|May 29, 2009|
The prime minister's SCO dilemma|
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is still a developing entity and it is essentially due to Russian and Chinese efforts. The moot question is can India benefit by attending it?
Where heart surgeries are done for free
'We are proud of our waiting list. We meet every patient and we never promise what we can't deliver.'
|May 25, 2009|
Why Phalcon AWACS matter to India|
The AWACS, mounted on a Russian Ilyushin-76 airframe, will look deep into our neighbouring countries and detect incoming missiles and aircrafts from hundreds of kilometres away in all-weather conditions. It will also help detect troop build-up in territories around us.
|May 19, 2009|
Raj Thackeray's sudden impact|
Party cadres credit him for bagging a four per cent vote share in Maharashtra and a whopping 21 per cent vote share in Mumbai.
Dr Singh knows how to get his way
'Dr Manmohan Singh's contribution is to end the strategic isolationism of India.' K Subrahmanyam, the doyen of India's national security experts, on the prime minister.
|May 17, 2009|
'Fantastic validation of Indian democracy'|
'It is indeed remarkable that the Indian electorate has simultaneously clipped the wings of Advani, Karat, Mayavati, Laloo, Mulayam, Jayalalithaa and while rewarding better governance in Bihar, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh.'
|May 15, 2009|
Afpak flu and India|
The time is ripe for a reduction of troops in a phased manner and moving the rest of the army units on internal security remit to the Line of Control, to eliminate infiltrators.
Jeffrey Archer wants to be India's transport minister
'I love you on the road. This is the only nation on earth where cars run with the white line under them.' The evening was about Jeffrey Archer the charming raconteur, the astute salesman.
|May 12, 2009|
'They are marketing me like Miss Universe'|
Lack of development has not deterred Mani Shankar Aiyar from embarking on a flamboyant campaign.
Deceit comes naturally to Pak military!
Pakistan pocketed a cool $953 million cheque while the American establishment still appears to be dim-witted about perceiving the Pakistan army's skullduggery.
In a four-part series, M P Anil Kumar,, a former Indian Air Force fighter pilot, looks at the lawless Afghan-Pak region.
'There is no Bengal line or Delhi line'
The Left party workers are keenly aware that the election for the 15th Lok Sabha is the severest test for the party ever since it took power in Bengal 32 years ago.
'Muslim factor' in Bengal may surprise complacent CPI-M
There's more to being elected from Calcutta North than the ability to turn a phrase around different consonants at the same time, and Mohammed Salim is keenly aware of this fact.
|May 11, 2009|
Don't dismiss Laloo just yet|
While it is true that the overall situation worsened and the state got deeper into the quagmire of backwardness during the RJD regime, yet the party bags many credits for bringing about a fundamental change in Bihar's society and politics as well.
Rajiv Gandhi, Arun Shourie plot Chidambaram's fall
Rajiv Gandhi is very angry with P Chidambaram for not having done anything for the Eelam cause. Backing him up with facts and figures and helping him in the campaign is Arun Shourie.
Do the politicial parties care about Punjab's farmers?
At the start of the election process in Punjab it was expected that the farmers's suicides and the problems they faced would be a major issue during the campaign. However, few leaders have spoken strongly about this issue.
|May 08, 2009|
Weavers in Kancheepuram disillusioned on poll eve|
Still, the AIADMK may coast through.
'The US is making a mistake in Pakistan'
An acute equipment shortage and an army that has only been trained to fight against India has left the Pakistani army highly ineffectual in its counter-insurgency efforts against the Taliban, said South Asia expert Stephen Cohen.
Will Sidhu manage a hat-trick in Amritsar?
The charismatic BJP MP is pitted against a candidate who has never lost an election.
Sikh PM is a big Congress draw in Punjab
The PM's popularity in Amritsar, where he arrived with his family as a refugee from Gah in the Chakwal district of Pakistan's West Punjab during partition in 1947, is high not only because he is a Sikh. He is also seen as a man of immense integrity who is devoted to the country, has given India a global reputation in several ways, including the nuclear deal, and has ensured significant and sustained economic growth.
|May 07, 2009|
India must come out of its cocoon: Dalai Lama|
As he travels around the world, the Dalai Lama talks about two major issues -- both of which he learned from India, he said. The first is a commitment to human values, compassion and non-violence, which he believes are the essentials to build a happy family, county and world. The second is his belief in building bridges of harmony on the basis of mutual respect and understanding.
Disgruntled voters and a pale election
Polls in Tamil Nadu have lights, fireworks, music, dance… But this election is muted.
The constituency where waste is the biggest issue
Disposing effluents from the dyeing units is the biggest issue here, as the untreated waste threatens to contaminate the ground water. Tirupur needs the sea link to discard its industrial wastage.
|May 06, 2009|
Why Barmer's Muslims love this BJP MP|
'Manvendra Singh has made a home in the hearts of the Muslims here by striving for their development as well as that of the madarssas in this district.'
Betting hard for Badal bahu in Bhatinda
Bookies in Bhatinda are the only ones who have refused to hedge their bets, and that's probably because they are paid not to do so.
Why Punjab is Rahul's political lab
Rahul Gandhi's message to Congressmen and women across the country is clear: In future elections youth will get preference in the party. The Congress general secretary has chosen Punjab as the role model state to introduce youth into the fray.
'In Bihar people don't cast their vote but vote their caste'
Bihar's first true movie star, Shatrughan Sinha, fighting the first Lok Sabha election in his political career, is confident that Patna will choose him over his star opponent.
|May 01, 2009|
'Tamil or Lankan bullets don't matter'|
Some of them have been here for so long that they can't remember how their homes in Sri Lanka looked. Some have been born here and know only of the homes that their parents describe.
|April 16, 2009|
Why all roads lead to Saran|
Saran is where Laloo Prasad Yadav is facing perhaps the toughest electoral battle in his eventful career..
Will Sahu's gamble pay off in Orissa?
He knows that if he wins on the back of this emotive issue then he will emerge as the face of hardline Hindutva in Orissa's political landscape.
|April 15, 2009|
Elections in the time of fear and loathing|
Prasanna D Zore and Uttam Ghosh report on how an election is conducted in Kandhamal where the Christian community confronts Hindu anger eight months after a VHP activist's murder.
Shashi Tharoor's day out
Jay Mandal captures the candidate on his final rounds of the constituency.
Why these Chhattisgarh tribals will not vote
Krishnakumar P travels to Kunkuri, Chhattisgarh, to discover an electorate in ferment.
Why suicide is a way out for Vidarbha farmers
Trapped in an endless spiral of debt, driven remorselessly to suicide, the people of Vidarbha have lost all hope. Sheela Bhatt reports from Ground Zero.
Andhra Pradesh: Caste to the fore again
State politics, which revolved around two major politically dominant castes for almost five decades, is now witnessing muscle-flexing by another caste group which seeks to get a bigger slice of the political cake. The traditional rival castes -- Reddys and Kammas -- now have to contend with another rival -- the Kapus.
'We've been treated as animals in polls'
'If you're sent to a sensitive booth, it scares not only you but your family. My mother has been praying for our safe return.' The travails of government staff deployed for election duty in Bihar.
|April 14, 2009|
Political ploys in the heart of UP
In Rohillkhand, people have survived the centuries with canny grace. If 1947 was an aberration that twisted the life-blood out of history, the mix-and-match heartiness of the 2009 election immeasurably reinforces the region's diversity.
The lady with the toughest job in Bihar
'We have to strike fear in the hearts of those who think they can resort to violence or break the law on polling day,' Bandana Preyashi tells rediff.com.
|March 26, 2009|
For 4 LS seats, Modi stakes his reputation|
It is imperative for Modi to win more than 18 seats out of 26 to make an impression outside Gujarat. There is no doubt that by giving tickets to these four tainted candidates who have 'cleared' themselves through a treacherous legal process, Modi has succumbed to realpolitik.
|March 25, 2009|
The Indian voter has become more demanding|
Their expectation levels have risen. It is not just the basic necessities (roti, kapda and makaan) that matter to them. Equally important are the basic infrastructure services (bijli, paani and sadak) that a political party should promise to offer if elected to form the government.
|March 21, 2009|
Fareed Zakaria is India Abroad Person of Year|
Even in a banner year marked by achievements of the highest order across a wide variety of fields, it was inevitable that Dr Zakaria would be named India Abroad Person of the Year 2008. Filmmaker Mira Nair, who won the award last year, was on hand to honour her successor with the award that, over the seven years of its existence, has become one of the most sought after accolades in the community space.
|March 17, 2009|
The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay-II|
An excerpt from Mumbai novelist Siddharth Dhanvant Shangvhi's second offering, The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay.
Not much may change in India post election
One will be disappointed by the BJP's IT-restricted vision or Mayawati's lack of it because they give the feeling that not much is going to change in India.
The tentwallah who divided the BJP
Sudhanshu Mittal, a close aide of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan and the bete noir of party general secretary Arun Jaitley, is no stranger to controversies.
|March 09, 2009|
Give Madame Mayawati credit
Mayawati comes to the battle field armed with a Dalit-Brahmin-Muslim combination once again. She has given around 10 seats to Other Backward Classes and three each to the Baniya and Thakur communities. If she wins impressively, it will be because of her "inclusive politics".
|February 25, 2009|
Siddharth Shanghvi on sex and his city|
Finally, and perhaps foremost, it's not just a love story set in Mumbai. It's a love letter to Mumbai, a name, incidentally, that the author himself refuses to use.
|February 20, 2009|
'He saved me, but I could not save him'|
I am leaving Swat today. I am committed to return to Swat but I cannot come back if there is no peace. I can only use my pen and camera to report the truth if there is peace. Otherwise, I will become another Musa Khankhel and my pen will be silenced.
26/11: Why Sulochana cannot go back home
Sulochana Lokhande is the last victim of 26/11 terror attack still in hospital. While every minute as she lies there looking at the fans which do not spin, there is only one thought that revolves in her mind --'Why did this happen?'.
|February 19, 2009|
'Pakistan had no choice but make a deal in Swat'|
The ground reality is that the government of Pakistan has no choice but make the not-so-fine distinction to save their people getting killed as collateral damage when they fight the Taliban.
|February 11, 2009|
In Swat, Pakistan army faces 1971-like situation|
A furious Taliban leadership has decided to send their fighters to Islamabad as a reaction to the army operations in the Swat valley on the troubled border with Afghanistan.
|February 09, 2009|
How IT revolutionised politics|
As Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami says, 'When one vote is cast, the machine takes twelve seconds to reactivate. So the "productivity" of the fraudsters goes down, since you can't just stuff bunches of paper into a box.' The time delay has also helped the Commission figure out when 'stuffing' has happened with a machine. 'If we spot a series where votes were cast every twelve seconds, we simply cancel that result.'
|February 04, 2009|
Navin Chawla: An authority by himself|
If Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami lives by the rulebook, so does his colleague Navin Chawla. Only that the book is written by him and the rules are his own.
He lives by the give-nothing-take-nothing principle
Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami is a stickler. For rules. For details. For discipline. For principles. For values. For him, there is only one way of doing things: The right way. He is known to make copious notes about how every hour of his day passes. "He jots down details in a tiny diary. Even if you speak to him on the phone for a few minutes, your name and details of the conversation go into that tiny diary," revealed a friend who has known the CEC for 20 years.
'Banning pubs is not the solution'
'Pub culture? What is that? Don't call it pub culture. Going to a pub is a habit and it can never be part of a culture. Like some people like gambling, some like hanging out in pubs,' says National Commission for Women member Nirmala Venkatesh.
|February 02, 2009|
Can its new chief turn R&AW around?|
The induction of Verma, who has never served in the RAW before, reflects the government's anxiety to set right the relapse in the organisation. It will be Verma's job to ensure that the staff works hand in hand in removing deficiencies in the organisation.
History occurred in front of our eyes
'How could any Indian-American heart not have skipped a beat to hear President Barack Obama speak of a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers, shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth?'
|January 30, 2009|
Nine factors which make a Lashkar terrorist|
The most important factor is commitment to the Lashkar's ideology. When the Lashkar recruits youth the latter are told they will undertake a military operation and there is absolute need to be committed to the organisation's ideology in order to succeed.
Can Pakistan meet India halfway on 26/11?
Is America in a position to help the Indian government get something substantial and real from Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks?'
|January 28, 2009|
CPM girds up to defeat BJP and Congress in LS poll|
The anti-Congress feeling is so sharp that when General Secretary Prakash Karat proposed to the all-powerful Politburo that for the 2009 election the party's policy should be 'Defeat BJP, Reject Congress', the Politburo sent back the revised slogan of 'Defeat BJP, Defeat Congress.'
|January 23, 2009|
Why the Congress will miss Dr Singh|
Dr Singh's services are not going to be asked for in the electoral battle of 2009 as it wasn't used in the last five years. His presence in the Congress scheme of things was more of symbolic value than political. But, all said and done, he was a stable symbol that has now been shaken due to his absence from office.
A Miracle in a thirsty Indian village
'You don't need a Tata or Birla to help a village,' says NRI Ram Krishnan who has helped one of the driest regions in the country get abundant water today.
|January 20, 2009|
Opinions differ on Obama plan for South Asia envoy|
Some South Asian experts in Washington, DC argue that such an envoy should concentrate only on Afghanistan and Pakistan; another section holds that India should be included and that a discussion on Kashmir is inevitable; and a third section of opinion contends that the whole idea is misguided.
Krupali's fairytale Obama journey
From Oprah to CNN to front row seats for Obama's inauguration, Dr Krupali Tejura has had an amazing ride.
|January 16, 2009|
Neighbour confirms eyewitness's US story|
K Madhusudhan Nair is a neighbour to Anita Rajendra Udiyar, who is in the news for her alleged trip to the US to give evidence as a 26/11 witness.
|January 15, 2009|
Priyanka not to contest, Rahul face of aam-aadmi|
Congress president Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Vadra will not contest in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, a senior and influential Congress leader told rediff.com. Congress president Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Vadra will not contest in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, a senior and influential Congress leader told rediff.com. Rahul spending time with Dalit families is also part of the Congress's poll strategy to link the future face of the Congress with the common man.
|January 13, 2009|
'A strike against training camps is certainly viable'|
'India and Pakistan can engage in low-level conflict without crossing the nuclear threshold,' feels Dr Gary Samore from the New York-based think-tank Council on Foreign Relations and a survivor of the 26/11 attacks.
|January 12, 2009|
'The so-called surgical strikes are not easy'|
A senior source involved with the Government of India's policy-making machinery told rediff.com: "If, for some reason, the military reaction was not successful, then it would have been a greater humiliation than Mumbai. These so-called surgical strikes are not easy."
26/11 Hero: 'We will never lower our guard'
'There is something called duty. I had to keep the respect of my uniform. Looking after the public is our duty. That was what I was doing,' says Jillu Yadav.
|January 09, 2009|
Indian-American task force to push US to act on Pak|
It will impress upon Barack Obama and the US Congress of the need to make changes to American policy towards Pakistan. Its members plan to meet the Obama-Biden transition team shortly and with US Senators and Representatives at a January 27 conference in Washington, DC.
|January 08, 2009|
Alas, 9/11 led to Bush's cowboy foreign policy|
'The Bush doctrine has since provided the intellectual framework for war in Afghanistan and later in Iraq. It has since legitimised rhetoric like 'axis of evil' when describing North Korea and Iran. It has since been called the clearest manifestation of America's irrational turn to unilateralism over international cooperation.'
|January 06, 2009|
Bush: Inauspicious beginning, inglorious end|
How did we get to this point, where the US president -- the ostensible leader of the free world -- is disrespected in a most serious manner and the incident is considered funny and deserving? What happened?