' says Mumbai MP Priya Dutt.
'Politics has become a really bad word'
'There are people who want to come into the system and make a difference, but we need everyone's support to do that. Otherwise, nothing will happen -- everyone will sit on the fence and criticise,' says Mumbai MP Priya Dutt.
|April 27, 2009|
'We are creating two Indias'|
' The chasm is getting bigger. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The top-most priority for any government must be to bridge that gap. If you see, the divide is greatest in terms of sharing resources and economic empowerment. Villagers, farmers, the minorities and the marginalised people, women, and the people in the fringes, they need to get the resources.' Congress MP Sachin Pilot in frank conversation.
|April 23, 2009|
'I have not hurt my father's legacy'|
Arjun Singh's daughter Veena Singh, who is contesting as an Independent in Sidhi, talks about her decision to contest, her relations with her father and brother, and about her fitness as a candidate.
|April 20, 2009|
'The agricultural growth in my Gujarat is 14%, but no one looks at it'|
In the second part of an exclusive interview with rediff.com, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi discusses his prime ministerial ambitions
'I will never enter politics'
Priyanka on politics, Rahul & Buddhism.
'Naveen Patnaik's government is inept and corrupt'
But state Congress president K P Singh Deo does not rule a post-poll alliance.
'In 5 years, Indians stashed Rs 688,000 cr illegally'
'It is like this: A theft has taken place, and you are arguing about how much has been stolen. Nobody denies the theft! Nobody denies the loot!' S Gurumurthy, member of the BJP's taskforce on black money in banks abroad, lashes out.
Meet Capt Gopinath's chief campaigner
'It is very important to talk directly to voters. We believe it is necessary to understand their problems. That is why we have stayed away from the tamasha, usually followed by others,' says Bhargavi Gopinath.
|April 14, 2009|
Team India manager in poll fray|
Former manager of the Indian team D V Subba Rao about cricket, his law career and his political ambitions.
Naidu betrayed the poor, we worked for them
In an exclusive interview with Mohammed Siddique, Rajasekhara Reddy says that in the final analysis people will vote for a government that has credibility and has kept its word during last five years.
|March 31, 2009|
Why shouldn't Brahmin community get reservation?|
Sattanathapuram Venkataraman Shekher is a popular playwright, producer and director in the Tamil film industry. He is also the sitting AIADMK Member of Legislative Assembly from Mylapore. He explains his reasons behind leaving the AIADMK to rediff.com's Shobha Warrier.
'Swiss black money can take India to the top'
In an interview, Professor R Vaidyanathan, Professor of Finance at the Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru. Vaidyanathan explains in detail the importance of bringing back the ill-gotten wealth that has been stashed away in the Swiss Bank and how the money got there in the first place.
|March 26, 2009|
'Is it in India and Pakistan’s interest to go to war? No'|
'I am sorry if you think that American friendship is paying you dividends. Please learn from our experience. Don't reduce your status while pursuing closer relations with America where you can't think for yourself,' says Pakistani media baron Hameed Haroon.
|February 28, 2009|
'Congress will explore all options to keep BJP out'|
After serving as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for ten years, Digvijay Singh has been entrusted with the responsibility of the Congress' affairs in UP. In an interview with Renu Mittal, Singh talks about the 'friendly fight' between the two parties in UP.
|February 18, 2009|
'Communalism and terrorism are inextricably linked'|
'The Dar ul-Uloom Deoband could serve as an effective ambassador for India in the Muslim world and even beyond, and could be a means to inform others about India's composite culture and religiously-plural society.' Maulana Abdul Khaliq Madrasi, deputy rector of the Dar ul-Uloom Deoband, in a rare interview.
|February 17, 2009|
'Pakistan will be fine'
Novelist Nadeem Aslam discusses the situation in his native Pakistan.
'Love doesn't fall under purview of any culture'
'We have made the public aware of their rights. The protests have been so strong and well accepted that the Ram Sena will one day run with their tails tucked between their legs,' says IIM-B Professor Rajeev Gowda who organised a human chain in Bengaluru to protest the violence against women.
|February 06, 2009|
The man who will prosecute Kasab
Ujjwal Nikam, special public prosecutor for the Mumbai terror attacks says that the prosecution will have a good case.
|February 04, 2009|
'No change in US policy on Kashmir'
'There is a lot Pakistan and India could do if they work against terrorism together,' says US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher.
|February 03, 2009|
'The patient has become invisible'|
'There is no need for most tests doctors order,' says novelist Dr Abraham Verghese in a candid conversation with Arthur J Pais on the state of medicine today.
Cutting aid will curtail Pakistan army's independence
‘The Pakistanis deserve some credit for what they have done so far… But, obviously, it has to result in outcomes; it has to result in prosecution and the disbanding of these groups.’ US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher tells Aziz Haniffa
|February 02, 2009|
'No party wants to displease the Hindus'|
Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, head of the Catholic Church in Orissa, has predicted that Christians who fled Kandhamal -- following the violence perpetrated against them by Hindutva forces last year -- are unlikely to return to their homes. Christians in Orissa, the archbishop felt, do not trust Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's assurances of protection and security.
'The highest rates of heart diseases are in India'
'Another factor of heart diseases is our eating habits. We South Asians say we are vegetarians. We forget that food may not always be healthy. We use a lot of saturated fat and everything else combined does make it a serious cocktail for heart diseases,' says cardiac surgeon Dr Arvind Koshal.
'Muslims have lost faith in UPA'
Ulema Council chairman Maulana Amir Rashadi, who organised last week's trip of Muslim youth from Azamgarh to Delhi, in a frank interview.
|January 29, 2009|
Salute the courage of Raymond Diengdoh|
'I only hope his sacrifice does not go in vain. I wish we could all live as one. We all have problems. It can be solved without taking up arms.'
'People in India seem much happier than the West'
'The rickshaw is undoubtedly the ultimate long-distance, off-road machine, says Dr Mark Cunningham-Hill, who will take part in a two-week rickshaw race to raise $15,000 for clean water in India.
'Apply anti-terror laws for Mangalore attackers'
U R Ananthamurthy, one of India's greatest writers and a leading figure in contemporary Kannada literature, is 'saddened and disgusted' by the moral policing in his beloved state. Moral policing is a parental duty, he says, not a governmental one.
|January 28, 2009|
Meet Dr Singh's daughter|
'My father has a lot of anxieties, I hate to see him go through all of that,' says novelist Daman Singh
|January 27, 2009|
'Pakistan bears a tremendous responsibility'|
'Pakistan,' says former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R Nicholas Burns, 'has an obligation to work with India and to give India the type of support needed to ensure that these types of attacks will not occur again. Therefore you cannot hide behind the definition of non-State actors. Every government has a responsibility to control the situation on its own territory. India needs the kind of reassurances from Islamabad that has not yet been forthcoming.'
'Shri Ram Sena is a confused organisation'
While most members do not seem to be apologetic about the incident, the Bajrang Dal reacted strongly to the attack. Karnataka Bajrang Dal chief Mahendra Kumar told rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa that the protest by the Shri Ram Sena was indecent and added that the outfit does not have the backing of the Sangh Parivar.
'We need to preserve our culture'
Sri Ram Sena chief Prasad Attavar defends his organisation's actions.
|January 23, 2009|
'The LTTE is finished militarily'|
‘The Sri Lankan army wants to eliminate the LTTE 100%. The LTTE is in the same position as they were in when we left,’ says IPKF intelligence chief Colonel R Hariharan (retd).
|January 19, 2009|
'Obama didn't win for being black'
'There has been an almost palpable change in the black community. There is an energy in the air that wasn't there before; there's a spark and a light now that was previously missing. I look around and I see a change in the way we carry ourselves, the way we speak to each other and treat each other,' says Jann Marie Hodge, one of the thousands of African Americans who have arrived to witness the Barack Obama’s historical swearing-in as America’s first black president.
|January 16, 2009|
'Omar talks less and is focused on delivery'|
'We have lots of expectations from Omar Abdullah. He is dynamic, very sharp, intelligent and has the zeal to work for the people. He has a fire in him and he wants to do something concrete for the people. Besides, he is soft-spoken, not arrogant and has tonnes of patience,' says Abdul Rahim Rather
|January 12, 2009|
'India is wise to pursue a diplomatic strategy'|
'Pakistan has become America's biggest foreign policy problem. Unless India is willing to think strategically and long-term, it will continue to be India's major problem as well,' says South Asia expert Stephen B Cohen.
|January 05, 2009|
'I have convinced our Diaspora that India cares'|
Our country has been getting some $26 billion in the form of remittances from abroad, but investment is quite low. I think it is just 6 percent of the total investment that is coming to India. The people living abroad are good people. They advise us on how to rule India, but their investment is quite low,’ says Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi.