January 30, 2015These Women made us proud on Republic Day
They came from different parts of this vast country to give us some of the proudest moments of this Republic Day. Archana Masih speaks to Lieutenant Haobam Bella Devi and Captain Divya Ajith, young Army officers who stole the show on Rajpath.
Must See Video: Remember Mahatma Gandhi?
What does Mahatma Gandhi mean to Indians today?
The Amazing R K Laxman: A Friend Remembers
'It was amazing to see the speed with which the lines flowed from his pen!' remembers Ambassador Placido P D'Souza.
S Jaishankar: The strict IFS officer with a wicked sense of humour
Subrahmanyam Jaishankar's worldview sets him apart
January 29, 2015Not such a Common Man
'His Common Man, with his unforgettable bewildered look, will live on for a long time to come, as will so many of his cartoons. They captured important moments in half a century of India's political and social development that no words could.'
'A new high between our nations'
'There is now a new paradigm and that is also somewhat begrudgingly recognised by China. They are not all that thrilled that we have come to all these agreements.'
January 28, 2015When Lt Commander Sandhya Chauhan marched into Naval history
'I am just another Harayanavi girl. If I can do it, other girls can do it too,' says the naval officer who became the first woman to lead the Indian Navy's marching contingent on Republic Day.
January 27, 2015His nose singled out the problems of the Common Man
'Laxman will be remembered for years to come as the person whom everybody turned to the first thing in the morning and drew a smile, however depressing the situation. It will be impossible to replace him...'
Of commoners and crows: The genius of R K Laxman
'No one took umbrage, because they knew Laxman had no malice in him.'
'India has to rise and rise fast'
'The government has to take effective steps to strengthen democracy, rule of law, maintain communal harmony and safeguard the security of the country and its people.'
January 26, 2015The uncommon creator of that Common Man
Rediff.com reproduces the 1997 feature about Laxman, his passion for crows, and of course, his genius.
Video: What does Young India know about January 26?
India celebrates its 66th Republic Day on January 26, 2015. We asked some youngers a few questions about this special day.
22 years ago, before Barack, there was John Abraham
'It was a moment when I felt what power can get. Such a reception was beyond my expectation.'
January 25, 2015'Only a nation that respects its women can become a global power'
'Where have we failed, as parents, teachers and leaders, that our children have forgotten all tenets of decent behaviour and respect for women?' President Pranab Mukherjee asks the nation on the eve of Republic Day.
'I wasn't nervous:' Wing Commander Pooja Thakur
'Parades and ceremonials are a part of our training and inculcated in us since the beginning of our career. It was very exciting.'
January 23, 2015'The Constitution has to be worked by good people with good intentions'
'Constitutional values will remain vibrant and strong as long as the checks and balances on Executive Power are not weakened,' says Constitution expert Anil B Divan.
Exclusive! Desi Congressman on traveling with Obama to India
'This is such a dynamic time for our entire community.'
Modi's tryst with 20 trillion and taste for twenty20
Keshav Joshi's tongue in cheek look at Narendra Modi's mega plans.
January 21, 2015Exclusive! Top Congress leader says Modi has begun a new era
'Modi has been successful in convincing people that from a social point of view, he is closest to Indian citizens. His is a victory of Indian-ness.'
Three cheers for India's Tigers!
As India celebrates its growing tiger population, Sonil Dedhia/Rediff.com shares some incredible moments he has spent in the proximity of tigers over the years.
Containing China: Why India and US are building close defence ties
'India-US defence pacts are seen by many analysts as a subtle move to jointly contain China's growing militarism, especially in the strategic Indian Ocean Region.'
Can Niti Aayog transform India?
'A lot will depend on the first Aayog and the power it derives.'
January 19, 2015Anil Kumar Verma: The man on leave for ever
More than 24 years later, case of wilful absence has finally been proven against the bureaucrat.
What Rajni Kothari had predicted for India
When Rajni Kothari pointed towards a new democratic alignment in India.
The Gujarat I saw
There have been significant changes in Gujarat, says Uttam Ghosh, as he captures the state in his camera.
January 16, 2015Kite runners, this Sankranti
As winter fades and the sun's warmth begins, once again, to make its presence felt, India celebrates one of its oldest and most important festivals.
January 15, 2015Exclusive! Minister breaks silence on land ordinance
'If I am angry, then I do not have the right to be in the Cabinet. Whatever I have done, I have ensured that farmers' interests are protected,' Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh, who 'abstained' from a meeting with the President on the ordinance, tells Rashme Sehgal.
Spare a thought for India's Ebola Warriors
A former Indian Air Force officer is among those battling the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa. As a part of the UN Ebola Task Force, he shares his experience with Arjun Subramaniam.
January 14, 2015How Mumbai once lived!
If you want to see what life was a few decades ago in the megapolis, visit Mumbai's 92-year-old BDD chawls.
January 13, 2015Astad Deboo and the dance of rebellion in Manipur
After performing with Manipuri artistes the world over, Astad Deboo, India's greatest contemporary dancer, performed with artistes of the Shri Shri Govindajee Nat Sankirtan in Imphal for the first time.
January 12, 2015Meenakshipuram, 33 years on: Muslims happy, Hindus not
A Ganesh Nadar visits the village in Tamil Nadu that shot into national prominence in 1981 when half the Dalits there converted to Islam. He spoke to the Hindus and Muslims and came back with two very different stories.
January 09, 2015Pravasi Special: Harnessing the power of the Diaspora
It is critical to engage politicians in the US and India to recognize the achievements of the three million strong Indian-American community says M R Rangaswami, founder of Indiaspora
Pravasi Special: My expectations from PM Modi
The time is nigh for India to ensure that investment by its former citizens is encouraged by protecting their rights, says C B Patel.
Pravasi Special: Build and they will come
The euphoria of Ab Ki Baar Modi Sarkar will fade quickly if the Modi government does not raise its game, and focus significant monetary resources and managerial skills on making India's infrastructure truly world-class, says Ram Kelkar.
Pravasi Special: The forgotten souls of India
Can India really succeed when it leaves some of its underprivileged so far behind that they simply do not matter, asks Aseem Chhabra
Did India discover Pythagoras theorem? A top mathematician answers
The Pythagoras theorem 'should either be an Egyptian theorem if you look at the standard of just having an idea about it, an Indian theorem if you're looking for a complete statement of it, or a Chinese theorem if you're looking for the proof of it,' Fields Medal winner and Princeton University Professor Dr Manjul Bharava tells P Rajendran/Rediff.com
January 08, 2015Pravasi Special: 'Modi has enthused the Diaspora'
The Diaspora is no longer a mere remittance economy. It today claims dual loyalty and demands a say in Indian politics, says sociologist Shiv Visvanathan
Pravasi Special: A salute to India
Pravasis have created a great impression among Americans about their maternal country, India, says Dr Joy Cherian, the first Asian American to be appointed to a sub-cabinet level position in the US government.
Pravasi Special: The India I want to see
Educationist Dr Shashi K Pande on how he sees India, and how he would like to see it change.
My salute to arguably India's greatest military hero
In super-human acts of valour, Havildar Abdul Hamid personally knocked out five tanks over two days, effectively derailing the enemy offensive in the 1965 Indo-Pak War.
Pravasi Special: Bharat Mata and her children
Over the years, pravasis have become a constituency, to be tapped, cultivated, and honoured, or at the very minimum to be listened to, says Ambassador B S Prakash.
Pravasi Special: 'India has stayed in my blood'
'My own Indianness has kept me evolving and changing -- and that's something that nobody and nothing can take from me,' says Roopa Unnikrishnan, who left the Indian shores a decade ago.
January 07, 2015Pravasi Special: Friends of India
'India today has to fight many a battle, all of which cry out for innovation. This is where the experience of the Diaspora could be the most productive well-spring.'
Pravasi Special: A look back in anxiety
'Non Resident Indians know that India's problems are the combination of many factors over the centuries, including foreign rule, lack of resources and the ever-growing population, among other things. Yet, India has achieved many things and even looks at Mars as a neighbour.'
'Uncle' has educated the poorest of the poor
'I've seen the craze for English education even among the poorest. But that is only for their sons. Parents feel thrilled when they see their sons going to school wearing a tie. They don't mind paying for their sons' private tuitions too.'
How a 'Made in India' project was scuttled
Instead of the Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40, which Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd could build, export, overhaul, upgrade and even modify into a light-attack aircraft, powerful lobbies have promoted a Swiss trainer -- the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II.
PHOTOS: Inside President Pranab's home
Rare glimpses of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Kind courtesy: Architectural Digest India.
Pravasi Special: The coup that changed India's Diaspora policy
As India gears up to honour its pravasis on January 9 to mark their contribution in the nation's development, rediff.com presents perspectives from eminent writers on the Diaspora.
EXPLAINED: The Saradha chit fund scam
About 17 lakh investors, mostly in West Bengal, who have lost crores of rupees in the Saradha chit fund scam are fast losing hope. The scandal continues to roil West Bengal political circles with several ruling Trinamool Congress leaders being implicated and some arrested. Even West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's name has been dragged into the sordid mess. Indrani Roy presents a FAQ on what the scam is about and the main players behind it.
January 06, 2015Why the Pakistan army can't subdue the TTP
WWhat Pakistan faces in the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is virulent insurgency and terrorism, fuelled by its association with Al Qaeda
January 05, 2015How a ship container solved the toilet problem in a TN village
A used shipping container transforms the lives of women in a remote Tamil Nadu village.
January 02, 2015Will Mahinda Rajapaksa be defeated?
As the island heads for elections, two major factors worry Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
What NaMo will do in 2015
'Those who have seen the functioning of the Modi government in Gujarat know that the issues related to Hindutva and issues of economy and growth function simultaneously.'
December 30, 2014Mr Verma comes to India
Richard Rahul Verma, the first Indian American to serve as US Ambassador to New delhi, quips that surviving the first month in India is his first goal.
MISSING: Rahul Gandhi, the Congressman
While believing that the senior leadership does not have what it takes to resurrect the party, members at the same time are often heard repeating, "It's the Gandhi family that holds the party together". Kavita Chowdhury explains
Exclusive! BJP adamant on Hindu CM for JK
A PDP-BJP alliance would have been formed on the evening of December 28 had the BJP agreed to let Mufti Mohammad Sayeed become chief minister for the first three years and allow the BJP to nominate its chief minister for the next three years.
What may have gone wrong with AirAsia QZ8501
Don't look for a single cause -- a combination of factors is needed to bring down any plane, says Shakti Lumba
December 29, 2014The Children of Dharavi
Most of the kids come to school after they finish working in day-long 9 to 6 shifts at the plastic recycling units. Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com captures the many moods of children in Mumbai's largest slum.
BJP working towards a Uniform Civil Code
Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Ansari believes a national debate on a Uniform Civil Code is a must.
December 28, 2014Jaishankar may replace Sujatha Singh as foreign secretary
India's ambassador to the US may replace incumbent Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, a top source in the Narendra Modi government told Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com
December 24, 2014Vajpayee revelled in being everything to everybody
Atal Bihari Vajpayee would seek to placate the hawks in the RSS by stating that the writing of history should not be one-sided. At the same time, he would project a moderate 'Nehruvian' image of himself as the archetypal liberal politician who would strive to attain a balance between conflicting viewpoints. A fascinating profile of the former prime minister and Bharat Ratna by Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Shankar Raghuraman.
December 23, 2014Why Modi needs to take a correct call on the J&K verdict
The BJP has already cobbled up 28 seats to counter-bargain with the PDP's 28 seats in future talks.
December 20, 20143 reasons why 2014 J&K elections are historic
'The youth have given New Delhi a chance. Now it is up to the policy-makers in Delhi to respect their political choices.'
December 19, 2014Battleground Rajya Sabha!
It is not in the Lok Sabha, where the BJP has a clear majority, but the Rajya Sabha that the Opposition has ganged up to checkmate Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious plans.
40 years in Eternal India
Often when I meet a new Indian friend, who is not aware of my background, he exclaims: "So many years in India! but why, why? I can't understand! My dream is to go to the States or Europe and you are living in 'this' country!"
December 18, 2014A path to emerge from the shadows
US President Barack Obama's plan to shield up to 4.7 million undocumented immigrants from deportation may be immensely significant, but only a comprehensive legislation from the Congress with a larger goal could do justice to immigrant expectations.
Meet the Castros!
'There is perfect coordination between them,' Vice-President Hamid Ansari said when Rediff.com asked what differences he had noted between Raul Castro and his elder brother. 'Commandante (Fidel Castro) remains the undisputed leader of the revolution.'
For the love of Ruskin Bond
'I am a very personal writer. I write direct to the reader. I don't hold back,' says India's most loved writer, Ruskin Bond.
December 17, 2014The different shades of childhood
The fair saw children with their parents, their faces beaming as they took in the treats on offer. Then there was the other side -- child labourers selling trinkets to earn a buck, oblivious of the joyrides around them.
December 16, 2014Being undocumented in the United States
There are 2.5 lakh undocumented Indians across the United States. While President Barack Obama's executive order last week does help, only the US Congress can really address the needs of those caught in the immigration tangle.
December 11, 2014Bhopal 1984: 'Mass funerals were the most painful to watch'
Deepak Kher was one of many volunteers who chipped in in the aftermath of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy which killed over thousands of people in one night, and damaged the future of many others. He recounts his experience on the tragic night and the days that followed.
The Briton who is cleaning up India
There is a reason Jodie Underhill is called 'garbage girl'. She has been dirtying her hands in a crusade against filth for the last 5 years.
Whose Taj Mahal is it anyway?
Everyone wants a piece of the Taj Mahal, but do they care about the deteriorating condition of India's best-loved monument
December 10, 2014'They said my husband had sold me'
'I told the lady I was two months pregnant, but that did not seem to bother her.'
December 04, 2014Memories of Bhopal 1984: 'Sadness. Dismay. Guilt. Shame'
Pablo Bartholomew, the legendary Indian photojournalist whose searing images from the Bhopal gas tragedy stunned a nation's conscience 30 years ago, speaks to Vaihayasi Pande Daniel/Rediff.com.
December 03, 2014'India had never seen anything like Bhopal'
Photojournalist Chandu Mhatre, one of the first to reach Bhopal after India's worst industrial disaster ravaged the city, remembers his worst seven days, in a conversation with Vaihayasi Pande Daniel/Rediff.com.
December 02, 2014Bandipur's tiger boom spells doom for those on the fringe
It was between 2010 and 2014 that wildlife biologists began to realise the heavy proliferation of tigers in the Bandipur National Park in Karnataka. The fiercely-territorial beasts are today locked in battle for dominance with man and his cattle.
November 29, 2014Ram Madhav: From RSS pracharak to Modi's 'ambassador at large'
From planning Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign trips to playing a key role in the Jammu and Kashmir elections, former RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav is become increasingly important in the BJP
November 28, 2014My mother, Sitara Devi, wasn't adept at playing 'the game'
"She chose a path less trodden and turned it into a road paved with gold as far as her dance was concerned. There will never be another Sitara Devi," says her son, musician Ranjit Barot.
November 27, 2014'Because she was born on 26/11, I want her to grow up strong'
Goli is a special child, born on 26/11 at the Cama hospital in Mumbai while the terrorists were raining bullets outside. Six years later, Vaihayasi Pande Daniel/Rediff.com
finds a family determined to give their children the best life they can afford.
November 26, 2014'Sitara Devi did exactly what she wanted to'
'There she was, standing before me, burning with fever but ready to dance. She was like that. When it came to her dancing it didn't matter to her whether she was well or unwell,' says the legendary Birju Maharaj.
Two Vinitas and the 26/11 tragedy
Vinita Bisht and Vinita Kamte lost their husbands -- one an NSG commando, the other an IPS officer -- in the 26/11 terror attack. Six years later, Archana Masih/Rediff.com
meets them to discover that closure is one of the hardest things to find.
Death of a Hero: How Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan was ambushed
'Unni swung up his MP5 and fired a burst across the atrium. The bullets hammered into the wall. Then he bounded up the stairs leading to the other set of doors opening into the Palm Lounge. It was a terribly risky move because he didn't have a buddy to cover him.'
November 24, 2014Should prostitution be legalised?
'When workers in other industries enjoy protection, why should sex workers not receive similar protection?'
November 23, 2014People are willing to give us a second chance: AAP's Yogendra Yadav
Will the Aam Aadmi Party repeat its magic or are Delhi voters going to reprimand it for party chief Arvind Kejriwal's maverick 49-day chief ministership in the upcoming state assembly elections? Search for the answer led me to party ideologue Yogendra Yadav, who appears to have some justification and back-of-the-envelope calculations to suggest that his party stands a chance, despite rival Bharatiya Janata Party's surge in other recent state polls.
November 19, 2014The brave Indian doctor who treated Ebola in Africa
Dr Kalyani Gomathinayagam, a young Indian doctor who volunteered to spend four weeks in west Africa helping those suffering and dying of Ebola, speaks to Vaihayasi Pande Daniel/Rediff.com
why she took on an assignment many would shy away from.
November 18, 2014Light a candle for the heroes of Rezang La
The 1962 war with China was not all about ignominy and capitulation. At many places Indian soldiers -- woefully outnumbered, tragically out-gunned - fought back with valour, going down in a blaze of glory but not before halting the enemy's relentless march into Indian territory. The valiant fightback at Razang La in Leh by the 13th Kumaon battalion, under Major Shaitan Singh (who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously for his brave deeds) on November 18, 1962, is one such.
November 17, 2014This freedom fighter's struggle for his right is now a movie
It took Gour Hari Das three decades to wrangle out a certificate recognising his work as a freedom fighter. His struggle is now the subject of a film
November 15, 2014After Mars Mission, what is ISRO planning next?
It has already tasted success with the moon mission and Mangalyaan. Is man in space the next frontier for ISRO?
November 14, 2014The house where Nehru lived
On the occasion of the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's 125th birth anniversary, Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com
visits his residence of 16 years, and comes away marvelling at his enduring legacy.
November 12, 2014Maharashtra: BJP wins the battle, can it win the war?
Maharashtra politics is at crossroads. Anything can happen in this dynamic situation.
November 09, 2014Robin Raphel, the American Indian diplomats hated
On Thursday, November 6, the Washington Post newspaper reported that controversial American diplomat, Ambassador Robin Raphel, had her office and home searched by the FBI.
November 08, 2014The godman for all seasons... and reasons
The Bharatiya Janata Party's hot saffronite swami is yoga teacher Ramdev.
November 06, 2014Ground Zero report: How Bangladeshis infiltrate into India
Taki in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district is the last Indian outpost on the border with Bangladesh. It is one of hotspots for Bangladeshi infiltration into India. While most poor Bangladeshis cross over to look for work, terror groups take advantage to ferry their men and material into India. Indrani Roy/Rediff.com
November 04, 2014'They are going to hang my husband as a lesson to others'A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com
meets the shattered families of the five Tamil fishermen sentenced to death by a Sri Lankan court for alleged drug smuggling. Most feel the men are being made an example of to scare off other fishermen from straying into Sri Lankan waters.
November 03, 2014Mystery death of Gohana heist 'mastermind' adds new twist
Although the Haryana police claim to have solved the sensational Rs 100 crore bank heist case in Gohana town of Sonipat, the family of the robbery's alleged mastermind refuse to believe the cops. The family of Mahipal Banwala, the alleged mastermind who was found dead in his car, refuse to believe that a strong self-made man like him could never have committed suicide.
October 31, 2014REWIND: Finding Bhopal gas tragedy's Warren Anderson
Back in September 2002, Shakti Bhatt
/Rediff.com located the former Union Carbide chairman's luxury home in New York, declared unknown by the American and Indian governments. Rediff.com reproduces the feature about his life in hiding.
How a Sikh family survived a massacre 30 years ago
'Koi Sardar hai? Goli se maar dalenge...'
October 29, 2014Congress politicians, biz tycoons on black money list?
As the government submitted a list of 627 foreign account holders to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the spotlight is on family of former Maharashtra chief minister, former minister in the UPA government, a Mumbai-based corporate among others. Vrishti Beniwal
October 28, 2014Inside the Forbidden Land
'The impression I get is bread and butter matters more than freedom and choice. And China is providing bread and butter in plenty.'
October 26, 2014Preneet Kaur and Narayan Rane don't deny nor confirm 'Swiss accounts'
It is possible that Preneet Kaur and Narayan Rane may later state that they are victims of mistaken identity. But until they clarify the matter, the guessing game around 'two Congress leaders having secret Swiss accounts' will continue, says Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com
October 22, 2014Did this Bengal madrassa train terrorists?
The Simulia madrassa, on the outskirts of Bardhaman town in West Bengal, allegedly had links with Gulshana Bibi and Amina Bibi, the women arrested after the October 2 blast in the town.
October 21, 2014Child labour: Huge burden on tiny hands
Just days after Kailash Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigns against child labour, photographs captured barefoot children clearing waste from the Yamuna. We take a look at the progress or lack of it on the issue of child rights.
October 16, 2014How the risk-taking Amit Shah went for broke in Maharashtra
As Maharashtra and Haryana show, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah completely control the BJP and are taking it to the next level ruthlessly, without carrying forward any past baggage.
October 13, 2014What went on inside Bengal's house of terror?
Rediff.com's Indrani Dey digs up chilling details of the ongoing investigation in the Bardhaman blast case, which exposed the a militant network that had been operating in West Bengal since many years.
October 09, 2014They don't make the likes of M V Kamath anymore
'If you are a professional journalist, don't ever think that your work is going to bring in revolution or that you are going to change the world. That job is best left to the revolutionaries,' M V Kamath, the legendary journalist who passed away on October 9, told Nitin Gokhale
October 08, 2014Happy landings, Empee!
On Air Force Day, a salute to a fighter pilot, who was an example in life and in death. Air Commodore Nitin Sathe
pays tribute to an extraordinary officer and a gentleman.
'America has got Modi's friendship'
'Obama probably thinks, "He is quite a guy!" Americans on Capitol Hill think, "He has guts. He is a big player".' An Indian official explains the importance of the Modi visit to Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com
October 07, 2014'Hello, good afternoon, Hindu Helpline'
A brainchild of Vishva Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia, many find its agenda divisive
October 01, 2014'Kashmir is not going back to what it was'
'By the time the ground dries up, considering that the homes are still submerged, winter will be here. By the end of October, it is going to be very, very cold. By the end of November, it will be freezing, and it would have snowed by mid December. So before the ground can dry up, there will be snow.'
September 30, 2014The Tireless Prime Minister
'There was never really a doubt, but now it can be conclusively stated that the prime minister has unusual mental and physical stamina,' says Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com
who is covering Narendra Modi's visit to the United States.
September 28, 2014TN's Panneer, the first chai-wallah to become chief minister
O Panneerselvam is the first chai-wallah to become chief minister in the country.
September 26, 2014Exclusive! Old friends say 'Modi is our dream merchant'
'Only he can bring change in India that all of us have been dreaming of since we saw America for the first time when our plane touched down at JFK airport.'
India-USA: A friendship that began way back then
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins his historic visit of the United States of America, here's a look at some landmark visits by Indian prime ministers to the United States of America.
September 25, 2014A wake up call for the BJP and Modi
The BJP needs to revisit its strategy ahead of the forthcoming Haryana and Maharashtra assembly elections, says Dharmendra Kumar Singh
Vivekananda, Desh ki Dharti on Modi show in New York
The US State Department and other lobbies who denied Modi a visa when he was chief minister of Gujarat, says one organiser of the Madison Square Garden event, will get a clear idea of what kind of "force" is behind Modi in America.
'We were not flustered by the stone pelting'
'When incidents of stone pelting at the aircraft occurred, the boys were careful that they continued with the rescue because finally we had to save lives.'
September 24, 2014'We will go back after the Libyan civil war stops'
'We had not seen any fighting, but we could hear guns and bombs exploding.'
September 23, 2014Afghan power-sharing keeps everyone on tenterhooks
As Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah form a joint government after contesting the presidential election against each other, Prakash Bhandari
reports from Kabul on the problems facing the new, US-brokered arrangement.
September 22, 2014Obama, Biden will host dinner/lunch, but NaMo will eat nothing
For the last 40 years, Modi fasts during Navratras devoted to Ma Amba. He drinks lukewarm water and sometime he eats a fruit a day.
September 16, 2014'The sentence is a catastrophe for the family'
'Serious crimes of this sort cannot be excused merely because he has a family.'
September 15, 2014'China is investing in Modi's ego'
'The Modi-Xi and Modi-Obama meetings, with an interval of just 12 days, are juxtaposed superbly at a crucial point in the prime minister's life. Can Modi carve out a win-win situation with the superpower and the emerging superpower at the same time?'
The essential guide to Scotland's vote on independence
The vote assumes significance as it could end Scotland's 307-year union with England and Wales as Great Britain -- and see it launch into the world as an independent nation of some 5.3 million people.
September 12, 2014Do you know these 10 famous Scots?
Scotland will vote on whether it will be an independent country or will remain a part of the United Kingdom on September 18. With the vote coming up next week, a look at ten famous Scots.
September 11, 2014Kashmir's sorrow
'For lakhs of people in the flood-afflicted state, battling against the elements is taking a huge toll. This is the time of the year that apples ripen, rice starts being harvested and preparations start in full swing to put aside some of the food stocks for the long winter months ahead. At this moment, though, people there believe if they can succeed in coming out of this calamity in one piece they will have won the war,' says Rashme Sehgal
September 10, 2014How PM Modi keeps babus on tight leash
New Delhi bureaucrats, accustomed to leisurely lunches, golf in the afternoon and long weekends, have been shaken out of their somnolence, say authors. Fear and suspicion hang heavy over the red-sands.
Will army's flood relief operations win over Kashmiri hearts?
The floods that engulfed the state of Jammu and Kashmir have been unprecedented in its history. In fact, the deluge of rains suffered by the state was at par --- and in some case, far worse --- than what was witnessed in Uttarakhand in June last year.
September 09, 2014After the immersion, operation clean-up begins with devotion
Not everything the devotees consigned to the sea on Monday at the end of the 11-day Ganpati festival is retained, a lot of it is in fact comes washing up in the tide. Paloma Sharma/Rediff.com
speaks to the volunteers involved in the clean-up.
September 08, 2014'Bappa will be back in another 365 days, na?'Paloma Sharma/Rediff.com
sets out to discover a group of murti makers in Mumbai for who life comes to a halt with visarjan.
Indian Americans line up with big bucks for Modi's New York event
The frenzy to be present at the Madison Square Garden on September 28 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Indian-American community likely rivals a rock concert held at the famous New York venue.
Another political murder in Kerala's killing field
Giving in to demands of the BJP, the Congress-led state government has now decided to hand over the probe to CBI
September 07, 2014'We can go hungry, but bringing Ganesha home is mandatory'
They live on the road under a temporary, plastic roof. But, for 11 days, Lord Ganesha finds a home in their abode.
September 06, 2014Band, Baaja, Bappa: It's a grand farewell party
People from all over Maharashtra come to watch the Shivgarjana dhol-tasha band in action. Paloma Sharma
/Rediff.com find out why.
September 05, 2014Mangala Gauri: The 'Women's Only' Festival
Married women pray to Goddess Gauri for marital bliss and the long life of their husbands. Unmarried girls worship her in order to get virtuous husbands.
September 04, 2014This Ganpati is edible, so nothing goes wasteRintu Rathod
's chocolate Ganpati may not meet with everyone's approval. But that does not deter her.
September 03, 2014A diplomat who served India well. RIP APV!
'A P Venkateswaran left an indelible impression on Indian diplomacy and made an incredible number of friends, who kept remembering him, more than other Indian diplomats, who served at those posts.' Ambassador T P Sreenivasan
salutes a legend of the Indian Foreign Service who passed into the ages.
September 01, 2014The Ganeshotsav festival's biggest tragedy!
Ganesh Chaturthi no longer has the power that Lokmanya Tilak had seen in it way back in 1893 -- the power of bringing people together. This, say 83-year-old Vinaysheela Govilkar and 19-year-old Arnav Thakker, is the festival's biggest tragedy.
August 31, 2014Goodbye Ganesha... it's not easy to let You go
Vikki Khanna and his family allow us to share the joys and the sorrow of these beautiful last moments, as they prepare to bid adieu to Lord Ganesha.
August 30, 2014Mumbaicha Raja and a sea of devotees
We bring you glimpses from one of Mumbai's oldest pandals, Mumbaicha Raja.
August 29, 2014Ganpati Bappa Morya: Bringing the Lord home
The streets of Mumbai spilled with enthusiastic devotes as they welcomed Lord Ganesha into their homes.
August 28, 2014B K S Iyengar, U R Ananthamurthy: India's beacons
What B K S Iyengar and U R Ananthamurthy embodied was a cultural self-confidence. This is why their sense of being Indian and Hindu was non-competitive, non-combative and even non-comparative with other cultures and religions, says Rajni Bakshi
August 27, 2014Exclusive! Rujuta Diwekar on B K S Iyengar
'For 87 years of his life, Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar walked the path of fire and taught yoga to people who were not even interested in learning.'
August 25, 2014He will be missed by all who step out and fight for justice
U R Ananthamurthy was one among the most creative triumvirate of Modernist Kannada literature of the late sixties and seventies (the other two being the late P Lankesh and K Poornachandra Tejaswi). He will be missed by all who care to step out and fight for justice and human rights of ordinary people in India despite being surrounded by the consumerist fog, says Shivanand Kanavi
How BKS Iyengar revived Nivedita's life
'The way to pay tribute to Guruji would be to continue on his path and principles and be steadfast on true and genuine practice, which I want my students to learn from me.'
August 22, 2014B K S Iyengar: Profile of a yogi as a teacher
Most yoga teachers are not driven towards popular acclaim or fame. But Bellur Krishnamachar Sunderaraja Iyengar was goaded by the challenge to prove himself to all those who had dismissed him as a madcap yogi in the early days, and by a burning need to make yoga available to all.
The diplomat who handles a hot potato with a cool head
As the representative of his government in India, Abdul Basit runs a tight ship at the Pakistan High Commission.
August 21, 2014Legends Made in Mysore: B K S Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois
Two of the greatest modern exponents of yoga began their life in Mysore, under the tutelage of the legendary Krishnamacharya. For both of them, life was yoga. And yoga was life, says Sunaad Raghuram
Why do the Chinese want a train to Sikkim?
China is spending billions of dollars to improve infrastructure in Tibet and other parts of its border with India. Claude Arpi
explains why New Delhi can't afford to ignore Beijing's plans.
August 20, 2014B K S Iyengar: The tapasvi's amazing yoga
'His personal turmoils on the yoga journey, instead of deterring him, propelled him on with even greater passion towards yoga and make what he has offered to the world rather special. In fact, not many teachers have done what he has done to yoga practice -- emboldened it, brought it out of its timid closet where it was and (is often even today) confined.'
August 18, 2014Janmashtami Special: Meet the little Krishnas
Janmashtami, which celebrates the birth of one of most revered of Hindu deities, Lord Krishna, is being celebrated across the country on Monday
August 13, 201410 things that the Modi government is doing right
Despite criticism of a lack of transparency and communication from the Modi-led government, BJP leaders point to "good beginnings" on several fronts to defend its performance. Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com
August 11, 2014I-Day chat! From Kanyakumari to Kashmir, the wonder that is India
Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar and Uttam Ghosh are traveling from Kanyakumari to Kashmir on the Himsagar Express to capture the essence, colours, variety, cuisines, attires, languages -- in short the spirit of our great country as it celebrates its 67th Independence Day.
August 08, 2014Tamil Nadu, India's model for organ transplants
Tamil Nadu has the most efficient and effective cadaver transplant programme in India.
August 04, 2014PHOTOS: PM's special 'puja' at Pashupatinath
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday offered special prayers at Nepal's famed centuries-old Pashupatinath Temple and "felt extremely blessed".
July 31, 2014Special: How Achche Din dawned for Std XI and XII students in Baramulla
On August 1, the mothers of Baramulla will heave a sigh of relief as their children can now stop going to Srinagar and other places for higher secondary studies. Behind the local Kendriya Vidyalaya starting classes for Std XI and XII students is a tale of quick, decisive action by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Madani is more than a terror suspect for Kerala CM
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's meeting with Bengaluru blasts accused Abdul Nasser Madani has drawn the ire of investigators and the prosecution team in Karnataka.
Here's what you MUST know about the deadly Ebola virus
An FAQ on the deadly Ebola virus that has claimed nearly 700 lives in Western Africa
July 23, 2014So how is the Modi sarkar doing?
The kind of people Narendra Modi has chosen, the decisions he has taken and the rail and central budgets suggests that he is treading carefully in New Delhi. There is less of innovation and more of continuity, so far. He is not ready to rock the boat and start from scratch, says Sheela Bhatt
July 17, 2014Why Mumbai lost out to Shanghai as HQ of BRICS bank
Modi knew in his heart that India does not have the financial muscle to support the new bank with offers of co-financing international projects, something China can do from the bank's base in Shanghai. If established in Mumbai, it may have employed a few Indian bankers and satisfied the national ego but there was little financial value to be drawn from it.
July 09, 2014India Abroad Awards Special: The judge who personifies America
India Abroad -- the newspaper published from New York and owned by Rediff.com -- releases a special edition honouring the 11 winners of the India Abroad Person of the Year Award.
July 01, 2014The Tapas Pal controversy: All you need to knowIndrani Roy
deconstructs the controversy over Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal controversial remarks on rape.
June 15, 2014How do you say Papa is dead?
'He's not dead. I am dead. I am dead. He didn't love me like I wanted him to. He didn't love me as much as I wanted him to. But it doesn't matter, I loved him. And he's dead. And he has my first silly poem in his drawer. And he has all the imperfect paintings I tore to pieces in his files. '
June 04, 2014Pankaja looks set to take over Munde's mantle
Pankaja Munde, who is the MLA from Parli, led the campaign for Gopinath Munde during the Lok Sabha elections against the single-minded, 'undo the Mundes' campaign by the Pawars and the Nationalist Congress Party. She is not set to take over his mantle, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
May 30, 2014Faltering steps of a giant-killer
Word from the BJP is that following the controversy over his comments on Article 370, Jitendra Singh has been asked to desist from talking about his favourite topics and focus instead on the business of governance and the sizeable portfolios that he has been entrusted with, writes Archis Mohan
May 29, 2014What Gandhiji said about Nehru should suffice for history
'How come with Nehru at the helm, India missed so many buses? He had such unchallenged power that he could have taken the country in any direction he wanted. The sad conclusion is inescapable that Nehru let things drift in true Hamletian ambivalence,' says B S Raghavan
May 28, 2014Exclusive! Modi-Sharif had one-on-one meeting without aides
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought Hindi into vogue in the external affairs ministry and managed a diplomatic coup by inviting SAARC leaders, including Nawaz Sharif, to New Delhi for his swearing-in. Sheela Bhatt
's impressions of the Indian prime minister's first day in office.
May 27, 2014The Jawaharlal Nehru I knew
'Nehru is often portrayed as a visionary with his head in the clouds. But he had his feet firmly planted on the ground when it came to building and nurturing institutions and setting them on the right path with the right traditions,' says B S Raghavan
Modi was unusually soft and humble
Glimpses of the change Narendra Modi promised million of voters were visible at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Modi has now no excuse, but to perform and change India for the better. Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com
reports from the presidential palace. A feature on the swearing-in ceremony like none other.
May 26, 2014NSA Mr Menon hangs up his boots after 42 years
Those who know Shiv Shankar Menon will vouch that he did lots of things, substantial in the immediate neighbourhood and widespread in South Asia, but without making things public. Twenty per cent of Menon's job was visible, while 80 pc of his job was not known to the public, says Sheela Bhatt
May 22, 2014Pizza delivery by drone irks Mumbai cops
The usage of unmanned drone for the first time in India by a Mumbai-based pizza shop for delivery has come under the scanner of the Mumbai police, which will seek an explanation from the outlet as to why it did not inform them before carrying out the experiment.
May 17, 2014Have you met Narendra Modi?
Many of you must have met Narendra Modi at maybe an event like this. You may even have a photograph with India's next prime minister. Please Share your memories of, and your photographs with, Modi with the rest of the world, right here.
May 16, 2014Exclusive: How Amit Shah engineered the UP revolution
'Mainly, his strategy to win UP veered around spreading the message of Hindu identity, projecting Modi's leadership, encashing anti-incumbency against the Samajwadi Party and UPA governments in Lucknow and Delhi respectively.'
'Modiji, Don't drive Muslims out of India'
What Mumbai wants from Narendra Modi.
Modi's lookalike celebrates Modi's TsuNaMo!
Modi lookalike Vikas Mahante celebrates the original's win.
May 15, 2014Reading this book is a little like eating at Barbeque Nation
Shekhar Gupta's anthology is a valuable addition to our understanding of the seeming muddle that is India... The experience of reading his columns is more like a chat with a friend in the afterglow of an enjoyable drink, but never frivolous, says Shreekant Sambrani
May 14, 2014New Army Chief starts with a handicap
It would perhaps have been better for Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh to have been elevated to the top post by the new government, notes R S Chauhan
May 10, 2014Garam chai pe garam charcha in BanarasA Ganesh Nadar
/Rediff.com records a heated discussion on NaMo at one of Varanasi's best-known locations.
May 08, 2014Boko Haram: It's not just a religious problem
Boko Haram, which has caused havoc in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country through a wave of bombings, assassinations and now abductions, cannot be viewed through the prism of religion alone. It is also a major political problem, says Confidence Uwazuruike
May 07, 2014Growth in the time of UPA: Myths and Reality
Economists Maitreesh Ghatak, Parikshit Ghosh and Ashok Kotwal
challenge the prevailing view that the diminished electoral prospects of the United Progressive Alliance government is the result of neglecting growth to launch populist welfare schemes.
May 06, 2014The media has succeeded in creating a wave
'Voting also involves communal factors, caste factors and so on, but increasingly, the caste factor is making less and less sense to the Indian voter,' says journalist and author Manu Joseph
'Modi has come to Benares to forward the Hindutva agenda'
'Benares has always encouraged healthy debate where disagreement and dissent was never frowned upon. Today, the people are faced with a situation where a political opponent is not being allowed to give election speeches and is being physically attacked.'
The people behind the greatest poll exercise
An army of government staff all over India conduct the world's greatest democratic exercise. Archana Masih/Rediff.com
glimpses how they do it in the pivotal Saran constituency in North Bihar.
May 05, 2014Meet the man who shot Narendra Modi in 3D
'He is a very colourful man with a great sense of style. I have not seen another politician that dresses so well.'
May 02, 2014The parachute who came to cover the biggest election in history
Two whole weeks after he landed on his feet in unfamiliar territory, Patrick Ward
records what it is to be a parachute journalist in the chaos called India
April 29, 2014DON'T MISS: Baccha party out campaigning
Rediff.com's Reuben NV
, who is in Lucknow to cover the poll campaigning, came across little children at election rallies and on the streets raising slogans.
Why going 'MAD' won't work for India
The new government must initiate a comprehensive review of India's nuclear weapons doctrine and posture. Ajai Shukla
April 25, 2014SEND NOW! Postcards to the new Prime Minister
What would you like India's new prime minister to do?
April 24, 2014'Politicians never deliver what they have promised'
Election 2014 has witnessed an impressive increase in the voter turnout. But we bumped into a disgruntled citizen, who explains why he is not impressed and why he will not vote this year.
'Corruption is sabotaging everything'
'The basic goal is to change politics. Unless we change the political culture, it is not possible to get justice.'
Varanasi vignettes: Modi, Modi everywhere
Sumit Bhattacharya paradrops into the eastern Uttar Pradesh temple city to find it enjoying its moment in the national sun.
April 23, 2014Do you know what DBEYR, FWIW, WYWH mean?
Our light-hearted view of Indian politics :)))
'We have got only Rs 100. That is too less to go and vote'
'Everybody knows Baalu and all the trouble he caused in UPA-I. The AIADMK thinks it can win with the distribution of money. It may work in some parts, but not everywhere.'
April 22, 2014Was that Modi? Or wasn't it?
Has NaMo been making mysterious visits to Mumbai?
April 21, 2014Meeting Modi: Spartan surroundings, no fuss, all businessSmita Prakash
, Editor, News, Asian News International, recalls the behind the scenes action during her recent television interview with Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar.
Look! It's Spiderman outside your window
If a masked man climbed upto your window and demanded something from you, what would your first reaction be?
April 17, 2014Voting Special: Flaunt your Finger
Rediff.com had asked its beloved reader to flaunt their voting finger proudly for the world to see.
MUST WATCH! Tough questions for NaMo, RaGa
If Rahul Gandhi is firmly told that there is more to running this country than empowering women, then Modi is told to leave Rahul Gandhi alone and share his thoughts about India's economy. If Modi gets a thumb's up for his PR efforts, Kejriwal is asked to stop protesting and do some work. We wonder: Will the country's leaders be able to answer these stinging questions from the youth of India.
April 16, 2014Will this daughter salvage her father's political honour?
Misa Bharati is fighting to win back Patliputra, the seat her father lost in 2009, in a contest that is a do-or-die battle for Lalu Yadav and the RJD.
MUST SEE! Are you really ready to vote?
Our new series brings you all the excitement of Election 2014, on video. All you need to do is click on the play button.
April 15, 2014The transgender who is standing for election
On a day the Supreme Court gave transgenders third gender status, Rediff.com presents Bharathi Kannamma
, who is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Madurai.
A father fights an election for a dead son
Driving a Tata Nano covered with banners about his son's killing by the Mumbai Police, Kundan Prasad Singh is fighting his first election to get justice for a dead son.
April 14, 2014A Rajput storms the BJP fort
The BJP may have declined him Barmer, but Independent candidate Jaswant Singh doesn't intend to go down without a fight for the seat. His road show on Sunday, in Jaisalmer, showed his resolve, and appeal, reports Rediff.com's Saisuresh Sivaswamy.
Exclusive: 'Kejriwal never wanted to fight Lok Sabha poll'
'I get angry when people throw ink or slap him - but Arvind takes all this in his stride. People nowadays make fun of him and point out his mistakes but they haven't seen his sacrifice.
April 11, 2014'Why is asking a candidate about their position on gay rights unheard of?'
'The carpet under Indian society is filled with members of the LGBTQ community, stuffed away like if you leave us swept under long enough, we'll go away. But here's the thing. You can pretend we're not there as much as you want, that doesn't change the fact that we're there and we're getting louder, we're getting angrier.'
April 10, 2014In a two-way race, a voice emerges from Bastar's margins
Under threat from the Maoists, and jailed by the police, AAP's Soni Sori plunges into the election for all she holds dear. Aman Sethi reports
MUST SEE! Who's that guy... Rahul something?
How clued in are young people about Indian politics?
April 09, 2014Watch! When Rakhi Sawant turned green
Green kurta, green leggings, green waistcoat, green band holding her bun in place and - gasp! - were those green chillies dangling from Rakhi Sawant's ears?
The extraordinary man who set up India's extraordinary electoral system
As the 16th Indian parliamentary elections get underway, Vikas Lather
profiles Sukumar Sen, India's first chief election commissioner.
The Japanese monk who is against the BJP
'If they come to power, they will try to change the Constitution. They are destroying Babasaheb's name. They are fundamentalist people,' says Surai Sasai, the Buddhist monk who has issued an edict that Nagpur's Buddhists not vote for the BJP or its candidate Nitin Gadkari.
April 08, 2014What the dream merchants are selling you in 2014
We take a look at the differences and similarities in the manifestos released by different political parties
April 07, 2014'Kejriwal banda A1 hai... but he broke our hearts'
In Arvind Kejriwal's home turf, Kaushambi, the honeymoon with India's most famous aam aadmi is near its end.
April 03, 2014'There is a thin line between being a Field Marshal and being dismissed'
Field Marshal S H F J 'Sam' Manekshaw, independent India's greatest military commander, would have turned 100 on April 3, 2014. To mark the occasion and to celebrate a brilliant mind and one of India's best-loved soldiers, we reproduce, with kind courtesy of the Indian Defence Review, the Field Marshal's lecture at the Defence Services College, Wellington, on Leadership and Discipline.
April 02, 2014'In Tamil Nadu, people are always ready to accept money'
In one village, a woman asks, "They are always showing cash seizures on television, you think some of it will escape and we will get money as usual?" "Only 1 percent of cash is actually seized, the rest has arrived, you don't worry," a party worker assures her. Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar reports on the election in the southern-most tip of the country.
When a feminist turns right
Madhu Kishwar, noted activist, has raised eyebrows with her stand on Narendra Modi, another instance of her long insistence on questioning of peer opinion, notes Aparna Kalra
'Can hungry people go on a hunger strike?'
'So you have a middle class, and an elite that have seceded into outer space and they look down and say, "What's our bauxite doing in their mountains?" and "What's our water doing in their rivers?" There's a sense of entitlement there.'
'Nandan and I are grateful and humbled'
'No matter the deep polarisation as evidenced in different media, there is a deeply ingrained culture of tolerance and openness. This is exactly the idea of India we are fighting for in this election.' Rohini Nilekani
, whose husband Nandan Nilekani -- co-founder, Infosys, and former Chairman, Unique Identity Authority of India -- is contesting the Lok Sabha election from the Bangalore South constituency on a Congress Party ticket, on her experiences on the campaign trail.
April 01, 2014'India is not shining. Not gleaming'
Medha Patkar's makeover is a professional one. She has switched jobs. The brave grassroots activist -- who has devoted her life to protests for innumerable causes that affect or strengthen the poor, attracting national, as well as global attention -- has always doggedly fought for support. Today, Vaihayasi Pande Daniel discovers, she is fighting for a commodity far more tricky and slippery. Votes.
March 31, 2014The Kejriwals of Varanasi have spoken
As many as seven retail shops on Lanka Road in Varanasi are owned and run by the extended family of the Kejriwals in the holy town.
March 30, 2014When social activists become politicians
Is politics gaining at the expense of civil society?
When a feminist turns right
Madhu Kishwar, noted activist, has raised eyebrows with her stand on Narendra Modi, another instance of her long insistence on questioning of peer opinion.
March 25, 2014A Pakistani view of the Indian elections
Namo, Namo as India's prime minister? Not yet, says Pakistan-based journalist Amir Mateen
March 24, 2014'Khushwant Singh was the best friend one could have'
'I had once gone to Kashmir with him and his wife. He would talk to the boatmen, the watchmen, at the dargahs he would ask so many questions. He always had a notebook and would write down everything... He was an intellectual and he was fun. He loved people, loved life and had the spirit of enquiry. He used to advise me, "When you write - inform, provoke, abuse".' Sadia Dehlvi
on her 30-year-old friendship with Khushwant Singh.
Where's the money for Modi's vision of India?
'If there is one thing that is true for the polls in 2014, it is that this is going to be the big economic election in India. The rise of an aspiring class is, in many ways, shattering many certainties of the old welfare State. Make no mistake though -- big social welfare schemes are not disappearing in a hurry, but today the voters want more. The promise of a better life is increasingly more vital than the promise of free rice.' An exclusive excerpt from 100 Things To Know And Debate Before You Vote by Hindol Sengupta
March 21, 2014My father, Khushwant Singh
'He was getting weaker and weaker, but his mind was all there... He was quite a strict father, in many ways... He was quite a strict person, not as liberal as it was made out to be.' Rahul Singh
, editor and columnist, reveals the Khushwant Singh few knew.
'There can be no second Khushwant Singh'
Khushwant Singh was a courageous writer. He was a superb mentor of young talent, had great generosity of spirit, was extremely tolerant and was, on many levels, a true secular Indian, says Shobhaa De
in a moving tribute.
March 20, 2014Memories of '62: Does India know China today?
On the title page of the Top Secret Report, Henderson-Brooks quotes the Chinese tactician Sun Tzu: 'Know yourself, know your enemy: A hundred battles, a hundred victories', says Claude Arpi
, highlighting where the Indian Army and government failed to counter the Chinese attack in 1962.
March 18, 2014'If Nehru had declared his intention to attack, then the Chinese were not going to wait'
No account of the 1962 war could be complete without Maxwell's authoritative analysis. Which is why we are reprinting this article which was run on Rediff.com in June 2001.
March 11, 2014Find out when your constituency goes to poll
Find out when your constituency goes to poll
March 10, 2014A diplomat ahead of his times
'His negotiations with Idi Amin and his men for compensation for the Indians, who left Uganda, were particularly tough. Apparently, Amin warned him that the body of the British negotiator, who came earlier, was found in a roadside gutter... As Jagat Mehta's special assistant during the last two years of his tenure as foreign secretary, I saw for myself how his conviction, courage and patriotism enabled him to fight against heavy odds, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan
March 09, 2014'If he wears a topi he would look just like N D Tiwari'
This week, after years of denying it, octogenarian politician N D Tiwari publicly accepted that Rohit Shekhar is indeed his son. For Shekhar, the change of heart must also come with a legal guarantee.
February 28, 2014Jayalalithaa keeping her alliance options open?
Inscrutable have been the ways of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. She is a political strategist and tactician rolled into one that her unpredictable ways have won the day for her - mostly, says N Sathiya Moorthy
February 26, 2014Is India-Sri Lanka fishing row nearing an end?
Sri Lanka's signals -- that it is ready for 'joint fishing' initiatives -- and Tamil Nadu fishermen's sticking to commitments have paved the way for a negotiated settlement on a long festering issue, says N Sathiya Moorthy
This small Balochi group led by a 72-year-old broke Mahatma's record
Protesting against enforced disappearances in Balochistan, Abdul Qadeer Baloch, 72, has led a small group that has covered more than 2,000 kilometres on foot, breaking the 84-year-old record set by Mahatma Gandhi during his Dandi march. Hamid Mir
reports from Islamabad.
February 19, 2014Bilawal Bhutto: Pakistan's Twitter warrior
Bilawal Bhutto's political inheritance is his biggest asset as well as the biggest liability as he tries to make his mark in Pakistan politics. Challenging the Taliban militants is part of that strategy, though it matches with his political ideology. Shahzad Raza
profiles the son of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari.
February 18, 2014Telangana: Costly victory for Congress, BJP stumpedSheela Bhatt
lists ten quick takeaways from the passage of the Telangana bill in the Lok Sabha.
February 14, 2014Jan Lokpal to be Kejriwal's Lok Sabha campaign agenda
The Delhi assembly witnessed unprecedented noise and cacophony on Friday as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made a fervent attempt to table the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Explained: The Congress and BJP double-speak over Telangana
On the basis of many conversations with stakeholders on the Telangana issue, Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt
presents an FAQ to help understand the politics of posturing and realpolitik on the ground to win seats. The questions are many and the answers are not straight
'We will protest against anything we find offensive'
Freedom of speech does not mean you can write or say anything and everything. You cannot hurt the sentiments of the people on the pretext of freedom of speech, says Dinanath Batra
, one of the main petitioners against Wendy Doniger's book, The Hindus: An Alternative History.
February 13, 2014'Chaos in Lok Sabha over T-Bill shows it's time for PM to go'
It is time to pack up, sir! Please resign and save some honour of the Lok Sabha, an anguished Sheela Bhatt
reports from the Lok Sabha press gallery after watching the shameful goings on over the tabling of the Telangana Bill.
Arundhati Roy to Penguin India: 'You owe us writers an explanation'
'The elections are still a few months away. The fascists are, thus far, only campaigning. Yes, it's looking bad, but they are not in power. Not yet. And you've already succumbed?'
Tamil Nadu: Who will ally with the BJP?
Vijayakanth's DMDK may play a key role as Tamil Nadu's political parties scramble for allies to capture the state's 40 Lok Sabha seats.
February 12, 2014'We have been treated well in India, this is the best model of refugee welfare'
65,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees still live in Tamil Nadu. Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar
discovers the challenges for the refugees to return home.
February 10, 2014Jaitley, Dwivedi change the rules of political engagement
Arun Jaitley and Janardan Dwivedi have rewritten the rules of politics in the Age of the Internet and its young and restless user base, reports Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt
Tamil Nadu health helpline: Medical advice is just a call awayA Ganesh Nadar
visits the bustling centre that hosts Tamil Nadu's health helpline that answers more than 100 medical queries an hour.
January 31, 2014'I love the current state India is in'
'We are bubbling with a lot of energy, both political and social... India needs to be a lot cleaner than it is right now. We need to respect our roads, and our public spaces,' says actress Nimrat Kaur
in the concluding feature of Rediff.com's special series -- What I love most about India.
'There is always a freshness about India'
'There's excitement. There's vibrancy. If it is politics, even if there's discussion and there's debate, there's vibrancy. That pretty much is the story of India,' says Union Minister Milind Deora
in Rediff.com's special series where well-known Indians speak about the India they love.
'The way I look at my mother is how I look at my country'
'Being Indian means everything to me. My existence is nothing without my country. It is not about what the country did for you, but what you did for your country,' says actor-director Shekhar Suman
, in our special series where well-known Indians speak about the India they love.
January 30, 2014'I like Indian people's sense of hope and optimism'
The thing I love most about India is the people. The people of our country have very big hearts and very broad shoulders. They are very hard working, very entrepreneurial and very generous of spirit, says banker-turned-politician Meera Sanyal.
January 29, 2014India will produce some nectar, but we will also produce some poison
'India is a part of me. Whatever I love or criticise about India is what I love and criticise about myself,' says novelist Vikram Chandra
January 28, 2014'Indians are very intelligent, but we are not focussed'
'I urge Indians not to look down on us, but look up and say, "Yes, we can",'says Dr Prathap C Reddy
, founder of the Apollo Hospitals, in our series where well-known Indians speak about the India they love.
'Khobragade affair shows we can't let matters drift'
'While the Khobragade affair has "upset and diverted attention, it does not mean there is a fundamental flaw in the US-India relationship",' former American envoy Frank Wisner tells Rediff.com's Aziz Haniffa
January 27, 2014'We can use India's many languages to fight the battle for civilisation'
'But we don't use our languages for that; we use them to create distances between ourselves,' says writer Jerry Pinto.
January 24, 2014'Our priority as a nation should be on human development'
'Health, food and sanitation have improved. Poverty has reduced. We could have done better in education and nutrition. Malnutrition levels are very disturbing. It is our biggest problem and it is invisible,' says Anuradha Gupta
, who spearheaded the successful campaign towards a polio-free India.
January 23, 2014India's top performing MP on why he loves India
'Indians are not greedy people. They don't want the moon. But they have a right to demand basic necessities. And these Indians have now become vociferous about these demands,' says Anandrao Vithoba Adsul
who will receive the Sansad Ratna award for raising the highest number of questions in Parliament.
January 22, 2014Sakshi Tanwar: 'Being Indian means everything to me'
'Each part of India has something to offer -- the mountains in the north, the sand dunes in the west, the heavenly valleys in the east, the sun, surf and sea in the south...With the Paradise on earth and God's own country here, we have the best, in any direction,' says popular television actress Sakshi Tanwar
in Rediff.com's continuing series where well-known Indians speak about the India they love.
January 21, 2014'India is in an unfinished story...'
'...and all of us need to do more to give it a happy Bollywood ending. I used to be a huge optimist but now I have become somewhat of a pessimist. As a country, we don't seem to want to get things right,' Sanjoy Roy
, producer of the Jaipur Literary Festival, the biggest free annual literary event in the world.
January 20, 2014'The Sri Lankan navy battered our boats'
'The food the Sri Lankans gave us was horrible. It used to stink. We used to throw most of it away... In the night my legs used to be in someone's face and his legs used to be in my lap. There was no space... There was no toilet... Both our bathing water and drinking water were salty. We had to beg the guards for clean drinking water.' Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar
speaks to Indian fishermen just released from Sri Lankan custody.
'We must put India and its people first, every time'
'We have to find a way to re-look our notion of Democracy. It has to be a vigorous, honest democracy. The Aam Aadmi Party has shown us the possibility of a different way of thinking, that is all. In its victory, there are shortfalls which might make it fail intrinsically,' says one of India's best-known theatre personalities Sunil Shanbag
Mamta Rawat: The unsung hero of Bankoli, Uttarakhand
Mamta Rawat is one among the thousands who were rendered homeless during the June 2013 Uttarakhand floods. Six months on, however, not much work on relocation or rehabilitation has started. And money is really not the issue.
January 17, 2014'I want an India strong, tender and considerate'
'Youth has the power to change whatever it wants. They are the future. Youth has the power to set fire to water,' says champion boxer Akhil Kumar
, in our continuing series where well-known Indians speak about the India they love.
Congress leader bequeaths property worth Rs 600 crore to servant
Fortune favours the brave, and the loyal. And Vinubhai Kanjibhai Jaipal, who served Gajrajsinh Jadeja unflinchingly through thick and thin, will attest to it, having inherited Rs 600 crore from his late employer, says Haresh Pandya
January 16, 2014Will SC be driven to implement a mechanism to deal with sexual harassment?
The highest court in the land will have to find a mechanism under which in future, if sexual harassment allegations are made against a judge, he/she will not go in the manner of Justice Ganguly. Hopefully, there will be some kind of system and guidelines to be followed by the accused and the victim, says Sheela Bhatt
Nawazuddin Siddiqui: 'We are the most accommodating people in the world'
'We go on to make a name for ourselves in the world, rise above the ordinary in the face of deprivation. The innate tendency to persevere is, I think, a great quality Indians possess,' says one of India's finest actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui
January 14, 2014'We have to travel around this country to know its heart'
'I hail from Sikkim and have strived to make a mark on the national scene. Generally whatever happens in the North-East remains confined to those parts. People from there are hard working and courteous. Only those who have visited and experienced their hospitality will relate to it,' says football star Baichung Bhutia
January 13, 2014Dhoom3 director: 'One man's telephone bill is another man's earnings for a year'
'In the freedom struggle and immediately after that, we had a sense of belonging to the same world, to the same country, to India. We have lost that sense of oneness. We have been manipulated and divided and that saddens me today, says Dhoom 3 Director Vijay Krishna Acharya.
January 10, 2014What drives women to become terrorists
Recruiting women works for the terror groups, as in most cases it is found that a woman draws less suspicion from security agencies. But the bigger advantage is that women terrorists have been found to get the job done nine out of 10 times, reports Vicky Nanjappa
January 09, 2014'My vision for India is where every citizen is equal in the eyes of one law'
How many who celebrate India's Republic Day and Independence Day know that the Indian tri-colour was first unfurled in Moirang in Manipur by the Indian National Army in 1944?
January 08, 2014Captain Gopinath: 'Youth need to understand the spirit of India'
'Corruption is the biggest problem confronting us. We need to bring about an urgent change in our way of life and also in the political scenario,' says Captain Gopinath
, founder of India's first low-cost airline Air Deccan who recently joined the Aam Aadmi Party, in our ongoing series celebrating the India we love.
January 07, 2014Soha Ali Khan: 'India is like one big happy family'
'2014 is an important year as everyone is obsessed about who is going to be the next prime minister but I think we need to see beyond that. The problems are going to be the same, irrespective of whichever party forms the government,' says actress Soha Ali Khan
in our special series where well-known Indians speak about the India they love.
January 06, 2014'The idea of India is special and achievable'
'Our priority should be inculcating a work culture and positive nationalism among people, especially the young,' says novelist Ankush Saikia
, in our continuing series where well-known Indians speak about the India they love.
January 03, 2014When Dr Singh played the perfect politician
The prime minister was aggressive during his interaction with the media, but no one came away enlightened on issues of governance of this complex country after hearing him for 75 minutes, says Sheela Bhatt
, who attended the press conference on Friday, January 3.
Arshad Warsi: 'We are a country with a solid backbone'
'India is like a world in itself. The sad part is that that the bad things overshadow the good,' says actor Arshad Warsi
in our special series where well-known Indians speak about the India they adore.
January 02, 2014'If we fished only in Indian waters, we would starve to death'
When over a hundred fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy and their boats seized last month, fishermen in coastal Tamil Nadu went on strike. Rediff.com's A Ganesh Nadar
visits the coastal towns of Nagapattinam and Rameswaram to discover that the fishermen do not have many choices.
December 30, 2013'The Aam Aadmi Party is exactly what I am looking for'
'Our democracy is vibrant, it is functional, but it is not really a democracy... From the mid-1970s we have psephocracy. It is totally determined by the electoral process.' Ashis Nandy
, the distinguished social psychologist and thinker, on the India he admires and dislikes.
Year-end Special: The 7 incidents that SHOOK India in 2013
Many Indians will be thrilled to see the back of 2013, for it has largely been a rotten year, save for some. This year has been rocked by shockers after shockers -- the devastation in Uttarakhand which killed thousands, the Mumbai gang rape, Tarun Tejpal being accused of rape, godman Asaram and son being arrested for rape, the Afzal Guru execution and the SC verdict on gay sex, -- the list is seemingly endless.
December 20, 2013Year-end Special: 10 landmark judgments of 2013
If there was a year that redefined the concept of judicial activism in India, it could well be 2013.
December 19, 2013Year-end Special: Who is the most SHAMELESS of them all?
Here then, we present the Rediff Hall of Shame 2013, where we honour our so-called leaders for their tasteless comments and crass actions.
December 18, 2013Little Trust makes big impact in assessing TN's child development problemA Ganesh Nadar
profiles a non-governmental organisation that has revealed startling figures about the state's poor children.
December 17, 2013Director Imtiaz Ali on what fascinates him about India
'In Kaza, Himachal Pradesh, the winter population is only around 70 to 75 people. The residents go away to lesser cold places... Kashmir so multi-textured...
December 16, 2013Winning and losing in Kashmir
Why does the army remain embroiled in counter-insurgency, denying itself a peace dividend even after expending blood and treasure in imposing calm?
December 13, 2013Remembering apartheidArchana Shah
offers her memories of a childhood spent in apartheid South Africa.
December 10, 2013A matchbox house where Madiba dreamt of an equal South Africa
Rediff.com's Manu Shankar
had the privilege to visit the Mandela House in 2010. He recollects his experience.
December 09, 2013'I would like to see India become a developed country by 2022'
'I would like to change mindsets and break away from the stereotype; it is time for a new vision, new faces, new hope and new politics to take India forward,' says Member of Parliament Anurag Thakur
, in our continuing series where Indians talk about the India they love.
December 05, 2013'India allows me to be what I want to be'
India allows me to grow, allows me to think, allows me to blossom. We can open our arms and our hearts to the whole world and adapt what is good from other cultures and allow the bad to sift through, says India's very own pop diva Usha Uthup
December 04, 20132013 assembly elections: What the exit polls are saying
Exit polls on television channels on Monday predicted a clear win for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, while the polls suggest a tie between Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress with around 18 seats each and a vote share of 28 per cent in Delhi.
December 02, 2013'If the world is the body, India is its soul'
'I sense a revolution coming. There is more awareness about what is going on around us. The indifference towards the state of the country is slowly disappearing. India has a lot to offer to this world and we are the ones who can make it happen,' says actor Vivek Oberoi.
Poll diary: Is Narendra Modi changing?
Why did the BJP mascot avoid Shahpura in Rajasthan? Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com.
November 29, 2013Can the NCW make a difference on crimes against women?
While courts are there to tackle crime and a few non-government organisations support victims of crime, NCW, a body empowered to take suo moto interest in a case, is in between, says Aparna Kalra
November 23, 2013Kunal Ghosh's arrest: Some questions for Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool
Will the arrest of renegade Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh take the lid off a can of worms, asks Indrani Roy
November 22, 2013'Tejpal should just go to the police station and surrender'
Kavita Srivastava, a Jaipur-based social activist, thinker and People's Union for Civil Liberties member, talked exclusively to rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt
on the issues and implications of the sexual assault case against Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal.
November 18, 2013Mumbai's 'ghetto' waits for a Cinderella makeover
Bhendi Bazaar faces a fairytale future as the Dawoodi Bohras initiate a Rs 3,000-crore project to change it from a squalid marketplace to a swanky neighbourhood, says Ranjita Ganesan
November 15, 2013Will Anthony's Moscow put the zing back in Indo-Russian defence ties?
INS Vikramaditya is not the only thing on Defence Minister AK Anthony's agenda during his current visit to Moscow. Also on the anvil is the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft joint development project which, if finalised and signed, could emerge as India's largest joint defence programme costing around 11 billion dollars, reports Nandan Unnikrishnan
November 12, 2013'Indian architecture is far superior than any other in the world'
'This is because we are a blend of many and we take the best from each,' says Wajahat Habibullah
, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities.
November 09, 2013Why Indian bureaucracy is under virtual lockdown
Recent investigations into the telecom spectrum and coal scams have made bureaucrats very wary of taking decisions.
November 08, 2013The dismal story of India's vote share
The five-state assembly elections are only three days away with the first phase in Chhattisgarh scheduled for Monday. And even in this poll season, vote share continues to a debatable topic.
November 07, 2013'Despite the differences, we are united by the notion of India'
Today, a large number of young people have amazing ideas for this country. The youth is willing to believe that we can make it work. I am one of them, says Malvika Bhatia
who works for a non-profit organisation aimed at addressing voter apathy amongst India's youth.
November 06, 2013Special: Meet the Castros!
Vice President Hamid Ansari's visit to Havana provided rare insights of the Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul. Rediff.com's Nikhil Lakshman
November 05, 2013'Only I know how much Nehru toiled for India'
We reproduce an appreciation article that Sardar Patel wrote on October 14, 1949, a month before Nehru's 60th birthday, where he heaped praises on Nehru's merits and also went on to elaborate the deep ties he shared with him.
'In those days, rocket parts and payloads were transported by bicycle'
ISRO's expedition to Mars is yet another breathtaking adventure for an organisation created by Dr Vikram Sarabhai and carefully nurtured by scientists like A P J Abdul Kalam and R Aravamudan.
October 31, 2013'Everyone feels at home in Delhi. It is home to everyone'
'Delhi represents the composite culture of our country. You will find people from every state of the country here. Every language in the country is spoken here. There is more history here than any city in the country,' says writer-columnist Sadia Dehlvi.
October 30, 2013Rajendra Yadav's passing signals the end of an eraApoorvanand
pays tribute to much-loved and admired Hindi literary great who passed into the ages on Monday.
'India is not only a country; it's more like a continent'
'We have liberals here, we have conservatives. We have wisdom here, we have silliness. We are a motley gathering of every kind of people...
October 28, 2013Actor Akshay Kumar on his India
'To start walking on the path towards making India a better nation, we don't need to take giant strides. Small steps, taken regularly - even when it is not convenient to do so - will work just as well,' says Actor Akshay Kumar, in our special series where well-known Indians speak about their India.
October 23, 2013Sino-Indian talks: Tangible progress, better atmosphericsSheela Bhatt
, who is travelling with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his two-nation visit, analyses the outcome of crucial talks between the PM and his Chinese counterpart in Beijing.
'There is nothing in the world you cannot find in India'
'I also love the fact that there are always sensible people here, even when everything around you is collapsing, says former chief election commissioner JM Lyngdoh, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com why they love India.
October 22, 2013'If I could change just one thing in India, I would abolish the caste system'
'There is a human aspect to relationships in India which is missing in the West... but what really makes me sad with our country is that we don't have our best people in politics,' says politician, academician, activist Dr Subramanian Swamy
October 21, 2013'I hope India will win 10 medals, including 2 golds, in the next Olympics'
'My vision for India is a clean and corruption-free country. The youth need to be actively involved in politics and policy making. It is easy to complain but tough to make a positive difference,' says former Indian hockey captain Viren Rasquinha
, COO, Olympic Gold Quest.
October 14, 2013'Small town India has more zeal, they want to achieve something'
O saare jag ke rakhwale
October 11, 2013Special Series: The story of IPKF in Sri Lanka
We present to you a special series that we had done 10 years after the IPKF withdrew from the island nation
October 10, 2013Boxing superstar Mary Kom on her beloved India
I am a fan of the co-existence of different castes and creed in my beloved country...
October 09, 2013'However rich or poor she may be, India has the best looking women'
'What we need to do is to improve our standard of honesty as people as a whole. We need our leaders to be true patriots. This means the country first every time.
October 07, 2013Are India and Bangladesh choosing pragmatism over politics?
The compulsions of domestic politics notwithstanding, India and Bangladesh script a new story in bilateral relations, say Nayanima Basu and Aditi Phadnis
October 04, 2013'Visiting India is equal to doing a world tour'
'India is a world in itself...
October 03, 2013'India's people are its real heroes'
'We have the most fertile land in the world. The Ganga and the Brahmaputra flow through our country. Yet our people starve... This is a criminal neglect of our natural resources... People's entrepreneurial spirit, their innovations... their desire to be better is always refreshing. They have done this inspite of the government,' says legendary journalist Olga Tellis, one of India's finest reporters.
October 01, 2013'India's youth hasn't inherited the fear of its previous generation'
This generation has a lot more direction than the previous one because unlike them, the young today do not lack clarity. They dare to think different and operate with a can-do attitude and confidence. Today's youth is charting new territories not being afraid of the storm, choosing rather to ride into it and creating their own path, says MTV Roadies Host Raghu Ram.
September 30, 2013P V Sindhu: If we work hard, we will be world beaters
'I dream of a corruption-free India. Corruption is a cancer that has eaten up our vitals. Imagine if every paisa meant for development went for development,' says badminton champ P V Sindhu, the first Indian woman to win a bronze medal at the World Championships.
September 26, 2013India-US Summit Special, Edited by Ambassador Nirupama Rao
For the first time in the 43-year-old India Abroad newspaper's history, a Guest Editor was invited to edit the special magazine issue.
'India is where the heart is'
'Societies have cyclical times and we are in one of those... The most troubling part of India is that it doesn't provide equal opportunities for everybody to get a leg up... Somehow the opportunities are not there for everybody. They are for a select few, and so many of the 1.2 billion people are getting left behind,' says Swati Ramanathan, co-founder, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, in a special series where various Indian tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
September 25, 2013'Elite vent their ire on Twitter, FB and think their job is done'
The middle class represents 30 per cent of our population. They are not represented in Parliament or the assemblies as they are just not bothered! They do not vote. They do not take part in any civic, social or political activity. How can they be like this, asks Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Burman, editor-political activist and head of the Tripura royal family.
September 24, 2013'Even after repeated assaults, Kashmiri culture stands tall'
'To be an Indian born in Kashmir has been a fantastic thing which god gave me. Kashmir gave me the sensitivity to look at things,' says santoor artist Abhay Rustum Sopori, the ninth generation of a well-known family of artistes who follow the Shaivite Sufi tradition. He recently presented a fusion piece jointly with Zubin Mehta in Srinagar.
September 23, 2013'Being Indian is being democratic, loving cinema and cricket'
'If diversity is our strength, it is also our shortcoming, because we live in two separate nations -- urban India and rural India. There should be some semblance between these two Indias,' feels actor Ayushmann Khurana, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
September 21, 2013US, India should try to keep Lanka away from China's sway
Since the US and India broadly share similar interests in Sri Lanka, they should coordinate closely to ensure that the country preserves its democratic institutions, says Lisa Curtis
September 20, 2013The two places all Indians must go to
The Cellular Jail and the Viper Island are two places in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that should be like a pilgrimage for all Indians, says Bishnu Pada Ray, the two-time BJP MP from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, in our special series where various Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
September 19, 2013How Muzaffarnagar riots will impact 2014 elections
Though Muslims have been trusted allies of Jats since the days of former Prime Minister Charan Singh, experts feel the alliance has had its share of strains following his death in 1987
September 18, 2013'The unprotected class of workers is the real India'
The real contributors of labour, of skill and even technological input, all come from this (96 per cent) category and I love them. No communal riots, least of caste-ism in these communities.
September 16, 2013'India badly needs a modern Gandhi today'
Today the common man is not angry because of the corruption in the country, he is angry because he is a victim of corruption, says filmmaker Prakash Jha, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com why they love India
September 13, 2013'Nobody gives up in India. Or on India'
'India stands out in the world because of its ability to absorb, survive, bounce back and stay together despite daunting odds.
September 12, 2013'No other country fascinates me more than India'
'I am so proud to be born in this country. The emotions that run through the veins of the population keep me alive. I have been to so many countries but nowhere have I come across souls more passionate than Indians, says Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com why they love India.
September 11, 2013Why every Indian must salute this Indian
'It is also very sad that many of us are yet to discover the Northeastern part of India. After having been to every state of India, people often refuse to believe that I am an Indian,' says Armstrong Pame, the admirable IAS officer from Manipur, who built a 100 km long road in a remote part of the hill state without government help.
September 10, 2013Investigation: Are BJP leaders being targeted in Tamil Nadu?
The Tamil Nadu state unit of the BJP has been alleging that its leaders have been systematically being attacked/murdered in the state. A Ganesh Nadar
bring to light five cases where workers of the BJP or its affiliate organisations were attacked to find out if there is any truth in the charges.
'India has given me the wild tiger and my work with it'
'The most special part of India for me is where there is genuine peace
September 06, 2013Prasoon Joshi: 'The threshold of our patience has been reached'
'Let us acknowledge this and let us lead that change. Even as we change, let us not forget to love the complexity of our country and revel in its multiculturalism. Let us not forget that we've always given space for the smallest voices and the tiniest murmurs and make space for disagreements,' says writer-poet-ad guru Prasoon Joshi.
September 05, 2013Hoisting the Indian flag where no one else has
I can never forget the day when in a remote corner of the planet that mariners call the Horn, or the Everest of the Seas, I hoisted the Indian flag on my boat and gave a salute to our tricolour. It was the proudest moment of my life, says Indian Navy Lieutenant Commander Abhilash Tomy, the first Indian and second Asian to solo circumnavigate the globe on a sailboat -- nonstop and unassisted.
The Great Escape: India's unsung war heroes
Three Indian Air Force officers held as Prisoners of War in a jail in Rawalipindi made a heroic escape. They reached as far as the Pak-Afghan border in Pakistan's Wild West -- within sniffing distance of freedom -- only to realise that they had finally met their match. Or so it seemed.
September 04, 2013'The story of India is an incredible story'
I can't survive a week without speaking in Hindi. I start feeling claustrophobic. I start feeling that I need air...
An Indian Prisoner of War escape story
Three Indian Air Force officers captured as Prisoners of War by Pakistan during the '71 War made a daring escape from a Rawalpindi jail. M P Anil Kumar
recounts that heroic story.
September 03, 2013Parineeti Chopra: 'India has the perfect balance'
'Most countries are either very modern and detached from their families and their culture, and they are only having fun in life, or they are very family-oriented. I think India has the perfect balance of both, which is amazing,' says actor Parineeti Chopra.
August 30, 2013'No athlete can underestimate the prayers of a billion people'
India has celebrated with great vigour the achievement of each and every athlete, as much as its cricket team, says Olympic bronze medalist Gagan Narang
, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
August 29, 2013All you wanted to know about the food security billSakshi Balani
presents an FAQ on the Food Security Bill that was passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
August 28, 2013'The most lovable attribute of India is our resilience'
'Our democracy is in form. Our judicial institution is broadly fine. Our parliamentary system is by and large working fine... The only segment I am deeply concerned with are the tribals. They are kept out of the development processes, says Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com why they love India.
August 27, 2013Ajay Devgn: Today's youth is aggressive because it's concerned about India
Today, people fight for the rights of someone they don't know. They participate in protests to react to something they feel is not right, says actor Ajay Devgn
, in our special series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
August 26, 2013Rashmi Bansal: I grew up believing that India Can!
India can launch a rocket into space, grow its own food and make its own dams. That's something to be proud of, and I certainly am.
August 22, 2013'We still have time for each other in India'
Our beloved country although evolving still, retains a precious simplicity. We still have time to visit one another without having to make appointments, says Neil Nongkynrih
, founder of the famous Shillong Chamber Choir, as we continue our special series where 66 Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
August 20, 2013Ahmed Patel: The common men and women keep India going
'I salute the spirit of the common men and women of India. They are very accommodative. They see beyond politics and strife; they are religious and reasonable, says Congress leader Ahmed Patel in an exclusive feature, celebrating our special series where 66 Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
August 19, 2013Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: India's 7 great strengths
'Spirituality, without which India would have become like the Balkan States a long time ago,' says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, continuing our Independence Day special series where 66 well-known Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
August 16, 2013'Gujarat throws many interesting surprises at you'
What is it about India that tugs at the chords of our hearts?
August 14, 2013India,66: 'India is being built by its people'
What is it about India that tugs at the chords of our hearts? What makes this often beautiful, often frustrating, country the best country in the world for us? Why does it deserve to be celebrated and constantly nurtured? This Independence Day, well-known Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
August 02, 2013The story of a weak and crumbling UPA II
From the economy to foreign policy issues, to addressing the serious challenge posed by communal forces which are out to viciously polarise and divide Indian society, the UPA II government has shown a certain pronounced weakness and lack of vision and commitment that could seriously harm India in the long run, notes Sanjay Kapoor
July 29, 2013How MPs misuse thier MPLADS funds
Public Money, Private Agenda -- The Use and Abuse of MPLADS by A Surya Prakash provides a comprehensive look at the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme, which was launched 20 years ago in 1993. Excerpts from the book.
July 26, 2013The misunderstood Nehru
Arun Nehru's image of a political strategist, dealmaker and trouble shooter never allowed him to become a political leader of people, says Sheela Bhatt
July 15, 2013Stop! Tales of a village telegraphist
P Murugesan has been sending telegrams for 33 years in rural Tamil Nadu. He remembers hectic marriage seasons, many moons ago, when everyone sent telegrams. And days when even 15 Morse machines could not handle the load...
July 11, 2013The big, deep game being played by Digvijaya Singh
By all accounts Digvijaya Singh is serving Rahul Gandhi's purpose of pushing himself into orbit over Narendra Modi, but he is also pushing his own case by his brazen tweets and bold assertions in the social media and in public acrimonies. But there is a limit to all games, writes Sheela Bhatt
July 01, 2013Escaping the Spiti snowstorm
Rediff.com columnist Yoginder Sikand
recounts his near-death experience during a recent trip to Tabo, a small town on the banks of the Spiti river in Himachal Pradesh.
June 28, 2013God forbid if Chidambaram had his way with gas prices today
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday steeply increased the price of gas, hitting the aam-aadmi, also gave a meagre hike to the minimum support price of food-grains, adversely affecting farmers, reports Sheela Bhatt
June 25, 2013Nets in the sky and traps on the ground
China has been keeping tabs on the restive Tibet province through a 'grid' system and some 600 'convenience police posts' armed with high-tech equipment that monitor the daily life of the citizens of Lhasa and other Tibetan towns. Worse, 'volunteer security groups' known as 'Red Armband Patrols' are roaming around in order to get more information and 'classify' each and every citizen, says Claude Arpi
June 19, 2013N India floods: Religious tourism eroding ecological heritage
Disaster in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh can be blamed on myopic industrialisation, urbanisation and tourism policies.
June 17, 2013Gujarat leaders fight the UP battle for Congress and BJP
The battle for Uttar Pradesh will now be fought by two Gujarat leaders for their respective parties, reports Saroj Nagi
June 13, 2013Govt rolls out cyber security framework
The framework aims at creating a secure cyber space for users to enjoy confidence in electronic transactions, reports Ajai Shukla
June 10, 2013Advani's pre-emptive strike to stop Modi as PM candidate
L K Advani had no option but to strike now to ensure that Modi is not announced as the prime ministerial candidate under any circumstances before the general election, says Sheela Bhatt
June 09, 2013Exclusive! Modi will lead the BJP in Lok Sabha election
Narendra Modi will be the face of the BJP, the symbol of anti-Congress sentiment and the messiah of the Indian middle class in the general election, reports Sheela Bhatt
June 04, 2013'Nitish Kumar is a one-man-show, isn't Gujarat also?'
'We had become buffoons with Lalu. If you were a Bihari you were seen as a buffoon -- that has changed. Now there's a pride in being Bihari.' Archana Masih reports on the changes in Bihar.
May 28, 2013Everest @ 60: 'Tenzing and Hillary inspire every mountaineer'
In an e-mail interview on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the conquest of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, Mark Joseph Inglis shares his life, challenges and the delight in climbing the peak
May 22, 2013A bloodied childhood in war-torn Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Tamil poet and journalist Theepachelvan Pratheepan shares the experiences during his petrified childhood days spent in the war-torn island nation with Rediff.com's Shobha Warrier
May 21, 2013Tracking the betting racket: How the Mumbai police does it
'If the bookie and the gamblers are sitting in the same room and watching TV we will not be able to catch them. Only when there is some communication on the phone or over the internet will we have a chance to find out what is going on.' A Ganesh Nadar
gets a top Mumbai cop to spill the beans on how the betting racket functions
May 20, 2013India-China talks: Read the full joint statement
At the invitation of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, is on a state visit to India from May 19 to 22.
May 14, 2013Asghar Ali Engineer: Simple, fearless, straight from the heart
Renowned Islamic scholar Asghar Ali Engineer, who passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday , was opposed to all forms of religious bigotry including by the clergy of his own faith. For opposing the Syedna, spiritual of Dawoodi Bohras, Engineer faced scorn, boycott and even, sometimes, violence. In February 2000 Dilip D'souza had chronicled in Rediff.com one such assault on Asghar Ali Engineer; we reproduce it here. In Tribute.
May 13, 2013Congress gameplan behind Digvijaya's dare to SC
His provocative comments are the first political steps taken by the Congress to handle the coal scam and its fall-out, says Sheela Bhatt
May 09, 2013'Indian Special Forces are tied up in bureaucratic hierarchy'
Special Forces are a vital element of national power, possessing enormous freedom of action and should be fruitfully employed to successfully meet future challenges, say Lieutenant General P C Katoch and journalist Saikat Dutta.
May 02, 2013'How could we get back Sarabjit from a bunch of barbarians?'
A senior government officer, who was dealing with Pakistan on sensitive and strategic issues, tells Sheela Bhatt
that Pakistan never wanted Sarabit Singh to return to India and share all that he knew. He says the the killing of the Indian convict in a Lahore jail was a planned murder.
Coal-gate: PM briefed by 2 law officers before CBI plea
The prime minister wasn't comfortable with the series of events in the coal block allotment scam probe, including the uncontested detailed letter sent by Additional Solicitor General Harin P Raval (who quit on Tuesday) to Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati recalling every instance much to the embarrassment of the government, reports Rakesh Bhatnagar
April 30, 2013Rediff SENTIMETER: Figure out how Karnataka will vote
Welcome to our interactive map showing which way Karnataka will vote in 2013.
April 26, 2013CBI chief's revelation on coal-gate embarrasses govt
The revelation by CBI director Ranjit Sinha that the law minister and other officials had vetted a status report on coal-gate which was submitted to the SC may result in a severe grilling for Ashwani Kumar when the SC hears the case on April 30. Rakesh Bhatnagar
April 15, 2013'India must use special forces better against Pak, China'
Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt
talks to Lieutenant General P C Katoch and journalist Saikat Dutta on how India has failed to strategically employ its considerable number of special forces especially in creating deterrence against the asymmetric war unleashed upon us by both Pakistan and China since past several years, and that we need to right this urgently.
April 12, 2013Mamatadi, this is not the poriborton we sought
We want a change in Bengal again -- but this time a change in the real sense of the term, writes Indrani Roy
in an open letter to the West Bengal chief minister
April 05, 2013Rafale deal on slow track as graft charges worry Antony
Although officially the IAF and MoD continue to maintain that negotiations are on track and should be concluded soon, the reality is that even small acquisitions are on the backburner, says RS Chauhan
March 25, 2013'China-India maritime rivalry is NOT inevitable'
A senior government source explains to Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt
why India cannot pre-judge a rivalry with China.
Shailesh Gandhi and the under-trials in jail
For former central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, the RTI Act remains a powerful ally, finds A Ganesh Nadar
March 19, 2013Why Jayalalitha is happiest at the DMK pullout from UPA
The DMK will not regret parting company with the Congress as Karunanidhi knows that in this era of coalitions, it is impossible for the Congress-led government to seek a third term, given its track of record of scams. Even otherwise, the Congress has no base in Tamil Nadu where it has been out of power since 1967, says S Murari
March 11, 2013PHOTOS: Inside the ultimate pop-up mega city
Every 12 years comes a mystical, mind-boggling phenomenon. It is the Maha Kumbh Mela. Harvard experts map the exotic and the mundane at the spectacle. Arthur J Pais
March 08, 2013It's a woman's world: Miners, eagle hunter, bomb expert
As our salute to women on their day, we present images from across the world showing how the fairer sex has broken deep-rooted barriers to leave a mark in our male-dominated society.
February 20, 2013Helicopter deal: India's jinxed Westland saga
India's dealings with Westland Helicopters, before it merged in March 1999 with Italy's Finmeccanica subsidiary to become AgustaWestland, were technically problematical and politically questionable.
February 16, 2013Cong reflecting on simultaneous state and general polls?
Congress is wary that state elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and New Delhi to be held in December will impact its prospects in the 2014 general elections. Sheela Bhatt
February 13, 2013Copter scam puts defence agents back in spotlight
With the latest AgustaWestland helicopter import scandal, it is time to re-examine the role of the ubiquitous but ostensibly banned defence agents, middlemen, intermediaries, brokers, consultants, weapon merchants or reps as they are variously known, says Rahul Bedi
February 12, 2013Iftikhar Gilani: The police locked up my children
'Eight policemen were sitting in my drawing room, feeling at home. They had locked up my 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son in a room that did not have a toilet.' Onkar Singh
reports on Iftikhar Gilani's plight after Afzal Guru's execution.
Hope in Kerala's poison fields
After suffering from severe exposure to endosulfan for decades, the villagers of Kasargod are finally moving on. But the scars remain, T E Narasimhan
February 09, 2013Timing of execution clearly political
'The hanging has made Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's position very vulnerable. The government has created an issue in Kashmir when there was none.'
'Bold decision and the ends of justice had to be met'
'Where is the question of not hanging Afzal Guru when the case was an open and shut one,' former R&AW chief C D Sahay tells Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa
February 07, 2013China's dams on Brahmaputra can be dangerous business
India should take up the issue in the strongest way with Beijing. But the solution is definitively not building more dams in Arunachal Pradesh, cautions Claude Arpi
January 25, 2013R-day Special: The men who protect India's honour
On Republic Day, nine bravehearts of the Indian Army, who risked -- and in some cases lost -- their lives to defend their nation, will be honoured for their acts of exceptional gallantry. Let us join the rest of the nation in honouring these real-life heroes.
R-Day special: Meet India's young braveheartsPriyanka
catches up with India's little champions on the eve of Republic Day as they narrate their stories.
January 21, 2013The Rafale deal and why it makes China nervous
The People's Daily, the Chinese Communist newspaper, says the sale of the Rafale fighter plane 'encourages, excites and spurs India's appetite and ambition to become a great military power.' Does India have a choice, considering the People's Liberation Army's frantic speed of development, wonders Claude Arpi
Exclusive: Priyanka tweaked Rahul's speech
What most people don't know is that the emotional flourishes and notes, the memories about Rahul's father Rajiv Gandhi and grandmother Indira Gandhi, the point about his mother Sonia coming into his room late on Saturday night and weeping, in the speech were added by his sister Priyanka Gandhi.
January 20, 2013Rahul: Last night, my mother came to my room and cried
On such a historic day in the 127-year-old Congress party's history, Rahul Gandhi presented himself as a dreamy-eyed idealist who is trying to be a visionary instead of an Indian leader keen to be a man of steel to take on the hard realities of India. Sheela Bhatt
assesses Rahul Gandhi's emotional first speech as Congress vice-president.
January 19, 2013What Rahul Gandhi's elevation means for the Congress
The Congress Working Committee anointed Rahul Gandhi as party vice-president at the party's Chintan Shivir in Jaipur on Saturday. He is now the official number two in the Congress, paving the way for his projection as the party's prime ministerial candidate in the run up to the 2014 general elections.
January 14, 2013'We don't want our salaries, we just want to go home'
Despite Union Minister for Overseas Indians Vayalar Ravi's intervention, the fate of 29 Indian fishermen, who have been languishing in Iran since October 10 last year, remains uncertain.
January 04, 2013Bihar village waits for a special guest of honour
Wajitpura village in Bihar's Patna district is gearing up to welcome a special visitor. The mehman (guest) is the rashtrapati (president) of a country once known as mirich desh by residents of rural Bihar and Uttar Pradesh many decades ago.
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