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March 31, 2015
Don't divide the army, Mr Defence Minister
Internal simmering in the army has come to a boil after the government tries to retain a discriminatory promotions policy.
March 30, 2015
A country that only feels for its cows
The beef ban has sparked considerable debate and confusion
March 29, 2015
Beef ban and the challenges before Maharashtra govt
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis faces the challenge of ensuring that Dalits and Muslims -- who are likely to be most affected by the beef ban -- do not drift away towards the opposition.
March 27, 2015
Why Vajpayee deserves the Bharat Ratna
'Whether it was sending out a message after the Pokhran II nuclear tests or managing the fallout, Atal Bihari Vajpayee did it with great statesmanship, always keeping India's interests in mind.' Leakgate: Govt needs more transparency not less
Lost in this maelstrom is the unasked question about what are the secrets the government really needs to keep? One can appreciate the need to keep news about movements of troops secret. But what is the need of sealing, and sequestering away the bulk of the work being done by ministries dealing with economic and social welfare, asks Sunjoy Joshi.
March 26, 2015
Supreme Court has done us proud, again
By striking down Section 66A of the IT Act, the Supreme Court has ruled against the arrogance and impertinence of power, says Paranjoy Guha Thakurta.
March 24, 2015
Thank you Mr PM for talking about farmers, but...
Farmers are juggling with thousand other problems apart from the Land Acquisition Bill. Who will discuss them? When Hindus ate beef, India was NEVER conquered
'There is a remarkable link between the eating of beef (or at the very least, tolerating the eating of beef) and India being a superpower.' 'Arvind is like a child who wants to keep all the toys to himself'
It is too early to say whether the Aam Aadmi Party's transformation from a watchdog of Indian politics to the lapdog of the political elite is complete. But it seems to be heading in that direction, says Bharat Bhushan
March 23, 2015
What China's hiked defence spending means for India
'Assuming the official defence allocations represent the true picture, the $142 billion figure still represents a phenomenal increase and surpasses that of Japan ($42 billion), India ($40 billion), South Korea ($33 billion) and several other Asian countries put together and shows that China is flexing its military muscle.' Pakistan continues to bleed India
Throughout a quarter century of proxy war, India has shown tremendous restraint in the face of grave provocation. It is inconceivable that any other nation would have refrained from launching trans-LoC operations to eliminate terrorist training camps and interdict known routes of infiltration, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
March 20, 2015
Jayalalithaa's wait for judicial redress just got longer
The high court verdict on AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa's disproportionate assets conviction appeal just got delayed, says N Sathiya Moorthy No, Christians are not persecuted in India
'India has always been a land of acceptance of diversity. But if the evangelical activities continue unabated, there is no doubt this will cause a backlash.' So where does Sonia go from here?
The decision to take to the streets and demonstrate support for beleaguered former PM Manmohan Singh could be a turning point for the Congress.
March 19, 2015
China's mandarins get candid about problems ahead
Premier Li Keqiang highlighted his government's performance in the last one year and the challenges ahead in various fields. Compared to other reports by his predecessors, Li spoke more frankly about the mounting challenges faced by the country. Srikanth Kondapalli on the two recent Chinese parliament sessions. Is this our great culture? A culture that treats a woman like dirt?
'It is nauseating to hear jingoists shout that this is a country that worships women as Goddesses. Leave Goddesses aside, do you treat women as human beings here?' The dangers of banning cow slaughter
The sentiments of the ignorant are what politicians unfortunately fan to inflame passions for political gain, says Murad Ali Baig
March 18, 2015
Kejriwal: No Napoleon, but Robespierre
'Like Robespierre,' argues Syed Firdaus Ashraf, 'Kejriwal too talks of virtue, and the ones who speak out against him will encounter the terror of Kejriwal's wrath in the Aam Aadmi Party.'
March 17, 2015
Where's the money to fund your ambitions, Mr Modi?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitions abroad may run the risk of foundering on constraints at home. Why Amit Shah keeps an eye on Bengal
'Amit Shah was, briefly, a stockbroker before devoting himself to politics. By instinct or training, he knows the value of keeping blue chips in one's portfolio.'
March 16, 2015
Return of the Rahul Congress
The Queen has retired, the bosses have left, long live the prince as king, says Shiv Visvanathan.
March 11, 2015
Here's why liberal Islam has lost the battle
'The civil war in Islam has just got worse and the existential crisis facing it more threatening.' New media ensuring the emergence of new politics in India
The days of political elite have ended with the advent of new politics and new media. Today every citizen is a politician, social worker and an intellectual, says Ram Madhav, BJP national general secretary.
March 10, 2015
Satyameva (Kadapi) Jayate. Truth Triumphs, Sometimes
'Many who haven't even seen the documentary are claiming that it defames and damages the image of India, makes it sound unsafe, and gives the rapist a forum.'
March 09, 2015
Stalin, Tamil Nadu's own Prince Charles
Will the 2016 assembly election be Stalin's to lead the DMK in? Vinod Mehta: The man who had editorial chemistry
Mehta was known to be outspoken and had an unerring instinct for what would be read
March 07, 2015
Heed the lessons from the lynching
'For years, a whispering campaign against the non-Nagas -- and occasional violence -- has dominated the local discourse, but Farid Khan's lynching was unprecedented in its ferocity.'
March 03, 2015
Why changes were needed in the land acquisition law
A picture has been created that present government is anti-farmer, which is absolutely wrong, says BJP MP Bhupender Yadav. The quiet decline of anti-incumbency
The last 25 years of Indian democracy have shown that anti-incumbency in state elections is on the decline. This is a positive trend because continuous terms will allow political parties to look beyond single-term policies and focus on long-term development, says Richard M Rossow. Why bloggers pay with their lives for speaking up
Crackdowns on bloggers often signal the ominous rise of religious fundamentalism
March 02, 2015
The key word is governance, governance and only governance
The Kashmir-based PDP's linkage with the BJP could even be a turning point, provided it is safeguarded against real possibility of miscarriage. So-called fringe elements on either side, more so in the Saffron parivar, can easily upset Modi-Mufti applecart. They have only to drag contentious issues into limelight to do that, says Mohammad Sayeed Malik. Concessions, real or perceived, won't work with Pakistan
While Prime Minister Modi may pursue the laudable aim of building a cooperative relationship with Pakistan, he and his advisers should never think that concessions (and dialogue is a concession in itself) will change the Pakistan army's approach to India, says Vivek Katju.
February 28, 2015
Exam festivals aren't the answer
If the prime minister wants the tension of examinations to ease up, he may have to look at some more serious reform of India's education system than holding festivals
February 27, 2015
AAP can't confront Modi for 5, 10 years
'Can the Aam Aadmi Party challenge the BJP? Someday perhaps. But to set him up as a national alternative just now smacks of the very sin that Arvind Kejriwal admits brought him down in 2014 -- arrogance.' The West's terrorist challenge
There is no war against Islam, but there is definitely one against Islamic radicalism, says Claude Smadja.
February 26, 2015
Pakistan's rulers can deceive anyone and everyone
'For so long as the rulers of Pakistan remain committed to confronting and vanquishing India, they will sustain delusions, breed terrorists, and export them.' Why governments don't like certain NGOs
'There is nothing traitorous about highlighting the poor record of your own government. If the Indian government does something wrong, we all have the right to point this out at any forum, international or national.'
February 25, 2015
Anti-Christian acts: The myth and reality
'When the BJP first came to power in the late 1990s we heard of anti- Christian incidents perpetrated by members of the Sangh Parivar, the majority of which proved to be blatant falsehoods.' AFSPA debate is clouded by emotion, distrust
'The provisions of the AFSPA must remain on the statute books given the increasingly violent and uncertain times.' Pakistan and its seven states of delusion
'Pakistan is full of 'religious entrepreneurs' like Hafeez Saeed who poison the minds of the young so that they can be motivated to become terrorists. They work in concert with the rulers of Pakistan. It is a private-public partnership.'
February 24, 2015
No 'trial runs' in ensuring India's security
'The debate is not whether the Indian defence apparatus is in a state of disrepair, but whether it is capable of securing the defence of the country if any envisaged threat becomes real.' Why China's objections to Modi's Arunachal visit were muted
Though the Chinese find it necessary to oppose the visits of Indian leaders to Arunachal Pradesh, they want to keep the objections at a moderate level lest it cast a shadow on Narendra Modi's visit to China in May, says D S Rajan. 'Mother was above religion'
The constitution of the Missionaries of Charity that declares, 'We shall not impose our Catholic faith on anyone, but have profound respect for all religions.'
February 23, 2015
Rahul follows a weird political calculus
'He is anything but astute or charismatic. He believes the Congress can win elections without alliances in the Hindi heartland.'
February 20, 2015
Just as in 2004, Modi will have to make a choice
I do not understand Narendra Modi's mantra of 'development'. Specifically, I do not see many of his models as indicators of development that are relevant to me, says Gautam Rakshit.
February 19, 2015
Shivaji revived Indian naval power
'Shivaji was among a handful of Indian rulers to realise the importance of sea power... Not much attention is paid to his remarkable achievement: Building a modern navy and the revival of Indian maritime power.' Hinduphobia: Intolerance, racial and religious
'I do hope the Patel family sues the hell out of the state of Alabama, and I hope the Hindu American Foundation and other community organisations are helping with legal aid and monetary support. For, there is reason to believe that it is religious and racial bias that led to the incident: In other words, a hate crime. There is no reason to suffer that silently.'
February 18, 2015
The message from Srirangam
For the AIADMK, winning the Srirangam by-election without Jayalalithaa campaigning for it, and having Panneerselvam as chief minister, is saying a lot in its favour. But again, a year and more is a long time in electoral politics in the country, and more so in Tamil Nadu, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Perils of the Apparel
'Striking a balance between elegance and image is a challenging task. Mahatma Gandhi succeeded by stressing his humble image, while others suffered setbacks on account of their flashy and extravagant attire,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
February 17, 2015
Dara Shikoh and the message for India
'Now, as in Dara's time, it is far more important that power and structures of governance do not fall into the hands of fundamentalists.'
February 16, 2015
Rajapaksa's loss can be Modi's gain
Dealing with the Sirisena government in Sri Lanka, says G Ganapathy Subramaniam, is a lot easier for India than engaging with the Rajapaksa regime. What happened to Priya Pillai could happen to many of us
'No private citizen can be prevented from holding or propagating in India or abroad, a view contrary to that of the government of the day. The government, it seems is misreading the mandate in the Lok Sabha as being a mandate to crush dissent. In times when ruling parties have brute majorities in Parliament, the true test of safeguarding democracy is its ability to allow dissenting voices to be heard,' says Indira Jaising, the former additional solicitor general. AAP's win makes me imagine how Shivaji would have defeated Afzal Khan
Prathamesh Murkute explains why he has volunteered his personal time and money to support a movement called the Aam Aadmi Party.
February 14, 2015
Paanch sawaal for Kejriwal
Sunil Sethi raises five questions to avoid the pitfalls that ended his ignominious earlier tenure as chief minister exactly a year ago
February 12, 2015
AAP should not get confused with the verdict
'AAP's role in history will not be judged by the kind of administration it provides.' 'If it could change the system, if it could change the very nature of the establishment, only then will it be remembered in history.'
February 11, 2015
Kejriwal throws a broom Modi's way
The BJP's embarrassing rout in Delhi may affect Modi in many ways. One election, three parties; one result, three lessons
'Most of the punditry is wrong. There is no one lesson from the Delhi election, only what the three parties choose to believe -- but what will they choose.'
February 10, 2015
Uttam's Take: AAP blooms, BJP looks for lost magic
Uttam's take on AAP's landslide victory in Delhi. Time for Sonia to choose between Rahul and Congress revival
'Delhi 2015 is a warning of an intensifying nightmare in the offing.' Kejriwal and the art of stopping Modi-Shah
'Kejriwal has shown that not only can Modi-Shah be stopped, they can in fact be routed... Today, as the Delhi votes are counted, it shows not only the AAP's victory or BJP's defeat. But also the Congress's final irrelevance.' Please, everybody, think beyond Delhi
'The BJP currently occupies the centre stage of Indian politics, much the way the Congress did in the 1970s. That may be comforting to the party, but it could also be the road to perdition of easy self-congratulation and sycophancy.' 5 Reasons Why the BJP Got It Wrong In Delhi
'The boy has remained so simple. Still wearing that sweater and light pants. He doesn't even have a decent pair of shoes! So much like one of us! How can we not give him another chance?'
February 07, 2015
Explaining Delhi's polls and bets
If error margins and confidence intervals are accounted for, even apparently decisive polls are not "sure things" and that brings us to bookies, who don't believe in any "sure things", says Devangshu Datta
February 05, 2015
How India can prevent another wet Republic Day
It is impossible the control or reduce the fury of nature but, at a lower scale, it is worth experimenting to modify it, says Ajay Lele. Kejriwal's principal publicity manager? The BJP itself!
'Win or lose, the BJP's Delhi unit is clearly in a mess. Its behaviour offers a textbook example in how not to approach an election.'
February 04, 2015
Why Hinduism never developed a concept of blasphemy
'While India's 'secularism' is a matter of cultural values rooted in Hinduism, the Western concept became one of rights rooted in legal rights. India would be secular with or without Article 25 of the Constitution,' says T V R Shenoy. Battleground Delhi: Why AAP looks confident
The opinion polls give the edge to the AAP over the BJP and Congress
February 03, 2015
Strategic Vision: Taking India to the East
India has moved beyond the traditional trappings of non-alignment The power game needs nimble diplomacy
PM Modi seems to be gradually ending India's strategic ambiguity Why Anna Hazare is a lonely, forgotten man today
'Hazare has only himself to blame for getting isolated. He was blind to the fact that Kejriwal and Bedi were capitalising on his success.' Rebalancing the Chinese Romance
'The question remains: Was the Obama visit truly a success? Only the future will tell us if the "breakthrough" in the nuclear liability issue will concretise into electricity.'
January 31, 2015
India-US relations: The Shanghai moment
The sudden proximity between India and US has, in the eyes of many, sidelined China. This is not the case, argues Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). Why Kiran Bedi badly needs help
The BJP's chief ministerial candidate's pitch has an amateurish feel
January 30, 2015
Why this Obama image was nothing but a good photo-op
US president was unaware that the son of a manual labourer had to abandon studies Winning Hearts or Fighting Terror? Army's Kashmir dilemma
'All commanding officers and their superiors are sure to have taken note of the betrayal that killed Colonel Rai. Corrective measures will be taken quickly. And the Indian Army will continue to do its duty without rancour and remorse.' The truth behind the assassination of Gandhiji
'Godse is no more, but the mindset which gave birth to such distorted philosophy is unfortunately still with us.'
January 29, 2015
Jaishankar's appointment sets a healthy precedent
'Given his stint in Beijing, as India's longest serving ambassador there and that too through some challenging and interesting times, Jaishankar ought to have been appointed as foreign secretary in 2013 itself,' says Sanjaya Baru. Modi humbles two ladies with one sling
'Modi's long arm reached out to Madam Singh. It is not at all a pretty sight when a Colossus comes down so heavily in an patently unequal tussle -- and I am not speaking about gender equality alone. A prime minister should not stoop so low to conquer. It is simply below the dignity of his high office.' The Jaishankar I know
S Jaishankar turned out to be a chip of the old block and that too, in modern parlance, a fully loaded chip. The father laid down the precepts of Indian strategy and diplomacy and the son put them into practice. T P Sreenivasan on India's new foreign secretary.
January 28, 2015
A country is known by the company it keeps
'Modi and Obama both had agendas that went beyond the nuclear deal. The threat from the chilly Himalayas had to be tackled in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.' A meeting of minds? Or a bouquet of questions?
The Jaya-Jaitley meeting poses more questions than answers -- and not just for the Tamil Nadu BJP. After the Obama visit: India, the Swing State
'As in the Panchatantra tale of the cat and the monkeys, it is possible for the clever swing State to play off the two competing powers.' Modi discovers the prose of governance
'Reviving the nuclear deal was crucial before the Obama visit... It was time for the BJP to admit that it was wrong, and redo the civil nuclear liability laws.' Price of the relentless daily war in Kashmir
Colonel M N Rai's supreme sacrifice highlights that the Indian Army continues to be led from the front by its officers. Will perpetual Modi critics see the true picture?
'We are no longer striving for a strategic partnership. We have arrived at one.'
January 27, 2015
Dude, it takes guts to wear your name!
'Rarely do you come across a leader of a free world who meets another leader of a free world and serves him tea in a suit that chants his name. Over and over again.' Hamid Ansari and a lament for patriotism
'Patriotism is like love: When it has to be enforced, it isn't real.' The dragon's fire at US-India clinch
'China might soon have to seriously consider whether it prefers an Indo-US hyphenation to a Sino-Indian one.' Beyond the hugs, a solid India-US partnership
'This is the first time the US has formally recognised the threat India faces from terrorist organisations based in Pakistan.'
January 26, 2015
The US-India roller coaster has, once again, reached its zenith
The new equation between 'Namo' and 'Barack' may well 'convert a good start into lasting progress.'
January 25, 2015
Modi-Obama will make for spectacular Republic Day show
'Modi and Obama are transformational leaders. There can't be a better occasion than to see them together, making their own 'firsts' in a festival of the Republic of India,' says Tarun Vijay, MP. Don't be fooled by the hug!
'A three generation US-Pakistan relationship is not likely to be snapped any time soon. All this presents an irritant to an India that wishes to concentrate on economic development,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). The most crucial defence issue that Modi-Obama need to discuss
'Implementation of the US-India Defence Technology and Trade Initiative is as much a test for the Modi government to direct its bureaucratic processes, as it is of US commitment,' says Lieutenant General Anil Chait (retd).
January 24, 2015
What are we celebrating on Republic Day?
R-Day is a different sort of exercise for the defence forces and the security establishment. At one level it is an enormous tamasha, at another, it is a nightmare.
January 23, 2015
What gifts will Obama bring to India?
'As the tanks roll down Delhi's Rajpath and the C-17s fly overhead, there could be a lot brewing in Hyderabad House,' says Surya Gangadharan. Time for Sri Lanka and India to reset ties
President Maithripala Sirisena's government in Colombo has clearly decided to restore some balance in its diplomatic outreach, which presents a great opportunity for India.
January 22, 2015
How Muzaffarpur was different from Muzaffarnagar
'The horrific episode of January 18 in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, is quite different from what happened in Muzaffarnagar, UP, in September 2013. The Akhilesh Yadav-led administration in UP and riot-mongers among our political formations need to learn lessons from the response of the state and society in Bihar's Muzaffarpur,' says Mohammad Sajjad. Good/Bad/Ugly: What will Obama's visit be like for India?
'The real test will be in defence-related deals, for instance the Javelin anti-tank missile: Is the US willing to co-develop something with India, on terms that will support the 'Make in India' initiative? Is there defence technology transfer? Or will it dump old junk on India?' asks Rajeev Srinivasan.
January 21, 2015
The prima donnas face off in Delhi
'There is more that is common between Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi than what might separate them. In fact, what divides them can be spelt out in just two words: Clashing ambitions.' POTUS at the Parade: A Game Change
'By his very presence in Delhi on Republic Day, Obama is revisiting the most defining relationship of the 20th century after a period of stagnation,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. Lessons from the Charlie Hebdo episode
'Where does one draw the line? At what point does your right to free speech cross the limit of civilised discourse and provoke me to take offence?'
January 20, 2015
India's relations with the US must not be one-sided
'It is in the interest of both sides that the visit of the US President is seen as being successful. Both sides have invested considerable political capital in it. This rapid exchange of visits and the decisions taken have to be justified, beyond the symbolism, which is no doubt important in itself. This opportunity to impart a fresh momentum to ties should not be missed,' says former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal. Why South Block should stop behaving like a yokel at a country fair
India must present its demands of America confidently, instead of fearing that its pocket will somehow be picked, says Ajai Shukla. The China factor in Obama's visit to New Delhi
For a rising country like China with its sights set on global and regional power, any coming together of the US and India is the worst case scenario. Hence, China is concerned with the emerging equations between New Delhi and Washington, says Srikanth Kondapalli.
January 19, 2015
The great Indian addiction
Indians are election junkies, and that includes all of us -- political parties, aspirants for seats, pollsters, pundits parsing straws in the wind, says Shreekant Sambrani Real pride of ancient Indian science
Whether we flew aircraft or mastered plastic surgery is immaterial for modern India, what matters is if ancient Indians understood the science and art of settlement planning, architecture and governance of natural resources. This is the history we need to learn, says Sunita Narain Trust the captain on the spot
The recent episode in which a supposedly Pakistani boat destroyed itself at sea, apparently by setting itself on fire, has aroused a great deal of comment in the media. There have been some positive words for the Coast Guard which responded to the developing situation, such as it was, but also doubts about what had actually transpired. Why Sri Lanka's need for China will continue
Colombo's enduring interests suggest the relationship between the Sri Lanka and China will only strengthen, says Nitin Pai. No more extremism, but wounds yet to heal in Tamil Nadu
The results of the recent presidential elections in Sri Lanka are likely to have stunned groups in Tamil Nadu that have been giving moral and material support to Tamils in the north and east of the island for decades. Tamil Nadu-based groups had asked Sri Lanka Tamils to protest against the election and boycott voting. We were the survivors. We are the survivors
25 winters have passed. More will pass, but the fight will go on. In spite of successive governments' unwillingness to sincerely reverse ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus and provide them justice, they will steadfastly work towards securing their rights and homeland, says Lalit Koul. Needed urgently: The Indian National Defence University
'A veiled secret of India's defence and strategic culture is the lack of a serious interest in them by the political class. The Indian National Defence University would fill this void,' feels Lieutenant General Anil Chait (retd).
January 17, 2015
The city of whispering walls
Did any of these people who proclaim to be Sunanda Pushkar's friends do any thing else but listen at the time that they were faced with their friend's anguish, asks Malavika Sangghvi
January 15, 2015
A Christian's anguish: Why remind us of our minority status?
While churches burn in the capital and lawmakers spew rubbish, Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not think it important to utter a word against these atrocities. India, 2020: A cautionary tale
'If Modi arrived like a juggernaut, he left like a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces were being dismantled bit by bit. It was as if India had seceded quietly from him.' Why the world needs non-violence more than ever
'Non-violence can be a viable tool for countering the competitive brutality of terrorist groups,' argues Rajni Bakshi.
January 14, 2015
India needs N-tech, not reactors, Modi must tell Obama
The government must justify why we need to buy foreign reactors when we have developed up to 700 MWe unit-size pressurised heavy water reactors, a design which can be easily extended to 900 to 1000 MWe unit size. Exclusive! Medha Patkar: Land acquisition ordinance will destroy poor
The new ordinance on land acquisition will allow land grabbers to deprive millions, destroy agriculture, horticulture, rivers, forests, tree cover and mangroves to extract minerals as well as ground water, without replenishment at a pace that will not leave anything for the next generation, warns activist Medha Patkar. Why PM Narendra Modi keeps mum
Modi's real problem is not his silence on Hindutva excesses growing in the country. He needs to transform India without the minute-by-minute tweets.
January 13, 2015
PDP-BJP alliance is the only way forward in J&K
When he was chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was able to blunt inter-regional and inter-communal tensions which Farooq and Omar Abdullah could not do. Whether he can repeat it with the BJP by his side would have to be seen, says Mohammad Sayeed Malik.
January 12, 2015
Tolerance as a duty is a pre-requisite to making India
If democracy is to survive and thrive, duties have to be as important as rights and tolerance must be the foundation of public and private life. For an India of blasphemers
Instead of repealing Section 295A of the IPC, which criminalises speech that offends the religious, India intends to further criminalise offence against religion, says Mihir S Sharma
January 10, 2015
Do we have the right to offend?
o attitudes or interpretations of the law on free speech change, depending on which religion is involved?
January 09, 2015
Where's our freedom of expression?
Just because one can (so far) criticise the policies of the government, or expose a corruption scandal, or question bureaucrats, does not mean we have freedom of speech, says Sherna Gandhy. Islamic State opens bank, moves towards statehood
Any attempt to defang Islamic State must first cut off its main sources of funding, especially its revenue from oil sales, extortion and crime, ransom payments, and support from foreign donors. This will also be need to be backed up by efficient forces on the ground. Did the minorities 'fix' Mahinda Rajapaksa?
A double-quick analysis of the Lankan election results would show that the relatively narrow victory margin of challenger Maithripala Sirisena was made up by the three minority communities of Tamils, Muslims and Christians, says N Sathiya Moorthy. The tyrant falls: Why Rajapaksa lost
'It is up to New Delhi to take quick advantage of the turn of events in Sri Lanka. Otherwise, Beijing's economic clout and the deep roots it has grown in the island nation may well tempt the new President to play the India versus China game,' says Nitin A Gokhale.
January 08, 2015
Charlie Hebdo and lessons for intolerant India
Rise up for the right to offend. Let there be no holy cow, person, religion, ideology that cannot be criticised, ridiculed, parodied, lampooned. That's what differentiates you from the bigots who entered Charlie Hebdo, says Mango Indian.
January 07, 2015
The boat incident could have led to nuclear war
'Imagine for a moment that the Coast Guard was unable to stop the vessel and it reached Porbandar with its cargo/personnel and targeted the event at which the prime minister was present,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
January 06, 2015
The parivar has abandoned restraint
The scale and nature of Modi's election victory mean the higher tiers of the Sangh Parivar feel no need for restraint, says Sreenivasan Jain Why 'Make in India' is a distraction!
The defence ministry needs to focus keenly on "Made in India" projects without being distracted by "Make in India" slogans, says Ajai Shukla
January 05, 2015
Past laurels won't help India's S&T aims
The growth story of India depends on its achievements in the S&T sector. There is a need to revolutionise the landscape of Indian science and technology and this is only possible if the scientific community is allowed to work 'professionally and scientifically' without burdening them with the baggage of the past, says Ajey Lele.
January 02, 2015
A few good men and the angry sea
A Few Good Men and the Angry Sea: 2004 Tsunami, the IAF Story, is the incredible story of survival, guts, resilience and indomitable spirit of the air warriors and their families, civilians and the government's efforts in rebuilding the strategically important military Car Nicobar air base. Three events that may change India forever
How will the return of a majority government at the Centre, the new India-US friendship and the Mangalyaan triumph change India?
December 31, 2014
Kahan gaye woh achche din?
The Modi government is just continuing old ideas with a new twist -- of interference in matters where the State should not venture, says Mango Indian.
December 30, 2014
Mufti's high stakes gamble
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed wanted a government with the PDP (representing Kashmir), the BJP (representing Jammu) and the Congress (representing Ladakh), but he failed because the BJp and Congress were unwilling to make any exception to their national level inimical relationship, reveals Mohammad Sayeed Malik.
December 29, 2014
Gharvapasi: Home is Where the Heart is!
'We must begin dialogue with openness and goodwill, but we will not proceed very far without trust and good faith. The alternative is the violence of 'might is right,' which settles very little and destroys so much of real value,' says Dr Rudolf C Heredia, author of Religious Disarmament -- Rethinking Conversion in India. The State has abdicated its responsbility for Assam
'Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh will have to treat these militias for what they are: Criminals armed with deadly weapons. Otherwise, nothing will distinguish the National Democratic Alliance government from the ten-year long perfidy of the UPA in Assam.'
December 24, 2014
Mr Modi, why not a Bharat Ratna for the Mahatma?
'If we can award Madan Mohan Malaviya who died in 1946, then why not the Mahatma who died in 1948?' Wishing good health and long life to a gentle giant
Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji turns 90 on December 25. I wish him all the best. The nation has honoured him and Pt Madan Mohan Malaviyaji with the Bharat Ratna. Ok, India's Congress-mukht, will Modi now run the country?
'It marks the start of an era where the BJP must now campaign on its own record rather than against the misrule of another party.'
December 23, 2014
Troll of the year: The man who parodied Subramanian Swamy!
Subramanian Swamy is generally regarded as The Man You Don't Mess With. But an unnamed Indian software engineer -- or so he claims -- took on the redoubtable defender of Hindutva in cyberspace, and 'won.'
December 22, 2014
Is Modi losing his touch?
'One wonders if he has decided on the disastrous course of taking after Manmohan Singh, sitting like a Madam Tussaud wax figure, the same expressionless face, eyes unblinkingly staring in front, and making absolutely no difference, and no contribution, to the House proceedings,' asks B S Raghavan.
December 19, 2014
Commercial MNCs are checked, so why not religious MNCs?
Anti-conversion laws are needed since thrusting the idea of a competitive battlefield of religion onto India's pluralistic traditions can only lead to greater communal conflict, says Sankrant Sanu Will Pakistan survive?
'Pakistan is paying the price for ignoring secularism. In seeking to be ever more Muslim to define its nationhood, it has become a terrorist haven.' Busy with a broom
'As we were setting up our base camp, one of the women with professionally used brooms squatting in a corner and having chai approached us, with a grin. "Namaste Saheb, Acche Din to aahi gaye. From which party?"' Peshawar attack may signal coming collapse of Pakistan
'A collapsing Pakistan may well unleash its nuclear weapons as the last throw of the dice. With a nuclear arsenal of over 50 bombs, even a regional nuclear exchange can devastate the world.'
December 18, 2014
Peshawar attack: Pakistan's 9/11 moment?
Pakistan faces a challenge largely of its own creation and only political processes can correct it, argues Raza Rumi. The double standards over conversions
The million dollar question that begs for an answer is: Why is it that an amateurish attempt to convert a handful of Muslims by fringe Hindu elements garners so much attention while large scale systematic attempts to subvert Hinduism go unnoticed or are deliberately overlooked? If this is not double standards then what is, asks Vivek Gumaste.
December 17, 2014
Our hearts weep for the children lost
'132 hearts snuffed out. 132 coffins. 264 bereft parents. And hundreds and hundreds of classmates traumatised for life...' 'These terrorists won't even find place in hell'
'No religion sanctions what happened in that school in Peshawar. What happened there was a crime against humanity.' The Peshawar Tragedy: A turning point for Pakistan
No one should be allowed to use Pakistan's territory to import or export terrorism, says Hamid Mir.
December 16, 2014
Animals created by our rulers now feed on our children's blood!
'This is murder and criminality of the worst form which is beyond human beings, but people still think that these murderers, known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan are human beings,' says Mohammad Tahseen from Lahore. Peshawar massacre, revenge for Pak army operations in North Waziristan
The horrific attack on the Peshawar school is the terrorists's retaliation for the Zarb-e-Azb military operation in North Waziristan. Why not a Victory in Bangladesh Day?
'The failure to remember the martyrs on a grand scale is a national problem. As a nation-State, India time and again fails to honour its true heroes: The men in uniform.'
December 15, 2014
Who recognised Bangladesh first?
Bhutan's recognition of Bangladesh without waiting for Indian advice was a clever move, but if it did it even before India did, it was a calculated gamble to assert its independence, says T P Sreenivasan. The HRD Grinch Who Stole Christmas ..
While Smriti Irani might bristle with faux indignation at the 'malicious' newspaper report, it is very clear that just as Teacher's Day was hijacked by her boss and a day of celebration became an assignment, the first attack on Christmas as a holiday has been made in the war on India's cosmopolitan way of life, says the Mango Indian. Why BJP MPs get away with explosive speeches
The BJP has 165 first-time MPs. Are we to expect such utterances from all 165 of them? Or only those from a rural background? Because that is the explanation given by the PM, says Jyoti Punwani.
December 12, 2014
In defence of religious conversion
'Banning conversion would harm Hinduism by taking away the need for reform.'
December 09, 2014
The desperation of Sushma Swaraj
'So complete is Modi's takeover of the foreign ministry, that Swaraj today is less important than a minister of state for secularism in Modi's government!' Shoot or not to shoot? Army's dilemma in Kashmir
Hard men with guns cannot manage the state forever. How social media is denting the army's image in Kashmir
'With increasing use of social media for instant communication, the armed services better find a quick solution to the new challenge they face or else continue to remain on the back foot despite doing sterling work in combating the proxy war in Kashmir.'
December 08, 2014
Fear returns to the Kashmir Valley
'The situation is in real danger of swinging back to the fearful days of the 1990s, primarily for want of a well thought out action plan in New Delhi.' He believed that justice is possible in an unjust world
'I rejoice in the fact that Justice Iyer has left a legacy, after all, legacies no not reside in brick and mortar, but in living humans and there are many of us who have followed in his footsteps and continue to do so.' Army is fighting a war, and not terrorism, in J&K
'In both the attacks last week, terrorists had come equipped for a prolonged fight and were eventually prepared to die. This is a new breed of fidayeen Pakistan has invested in.'
December 06, 2014
Kashmir attacks: Pak's attempt to force India to talks
How will India respond to an attack which keeps haemorrhaging India but stays below the threshold of tolerance?
December 05, 2014
Desperate ISI will try more terror attacks in J&K
The assessment in the security establishment is that in view of the huge turnout in the first two phase of polling there will be more desperate attacks in the next few weeks before winter intensifies and all possible infiltration routes become inaccessible due to snow, says Nitin A Gokhale. Rajeev Srinivasan: In defence of Sadhvi Jyoti
'Yes, it may have been offensive to some, but an expression of regret is all that's called for. No lasting harm has been done, and people should put it behind them, and move on,' says Rajeev Srinivasan, defending Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti who made abusive remarks in Delhi last week.
December 04, 2014
History is not only about the past, but also about the present
It is ironic that Raja Mahendra Pratap's Jat connection is being used for vote bank politics. He could not have cared less for his caste.' Can India and China ever be friends?
'A participant in many rounds of the border talks with China once told me that China seemed not interested in resolving the border issue as it wanted to keep it as a ready excuse to intervene in the sub-continent,' says Colonel (retd) Anil A Athale.
December 02, 2014
Why Vietnam is an important ally for India
Vietnam is a key player in India's act east policy under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. From India's perspective, a strategic partnership with Vietnam will only deepen political, economic, and security ties and be a bulwark against China, say Melissa S Hersh and Dr Ajey Lele
December 01, 2014
Is the BJP playing communal politics at AMU?
'The BJP politics of appropriating icons from its ideological adversaries could only be a desperate attempt to extend the Jat-Muslim divide in Uttar Pradesh. Why this desperation when it can comfortably get votes on the plank of economic development?' How foreign NGOs fuel India's anti-uranium lobby
'We need uranium to fuel our reactors. Our scientists and engineers have been handling uranium safely since 1967. They must not feel disheartened by the activities of well motivated local or foreign agencies.'
November 30, 2014
Making the northeast a business hub of South Asia
For the region to realise its full potential, New Delhi needs to start looking at the land-locked northeast as an important starting point in India's 'Act East' policy, says Nitin Gokhale
November 28, 2014
A summit Modi could have done without
'Pakistan's negativism should be seen as the reason for India losing interest in SAARC.' The Chhattisgarh tragedy and Indian surgeons' love for speed
This cult of speed reaches its crowning glory during that peculiar Indian spectacle called medical camps.
November 27, 2014
BJP's latest act may leave it marooned in Tamil Nadu
Why is the BJP playing 'competitive politics' where there is scope or room for none? The release of 5 Indian fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka was a victory for India's quiet diplomacy of long years in the matter -- and not for loud politics by parties in the country. Negotiating with China: Doval's task is cut out
With India's political wheel turning full circle this year, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will negotiate from an expanding diplomatic space, writes Ajai Shukla Why curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions is not easy
Negotiating a sustainable compromise with Iran is not getting any easier, and this delay might not yield the desired result of bringing Tehran's nuclear programme under stringent limits, says Claude Smadja
November 26, 2014
26/11: Sheer paralysis gripped the government
'The government, supposedly manned by wise and experienced officers, was all at sea, unable to act cohesively, and with restraint. Each agency was out to score brownie points.' An Open Letter to Smriti Irani
'The threat to our pre-schoolers from the worst of Bollywood is far greater than the threat to Sanskrit from German.' Pakistan must know that we will respond!
'Pakistan is convinced that the Modi government has -- given its image and political compulsions -- no choice but to act in the case of another terror attack.'
November 25, 2014
Should Lord Hanuman be the IFS mascot?
'There is no danger of the suggestion being accepted in a hurry, as we are still discussing the design of an IFS tie and trainee officers are still taught how to handle forks and knives.' Going the extra mile for the national capital
With the Aam Aadmi Party fighting for survival, Congress struggling for an identity and the BJP seeking to hold on to its political capital, these elections will be one of the most interesting India, says Aditi Phadnis Raksha Mantriji, you should read this!
An ill-informed public narrative centres on expensive weapons platforms instead of the little things that would improve capability.
November 24, 2014
Murli Deora: A politician for all seasons
N Suresh pays tribute to a consummate politician who passed into the ages on Monday. The name of the game is poll boycott
The fruits of election boycotts are harvested not only by the separatists but also by beneficiaries across the democratic divide, points out Mohammad Sayeed Malik. Interstellar minister
What would happen if the home minister chose to go to the movies, and watched the current science-fiction hit, Christopher Nolan's Interstellar Why a little learning is dangerous
As education minister Smriti Irani should be worried about the state of education nationwide rather than fuelling a German-versus-Sanskrit row, says Sunil Sethi
November 22, 2014
Should Sanskrit be forced down the throats?
What gets forgotten in the German vs Sanskrit debate is the poor standard of teaching in India. Another Rabbit out of Modi's Hat
Obama's decision to visit India must be a result of his judgement that Modi is a man of action, feels Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
November 19, 2014
I too became a TV talking head!
'Soon enough, we were out shouted. The journalist had a multiple agenda -- he berated the Government, the bureaucracy in general and the UPSC system that selected them.' India and Australia inch closer on defence ties
That Australia is ready for a substantive engagement is evident from its 2013 Defence White Paper, which emphasised the need to build stronger defence relations with India, says Ajai Shukla The pitfalls of being Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to ride high with rock star gigs abroad and no challengers within or outside the party at home. With international oil prices dipping to unforeseen lows and inflation declining sharply, a perked-up economy provides the perfect backdrop as he strides the national and international stage. Rajnikanth unveils political trailer, but will the film be a hit?
There is a political vacuum emerging in Tamil Nadu, but can the Superstar, the state's biggest phenomenon since the late MGR, take advantage of it? Does he have what it takes to enter politics, or is he merely ensuring headlines ahead of his film's release, asks N Sathiya Moorthy.
November 18, 2014
Nehru's legacy holds no electoral dividend for Congress
The argument that a Bharatiya Janata Party government has no business marking the 125th birth anniversary of Panditji makes little sense, says Virendra Kapoor Why Modi's visit to Fiji Islands is timely
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be the second Indian prime minister to visit Fiji after Indira Gandhi, comes at a time when the islands are moving to consolidate the new democratic system J&K poll: BJP's mission 44 is a distant dream
The PDP is the front-runner in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly polls. The ruling National Conference and the Congress will be lucky to reach double figures. No thank you, the Parsis can save themselves
'Be responsible, don't use a condom tonight' goes an advertising campaign that is an insult to the intelligence of a community that is by no means ignorant or illiterate, argues Sherna Gandhy. Made for each other
T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan on what's so fascinating about politics that books by journalists about it sell so well.
November 17, 2014
Beating the BJP in Delhi is doable for AAP
The AAP has no money; no big business houses to provide unlimited funds. Its posters and slogans will not find space on television and in newspapers; it will also have to face the prejudice in a sections of press too. But it has thousands of volunteers and their will to rewrite Indian politics, say Ashutosh. Why AFSPA can be lifted, not repealed
Lifting the AFSPA can certainly be attempted but the provisions of the AFSPA, as an emergency law that empowers the army -- the nation's instrument of last resort -- must continue to remain on the statute books given the increasingly violent and uncertain times that the subcontinent is likely to face in coming years, says Nitin A Gokhale. Hope is not a strategy to bring down the ISIS
The US and its allies must evolve a more comprehensive long-term plan to defeat the new danger that the caliphate poses to the world order. And India too must do its bit for course correction, says strategic expert Gurmeet Kanwal. Congress crisis: Looking for icons from decades ago
To look for lessons from Nehru's life to find a way out of the Congress' quagmire is probably futile, says Rahul Jacob
November 14, 2014
AMU gender row: Reinforcing Muslim stereotypes
While the row over allowing women into the AMU library has been wrongly portrayed, it does not mean gender biases are non-existent in AMU. The campus does have its own shares of all kinds of cultural and ideological prejudices prevalent in the world outside. The AMU campus is not a segregated island, says Mohammad Sajjad. Patel over Nehru is like Gadkari over Modi
There is some irony, and a lot of hypocrisy, when a person like Modi chooses to disdain Nehru's popularity. Does this man, who is considered India's most popular leader as of today, believe that popularity is of little concern when it comes to choosing leaders, asks Amberish K Diwanji.
November 13, 2014
Don't compromise our soldiers' fighting spirit
Unfortunately, by presuming guilt of the Army personnel in the Chattergam incident, for what is at worst an honest error, made in good faith, the ability of the military leadership to impose the fighting spirit necessary in their men to curb militancy stands seriously compromised. Robin Raphel, 'the bird', who was disliked in USA
Robin Raphel, a former US diplomat now under a counter intelligence investigation, has spent much of her professional life dealing with Pakistan and defending it against criticism as she doled out billions in aid to the "frenemy".
November 12, 2014
Defending India, securing Indians
'We should build a military with the capability to fight today's war on priority -- balancing it with the requirements of the future,' says Lieutenant General Anil Chait, one of the Indian Army's most cerebral thinkers who recently retired as chief of the Integrated Defence Staff, in his agenda for the new defence minister. Key takeaways from Modi's Cabinet reshuffle
A K Bhattacharya deciphers Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first cabinet reshuffle. How star-power plays out on the streets of Tamil Nadu
In Tamil Nadu, the alternative to one Dravidian party has been another, and for one actor-politician CM, there is another. Their initial popularity may owe to their filmi charisma, but their continued acceptance owed to their government's policies and programmes targeting the poor and the needy in the state, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
November 11, 2014
Why things can only get worse for the Shiv Sena
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashra Navnirman Sena deteriorated thanks to its own doing and absolute lack of vision. Now it seems it is only a matter of time before the Shiv Sena goes the same way. Both cousins will ensure they finish the 'Sena', says N Suresh. Why Modi's Myanmar visit signals the beginning of a realignment
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Myanmar is aimed at transforming the arch of Bay of Bengal into the Circle of Southeast Asia, says Anirban Ganguly.
November 10, 2014
Why India needs to get tough with China
'It is certainly time for New Delhi to open up. Not only should it go ahead at full steam with the roads to the LAC, but the government must also allow tourists to visit these stunningly beautiful areas of Indian territory.' What the Raksha Mantri needs to urgently do
'It is imperative to restore the dignity and authority of the services chiefs. Erosion of this has resulted in lowering of service efficiency. It is also time to end the practice of taking seniority as the sole criterion for appointing chiefs.'
November 09, 2014
Did the US turn a blind eye to the Taliban till...
'It is important to note that American officials were trying their best to use the Taliban for their oil games till December 1997 when Mullah Ghous was invited to America. State Department officials did not show any interest in capturing or killing Osama bin Laden even at that time.'
November 07, 2014
New Delhi woos island states, but China looms large in Indian Ocean
Building relations in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi has gifted naval vessels to Mauritius, the Maldives and Sri Lanka, even as China eyes the same locales.
November 06, 2014
What is wrong in this man being a governor?
'Judging by the conduct of two governors of Kerala and one governor from Kerala, Congressmen treated Raj Bhavan as a transition point before taking a flight back into active politics.' Dilemma of a Congress spokesman: Damned either way!
It is, as a matter of fact, not the spokesman's 'responsibility' to answer questions pertaining to people who are not related to the party
November 04, 2014
The BJP should not ignore Indira Gandhi
By deeming October 31, Sardar Vallabhai Patel's birthday as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas, the BJP has rightly made amends for the short shrift that the great leader received at the hands of the Congress. By the same token, the BJP cannot be seen as being petty towards Indira, a leader who despite her flaws, did render yeoman service to the nation, says Vivek Gumaste. Why India needs a revamp of its security policy
It is time the new government, unencumbered with the burden of past, initiates a wide ranging review and open debate on the security issues to rectify our short term and long term shortcomings. It has taken some wise steps but has to go beyond this to identify the structural weakness and create systems, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. The narrowing of liberal space is upon us again
Historian Romila Thapar, while delivering the 3rd Nikhil Chakravartty Memorial Lecture organised by The Book Review Literary Trust in New Delhi, delved on the growing hesitation among free-thinking Indians. Congress's sinking ship in Tamil Nadu plunges deeper
Former Union minister GK Vasan's decision to revolt and float a separate outfit in Tamil Nadu serves as a deadly blow to the Grand Old Party, which is already struggling, observes N Sathiya Moorthy.
November 03, 2014
Remembering the Iron Lady of India
It is unconscionable to choose between Sardar Patel, who united India physically, and Indira Gandhi, who gave meaning, content and pride to the unity of the nation and became a martyr at the altar of national unity, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
October 31, 2014
At last! Lifting the curtain on Sardar Patel's legacy
'Sardar Patel's actions must continue to inspire those who have worked for change today and those who aspire to alter the strangling status quo in our national life.' How the Shiv Sena got its calculations horribly wrong
By the next election, the Shiv Sena too may end up like Raj Thackeray's MNS.
October 30, 2014
Modi, The Great Disruptor
'Modi, focused on youth and their aspirations, has articulated a truly disruptive change: One of hope, of duties rather than rights, of standing up to the world instead of being bullied by it,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. Modi Magic won Maharashtra and Haryana? Naah!
'Anti-incumbency, especially in Maharashtra; the BJP's success in creating a new social coalition; and the sheer force of the party's campaign which overwhelmed its opponents,' argues Praful Bidwai, brought the BJP victory in Haryana and Maharashtra, not the Modi effect. How PM Modi has outplayed the media
From a ruling party's perspective, the BJP is in a sweet spot; editorial independence and analytical coverage of governance is rapidly declining
October 29, 2014
DMK unable to cash in on Jaya's political set-back in Tamil Nadu
If the already demoralised Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadre, beaten worse by the shocking parliamentary poll debacle in May 2014 thought that the political set-back suffered by rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa Jayaram, in the light of a Bangalore court ordering a jail-term for her in September was a boon for their leadership, it's not to be. If only Uddhav had held his tongue, and Saamna its acerbity
It is some consolation that the BJP top brass which had kept the Sena on the ice has now said that it would be happy to have the former partner in the government. What it did not say openly is that it would be on the BJP's terms, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
October 28, 2014
West Bengal and the expanding radical space
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's offer of central assistance in arresting the downward slide in West Bengal and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's ongoing trip to the state and his asking for Mamata's cooperation in handling the situation and in dissolving the anti-national and inter-country network of jihad that has now chosen her state as one of its base, is perhaps Mamata's last best chance to salvage the situation, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. How India can win over the Kashmiris
'No amount of economic measures or prosperity in Kashmir will make any dent in the situation there. The average Kashmiri understands the Pakistani game and is unlikely to prefer Pakistan over India. But the Pakistanis have made clever use of religious symbols and slogans to force religious-minded Kashmiris to support them. India has failed to counter this posturing by the separatists,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
October 27, 2014
Cancer death cases at DAE exaggerated
Overall, data and its analysis used in the reports prove that members of staff of DAE, like others, are prone to cancer and suicides! No more, no less! Sensational reports have the potential to do infinite damage to our nation's nuclear energy programe and create unwanted fear, says Dr K S Parthasarathy. Nobel Peace Prize: For less than noble reasons
For a start this award has a history of having less to do with actual contributions and more to do with some part of a larger agenda. Some pretty dubious people have received this. Many more were patently undeserving, says Mohan Guruswamy. Why India bashing no longer works in Pakistan
The India card is now almost obsolete. There are more pressing challenges. People of Pakistan are fed up with years of bad governance, corruption and broken promises of successive governments. However, the politicians and former generals are still provoking sentiments on what is happening on the Line of Control for petty political gains, says Shahzad Raza.
October 23, 2014
The mathematics of Maharashtra
Praveen Chakravarty gives a summary of Amit Shah's master strategy that helped the BJP emerge victorious in the recent Assembly elections Khattar's views can't be dismissed as those of an ageing crank
Delivering good governance is one thing and influencing culture is quite another, and this is where apprehensions about Manohar Lal Khattar arise, says Kanika Datta
October 22, 2014
Regional parties down, but not out
Despite the flood of BJP victories, it is difficult to see how regional parties will disappear. These parties not only have the same development goals as the national parties but also promise good governance For everyone's sake, can Congress sack Rahul?
Government's reforms are too half-hearted. But Rahul Gandhi's Congress is too amateurish and inept to hold it to account.
October 21, 2014
Does China's nuclear power pose a threat to India?
Despite four disarmament section talks and six strategic dialogues between the two foreign ministries, China's intransigence on recognising Indian nuclear status resulted in no confidence building measures in the nuclear field between the two, says Srikanth Kondapalli. The right to be forgotten online
It is only gradually dawning on us that some of the information we have trustingly shared with commercial service providers can be used against us when we apply for a job or when we apply to admission to a college, says Ajit Balakrishnan. Congress workers desperately seek sanjivini
The Congress president's election comes up early next year and party workers fear Sonia may pass on her mantle to Rahul.
October 20, 2014
No political party can challenge the BJP's might
'The Congress has collapsed and is fighting for survival. Other parties carry no weight in comparison to the BJP. This situation does not augur well for democracy,' BJP wins Maha polls; time to face the challenges
New government will have to mobilise money to complete pending irrigation, infra projects How to win an election -- BJP style
The Bharatiya Janata Party's solid solo performance in Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections confirms continuation of some of the trends that emerged in the Lok Sabha elections in May this year. Lessons for Modi from 2 states
As its own national worth augments the BJP might decide to be more cautious with its local allies. Can NaMo do a NaRa?
'According national security and higher defence management empathetic political attention they warrant is critical. Will Prime Minister Modi pick up this gauntlet?' asks C Uday Bhaskar.
October 19, 2014
10 key takeways from the election results
The BJP took a gamble and won; Uddhav Thackeray is down, but not out; Sharad Pawar accepts Modi's clout... BJP turns big brother in Maharashtra
'The biggest loser is Raj Thackeray's MNS. The MNS may inspire fear, but fear doesn't fetch votes.' Pawar play to keep NCP out of trouble, Sena out of govt
The NCP has seen the largest flow from its ranks to the other parties, more towards the BJP before the elections, even up to the last minute. The Sena and BJP together could, in power, become even bigger magnets. Disillusionment with the NCP leadership has been growing, which may have forced its hand, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Sunday's verdict will terrify the non-BJP parties
'Narendra Modi might not have made 145 in Maharashtra, but it is definitely true that the Congress, and other dynastic parties, are well and truly stumped.'
October 17, 2014
Why ISRO is betting big on GPS
India has made a good beginning in the area of satellite navigation but still there is a long way to go.
October 16, 2014
Why Jaya supporters' arguments are untenable
Independent of what the Karnataka high court and the Supreme Court might decide in Jayalalithaa's conviction and sentencing in the coming days, weeks and months, political arguments based on 'popular mandate' theory are plain untenable, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
October 15, 2014
Why my first ever vote was against the BJP
'Even if the BJP wins Maharashtra because of a division of votes, I want to be counted as one of those who voted against Modi.' General Chait: How to Rebuild Kashmir
'Let people across the LoC see the resolve of Bharat and the contribution of the Indian Security Forces in rebuilding the Valley. Let disaster become the rallying point for integration -- not only of society but also of all the instruments of State,' says General Anil Chait (retd).
October 14, 2014
Why the NDA government cannot be a one-man show
A government for 1.25 billion people cannot be a one-man show. Collective decision-making must for good governance, says Virendra Kapoor. How Modi became the face of BJP in Maharashtra
With no state leaders worth projecting, the BJP is left with no option but to focus on Modi for the Maharashtra assembly poll and harp on the importance on smooth Centra-state relations, says N Suresh. Will Maharashtra see the end of the coalition era?
The vituperative campaign against the BJP by the Shiv Sena does not make for an easy post-poll tie-up should either of the two be forced to come together to cobble the numbers. Either must get a clear 145 seats to avoid a forced remarriage to the same political spouse. Any one going with Congress or the NCP only means the platter serves up a goulash, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Modi must drain the Kashmiri ulcer
We must repeal AFSPA to begin to heal Kashmir, and to enhance India's moral stature and that of the army, says Ajai Shukla
October 13, 2014
The pride and prejudices behind the Nobel Prize
'Today, when Kailash Satyarthi is being honoured with the most prestigious global award, reports appear to the effect that many millions of Indian children are in 'slavery'. This is hardly the reputation that India should have when we are basking in the glory of 'Mangalyan',' says T P Sreenivasan. The politics of 'other'ness
As the political battle for the future of Maharashtra's political quinquennial future nears its electoral conclusion, Shreekant Sambrani looks at the intertwining nature of national and regional interests and the place for and value of inclusiveness in electoral politics.
October 10, 2014
Tension with India is the best distraction for Pakistan
'The incidents have remained confined to the paramilitary forces on both sides with both the armies scrupulously avoiding getting involved. While this incident has been going on, the LOC has been reasonably quiet. Cross border firing achieves no tactical or strategic aims and is more a symptom of hostility. Unfortunately, India has to learn to live with this. Like Israel, we must construct shelters for the border populations and be ready to retaliate in kind,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). The humble chaiwallah is forcing his way into exclusive clubs
'Modi is a symbol of Asia Rising; and, for the first time in decades, a non-white has the potential to be the most compelling global leader.'
October 09, 2014
Modi shouldn't have met Abe, Xi and Obama so soon
Narendra Modi would have done well to take a few more months before he agreed to receive or call on heads of countries like Japan, China, and the US. The prime minister is to settle down in his job and it was too soon for him to have full awareness of the nuances of intricate international issues, says B S Raghavan.
October 08, 2014
Why TN CM wants AIADMK protests to end
'As Karunanidhi and Ramadoss flagged the law and order issue, Subramanian Swamy said Home Minister Rajnath Singh should send Chief Minister O Panneerselvam a directive under Article 246 of the Constitution. Swamy also dangled the fear of Article 356 over the state government.'
October 07, 2014
Why the RSS is not untouchable
The real danger in India is not majoritarianism but minorityism, a bane we have already experienced. Majoritarianism in the India context means plurality and tolerance. No one needs to fear, says Vivek Gumaste
October 06, 2014
Namo's 'outside-in' masterstroke
By addressing the Indo-American audience with such visionary jargons, Modi has created an inclusive environment for people who are living outside India to contribute back home, says Sriram Balasubramanian Is Gujarat heading back to pre-2002 era?
After Narendra Modi's exit from state politics, the BJP and Hindutva forces are falling back on communal politics, says Vinay Umarji
October 02, 2014
Jaya's legal team need to do a rethink
'The current impasse might be an occasion for Jayalalithaa's legal team to mull over what could have gone wrong with their strategy -- and where they could and should proceed from here,' says N Sathiya Moorthy.
October 01, 2014
Affidavits on politicians' wealth must be challenged
The question we must ask is how do politicians get that wealth disclosed in the affidavits, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Modi@MSG: An Indian-American point of view
'The speech shone a spotlight on both the promise and the challenges of the Narendra Modi era,' says Ram Kelkar. 'The single-minded focus which Mr Modi displayed on issues of good governance and empowering the private sector and individual enterprise.' Time to teach China a lesson
'Demchock and Chumar are important crucibles for both China and India to know about the other. While India 'learns,' she also need to 'teach,' suggests Lieutenant General Anil Chait, one of the Indian Army's most cerebral thinkers, who recently retired as chief of the Integrated Defence Staff.
September 30, 2014
Campaign for 2019 starts in Maharashtra
'The BJP believes it has little to lose from a loss of alliance with the Shiv Sena. Fighting alone gives the BJP the chance to test its troops today, and then rework its tactics if necessary, before the big test in 2019,' says T V R Shenoy. 'Good terrorists... bad terrorists'
Can Modi and Obama forge a common outlook on international terrorism?
September 29, 2014
The sharp decline of the MNS and Raj Thackeray
'Raj will have to do a lot more to win over the public and overcome the trust deficit. It is a lot of work and needs political patience, which can come with maturity and understanding. All of these seem to be lacking in the man.' Modi has more to offer to Obama than vice versa
Relations between India and America will always be transactional. It is true that the two countries share common values -- democracy, rule of law, separation of powers, etc, but these have failed to establish a long range, lasting and compatible relationship, says Ambassador C R Gharekhan.
September 28, 2014
Jaya verdict: The Rs 100-crore question about 2016
Given the history of the trial proceedings, and the documents that the judges and lawyers in the appeal courts have to read at every stage, Jayalalithaa's bail plea, when moved, will take time to be decided, placing a question mark over the party's electoral prospects in 2016.
September 26, 2014
Greed for power behind Maharashtra break-ups
When political parties opt for alliances, it is to win an election, and if post-poll, to come to power by cobbling together the numbers to secure a majority. This has been a striking feature of Indian politics, throwing up such screens as 'coalition dharma' to hide all ills, including corruption, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Gujarati vs Maharashtrian clash behind BJP-Sena fallout?
'The bonhomie that once characterised the Shiv Sena and BJP was clearly missing this time. Is there a deeper divide than what was apparent?' When there is a BJP PM in New Delhi, party is run by nobodies
No BJP president is powerful when the party is in power. Amit Shah is completely dependent on Narendra Modi's clout. He has a protective political immunity and everyone knows its source, says Bharat Bhushan Modi's 'Americayan' will be a success
'Unlike Japan and China, the US has a long relationship with India. He is going there to fly the Indian flag in a gesture of friendship. This is a journey like none other, meant to signal that the two democracies are in a defining relationship of the 21st century.'
September 25, 2014
Economic issues key to Modi's US visit
'Political meetings will be a mere side show; the main show is economic investment and the business partnership. The success of Modi's US visit will be judged on the basis of India's ability to attract American investment and setting up of manufacturing in India to give jobs to millions,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). It's time we set our sights beyond Mars
Having reached the Red Planet, ISRO can now focus on getting humans in space and secure the resources to do it
September 24, 2014
Xi and China are testing Modi
'The intrusion in Chumar, during and beyond the Chinese president's visit, is unprecedented and has qualitatively changed the tone of the India-China relationship,' says Jayadeva Ranade, a member of the National Security Advisory Board. Secular arithmetic goes against BJP
There are two major takeaways from the by-election results. One, a majority or Indians and Hindus have reasserted their secular credentials. The second, equally momentous, is the sure-footedness and quick response time of the Indian electorate, says Subir Roy.
September 23, 2014
Let Modi help J&K the way he did Kutch
'Modi as chief minister did a superb job of rehabilitation after the Kutch earthquake of 2001. He can use that hard-earned expertise for the benefit of the people of Kashmir too -- but only if they let him do so,' says T V R Shenoy. Xi's visit exposes chinks in India's China policy
'China made it evident that neither the swing-ride at Ahmedabad nor the red carpet at New Delhi worked, by timing its muscle-flexing in Ladakh to coincide with Xi's visit.' Muslims must beware of their 'secular friends'
India's volatile political mix has a new element - 'the Secularati' - that is adept at hijacking Muslim issues and running with them even before the community itself has formulated a response, says Hasan Suroor. Indian parents must warn their kids against ISIS
'Parents would do well by the nation if they were to persuade their sons and daughters not to become puppets in the hands of the Islamists,' feels Lieutenant General Ashok Joshi (retd).
September 22, 2014
Colombo's denial mode over ISI doesn't help things
Even without the ISI, ISIS and Al Qaeda, Tamil Nadu, otherwise acknowledged as a progressive and developed State in the Indian context, has been at the centre of 'multiple militancy' for decades now, points out N Sathiya Moorthy. The idea of ISIS must be challenged
'Islamist terror groups have never been challenged ideologically. As long as their ideology survives, like cancer, these groups will sprout somewhere else, says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
September 18, 2014
Not Tibetan, not Chinese, am I Indian?
'Would not proudly showing President Xi Jinping that people from India's North-East are as much a part of India as those from anywhere else be like a slap on the face of Chinese aggression?' asks Chitra Ahanthem. Xi must rein in the PLA from running its own foreign policy
'Clearly, there is a wide gap between the stated intentions of China's top leadership to improve relations with India and the PLA's aggressive border management,' says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
September 17, 2014
Voters' love marriage with Modi on the brink of divorce?
'The country has moved beyond the likes of Yogi Adityanath and his medieval thinking. The results of the by-elections are early warning signals by impatient Indians. It's up to the BJP to learn its lesson or face the consequences,' says Ashutosh. A House of the People? Or Chamber of Princes?
No wonder Parliament has some 130 MPs out of the 545 hailing from political families. This class threaten to make the Lok Sabha, which the People's House, into a sort of Chamber of Princes which we once had before Independence, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Modi, Xi and Great Expectations
'As the first leaders of their respective countries born after Indian Independence and the Chinese Liberation, Modi and Xi would be expected to have the ability to overcome the traditional mindsets and the hierarchical nature of their official/bureaucratic establishments,' say Alka Acharya and Jabin T Jacob. What China MUST do to get India on Silk Route
China's desire to have India as part of its ambitious Maritime Silk Route makes strategic sense for both nations. However, it would involve substantive assurances from Beijing, says Dr Rahul Mishra
September 16, 2014
Can Modi change India's foreign policy beyond recognition?
'What gives hope is that Modi's own leadership is vitally linked to his capacity to deliver on the economic front. Indeed, if he succeeds, India's foreign policies will have changed beyond recognition,' feels Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar. Kashmir floods: The army gains where media fails
The stage on which the Jammu and Kashmir flood disaster played out is littered with protagonists, most of whom did not receive the attention they deserve, says Ajai Shukla Why do our cities breed loneliness?
'The sense of urban loneliness is felt most in the modern residential complexes. To be in the neighbourhood does not make one a friendly neighbour, so while one may appear friendly does not mean one is a friend. I am alarmed at the rate at which we Indians have grown away from some old systems that were ingrained in our society,' says N Suresh. Five issues that will top Xi's agenda
Chinese President Xi Jinping has suggested five thrust areas to improve relations with India. It is likely all these issues, in addition to the points raised by Xi at Fortaleza, will be part of the joint declaration at the end of his visit to India, says Srikanth Kondapalli. Love jihad? What rubbish!
Just to be clear, "love jihad" -- a concept that claims that Muslim men court Hindu women to convert them to Islam purely to take over India -- doesn't exist, says Mitali Saran
September 15, 2014
Can India and China make a clean break with the past?
Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India is a time for the two countries to get away from the haze of rhetoric and stale euphoria, says Sana Hashmi.
September 12, 2014
China's dilemmas in Af-Pak region
The developments in Af-Pak region, particularly the fall out of Pak political paralysis, would make President Xi Jinping's task a little more complicated, says Colonel R Hariharan. India-China relations can't be normal till...
'Tibet remains a prickly issue between the giant Asian nations. China still claims more than 80,000 sq kilometres of Indian territory in the Northeast. Why? Just because Beijing refuses to acknowledge the McMahon line which separates India and Tibet, and this, simply because the 1914 Agreement delineating the border was signed by the then government of independent Tibet with India's then foreign secretary (Sir Henry McMahon),' says Claude Arpi.
September 11, 2014
Of Hindu, Hindustan, Hindi
Our problem is that we look at these words from a non-Indic perspective, says Sanjeev Nayyar. Army, air force intensify rescue operations in Jammu and Kashmir
Death was staring them in the face as flood waters rapidly rose and there were no rescuers in sight. Relief came only after the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force and teams from the National Disaster Rescue Force swung into action with the needed equipment. And with that, dimming hopes soared up, says our correspondent Mukhtar Ahmad, who himself had a narrow escape in Srinagar.
September 10, 2014
Courts weighed down by flab?
Supreme Court must be less ambitious in the issues it chooses to take up, says M J Antony Xi's India visit: Can Modi play his cards well?
President Xi Jinping's visit may put relations between India and China on a new trajectory PMO in overdrive as Modi's ministers hit pause button
Ministers in the Narendra Modi government have been busy making presentations on their 100 days of work. But what these presentations do not mention is that decisions by ministers have been few, with plenty of papers and files moving to the Prime Minister's Office, which is increasingly emerging as a centralised clearance point, even for routine and ordinary issues. Though policy paralysis was a term used freely for the United Progressive Alliance regime, questions are now being raised about pending decisions across ministries and whether at least some ministers have turned redundant.
September 09, 2014
The Ranjit Sinha row and why the CBI must come under the RTI
'The exemption given by the government to the CBI appears to be have been guided by its desire to stop exposure of corruption which goes against the preamble of the RTI Act which aims to curb corruption,' says former Chief Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi. Modi is not Chacha Nehru, or Chacha Modi, but Modi
'His script, his body language is different, at the most he is a trained pracharak, a national politician building a base, an audience, a community of behaviours and followers from a younger generation, attempting to talk to children so they become his enthusiasts. Many are and that is his victory.' Is this a good time to host 'Aalishan Pakistan'?
'Fashion shows, <em>qawwalis</em> and comedy fests can only be included in a much more meaningful menu of dialogue which occurs when the guns are silent, infiltration is a thing of the past and the people's mood permits such extravaganzas, feels Tarun Vijay, MP. New whine from old aunts
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being accused of wrong things. His main problem is his view of himself, says T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan
September 08, 2014
India-Japan relations: Decoding the elephant in the room
Although the India-Japan relationship has its own driving forces in terms of robust economic ties and shared values, China is the elephant in the room in the strategic parleys between the two countries, says Rup Narayan Das. A tide in the affairs of nations
India and Japan are natural partners at sea, and Narendra Modi's recent visit underlined the need to keep the association going Can Tamizhisai deliver Tamil Nadu for the BJP?
Having a young, untested leader makes sense for the Tamil Nadu BJP. But the new state president's immediate concern will be to gain acceptance within the state unit that is still in the grip of those with a strong RSS background, says N Sathiya Moorthy
September 05, 2014
Why is the PM silent on the Sangh Parivar's 'love jihad'?
'If the BJP wants to build a minimally inclusive and secure society, in which vulnerable groups and religious minorities don't feel persecuted, then the Sangh Parivar, the party and its government must change their ways. Or else, they risk dividing India further -- violently and irreparably -- for narrow political ends,' argues Praful Bidwai. Modi is the only equal among the unequal
'His politics is pure power politics. It's defined by the struggle that he has gone through.'
September 04, 2014
Modi should address teachers not students
Why does Modi want to speak to the students while his audience should be teachers and parents, not necessarily in that order. And September 5 is not Children's Day but Teachers' Day, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why have festivals gotten so commercial?
The people out on the streets dancing, and those who fall and get injured are from families that cannot afford to lose a day's wages, but often end up losing a limb or life, says N Suresh. Modi comes through as human, sincere and outgoing
'By lifting his visit to vibrant new functional and emotional planes, Modi saved it from looking like a mere obligatory give-and-take. This is no mean achievement. With his penchant for execution, he must fast track action on the proposals agreed upon, so that the fine print matches the hype,' says B S Raghavan. 'Swachch Bharat' Mission: It's not just about building toilets
Ending open defecation by 2019 will require changing minds, not just allocating money to build latrines for people that will either go unused or not be built at all.
September 03, 2014
Why Modi's Japan visit was a watershed
'After many rudderless years, India and Japan have prime ministers with a sense of purpose and direction,' says Brahma Chellaney. Why Pakistan is under siege
By weakening Sharif, the corps commanders could have a final say in important matters like relations with India, dealing with Taliban militants, interacting with Americans and once again achieving strategic depth in post-NATO Afghanistan. Which is why they may be behind the unrest in Pakistan led by Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri, says Shahzad Raza. Reforms won't be easy or painless!
'Let us also not expect that there will be a clean break with the past, much though the new government might like to think about it. In a functional democracy that is neither feasible nor desirable. But basic change it must be,' says Shreekant Sambrani.
September 02, 2014
Why it need not be Japan or China for India
Narendra Modi and his government should look at the emerging geo-politics realistically and not get sucked into having to make a choice between China and Japan. India has enough economic space for both, says Mohan Guruswamy. Does IAF need this self-congratulatory nonsense?
'As the IAF kicks off another round of myth-making -- launching a year-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 India-Pakistan war -- it is worth remembering how little there was to celebrate in those September days when the underdog PAF got the better of the IAF in raid after raid, dogfight after dogfight.' Modi's diplomatic talents will be an asset
'Secretiveness and the element of surprise in announcing decisions marks the Modi style of diplomacy. From being a voluble politician, he became a reticent statesman... But the diplomatic dance is performed on thin ice and his adroitness is still to be proved,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
September 01, 2014
Dawn of a new era in India-Japan relations
While for nearly a decade, both sides have intensified discussion on a strategic partnership, the regional context and the personal ties between Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to a large extent contributed to this 'dawn of a new era' in bilateral relations, says Srikanth Kondapalli. Modi's BJP is not invincible
'The BJP suddenly seems vulnerable. This is not entirely surprising. In the past too, governments and leaders who won a thumping Lok Sabha majority lost popularity in a matter of months... The by-polls results shows that a degree of disenchantment with the Modi government is setting in,' says Praful Bidwai. Globalisation, English and 'other' languages
U R Ananthamurthy on the importance of keeping alive our regional languages. Is 'Saheb' watching his ministers?
'The purported jitters of the ministers under Modi, the intriguing part is that the stories churned out by the rumour mill have not so far been denied. For aught I know, they may not be true. Or, if true, all that Modi intended was to subject his ministers to a process of grooming to ensure that all of them adhere to a uniform code of propriety, discernment and credibility,' says the distinguished civil servant B S Raghavan.
August 31, 2014
Can Modi, Abe completely rework the India-Japan ties?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys a close relationship with Shinzo Abe. For Abe, "a strong India is in the best interest of Japan, and a strong Japan is in the best interest of India."
August 30, 2014
BJP's great leap back on the nuclear deal
Ignoring all previous protests and opposition to the deal, the saffron party has changed its stance, without providing any explanation. What has changed? Accountability and explanations on this U-turn will be welcomed. In Kerala, the bar is closed
While the state's decision to take the road to Prohibition has been given a communal twist, there are several political imperatives of the move Modi's Japan visit: Restructuring a civilisational agenda
The prime minister's outreach to Japan is a recognition of the civilisational potential that the two nations hold and can wield in evolving an era of 'Asianism' in global politics, says Anirban Ganguly.
August 28, 2014
DMK continues on its self-destructive path
A high-pitched battle between party patriarch Karunanidhi and son MK Stalin for power and the failure to oust corrupt leaders and maintain a clean image has left the party in shambles, observes N Sathiya Moorthy. Islamic state's clear and present danger
The time is over when United States President Barack Obama thought he could afford to make a joke about the ISIS.
August 27, 2014
Why India needs a hard-line policy on Kashmir
It is imperative that we deconstruct the current narrative and rewrite the storyline. To this end we need to alter the basic premise of the controversy, eliminate the obstructionists, home in on the true stakeholders and redefine the rules of engagement, says Vivek Gumaste.
August 26, 2014
Can Modi unshackle Indian genius?
Rajeev Srinivasan on how India has continued to disappoint, but could outdo Singapore one day. A clear message for Modi from the by-elections
The Uttar Pradesh by-election will be the real test for the Modi government. By-election results are not a referendum on Modi but the time has come to analyse whether the Modi government is succeeding in assuring people that the promises it made would be fulfilled, says Dharmendra Kumar Singh.
August 25, 2014
To the BMC, CCTVs are anti-opacity
Given that Mumbai civic body deals with the lives of the people at the cutting edge, the better way would have been to agree to have giant television screens put up outside the civic headquarters to relay the proceedings live so the people are kept in the loop. It eliminates to an extent the distance between the people and their civic keepers but perhaps it is farfetched now, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Paraskar case exposes nexus between police and politicians
The vicious politicisation of the police and a media that is biased due to management interference has started a dangerous trend. Society as a whole is left vulnerable, says N Suresh. Politicians with a sense of humour? Hahahahahahaha
'Politicians are thick-skinned. Nothing affects them. NOTHING. Not the newspapers. Not bad publicity. They don't care about the common man's woes. The fact that humour affects them is damn good.' Antony dropped the ball like India did at Old Trafford
'Antony and I have been friends for over half a century, and I know the man does not tell lies. The problem is that what he believes to be the truth might not actually be true. He may believe that India needs the Congress, and that the Congress in turn needs the Nehru-Gandhi family, but that does not mean that India shares those articles of faith,' says T V R Shenoy.
August 22, 2014
Modi's two big mistakes
'Both reflect prejudice and short-sightedness peculiar to Mr Modi's way of thinking.' This dahi handi, the law was invisible
When the high court delivered the stringent norms, which in no way eliminated the fun of the proceedings but made it safer, by requiring proper safety measures, there was an undercurrent of defiance. Sensing the adverse implications of loss of a mass contact platform, the government persuaded itself to seek a review, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
August 21, 2014
There is no need for meaningless talks with Pak
All those peaceniks and bleeding-heart liberals spewing nonsense about 'uninterrupted and uninterruptible' dialogue with Pakistan should pause to ponder the futility of talking to someone who is unwilling and unready to resile an inch from its unacceptable and unreasonable stand, says Virendra Kapoor.
August 20, 2014
Nothing positive comes from talks with Pakistan
The clichéd path of conducting 'uninterrupted and uninterruptable' bilateral dialogue with Pakistan to improve ties remains unimplemented and un-implementable under prevailing circumstances that are unlikely to alter in the near future, says Rahul Bedi. Speak up, India, and act!
'Will the new government, largely of the BJP, whose manifesto proclaimed "India shall remain a natural home for persecuted Hindus and they shall be welcome to seek refuge here" and whose patrons never tire of the glories of our civilisation in antiquity, stand up for these long-lost cousins, the Yazidis in Iraq?' What's the point talking to Pakistan?
'India had nothing to gain by the talks except for some brownie points from the US for being reasonable. Pakistan desperately needed the talks to get arms and money from the Americans,' says T P Sreenivasan.
August 19, 2014
The real reason why India scuttled Pakistan talks
'Despite Modi's high-flown rhetoric about good-neighbourly relationships in South Asia, he lacks a road map how to proceed -- be it with Bangladesh or with Sri Lanka and Pakistan... But a deeper question arises here: Did he duck on his own accord or under the diktat from the RSS, asks Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar. Think tanks help the nation's intellectual churn
I still believe that it is a good thing that think tanks are mushrooming in Delhi. They provide a platform for discussion, even if they shed more heat than light. With Parliament almost incapable of serious debate, informed discussion and civilised discourse, where does this nation get its intellectual churn, asks Mohan Guruswamy. When the Empress of India paid homage to Babar
'The first 55 years of Natwar Singh's life give a fascinating narrative of our diplomacy,' says Ambassador B S Prakash after reading One Life is Not Enough. Worrying times for the Congress
The Congress, notwithstanding its depleted bench strength, failed to corner the government on a range of crucial issues during the just-concluded Parliament session, says Kavita Chowdhury
August 18, 2014
This was the best Independence Day address I have seen
'Independence Day has been India's annual general meeting. For the most part, it has been a forgettable experience of ritual observances. Not so this year... Mr Modi instead presented what I call a moral balance sheet of India,' says Shreekant Sambrani. Modi, a modernist whose motivation is very Indian
'For a vision to manifest in action one should know the path. Modi knows the path. That is why he repeatedly exhorted that he wanted the support of every political party, the industrialists, the Indians abroad, the youth, women, parents... practically his agenda involved every Indian. He wants to make every Indian a stake-holder in India's progress and he thinks that it is possible,' says Ram Madhav. 10 things that the Modi govt is doing WRONG
B S Raghavan, a Chennai-based retired bureaucrat, lists here ten things that the Narendra Modi government is doing wrong. A small change in grammar, a giant leap for the nation
There was an urgency in Modi's words, a sense of accountability, a feeling of transparency, a realisation that this man was here to do a job for us
August 15, 2014
Analysis: Toilet speech for the greater national change
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a flutter with his first Independence Day speech. While diverted the national attention to social issues, Modi smartly avoided political traps.
August 14, 2014
A new re-laying of India
The capital's ever-shifting power class remains unsettled and unnerved seeing the power, favour, nepotistic and quid pro quo pillared superstructure gradually crumble under Narendra Modi's watch -- the only mantra that seems to be taking centre stage is that of performance, implementation and delivery, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. Why the Opposition wants to stop Modi
'The general idea is to unite all the anti-Modi parties into an alliance, to dent the PM's image as a vote-winner, and then stymie him in Parliament -- particularly in the Rajya Sabha -- in order to ruin his credentials as a reformer,' says T V R Shenoy.
August 12, 2014
Making sense of India's response to the Gaza crisis
'Earlier India as part of the Third World fought for the rights of the Palestinians. But oddly the defeat of the Congress and the decline of the Nehruvian imagination has altered such perceptions. The new middle class expresses an open sympathy for Israel, contending that Jews like many Hindus has been misunderstood,' says Shiv Visvanathan. How political parties have pushed UP into a communal abyss
'Am I wrong in presuming that UP is being seen as a new laboratory of communal politics like one has seen in Gujarat,' asks Ashutosh.
August 11, 2014
Danger in the hills
Extensive anthropogenic interference, as part of developmental activities, is a significant factor that increases this hazard manifold. As a result, the landscape in the Himalayan, north-eastern regions and many other regions of India are highly susceptible to reoccurrence of landslides, says Dr Nitish Priyadarshi. Why Natwar Singh's 'disclosures' sound hollow
Natwar Singh's book is un-illuminating, largely self-justificatory, often contradictory, and at times tendentious. He is too preoccupied with depicting himself as a victim of the Congress party's machinations, says Praful Bidwai.
August 07, 2014
Why this hullabaloo about English in the UPSC test?
What we need to do straightaway is to get our act together and educate children better than merely award degrees. Since English cannot be thrown away, it would be better to learn it well. The crux lies there. Lowering standards of UPSC tests is no use, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. The Loudspeaker Politics of the Right
The RSS uses its resentment against mosques and loudspeakers to stoke anti-Muslim feelings among other Hindus, whenever it can, be it during riots, or before elections, says Jyoti Punwani. Modi leads India to the Silk Road
With Beijing having had a profound rethink on India's admission as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the tectonic plates of the geopolitics of a massive swathe of the planet stretching from the Asia-Pacific to West Asia are dramatically shifting. That grating noise in the Central Asian steppes will be heard far and wide -- as far as North America, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar. The case of the spooky detective
'Murders happen every day. Some get correctly solved, some get incorrectly solved and some never get solved. Most of the time, nobody bothers. But if the murdered person is someone big or related to someone big, then it becomes a problem...'
August 06, 2014
Why mainstream media is feeling disempowered under Modi
The advent of technology, the widespread use of smart phones across the country and the increasing popularity of the social media has caused the mushrooming of media platforms and led to the gradual disintermediation of the mainstream traditional media. The tizzy caused by Modi's proposed gift!
B S Prakash takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what India's neighbours think about the proposal of a SAARC satellite. Tamil mood simmers yet again thanks to Lanka
The Sri Lankan cartoon faux pas has revived the slackening pan-Tamil mood in Tamil Nadu, says N Sathiya Moorthy Nepal: Spies out! Netas in
When people say the two-day visit was been successful in taking back the bilateral relationship to the political plane, essentially the reference (mostly left unsaid) is to the wresting of initiative from the intelligence 'agencies', whose meddling had hurt bilateral ties, says the distinguished editor Kanak Mani Dixit.
August 05, 2014
No English in CSAT: Trade unionism before entering a trade!
Should candidates for particular positions in the government be permitted to agitate for changing the recruitment process itself? Et tu, Natwar!
How seriously should we take Natwar Singh's book? Indeed how seriously should all such memoirs and autobiographies be taken? The answer, I imagine, depends on the intent.
August 04, 2014
Understanding Gaza's tunnel phenomenon
The population in Gaza has, for almost a decade, been facing Israel-created 'blockage' from the rest of the world. The isolation has given rise to tunnel phenomenon, an underground route for the procurement of essentials, says Ajey Lele PM Narendra Modi's baby steps to success
One of the most pronounced features of people who shrilly demand change is that unless it comes in precisely the way they want it, they either say there has been no change, or that it is the wrong change. The Modi government, which is being accused of both things, provides an excellent and latest example of this. Modi's 'Ich bin ein Berliner' moment in Nepal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Nepal visit was an eye-opener for most Indians, as it appears as though the hard feelings of 17 years of neglect by Indian PMs has been overcome by this single, sincere visit, says Rajeev Srinivasan. First US contact with Modi sarkar holds hope
There was no breakthrough in US Secretary of State John F Kerry's India visit, but no breakdown either, says C Uday Bhaskar.
August 02, 2014
Why is Maharashtra Sadan out of bounds for ordinary people?
'By their actions, the Sena MPs diverted attention from the original issue that sub-standard food and services are offered at Maharashtra Sadan. It is disconcerting that the state's official guest house in the national capital has such poor standards,' says N Suresh.
August 01, 2014
Is BRICS a folly for India to embrace?
'To consider BRICS anything more than a temporary club with some common interests would be folly. The goal should be to induce others (Japan, ASEAN, South Africa) to align with us -- a non-threatening, democratic nation, rather than with malevolent China or waning America. For us to consider aligning with either China or the US would be absurd. India is just too big to be a sidekick,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. P Sainath: How states fudge the data on farmer suicides
'Suicide rates among Indian farmers were a chilling 47 per cent higher than they were for the rest of the population in 2011. In some of the states worst hit by the agrarian crisis, they were well over 100 per cent higher. In Maharashtra, farmers were killing themselves at a rate that was 162 per cent higher than that for any other Indians excluding farmers. A farmer in this state is two-and-a-half times more likely to commit suicide than anyone else in the country, other than farmers,' says P Sainath.
July 31, 2014
How the South could shape BJP's future
Keeping their eyes on the assembly elections, the BJP has been trying to win favour with the southern regional parties, observes R Rajagopalan Is Sri Lanka arm-twisting India into talks on fishermen's row?
Any official-level talks between India and Sri Lanka, without any clear-cut understanding on the livelihood issues, could end up in India having to acknowledge bilaterally even more than what it had no hesitation in accepting in Parliament and outside, says N Sathiya Moorthy
July 30, 2014
Why 2014 looks eerily like 1914
'The parallels between 1914 and 2014 are striking. The crumbling of American and Russian hegemony, the rise of powerful terrorist groups, ferment in the Middle East and the rise of China... These closely mirror the world of 1914,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). What can replace the collegium?
Senior judges have developed a cushy arrangement among themselves: you back the appointment of so-and-so advocate's junior, and I will back so-and-so judge's nephew, says Subir Roy
July 28, 2014
Israel loses its heroic sheen
Israel is no longer the valiant and beleaguered underdog, but increasingly seen as an increasingly arrogant oppressor seeking to crush another old nation under its jackboots, says Mohan Guruswamy. Does the Juvenile Justice Act need amendment?
Most juvenile remand homes are in appalling condition and need a massive overhaul. But whether redrafting the law will bring down juvenile crime is the moot question. What is required better remand homes, more specialised care rather than to expose young people to the trauma and stigma of adult jails, says Rashme Sehgal. Narendra Modi ko gussa kyon aata hai
'It is heartening to know that from Narendra Modi downwards every significant leader in the BJP is angry with the gushers of that nonsense about a 'Hindu Rashtra' or the questioning of Sania Mirza's credentials,' reveals Virendra Kapoor. Sania Mirza and the story of Muslim discrimination
The reality is that even successful Muslims are made to suffer because of their faith, and the opposition to Sania Mirza is part of the same story of discrimination, says Kashif-ul-Huda.
July 25, 2014
Explaining India's UN vote on Israel
Eyebrows went north in India, especially in New Delhi where in the confusion some people criticized the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) which is based in New York. Chitra Subramaniam offers some perspective. Pakistan must know there is a limit to India's patience
'Kargil was Pakistan's strategic blunder. India must remain on guard against such sinister operations being launched in future by Pakistan's vengeful and devious military leadership that continues to have a hate-India mindset and the mentality of primitive warlords,' says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd). Why the Shiv Sena won't say sorry
For it's not the Sena alone that indulges in hooliganism. 'Thokshahi', as the Sena proudly calls it, is the hallmark of the party and of its offshoots. But other parties haven't exactly been models of good behaviour. Not just Maharashtra, ministers and MLAs slapping officials everywhere in the country is not unheard of, says Jyoti Punwani. Oh Shiv Sena MPs, Mumbai needs you more!
Prasanna D Zore appeals to the Shiv Sena 11 -- the MPs at the heart of the current national controversy -- to forget rotis and poor service at Maharashtra Sadan and instead deliver millions of Mumbaikars from their daily travel troubles.
July 23, 2014
Timing of Katju's allegations needs to be questioned
If Justice Katju had desired change, the better way was to approach the new government, and the new law minister, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
July 22, 2014
Why Modi is silent on the Congress 'deals'
'The Modi administration has access to so much evidence that it can rip apart the Congress, not just the Nehru-Gandhis, but almost the entire leadership structure of the party,' says T V R Shenoy. The BJP is not rewriting history
One cannot but infer that this brouhaha is a crafty ploy to create an issue out of a non-issue. An overview of post-independent India's history reveals that it is not the BJP or the Sangh Parivar but Marxist historians who have been guilty of debasing history to suit their vested interests, says Vivek Gumaste.
July 21, 2014
How unaccounted pathogens pose real risk to the world
The biological weapons convention is a non-starter in spite of the efforts of many states in the world for the last five decades mainly because the US is not ready to accept the 'verification protocol' which could allow the formation of some official mechanism for inspections, says Ajay Lele.
July 18, 2014
BRICS bank: A giant step towards reforming the world system
The announcement of the formation of the BRICS bank will have as much an impact about how the non-G7 countries manage their economies and their foreign reserves, as it does on the intellectual discourse. The development priorities and agenda which was hitherto set by western experts responding mostly to western priorities and notions will now have to compete with an intellectual tradition that is and can be very different, says Mohan Guruswamy. Did India gain anything from Modi-Xi meeting?
All the three issues raised by China at the Modi-Xi meeting are either intractable or peripheral to the bilateral relations and suggest conventional methods to placate the other side without yielding much, says Srikanth Kondapalli. How BRICS bank can affect world economics and politics
Borrowing from BRICS bank will help India avoid other kinds of politics emanating from the West. Overall, the BRICS institutions will necessarily adopt alternative ways of doing things based on their own cultural and socio economic needs, says M K Venu. Be warned: Industrial gas leaks pose a major threat in India
By the end of 2020, India will lay 32,737 km across the length and breadth of the country. It needs to lay down and comply with strict safety standards especially since some of these pipes will go through areas of dense habitation, says Rashme Sehgal. Modi sarkar's time starts now
There are indications that India may be shedding its Stockholm Syndrome vis-a-vis the Modi government, says Bharat Bhushan.
July 17, 2014
What did BRICS build (if anything, in Brazil)?
'Happily,' says Ambassador B S Prakash, 'BRICS displayed new-found energy and built something real, a bank. Between needless nihilism and as yet unjustified euphoria, there are many stations for the BRICS train and we can watch its progress with renewed interest.'
July 16, 2014
Children cannot be made to pay price for inefficiency of system
The eye of the debate has been focused too tightly on the quantum of punishment rather than the current approach, both to the juvenile, and also, for making him/her accountable, says Puja Marwaha Homi Bhabha's home belongs to India!
Every blade of grass and grain of sand in Mehrangir has a story to tell: The story of how one of the greatest sons of India lived here, planned and executed from here a technological and scientific enterprise which became the envy of the world. The government must save Mehrangir for future generations, says Dr K S Parthasarathy. Has the rule of One become despotism?
The civil services seem to have gone sour under the NDA government. Ministers exercise executive power in a partisan manner. Consequently, a regime of favouritism holds sway over the corridors of power, feels Ram Ugrah. Watch out Mr Modi! Danger confronts India
'Three security challenges could emerge shortly. The possibility (almost bordering on certainty) is as certain as the fact that night follows day:
July 15, 2014
Why Finance Minister Jaitley disappointed Defence Minister Jaitley
The finance minister hiked the total defence expenditure from Rs 203,672 crore in FY 2013-2014 to Rs 229,000 crore for FY 2014-2015. Though the increase appears substantial, it is insufficient to undertake the military modernisation necessary to meet the emerging threats, feels Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd). The 'veshti' culture and code
The veshti controversy in Tamil Nadu is not about the dress -- but a dress-code, which seems permissible in private homes and offices, but not in private clubs that are open only to well-heeled, and well-paying private members, observes N Sathiya Moorthy The Vaidik-Saeed affair is a wake-up call for Modi's government
'There are all sorts of characters moving around acting as unofficial representatives of the government and engaging in their own personal foreign policy initiatives. Clearly, the government needs to shut these characters down if it wants to continue enjoying any credibility, both domestically and internationally,' says Sushant Sareen.
July 14, 2014
49 pc FDI in defence: A leap in the right direction, but not far enough
Full liberalisation of the defence industry is necessary for both combat-readiness and security of long-term supplies, says Nitin Pai.
July 11, 2014
Modi's masks may erase the more human face
Today when we see the man behaving in a controlled, almost genteel fashion, creating a government with Prussian efficiency, colonising Delhi with a strange silence of expectation, one must ask is this Modi? Or is Modi all the trails he has left behind?'
July 10, 2014
Make no mistake, this is a political Budget
Budget 2014 is curtain raiser to Budget of 2015, says Sheela Bhatt in her analysis of Arun Jaitley's maiden offering.
July 09, 2014
Drought looms in Maharashtra; What were the politicians doing?
'The government had six months to prepare for the contingency. When the government is forewarned, it needs to take a decision on contingency measures, evict villagers, provide them with alternate temporary shelter, accommodation, provide food, water, cattle stocks. But none of this is ever done,' says N Suresh.
July 08, 2014
Amit Shah is set to win his next gamble
Amit Shah is the man of the moment. The architect of the BJP's stunning transformation in the Hindi heartland during the Lok Sabha elections is all set to emerge as the CEO of Modi's political dreams and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's cultural passion, says Sheela Bhatt. Tales that lack ethos and pathos
Writers often produce excellent books but they lack the flavour of those written by people writing in the language of their own culture, says T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan What to do with these foot-in-mouth netas in my party!
'I am considering issuing a diktat - anyone who is a male in my party must keep clear of all remarks, written or verbal, on anything to do with women.' Sherna Gandhy's tongue-in-cheek piece on Didi's travails with the foot-in-mouth netas in her party!
July 07, 2014
Will Modi break from the past and swing by Kabul?
Security will be a consideration, as would protocol, but given Modi's penchant for the unconventional, it should not come as a surprise if he indeed decides to attend the ceremony in Kabul, says Ramesh Ramachandran. India's women can't live in constant fear, Mr Prime Minister
Enrich a woman and you can enrich a nation. Hurt women, deny women equitable rights, and a nation's death sentence will soon commence, says Dr Krishan Jeyarajasingham.
July 02, 2014
How dependent visa shatters the American dream
The US dependent visa puts many restrictions on the spouses, mostly women, of the skilled workers who have an H1-B visa. Some even felt like they were thrown back into a model of the 'traditional family' where women are not valued at all outside of the home. Chennai building collapse exposes unscientific methods of construction
The collapse of an under-construction 11-storey building in Chennai which claimed 11 lives should serve as a wake-up call for the housing sector to have a regulatory mechanism for the construction industry, says N Sathiya Moorthy
July 01, 2014
How confused Congress leaders are not helping the party
Digvijay Singh's questions on Rahul's leadership, Antony's on Congress's secularism are all red herrings, says Virendra Kapoor. Marathas, Muslims and Maharashtra's politics of reservations
'The problem lies in the popular perception that the Marathas are a rich, politically powerful and dominant caste in the state... The truth is different. The tragedy of this community is that only 137 Maratha families are the dominant players in state politics. The disparity is so wide, that the rest of the Maratha community isn't even half as rich, forget being powerful,' says N Suresh.
June 30, 2014
A 'corporate hand' behind the 'foreign hand'?
It is regrettable that the IB has tried to devalue the expertise available both within the concerned ministry and in the scientific community by its allegations. Governments and NGOs in many western nations have not been accused of being 'anti-national' when they put their foot down on questionable practices by cash rich agri-business companies, says Rashme Sehgal.
June 27, 2014
Who has to learn whose language now?
Equations have changed in the new India. If the '60 and the '70s saw migration of people from South India to North India, it is the reverse right now. And without understanding this new dynamics, if the ruling party were to impose on the majority a language spoken by just 45 pc of the people, it is unlikely to be accepted without demur, says Shobha Warrier.
June 26, 2014
Modi's foreign policy: Tough on Pakistan, China at arm's length
From early indications, the Modi government's foreign policy seems to be pragmatic and reciprocal, says K G Suresh. We complete one month in our journey to fulfil peoples' aspirations
Every new government has something the media likes to call a 'honeymoon period.' Previous governments had the luxury of extending this 'honeymoon period' up to a hundred days and even beyond. Not unexpectedly I don't have any such luxury, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi Why the Modi govt may have erred in the case of Gopal Subramanium
Subramanium, a feisty character, is not going to let anyone sully his reputation. He is ready to answer any question, any change which is more than what the Modi regime might be ready for. One man's integrity and toughness can crack a regime's carefully-built façade. Suddenly its backstage looks murky, says Shiv Visvanathan. The Aadhaar tragedy
The BJP would seem just the sort of party that would embrace Aadhaar. Every other page of its manifesto makes some reference to changing governance in this country. So why is there no discernible difference in the positions of the BJP-led government towards Aadhaar and the dysfunctional approach of Chidambaram under the United Progressive Alliance, asks Rahul Jacob. To each his NAMO
B S Prakash talked to a number of professionals, some already a part of the PM's team and others outside, as to what Narendra Modi's success and stature means for their careers or their dhanda.
June 25, 2014
Why DMK's spring-cleaning won't work
With assembly elections only two years away, in 2016, the DMK may not have the luxury of time on its side. If the slow pace of reforms that the party has indulged itself in, in the past decade and more is any indicator, the committed 25 percent vote-share would either be frittered away, or lost, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Civilisation & barbarism: A perspective on the ISIS assault
The Al-Qaeda and its patrons seems to have outsourced, for the time being, the achieving of that larger, civilisationally retrograde goal of establishing an Islamic Caliphate in the Middle-East, to the ISIS. The symptoms are all similar; the difference lies only in the expressions, says Dr Anirban Ganguly.
June 24, 2014
Will Mr Jaitley bite the 'swadeshi' bullet?
What the new defence minister does with the Rafale fighter jet deal will decide if India wants to build genuine, long-term defence capability through an indigenous product that slashes life-cycle costs, or opt for glitzy signing ceremony with foreign vendors that would please the public, says Ajai Shukla.
June 23, 2014
Why the Congress wants Prithviraj Chavan to stay
The Maharashtra chief minister is here to stay for the time being, that's the message to party members. The Congress is in no hurry to replace him or rush into campaign mode, says N Suresh. Security concerns for Prime Minister Modi
The people in charge of the PM's security need to shift the emphasis from the numerical (the number of policemen deployed) to technology-based solutions to sanitise the area where he resides, works and during his road journeys, says Anil Chowdhry, former secretary (internal security), ministry of home affairs. American sins come to haunt Iraq, Syria
Iraq is on the verge of collapsing and foreign military intervention is inevitable. But for those who follow the developments in Iraq and the Middle-East will understand the current situation is nothing but a culmination of US and western policies toward the region, says Dr Waiel Awwad Railways want to break even, commuters' economics be damned
If the Indian Railways thinks it can get away with this sassy attitude, it is because it is, in a sense, a monopolist in the business of transporting people. The distances one has to cover, say from Thane or Virar to Mumbai is impossible by road provides railways the arrogance, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. India's new security agenda
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initial weeks in office and the composition of his national security team give a sense of his government's foreign policy and national security priorities, says Harsh V Pant Chhattisgarh: One state, many governors
Shekhar Dutt's resignation has sparked a debate on the parameters of removing a governor.
June 21, 2014
Why PM Modi needs to engage in West Asia
A new West Asia is emerging and India must engage at the highest level and help shape this change, says Saeed Naqvi
June 20, 2014
How the government is smothering dissident NGOs
Muzzling NGOs is unbecoming of a democracy. Self-confident democracies encourage, indeed applaud, the involvement of citizens' associations, including NGOs, in social and political decision-making and development planning. Instead, our paranoid government bullies and terrorises them, says Praful Bidwai. Hindi controversy: Don't reopen old wounds
On this one issue that touches the raw nerve of Tamil Nadu, Modi had better heed M Karunanidhi's sage words conveying "the desire and appeal of all well-wishers of the nation that Prime Minister Modi should focus on accelerating economic growth and social development" and not, let me add, let his ministers embark on disruptive escapades, says B S Raghavan. On World Refugee Day, a Kashmiri Hindu writes to Modi
'Treating our ethnic cleansing with budgetary measures and financial doles is - one, not a prudent solution and second, an insult to our cause. Please understand the gravity of the situation. Our exodus is just a symptom of the malaise that has affected the valley. We would prefer to stay in exile than being sent back to be slaughtered again in a few decades. Please treat the disease and not the symptoms,' writes Lalit Koul 'Sharnarthee'.
June 19, 2014
Is Modi being considerate to Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa?
It appears that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being very responsive to Jayalalithaa's demands, be it on the secure release of the abducted Tamil Nadu priest to the fishermen's issue with Sri Lanka, observes N Sathiya Moorthy. The coming battle for Pataliputra
The Bharatiya Janata Party's quest to strengthen its base in north India starts from Bihar, says Bharat Bhushan. No pride studying in a Gujarati medium school?
One of the most glaring contradictions of the more than decade-long Narendra Modi regime in Gujarat is the sad fate of Gujarati medium schools, says Urvish Kothari
June 18, 2014
Time for more justice, less laws
The government must get rid of the clutter of old, obsolete laws.
June 17, 2014
Why Indian nationalism must win over Macaulayan ideas
In the second and final part of his column, Col Anil Athale says the fight between forces of Indian nationalism and Macaulayism aided and abetted by West is going to be long, hard and dirty. The outcome will decide whether India becomes a superpower or continues to wallow in the swamp of underdevelopment. Dance bars are not Mumbai's only problem
As home minister I would expect R R Patil to think of protecting women. He doesn't evoke a sense of pride and security. He is singularly obsessed with banning things, says N Suresh. So, what's news?
Some 800 million or more Indians gaze at their mobile phones all day. Whoever can crack what's news on the mobile phone for them and their families, for a nominal payment of Rs 10 a month, is a winner, says Ajit Balakrishnan.
June 16, 2014
Who helped Dhananjay Desai spread his poison?
Dhananjay Desai has been allowed to spread his poison to young men in Maharashtra and Goa over the last five years, by a 'secular' Congress-NCP government. The 23 cases pending against him have not stopped him. He and his supporters must have thought they were immune when they lynched a bearded Muslim at night. Neither Desai nor his followers, nor the police, nor their 'secular' political masters, must have expected the nationwide furore that followed, says Jyoti Punwani. Modi's tour de force in Lok Sabha
There are many firsts in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha speech which constitute the cardinal elements of a strategy which has all the potential to serve as the mainspring of the polity for the rest of the century, says B S Raghavan. The new order under Modi
In a system as centralised as the one introduced by the new government are there enough safeguards or safety valves, asks A K Bhattacharya. Iraq and the outer ring of India's security
It is time to throw an outer ring around India's national security by proactively engaging in areas immediately outside our neighbourhood. Such a ring will not only insulate India from emerging threats, but also create new leverage in securing our own neighbourhood, says Nitin Pai. Greenpeace: Of convenient lies and inconvenient truth?
'Greenpeace has been brutal in targeting both India and the Manmohan Singh government. The push to go after Indian coal is driven by its long-term agenda. What is surprising is that China has not been meted out the same treatment, despite the fact that the rise of China as an economic power has been built around generating power from coal.
June 13, 2014
All about Modi's PMO
Who are the men the prime minister relies on to execute his impressive agenda? Election 2014: Modi versus Macaulay's ghost
The post mandate comments that 'darkness has descended on India' shows the kind of opposition Modi has to overcome. It is this aspirational India that is attempting to throw away shackles of Macualayism. Make no mistake it is a tectonic shift and a beginning of the end of Maculayan mindset that has 'ruled' India for close to 60 years, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. Why Modi needs to crack down on right-wing extremists
5 things Modi can and must do at once
he has to demonstrate the ability of his government to take a quantum leap, almost tantamount to setting the Ganga on fire, in the next six months, if not in 100 days, if the people were to take seriously the cascade of commitments spewing out of the President's address to both Houses of Parliament on June 9, says B S Raghavan.
June 12, 2014
Changing the government culture of shabbiness
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a clean-up of all central government offices. Mahesh Vijapurkar laments the pervading culture of shabbiness in government offices around the country.
June 11, 2014
Jaya keeps the glove on for Modi, for now
Amma will wait for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'honeymoon' with the voter to fade away before deciding on the issues that are of real concern to the state and others that may need a considered and balanced solution, say N Sathiya Moorthy and M Kasinathan The morning-after principle
Humanitarian intervention has little meaning unless the international community is willing to engage in the aftermath, says Shyam Saran. Task-master Modi can't be taken for a ride
'I have seen in action six prime ministers and ten chief ministers, considered stalwarts in their days, and it is the first time, in all my experience, that a prime minister has gone into such great detail, laying down even the standards of cleanliness that should be maintained in all offices,' says B S Raghavan, former chief secretary, West Bengal.
June 09, 2014
Can corruption ever be contained?
'The main ploy of the BJP's pre-poll proclamations on corruption was so cacophonous and resounding that it unexpectedly worked out to its greatest advantage. But there seems to be a lull after the sound and fury over corruption,' says Ram Ugrah. Re-inventing Panchsheel for a new world order
As the context of Panchsheel has changed, it is all the more essential that India and China need to reinvent and redefine Panchsheel for a new world order taking into account globalisation, and mutual economic interdependence. The new Panchsheel, in order to be relevant, needs to shed its binary approach of west verses the east recognising the seamlessness of global frontiers, which globalisation has brought in, says Rup Narayan Das. President Pranab's address to Parliament: The transcript
President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday addressed the first joint sitting of Parliament as mandatorily required under the Constitution after the general elections. The address is the political, economic and foreign policy road map of the Narendra Modi government and covers virtually all crucial areas.
June 07, 2014
A piece of advice for India's liberals
Indian liberals' sanctimony is matched only by their inability to think clearly. They need lessons in logic
June 06, 2014
How you have disappointed, Mr Modi!
With what joyous expectations I welcomed you! You have tumbled me into a cauldron of gloomy forebodings, says B S Raghavan. How the new government should deal with China
The new government needs to clearly insist on diplomatic reciprocal arrangements with China. While reciprocity is a function of power in bilateral relations, the Modi-led government's responses should be based on India'S inherent strengths, says China expert Srikanth Kondapalli. Explaining the Modi wave
Dharmendra Kumar Singh explains the four major factors that contributed to Modi's win in the 2014 elections. How the new government must tackle the Maoist threat
Besides weakening the Maoists' lethal capacities and reducing violence, it is essential to ensure that governance is improved, so that those prone to sympathising with, or supporting, the Maoists would, in the long run, realise the needlessness and futility of doing so, says P V Ramana and Raj Bala Rana. Why we can and should debate Article 370
Article 370 is an anachronistic decree that has outlived its utility, militates against India's sovereignty, and discriminates against both Indians and Kashmiris by mutually excluding each other from syncretic growth. It is redundant, can be debated and constitutionally discarded, says Vivek Gumaste.
June 05, 2014
The party's in Brazil!
'The World Cup is being played in the football crazy country after 64 years and nothing excites the Brazilians more than the sacred game,' says B S Prakash, India's former ambassador to Brazil. Munde's daughter, Gadkari, Shah to help BJP sail through in Maharashtra
Pankaja Munde -- who lit the funeral pyre of her father Gopinath Munde on Wednesday at his ancestral village of Parli in Maharasthra along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party general secretary Amit Shah -- will lead the the Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign for the assembly elections scheduled for later this year. The tripolar world that Modi should plan for
'India should think big: About how in a multi-polar world, India can indeed be one of the poles, rather than being a secondary power that has to worry about 'alignment' with one of the poles. A G3 in other words, India should look to getting others to align with itself rather than the US or China,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.
June 04, 2014
Remembering Maharashtra's formidable nomad, Gopinath Munde
Gopinath Munde came up the hard way and never forgot his roots. Just when he seemed destined for bigger things, death snatched him away. Munde: Trigger-happy home minister, Marathi music buff
Syed Firdaus Ashraf/ recalls his encounters with the late Gopinath Munde many years ago, when he was Maharashtra's home minister. The Jurassic Park of Indian politics
It is the last place where the dinosaurs who once dreamt of ruling the Earth can still be seen in their natural habitat, says T V R Shenoy.
June 03, 2014
Lessons from the rout the DMK refuses to learn
The DMK still wants to look elsewhere for excuses to its electoral debacle, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Punjab crisis revisited: Lessons from the insurgency
'It is time for all Indians to understand the truth that led to a 10-year long bloodbath in Punjab and not attempt to glorify the terrorists under the garb of human rights violations or scratch old wounds,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd), on the 30th anniversary of Operation Bluestar. Prithviraj Chavan's troubles keeping growing
The Congress in Maharashtra is in disarray. Prithviraj Chavan tried to clean up the party and its image, but there is a lack of faith in him within the party and outside, says N Suresh.
June 02, 2014
An agenda for India's Hillary Clinton
Sushma Swaraj, like Clinton, has a strong political base in her own party and is likely to have her imprint on foreign policy, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
May 30, 2014
Modi's ministry bears indelible impress of a single person
Narendra Modi's victory does not represent a victory of 'the Indian nation', but only an elite-driven polarising phenomenon. The sooner we -- and the BJP -- recognise this, the better, says Praful Bidwai. Nitish Kumar's calculated regression
Ideology and principle are always put to work to camouflage political ambition. Nitish Kumar is a past master at this. His acceptance of the NDA in the first place was aimed at the top spot of Bihar. Then Delhi became the goal, but Narendra Modi's rise as head of the campaign rang alarm bells. So Nitish suddenly remembered secularism, says Jaya Jaitly. What the US withdrawal from Afghanistan means
'Obama's decision to end the US military involvement in the Afghan civil war needs to be welcomed as a positive development for regional security and stability. India, too, has a great opportunity opening up here if it plays its cards in sync with the spirit of the times rather than continuing to view the Afghan problem in zero-sum terms,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
May 29, 2014
How Modi's demonisation fueled his rise
'What was predictable, but entirely missed by Modi's strident critics, is that the excessive and intemperate demonisation of Modi allowed him to assume his own metaphor -- the underdog, the martyr, the marginalised,' says Dr Aseem Shukla. Modi and the trick of the new face
'Will Modi at least visit the victims of the Gujarat genocide, apologise for the massacre, wipe their tears which may never dry, extend State help to rehabilitate them, and give them the dignity they deserve?' asks Najid Hussain. Article 370 is Kashmir's emotional LoC
'Knowing him personally, I can safely say that the usually soft-spoken, qualified medical doctor would not have said what he was 'caught' saying if only he had realised that he was stepping on a political landmine across the emotional LoC, says Mohammad Sayeed Malik. India's Narendra Modi is considered a wildcard abroad
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's real test will be whether he can bring a longer-term vision to India's foreign policy planning, says Ravi Agrawal.
May 28, 2014
Judge Smriti Irani by performance, not qualification
One can understand that all MPs are equal in that sense and are endowed with varied talents but that does not automatically qualify them to run ministries. Some are adept at meeting challenges and some simply are not, and remain ornaments. By seeking pro-rata quotas, the very purpose of a forming a ministry of talent is lost, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why Jayalalithaa gave Modi's swearing-in a miss
The presence of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not the only reason why Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa stayed away from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
May 27, 2014
How the 'secularists' defeated Nitish Kumar
The 'secularists'are more adept at the politics of intense and alarmingly exaggerated fear-mongering, as this kind of politics provides easy votes of Muslims without making them answerable for the concrete issues of poverty, unemployment, lawlessness, and of basic needs like roads, electricity, etc, which is exactly how Nitish Kumar was defeated in the elections, says Mohammad Sajjad. Look past 100 days
The first 100 days of any government should be a period when it is allowed to get its act together, with no media pressure for faster, higher, says Indira Jayaraman. Pressing the reset button in MoD
Defence Secretary R K Mathur should take to Prime Minister Narendra Modi just five simple measures that would create or catalyse dramatic improvements across the wider defence arena, says Ajai Shukla. How we can build 'Indianness'
The new government has to make conscious efforts to rebuild social equality and bring the people together. How Munde missed a huge opportunity
Gopinath Munde's laidback attitude and ambition for the Maharashtra chief minister's post has got him stuck on the periphery. His equations within the party and hierarchy -- mainly access to Modi -- needs to improve, feels N Suresh. How will Modi factor Japan in his China policy?
Being a pragmatist Modi is not likely to give preference to China over Japan. Both security and economic aspects are likely to shape Modi's decision in terms of engaging the two biggest economies of Asia, says Sana Hashmi. Nehru's great legacy blotted by China defeat
While Nehru remains an icon for many, including his critics, for the stellar role he played in building institutions of democracy, the 1962 humiliation blots Nehru's copybook, says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). Why the Congress can't survive without the Gandhis
Reduced to a mere shell of its former glorious self, it now mechanically sticks to the form while substance was frittered away a long time ago, says Virendra Kapoor.
May 26, 2014
Message for Modi from Sharif's visit
The biggest success of Nawaz Sharif's visit to India is that it will lessen mistrust between the two countries, writes Amir Mateen from Islamabad.
May 23, 2014
No leader of oppn? There wasn't any in Nehru, Indira, Rajiv days
The Modi wave has blotched the Congress party's copybook. For the first time since the Lok Sabha was constituted in 1952, the party has failed to secure enough seats to be designated as a parliamentary party, notes A Surya Prakash. Why Modi's invite to Nawaz Sharif may be premature
'It seems that the BJP in its desire to catapult Modi onto the international stage, knowing the image deficit due to visa denials, has caused unhappiness in Tamil Nadu, uncertainty in Bangladesh and a churning in Pakistan that Sharif may or may not be able to control,' says Ambassador K C Singh. Rejoinder: Time I put the record straight, says Shashi Tharoor
On Monday, soon after the election results were out, Ambassador T P Sreenivasan contributed a column to, 'Lessons for Shashi Tharoor from diminished victory', to which the newly re-elected MP from Thiruvananthapuram responds.
May 22, 2014
Who will be the leader of the Opposition in the new Lok Sabha?
Nothing turns on the hair-splitting argument that the Congress does not have 55 seats because that is not a legal requirement to be the single largest legislature party in Opposition in the Lok Sabha, says Venkatesh Nayak. Modi-fying India-Pakistan relations
To be sure, Modi is no Vajpayee; at least that is the impression he gives. However, this doesn't mean that he will be looking for a fight. All it means is that if Pakistan seeks a fight, he will not back down. What it also means is that the pusillanimous approach of the previous governments to ceaseless provocations from Pakistan will probably change, says Sushant Sareen. Mr Modi, make India shine again!
'India could become the newest Asian tiger under Modi's dynamic leadership. Modi could become the Nehru of the 21st century, and re-establish a new Tryst with Destiny, by stating once and for all that Mera Bharat Mahaan is and will always be a truly secular and inclusive democracy in the best spirit of Bharatiya-tva,' says Ram Kelkar, offering an NRI view of the Modi triumph. The bookseller with a heart
Aseem Chhabra mourns the passing of the gentle and knowledgeable Mr K D Singh, who owned a quaint bookshop in New Delhi.
May 21, 2014
Reporter's diary: Election 2014 from Kanyakumari to Kashi
A Ganesh Nadar's tales from the campaign trail.
May 20, 2014
Analysis: How can Modi not cry, today?
Narendra Modi had to be emotional today. Fighting against the media, sailing against trends where only the rich and powerful are able to navigate in state and national politics, Modi made his own cocktail of ideas and formulas. He has reached here on his own strengths, intellect, cunning and merit, says Sheela Bhatt. 'Secularism' will no longer win elections
'My feeling is that these parties will not learn their lesson despite their electoral drubbing. They cannot put forward a leader. They have no record of improving their constituents' lives by providing basic services. All they offer is their "'secularism",' says T V R Shenoy. Voters reject Gandhi dynasty and its handouts
It was the rejection of the Congress' welfarist economics by voters that led to the party's drubbing, says Andy Mukherjee. Hindi-Japani Bhai Bhai!
'Both nations have a common problem: A rampaging, jingoistic and hostile China which is making substantial territorial claims. In the long run, Japan and India are going to be the victims of Chinese aggression -- so they might as well hang together to contain China,' argues Rajeev Srinivasan.
May 19, 2014
Election results show only 'Amma' matters in Tamil Nadu
The AIADMK swept the polls winning 37 of the 39 seats, leaving DMK, its rivals, and the BJP to do a serious rethinking before the assembly elections in 2016, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Confronting a new world order
India has some ability to influence what the world order will look like, but it needs to make structural changes to the ministries of external affairs and commerce, and evolve formal coordination mechanisms with the ministries of finance and home, says Nitin Pai Will there be space for dissent in Modi's India?
'In Modi's moral majority, words like security become problematic and a moral majority can turn devastatingly inquisitorial. It turns history into a preferred flatland of the nation State challenging cultural diversity in the name of majoritarianism expressed as patriotism. Dissent almost immediately becomes seditious,' says Shiv Visvanathan.
May 17, 2014
A flawed election
B R Ambedkar's fears about personality cults in politics and money power in elections seem to be coming true, says Nitin Desai A Modi-fied foreign policy: Change with continuity
The major driver of Mod's foreign policy can be gauged from his economic priorities such as creating employment opportunities for the youth bulge. Related to this is emphasis on manufacturing, and infrastructure development, which in turn raises the issue of FDI. He has already articulated his views on all these issues, says Rup Narayan Das. Do this nation proud, Mr Modi, and be true to your word
'You have a chance to use this massive mandate to push through life changing reforms, transform India into a superpower because our nation's biggest strength are its people, and we the people are the most hardworking industrious and entrepreneurial the world has ever seen.' The true importance of Mandate 2014
Let national interest alone be Narendra Modi's guiding principle, says Virendra Kapoor. No personal agendas, no divisive ideas and ideologies, no crony capitalist interests. Lessons for Shashi Tharoor from diminished victory
Thiruvananthapuram did not give him a resounding victory, but did not abandon him either. If he learns his lessons and avoids the pitfalls of the past, he will have a bright political future, says T P Sreenivasan.
May 16, 2014
A debacle for the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra
N Suresh on the factors that led to the rout of the ruling alliance and what lies ahead for the BJP, Shiv Sena, MNS and AAP in the state. It's an incredible win, but victors must show humility
'They must bow their head before the people's might and start their work immediately. Now nothing can help them, but a show of sincerity and a life without cosmetic frills.' Congress becomes vulnerable to split
A tally of less than 45 seats in the Lok Sabha reduces Congress to a regional party, just a shade better than the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's 33 seats, making it vulnerable to a split if the party leadership does not get its act together, warns Neerja Chowdhury. India's mandate: Narendrabhai, please deliver!
It's a mandate of young India, for young India, by young India, says Sheela Bhatt/ in her 43rd and concluding column on Indian Elections 2014. Congress needs to be very worried about its future
In the coming days, there would be loud calls for a greater role for Priyanka Vadra who, party leaders think, has a greater voter connect and appeal than her brother who has been pushed into the forefront by their mother. 6 reasons why Modi needs to put China first
As India rises, creating niche areas for itself in the Asian landscape, China and India are bound to step on each other's vital areas of importance, says Srikanth Kondapalli. 'India cannot be governed through macho men'
'There was an overt campaign and there was a covert campaign. The overt campaign may be development, government, and all this nonsense. But the covert campaign, which Mr Amit Shah was doing, was far more important with the help of RSS cadres. This has been an RSS election. From day one I have been saying, this is not Congress versus the BJP, this is Congress versus the RSS,' says Jairam Ramesh, one of the key strategists of the Congress party. 'Modi represents the T20 generation'
What is Narendra Modi like? What is his politics about? What will he do? What are his priorities? Sheela Bhatt/ speaks to Swapan Dasgupta to find out more about the man of the moment.
May 15, 2014
In the NE, its advantage Congress but the BJP has arrived
Apart from Kerala, the northeast perhaps is the only region where Congress can expect a decent win in the recently held Lok Sabha elections. K G Suresh looks at what the elections hold for the northeast. What counting day holds for the major players
The BJP is the clear front-runner, the Congress is set for major introspection and the regional satraps' national aspirations may takes a beating. The rise of Modi and the spread of Modism
The spread of Modism is in reality spread of a personality cult and not a political ideology, says Vidyut Joshi. Why India must put any overtures to Pakistan on hold
Given our troubled relationship with Pakistan, we need to keep our security apparatus in a state of alert with state-of-the-art equipment. All bilateral issues with Pakistan -- political, military, economic -- will simply have to go on the back-burner till Pakistan decides it wants to live as a good neighbour, says Vikram Sood. Why our Parliament has such a woeful number of women
The perception that 'winnability' is based on gender is very strong, even though, if you break up the electoral success rate by sexes, the women who do win elections are proportionally far more successful than the men who win, given the huge number of men they have to beat. What India must do in the emerging Cold War
India needs to have a re-look of whole gamut of its relations with major powers and also prepare for a more turbulent neighbourhood. But such is the tyranny of Indian status quo mindset that any talk of re-look at nuclear doctrine or foreign relations is treated as blasphemy, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. How secure are the EVMs?
Whatever happens with this election, there is going to have to be a serious rethink of how the ECI, and elections, are run in India. There can't even be the whiff of impropriety. In a country that believes in democracy, EVM rigging isn't stealing an election, it's stealing the soul of a nation, says Cleo Paskal.
May 14, 2014
Modi and the only challenge before him
'The lack of zeal to serve the country in the mammoth government machinery will be the biggest challenge for Narendra Modi and his government as he tries to change things; there will be not just resistance, but a lack of response to begin with.' Why we need to go beyond 'letter of the law' in inter-state disputes
The history of the Cauvery and Mullaperiyar cases has shown how helpless the constitutional processes and judicial verdicts have been in enforcing the law of the land in inter-state and state-Centre disputes, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Why the new government must not act dumb by playing tough
The choice before the next government is not between being a soft State and a tough State; it is between being a smart State and a dumb State, says former foreign secretary Shyam Saran. The temple and the dam
Two decisions handed down by the Supreme Court have spread gloom in Kerala as they have shaken two basic faiths of a majority of the people in the state, says T P Sreenivasan.
May 13, 2014
What the BJP-RSS's own exit poll says
'This survey, done on the basis of feedback from BJP-RSS workers at the booth level, has given Narendra Modi the confidence to start packing his bags in Gandhinagar. on Tuesday, he has done photo shoots with his colleagues and staff.' Why Modi is right on the Bangladeshi migrants' issue
In the light of the global scenario on infiltration for economic gain what Modi said in his speeches in Assam and West Bengal recently was perfectly legitimate. Intellectual dishonesty marks this discourse in our country, argues Ram Madhav. Will Rahul lead the opposition or be its backbencher?
The one simple fact is that a government can be remote controlled but not an opposition. It needs to be kept on its toes, all the time enthusing its ranks to believe that it would win back the government in time. Would Rahul Gandhi be up to this challenge and provide proof that he does have the stuff, asks Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why Modi wants to change India's nuclear policy
'Imagine a scenario where a terror strike by Pakistan-supported jihadis causes thousands of deaths in India. India in retaliation destroys terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.'
May 12, 2014
Elections end, but President thinking out of the box
Just in case the NDA is unable to reach 272 seats and is in the low range of 220 seats, then some novel ideas may spring up. Like a 'national government'. Is violence and rigging Mamata's 'poriborton'?
'In this election -- her first major one since wresting power from the Left -- Mamata has proved that she has simply maintained the Left's systemic status quo by ensuring that she implements the CPI-M method of election and result 'management', says Dr Anirban Ganguly. Muslims have never been a herd
'What of Modi? They are willing to take their chances. Maharashtra's Muslims recall how the Congress scared them with the Bal Thackeray bogey for decades, yet, when it came to using all the might of the State to protect them from Shiv Sena goons, be it in 1970, 1984 or 1992-1993, it did nothing. For them, the Congress's secularism is a cruel joke.' Illegal infiltration: Mamata and her double standards
Given her penchant for obfuscating issues Mamata is encouraging the false perception, parroted by her political hangers-on, that all refugees from Bangladesh would face the brunt of deportation once the BJP came to power. In fact, Didi's theatrics and those of all her extras, in the last few days, have been based on propagating this falsehood, says Dr Anirban Ganguly.
May 10, 2014
Is Narendra Modi really an OBC?
It is unusual to see Narendra Modi highlight his OBC status -- something he has never done in his long political career.
May 09, 2014
End of the Sonia era in the Congress?
In the coming days, the Congress may be run by a trimurti of Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka, with Rahul holding the primary position both in Parliament and in the party and Sonia and Priyanka helping him out as and when required. Why is BJP using street power against the EC?
'The over-reaction by the BJP to District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav's decision will prove a double-edged sword.'
May 08, 2014
How the media whitewashes Narendra Modi
Modi today needs BJP CMs and non-party regional leaders to win votes and build alliances, but he will over-rule them and treat them like dirt once they have served their electoral purpose. Make no mistake: Modi is incurably authoritarian and will brook no dissent -- so long as the RSS is on board, says Praful Bidwai. Assam government is complicit in communal violence
The recent bouts of violence by suspected Bodo militias that killed over 30 hapless 'Muslims, mostly children and women, and rendered several thousands homeless in lower Assam recently, once again offers a shocking glimpse of the horrendous game of violent communalism being played by the Congress government of Assam in furtherance of its cynical power politics for the last several years.' Meet a Modi Fanatic
'After the 2002 riots when the media and other political parties started blaming Modiji, thousands of people like us -- now, it must be crores of us -- started becoming staunch supporters of Modiji. The more you blamed him the more of our support he gained.' Chennai blasts: Is Tamil Nadu's politics of procrastination to blame?
How far did the existing air of permissiveness may have contributed to those like the Indian Mujahideen targeting Tamil Nadu for setting up base, is a question that the state's law and order machinery would have to ask itself, and stall them on the track and for good, says N Sathiya Moorthy
May 07, 2014
Why Narendra Modi is now playing the caste card
The consolidation of the Muslim vote behind Lalu Yadav in Bihar and Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh may have forced Modi to spin Priyanka Gandhi's neech rajniti statement as a insult to his OBC status, says Dharmendra Singh. The people who run Modi's campaign in Varanasi
'Varanasi has seen elections for ages, but this one is different. Different, in the sense, that it is like an invasion.' Why you couldn't find your name on the voter list
'The failure of the ECI to follow the Registration of Electoral Rules and create verified and audited rolls or even verifiable and auditable ones, highlight that the entire electoral roll is merely a compilation of names without any effort or intention for completeness, correctness or fair play.' Hamid Mir: I will not be stopped from speaking the truth
'I want to be murdered at your hands, so I can live on in history. The verdict of who is or is not a traitor cannot be pronounced by a secret agency, but by history.' Why Dilli remains door for Mamatadi
'The numbers have been scaled down for the Trinamool Congress. Today, the upper number of victories seems to be 30, with 25 seats being the realistic option. The Trinamool Congress may still be the largest non-BJP, non-Congress party in the next Lok Sabha, but it may not make it to the Cabinet table, leave alone sit in the top chair,' says T V R Shenoy.
May 06, 2014
How the 'third gender' can play an important role in politics
Elect the eunuchs and they will prove their honesty in contrast to a practicing politician. Without any kith and kin, they can at least be a catalyst sorely needed for minimising, if not uprooting nepotism and favouritism that breeds corruption, says Ram Ugrah. 9 ways the media brought Priyanka centre stage
From Arvind Kejriwal to Priyanka, this has been a media-determined election. Two forces stand poised, the people inventing new politics and the media inventing its own version of that politics, says Shiv Visvanathan.
May 05, 2014
Who are Modi's 26 allies in the NDA?
Modi's NDA is good enough to give a psychological boost to the once 'untouchable' BJP and Modi but if the NDA doesn't get a majority on its own, then walking the last mile will be the greatest challenge of this election for Modi, says Sheela Bhatt/ MH-370 enigma: Is there a top-secret India angle?
Two months after the Malaysia Airlines plane vanished into the skies, conspiracies have floated to explain the enigma of the vanishing flight. Amid these claims, one is that the plane was hijacked and is being prepped for a terror attack by the Taliban or by Israeli terrorists. Anvar Alikhan tries to piece this puzzle together and find out the truth behind flight MH370. Why are liberals so ineffective in India?
Why has a nation created on strong secular principles slowly chipped away those essential values? Why are so many Indians willing to compromise their freedoms and those of their compatriots for the cause of economic progress and to see a shining India,' asks Aseem Chhabra.
May 02, 2014
Why the Modi-Afroze Fatta photo cannot be ignored
Modi and Rahul's Gandhi's case cannot be dismissed casually. Both are high visibility persons, subject to intense scrutiny, and above all, under heavy protection. So anyone meeting them is properly vetted, says Mahesh Vijapurkar 'I am not a blind fan of Modi, I do question'
'I believe in India people should have, up to a certain age, compulsory military training. I also believe that voting should be made compulsory. I have some violent idea, that all candidates should sign an affidavit that whatever they have promised to the people, if they are unable to fulfill they won't stand in elections again.'
April 30, 2014
The rise of the Modi Class
Travelling across tribal Dahod to an about-to-be-born township near Ahmedabad, Sheela Bhatt examines the 'Modi effect' and how it will play out in the polls in the prime ministerial candidate's home state.Travelling across tribal Dahod to an about-to-be-born-township near Ahmedabad, Sheela Bhatt examines the 'Modi effect' and how it will play out at the polls on the prime ministerial candidate's home state. Why I will not vote next time, and neither should you
I think we are just too complacent about our electoral system. There's a lot that is very wrong with it. But we continue to parrot the boring mantra of this being the greatest electoral exercise in the world. Things are not going to change. Next election let's just boycott the whole process en masse, says Sherna Gandhy. Is India reluctant to take its place in the new world order?
'Crafting a coherent, transparent and consistent policy vis-a-vis our neighbours, leave alone the rest of the world, is unlikely to be high on the priority list of the new Indian government, which will be sworn in before June,' says Ramananda Sengupta.
April 29, 2014
'I'm going to take this chap Mr Jaitley nice and proper'
'...Take him in the sense that I will defeat him. This is just our military term... If there's anybody today who's anti this government, it is the youth of Punjab. All of them are being coerced, there are no jobs being created, all of them are taking to drugs because of frustration... There is no Narendra Modi factor, there is no national anti-incumbency. In Punjab there in only anti-Akali incumbency.' Mamata Model: Paranoia and vote-bank politics
There is indeed a Bengal Model but it is one which negates generational aspiration, generates animus, thrives on bloodletting and political vendetta, reiterates outdated ideas of vote bank politics, is shorn of any vision or roadmap for reconstruction and is fast depleting the levels of a legitimate tolerance, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. 60 years on: Unforgiving legacy of the Panchsheel Agreement
It is a dark legacy bequeathed by Nehru to India. In its DNA lies the subconscious fount of India's schizophrenic geopolitics that forsook in one sweep all its historically-entrenched strategic interests in Tibet in favour of China, says R N Ravi, on the 60th anniversary of the Panchsheel Agreement. When I met the coup leader who expelled me
T P Sreenivasan was India's high commissioner in Fiji in 1987, when Sitiveni Rabuka toppled the Indian-dominated government there. Ambassador Sreenivasan stayed on for two years after the coup, fighting for the rights of the people of Indian origin before he was expelled by Rabuka.
April 28, 2014
'It's an election that has a fairly predictable result'
On Election 2014: 'So far it looks like a one horse race. The difference between the first and the second challenger is so large that if the first one looks back in the last round, he'll probably not see the second one anywhere.' It is not just about voting and getting selfies
'With the exception of a few cases, where it really was a mistake, in most cases it was the lackadaisical approach of voters which resulted in them not being on the list.' Why 28 percent of the votes is a game-changer in UP
Dharmendra Kumar Singh explains the importance of getting 28 percent of the vote in Uttar Pradesh, which is witnessing a five-cornered contest. Vote bank politics doesn't exclude governance
Mihir S Sharma on the false opposition being created between 'governance' and 'vote bank politics'.
April 25, 2014
The woman leading Arun Jaitley's Amritsar battle
Dolly, who is leading from the front in Amritsar, wakes up early, plans things for her husband's campaign, oversees resources, does nukkad meetings and keeps busy -- all without getting into the limelight. Sheela Bhatt/'s fascinating insights into the battle for Amritsar! We believe the BS leaders sell us. You know why? We are Indians!
Our generation got independence too easy, we take our freedom too lightly, we treat our country and environment like toilet paper and take the easy way out because we have no sense of pride or self worth except when it is an India-Pakistan match. We need to be broken more so that we may rise, says film director Suparn Verma. Bihar doesn't have much of a Modi wave
'It is precisely because of the apprehensions about Lalu's revival that the upper castes have started re-thinking their electoral preferences. Out of confusion, they are simply deciding to vote for winnable candidates from their respective castes of any of the three parties -- the BJP, JD-U or RJD. This is what has considerably neutralised the NaMo wave in Bihar and resulted in Nitin Gadkari's remark that "Caste is in the DNA of Biharis". This is why Giriraj Singh, the BJP candidate from Nawada, made provocative statements,' says Mohammad Sajjad.
April 24, 2014
So what will 'Prime Minister Modi' do?
A checklist of what may happen if Narendra Modi were to become prime minister. For one, the prime minister's residence will go vegetarian for the first time; Amitabh Bachchan, deservingly, will be conferred the Bharat Ratna; and the people can expect a lot of emotion-loaded communication from the prime minister, feels Sheela Bhatt/ Not fielding Priyanka against Modi is a blunder
As Narendra Modi files his nomination in Varanasi, Praful Bidwai believes 'a straight contest against Priyanka would have put Modi on the defensive and forced him to concentrate on Varanasi.'
April 23, 2014
What went wrong for the Congress?
'Modi's more than dozen interviews are helping him fine-tune the rough edges of his campaign. He is trying to influence floating voters, undecided voters, non-committal and caste-neutral voters into deciding whether to go for the Lotus or not. These could have been Congress voters, but its divided house, torn between the old guard and Rahul Gandhi, seems to have got completely confused.''s Sheela Bhatt lists what the Congress did wrong to find itself in such a sorry mess today. India, ISI and the Hamid Mir attack
'ISI mouthpieces in the media have been quick to blame India for the attack. Clearly, the intellect and worldview of these characters (which includes fairly senior retired military officers) is based on Bollywood movies like Ek Tha Tiger and Agent Vinod... More seriously, the fact that ISI touts have been using this opportunity to train their guns on India raises serious questions about all the talk of the army being on the same page as the civilian government on the issue of improving relations with India,' says Sushant Sareen. Must-read: What St Xavier's principal wrote on Gujarat model
In a note to his students titled 'In a Background of Elections - The Development Debate', Dr Frazer Mascarenhas, principal of Mumbai's St Xavier's College, slams Narendra Modi's Gujarat and is in all praise of United Progressive Alliance's Rojgar Yojana and the Food Security Act Medha and Meera: A glimpse of the future
AAP candidates from Mumbai, Medha Patkar and Meera Sanyal, are poised to play a crucial and complementary role. While Patkar gives voice to the suffering of people at the grassroots, Sanyal is articulating the key principles that could build a more just and equitable society or economy, says Rajni Bakshi.
April 22, 2014
Modi is the hero, mobile phone is the heroine in UP
'Narendra Modi is single-handedly changing the formula to win elections. With money, human resources, mobile technology, the Internet, advance planning and tremendous confidence, he has spread his image more in UP villages than in urban areas.' Open letter to Modi: You have failed as a healer
'I see you as a man who has split the nation into two. Vajpayee or even Advani would hold it together. One senses you cannot do this. To heal, to apologise, and to glue together a nation seems beyond you,' Shiv Visvanathan tells the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. Why Jayalalithaa is attacking Modi now
Jayalalithaa's attack on BJP's PM hopeful a little too late in the coming, says N Sathiya Moorthy PM's post: Married candidates need not apply
'There appears to be in the Indian polity a link between being Single and being of prime ministerial timber. It is a trend, a preponderance -- not a statistical verity,' says Dr Shashi K Pande.
April 21, 2014
Coming soon: The Congress imminent collapse in Uttar Pradesh
The failure of the Congress to win the hearts of even the Muslim victims of Muzaffarnagar riots exposes what's wrong with Rahul Gandhi's leadership. His statement that Pakistan's ISI was targeting the victims may have cost the party their trust. Rather, those who advise Gandhi are so brazen politically that they ask the UPA government to give reservations to the Jat community, perceived to be the aggressor by the Muslims of Uttar Pradesh. Is Narendra Modi a fascist?
'The speeches of Modi in Assam, Bengal, Kerala, Baghpat and the border areas of Bihar, overplaying the themes of terrorism, izzat of mothers and sisters, are to be read carefully to understand that he is trying to keep the fear of Muslims alive in the Hindu masses,' says Apoorvanand.
April 17, 2014
Why corruption is even worse than communalism
While corruption destroys the moral fibre of a nation, its society and people, secularism as espoused in this country is cynical secularism, a sham perpetrated during election time and communalism is a spectre, a bogey raised by these great champions of Indian secularism to secure and perpetuate their vote bank, says Maneck Davar. Babudom waits with bated breath: Will it be Modi?
"Who will be his men?" a distinguished official close to the prime minister asked. Frankly, nobody has an idea. Hardly seven weeks are left for a regime change, but the idea of Narendra Modi on Raisina Hill looks abnormal, if not unreal.'s Sheela Bhatt captures the uncertain mood in the capital's bureaucracy ahead of the largest democratic transfer of power in the world. 'We are voting against, not for'
'"It is not corruption, but destruction that we fear. We fear for our lives and the BJP has not been able to convince us otherwise," Muslims and Dalits tell me.' Does a high turnout indicate anti-incumbency or does it indicate minority consolidation against a particular leader or party? Neeta Kolhatkar explains the situation in Maharashtra. May day! May day! for the Marxists
The Marxists are heading for their worst debacle in many elections. How will May 16, 2014 affect India's Communists? T V R Shenoy surveys the landscape.
April 16, 2014
If AAP had continued governing Delhi...
The media wittingly or otherwise has been a key player in stymying the AAP. It is not so much the rivals, but the media, mostly the television and from its cues, large sections of the print segment, who got the trophy. The political parties, especially BJP and Congress, can now laugh in their sleeves, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Does voting for honesty mean voting against development?
Your vote now is going to decide whether India fixes itself and becomes a vibrant democracy, or a failed State like the ones in our neighbourhood, says Dasarathi G V.
April 15, 2014
Sanjaya Baru: 'My book is written partly with a sense of sadness'
'Prime Minister Manmohan Singh refused to allow us to project his real personality to let the people of India know exactly what he really was. He was always shying away from greater public exposure. Since the last two years we have seen enormous criticism, ridiculing the prime minister. He has been made into an object of jokes. It certainly hurts. I think this man deserves lots of good reviews... His contribution to social policy, his contribution to the economy, his contribution to coalition management, his contribution to foreign policy.' Dr Sanjaya Baru, Dr Singh's former media advisor who is in the eye of a storm over his book on the prime minister UPA speaks to's Sheela Bhatt. Is high voter turnout indicator of a new government?
In the normal course, a high turnout reflects anti-incumbency but there is no correlation between high turnout and advantage to the National Democratic Alliance, says Dharmendra Kumar Singh. Why the minorities need not fear Modi
'Modi knows he will fail if he does not afford Muslims, Christians or even other backward Hindu classes the opportunities and means to improve the quality of their lives. Prosperous and educated people are less prone to rioting,' says Maneck Davar.
April 14, 2014
'Is Modi a good actor, or is he really so genuine?''s Sheela Bhatt unearths some never-told-before details of Narendra Modi's early life. Read on! Why Rajnikanth may not swing votes Modi's way
Not having launched a political party, Rajni now has his fans spread across various political parties in the state. They vote for different political parties and candidates, depending on issues and factors such as ideology, caste and community, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Why a former CM is in the battle of his life
A rebellion by NCP leaders in Sindhudurg may scuttle Congress MP Nilesh Rane's chances of regaining the seat. Neeta Kolhatkar explains the politics behind the turmoil in Maharashtra's Konkan region.
April 11, 2014
'Modi's marriage is a Shakespearean tragedy'
'If 17-year-old Modi wanted to get out of the marriage, which was imposed on him by a socially backward society and his family, it's not only ethical but his right to walk out of the forced marriage...' 'Jashodaben, a highly conservative woman who understandably, by the social standards of India of the 1960s, opted to remain confined to the marriage instead of kicking Modi out from her life for not starting the marriage in the real sense...''In spite of media pressure, if she does not speak against Modi, it suggests that Modi has not ill-treated her or exploited her after parting ways.' Be wary of claims that a decisive leader can provide a quick fix
'Elections don't offer easy or ideal choices. Voters may find there is no candidate whom they can fully trust. But here is a litmus test for choosing between competing imperfection: Reject any candidate or party that asks you to put growth above secularism,' says Rajni Bakshi. Arithmetic of caste politics will determine Tharoor's fate
'If the Nairs split between Shashi Tharoor and the BJP candidate, O Rajagopal and the Nadars combine with the Leftists and the Christians to vote for the CPI candidate, Bennet Abraham, what would happen to Tharoor. It is presumed that the voters do not cast their votes, they vote their castes,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan 'Today, I was deprived of my right to vote'
When Reeti Pandharipande walked into the polling booth at 7 am, she expected to vote. Many hours later, she returned home tired and frustrated, with a finger that was not ink-stained. Indian election only one of at least four important elections in Asia
Indonesia, Turkey and Afghanistan also see important polls in the seven short weeks between end-March and mid-May, says Shankar Acharya
April 10, 2014
The Nowhere People of Muzaffarnagar
'Even if Akhilesh Yadav opens up the entire state treasury for us we will not vote for the Samajwadi Party... ''...I don't want to return to my village, my head will be chopped off. They want me to press the button on the lotus.' Modi is unsure if the surf's up
If the wave has become a tsunami, why is the BJP's prime ministerial candidate playing safe by polarising voters along communal lines, asks Bharat Bhushan.
April 09, 2014
Why Mamata had to back down before the EC
The EC is perhaps the only body in the country still untarnished and commanding universal respect round the world. It has often been savaged by the ruling political dispensations in the past also, but the EC has come out with flying colours in every case including the latest one against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, says B S Raghavan. Multi-cornered fights may mean fractured mandate in TN
No one at this point no one in the state is talking about a clean sweep with high victory margins that the AIADMK front won in the 2011 assembly elections. The 'Modi factor', as against a 'Modi wave', has ensured as much, says N Sathiya Moorthy. The electoral choice on offer
A Narendra Modi administration would believe more in decentralisation than would a Rahul Gandhi administration, says Arvind Panagariya.
April 08, 2014
In Muzaffarnagar, it is one man versus the rest
In the couple of hours that you spend in the riot-hit city you find it is not the BJP that is asking for the votes of an excited section of Hindus, but it is the people who are clinging to Narendra Modi.'s Sheela Bhatt reports on the sentiment on the ground in Muzaffarnagar, whose Hindu-Muslim fracture is a long way from being mended. Western Uttar Pradesh: The Hindu, Muslim divide is a reality
The polarisation politics seems to have succeeded in western UP much to the delight of the BJP. However the non-BJP parties are hoping that the polarisation will not be as intense and they will be able to hold on to majority of their vote banks, says Girish Nikam. Is stopping Modi the West's new priority?
The West has always preferred a timid, half intelligent and a dependent India rather than a decisively independent and self-reliant one. A pliable Indian leadership suits the West best, says Tarun Vijay. So if not Modi, then who?
'Someone is needed to restore India back to Indians. So you decided you won't vote for Modi. But then, who will you vote for? List your leaders from the north to south and east to west, and ask your heart and mind, will any one of them be able to deliver and bring back India from the darkness it has fallen into?' asks Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay.
April 07, 2014
Is Nitish Kumar's arrogance finishing him?
Dharmendra Kumar Singh says the Bihar chief minister may be fighting a losing battle. Next PM must ensure Dr Singh's mistakes aren't repeated
The next prime minister must ensure that the mistakes made by Manmohan Singh during his tenure are not repeated, notes A K Bhattacharya. Political soup, served sweet and sour
L K Advani's observation on Narendra Modi, an attempt to cut the BJP's prime ministerial nominee down to size, billing him a mere event manager like Vijay Raaz in Mira Nair's film Monsoon Wedding, speaks volumes about their differences... In the coming days, the Congress and BJP may lock horns over the AgustaWestland chopper deal. In an Italian court, Guido Haschke, one of the accused middlemen who allegedly bribed the Indian side, has sought a plea bargain to reduce his jail term if convicted. On or around April 11, we will know how much Haschke is ready to reveal.'s Sheela Bhatt detects which way the political wind is blowing these days. Bihar's first phase of polls on six seats offer no signal
In terms of electoral fortunes, in all likelihood, the status quo is not going to change in any significant manner. These six seats from Bihar are unlikely to give any clear signal to UPA, NDA or Federal Front. Narendra Modi: Voice of India's civilisational aspiration
U R Ananthamurthy's assertion of leaving the country if Modi is voted to power is an affront to the deep sense of the Indian voters who have time and again shown a certain sagacity and wisdom of judgement. It certainly shows a 'corruption of the mind' on his part and not on the one he chooses to irrationally oppose, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. Elections: Victory of hope over common sense
The level of political discourse in the country is generally low, but it touches a nadir during election time. You will hear downright lies, half truths, breathtaking exaggerations, and extravagant promises, but never the truth, says Sherna Gandhy. Are Muslims really scared of Narendra Modi?
'Why do sections of Muslims seem to prefer Lalu and Mulayam who symbolise wilful neglect of governance and development? In this election, secularism is less at stake. What is more at stake is the degenerative, cynical, opportunistic, and discredit-worthy misuse of secularism by the non-BJP leaders and their social constituencies,' says Mohammad Sajjad. The real threat to India's democracy
'If one observes a common man passing a church or gurdwara or dargah, he instinctively bows his head. It is this prevalence of polytheism that has ensured that monotheists and minorities flourish in India. This may sound preposterous in wake of the recent communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar. But it must be understood that in a county of over one billion people that was at worst an aberration,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
April 04, 2014
Turbulence strikes Varanasi's Muslims
"Our only solace is that Modi will win Varanasi, but there will be a by-election here. Modi will not be able to cobble 272 seats to become prime minister so he will remain the chief minister of Gujarat. He will resign from Varanasi and then we will ensure Kerjiwal's handsome win."
April 03, 2014
Is this the Shiv Sena's last Lok Sabha election?
Some Shiv Sena veterans say, "The Sena is eroding on its own, we don't have to quit this party. It breaks our heart to see the end, but it is inevitable." Neeta Kolhatkar on the crisis confronting the Shiv Sena.
April 02, 2014
How Mulayam's masterstroke may slow the Modi 'wave' in UP
The Varanasi versus Azamgarh story is about the fears and insecurities of two of our strongest leaders, Narendra Modi and Mulayam Singh Yadav, says Sheela Bhatt. Vote-buying kills democratic contests
Despite a strong anti-corruption mood, where election costs are seen as the driver for graft, politicians don't change their spots. Unsurprisingly, this trend of unleashing cash can be expected to continue in this Lok Sabha elections too, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why PC's son may be fighting a losing battle in TN
In the 2009 election, P Chindambaram the Sivaganga seat by a narrow margin. Then the Congress was in alliance with the ruling DMK. This time his son Karti is battling the seat with the alliance. India abstention at the UNHRC on an anti-Lanka resolution will further fuel Tamil anger against the Congress party. This leaves the finance minster sulking and his son facing an uphill political debut, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Have poll manifestos lost their sheen?
Election manifestos may have lost their earlier importance. But a closer look at them does reveal a lot about a political party's own assessment of where it went wrong and what its future policy directions will look like, says A K Bhattacharya. India is in a timidity trap with China
'The Panchsheel Agreement is unique in the annals of international relations as it stands out as a bizarre illustration of a prime minister trading his country's crucial national interests solely to buffer his personal international image,' feels R N Ravi.
April 01, 2014
Ask Modi that one RIGHT question
Everyone, it seems, has a question to ask the BJP's prime ministerial candidate these days.
March 30, 2014
Why Kerala is a psephologist's nightmare
Voters are disillusioned with the two rival fronts in the state and there are no effective alternatives either. G Sreedathan explains
March 28, 2014
Time for reshaping India's neighbourhood policy
Abstaining from voting on a UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka was dictated as much by necessity and self-preservation as by a desire to place bilateralism at the front and centre of New Delhi's ties with Colombo, says Ramesh Ramachandran. Is the Congress's diagnosis and cure all wrong?
In the last 10 years, when the people looked at New Delhi, they saw two centres of power and not one decisive leader between them. There was nobody who could speak in a language people wanted to hear.'s Sheela Bhatt reveals the true reason why the UPA appears rudderless on the eve of Election 2014.
March 27, 2014
He served tea, I am a mason, says the man facing Modi at home
Narendra Modi's mother washed utensils to make a living. Madhusudan Mistry's grandmother, who brought him up, was a vegetable vendor. Mistry's trajectory from poverty to membership of the all powerful Congress Working Committee is moving. the man who has Rahul Gandhi's ear and is all set to take on Narendra Modi in Vadodara, speaks to's Sheela Bhatt in a fascinating interview.
March 26, 2014
Why Kejriwal can dent Modi's campaign
'AAP's real value must be measured not by the number of Lok Sabha seats it wins in the election -- which may not exceed 10 or 15 -- and not even by the number of votes it takes from the BJP, but by its ability to deflate Modi's superhuman '56-inch chest' image and the charisma so assiduously manufactured around him by the corporate-controlled media.' When the Gandhi family played too safe
'The Congress is unsure of emerging as the single largest party or group on May 16. In such a scenario, they do not wish to accord a loser tag to the young Gandhi... The Congress feels Rahul's projection as a prime ministerial nominee in 2014 would come in the way of the formation of an alternative, non-BJP government...''s Sheela Bhatt explains how the transition of power within the Congress is making the party vulnerable.
March 25, 2014
Why did Karunanidhi sack son Alagiri
Having burnt his fingers with MGR very badly in the past and later with Vaiko, it suited the DMK chief, when disgruntled cadres upset with Stalin's choice for lower-rung party positions, began gravitating towards another member of the DMK's 'first family', says N Sathiya Moorthy Will the current trend prevail until voting day?
United Progressive Alliance's abysmal performance and the Bharatiya Janata Party's claims of good governance are two factors that could change how India votes this year, says Shreekant Sambrani Priyanka is chief of staff in Rahul's office, says Pitroda
'The mood in the country is the challenge. Everything is going well, but nobody is feeling good. Why? I don't know. Maybe aspirations are too high... The most important thing in life is to be a good person. Rahul is a wonderful person. He is a thinking man. He has convictions and is passionate about his work.' Sam Pitroda discusses the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi in an exclusive interview with's Sheela Bhatt.
March 24, 2014
Vaiko, Alagiri spell trouble for the BJP
The BJP's hobnobbing with M K Alagiri and ally Vaiko's controversial demands has the potential to rock the BJP's boat in Tamil Nadu, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Why Modi had to get rid of Harin Pathak
Very few old-style RSS workers-turned-leaders have survived Narendra Modi's political ambush in state politics. Harin Pathak's end closes the chapter for Modi who started his post-2002 riots journey with a new mix of profit-centric development and middle class-pleasing commerce, technology-driven communication with voters, and an unspoken Hindutva that speaks only through posturings and symbols.'s Sheela Bhatt reveals the real reasons for the Modi-Pathak rupture. How the South will help the BJP and keep out the Congress
Come May 16, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance will have more seats from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh than any formation mustered by the Congress, notes T V R Shenoy.
March 21, 2014
Where are Jayalalithaa's cases heading?
A general election looms next month just as two cases involving Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa enter a crucial phase, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Sheela says:Is Modi being unfair to Advani?
L K Advani has less to lose because he has actually lost what is vital in politics. His support base within the party is lost because the party thinks Advani can't help the BJP regain power. Since Modi is vulnerable, Advani, now and then, hits the headlines.'s Sheela Bhatt explains the Advani Affair. Brooks Report: Four failures that led to the 1962 debacle
It is well-known, and the Brooks-Bhagat report vouches for it, that the real failure for the 1962 debacle against China was not military, but political, says Ram Madhav. Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP effect
These elections will be remembered for the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal, feels Neeta Kolhatkar. We have learnt no lessons from the 1962 defeat
More than half-a-century after humiliation in the 1962 war, India is still not prepared to take on the Chinese dragon. Every now and then, that dragon flexes its muscles, reminding India the threat persists, says Virendra Kapoor. Bangladeshis are still flooding India's northeast
The local labour force is streaming out of the region, creating a vacuum that makes it easier for the Bangladeshis to fill in, says R N Ravi
March 20, 2014
Thank you, Mr Khushwant Singh, for changing my life
It was because of Khushwant Singh that I made my first journey into the wonders of the Urdu language, says Syed Firdaus Ashraf. He promoted Urdu like no other English writer in India has ever done. Rest in Peace, Dear Sir. It's Narendra versus Narendra in Vadodara!
Narendra Rawat, an 'arrest-happy' Congress leader, is expected to launch a fair amount of political tamasha against his rival, Narendra Modi, in Vadodara.
March 19, 2014
What's playing on our leaders' minds
At the best of times, ticket distribution in India's political parties is a tough business. The post-election result has to be judged, and judged correctly. It's an impossible job in view of the 814 million voters for whom the party bigwigs have to perform. Sheela Bhatt presents this light-hearted assessment of what's top of the mind for our political heavyweights. Kejriwal is walking the path to destruction
Why are so many people so reluctant to give up on Arvind Kejriwal? The simple answer is 'Narendra Modi', or rather the fear of Narendra Modi,' says T V R Shenoy. Why the media anger at Kejriwal is not justified
But by picking on Kejriwal for his threats, unfortunate as they are, and ignoring the appreciation he gets is missing the woods for the trees. Hopefully, the media would introspect and infuse more vigour, not mere hype, in democratic debates, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
March 18, 2014
Why we need to reject the AAP
Honesty coupled with pragmatism translates to good governance. Honesty plus hubris and self-righteousness spells disaster: that is what the AAP is, says Vivek Gumaste 1962 tragedy: How Nehru's proteges messed it up
Let us hope that what happened in 1962 will never happened again, prays Claude Arpi How Modi can change the BJP in Varanasi
Narendra Modi has a once in a lifetime chance to change and take the RSS-BJP-VHP to a new level. Varanasi is the right place to turn the page on saffron history. By surrendering to the spirit of mystical Varanasi, Modi and his party can change the trajectory of their political journey. Can AAP stop Modi?
Even a 6 percent vote-share would make AAP an important player on the national scene. The key lies in strategically concentrating AAP's vote, especially in the cities, so that it can break Narendra Modi's momentum, besides defeating an already weak Congress, says Praful Bidwai.
March 14, 2014
Sheela Says: Modi's Varanasi blues
Is Modi trampling upon senior BJP colleagues while taking decisions? How come Team Modi underestimated the political action-reaction when they were upsetting and uprooting the BJP's founding fathers L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi in the ticket distribution process? The India I imagined is not allowed to exist
Anwesha Bhattacharya-Arya writes an open letter to the President on the sorry state of affairs in India.
March 13, 2014
Sheela Says: Will Jaya realise her national dream?
In Tamil Nadu politics J Jayalalithaa is the queen of all she surveys today, But there are some ground realities that may still dent her high ambition.'s Sheela Bhatt's fascinating new column where she reveals the ground realities in the Battle for India. Lok Sabha polls: The four options before India
Ravindra Shukla picks out his best option.
March 12, 2014
Sheela Says: All the Prime Minister-in-Waiting's Men
For the first time ever, the BJP's headquarters for a Lok Sabha election is outside New Delhi. Meet the folks behind Narendra Modi's campaign for prime minister. Wanted: A coherent plan to handle the Maoists
A lack of understanding on how to tackle the Maoist challenge is adversely affecting security operations on the ground and not the inefficiency or inability of the security forces to put pressure on the Maoists, says former Chhattisgarh top cop Vishwa Ranjan. History won't remember Manmohan Singh kindly
'History will never forgive Manmohan Singh for having ended the Indian growth story and created a culture of entitlement instead of creating a culture of hard work and development,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). Why the government's anti-Naxal response is a failure
All Naxal-affected states demonstrate police as well as governance incapacities. Odd occasions of success and temporary dip in Naxal violence notwithstanding, the states have utterly failed to dominate and make their presence felt over areas under the extremist domination, says Bibhu Prasad Routray.
March 11, 2014
Sheela says: Delhi poll result reverberates in UP
In Uttar Pradesh, believe it or not, the BJP will not be helped in the long run if the Congress collapses completely. Why India should boldly push forward for an alliance with Japan
Japan has the capital and needs to pull out of China, which has been its major destination. India, on the other hand, desperately needs capital especially for infrastructure, argues Rajeev Srinivasan.
March 10, 2014
Will Congress-NCP gain from Uddhav-Raj battle?
Nitin Gadkari's move to get Raj Thackeray's support in the Lok Sabha elections has boomeranged. Uddhav Thackeray is angry and Gadkari and Raj Thackeray risk losing credibility. The move may help the Congress-NCP alliance, feels Neeta Kolhatkar. Sheela Says: Narendra Modi wants Varanasi, and he will get it!
Political parties are getting battle-ready, nominating their best candidates to contest Election 2014...'s incomparable Sheela Bhatt begins a new column where she reveals the ground realities in the Battle for India, as only she can. Don't miss it! This man has left India's defences in a mess
'The defence minister is stuck in the trivial and frivolous with a clerical mindset merely to prove his so-called 'honesty" overlooking the primary aim of adding sufficient military muscle and firepower to the defence services,' says Bharat Verma.
March 07, 2014
Relax! It's just a book
What happened within the last 40 years that turned this society from secular democratic to Hindu right-wing that clench their collective fists of spiritual nobility against the fictional enemy that never was? The internet happened, says Vinay Menon. If half the world's population is miserable, can the other half rejoice?
Rinki Roy Bhattacharya's take on International Women's Day.
March 06, 2014
It's raining freebies in Maharashtra!
The Prithviraj Chavan government wants to retain its strongholds and ensure there is negligible anti-incumbency. That many of its decisions can run into legal problems is not an immediate worry, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
March 05, 2014
Why Mumbai's slum rehab plan does not work
Though launched in 1996, the slum replacement scheme has more or less bombed. Builders have not found the slum spaces attractive enough to build, harvest extra FSI for sale in open market thereby subsidising the rehabilitation, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Young voters, celebrate the Diwali of Indian democracy
Nobody is claiming that Indian democracy is perfect. Yet, all of us need to go out there and participate in the incredible event called Indian elections. Sheela Bhatt explains why. Goodbye Congress, goodbye UPA
The Congress party's only hope now lies in its desperate wish that an unstable conglomerate of non-BJP, non-Congress parties comes to power with its support and collapses within a couple of years by which time the party hopes to salvage whatever it can from the debris of 10 years of the UPA's incumbency, says Saroj Nagi.
March 03, 2014
Kunming knife attacks: China is playing with fire
Domestically, China's 'strike hard' policy is alienating Uighurs further in Xinjiang. China's quid pro quo with the Taliban is hardly any lasting solution to the Afghanistan crises or to regional security, says Srikanth Kondapalli. False Swaraj and fake Mahatmas
Arvind Kejriwal's every posture and mudra is carefully choreographed to resemble those of the original Mahatma, but the vision is stunted, the hidden agendas often leak out, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. The time will come when America can dictate to India
'A plausible American tactic,' Rajeev Srinivasan suspects, 'would be to try and prevent the BJP and Modi from coming to power by splitting the anti-Congress vote using the AAP, and in case that fails, to follow up with a Plan B to make India ungovernable, to create mass conflict through their agents.'
February 28, 2014
Narendra Modi's prime ministerial speech!
Narendra Modi's speech at the India Economic Convention was the best such oration since Atal Bihari Vajpayee addressed the nation from the Red Fort in the aftermath of Kargil, feels Shreekant Sambrani.
February 27, 2014
Hazare, Mamata and a tale of two fronts
Kisan Baburao Hazare is supporting Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and attempts are afoot to form an alternative Third Front. Will these alliances really work, asks Bharat Bhushan.
February 26, 2014
Will the soldiers at the Siachen Glacier get to vote?
The Election Commission must ensure that soldiers, paramilitary forces and railway employees who work outside their home states are given proper avenues to cast their votes, says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). A manifesto for the aam aadmi
The idea is to make unexceptionable broad promises so as to have the maximum freedom to devise policies if and when the opportunity arises, says Subir Roy.
February 25, 2014
RSS faces a different Modi wave
The Sangh's leadership has boxed itself into a tight situation. It now needs to wait and see if Modi can deliver in the Lok Sabha polls, says Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay.
February 24, 2014
Why Maharashtra's toll policy isn't wrong
Raj Thackeray and the MNS protested against tolls in Maharashtra to demonstrate that it still has political clout, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
February 21, 2014
Building a security architecture in the Asia-Pacific
Continued uncertainty or confrontation in the Asia-Pacific is clearly in no one's interest as it will affect major powers' attempts to restructure their economies and revive growth. Conflict would roll back the gains to each of our countries of 40 years of stability and peace, says Shivshankar Menon. Foreign policy, declassified
The external affairs ministry's files, as distinct from those of the ministry of defence or the agencies, at least from before 1974 should be declassified. And if select files that are more than 40 years old are not to be declassified, the ministry should follow explicit guidelines to justify taking such a view, says Jaimini Bhagwat.
February 20, 2014
How measly spending may jeopardise India's security
The allocation in the defence budget is inadequate to meet India's long-term threats, especially from China and Pakistan, says Gurmeet Kanwal. So much empty rhetoric
If Narendra Modi could tame his obsession with the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family, Arvind Kejriwal resist polishing his halo and Rahul Gandhi find his voice, we could begin a debate about the future of this country that actually addressed the seriousness of its problems, says Rahul Jacob. Let us give Rahul credit when he deserves it!
Kerala is one state where the Congress may do well in the general election and it where Rahul Gandhi has demonstrated why he is serious about rebuilding his party, says T V R Shenoy.
February 19, 2014
The Congress's bitter harvest over Telangana
With almost 300 seats to the Lok Sabha being dominated by regional outfits, the Congress has added to the list by giving space to more regional forces in the Seema-Andhra and Telangana regions, says Saroj Nagi. How Parliament is being sabotaged from within
It is quite likely that the Parliament itself could now attract people's scorn. That would be terrible, and not the people but the politicians would be responsible, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
February 17, 2014
China springs a surprise at border talks with India
China wants a code of conduct for troops on the India-China border areas. While the Indian side has reacted cautiously, it is not clear what effective additional protocols that the current proposed code will bring forth to usher stability in the border areas, says Srikanth Kondapalli. Why no centre-right political party in India today?
The truth is not that Chandrababu Naidu's centre-right policies led to his defeat but rather almost the reverse: his defeat, and for that matter that of the NDA at the Centre, was widely -- but falsely -- interpreted as a rejection of their economic policies, rather than put down to bad luck and conventional anti-incumbency., say Vivek Dehejia and Rupa Subramanya. The Wendy Doniger controversy: An Alternative View
In any controversy, the participants cannot decide who is right or wrong. A democracy has a process in place to settle these disputes: the judiciary. Dinanath Batra in true democratic fashion availed of that opportunity citizen and Penguin's decision was the outcome of a legitimate legal battle, says Vivek Gumaste.
February 14, 2014
The amazing vanishing trick of the Congress
As the nation heads toward the general election, the Congress fortunes have most likely dipped below the point of no return. The Modi-BJP juggernaut rolls along despite some hiccups. And the meteor that rose in the form of the AAP and its leader Arvind Kejriwal seems to be disintegrating, says Shreekant Sambrani. Why India-China friction persists
'After more than 20 years of understanding, nothing much seems to have been achieved. What the two countries have been trying to do is to manage the recurrence of border incursions. The two sides must address the disease, and not the symptom of the disease,' says Rup Narayan Das. Nido Tania's death, India's shame
Much of the negative perceptions of the north-east diaspora owe their origin and existence to the perverse policies of the central government toward the region and its people. This realisation must be the beginning of an earnest endeavour to address the issue, says R N Ravi. The method behind the AAP's madness
AAP is arguing quietly that indifference, alienation have to go. These are symptoms of disempowerment. For AAP, the battle to empower people demands new engagements with the marginals and corporations, says Shiv Visvanathan.
February 13, 2014
Hating Wendy
Devdutt Pattanaik responds to the decision by Penguin to withdraw and pulp Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus: An Alternative History. The 'unconventional' terrorists
A man with a grandfatherly moustache, another in saintly robes and reportage on the saffron face of terror that went unnoticed, says Bharat Bhushan. How Hindus for once used the legal system well
'The book was NOT banned. There were NO book burnings. There were NO riots. The author was NOT sent death-threats. On the contrary, the plaintiffs pursued due process. The case is a textbook example of how to proceed with civilised, democratic dissent,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.
February 12, 2014
The shadow of Afghanistan
We should be prepared for a phase of increased tensions in India-Pakistan relationship thanks to the evolving situation in Afghanistan, says Shyam Saran.
February 10, 2014
The last legal word on Modi's culpability has not been pronounced
One hopes the higher courts take the extraordinary steps needed to secure justice for the victims. The Gujarat carnage demands nothing less because of its unique nature and sponsorship by the State, argues Praful Bidwai. Why Arvind Kejriwal is unpalatable to the media
'For the first time in 66 years, here is a leader who democratically dares to take on the establishment by raising the right kind of questions. When will the poor get justice? For how many years will the migration of the poor to cities like Mumbai continue? How long will the poor sleep on the pavements and when will all this end?'
February 08, 2014
'BJP should long have outgrown RSS, but it hasn't done so'
If this election is about Narendra Modi, then it is also about the RSS, notes Mihir S Sharma.
February 07, 2014
UPA's attempts to frame Modi in Ishrat case have backfired: Jaitley
The damage done to India's intelligence agencies and its ability to undertake covert operations is irreparable, says senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley The Maoists will remain dangerous in 2014
Despite major setbacks, the Maoists' ability to inflict damage on the State and maintain its position as the saviour of the tribals will keep them relevant, says Bibhu Prasad Routray.
February 06, 2014
Lack of patience may wreck AAP's Lok Sabha dream
Perhaps Arvind Kejriwal got it right when he described the party as Shivji ki baraat. In other words, without the pejorative sense associated with it, a ragtag. New, and new to the business of government, it is faltering, notes Mahesh Vijapurkar. Sheela Kini: A forgotten voice of Mumbai
Neeta Kolhatkar remembers the housewife who took on mighty Maharashtra politicians over her husband's murder. Why I raised a banner of revolt against Mining
Dhirendra Mulkalwar, one of the protestors who raised a protest banner at Essar's Mumbai headquarters, on why he joined Greenpeace's Junglistan group that is working to save India's forests. The Election Circus comes to town!
Pre-election campaigns -- this one particularly -- are always about personalities, never about issues. Bashing one another is the best political parties can do. Or pandering to their constituencies -- religious, caste, economic or whatever. Best to just enjoy the show without expecting any electrifying performances, feels Sherna Gandhy. How India and Japan can redraw Asia's geopolitical map
India and Japan have a shared interest in countervailing China's hegemonic ambitions in Asia. Although neither has an interest in forming an overt anti-China alliance, Tokyo and New Delhi feel increasingly obligated to work together to find ways to guard against a muscular Beijing's power sliding into arrogance, says Brahma Chellaney.
February 05, 2014
Why Chidambaram is a disaster as finance minister
'Chidambaram, lots of people argue not without justification, is all about bluff and bluster without any concrete achievement on the ground. His record in the finance ministry fully endorses that view,' argues Virendra Kapoor. The crude dramatics of Arvind Kejriwal
'Arvind Kejriwal displayed crass male chauvinism and gender illiteracy in saying that "rape tendencies arise out of sex, prostitution and drug rackets." This shows a failure to grasp that rape has little to with sex, and even less with drugs. Such remarks are far worse than the deplorable comments of policemen and politicians who attribute rapes to women's "provocative" attire or their outdoor presence at night!' says Praful Bidwai.
February 04, 2014
Why there's no noise about the Mumbai riots
'No one talks about the Mumbai riots anymore, though like Delhi 1984, the guilty have not been punished. In Gujarat, many powerful leaders of the state's ruling party are in jail for their role in the riots... In Mumbai, only one politician of the Shiv Sena, a former MP, was convicted of hate speech, along with two other Shiv Sainiks, one of whom was a corporator and the other a junior functionary... So why the apathy? Could it be because despite these statistics and the widely-publicised findings of the Srikrishna Commission, what remained in public consciousness was the violence by the Muslims, thanks to a highly efficient Sena propaganda machine? There's no demand for it, but would an SIT probe into the closed cases of the Mumbai riots help today?' The fadeout of Mumbai's riots from public debate can be called a triumph of the communal State, argues Jyoti Punwani. Does the military threaten democracy?
An insecure political class, with little knowledge of the military, has unquestioningly internalised the fear that a powerful tri-service chief would threaten democracy, says Ajai Shukla.
February 03, 2014
Arun Jaitley: Third Front or the 'Losers' Front'?
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley feels the JD-U and SP, the prime movers behind the idea of Third Front, are 'potential losers' in their areas of influence, and are no match to Narendra Modi-led NDA.
February 01, 2014
Telangana formation an example of Congress's utter lack of statecraft
A well-intentioned cause for the creation of Telangana that fulfils the aspirations of the people has been made controversial on account of the lack of political management, says Arun Jaitley
January 31, 2014
Arun Jaitley: The Congress is nervous
As the elections appear closer, the nervousness in the Congress party has become more visible. Each one is frantically concerned about his own position rather than wanting the Congress party to get ready for a spirited fight. 2014 and the question of accountability
Rahul Gandhi thinks his imaginary Congress is the silver bullet; Narendra Modi thinks he himself is the silver bullet; Arvind Kejriwal seems to think that neighbourhood councils are a silver bullet. But none of them is right, says Mihir S Sharma.
January 30, 2014
TWO MISTAKES Rahul Gandhi made in his TV interview
Rahul Gandhi's press conference showed how cocooned he may be, that he does not brainstorm with a large enough group of party colleagues and senior leaders. But it also showed how difficult it is going to be to reform an entrenched organisation like the Congress from within, says Neerja Chowdhury. Martyrs Day musings: Our many republics
As we observe Martyrs' Day today, Mahatma Gandhi would have been dismayed by the number of vested interests that are seeking to carve out identities and spaces outside the Republic of India, says Shreekant Sambrani.
January 29, 2014
Vigilante justice, kh(AAP) style
Somnath Bharti's unlawful demand for a police raid at midnight on a house full of women, many of whom were African nationals, seemed to be based on the view that given the colour of their skin, their deeds must be black as well, notes Geetanjali Krishna. Why Rahul Gandhi got a thumbs-down for his TV interview
When you completely lack leadership qualities and have a problem facing the media, it isn't hard to see why Rahul Gandhi gets the bad press he does. In sum, he doesn't have it in him what it takes to be a great leader. Period, says Virendra Kapoor. AAP should beware of the Raj Narain syndrome
The initial misadventure of an individual AAP leader highlights how the party not only has to bone up on tactics but should also constantly look within to root out ingrained and inherited prejudices, says Subir Roy.
January 28, 2014
Why Rahul came across as half a leader on TV
Amethi's member of Parliament failed to use his first formal television interview to reach out to the people in general and the electorate in particular ahead of the crucial elections in which the Congress has already been written off by opinion polls and surveys. He did little to change that impression by failing to exploit the platform provided to him. Mr Rashtrapati, please tell how to repair the Republic!
'Since Pranab Mukherjee is the Custodian of the Constitution, he should present practical ideas to solve the problems he has been so outspokenly highlighting,' feels Sudheendra Kulkarni. What has Rahul to offer to this country: Arun Jaitley
BJP leader Arun Jaitley assesses Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's first ever television interview The first Gandhi-Nehru to be grilled on TV gets my vote
'Rahul Gandhi was not wrong in invoking the 2002 Gujarat riots but when Arnab Goswami threw the curve ball of judicial clean chit to Modi, he did not know what to say. A better-prepared man would have come back that it was not a question of judicial clean chits but about owing up moral responsibility, would have even cited AB Vajpayee's own rajdharma plea,' argues Saisuresh Sivaswamy. Image crisis hits AAP too early in life
A party of newbies which had anger as fuel and hope in its own capability to work wonders suddenly finds itself not only in government but put on fast forward by everyone. These are heavy burdens for a fledgeling party, to perform under a microscope. Transparency is what they promised, and they are in a glass house now, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Rahul came across as sincere, uncertain and evolving
'If he plays his cards well; develops a thicker political hide; complements his populist 'Left of centre' image with a sounder understanding of economics, foreign policy and national security; and plays the waiting game with fortitude, who knows, India may well have a rejuvenated Congress party with a reformer and a statesman as its leader in the years ahead.'
January 27, 2014
Is Kejriwal an anarchist or an alchemist?
Aam Aadmi Party member Sanju Verma on what constitutes modern-day anarchy and why AAP is the only political party that can make a real difference.
January 26, 2014
Quality of politics in India needs to improve: Arun Jaitley
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley raises concerns about governance, terrorism and women's safety on Republic Day. India needs to return to Dharma
Without civilisational moorings, India, more a sub-continent than a country, could not exist. Primacy of Dharma has been the cornerstone of Indian civilisation, says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
January 25, 2014
Debunking AAP's 'democratisation' of justice
Now that the Aam Aadmi Party has uploaded 'evidences' in the form of videos, it has sought to democratise the legal process as now the public can also judge.
January 24, 2014
Why India-Japan ties are critical in containing China
As Japan beefs up its defences against China, both New Delhi and Tokyo seem to have decided to re-energise their relationship to ensure a strategic balance in Asia. It is a clear signal that they may be ready to work together in containing if not confronting China, says Nitin Gokhale.
January 23, 2014
Congress has nothing to sell, nothing to show to India: Jaitley
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley on why the Congress may end up getting its lowest figure in the history of Indian parliamentary elections. The challenges before China's strongman
Xi Jinping has accumulated great power, but he faces trials that are just as great, says Claude Smadja. Tharoor and Pushkar: A Twitter tragedy
'From envy, heartburn and broken hearts to broken marriages, much damage has been done by unintended revelations in the social media. Suspicious partners bring out hidden relationships, which may never have come to light and hell breaks lose in many lives,' warns T P Sreenivasan.
January 22, 2014
The three parties get battle-ready
The Congress,BJP and AAP have carved out clear constituencies for themselves. Some of them may overlap with one another, but they seem to have positioned themselves well, says A K Bhattacharya.
January 21, 2014
Untoward leaders, but the AAP is on course
Dismissing Kejriwal as an anarchist and trying to corner him on that score is unfair because the AAP is unlike any other party we have so far seen. It takes its strength directly from the people not just by way of votes but being participatory in its decisions, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Anarchy cannot be alternate politics: Arun Jaitley
AAP has displayed scant regard for the Rule of Law. Its conduct is a challenge to constitutionalism, says BJP leader Arun Jaitley Why I support the AAP on the streets of Delhi
Is it not time that we raised our voices and said 'I am worried about my country' rather than state, 'Why am I worried?' asks Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
January 20, 2014
Why the BJP cannot compromise on Article 370
Article 370 is a golden cage that keeps Kashmiris trapped in a stifling environment, deters other Indians from investing in the state perpetuating its economic penury and expressly hinders the understanding of India; all under the false premise of preserving a narrow parochial identity, says Vivek Gumaste. The implications of President Park's state visit to India
South Korean President Park Geun-hye's visit to India will enhance economic and military ties between the two countries and give the relationship a strategic dimension, says Jiye Kim. Beware, this 'impatience' with Democracy!
'People see problems not being solved, they get tired of waiting, they start asking for a "strong leader" -- and what they really mean is a "dictator". They think that will fix everything. But it won't.' A German resident in India tells Dilip D'Souza about Hitler and the Nazis and why he is disturbed by what he sees in present-day India. Dear Mr Kejriwal...
I'm still rooting for you, because you may yet be able to do something good for Delhi. But you and your party will have to get a reality check and some discipline, says Mitali Saran. Can Rahul give the Congress a winning idea for Election 2014?
'Some in the Congress believe the party should, somewhat brazenly, claim the cause of fighting corruption as its own. But the Congress's idea of fighting corruption is nothing but tinkering with laws, it lacks the stomach to take on the corrupt,' feels T V R Shenoy. Don't leave diplomacy to diplomats
The perfunctory management of external affairs has left India's foreign policy establishment largely unprepared to manage the consequences of dramatic international developments, says Nitin Pai. Terrorism is now global and local
A disparate global network of violent fundamentalist Islamic groups threatens India's eastern flank as much as the north and west with a real possibility of these spilling over into our borders, says Shyam Saran.
January 19, 2014
24 years on, nothing has changed for the exiled Kashmiri Pandits
The Government of India has failed Kashmiri Pandits as they are still living as refugees in their own country. The state as well as the central government has not taken substantial measures till date for the return of Kashmiri Pandits back to the valley, says Varad Sharma
January 17, 2014
5 takeaways from Rahul Gandhi's AICC speech
A never-seen-before Rahul Gandhi exuded toughness and aggression. And it was not only about the words he used to castigate the opposition but his dialogue delivery, facial expressions, overall body language that conveyed a different, more confident Gandhi, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy. Why the Congress developed cold feet on Rahul
May be it is a belated realisation of reality on part of the Congress. If there is no prospect of forming a government, why announce Rahul Gandhi as a prime ministerial candidate, says Arun Jaitley.
January 16, 2014
2014 poll: Which party will be most friendly to women's causes?
2014 will be a watershed election. Much is at stake and much needs to be changed. Women need their voice to be heard and they need representation with real power, says Sunanda Vashist. Will the Lion win? Or will the Congress's foxes survive?
'The present-day Congress party does not lack leaders who want a Rahul-led Congress to taste electoral success, but wish he fails in his efforts to cleanse the party.' Congress out, BJP down, where does AAP stand?
The AAP has adopted policies in an ad hoc manner, without thinking them through or deriving them from a broader framework. This must change if the AAP is to become a credible alternative, says Praful Bidwai.
January 15, 2014
Namdeo Dhasal: A poet with a panther's hunger for justice
Sudheendra Kulkarni pays tribute to friend, poet and Dalit activist Namdeo Dhasal who passed into the ages on Wednesday. This Khobrage won't go away for a long time
'A senior US diplomat last week asked me when things will go back to normal. I had to tell her that if normalcy meant getting back these perks, it is not going to happen for a very long time, if ever at all,' says Mohan Guruswamy. 'For the Indian public now is outraged that US diplomats have enjoyed all these winking at the rulebook.' Foreign hand behind Bluestar? Tell us the truth: Jaitley
Recently declassified documents reveal that the Indian government wanted to invade the sacred precincts of the Golden Temple even if it hurt national interest, says senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley. Why AAP won't be able to fulfil its Lokpal promise
Arvind Kejriwal's most awaited Lokpal bill may remain just a poll promise. The proposed Lokpal cannot exercise any police power, say advocate Vishwanath Chaturvedi.
January 14, 2014
India-South Korea's win-win strategic partnership
The visit of Park Geun-Hye to India, though a symbolic one, will certainly give a further impetus to the strategic partnership between the two countries says Rup Narayan Das. Seizing momentum for expanding ties with South Korea
Both India and South Korea will use President Park Geun-hye's visit to unveil a comprehensive programme for mutual benefit and impacting on regional security environment, says Srikanth Kondapalli.
January 13, 2014
Swami Vivekananda: India's anchor rock
In his approach to national problems and issues Vivekananda was perhaps the first one to call for a national struggle against the challenges of material existence. While recognising the need for re-discovering and rekindling the spiritual aim of existence, the Swami did not neglect to recognise the demands of the other existence as well, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. May the Arctic chill pass
Wiser diplomatic heads must restore sanity to Indo-US relations The Americans have mocked India's judicial system
'Evacuating' Devyani's maid's family from India on T visas -- associated with severe sex or labour trafficking... The maximum number of persons thus evacuated by the US from foreign countries last year was from India... A thorough investigation of this is required at India's end,' says former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal, 'with the US warned that such interference in India's judicial system will not be tolerated.' Can farmer leader dent Cong-NCP in western Maharashtra?
The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana has joined the saffron alliance in Maharashtra. Will the votes it brings to the table loosen the political hold of the entrenched Maratha-dominated sugar barons of the NCP-Congress in western Maharashtra? AAP's campaign costs leave parties no justification for graft
It is not yet clear how many Lok Sabha constituencies would see Aam Aadmi Party's candidates in the fray. If those seats are fought and won the way the 28 assembly seats were in Delhi, it can end the usual excuse for corruption: high election costs, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Exclusive! 'What did you achieve by making an example out of Devyani?'
'Let's talk a bit about minimum and overtime wages, since that is a topic so dear to everyone's heart. After all, critics say that heartless Devyani paid poor Sangeeta neither the minimum wages nor overtime wages and since "in this country we don't do it this way," she deserves to go to jail. But the FLSA itself makes several occupations exempt from either payment of minimum wages or from overtime wages or both. Disabled people need not be paid minimum wages under FLSA. Seamen on American vessels have to be paid minimum wages but seamen on other than American vessels need not be. So how fair is the Fair Labor Standards Act,' asks Sharmista Khobragade, diplomat Devyani Khobragade's sister. Is citizen sting operation legally tenable?
CCTVs will readily be accepted as evidence by courts of law, whereas the evidence produced through spy cams always run the risk of being questioned as being a work of photography trick, says S Murlidharan
January 10, 2014
Biggest challenge of 2014: The future of the India-US alliance
'India-US relations seem to have soured when the US expected India to not only balance China in the Asia-Pacific, but also make concessions to Pakistan as a price for US technological help,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). Sour and sweet end to the Devyani drama
The dent on India-US relations caused by L'affaire Devyani will not remain for long as those will be determined by strategic and economic considerations, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
January 08, 2014
Why the AAP needs to watch out
Now that the AAP has turned from an anti-corruption movement to a political party running a government in New Delhi, it may find that the media is no more a collaborator, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. The Lokpal is no magic wand to fight corruption
A more informed electorate, rather than the Lokpal, can fight corruption better, argues Neeta Kolhatkar. Muzaffarnagar riot-hit victims still stuck in nowhere land
The last batch of post-riot refugees are stuck between the government and camp patrons who have gone from being benefactors to opportunists, says Sreenivasan Jain
January 07, 2014
Wake up Mulayam, AAP is round the corner
Controlled communal tension is useful in ensuring continued Muslim support. Fear of the BJP is a requirement for both, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, to keep their Muslim vote bank in line, says Saeed Naqvi. What the GSLV launch means for India's space programme
It is important for India to develop multiple launch sites and become capable of undertaking more launches in a year's time, says Ajey Lele. 4 ways the Congress won power through Constitutional coups
Since 2004 the Congress has hung onto power in a situation in which it was on track to be out of power. In each case, it effectively gamed the system through Constitutional coups, argues columnist Rajeev Srinivasan.
January 06, 2014
Will Kejriwal wreck Modi's dream?
The Bharatiya Janata Party's forward march has slowed down. Can Arvind Kejriwal eclipse Narendra Modi in the upcoming general election? Modi, feels Praful Bidwai, may have peaked too soon and Arvind Kajriwal's politics may find new takers.
January 03, 2014
Manmohan Singh demeaned PM's office today: Jaitley
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely tears into Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's press conference, and remarks that the 'formality' ended as a 'farce'.
December 31, 2013
Rahul recasts himself to walk the fire
Despite the recent electoral reverses, Rahul is getting ready to walk the fire once more. The question is whether he will get burned or burnished in the process, says Saroj Nagi.
December 30, 2013
The Indian Spring: Lessons for the world
The Indian Spring represented by Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign, which has culminated in the Aam Aadmi Party's impressive electoral debut in New Delhi, began around the same time as the Arab Spring in 2011 but they led to different outcomes in India and the Arab world, says Ramesh Ramachandran. 2014 may be the worst year in Congress history
Crores of first-time voters will vote against the Congress -- and tens of crores of existing voters shall do the same. The challenges the Congress shall face after the general election of 2014 may be the most severe that the party has ever tackled, says T V R Shenoy. Cong leaders have put party on life support in Maharashtra
A divided party -- not the quashing of the Adarsh report -- will spell doom for the Congress in Maharashtra, argues Neeta Kolhatkar.
December 27, 2013
'US stance on Modi can recoil on them'
For the US to proclaim Modi guilty even when there was no evidence against him despite investigations and re-investigation amounts to immature diplomacy. It constitutes interference in India's internal affairs, says BJP leader Arun Jaitley. Snooping target: How UIDAI puts India at risk
Isn't National Intelligence Grid and UIDAI engineered by vested interests, asks Gopal Krishna. How the AAP can take advantage of India's changing political equations
If the AAP wins 20 to 40 Lok Sabha seats, which is conceivable unless it botches up on governance in Delhi, it will become a significant bloc comparable in influence to or even bigger than several major regional parties, feels Praful Bidwai. L'Affaire Khobragade: Unprecedented winter of discontent for India, US
'The diplomat's arrest has led to a major diplomatic spat, the likes of which I have not seen in my nearly three decades of covering the US-India relationship, says Aziz Haniffa. 'The knee-jerk reaction by the powers-that-be in Delhi was myopic to say the least.' Arvind Kejriwal, This is the chief minister to emulate
The media and social media are abuzz about the no-frills style of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Delhi's to-be-CM Arvind Kejriwal, both very unusual politicians in today's India. But India has not seen a chief minister like Nripen Chakraborty whose spartan lifestyle and frugal habits were the subject of legend.
December 26, 2013
Why is Maharashtra trying to curb liquor sales?
Will the state forgo its lucrative excise collections in a bid to curb sales of liquor in the festive season, asks Mahesh Vijapurkar. The diplomat's arrest: The Tuticorin connection
Is Devyani Khobragade's arrest connected to India detaining an anti-piracy ship owned by a US security firm, asks Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). Why NRIs from California supported the AAP
'I know of at least one techie who quit his job to join the AAP in Delhi. Many others traveled to India to volunteer during the election. If you ask these volunteers why they were doing it when they can't even vote in India, they say, "We want a corruption-free India".' Ritu Jha looks back on the year that was; it was party time, she says, for news junkies like her.
December 24, 2013
Will JMMM rule India next?
'No, that is not an abbreviation for the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha,' says T V R Shenoy, 'but for J Jayalalithaa-Mamata Banerjee-Mayawati-Mulayam Singh Yadav... If the AIADMK, the Trinamool Congress, and other regional forces do extremely well, we could be heading for a repetion of the 9th Lok Sabha (1989 to 1991) and the 11th Lok Sabha (1996 to 1998), each of which saw multiple prime ministers and neither of which lasted even half of its five-year term.'
December 23, 2013
Domestic workers need more protection in India
From mistreatment, sexual harassment to low wages, domestic workers are in a poor state in India with hardly any legal protections, says Neeta Kolhatkar. China, India and the New Asia
'It was China's rise that caused the New Cold War in Asia as it prompted the United States to rebalance its forces in Asia to experiment with engagement and containment at the same time,' says T P Sreenivasan. How the AAP can end up helping Modi and the BJP
'The AAP is likely to take root in some metropolises -- although it won't be easy to replicate the small-scale Delhi model with equal intensity or cadre-strength in a large state,' says Praful Bidwai. We don't need the Americans to tell us what to do!
'When all the facts are known, if they ever are, it will likely turn out that both Ms Khobragade and Ms Richard might have been at fault and so too might both governments be faulted, the US for a needlessly aggressive approach in the first place and India for its ham-handed response in the early stages of the affair,' says Rupa Subramanya. Why the India-US relationship is in such a mess
'Just how strong were the ties between the world's largest and oldest democracies that an incident involving a diplomat and a maid led to anger threatening the relationship itself? Or had the relationship been weakening in the past few years, masked by the empty symbolism of State dinners, asks Devesh Kapur. Kejriwal's political gamble is a minefield
By agreeing to form the government in New Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has taken a gamble where his reputation has been put on mortgage.'s Sheela Bhatt looks at the road ahead for Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party.
December 22, 2013
Corruption is bleeding our people dry
Following is the full text of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's speech at FICCI's 86th annual general meeting on Saturday:
December 20, 2013
India-US spat: Long journeys are not terminated midway
'If the Americans believed that India is as strong as China or Russia, would they have shown this scant respect for us,' asks Tarun Vijay, MP. 'An economically strong and militarily powerful India would never have had this experience. Not just the Americans, everyone in this world respects might. China receives respect, India gets the law book.' Indifferent India allows Chinese land grab on the border
People on the Ladakh sector of the border with China are compelled to ponder over a heart ripping prospect of a future in China -- a country they viscerally hate for steadily usurping their land. Their swelling disillusionment and popular frustration with India is fraught with grave geo-strategic and national security implications for the country. New Delhi's morbid indifference is indeed frightening, says R N Ravi. Devyani case: Why the US needs to apologise quickly!
'If at all,' says Suhasini Haidar, Foreign Affairs Editor, CNN-IBN, 'Devyani Khobragade is to avoid facing a full trial, the process of that negotiation must start immediately, for which the current acrimonious atmosphere must be improved. It is no more than the US was willing to do for Raymond Davis; the Italian government for its sailors; and India for Captain Sunil James and Vijayan in Togo. Devyani Khobragade is not accused of charges anywhere as serious they were, and whether Preet Bharara's office recognises it or not, she is a diplomat who represents a proud country that has taken the insult to her as a personal insult to the country.'
December 19, 2013
Has the UPA lost the will to rule?
It is now an under-statement to call the UPA a lame duck government. It is in fact a dead duck, says Arun Jaitley. What Khurshid Anwar's suicide should tell the media
It is absolutely essential to prevent an atmosphere of trial and execution from being created on the larger issue of sexual assault, so that there can be a dispassionate understanding of every case, instead of irresponsible outpourings on television channels run by unaccountable anchors, says Seema Mustafa.
December 18, 2013
Judicially inappropriate speech
Supreme Court advises temperance in criticising judges who make bona fide errors, says M J Antony Poll position: Can Aam Aadmi Party be second-time lucky?
A closer analysis of the Delhi election results suggests that the Aam Aadmi Party, despite a stunning debut, may actually be on shakier ground if another election were held, says Venkat Goli. Has one person crossed over to Pakistan due to the Gujarat riots?
'Pluralism is a fundamental fact of Indian life,' Colonel Anil A Athale (retd) tells members of the US Congress. 'Indians created a secular/plural State because that is what the majority believes in and not the other way round.'
December 16, 2013
Why India needs to think carefully about its Afghan policy
As the western forces prepare to leave Afghanistan in the coming year, India stands at a crossroads where it remains keen to preserve its interests in Afghanistan but has refused to step up its role as a regional security provider. New Delhi needs to recognise that there is no short-cut to major power status, says Harsh V Pant Can AAP replace the Left as the fulcrum of a 3rd Front?
Arvind Kejriwal's party will need around 50 seats to make a pitch for the Left's space in national politics. For that, it will have to contest more than one third of the Lok Sabha seats, points out Saroj Nagi. Don't Forgive! Don't Forget!
The young woman who was raped on December 16 gave us courage. To stand up. To protest the crimes that had been committed against us. To fight back. Can the AAP model be replicated in Mumbai?
What the AAP becomes eventually in New Delhi will impact whether citizens would want such a model replicated in Mumbai or opt for one from the existing system, says Neeta Kolhatkar. Nanny Terror in New York
No theory would ever justify the public humiliation of the acting head of the consulate of a friendly country. Whatever be the eventual solution, grievous damage has been done to her personally and to the relations between the two countries, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
December 15, 2013
Arrogance, AAP and Rahul Gandhi
Arrogance can never be strength. It is a mask for lack of confidence. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's press conference on December 14 only reaffirms this. Hope the Aam Aadmi Party learns this lesson as well, says Arun Jaitley What SC really said about Section 377
The Supreme Court seeks to clear anti-gay assumptions surrounding Section 377, says Sreelatha Menon
December 14, 2013
The law is an ass
Section 377 is a colonial relic of a law that makes it criminal to have "carnal intercourse against the order of nature," says Mitali Saran Dignity moves forward
Rather than talking about Khajuraho and Shikhandi, the argument should be about a Constitution that promised rights to all, says Mihir S Sharma
December 13, 2013
Why the Congress needs to sack this man for survival
'The Congress can't return to power unless it reins in prices, lowers interest rates, taxes the rich,' says Praful Bidwai. 'If this means sacking those most responsible for the UPA's pro-big business policies including Finance Minister Chidambaram, so be it!' If Modi can ride on anti-Cong wave, so can Kejriwal
Could the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP become the rallying point of new energies that are getting unleashed all over urban India, in quest for a different kind of politics, to such an extent that he can rein in Narendra Modi? It all depends on how it pans out its politics in the coming weeks, says Neerja Chowdhury.
December 12, 2013
Sec 377 ruling throws India back into the dark ages
'A progressive judgment could have moved India forward, given hope to millions of young homosexual men and women, by telling them that there is nothing wrong with them, their feelings and emotions are fine, that it is natural and alright for them to be attracted to people of their own gender and to express love as they wish to.
December 11, 2013
Delhi election results: Political pundits don't get it
The AAP will face the more determined BJP at the next round in Delhi. Sure it would have to counter a Modi-led campaign but hasn't it already weathered that? In the re-poll, AAP would not need to bother much about the decimated Congress, down on both moral and image. All it needs to do is stay the ground till then, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Aam Admi Party: Politics cannot ask for more hope
There is a leader in every man waiting for the right moment. The Aam Admi Party has found it and is already ready with its list for the Lok Sabha. The challenge is enormous but the future beckons the way it had never, before, feels sociologist Shiv Vishvanathan. Success mantra of Kejriwal and Co
Sreenivasan Jain explains how the Aam Aadmi Party excelled in the Delhi assembly polls
December 10, 2013
The Yogi arrives: A warning for Narendra Modi
'The Congresswallahs will hope that Arvind Kejriwal's oratory and confidence will be the anti-aircraft guns to Narendra Modi's airwave-capturing force. Both Kejriwal and Modi speak Hindi well. Both are supremely self-confident about their agenda and vision. Some of their catch-phrases -- 'Vande Mataram' and 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' -- are identical. Both are inspiring figures for their cadres. Both are not hesitant at all to wear their faith in Bhagwan on their foreheads on public platforms.' Sheela Bhatt believes that the 2014 election will be a Kejriwal versus Modi battle. Congress now faces a serious leadership crisis
A clean sweep for the BJP and the emergence of the AAP do not look good for the Congress, which now faces a serious leadership crisis, says Bharat Bhushan Are women drivers Saudi Arabia's gravest threat?
The winds of revolution are blowing all over the Arab world. A bit, slowly in Saudi Arabia, perhaps, but nevertheless. Some women did drive, defying the ban and were duly arrested. But the day is not long, may be, just another century at most, when women can actually drive, in women-only lanes, of course, says B S Prakash.
December 09, 2013
The six big lessons of the assembly polls
If I were the BJP, I would not be celebrating quite so quickly. It can sweep its heartland in 2014, as it has shown it can do, but that heartland isn't quite big enough. And it can put up a good fight in towns and cities, too - but unless it neutralises AAP or similar political entrepreneurs, it may find itself tantalisingly short, just as has happened to it in Delhi, says Mihir Sharma.
December 08, 2013
How a complacent Congress lost the plot in Madhya Pradesh
Despite the strong anti-incumbency sentiment against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, the Congress neither had the strategy nor an organisation to cash in, says N D Sharma 12 ways the Congress can fight back!
Rahul's time is not now, only Sonia Gandhi can lead the Congress into the 2014 final, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy. 2014 will not be about Modi versus Rahul alone
Modi will need to understand that the formula for success will have to be Local Leaders + Modi and not Modi alone...Shivraj Singh Chouhan is in the running for prime minister... The AAP will have to ally with other parties if it hopes to make any dent in the Lok Sabha election. Dr B Venkatesh Kumar, Professor at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, lists some learnings from the 2013 assembly election results. AAP halts BJP advance in Delhi
With Congress hubris reduced to ashes and the BJP's advance halted -- a new political force has made its entry in the turbulent waters of Indian politics. It is a new force, with people who seem to be ready to learn and who have, at every step so far, responded by taking seriously all the criticisms that were levelled at it, says Aditya Nigam.
December 07, 2013
Reading the political tea leaves
The significance of the Assembly poll results will be more psychological than real for the impending parliamentary elections, says Bharat Bhushan.
December 06, 2013
How Nelson Mandela avoided the partition of South Africa!
His other big achievement -- of avoiding a partition of South Africa against a determined bid by Zulu chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi has not received much attention. He was thus a Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln rolled into one. Preserving a united South Africa against western intrigues was indeed a signal achievement, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. Nelson Mandela will always remain relevant
'The young generation will find its own Mandela when they fight and struggle for a just society,' says Tridip Suhrud, director, Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad. A strategic tsunami: Transformation in Indo-Japanese relations
In the media frenzy over inconsequential issues, the visit of the Emperor of Japan to India has been pushed to the margins of public discourse. Colonel (retd) Anil Athale explains the great historical and political significance of the visit.
December 05, 2013
After Sunday, is there a way out for the Congress?
Sunday's results may be a bitter pill that the Congress has to swallow -- that its future cannot be hitched to Rahul unless he can resonate with the people, feels Saroj Nagi. State polls: Advantage BJP, but it is not a Modi wave
While Narendra Modi is the talisman of his party, it is still not certain if he can claim this space among the people of India, says Seema Mustafa. Will 2014 elections reduce UPA to a 'lame duck' govt?
If the poll surveys pointing to a near-whitewash for the Congress in the five assembly elections are any indication, the United Progressive Alliance government it heads will find it increasingly difficult to govern, as it will now have to contend with an aggressive opposition and far more assertive allies. The situation is unlikely to improve even after the session ends as the looming 2014 Lok Sabha elections will reduce the UPA to a 'lame duck' government, feels Anita Katyal
December 04, 2013
Debating Article 370 is an expression of confidence in our strength
When Narendra Modi called for a debate on 370, he was simply reiterating a demand made long back, it was not a dilution of any stated position, nor was it a display of opportunism, it was rather a demand for the assertion of India's unity, says Dr Anirban Ganguly.
December 03, 2013
The mirage that is the Aam Aadmi Party
AAP has been vociferous since its inception and has mainly raised issues pertaining to corruption. A political party must have crisp and specific standon all issues which concern the nation not just corruption or secularism; and AAP has failed to deliver on all these counts, says Aditya Shah and Aadit Kapadia. Why the Gandhis need to come clean on their wealth
Could this reluctance be tied to the family's projection of themselves as the last bastion of the aam-aadmi's interests? Do they fear that a full disclosure of their not-inconsiderable assets would go against their carefully-cultivated pro-poor image, wonders Saisuresh Sivaswamy. A scientific disaster unfolds in Bhopal
The world had lost an opportunity to know long-term toxic effects of Methyl Isocyanate which had leaked from the Union Carbide factory on the night of December 2, 1984, because government research agencies have lost track of a bulk of survivors, says Dinesh C Sharma.
December 02, 2013
Why the Shiv Sena is in turmoil
At a time when elections, both Parliament and assembly are round the corner, die-hard Shiv Sainiks believe that Uddhav needs to reconcile with some important leaders, because they can make or break the party's performance, says Neeta Kolhatkar. Why we should be concerned about the Indian Army's future
The army of the future needs a system of transparency and research. An open sociology of the army is a democratic necessity. An openness of information is a necessity of the army of the future fighting the next peace and next war on behalf of society, says social scientist Shiv Visvanathan. India-Japan relations: Economic content combined with strategic intent
In recent years India-Japan relations have acquired rich economic content and strategic intents. Although the bilateral trade at $18 billion between the two countries is not very impressive and leaves much to be desired, the economic engagement between the two countries is both qualitatively and quantitatively noteworthy. India-Japan defence cooperation, however, has generated a lot interest among the strategic community in the context of rise of China. There has been a lot of speculation about India-Japan strategic partnership to hedge China, says Rup Narayan Das.
November 30, 2013
The shamefully archaic conversation on rape
Beware the 'educated' man who thinks he is on women's side, says Vikram Johri
November 29, 2013
Geneva deal: Is Iran ready to get back into world mainstream?
The Geneva agreement is a signal, which at least Saudi Arabia and Israel are so reading, that normalisation of relations between US and Iran is not merely about the nuclear fuel cycle, says K C Singh. 'Axis of evil' now a pivot of peace?
The implications of the interim deal between Iran and the world's big powers go far beyond the nuclear programme, says Nitin Pai Failing to curb Iran
The deal with Iran does not address any of the major issues thrown up by Tehran's ambitions, says Claude Smadja. Why the deal between Iran and the West is a win-win for most
It is easy to foretell that negotiating a comprehensive and final agreement on the Iran nuclear issue is by no means an easy task. It involves hard negotiations, but the hardest step has been taken, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar, who was among the first group of foreigners to visit the the top-secret Arak plant hidden behind barren mountains south of Tehran.
November 28, 2013
26/11: Is this the way a nation pays homage to its heroes?
How can a State be so criminally neglectful towards the safety of its citizens, asks Tarun Vijay.
November 27, 2013
Pakistan army chief: Nawaz picks fellow Kashmiri, ignores seniority
Pundits in Pakistan and also some western diplomats are predicting that the next army chief will be forced, partly by institutional pressure and partly by circumstances, to indulge in some tough talking with the civilian leadership. How the civil-military equation settles in this sort of a situation is something that will determine the future of Pakistani politics, and also Pakistan's relations with rest of the world, says Sushant Sareen. Post the 26/11 attacks, have we learnt nothing?
We continue to be what we were before 26/11-- sitting ducks, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Generals must unhurriedly prepare a media plan
The military knows very little about the world of journalism and has no plan in place to learn more, says Ajai Shukla Performance of governance has to descend to specifics
Candidates in the current state elections must be made to offer specific promises against which their performance can be measured, says Indira Rajaraman
November 26, 2013
How to fix Pakistan's Mad Mullahs and prevent another 26/11
'The Kuber left Porbandar on the Saurashtra coast on November 14 and was next traced in Mumbai on November 26. It is a mystery where this boat was for 12 days. It was claimed that the Kuber was hijacked on open seas. Would the LeT have planned such an elaborate operation on the chance that they would be able to hijack a boat,' asks Colonel Anil A Athale (retd) on the fifth anniversary of the 26/11 attacks.
November 25, 2013
Revealed: What goes on in many newsrooms
'One editor at the time of hiring journalists told a female journalist, "Forget this job interview, I would like to give you a great massage on the beach in Goa".' Neeta Kolhatkar unveils the sordid world of many newsrooms in the country.
November 22, 2013
A leaf out of Tehelka braveheart's book of bravery
He ceases to be a father, a brother, an uncle, a husband, a teacher or a boss the moment he violates your dignity. It's never easy to talk about the horror, but it's essential to, says Gauri Ghadi. If they can vote, why can't YOU?!
'It is understandable if voters in Chhattisgarh are so scared of Naxalite vengeance that two-thirds of them stay away from the polling stations. But that excuse simply does not hold true in a Delhi, a Mumbai, or a Bengaluru -- precisely the three cities whose inhabitants seem to whine loudest on Internet fora,' says T V R Shenoy.
November 21, 2013
How can an offence of rape be compromised by 'atonement': Arun Jaitley
Why was Tarun Tejpal's offence not allowed to be reported forthwith? Were any pressures brought on the victim not to lodge a complaint, wonders Arun Jaitley Mr Tejpal, enough is enough!
What gives Tarun Tejpal the right to decide his punishment, asks A Woman In Today's India. Why Tarun Tejpal must not get away
Tarun Tejpal was a rare editor who mostly allowed his team to function without thinking of consequences from advertisers and politicians, and a stunning writer.
November 20, 2013
Vietnam: The fulcrum of India's 'look east' policy
India-Vietnam relationship has its own imperatives and dynamism. In India's look east policy Vietnam has been the major pivot, at least in terms of security and strategic imperatives, says Rup Narayan Das. Sittings of constitution benches have become a rarity
Constitutional questions referred to larger benches of the Supreme Court long ago have literally gathered dust, says M J Antony
November 19, 2013
Lessons for India from the US cyber espionage saga
Today, the biggest challenge for any state is to evolve indigenous hardware options. It is important for the states like Germany, India etc to increase their stakes in the global IT setup and this could allow them to control the US domination, says Ajey Lele. India's Mars mission isn't about science, but spectacle
The Mars mission is overwhelmingly irrelevant to space science and won't advance the frontiers of knowledge. It will divert attention from the real technological challenges facing the Indian space programme, and will further distort our science and technology priorities, says Praful Bidwai. China sets new path, how should India respond?
'India and China are at new inflection points, domestically and internationally. India needs to throw up a new leader whose vision is clear, experience laden with wisdom and articulation brimming with restraint and tolerance,' says Ambassador K C Singh. The Saudis, the Iranians and us
Further deterioration of the US-Saudi relationship will have geo-economic and geopolitical effects, says Nitin Pai.
November 18, 2013
Who killed the ISRO's cryogenic engine?
Rajeev Srinivasan on the disastrous after-effects of a made-up spying incident Bharat Ratna to Prof CNR Rao comes as icing on the cake
Research and teaching have remained Professor Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao's first priority and first love, and that is what sets him apart, says Dinesh C Sharma What lies behind Saudi-Pak nuclear weapons cooperation
The Saudi-Pakistan nuclear weapons cooperation is meant to sound alarm bells in Washington, reminding the Obama administration that its overtures to Iran would have serious negative consequences in terms of its ties with its closest allies in the region, says Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad. Exclusive to
November 17, 2013
One year on, the Thackeray legacy needs strong shoulders
As Uddhav Thackeray consolidates his hold over the Shiv Sena, conflict within the ranks seems inevitable, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
November 16, 2013
A year since Bal Thackeray, Uddhav's challenge is about to begin
In the one year since his father, Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray's death, Uddhav may not have done much, but the coming months will show if it was time wasted or spent in useful strategy-making, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
November 15, 2013
Why India must remember Sardar Patel
Leaders of today can pay homage to Sardar Patel by being realists, calling a spade a spade, having sound advisors, playing to our strengths etc, says Sanjeev Nayyar.
November 14, 2013
Why the communal turn to politics should be avoided at all cost
The way communal politics has become the only way to decide political discourse is unfortunate and bad sign for the future of democracy, says Syed Hassan Kazim
November 13, 2013
CBI chief's clarification is worse than his remark on rape
Ranjit Sinha has not only insulted every woman in the land, he has angered the sensibilities of every right thinking citizen of the land with his crass remark, says A Ganesh Nadar. Why I'm outraged by the CBI director's remarks
It's not Mr Sinha's analogy (if that's what it really was) that disturbs me but the fact that it was a completely normal thing for him to say. This is the head of the country's leading investigative organisation. What kind of opinions do the ones below him hold, asks Paloma Sharma. Why PM should have taken the flight to Sri Lanka
The prime minister should have visited Sri Lanka, armed with a critique of the Rajapakse government based on nuance and fact, says Srinivasan Jain Nothing ever changes in Indian politics!
The list of candidates contesting elections in the current round of assembly polls shows that not much has changed with regard to political parties' approach to candidates with a criminal track record. A K Bhattacharya explains
November 12, 2013
Looking for the real Sardar Patel
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's sage advice remains as relevant today as it was during his lifetime, says Vivek Gumaste.
November 11, 2013
CBI @ 50: PM vows to protect its legality
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lauded the Central Bureau of Investigation as it completed 50 years during an address to senior officers at the at international conference on 'Evolving common strategies to combat corruption and crime.' Communal riots and the Indian Mujahideen
There are many reasons why one joins a terrorist outfit. But to point at one factor as the single most crucial one to the formation and actions of the Indian Mujahideen is a political explanation, not strategic, says Bibhu Prasad Routray
November 09, 2013
Nitish's loss may be Modi's gain
Governance was Nitish Kumar's USP among voters in Bihar -- it is now being appropriated by the Gujarat chief minister, says Aditi Phadnis
November 08, 2013
The case for banning opinion polls
A recent academic paper on probability theory shows how beliefs are influenced by interpretations of data rather than the data itself, says T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan.
November 07, 2013
Why Modi is constructing a 'taller' leader
In embarking on building the world's tallest statue, Modi is hoping his stature will also rise - if not across India then at least in Gujarat, says Bharat Bhushan. This actress deserves our thanks for speaking up
'Mere 'literacy' is not the same thing as 'education', which involves conceding that others have rights, and that one of those prerogatives is a woman's right to dignity. In 2012, the Kerala police registered 1,474 cases of rape, of which 455 victims were children,' says T V R Shenoy.
November 06, 2013
The legacy of Sardar Patel: History as a political football!
The debate on Sardar Patel's legacy is less about the Sardar and more about the acute sense of threat felt by the Delhi establishment at the rise of Narendra Modi and questions he has raised about the disproportionate share of credit given to a single family, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. Why are we scared of the anti-communal bill?
This is one bill that will ensure that no politician, official or person can play politics with the lives of any other person and if they do, they will be arrested. It is time for such a bill to protect the minorities, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
November 05, 2013
Indian politicians are NOT sharks preying upon helpless babus
By asking that braces and struts be provided from all sides, will the Supreme Court be able to buttress the civil service spine so that it stands straight instead of bending over backwards, forward and sideways? Somehow, I doubt it.
November 02, 2013
Modi's reinvention should be welcomed
Narendra Modi represents a change that embraces efficient delivery mechanisms, integrity, innovative solutions to governance and a welcome discourse away from Hindutva and Pakistan, says Jaya Jaitly.
October 31, 2013
People need a whole lot more than statues
They need justice - social and legal - because that's the only thing that will improve their lives, says Paloma Sharma. Why Nehru invites more ire than praise today
To remember Jawaharlal Nehru only for his mistakes on Kashmir or China is unfair. A democratic and secular India is in no small measure the awesome legacy of India's first prime minister, says Amberish K Diwanji
October 30, 2013
Hiding poll symbols: EC's return to sanity
By calling the Congress demand for covering lotus ponds absurd, ridiculous, the EC has done well. After all, even despite occasional lapses, there are wise men around, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Gasping for breath in Maximum City
Mumbai claims to have a large number of developed public and private medical facilities. It attracts patients from all over, including abroad, for specialist care. Hoardings proclaiming all sorts of 'state-of-the-art' medical facilities dot its skylines. The lack of a developed emergency medical response system is completely incongruous with all this, says Dr Sanjay Nagral.
October 29, 2013
Rajendra Yadav: The critic who spared not even himself
Mrinal Pande remembers Rajendra Yadav, one of the most prolific fiction writers and thinkers of Hindi literature in the recent times, who passed away on Monday. Congress's politics over onions makes the public cry
Prithviraj Chavan helping out Delhi's government tide over high onion prices has not gone down well in his home state of Maharashtra, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
October 28, 2013
The sinking democracy in Maldives
Democracy in Maldives is at the crossroads. There is need for the international community to put pressure on the incumbent regime in the country, so that it is not able to disrupt elections once again, and the democracy in Maldives could be saved from sinking, says Anand Kumar. BDCA with China, a pernicious fraud on India
The BDCA is yet another dose of insidious placebos administered on the people of India by their own government that has been in perpetual denial over the steady incremental loss of strategic Indian territory, says R N Ravi
October 26, 2013
Why girls start dropping out of school in class 9
Education is not simply a private affair whereby we can say that good money buys good education and little money buys not-so-good education, says Shubhashis Gangopadhyay
October 25, 2013
Sri Lanka: India's CHOGM dilemma
If Indian PM boycotts the CHOGM, it is likely to add to Sri Lanka's bitterness. This would not help India's desire to add more depth and content to its relations with Sri Lanka but its ability to influence Sri Lanka's decision making process on the both strategic issues and on Tamil minority issues, says Colonel (retd) R Hariharan. When tribunals undermine the judiciary
The debate on the constitutionality of tribunals has not been set to rest as yet, says Gopal Krishna. Strategic India moves on
The India that needs strategic alliances, defence cooperation and engaging meaningfully with neighbouring countries is quietly moving ahead with confidence, says Tarun Vijay 'Modi'fication of foreign policy
Narendra Modi's promise to allow states a bigger say in strategising and building foreign policy is unexceptionable, says TP Sreenivasan.
October 24, 2013
PM suggests 8 areas where India, China can cooperate
Following is the full text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech at the Central Party School in Beijing on Thursday: Modi, Madni, the media and Muslims
There is a churning going on among Muslims, and Mehmood Madni should be credited for breaking the silence. He has initiated a debate on the options before Muslims to look beyond the Congress yoke and fear of the BJP, says Ehtasham Khan
October 23, 2013
India missed the chance to resolve the Kashmir issue
Tragically, the Congress party is perhaps the only party with the credentials to resolve the Kashmir question. It could have done so in the decade it was in office, and when India was in a position of strength.
October 22, 2013
India's time warped foreign policy needs shock therapy
Policy of continuity won't help India earn business or respect, says Pramod Kumar Buravalli. Why India needs a Malala!
Sherna Gandhy hopes Malala Yousafzai can convince the powers-that-be in New Delhi that it is the responsibility of the government to ensure that our children get a decent education. 'It is time for another anti-Congress mobilisation'
Non-Congressism is the answer to India's current difficulties, says Dr Shambhu Shrivastava, who gives a historical perspective of non-Congress experiments in 1967, 1977, 1989 and 1998. The nadir of governance and the destruction of institutions
The Indian Army seems to be the new target of attack. The news leaks, of origin unknown, have been attempting to target individuals inconvenient to the government. In the bargain, mutual trust between individuals and institutions has been severely strained, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale.
October 21, 2013
Sino-Indian relations are good; it can be still better
In spite of irritants and hiccups in the relationship, a few deliverables are expected of the prime minister's visit to China, says Rup Narayan Das. The challenges Manmohan Singh faces in China
While China is bigger and feels mightier at the moment, Beijing's rulers would be well advised not to be tempted to provoke India, for that would only trigger a chain reaction around the world that would not serve anyone's interests, says Sanjaya Baru. Is India really a forward-thinking, rational nation?
A sadhu's dream, and India's bizarre response, reveals the country's true nature, says Amberish K Diwanji. Limits to India's engagement with China
Dr Manmohan Singh would be faced with very few choices in Beijing given the Chinese conceived notions of the world today and India's low place in their calculus, says Srikanth Kondapalli. When will the CBI question the Prime Minister?
Dr Manmohan Singh's role in the sordid saga of the Coal Allocation Scam was always Delhi's worst-kept secret; calls for his interrogation will mushroom after he was named by P C Parakh, says T V R Shenoy. Is there any point of the PM's China visit?
If the 1993, 1996, 2005 and 2012 border agreements have been unable to check Chinese aggressiveness, how can a fifth one succeed, asks Claude Arpi.
October 18, 2013
India and China realise there is no room for animosity
Both India and China have demonstrated levels of maturity in diffusing tensions and ensuring that the border remains by and large incident free, says Seema Mustafa Manohar Joshi and his tumultuous ties with the Shiv Sena bosses
To some the public humiliation of Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi at the party's annual Dussehra celebrations in Mumbai may have come as a shocker, but his relationship with the party and the Thackerays has always been rocky, says Neeta Kolhatkar. Cultural change, not the death penalty, is the deterrent to rape
The change needed to prevent violence against women in India -- and across the world -- must be systemic, cultural change, not reciprocal violence to individual acts of barbarism, says Mallika Dutt. The BJP's secularism really sucks
If Narendra Modi wants to become prime minister, he needs to do better, argues Amberish K Diwanji. Four elements that will shape India-China ties
'Border disputes cannot be solved by resorting to border conflicts. Only by mutual consensus, and a spirit of give-and-take, can we arrive at a long-lasting solution,' says Professor Wang Dehua, ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to China next week.' Exclusive to
October 17, 2013
India's flawed disaster management story
The successful effort to combat Cyclone Phailin threatens to put disaster mitigation, and a fundamental overhaul of how disaster management in India is structured, on the back-burner, says Anand Sarkar. West Asia is where all the action is, diplomatically
From being on the verge of war and violence, West Asia has actually got a sudden reprieve. Seema Mustafa explains
October 15, 2013
Time for Uttarakhand to learn from Orissa
Orissa learnt its lessons from previous cyclones, particularly the 1999 super cyclone, whereas Uttarakhand has failed to do so from any of the previous natural calamities that hit the state, says Dinesh C Sharma. The humiliation and downfall of Manohar Joshi
The senior-most leader of the Shiv Sena brought it upon himself during the party's Dussera rally, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why Shinde is right about sparing innocent Muslims in terror cases
The Congress has kept quiet on the way the Union home ministry has handled innumerable blast cases under its rule. It has not openly condemned the bias that pervades within its government and the security agencies, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
October 14, 2013
OPCW's Nobel win shouldn't be lost in the din of Malala fans
The Nobel Prize for Malala may have caused deep divisions across the globe and disturbed the peace, while the award to OPCW, though not without critics, may have served the cause of peace by eliminating a weapon of mass destruction from the face of the earth, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
October 12, 2013
The Indian solider and his struggle with change
The average Indian soldier remains as hardy as before but he is certainly confused with the pace of change occurring all around him. It is here that the leaders -- the officers -- will have to adapt themselves to the new reality, says Nikhil Gokhale
October 10, 2013
'It is in America's nature to go to war'
'I am no longer surprised by how cynical university students generally are about American motives. America, no matter who the President, what the circumstances will act like a bully, is their collective belief,' says Ambassador B S Prakash after a recent interaction with students.
October 09, 2013
Are Sonia and Rahul insecure about Pranab Mukherjee?
Does Pranab Mukherjee want to be 'PM' by office, not just by initials? The very prospect, with memories of the Narasimha Rao years scarred into their memories, scares the Nehru-Gandhis, says T V R Shenoy.
October 07, 2013
Lessons to be learnt from the ordinance row
India is being fed on false homilies by those who have been either elected or appointed to be guardians of the Constitution and public faith. The shameful ordinance episode should be reviewed objectively in Parliament and outside by the intelligentsia -- and appropriate correctives applied, says C Uday Bhaskar. Why Rahul Gandhi is not fit to rule India
If we have to elect Rahul Gandhi to rule the country because 'secularism', of all things, dictates it, we are strengthening the ugly aspects of the dynastic system of democracy that has come to infect India's body politic deeply, says Jaya Jaitly.
October 04, 2013
India doesn't yet deserve an Angkor Wat temple
There is something deeply disturbing about wanting to build such a large temple in what is arguably India's poorest state, a state that like many other states of India, particularly in north India, is crying for more schools, more hospitals and primary health centres, and, dare I say it, more toilets for everyone, says Amberish K Diwanji Is Mumbai about to get back its nightlife?
Aditya Thackeray may want Mumbai's shops and restaurants to remain open 24x7 but the Maharashtra government won't be okaying it in a hurry, says Neeta Kolhatkar. Why we need to watch out for Al Qaeda's threat
'We have leaders who would rather that we cohabit with the Indian Mujahedeen than fight terror, as long as the payoffs are there in the next polls... Obviously, we are not headed down the best route to keep terror at bay,' says Brigadier S K Chatterji (retd). Sonia asked Rahul to oppose ordinance, says Advani in blog
The 'nonsense' slur hurled at the Cabinet approved ordinance cannot apply only to the PM and his ministers. Soniaji must also share responsibility, says Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch L K Advani in his blog.
October 03, 2013
Why we should not trust party spokespersons on television
These chat show performers contribute to the noise, not clarity, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Why India will not be Hitler's Germany
'In this country of 1.2 billion, there may be a few Indians who might dislike Muslims and wish them ill. But the vast majority of Indians remain secular, no matter how grave Hindu-Muslim tensions,' says Amberish Kathewad Diwanji.
October 01, 2013
Dire warning over warming: Did it cause Kedarnath disaster?
The IPCC has blamed man-made emissions for warming of the globe and long term climate change. Limiting climate change, therefore, will require substantial and sustained reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This is the message to politicians and policy makers of the world, says Dinesh C Sharma Could Nawaz Sharif deliver Dawood Ibrahim?
Just for a moment, says Kamaraj Gopalan, consider the possibility: Dawood Ibrahim captured a few days before the next general election. It would be Dr Singh and the Congress's Osama moment. What answer could Narendra Modi possibly have to that?
September 30, 2013
Why Lalu's conviction is a defining moment in politics
The only objective of the government's ordinance was to protect it's loyal ally, says BJP's Arun Jaitley Rahul's utter nonsense and why the PM must quit
There is no doubt: Manmohan Singh must resign. Not merely because he has been humiliated, but because the persona of the PM has been sullied beyond measure, says Amberish K Diwanji View: Dr Singh WON'T resign
Rahul's rage was not directed against the prime minister, but at his mother';s advisors who continue to thwart the Baba Army, feels Kamaraj Gopalan. Can mindless people please shut up?
The government's leaks to the media and General Singh's very vocal comments on the charges against him have played right into the hands of separatists and their cross-border sponsors, says Nitin Pai
September 27, 2013
Narendra Modi: Right to Reject is a great step for democracy
It is natural for many of you to ask -- do things like Right to Reject and Compulsory voting violate our Right to Expression? No, I would say it is adding completeness in the opportunity for expression Go Man, get energy from the US!
The prime minister's visit to Washington should focus more on shopping for energy security and stopping the US from snooping on us, reigning in its popular and innocuously operated instruments to gather intelligence like Google, says Tarun Vijay. The Congress's prime ministerial candidate: A mystery
Rajeev Srinivasan on whom the Congress might put forth as its leader in 2014.
September 26, 2013
Human life is obviously cheaper in India than in the US
How on earth did Dr Manmohan Singh and his ministers conclude that the casualties of a disaster in a nuclear plant would be fewer than the deaths and injuries caused by the Bhopal gas tragedy? And that the compensation could, therefore, be capped at a smaller amount, asks T V R Shenoy.
September 25, 2013
VIEW: Sonia's weakness as leader is destroying India
What the ordinance overturning the Supreme Court order debarring jailed MPs and MLAs from contesting elections reveals is that Sonia Gandhi is not a leader; rather, she is being led, says Amberish K Diwanji.
September 24, 2013
Army payoff: UPA government has abandoned statecraft
The United Progressive Alliance government has abandoned its statecraft. It does not mind if the country is hurt as long as the UPA can score points when faced with a certain electoral defeat, says Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley Why the carnage of minorities continues unabated in Pakistan
A lot of the terrorism that is affecting Pakistan is really a blowback of the Pakistani state's policy of using jihadist groups as instruments of state policy. And unlike some other countries with similar policies, Pakistan doesn't have the benefit of the political and social space for pulling back from the disastrous course, says Sushant Sareen. Why Girgaum has turned 'pure veg'
Girgaum, once a thriving neighbourhood of Maharashtrians in south Mumbai, who loved their seafood and meat, has slowly been taken over by vegetarians, forcing eateries serving non-vegetarian food to shut down, says Neeta Kolhatkar Pakistan and Kenya terror attacks: Is there a link?
Within 24 hours over the weekend, two major terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists occurred in different parts of the world. In Kenya, military forces are still fighting terrorists holed up in a shopping mall in Nairobi, where nearly 60 civilians already have been killed. In Pakistan, over 80 were killed in a dual suicide bomb attack following a Sunday morning church service in the northwest city of Peshawar.
September 23, 2013
Swami's 100-day fast highlights battle to save Ganga
The Ganga agitation and the question of preserving the Himalayan ecology has become a deadly cocktail of politics and religion. Behind the scene, of course, at play are powerful business interests. What is needed is an independent scientific assessment of the problem and preparation of a blueprint for preservation of the Himalayan rivers and associated ecology, says Dinesh C Sharma. What Modi and the BJP can learn from America
'You can fight to win leadership of a party, yet join party rivals to win a general election in the US. The fact that dissent is not rebellion is not really appreciated in India, where we are used to the 'High Command' culture,' says T V R Shenoy.
September 22, 2013
Diluting nuclear supplier's liability
If a public sector company willfully enters into an agreement with a foreign vendor and abdicates its right to recourse which otherwise provides for its benefit, it would not only be violating the provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act but also section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, notes Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley
September 20, 2013
Dear Indians, can we get rid of the superiority complex?
We have let a woman of Italian origin rule us through a clever divide of administrative power centres, but far too many of us have not accepted her Indianness. We have every right to reject her politics and her corrupt government, but shouldn't her living most of her life here make her Indian enough?
September 19, 2013
How India's heritage of pluralism is being undone
The main culprit in vitiating the inter community/caste/class relations has been the so called 'targeted' approach. This is nothing but discrimination on the basis of faith/caste/class. When an equally poor and deprived child is denied scholarship, despite equal merit, resentment begins to brew, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. The Bhatkal case: How public disclosures led to intelligence losses
Yasin Bhatkal is a prized catch, no doubt. What he tells is going to shape the understanding of how the Indian Mujahideen operated, and how far and well its network was spread. But, perhaps the cat was let out of the bag too soon, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
September 18, 2013
Would dusky beauty Nina Davuluri ever be crowned Miss India?
Nina Davuluri's choice as Miss America shows how hollow Indians' concept of beauty is and how our beauty pageants don't reflect the country's diversity, says Amberish K Diwanji The danger signal from the Muzafarnagar riots
It is rare for communal riots to spread to rural areas. The UP riot is the first time after the September 1969 Gujarat riots that a rural area have been affected. Electoral politics which divide society in majority/minority, going on since the early 1990s, is a major contributing factor to this heightened tension between communities, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale in the first of a two part series.
September 17, 2013
How Indo-China media cooperation can help relations
Despite vast differences in the way the media operates in the two countries, an India-China media forum will go a long way in improving understanding between the two countries, says Srikanth Kondapalli. How Russia helped US with an exit strategy in Syria
President Obama had no intention of risking a global conflagration on account of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, especially at a time when he was struggling to wind up the wars his predecessor had started, says T P Sreenivasan
September 14, 2013
Tamil Nadu: Congress' weakest link
Congress' chances of survival in the state do not look promising, says Aditi Phadnis 'People think Modi will create a Dubai or Singapore'
Lunch with BS: Sukhbir Singh Badal, deputy chief minister, Punjab Amid a billion people, Modi's rise may be BJP's strongest message
In Narendra Modi, every BJP worker sees what he might have been or what he can become, says Amberish K Diwanji View: Why Modi still faces a tough road ahead
The beleaguered UPA government may provide Narendra Modi all the ammunition he wants. Still, without the politics of persuasion, the BJP's crowned prince has a daunting task before him, argues Akash Bisht.
September 13, 2013
Pawar and Pawar versus Prithviraj Chavan
There is quiet a bit of history behind NCP chief Sharad Pawar's recent outburst about the Maharashtra chief minister, says Neeta Kolhatkar The rise of non-saffron Modi in Indian politics
India's secular democracy remains mortgaged to rabid communal politics. Quite clearly, the bloodshed by the religious communities is absolutely political. Even non-BJP political formations have their own Narendra Modis, says Mohammad Sajjad.
September 11, 2013
View: Only murderers deserve to be hanged, not gang rapists
Let not our current anger against gang rapes undermine centuries of wisdom. Because, in doing so, we may just be putting our women at greater risk, says Amberish K Diwanji US-Syria: Unilateralism and morality of convenience
The past record of attacks by the Americans has been such that it would take a monumental task for them to get the rest of the world to believe in at attack on Syria. As such, in history books, this would seem another attempt by the US to emboss its unilateralism over the world and nothing else beyond it, says Sriram Balasubramanian. Can 'first food' challenge fast food?
How can 'first food' meet the challenge posed by factory-made 'fast foods' which are backed by marketing money and often come with 'traditional taste' tags attached to them? The first step would be to preserve knowledge about first foods, says Dinesh C Sharma.
September 10, 2013
Delhi gang rape verdict: Will it make a difference?
I cannot agree with the sentiment that hanging rapists will make sexual harassment and assault, and other forms of violence against women, magically disappear. Misogyny has stained our culture for far too long for merely judicial recourse to be able to wash it away, says Paloma Sharma. Why the Uttar Pradesh violence escalated
The UP government, if it manages to remain in power now, must take immediate steps to ensure that no violence takes place as the country gears up for the elections. Action has to be taken to prevent this, not just through the law and order machinery, but through a secular campaign in which all non-communal political parties participate, says Seema Mustafa. Why Tamil deserves national status
BJP's Member of Parliament Tarun Vijay on why he chose to demand national status for Tamil
September 08, 2013
Why Sharad Pawar may spring a surprise
The veteran politician's desire to quit politics may just be a new entry into the long list of occasions where he has gone back on his word, notes Neeta Kolhatkar.
September 06, 2013
Why we must support the Food Security Bill
Only three percent of Indians pay income tax; our tax-GDP ratio is among the lowest in the world. This must change. Our elites must realise that India's poverty has damaging consequences for them, and that they can help decrease it. The food security bill, with all its limitations, will hopefully contribute to generating such awareness, says Praful Bidwai. Music amidst the jackboots
Music amidst conflict may sound like a great catch-line, and ageing conductors need such props, but it is not doing the people of Jammu and Kashmir any good, says Sherna Gandhy
September 05, 2013
India's silence on Syria will antagonise its friends
A very delayed and subdued reaction, at a time when the non-aligned world had expected a big country like India to come out in support of rights and justice. It was yet another example of the mealy mouthed approach that has come to define Indian foreign policy, says Seema Mustafa.
September 04, 2013
Why Indian prime ministers should not get a second term
Amberish K Diwanji on Indian prime ministers and the seven-year itch. Making way for the god of all things, Mumbai style
Mahesh Vijapurkar on how the celebrations for Mumbai favourite deity is now a combination of crass commerce and politics.
September 03, 2013
Why Hindus need a Narendra Dabholkar
The rationalist has proved to be a greater voice of reason in death than he was during his lifetime.
September 02, 2013
Opposing superstition is right tribute to Dabholkar
Reason must triumph over blind faith, says Praful Bidwai in this tribute to murdered rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. But when was Mumbai safe?
We have failed to acknowledge the volatile events that have changed Mumbai.
September 01, 2013
Why is India silent on US military strike against Syria?
Has New Delhi internalised the truth that it does not matter, asks Saeed Naqvi. Such deafening silence from the government, principal opposition, even the pundits!
August 30, 2013
The Arab Spring withers into winter
Its promise has fallen short before the onslaught of the votaries of the old order and ruthless extremist forces, notes Talmiz Ahmad.
August 29, 2013
How India's economic crisis affects the common man
This columnist cannot pretend to be an economic expert but can certainly point out that the statistics being reeled out on a daily basis now, have added to the economic burden of the people, says Seema Mustafa. Sadly, rape is not seen as the utterly heinous act it is
'I have yet to hear a public debate in which someone has not blamed women being out late for the unwelcome attention they get,' says Sherna Gandhy. 'Unfortunately, rape is not seen as the utterly heinous act it is. Not by large numbers of the public who think it is an occupational hazard of being a woman -- nor by the law enforcement agencies.'
August 28, 2013
The Congress needs to hang its head in shame!
The Congress has ruled India for 54 of the last 67 years; that it took the party over six decades to come up with bills that provide citizens their basic needs is a shame, not a moment of triumph, says Amberish K Diwanji. Sonia Gandhi is back in the driver's seat
In early 2004, when the Congress had been routed in north Indian states, and even Congressmen were prophesying a two-digit tally for the party in the general elections, Sonia determinedly hit the road and stitched up alliances. Now, once again, she is displaying a similar resoluteness in circumstances that are even more trying, as evidenced by her piloting of the Food Security Bill, says Neerja Chowdhury
August 26, 2013
Legal regime should define what sustainable sand mining is
More than legal and illegal mining of sand, the issue which stares us in the face is sustainable sand mining, says Gopal Krishna How ignorance fuels superstition and black magic
A nation that aspires to be a superpower and wants to join the ranks of global leaders in knowledge, science and technology should declare an all out war on ills like superstition and black magic at all levels, says Dinesh C Sharma. RIP, the bindaas Mumbai girl!
I'm fearless in Mumbai, am I? Gauri Ghadi wonders
August 24, 2013
'Media is reflection of the entire society at large'
Here is the complete text of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's address at the inauguration of the national media centre in New Delhi on Saturday.
August 23, 2013
Being a woman in India is damn tough
ndia is today in the grip of conservatism. This shows up in the way we treat our women, or murder those who question our beliefs. Or in the way women are getting raped with little fear of the law or society, says Amberish K Diwanji. It could have been my daughter!
What is going on?! How can an amazing country like India face such highs and lows? Where do these brutes come from? Who are these people who are hijacking the goodness of this country? Who create them? Did we? Can someone please tell me what went wrong with India. Why not treat rape as an offence like terrorism?
If rape is categorised as a heinous offence to be treated on par with terrorism, this would lead to changes in the way we react and deal with it, the late internal security expert B Raman wrote on in December 2012 in the wake of the horrific Delhi rape case. We reproduce the column for in the wake of the gang rape of a photojournalist in Mumbai. Rape is about power. Learn to wield it to fight rape
The empathy that the vocal, opinion-making class now feels for the 23-year-old student in Delhi, bravely fighting for her life, has kindled something. But is it enough, asks Sonali Ranade.
August 21, 2013
If politicians knew how idiotic they appear on TV, they would never step into another studio!
Television news. Anarchists. Special Status for UP! And that man-who-wants-to-be-Pradhan Mantri so baaad. Sherna Gandhy takes them on. Gujarat is holding Modi back
It is Gujarat that is preventing Modi from becoming a pan-India leader. Gujarat wants Modi to be an all-India leader only on its term: As a strong votary of Hindutva. But that very position is a recipe for disaster on the national stage, feels Amberish K Diwanji. Our railway ministers pass the buck on safety and how!
To Indian Railways, safety is not necessarily a systemic issue but something it attends to only on a case-by-case basis. If accidents were not to happen, the thought of safety would not arise, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
August 20, 2013
To an American girl, an apology from India
'I wish I could tell you that what you had to experience is limited to a few people and a few places in my beautiful country; it is not.' A Mango Indian on the stark ugliness that coexists with immense beauty in India
August 19, 2013
The Junk Food Conundrum
Should junk food be sold in Indian schools? Loss of personnel in Sindhurakshak mishap is anguishing
There are some larger policy issues related to the submarine as a platform and the modernisation programme of the navy that merit brief recall and review, says C Uday Bhaskar
August 16, 2013
The Communists need to rethink or perish!
'The Left's decline is now a reality, both nationally and in West Bengal.'Behind it lie: Ideological rigidity and confusion, outdated party programmes... a socially conservative upper-caste leadership,' says Praful Bidwai. The speech Narendra Modi should have given
Amberish Kathewad Diwanji tweaks Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech. The speech the PM should have given
Amberish Kathewad Diwanji tweaks the prime minister's Red Fort speech.
August 15, 2013
Let us restore faith in the idea of a truly democratic India
Tragic as it is, the submarine accident is more tactical in nature and it is the deeper strategic malaise across the board -- political, economic, security, judiciary, bureaucracy and even the media -- that has led to this dark mood of gloom and despondency, says Commodore (retd) C Uday Bhaskar.
August 14, 2013
Delay is procurement taking a toll on India's defence
The conservative bureaucracy that influences the political masters is clearly not concerned with the vision documents prepared by defence chiefs to bring India's military into a state of preparedness, says Seema Mustafa
August 12, 2013
Kishtwar is the face of anti-national 'secularism'
Kishtwar is the face of secularism that Srinagar wears. The secularism which the Indian government follows is self defeating, feels BJP MP Tarun Vijay. Why India needs more well-managed and viable states
India's fear of small states derives from memories of Partition and the paranoid view that it will break up under 'too many' states. It's time to shed such fears and bite the 'states' reorganisation' bullet. India won't crumble under a few more Telanganas, Vidarbhas or Gorkhalands, says Praful Bidwai. LoC attack: India must retaliate but not stop talks with Pak
Beating of war drums, would further accord primacy to the army in Pakistan. A better approach would be to continue the talks for normalisation of trade relations, while giving the Indian forces autonomy to strike at militant camps across the LoC, says Alok Bansal Provocation on the LoC merits a befitting response
The Indian Army must be given a free hand to retaliate punitively at one or more places of its choosing on the LoC. The aim should be to cause maximum damage to the forward posts of the Pakistan army, particularly those through which recent attacks have been launched, thereby raising the cost for the army, says Gurmeet Kanwal. Food Security Bill: Flawed, flagrant and frivolous
The Manmohan Singh government's rush to pass the Food Security Bill reflects extreme paucity of logic and action, says Neeta Kolhatkar INS Arihant: The story of India's incredible hard work
With the launch of the first indigenous aircraft today, India will join a club of nations like the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France that possess nuclear-powered submarines
August 07, 2013
Mamata's reformation in Mumbai: The broader message
Banerjee along with other regional leaders are likely to play an important role in any future government in New Delhi, so it is in India's interest that regional leaders like herself realise the importance of progressive economics and good governance, says Tridivesh Singh Maini. Why a knee-jerk reaction to LoC attack won't help
India must not succumb to the argument that by moving ahead to normalise relations between India and Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif's hands would be strengthened in dealing with those who don't want peace. This is not to suggest, like the BJP, that our Pakistan policy must be an all or nothing approach, implying that talks with Pakistan must straight away be shelved. The need is for a calibrated approach, says K C Singh. Why the SP's efforts to consolidate minority vote is callous
We have in UP today the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party representing the two extremes in a bid to capture power in this huge state that returns 80 members to Parliament, says Seema Mustafa. Whatever its status, Hyderabad has changed irreversibly
The old Hyderabadi-ness would not resurface. Nor can be recreated. For like in other cities, others too have a right to live and prosper and regardless of what states it gets, the city will not be what it was. Only people, romantic fools at that, look back. Cities don't; they look to the future, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.
August 06, 2013
Do the poor need psychiatric help? Or does Rahul Gandhi?
Even in this season of political-peeing-on-lampposts, Rahul Gandhi's statement takes the cake (with due apologies to another astute observer of poverty, the much late Mary Antoinette).
August 05, 2013
Why the creation of Telangana is beneficial
One can expect that the formation of Telangana will have more positives than negatives. The 'Telangana effect' has already prompted demands for a separate Vidarbha and break up of Uttar Pradesh. This needs to be considered seriously as this can only lead to deepening governance, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. This is Akhilesh Yadav's way of running UP
Is perpetuating corruption and communalising politics, the Akhilesh Way, asks Mohammad Sajjad. India's foreign policy paralysis
Delhi's inability to open up a new canvas with Pakistan and Sharif is symptomatic of its sluggish thinking. Jyoti Malhotra analyses
August 02, 2013
Mumbai vs Maharashtra, fact vs fiction
The underlying tone of a call for separate Mumbai city is always seen as a class war and a linguistic war, says Neeta Kolhatkar Telangana formation is cleared, but what comes next?
After many years of struggle and strife, Telangana has come to pass. Many lives have been lost and property destroyed because various governments at the Centre have had no defined policies for creating new states. There has to be a better way of "delivering" a state -- not by fasts, by threats or by violence unleashed by a "rent-a-crowd" but by a logical, democratic way of meeting the will of the people. Not the will of an egotistical leader who wants to establish one more political dynasty -- or one who equates state with caste.
August 01, 2013
Do voters like Narendra Modi?
Nitish Kumar expected to benefit handsomely after taking a hardline position against Narendra Modi. Opinion polls tell a different story, with the JD-U losing seats while the BJP gains from the break-up. Is this because voters like Narendra Modi, wonders T V R Shenoy. A new governance model for Telangana
It would certainly help if in the first five or ten years the new state had a Telangana United Front government which included all political parties and which then would dedicate itself to bringing about fast development for the neglected region, says Gautam Pingle in the final part of a two-part series on the new state.
July 31, 2013
The battle for Telangana: A historical perspective
It is important for every sort of development and governance in Telangana that the people identify completely with their governing structures. This identification confers legitimacy on a government -- not just elections and number of votes. That identification has been missing in Telangana for 700 years, says Dr Gautam Pingle in the first of a two-part series on the new state.
July 29, 2013
Nagas in a state of anarchy
The ongoing vicious game between Delhi and the so-called 'separatist' militias has severely blighted the Nagas' life and gutted their dignity, says Ravindra Narayan Ravi The unfinished business of Kargil
The failure to restructure our armed forces in line with contemporary needs 14 years after the Kargil war will impose strategic costs beyond just delays and scandals, says Nitin Pai Images: The Pope at the Beach
Argentina and Brazil are traditional rivals and there was a time when their antagonism was being compared to India-Pakistan relations. They have overcome to a great extent their history of hostility. That an Argentinean Pope was so warmly embraced in Brazil shows that his great office does transcend such divides, notes B S Prakash, India's former ambassador to Brazil.
July 27, 2013
No woman is safe in West Bengal today
West Bengal is poised to become the rape capital of India, but its chief minister refuses to face reality, says Debosmita Sarkar.
July 25, 2013
Criticality may mean death for Kudankulam's seas
The first two units of the Kudankulam nuclear plant will discharge 6.3 billion litres of waste water every day right onto the beach. This discharge will trigger a slow-motion disaster that will poison beaches, devastate near-shore fisheries and choke the livelihood of fisherfolk in the vicinity, says Nityanand Jayaraman.
July 24, 2013
Why do we give our politicians a free run?
We take it as a given and allow a free run to those who deserve to be reined in by a simple democratic act: vote decisively, and if the television has made a farce of itself, use the remote control, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. The security implications of Al Qaeda's call to Indian Muslims
If viewed as a part of the Al Qaeda's radicalisation effort to produce jihadists out of discontented Muslim youth in India, the call could well have a much larger dimension, both in the near as well as long term, directly impacting on national security, says Bibhu Prasad Routray.
July 23, 2013
An obituary for democracy
Democracy has died -- and we, my friends, killed her, says Paloma Sharma. Why India must give its neighbours their due
This quiet assertion of China has allowed various smaller countries of South Asia to play China off against India. Most states in the region now use the China card to balance against the predominance of India. Forced to exist between their two giant neighbours, the smaller states have responded with a careful balancing act, says Harsh V Pant. A bird in the hand
The ministry of defence has unwisely decided to build just two squadrons of the already developed aircraft -- Tejas Mark I -- and to start developing an even more capable Tejas Mark II. This is an enormous blunder, says Ajai Shukla
July 22, 2013
Why is the Congress trying to communalise 2014 elections?
Faced with the crisis of governance, the UPA's desperate strategy appears to be to communalise the polity and change the electoral agenda, says Arun Jaitley Mid-day meal tragedy exposes poor state of Bihar
The buck for the Gandamal tragedy should not stop with the school-in-charge Meena Kumari. She is just the face of a deeper malaise in Bihar, says Apoorvanand. An open letter: What Muslims really want
If you are more than your rhetoric about a strong and united country, give us our due -- treat us as countrymen, says an ordinary Muslim in this open letter.
July 21, 2013
That stubborn stain on Modi's record
His action after the Godhra train violence doesn't support the picture of an effective and no-nonsense deliverer of good governance, says Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay
July 20, 2013
With Taliban at the door, India has to STOP being the nice guy
India can stay relevant in Afghanistan not by being a bystander but by actively bolstering anti-Taliban forces monetarily, militarily and politically, say Lt Gen R K Sawhney and Sushant Sareen
July 19, 2013
Starting Kudankulam: When deception triumphs
India's nuclear establishment is continuing its march of folly at the expense of safety in the false belief that atomic power is the energy of the future. It's not. Nuclear power is in relentless global decline, says Praful Bidwai. How India is learning from China
When it came to national security issues, China never hesitated to take a quick decision regardless of the material costs. Nor were the superiority in military strength of the adversary a consideration, Srikanth Kondapalli points out.
July 18, 2013
Will Modi's star burn out by winter?
Narendra Modi, says T V R Shenoy, is 'busy trying to woo back two constituencies that were crucial when the BJP won power in the elections of 1998 and of 1999, namely UP (and the Hindi belt in general) and educated youth.'
July 17, 2013
How much surveillance does a country need?
The eternal question remains unanswered, what price security and what cost liberty, says Vikram Sood. Bodh Gaya attack: An affront to Indic civilisational spirit
Bodh Gaya emerged as a centre that encouraged a continuous dialogue of civilisation, it has enabled India to re-forge her age old linkages with countries, who derived inspiration from Buddha's message of compassion. It is this dialogue that was sought to be interrupted by the dastardly attack, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. Aren't our daily problems not newsworthy anymore?
The ongoing daily spat between Narendra Modi and the Congress party serves to cover up the real problems being faced by the people, says A Ganesh Nadar
July 16, 2013
The great Indian rope trick and other illusions of progress
Rajeev Srinivasan on how Indians are satisfied with illusions, not reality.
July 15, 2013
A public interest litigation to be imagined without contempt
The justice delivery system is struggling to cope, creaking at the joints and bursting at the seams. Indian courts have to deal with about 30 million cases with a judicial strength of just about 19,000 judges. Antony's China visit was friendly but was it fruitful?
The Border Defence Cooperation Agreement with China needs closer scrutiny, says Rup Narayan Das. When a KILLER is set free...
A young man was killed in Florida on February 26 because he was black and wore a hoodie. When his killer was acquitted on July 13, Roopa Unnikrishnan's faith in the justice system was shattered, forcing her to look at life through the prism of colour.
July 14, 2013
India's new opportunity in Bhutan
The previous democratically-elected government in Bhutan sought to get cosy with China. Will the new Tshering Tobgay dispensation mend the fences with India? Shubha Singh examines
July 12, 2013
Does only SEX sell in Kerala?
The media in Kerala seems obsessed with women and sex, says Shobha Warrier. Why the Congress should have involved Modi in Uttarakhand
What happened in Uttarakhand is a national tragedy. Why couldn't Dr Manmohan Singh announce that he was forming an Uttarakhand Relief and Rehabilitation Committee, with himself as chairman but inviting Narendra Modi to become the deputy chairman, asks T V R Shenoy. Pak-China: Growing dilemmas of an 'all weather' friendship
The Sino-Pakistan relationship remains fundamentally asymmetrical: Pakistan wants more out of its ties with China than China is willing to offer. Today, when Pakistan's domestic problems are gargantuan, China would be very cautious in involving itself even more, says Harsh V Pant. Why extrajudicial killings will never bring lasting peace
It's perverse to rationalise 'controlled' killings or torture -- without going down a slippery moral slope. Once the state stoops to torture, it's liable to sink into tyranny, says Praful Bidwai.
July 11, 2013
Three issues that may lead to cleaner polls
Mahesh Vijapurkar is hopeful that two Supreme Court directives and Gopinath Munde's confession that he spent Rs 8 crore to get elected to the Lok Sabha may lead to a possibility that the processes administered by the Election Commission may get cleaner, even if only over time.
July 09, 2013
Bodh Gaya attack: The story of culpable neglect
The most basic reality of a dysfunctional enforcement apparatus across India will ensure that coordinated terrorist attacks, like the Bodh Gaya strike, will continue to occur, notes Ajai Sahni.
July 08, 2013
An Indian in America
'As I became a citizen of the United States of America, I knew I was supposed to be shedding my Indian citizenship, but at the end of the day, Mera dil hai Hindustani,' says Roopa Unnikrishnan, Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Gold Medalist and Arjuna Award winner. Remembering B Raman, defender of India's interests
Stephen P Cohen pays tribute to strategic expert B Raman, who passed away recently. Let the Buddha unite India
Every single assault targeting the Maha Bodhi targets India, says Tarun Vijay Of India, Snowden and global voyeurism
India has no compelling reason to grant his request for asylum but was unduly inhibited in raising its voice against the United States' extensive and vulgar intrusion into the privacy of its institutions and citizens, says Shyam Saran Jharkhand needs the STATE, not Soren
The Maoist-infested state needs a visionary leader and Hemant Soren is definitely not one, opines Aditi Phadnis
July 06, 2013
Uttarakhand's landslide defeat
The recent tragedy confirms the view of humanitarian aid as a political weapon
July 05, 2013
Congress on the backfoot, BJP isolated
The political situation in the country is fluid and could change significantly. But as things stand, India could be headed for an unstable minority government dependent on uncertain "outside" support, says Praful Bidwai. Why India needs to speak up!
'Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may be anxious for a farewell visit to Washington in October,' says retired Ambassador K C Singh, 'but bending backwards on America's PRISM policy is going to earn him scorn at home and contempt abroad.' Korean imbroglio: India should play its nuanced role
The present crisis in the Korea is an opportunity for India to thoughtfully engage in the region, and not to be a mere spectator. India enjoys a great degree of credibility by all the stakeholders in the region including the two Koreas, and China and as such India should play its persuasive role for peace and stability in the region, says Rup Narayan Das. Khurshid outlines new thinking on Afghan problem
India has fleshed out its approach toward the peace talks with the Taliban taking into account the inputs from John Kerry's visit as well as the consultations in Delhi the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan James Dobbins, says M K Bhadrakumar.
July 04, 2013
Why do India, Pakistan bend before the US?
India and Pakistan that will not tolerate a sneeze from the other side without opening the entire paraphernalia of forensic science, stand like dummies when the US manipulates both at will, says Seema Mustafa. PRISM: It's just the tip of the iceberg
A private entity using our data for commercial benefits is infinitely more dangerous than a government entity overseeing operations with a defined purpose of internal security oversight, says Sriram Balasubramanian
July 03, 2013
Why terrorists cannot be treated like common criminals
Colonel (retd) Anil Athale on balancing the rule of law, human rights and security in the age of terrorism. View: BJP offers Muslims same things it offers other Indians
The moment any party says it will do x, y or z only for a certain section, it is insulting that section and separating them from the rest of the nation, says Jiten Gajaria Where is India's Edward Snowden?
Any attempt by the Indian authorities to protest against extensive surveillance on Indians by the US will be hamstrung by what the authorities themselves are up to, notes Subir Roy.
July 02, 2013
Nitish Kumar and his shadowy path
'Nitish Kumar has reverted to the 1990s model. The besetting sin of this type of ministry formation was a fundamental insult to democracy,' argues T V R Shenoy. 'Not only did it not inform the voter who the prime ministerial candidate was, but it also gloried in keeping out the largest party in the Lok Sabha.' Kerry visit signals paradigm shift in US-India relations
The push-back by Hillary Clinton was no longer available to keep the proponents of the thesis away that somehow it was India's problem that Pakistan misbehaves in Afghanistan or misbehaves at all, says K C Singh. What the BJP needs to know about Muslims
How the BJP's politics plays out at the grass-roots level will determine its relationship with Muslims in the near future, says Sajid Bhombal
July 01, 2013
Afghan endgame: Tough road ahead for India
The road to negotiations in Afghanistan will be a very difficult given all the domestic and regional stakeholders who will need to be reassured. And New Delhi will have to prepare itself for making some tough choices in the coming days. The days of merely relying on 'soft power' in Afghanistan are well past their sell by date, says Harsh V Pant.
June 30, 2013
'GOM's recommendations on CBI functioning is a farce'
The decision of the Union Cabinet based on the Group of Ministers recommendations only creates an illusion by removing the political executive and creating a proxy institution instead, says Arun Jaitley GOM's recommendations on CBI functioning is a farce
The decision of the Union Cabinet based on the Group of Ministers recommendations only creates an illusion by removing the political executive and creating a proxy institution instead, says Arun Jaitley
June 28, 2013
AMMA, it's the tax-payer's money!
Even given politicians' penchant for self-promotion, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa takes it to another level altogether, says A Ganesh Nadar. Nothing wrong with it, provided it's not done at the tax-payer's expense. How to teach the arrogant political parties a lesson
Partyless democracy is an idea whose time has come, says Sandeep Pandey Lessons from Uttarakhand: When 'development' is destruction
To avert another Uttarakhand-type catastrophe, we must change course. We should stop pandering to the Indian elite's insatiable appetite for electricity, which is driving reckless dam construction, says Praful Bidwai No more senseless acts in Uttarakhand please!
There are lessons to be learnt from the Uttarakhand tragedy. Topping the list is the need to immediately stop mindless construction activity in the Himalayan hills, says Nitish Priyadarshi
June 27, 2013
Banning dams won't solve the problem
The uproar over 'dams' following the Uttarakhand disaster is ill-informed & potentially counter-productive, says Anand Sankar Syria conflict will go on till its bitter end
Arguments for direct US military intervention in Syria are just not strong enough, says Claude Smadja Forecasters played poker while Uttarakhand drowned
The devastation in Uttarakhand is a classic example of the callous manner in which the Central Water Commission, the nodal agency tasked with flood forecast in the country, operates, says Himanshu Thakkar
June 26, 2013
Putting a spin on the Uttarakhand tragedy
Politicians have used the tragedy to score political brownie points and the media has been a willing participant, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. The Programmer Who Came In From The Cold
Whether history will remember Edward Snowden as a traitor to his country or as a champion for free speech and less intrusive government is hard to tell, but the issues he has brought into focus need deep thought, writes Ajit Balakrishnan
June 24, 2013
US-Taliban talks will usher in a new phase of civil war
Washington is now set to begin formal negotiation with Mullah Omar's Taliban in Doha Ishrat Jahan case: Is the CBI succumbing to dirty politics?
The CBI-IB tussle in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case is an avoidable conflict, says V G Vaidya. India-US relations: The search for a transformative moment
Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid speaks about the importance of the fourth edition of the India-US Strategic Dialogue, which he co-chaired with United States Secretary of State John Kerry in New Delhi Kerry in India: Talks on China, Afghanistan on the table
US Secretary of State John Kerry's current visit to India will set the tone for cooperation between the two countries over the next few years, especially in key areas of shared interest like managing the security risks associated with China's rise and the stabilisation of Afghanistan, notes Lisa Curtis.
June 22, 2013
Sex-marriage verdict: Why drag us backwards now?
The Madras high court's judgment on June 17, which decided an alimony dispute between an unmarried couple who have two children, took over the cerebral cortex of Twitter and other social media spaces a few days ago.
June 21, 2013
An open letter to the Congress party: Remember the Aam Aadmi?
Few readers will remember the socialist utopia of Indira Gandhi when food queues were the norm even for the middle class and tankers supplied water at odd hours of the night twice a week. Is that what you are trying to return us to, dear Congress, asks Jaideep Prabhu Brazil's unusual protests -- and larger lessons from it
An objective observer can indeed see the improvement in all the social parameters in Brazil, but for the citizen the state of infrastructure, public transport, education and health is dissatisfying. Some of that pent-up frustration has led to the current protest, says B S Prakash
June 20, 2013
Can Nitish Kumar be rallying point for third front?
There is more than sufficient space for this amongst the electorate in India that will respond definitively and favourably to a credible alternative. Nitish Kumar has an excellent chance of capturing this space through the inclusive politics of third front formations, says Seema Mustafa. Will Hassan Rowhani change Iran's equations with the world?
While one is not anticipating a sea change in Iranian politics, in Hassan Rowhani, Iran may have found a President who will, at the very least, be less verbally aggressive than the outgoing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There is a strong possibility that he will work towards changing Iran's relations with the world, says Arfa Khanum Sherwani. Kerry in India: A quest for strategy
India has apparently put in a request to import oil and gas from the US, and if there is a long-term understanding on this in New Delhi during John Kerry's visit to India, it may well be the next big thing in bilateral relations. It will transform global politics beyond recognition and usher in a new architecture in India-US relations, says TP Sreenivasan
June 18, 2013
Column: I am an Indian man in New York
'I come from a country of colours. India is one of the most colourful countries in the world and that was true long before the Incredible India campaigns designed to entice Western tourists to India,' says Aseem Chhabra. What Advani needs to do: An open letter to the BJP patriarch
'You have done your best for the party, but the party has moved on. Bow out gracefully, quit politics and work on a one-point agenda -- to bring about an amicable solution to the Ayodhya issue.' Sajid Bhombal pens an open letter to BJP patriarch LK Advani Equal rights to foreign arms vendors: A big worry for MoD
Even while rejecting Israel Military Industries' petition, the court has effectively granted foreign vendors the constitutional right to be treated equally with Indian companies.
June 17, 2013
A true Indian patriot is now part of the ages
'Post Kargil, the effete Indian response to the complex national security challenges was a matter of deep anguish and muted anger. B Raman felt very strongly about the need to create a more informed national security community in India,' remembers C Uday Bhaskar. A personal tribute and salute to B Raman
Vikram Sood remembers his friend and mentor B Raman, who passed away on Sunday. B Raman: A Karmayogi for whom time was always short
Swati Parashar pays tribute to her mentor B Raman, who passed into the ages on Sunday. Why the BJP needs Advani more than ever
The shock treatment that Advani administered to the BJP has simply no parallel in India's modern political history, says Sudheendra Kulkarni. Federal Front: Can it be any different from its predecessors?
Narendra Modi's elevation in the BJP has given a fillip to the idea of an alternative forum for those who want to counter him for the 2002 Gujarat riots and for those like Nitish Kumar who do not wish to be part of a dispensation which is steered by him, says Saroj Nagi
June 16, 2013
How Iranians changed the PLOT of the Prez poll
The Iranian people, having spoken, are asking the new administration to find a way by which sanctions can be rolled back and civility and normalcy can return to Iran's engagement with the world, says K C Singh
June 14, 2013
India's message to Nepal, Maldives: Allow democracy to take root
India aims to gently encourage moderate and democratic forces in Nepal and Maldives towards building a less fractured polity, writes Shubha Singh Indian defence diplomacy and strategic re-balancing
Indian defence diplomacy will have to play an increasingly important role as it tries to emerge as a credible strategic partner of the regional states. Neither India nor other regional states have incentive to define their relationship in opposition to China. Great power politics in the region have only just begun, says Harsh V Pant Dr Singh's mantra for conflict resolution: military and money
Political conflicts with deep social roots are not resolved through ill-conceived surreptitious deals. They require a bold political vision to resolve them. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech at the recent annual conference on internal security showed a vision that is cynical, sterile and bureaucratic, writes RN Ravi, former special diretor of the Intelligence Bureau
June 13, 2013
Darkness beyond 'Bharat Nirman' and 'India Shining'
Mutual suspicion and prejudice hang over India and its neighbours, says Barun Roy.
June 12, 2013
The L K Advani I have known for 30 years
BJP patriarch L K Advani wanted to transform the BJP from a narrow, exclusivist and radical party into a more inclusive, reformist one, says Mohan Guruswamy How will the Congress counter Modi's game plan?
The Congress's real test would be to stop Modi and the BJP from achieving this short term objective of winning the forthcoming assembly elections so that they remain relevant when the parliament elections take place in 2014. They may be helped by the growing trend amongst regional parties to stay out of any alliance with any national party, says Sanjay Kapoor.
June 10, 2013
Advani-Modi clash: Secular vs communal twist astonishing
To promote Advani as a moderate is as much a travesty of truth as to present the children of Godse as followers of Gandhi, feels Poornima Joshi Why Narendra Modi is Congress's biggest asset
Modi will be the single most significant cause of the Congress's victory in 2014, despite 2G, coalgate, Commonwealth Games, and all the other scams he has forgotten, says A Ganesh Nadar
June 07, 2013
Finding fault in the 'anti-rape' law
Women of India need freedom, not halfhearted attempts at reform, says Vedika Kumar Looking East, pragmatically
India's commitment to an open and plural security architecture attests to the fact that Asia's transition is a dynamic of both power & identity, says Zorawar Daulet Singh Beneath the deceptive calm, despair, anger brew in Kashmir
For the Kashmiri people, the gun remains India's main face, and coercion or deception by New Delhi dominates their consciousness, says Praful Bidwai after a recent visit to the valley.
June 06, 2013
What the by-poll results foretell
Other than providing Narendra Modi a sweetner ahead of the BJP's national executive meet in Goa, there are no major trends to glean from the recent by-election results, says Seema Mustafa.
June 05, 2013
'Chhattisgarh attack a setback to our anti-Naxal strategy'
We present verbatim the full speech given by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while addressing the chief minister's conference on internal security at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
June 04, 2013
New Delhi's strategic dissonance in post-2014 Afghanistan
India's post 2014 Afghanistan policy appears to be glued to the best-case scenarios of a successful democratic transition. New Delhi hopes that it would remain 'business as usual' and would not necessitate a drastic revisiting of its continuing strategy. This, in short, is a strategy of convenience, says Shanthie Mariet D'Souza. Should a discredited CBI investigate the IB?
The grilling of IB officials by the CBI in connection with the Ishrat Jahan encounter case smacks of vendetta against the Gujarat government. The myopic political regime in Delhi has not realised the significance of destroying institutions. Only Pakistan and LeT would have the last laugh, says Arun Jaitley.
June 03, 2013
The futile ban on Mumbai's mannequins
But while our politicians are waging war against mannequins and trying to save society from being corrupted, maybe they would like to have a good look at the city's water and electricity problem. After all, thirst and darkness are known to provoke men into doing 'wrong acts', says Paloma Sharma. Cooperation with neighbours vital for India's Northeast
A sidelight of the Chinese prime minister's India visit was official approval for expanding a well-functioning mechanism for regional co-operation, notes Kishan S Rana. It's time to send Pakistan's army back to the barracks
The US needs to do three things to help the newly elected Nawaz Sharif government in Pakistan, says Stanley A Weiss
May 31, 2013
Why are politicians baying for Srinivasan's blood?
Arvind Kejriwal accused Robert Vadra of participating in questionable land deals. Those were just allegations, but so are the crimes supposedly committed by Gurunath Meiyappan. But one is a businessman's son-in-law and the other is a politician's son-in-law. And so, predictably, they were treated differently by the politicians, says T V R Shenoy.
May 30, 2013
How the government suppresses dissent
The mother of intolerance is the Union home ministry, run by ultra-conservative bureaucrats who are inclined to take a hard line on matters ranging from fighting insurgencies to putting citizens under surveillance to outlawing dissident groups, says Praful Bidwai.
May 29, 2013
Why the Sanjay Dutt case highlights need for jail reforms
Instead on reforming them, our jails are turning inmates into hardened criminals, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. But where is the heart to fight the Maoists?
The State must stand as a solid tower of confidence to provide a guarantee of safety to its citizens and instill fear in the hearts of offenders. But where is that State, asks Tarun Vijay
May 28, 2013
Naxal massacre: No lessons learnt from earlier attacks
The roots of the problem lies in the alienation of the tribals. Extreme sensitivity is required to tackle the issues involved. Rough and ready methods of using force may prove counterproductive in the long run, says Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. Why is India reluctant to engage with Mullah Omar?
Establishing dialogue with the Quetta Shura must be recognised as a key strategic requirement. This would allow India to catalyse a favourable settlement in post-2014 Afghanistan, says Ajai Shukla State's ambiguity has restricted its anti-Maoist progress
The State's ambiguity has resulted in a stalemate in the crucial fight against the creeping progress of the Naxalite movement in the country, notes Nitin A Gokhale.
May 27, 2013
Strengthening NDA, not Modi, should be BJP's priority
Even with Narendra Modi as its PM candidate, the BJP is expected to get between 170 and 190 seats in 2014. That means some 100-odd seats will have to come from allies. That also means the present NDA allies are not enough, it has to be NDA+, says Sajid Bhombal
May 25, 2013
Pillorying govt for corruption might be an escapist option
The cricket establishment is a disgrace; the cricket boss is a businessman. Will they arrest the whole country for betting?
A gambler is not a threat to society or to the country, says A Ganesh Nadar.
May 24, 2013
Scaling the great wall of symbolism
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India showed the impact of patient and persuasive diplomacy on both sides - but it's the outcome that will matter, says Nitin Pai
May 22, 2013
'We regret opposition's obstructionist approach'
We present verbatim the full speech given by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the release of UPA II's report card in New Delhi on Wednesday. Questions India needs to ask on world biodiversity day
India is the chair of Convention on Biological Diversity till 2014. India has the chance to lead the world with setting high standards on biodiversity protection within India and with operations outside. We should also shift our energy paradigm slowly away from dirty destructive practice of coal mining into cleaner sources of energy, says Nandikesh Sivalingam. Seize the new opportunities in India-China cooperation
We present the translation of the full speech given by Chiese Prime Minister Li Keqiang at the Indian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi on Tuesday.
May 21, 2013
Li Keqiang's India visit: Rhetoric over results
The Chinese premier's visit may be considered rather moderately successful, which has covered a profusion of convergent ideas while leaving many more areas of divergence untouched, says Sana Hashmi.
May 20, 2013
Sino-Indian ties: Incremental progress but more work needed
A close scrutiny of speeches and documents during Chinese premier Li Keqiang visit indicate that, while there are gains for both Beijing and New Delhi, overall China's diplomacy scored more points, says Srikanth Kondapalli.
May 18, 2013
If we feel ignored, that's exactly what the Chinese want
Seeing a sinister design behind every Chinese utterance will only make it more difficult to negotiate a settlement
May 17, 2013
India MUST drive a hard bargain with China
India must be cautious and not repeat its Himayalan blunders during new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang's forthcoming visit, warns Colonel Anil Athale
May 16, 2013
Impulsive, enigmatic and unpredictable, what will Sharif do next?
Hurried and ill-planned Summits like the Vajpayee-Musharraf Summit in Agra which preceded the attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 are best avoided for now, says G Parthasarathy Will Nawaz Sharif walk the talk on India?
If Pakistan's new government lives up to the commitments given by Nawaz Sharif that he will not allow Pakistan's soil to be used against India and will put the jihadist networks out of business, it will create a lot of space for the next government in India to move forward on the bilateral track, says Sushant Sareen View: The dead deserve a better sendoff, surely
Despite all views about afterlife and such, it matters little to the dead how he or she is disposed of, says Mahesh Vijapurkar
May 15, 2013
Respect Supreme Court's wisdom, Mr Digvijaya!
Troubled with a variety of mind-boggling scams and executive over reach have troubled the trauma of a shaken Congress led United Progressive Alliance-II government as the Supreme Court has also virtually cut its wings by passing a detailed order asserting that the government's right arm Central Bureau of Investigation can't be allowed to be caged but free to fly without any hindrance as was exposed in the blatant interference by the Prime Minister's Office. Independence of CBI: Myth and reality
Without a strong political will the CBI cannot be freed from the government's control, says Anil Chowdhry After Pakistan's elections
The Indian government should resist the temptation to make a grand gesture of friendship towards Nawaz Sharif, says Shyam Saran
May 14, 2013
Manmohan Singh is the BJP's biggest asset
In the present prime minister, the BJP has its weakest possible opponent. Why don't they just let him stay, asks A Ganesh Nadar. Did SC belittle CBI or strengthen it, asks Jaitley
Congress leader Digvijay Singh took a dig at the Supreme Court over its observation that CBI was a "caged parrot", suggesting the description was "belittling" the country's institutions. His comments were unwarranted, feels BJP's Arun Jaitley. India-Iran relations: A tangled web
A close examination of the Indian-Iranian relationship reveals an underdeveloped relationship despite all the spin attached to it. India would like to increase its presence in the Iranian energy sector because of its rapidly rising energy needs, and is rightfully feeling restless about its own marginalisation in Iran, says Harsh V Pant. Why objections to the Vande Mataram are not valid
In a pluralistic society like India it is imperative that religious fervour be tempered to suit the common good, say Vivek Gumaste. Nawaz Sharif is back, but what does it mean for India?
Behind Nawaz Sharif's 'peace with India' stance remain unanswered questions about his role in the Kargil conflict and his family's links with the Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Jaish-e-Muhammad, says Ajai Shukla
May 13, 2013
On diamond jubilee, naval aviation's spirit shows
Since 1910, when a barnstorming aviator first took off from a warship deck, naval fighter pilots have considered themselves a special breed.
May 12, 2013
Why Pakistanis voted for Nawaz and not Imran
Seema Mustafa on how Pakistan voted for change this time in the hope that the new government will do what it is supposed to do govern.
May 06, 2013
The fallout of China's Depsang plains transgression
It is clear that overall the Chinese transgression will leave its scars for a long time to come on the bilateral equations, even as India will have to learn from lessons in statecraft to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, says Srikanth Kondapalli
May 03, 2013
Countries that wish to invade do not do so by pitching tents!
What is so honourable in defending or dis-honourable in not defending the 'Johnson line' in Aksai Chin? That is a question that needs to be asked to the Indian shouting brigade. The Chinese also need to be asked as to why they wish to implement the 'MacDonald McCartney' line drawn by British Imperialists? asks Col (retd) Anil Athale. Sarabjit case: The Congress will pay a heavy political price
While the Congress party's popularity is on the wane, an aggressive Akali Dal is moving in quickly to encash on the hurt feelings of the Sikh community and pitch itself as the only party which works for its interests, says Anita Katyal
May 02, 2013
Kasab's hanging sealed the fate of Sarabjit
Pakistan must get to the root of the conspiracy to eliminate Indian prisoners while in judicial custody, says K C Singh Real Estate: Offenders go scot-free, victims pay
Civic bodies which are supposed to regulate the dimensions of a city's growth, including what land ought to be used how, also have the responsibility of detecting and curbing flouting of norms, says Mahesh Vijapurkar. Sarabjit's murder shows radicalisation of Pak society
What is more frightening is the level of radicalisation of Pakistani society, where jail authorities conspire with other convicts to kill an inmate on death row. This represents a dangerous trend in Pakistan's society of delivering instant justice, says Alok Bansal. Sarabjit: Execution by murder
Sarabjit's murder will certainly add bitterness in relations and serve as a setback to efforts to promote people-to-people ties between the two countries, says Sushant Sareen Will Sarabjit Singh's death change anything?
Islamabad and New Delhi need to learn lessons from Sarabjit Singh's tragic saga and accord importance to evolving a prisoners' policy. And until then there will be many more Sarabjit Singhs as the years roll by, notes Seema Mustafa.
April 30, 2013
Surprise! Why is AG Vahanvati still in denial mode?
Vahanvati's clear stand in court on Tuesday that he has not seen the draft copy of the CBI status report on the coal scam investigation means that there is some design behind his stand? The next stage of the drama will unfold CBI to file its version before the apex court on May 6. Sheela Bhatt reports. CBI control has moved from govt to Cong functionaries
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley says the Congress-led UPA government is not serious on the issue of autonomy and independence of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
April 29, 2013
Why SC wants law body's to examine the power of Prez
On April 26, 2013, Supreme Court referred a highly sensitive issue to the law commission. India's highest judicial forum is miffed by the fact that the executive wing of Indian democracy is bulldozing their well-thought out judgments awarding death sentences to accused guilty of serious crimes including rapes and murders of children. The SC wants the law commission to examine the power of the President and the governor under Article 72 in granting mercy without offering any r Smaller nations stand up to China's hegemony, we don't
Although the latest aggression by China has caught the attention of the nation, the countrymen have been kept in the dark about their ongoing numerous such transgressions, says R N Ravi 1984 and 2002: How to bring trust back in the discourse
Trust is no more, and no less, than the faith that rule of law works equally for everybody and that the State exists to enforce such laws without fear or favour. It is trust in old-fashioned government. Trust is rule of law, says Sonali Ranade Border crisis: Why China won't back off
Whether Salman Khurshid goes Beijing or cancels the trip, the Chinese won't return from their present, newly occupied position, says Tarun Vijay.
April 26, 2013
Standing our ground with China: What India needs to do
China wants to secure strategic depth to its civilian and military projects in the vicinity by pushing the Indian troops far away, says Srikanth Kondapalli
April 24, 2013
India's neighbourhood in a flux
Voters are gearing up to exercise their franchise and elect new leaders within the next 12 months in all but one (Sri Lanka) of the SAARC nations. India needs to better understand the likely scenarios and challenges and chart a course on how best to deal with the changes, says Nilova Roy Chaudhury What the Chinese gameplan against India is
The military gap between India and China is growing steadily. Clearly, China's negotiating strategy is to resolve the dispute when the Chinese are in a much stronger position in terms of comprehensive national strength so that they can dictate terms, says Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retd).
April 23, 2013
Social perversity: Police insensitivity and public outcry
Instead of lamenting that the police is not doing its job, it is the duty of all citizens to bring these issues out in the open. We must try to find out what is going wrong and try to check this social malaise before it acquires demonic proportions and puts our country to shame before the civilized world, says Anil Chowdhry. Chinese intrusion is a matter of concern, not alarm
We have seen greater Chinese activism in the South and East China seas, but not across the Sino-Indian border. If the Chinese troops stay put in the Burthe area and construct defensive structures, that will be an indicator of their deciding to follow a similar policy of activism across the Sino-Indian border, says B Raman.
April 22, 2013
Making sense of the Musharraf puzzle
The profound significance of the events of the past week lies in that the struggle for civilian supremacy has truly begun in Pakistan and its consequences are going to be far-reaching for India-Pakistan relations, says M K Bhadrakumar. But who will ease the little girl's terror and horror?
If this little girl was 'lucky,' the stranger who examined her would have been a woman; if she was still luckier, she would have gentle and patient and kind. Then, the cops would have questioned her. Finally, she would have been allowed to go home with a little pouch of medicines to help her with the pain. But who would ease her terror and horror? What Kabul means to Beijing
China seems more willing to co-operate with India over Afghanistan, but New Delhi should step carefully, says Harsh V Pant
April 19, 2013
View: Why Obama scores over us in dealing with terror
Like drought is a good opportunity for officers and netas to make money, a bomb blast in India is a political opportunity to score over rivals, says Tarun Vijay
April 18, 2013
The CBI now has Dr Singh's ministry at its mercy
In over 47 years as a journalist in Delhi I have never seen a Union Cabinet that is scared of the CBI, it has always been the other way. But whether by happenstance or through deliberate design, the CBI now has the Manmohan Singh ministry at its mercy, reveals T V R Shenoy.
April 17, 2013
My call detail records and a citizen's right to privacy
In the past few months I have been closely monitoring a series of news reports which deal with surveillance of my mobile phones. Illegal housing: Why should victims take the rap
Who are the politicians who either build illegal housing or protect them, or worse, secure compliance from the civic officials who wink at the contraventions? More importantly, where is the blacklist of builders who have indulged in rule-breaking as a business practice so that the buyers can avoid their projects, asks Mahesh Vijapurkar. Playing the alliance game
Nobody should be surprised if the Congress-led alliance at the Centre now makes favourable policy overtures to Naveen Patnaik also, like it has done for Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee, in the hope of strengthening its prospects after the next general elections, says AK Bhattacharya
April 16, 2013
Strange Salman, the Saudis and Kerala
The Saudi leaders were willing to walk the extra mile to solve India's problem, but the external affairs ministry in New Delhi wanted to dawdle. Why did External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid not find time for his Saudi counterparts, and that too on a matter that is of great interest to Indians, asks T V R Shenoy.
April 15, 2013
Why is the soldier denied his right to vote?
Every general election nearly 14 lakh soldiers/sailors and airmen, 9 lakh personnel of the para-military forces and their families are effectively denied their basic democratic right to vote. Why can't the Election Commission come up with a solution for this, asks Colonel (retd) Anil Athale. Chinese grandfathering and the Asian nuclear balance
Beijing is brazenly thumbing its nose at the international non-proliferation regime it signed up to less than a decade ago, says Nitin Pai
April 13, 2013
Can the disaster of 1996 repeat itself in Afghanistan?
While the Soviet troops left Najibullah all alone without any back-up support to counter the Afghan Mujahideen, the US is unlikely to leave Karzai and his successor's government all alone, says B Raman
April 12, 2013
US eagle spreads wings, bares claws in northeast Asia
It is a fallacy, which many of our pundits are prone to, to exaggerate the potential for confrontation and conflict between the US and China and to conceive fanciful notions of advantage for India in the downstream, says M K Bhadrakumar. View: Tytler got a clean chit due to CBI's biased probe
If the credibility of our criminal justice system has to be restored and if we have to win the confidence of the Sikh community, it is important that further investigation against Jagdish Tytler be done in a time-bound manner by a special investigation team which reports directly to the court, says B Raman
April 09, 2013
BRICS summit: Of carnivores and herbivores
April 08, 2013
Rahul is sounding more and more like Kejriwal these days
Rahul Gandhi talks of compassion as a necessary element for development. Sreelatha Menon examines What Rahul Gandhi didn't say to India Inc
The CII meet was ideal for laying out details of concrete policies. But Rahul Gandhi did not choose to speak in concrete terms. Devangshu Datta examines
April 07, 2013
Rahul Gandhi's enigma variations
Is he a hard-nosed prime ministerial aspirant or an earnest visionary?
April 03, 2013
A rally for war criminals: Why are TMC, Left silent?
A belligerent rally in Kolkata by 16 Islamic organisations in support of Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, one of the prime accused in the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh, is indicative of West Bengal's liberal space shrinking, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. Worrying about the 2014 general elections
If there is a strong possibility of a government at the Centre without either the Congress or the Bharatiya Janata Party in it after 2014, an obvious question is about the nature of governance such a formation can provide, says A K Bhattacharya
April 01, 2013
Elections soon after Diwali!
The state of the economy which is in a far worse condition than the government wants us to know; the UPA's instability and the Robert Vadra factor may force a Lok Sabha election this winter, predicts T V R Shenoy India's food crisis: Rotting food-grains, hungry people
India has the largest population of hungry in the world at a time when there is no shortage of food within the country. It is time the government affords priority to food storage and distribution, says Devinder Sharma.
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