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December 31, 2015
Whose year will it be in 2016?
Whose political stock is likely to rise and which leader is most likely to make an impact in the coming year? India-Pak talks: Watch out for these spoilers!
'The biggest stumbling block will come from the traditionalists in the Pakistan army who have grown on a diet of anti-Indian propaganda and thinking on which much of their role -- both militarily and politically -- is centered upon.'
December 30, 2015
Hopefully, some Pak general is not planning another Kargil
'Checkmating India by its nukes, Pakistan can pursue terrorism against India in the Kashmir Valley and also resume launching Mumbai 2008 style attacks.'
December 29, 2015
After Lahore, what can Kashmir expect?
Kashmiris hope that India and Pakistan can find a lasting solution to what many call the Kashmir 'problem'. From beef to James Bond's kiss, 2015 was the year of bans
'The desire to force others to act according to the way we want the world to be is strong in our parts. This is particularly so because we have not fully internalised the idea of individual liberties.
December 28, 2015
Jaitley under fire, Modi the target
'Nobody would dare directly target Modi, and while there are murmurs about Amit Shah after Bihar, nobody is willing to say this openly. Arun Jaitley, in some calculations, is most expendable for Modi,' says Shekhar Gupta. Modi's Pakistan policy has no logic
'The Modi regime, after experimenting with its own versions of neighbourhood policy for 18 months, has now reached the exact stage where the Manmohan Singh government had left it in so far as our Pakistan policy is concerned,' says former senior RA&W officer Vappala Balachandran. How Nitish Kumar can become a national leader
Nitish Kumar has to eschew disastrous experiments with prohibition and reservations in the private sector. Unless he is dissuaded from pursuing these flawed measures, he will pave the way for Bihar to again become a part of the BIMARU group of sick states, says Amulya Ganguli. The Lahore Summit: The Nuclear Angle
'All this talk of 'tactical nuclear weapons' or a limited nuclear war are 'false flags'! It looks like India and Pakistan are slowly but surely inching towards this realism,' says Colonel A Athale (retd). Odd-even rule: An escape route for Kejriwal?
With many exemptions and caveats, the road-rationing system may be another disappointment in reducing Delhi's pollution woes.
December 27, 2015
'Why the hurry to pass the juvenile justice bill?'
Here are edited excerpts from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's Kanimozhi's speech during which she pushed for sending the bill to a Select Committee, arguing that further examination was required to decide whether the age for punitive action should be reduced to 16 years from the current level of 18 years.
December 26, 2015
After the bear hug: Will Pakistan control its terrorists?
'The two NSAs, who have been mandated to address mutual concerns on terrorism, will need to devise credible and irreversible measures to see that the likes of Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar do not ever get a free hand to run riot again,' says Ambassador G Parthasarathy, India's former high commissioner in Pakistan. Lahore stopover: Modi heeds Washington's wishes
'Clearly, the Modi government is proving to be far more willing than any previous government in Delhi to hitch India's wagons with the US' regional strategies.' Modi in Pakistan: A risky political gamble
'Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi be able to continue political engagement with Pakistan against the inevitable upsurge of negative and hostile public sentiment?' Creating history for its own sake
'In a relationship that does not permit cricket, how can the prime ministers embrace and send a false message,' asks Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
December 24, 2015
Why Modi's visit to Moscow is so important
'What should worry India and which needs to be expressed is Russia's simultaneous proximity to both China and Pakistan from a strategic angle. That hasn't happened ever before,' says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd). Why the BJP must be cautious in talking to Pakistan
'The softening of India's attitude towards Pakistan -- whatever the compelling reasons -- opens up the BJP to harsh scrutiny.'
December 23, 2015
Why Bajirao is India's greatest cavalry general
Bajirao, an unorthodox leader, faced much opposition during his lifetime from the Brahmins of Pune. In the last hundred years or so, he has been ignored due to caste politics in Maharashtra where he has become a 'non person' for having been born a Brahmin, says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
December 22, 2015
It's time to correct a depressing national failing
'There is no real doubt that the Congress government was incompetent in stopping the violence against the Sikhs and there are serious charges of mass murder that many in the party face.' China's living Buddhas: Nirvana for sale?
Communist China has recently developed a great expertise in 'soul reincarnation', feels Claude Arpi AK, NaMo, RG and the 3rd Person Syndrome
'This is a new phenomenon,' says Shekhar Gupta. 'Does it point to the rise of egomania, and could it also be a reason our politics is broken and Parliament non-functional? Where our biggest leaders talk not to, but at each other.'
December 19, 2015
Political game of shadows in Arunachal Pradesh
The Congress accuses the BJP of engineering defections and trying to dismiss the Congress govt in the state. The BJP says the CM has lost a majority in the assembly and must go for a vote of confidence. It's high time the Congress reinvents itself
The party has to stop gazing fondly at the trophy shelf of its past, and start envisioning and working toward a future palatable to new generations.
December 18, 2015
How big is the Islamic State threat to India?
As far as India is concerned, the danger is the potential of the IS to create mischief rather than its actual capability as of now, says Rajiv Kumar How good are India's diplomats?
'Those who follow the workings of the establishment believe that Indian diplomacy has managed more by the individual flair and brilliance of a few individuals than its systemic strength or organisational excellence.' Why the Haryana law is bad news for women candidates
The argument that there is nothing wrong in barring illiterates from contesting elections is extremely flawed, when by the same yardstick many sitting MLAs and MPs would not be eligible to contest even panchayat polls, says Devanik Saha.
December 17, 2015
Will the floods muddy TN's water row?
N Sathiya Moorthy explains how the recent floods may complicate the Cauvery issue among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala What the Indo-Japan nuclear MoU actually means
There are many reasons for Japan to turn a deaf ear to its anti-nuclear lobby and concentrate on its geo-strategic imperatives to sign the nuclear deal with India, says Debalina Ghoshal.
December 15, 2015
The fall and rise of political dynasties
Why, centuries after the French Revolution promised an end to feudalism, do political dynasties persist -- even in democracies, asks Ajit Balakrishnan. Why the Congress is a private limited company
'It seems clear that what the Gandhis have done is, if not criminal, at least improper. Dear Delhi CM, here's how you can tackle pollution
An open letter to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on a few ways to reduce pollution in the city.
December 14, 2015
No clean air, thanks, I'm rich
Only the Indian elite would rather not breathe than be ordinary.
December 12, 2015
Why India can't ban astrology
On the grounds of freedom of expression alone, astrology cannot be banned; it also provides a legal livelihood to lots of people. Air today, gone tomorrow
There are many good arguments that the Aam Aadmi Party's odd-even response is not the best solution. But we have to do something, because we care about our collective quality of life.
December 11, 2015
'God and I are this close,' Salman told me
Syed Firdaus Ashraf/ examines how Salman Khan went from a reviled, spoilt Bollywood brat to being a well-loved superstar. This round is for Pakistan
'One cannot escape the conclusion that Pakistan has won the Paris-Bangkok-Islamabad round. To be able to resume the composite dialogue without making any progress on the Mumbai attack trials is a dream come true for Pakistan.' Three questions for 'Prem' Salman Khan
Sudhir Bisht seeks some answers not from the biggest superstar India has seen but from the lovable Prem of the silver screen.
December 10, 2015
A verdict no less historic than Bihar
It was the first reasonably free and fair national election held there since 1990, when Aung San Suu Kyi's fledgling National League for Democracy won a landslide victory. India-Nepal relations: Close neighbours tread a precarious path
The contrived controversy over the so-called blockade of the India-Nepal border has obscured the perilous path on which the current ruling elite in Nepal are taking the country towards. Can Modi strike a nuclear deal with Japan?
The Indo-Japanese nuclear deal may not come easy considering India's Civil Nuclear Liability Act provisions which had earlier put off suppliers like General Electric, says Debalina Ghoshal. Pakistan will test Modi's sincerity
'The truly amazing part is the influence that Washington wields over Modi and the Sangh Parivar,' says M K Bhadrakumar. 'What explains it? The Americans know precisely well which raw nerve to touch and how to make the Sangh Parivar, Modi and this government perform the trapeze act.' Better ties with Pak depends on this Sharif, not the other one
'We will have to wait till the snows melt in June/July 2016 before we can get a clearer idea of whether Pakistan intends to get serious about ending support for cross-border terrorism,' says G Parthasarathy, India's former high commissioner to Pakistan.
December 09, 2015
China vulnerable over Tibet
China is worried about the situation post the Dalai Lama and that his reincarnation could surface in Arunchal Pradesh, a region it claims as its own, but which is part of the Indian Republic, says former RA&W Additional Secretary Jayadeva Ranade. Why terrorism can't be delinked from religion
'Afzal Guru was convicted of supporting the attack on India's Parliament. The Supreme Court said "the collective conscience of society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded" to Guru.' Chennai: The floods became the great equaliser
Even since the floods happened, hitherto distant persona in our locality have suddenly discovered the neighbourhood spirit, says Ennapadam S Krishnamoorthy. Pay government employees well but spare a thought for our farmers too
Farmers with land sizes less than 0.01 hectare have an average annual income of Rs 54732 and annual consumption of Rs 61296, thereby, a debt of Rs 6564 each year. Compare this with the minimum pay for a government employee, says Devanik Saha. The burden of expectation on Mrs Swaraj
'The public has unfair expectations from Mrs Swaraj who is in Islamabad primarily for the Heart of Asia Conference. To restore India's position among stakeholders on Afghanistan is a fair one but to expect her to do more on the Indo-Pak front without requisite preparatory work is unrealistic.'
December 08, 2015
Lessons for Mumbai from the Chennai floods
The major cause of the floods in Mumbai in 2005 and in Chennai in 2015 has been the reclamation of reservoir areas and rapid, unplanned, urbanisation. 5 reasons to support Kejriwal's even-odd numbered car days
Arvind Kejriwal's strategy to take the pollution bull by the horns needs to be applauded. And I am sure that all the imaginary problems and grievances will be addressed before the restrictions are actually implemented, says Sudhir Bisht. When Chennai floods forced Chief Minister MGR to shift homes
For all the blame-game over the flood preparedness in Chennai and elsewhere in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, this is not the first of its kind. Nor would it be the last, given the nature of the north-east monsoon, says N Sathiya Moorthy. World powers must use a 'soft' approach to combat ISIS' endless jihad
A 'soft' approach must be nurtured to complement the hard-line of spending billions in physical conflict; that is the only way to 'degrade and destroy' ISIS. For the first time after Kargil, India has the better of Pakistan
'The talks held in Bangkok, virtually on Indian terms, is an event where Pakistan seems to have blinked first.' Vote share politics: Lessons from the Bihar verdict
More than predicting the nature of elections, a closer scrutiny of seat and vote share difference yields an important tool to assess the value of our democratic process, say economists Yugank Goyal and Arun Kumar Kaushik The time has truly come to have sustained talks with Pakistan
The government has returned to talks with Pakistan, but can it withstand pressure from a jingoistic press and a rabidly nationalistic social media.
December 07, 2015
A beginner's guide to what's tolerance and intolerance
Those debating over these two words remain woolly-headed about their meaning and contextual relevance.
December 05, 2015
The big hits and misses from Modi's cabinet
A brief report card on Modi's ministers.
December 03, 2015
Chennai's story needs to be heard
No one imagined that this could happen to Chennai. We were just a happy little town content with our Kollywood and Coffee, but humanity has won over once again, says Pavithra Selvam.
December 01, 2015
A shared love for Shah Rukh Khan and Chardonnay
'The more conversations I have, the more I realise how boringly similar we are -- they love their family, crib about work, and considering the cholbe na attitude and frequent strikes, I could easily be speaking to someone in Kolkata or Kochi.'
November 30, 2015
Congress and its 'Achche Din' dreams
The resurgence that Congressmen feel is in fact more sentimental than substantive. The substantive reality is that the Congress is a party in terminal decline since 1989, says Shekhar Gupta. The Indian braveheart
The subcontinental man has a better record of fighting than Arabs, and what the Indian soldier has always needed is good leadership, says Aakar Patel. None of us want to be 'tolerated', we want to be ourselves
I love India and intend to live and die here, but I also want to be able to freely question its imperfections. Just as I have the freedom to say that Islam has been hijacked by a gang of demonic and utterly vile hoodlums and that the rest of us Muslims seem helpless to combat this evil, says Laila Tyabji.
November 28, 2015
So what is the real meaning of secularism?
'Once the common man realises that living in harmony, respecting, loving and protecting each other is the real meaning of secularism, and treating everyone equally to safeguard our Constitution and motherland is patriotism, there will be no opportunity for communalism.' Incredible India? Nah, it's Indiahahahaha
The BJP is methodically turning India into the world's laughing stock, one brainless statement after another. A mysterious country that has baffled the world
'Ne Win kept good relations with the Nehru family even though he did nothing to do business with India. When Indira Gandhi was assassinated, Ne Win took off to an undisclosed destination, leading to rumours that he had gone to India. But we had no knowledge of his visit and days later, we were told that he was so struck with grief that he went into meditation on an island.' Ambassador T P Sreenivasan delves into Rajiv Bhatia's new book on mysterious Myanmar.
November 27, 2015
'A jeans-t-shirt revolution is going on'
'Go to any village, you'll find a Dalit 15 years and above wearing jeans.'
November 26, 2015
Can the judiciary also reflect please?
The nullifying of the NJAC Act has put the spotlight on the Judiciary. Concepts like transparency, being open to change, leading from front, management of perceptions that were reserved for the Executive earlier are now relevant for the Judiciary as well, says Sanjeev Nayyar. The long, dirty war to be waged against Islamic State
Europe will have to make some hard choices if it wishes to take on the militant group responsible for the horrible attacks in Paris.
November 25, 2015
Why I support Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao
Can you even imagine the fear that must have passed through Kiran Rao's mind, asks Syed Firdaus Ashraf. Patels and the politics of 'sensitive areas'
'When you read that for the first time, areas in Gujarat dominated by Patidars/Patels have been declared 'sensitive' for the civic polls that were held this week, you sit up and take note,' says Jyoti Punwani.
November 24, 2015
Khan't you just see the growing intolerance?
'In a competitive industry where no one has a formula for success other than the actor's personal appeal, the need to dominate the news cycle in the interim between films is so overpowering that even the otherwise sober stars can suffer a Ghajini moment,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy. Seventh Pay Commission's biggest losers: The armed forces
The 7th CPC places the Indian Police Service (and, almost in passing, the Indian Forest Service) on a level with the Indian Administrative Service, leaving the military out in the cold.
November 23, 2015
What if Modi had attended Nitish's swearing-in?
'Only the prime minister can take the initiative in reaching out to his opponents. The fact that he has been reluctant to do so, leaving it to the Arun Jaitleys and Venkaiah Naidus to hold out the olive branch, has given the Opposition the chance of pointing to his aloofness,' says Amulya Ganguli. Modi in Singapore: Bolstering a pivotal relationship
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit is an attempt to move the Indo-Singapore relationship to the 'next level'. Singapore has been one of the top investors in India. India-Singapore bilateral trade has already crossed the $15 billion mark. As per the official records, Singapore has emerged as the second largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in India, says Dr Rahul Mishra.
November 22, 2015
Will the Modi Brand be a market leader in 2019?
Why the prime minister's legacy will depend on how he governs, not the number of state elections he fights as personality contests, says Shekhar Gupta.
November 20, 2015
Available: A votebank on the distaff side
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has shown it is possible to form an electoral base with pro-women policies that matter, so why don't other political parties replicate it, asks Devanik Saha.
November 19, 2015
Why can't Xi shake the Monk's hand?
'Why assail the Tibetan leader at a time when many in China realise that the Buddhist monk is the best bet if Beijing is seriously trying to find a solution to the Tibetan issue?' asks Claude Arpi.
November 18, 2015
Why do we honour Ashoka and not Tipu?
'Ashok the Great did not slaughter foreigners or Muslims when he conquered Kalinga. It was Oriya- speaking Hindus whom he butchered by the tens of thousands. But Ashok is called Great, and his lion emblem is the official symbol of the Republic of India.' A warrior for the Hindu cause
'Ashok Singhal was an amazing missionary, a monk in civil dress. His personal ego and pride simply evaporated before the national cause.'
November 17, 2015
As long as faith scores over reason, Paris will keep happening
'Disgruntled, disillusioned, Muslim youth -- of whom there is no dearth, given the Muslim world's sorry state -- are ready to take on the might of the West and attack it in any way they can.' Caution: Road blocks ahead for Modi Sarkar
After the Bihar setback, these are the issues the PM must address to maintain the people's faith in him. Islamic clergy must stop criminals from hijacking Islam
'If religious scholars and preachers declare suicide attacks as un-Islamic and decree that suicide bombers will be denied an Islamic burial and funeral rites, it may dissuade some would-be terrorists who dream of an afterlife in heaven,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
November 16, 2015
Pulping the Modi script on Muslims
The BJP's panicky return to basic-instinct majoritarianism in Bihar has pushed Muslims back into the 'secular' basement, says Shekhar Gupta. How to bet on elections
Given the Indian electoral system, the racecourse totaliser (tote) would be a near-ideal model for election betting.
November 13, 2015
How GSAT-15 will help India's communications
The 'context' of the launch of GSAT-15 highlights that India has much ground to cover in the transponder arena while in satellite navigation arena ISRO's progress has been satisfactory, says Ajey Lele. How the Internet was born, 25 years ago
November 12 marks 25 years of the beginning of the World Wide Web. Shivanand Kanavi gives us the story of how it all began. In 18 months Modi spent 2.5 months out of India
Do Modi's foreign visits actually serve India or they nothing more than expensive tools for domestic positioning and image-building, asks Shehzad Poonawalla.
November 12, 2015
How will Britain behave with Modi?
The best message the Prime Minister could bring to London is that he will return to India to focus on economic matters. Britain, on its part, should ensure that it addresses matters that concern India, instead of engaging in pomp during his visit, says Adam Roberts. Put India's neighbourhood policy back on track
'We should not have waited for the political crisis in Nepal to erupt before being galvanised into action,' says Shyam Saran. 'We should have seen what was coming and not accepted assurances from the leaders of the political parties at their face value.' The Great Indian Milieu on WhatsApp
'The whats app messages came as a tsunami on to dry, sparse, corroded, forgotten parts of the brain. Thoughts, memories, faces and long erased episodes were irrigated once again and with that came a turmoil not felt in a long while.'
November 11, 2015
Noted columnist Hasan Suroor caught in paedophilia sting in UK: Report
A spokesman for British Transport Police told Huffington Post India that Suroor travelled from Sloane Avenue, Kensington and Chelsea to meet the minor, after grooming the child online for sex on November 9. Tibet issue gets more complex for China
'Information about the Dalai Lama's heath is normally not shared with the public. Its release on this occasion implicitly underscores the message that the window of opportunity for Beijing to recommence the dialogue with the Dalai Lama -- an advocate of non-violence -- to resolve the contentious Tibetan issue is limited.' says Jayadeva Ranade. Our generals must be part of Pakistan talks
'It will make good sense for military men on that side of the table to be confronted by our own.'
November 10, 2015
5 ideas the Raksha Mantri must urgently act on
Amongst those who heard the message of the Bihar results would be Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, whose realm is simultaneously the country's most complex and -- when something goes wrong -- the most emotive, says Ajai Shukla.
November 09, 2015
Modi, Amit Shah and their Dilli ki Sultanate
'The Modi Sultanate -- like the Congress Sultanate -- does not understand local aspirations and politics. It will repeat the same mistakes whenever it takes on powerful regional leaders.' BJP must take back control of the message
'The BJP can kill two birds with one stone by wresting back control of the message; and the steps are fairly obvious. Once the media is neutral, there is a level playing field,' argues Rajeev Srinivasan. Why the BJP lost: 5 reasons from 'expat' Biharis
'The greatness of Indian democracy is that it never lets any political pundit master the pulse of the electorate. Sometimes people vote for change and sometimes they vote for the status quo.' Bihar saves India again
'The BJP should realise that a very large number of people -- from the 'perfumed liberals' to the 'illiterate' masses of Bihar -- is trying to tell them that this is not the 'development' they wanted.' India was a not so happy place, and then along came Modi
What do the critics of the prime minister know, India has reached the zenith of its glory under the Modi dispensation, says Durba Dhyani. Time for Modi to grow up
'The BJP has not moved on since its 2014 victory. There is nothing new to offer. There is far too much negativity about the other side and far too little about what has been achieved by its government.' Modi's 2014 after-glow is over
Why the Bihar defeat can be the best thing for him as PM, but only if he has the humility to read the writing on the wall, says Shekhar Gupta.
November 08, 2015
How Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav won Bihar
'The clearest interpretation of the November 8 mandate is that the backwards, Dalits and minorities, and a huge proportion of women cutting across caste and class, displayed massive consolidation to the extent that despite chipping of votes by the Left Front, by the Third Front and by the BSP, Mahagathbandhan candidates won, and in many cases by huge margins,' says Mohammad Sajjad. 5 things Modi needs to do ASAP
'The prime ministership needs a statesman, not a politician, and 18 months into the job Modi is yet to learn the difference between the two,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy. The other election India should watch today
If Myanmar's election demonstrates reasonable transparency and fair process, it would go down in history as the first free and fair one in the country in more than two decades, says Dr Rahul Mishra. The Bihari Won
'Few leaders are fortunate to win such a ringing endorsement from the electorate in an election when the prime minister and his lieutenant staked their all and almost daily upped the ante.' The nutty Right and the illiberal Left
'The new generation voter is hyper-nationalistic, but it isn't essentially illiberal.' Something that all Indians can be proud of
'India's election process is smoother, more efficient, more credible, cheaper to conduct and quicker to deliver than any other large democracy, including the United States. It seems to me that the election process is getting better with each passing year and it is something all Indians can be very proud of,' says Aakar Patel.
November 05, 2015
Saving India from the 'mad cow' people
'it looks like India wants to follow Pakistan on the slippery slope of stupidity masquerading as religion.' Why the BJP must stand up to fake protests
'While the government must be relentless in its efforts to curb unruly elements to ensure secular harmony and protect its goal of national development,it must not lose the moral high ground by giving in to the antics of the anti-nationalist lobby.'
November 04, 2015
Keep up the demonisation, and you'll get the govt you deserve
'What if Modi becomes the fascist the leftists paints him as? What if he does suspend the Constitution and declares himself the ruler, with support from the army? What exactly will you do, Mr Leftie?' asks Rajeev Srinivasan. Burdens the Supreme Court must shed
The power of judicial review is being stretched to breaking point. Modi should rise above being a mere prime minister
'He can do wonders if only he dons the mantle of the leader, mentor and path-setter of the nation and for all its people, instead of remaining content with being a mere PM belonging to one of the many political parties,' says B S Raghavan.
November 02, 2015
Caste versus faith: Which will win in Bihar?
'Modi and Shah know their politics. That is why the alarmed switch to reservations, and raising the threat from 'vote bank' politics,' says Shekhar Gupta.
October 30, 2015
Anupam Kher: People don't want to give Modi a chance
Anupam Kher on why he thinks the prime minister is a genuine person.
October 29, 2015
Myth of the tolerant, peaceful, Hindu
The idea that Hindus are peace-loving and reticent is modern, says Aakar Patel.
October 28, 2015
Dadri to Faridabad: Is BJP encouraging India's Ku Klux Klan?
'It would be a folly on our part to believe that the KKK or its Indian version exists only as some dedicated organisation. Rather, the Indian KKK, much like the American counterpart, exists as a fragmented and amorphous collection of independent groups and individuals,' says Shehzad Poonawalla. 'If Modi goes, Babur will come'
'Hindus are safe only if Modiji is ruling India. If he goes, then Babur will rule us. I want Modiji to rule for another 25 years, then you will see how India will change.'
October 27, 2015
What China's military plans mean for India
'There are major implications for India. Though there was a transparently thin attempt to project the troop reduction as intended to promote peace, the downsizing is actually part of plans to streamline and strengthen the PLA, capable of defending China's national interests at home and abroad,' says Jayadev Ranade. Beyond the fighter pilot glamour
'Why have we focused mainly on the question of women becoming fighter pilots? Why have women never asked for induction as Airwomen, Security Guards or Enrolled Non-Combatants? Is it that these jobs at lower levels demand far greater hardships without being glamorous?' asks Air Marshal P V Athawale (retd). If it ain't broke, don't fix the SC collegium
Unless there is a solution that improves the present system of appointment of judges, it's best to not tinker with it, says Jayant Tripathi. Living in nuclear la-la land
Indian policymakers must incorporate in their nuclear doctrine a realistic response to tactical nuclear warheads, says Ajai Shukla. Elections in Bihar: People, traffic, noise
'The local administration is working overtime to improve voter turnout and take it beyond the 50% to 60% mark. This is evident from the massive advertising being done to propagate the same. Not a single government building is left standing without it being plastered with the Election Commission's posters and banners.'
October 26, 2015
Why did the British suck up to the Chinese?
'The "Hollandisation" of British policy may not bring the expected gains as the future may show,' says Claude Arpi. An NRI View: Why Dadri Matters
The prime minister, says Ram Kelkar, could do a lot to advance his stature as a national leader by speaking in strong and unequivocal terms on the subject of opposing intolerance and emphasizing the rule of law, thereby setting the tone for the nation and the party. Fadnavis@1: Restless, insecure, leader
Devendra Fadnavis -- who completes a year as Maharashtra's chief minister this weekend -- knows his rivals in the party remain hungry for power and want to seize every opportunity to pull him down, says Neeta Kolhatkar. If you're upset, Mr Prime Minister, don't bottle it up
A strong leader, known for his strong speeches, uses his communication skills to guide and heal. He does not wait for 10 days to comment, provoking a worried President to speak instead-not once, but twice. Advice to the RSS: Celebrate diversity!
'Unity in diversity is a dated notion as India, today, is more unified and cohesive and yet more pronouncedly diverse than ever in its history,' argues Shekhar Gupta.
October 24, 2015
Nothing has changed under Manohar Lal Khattar in Haryana
The attack on a Dalit family in Faridabad days before the Khattar government's first anniversary suggests that nothing has changed.
October 23, 2015
We are Muslims and we are not terrorists
'One can understand this prejudice in the minds of policemen against Muslims, without accepting it. But what tilts the balance disproportionately is the police's blind eye to offences committed in the name of the majority.' says Jyoti Punwani. Can a country change its character?
'I believe that it can and in the case of Germany it has. What about ourselves? If it were 1971 today, would we accept 10 million refugees from another land?' asks Ambassador B S Prakash. Is the BJP losing the Bihar elections?
'The BJP has replaced huge portraits of the two BJP leaders from Gujarat with very small portraits of many leaders from Bihar. Much is being read into this changed tactic of hoardings and banners,' says Mohammad Sajjad. Heed the concerns of our writers
'The writers fear that the fringe is threatening to become the mainstream and the liberal space -- a must for any creative expression -- is fast shrinking,' says Mohammad Asim Siddiqui.
October 22, 2015
Putin makes his move on Syria
'A top Russian diplomat, Ambassador Alexander Aksenyonok told me in Sochi, Moscow is keen on a political settlement in Syria "as early as possible -- which is also our exit strategy",' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
October 21, 2015
China dams the Brahmaputra: Why India should worry
The Chinese dam at Zangmu in Tibet on the Brahmaputra is now fully operational. Given China's history in the region, the construction and operationalisation of the dam pose some worrisome implications for India, says Sana Hashmi. An insider's view on how to improve civil service recruitment
We can learn much from China with regards to making civil service recruitment more efficient, says former diplomat Kishan S Rana.
October 20, 2015
BJP playing with fire on cow slaughter law
'Sooner or later Modi will be forced to look at the broad cultural thrust of Hindutva and assess whether it is helping his development agenda and the image of India,' says Aakar Patel.
October 19, 2015
Will Pakistan accept a beef-eating Indian who also eats pork?
From belonging to an endangered tribe, somewhere along the line I had turned into a dangerous species myself; a lying, scheming traitor, who had let the country down -- in short, an anti-national, says Durba Dhyani. A liberal case against a uniform civil code
A constipated, constricting UCC would be worse than the current scenario of competing personal laws, says Devangshu Datta. The shocking way we treat 'servants'!
'In this resurgent India, class is the new caste. We are shaken up only occasionally, and briefly, when a battered, tribal teenager from Jharkhand looks us in the eye from our closet,' says Shekhar Gupta.
October 16, 2015
The truth about cow slaughter in India
'There are three issues related to beef consumption and cow slaughter. One is the British origin of cow slaughter. Two, if slaughter of cows is sanctioned by Islamic scriptures and three, the environmental impact of beef consumption.' This prize-return tamasha!
'This has absolutely nothing to do with Kalburgi or anybody else, it only has to do with two words: Bihar elections. It's electioneering by other means, let's save the fig leaf of morality,' says Rajeev Srinivasan.
October 14, 2015
How does Nitish escape Lalu's boa constrictor-like embrace?
'Even if the anti-Modi 'Mahagatbandhan' gets a majority there is simply no way that Nitish Kumar can ensure even a stable government, leave alone a good -- clean, development-oriented -- government,' argues T V R Shenoy. The Corrupt Indian
It is the voter who has corrupted politics, not the politician, says Aakar Patel. Will these India-China army exercises achieve anything?
'The focus on countering terrorism brings to the issue Beijing's non-serious approach in this regard. India's permanent representative at the UN has raised in vain the issue of funding and the release of 26/11 suspect Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi. But China has blocked these objections since December 2014 at the UN even after 'highest levels' in India intervened,' notes Srikanth Kondapalli, reviewing the India-China military exercises in Kunming.
October 13, 2015
Will Pakistan's army chief stay on?
'Already, there is talk of a possible extension for Raheel Sharif in the context of his perceived sterling, but incomplete work in the war against terror, as also the cleansing of crime and extortion networks in Karachi,' says Rana Banerji. Raking up beef issue will hurt the BJP
'By resorting to divisive issues, the BJP is giving the impression that even if it is voted to power it won't do anything new to give Bihar a facelift. It will repel voters with the belief that the BJP can't do anything without communal polarisation as its core ideology. This is sad and unfortunate,' says Mohammad Sajjad. Why Modi is right on not speaking on Dadri
'What will be achieved by the prime minister's condemnation of each and every unfortunate incident? Will just the PM's condemnation bring about closure to these cases,' asks Sudhir Bisht. Why Rashtrapati's Israel visit goes beyond politics
President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Israel is a final and critical step in the normalisation of relations between the two countries. India and its writers' rebellion
Novelists are speaking for millions across India who are alarmed at where this country is headed.
October 12, 2015
Operation Malabar: A warning to China
China's South China Sea build-up and 'territorial sea' construct potentially affects 55 percent of Indian trade passing through the region. Hence, coordinating with the US and Japan could provide dividends to India in the longer run,' says Srikanth Kondapalli. The canary and the deep State
'A close look at the time-lines tells you that exactly as the back-channel negotiations were in their most crucial stage, "somebody" was planning the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai,' says Shekhar Gupta questioning Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri's account of a peace deal with India.
October 09, 2015
Was the Dadri lynching really about 'eating beef'?
'Even if the media is partisan, the BJP, governing at the Centre, has the most to lose if India descends into widespread communal violence.' Whom will the astute Bihari choose?
Bihar's progress in the last 10 years under Nitish Kumar has been acknowledged by Biharis -- but whom will the astute Bihari choose this time, A Bihari Abroad asks as the first round of polls in the state begins on Monday. Post-Dadri, is darkness upon us?
'Today, the target of this rage are the weaker sections of society -- Muslims, Dalits, liberal thinkers/writers who challenge its ideology. But tomorrow, it could be anyone stepping out of a pub; reading a book or watching a movie by an artist considered an anti-Hindu/anti-national,' says Durba Dhyani.
October 07, 2015
The diminishing idea of India
If we value India, we must not only 'Make in India', but defend the idea of India, too. Will Silicon Valley CEOs have second thoughts about India?
'In today's digitalised world, news about the prevalence of such intolerant groups with their pathological animosity towards the minorities cannot remain a secret.'
October 06, 2015
De-terrorise Pak policies towards India, General Sharif!
'New Delhi feels that given the internal dynamics in Pakistan and the overwhelming powers wielded by the army, one will have to wait for better times to see any meaningful progress in the India-Pakistan relationship,' says Ambassador G Parthasarthy.
October 05, 2015
Modi and the videshi desis
'For all of the tamasha about these meetings of Modi and the videshi desis, the reality is that they are just entertainment. China's Islamic terror problem
'Islamic State has declared that the liberation of Islamic Xinjiang from China is an objective. Beijing may well find that Pakistan is unable to assist in any meaningful way,' says China expert Jayadeva Ranade. Aadhaar may have a lethal impact on the existence of India
'Biometric Aadhaar-based surveillance is not only about violation of privacy, but also about the treasure hunt for unprecedented financial surveillance and economic intelligence in the economic history of mankind,' asks Gopal Krishna. How can there be peace if Pakistan uses terror against us?
'How can Kashmir be demilitarised if the terrorist threat remains and Pakistan continues to incite elements in Kashmir to keep the internal situation unstable?' asks former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal.
October 03, 2015
The Dadri incident is a chilling turning point in our politics
'The reason I call Dadri a landmark turning point in our politics is the relatively muted response of the self-styled secular forces.' Dadri Lynching: Time for a Mann Ki Baat, Mr Prime Minister!
'Mohammad Akhlaq's death isn't only about a Muslim being killed out of sheer communal bigotry, but also the denial of the Constitutional guarantees of "due process" under Article 21 and the freedom of choice,' says Shehzad Poonawalla, who has moved the National Commission for Minorities over the murder. The dialogue is as good as over for now
It is time to forge a credible New Delhi-Srinagar axis, says Ajai Shukla.
October 02, 2015
Sharif has given up hope on better ties during the Modi era
'Indian diplomacy is once again being saddled with the heavy burden of a Pakistan-centric foreign policy. It is something grossly unfair at a crucial juncture in India's trajectory as an emerging power on the global stage,' argues Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar.
October 01, 2015
DMK and the Rising Son, version 2.0
Stalin has started campaigning in the name of father Karunanidhi as the party's CM's candidate, but does not seem to have given up hope. Why the idea of Hindu Rashtra has not caught on in India
'Till today, the RSS only speaks of Hindu Rashtra but never explains what it means. It cannot, because it would be unacceptable to even a majority of Hindus, forget the Indian Muslims and Christians,' says Aakar Patel.
September 30, 2015
What Modi proved by his Silicon Valley visit
'If such is the ambition to effect change, India is a platform where an innovation can be tested on a scale unavailable in most places. To take the simplest example, where else are hundreds of millions in one country waiting for Internet access, for better broadband, for 4G roll out -- millions of them in each of these categories -- of the ascending scale?' IAF pilot gave up his life for country. Today, his dad fights for his rights
Gurbax Singh Dhindsa, father of Kargil war martyr GS Dhindsa, in a letter to the PM and defence minister underlining the fact that military personnel have little recourse to justice in higher courts.
September 29, 2015
4 reasons why India needs a separate Union sanitation ministry
Sanitation is always clubbed with other departments, which lead to its neglect, says Devanik Saha. Roti, Beti and Modi's Sickularism
'The test of true secularism in India is when a girl in your family decides to marry someone from another religion. If you accept her decision happily, then you are truly secular. If you don't, it means your secularism is fake,' argues Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
September 28, 2015
AAP's existential dilemma
Should the party expand to Punjab, Bihar and other places, or should it consolidate its gains in Delhi? This was one of the questions before the party when it split sometime back. An answer is yet to emerge.
September 26, 2015
'Maximum utterance, minimum governance'
'A foot-in-mouth disorder seems to grip the government, and is growing chronic by the day,' says Sunil Sethi. How Rahul plans to get rid of the old timers
'The so-called old guard is uneasy and resentful. These are the makings of a new Congress where there will be little or no role for them. And in their opinion, it is not a Congress that will win elections,' says Aditi Phadnis. Can Modi leverage global eminence to advance India's interests?
'You can see the essential contours of his new Pakistan strategy. Rather than keep engaging with or humouring them, he'd rather work on taking their four biggest supporters -- the US, China, the UAE and later Saudi Arabia -- away from them.'
September 24, 2015
Silicon Valley, ready to enhance the link between Desi, Pravasi
'This has been an ongoing process,' says Ambassador B S Prakash, India's former consul general in San Francisco, 'but I believe a Modi visit to the West Coast can be a force-multiplier.' India has still not learnt that single lesson of 1965
50 years after the 1965 War, India still thinks we can have a 'limited war' when our opponent has time and again shown it does not believe in a limited war, says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). India's elected a Trump, will US now get a Modi?
'In May 2014, India got its Donald Trump equivalent as prime minister in the form of Narendra Modi. Come 2016, we will know if America too gets its own version of Modi by electing Trump,' says Shehzad Poonawalla.
September 23, 2015
10 things the UN needs to do NOW!
On October 24, the United Nations turns 70. Bakri Eid and a militant vegetarian housing society
'The secretary asked if I would give in writing that I would not slaughter goats inside the building compound during Bakri Eid.'
September 22, 2015
Why the anti-Digital India petition must be called out
'The anti-Digital India campaign is a vindictive hatchet job rather than a fact based, rationally sound appraisal; a personal attack rather than issue based criticism; an ideological assault rather than altruistic effort. It must be called out for what it is,' says Vivek Gumaste. The new revolution that is transforming America
The US is still a place for innovation and entrepreneurship, and it is good to see Indian Americans and immigrants contributing to this in a major way, says K V Seshasayee who visited the US after four years and found the gloom had dissipated.
September 21, 2015
'Diet is a personal choice'
There is hope for us non-vegetarians. At least some enlightened judges believe diet is a personal choice. Here's to Maansh Wapsi. Time to grow up, Mr Minister
'I am only slightly puzzled by why the childishness has not left the minister. It is easy to be prejudiced and closed-minded when one is in one's teens. But adults should view the world as adults, not as squabbling and petty schoolchildren,' says Aakar Patel. What are the RSS/BJP after? Global change made Nehru, Indira irrelevant
'One big problem for the RSS is, while they spread their ideology of hard, Hindu-ised Indian nationalism, the absence of their own pantheon of modern nationalist giants. They missed out on the freedom movement quite comprehensively, in some ways comparable to the Muslim League and latter-day Communists. They have to find heroes elsewhere.'
September 19, 2015
1965 decided the fate of the subcontinent
'It would not be incorrect to say that the Chinese-Pakistani strategy of containing India began in the aftermath of the 1965 war.'
September 18, 2015
'I am not exaggerating: We are facing death'
'What shame is there in the government accepting a drought situation and taking appropriate measures to help people live?' a Marathwada farmer asks Neeta Kolhatkar. Pakistan should never consider India weak
'Pakistan's recent utterances and tendency to use pinpricks to try our patience appear reminiscent of 1965. We are a strong nation, emerging stronger,' says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd). What if India 'takes out' Hafiz Saeed, Dawood?
'If India is already involved in helping the insurgents in Baluchistan and Karachi, as Pakistan says, it is but one step for New Delhi to bring Dawood or Hafiz Saeed into its sights,' says Amulya Ganguli.
September 16, 2015
Beware! China's military games in Ladakh
'Intrusions by PLA troops in the Ladakh sector are more in number than elsewhere and this region is now likely to remain an area of enhanced Chinese interest,' warns China expert Jayadeva Ranade. If Burdwan blast was an act of terror, why not Jhabua?
If terror indeed has no religion, no partisan affiliations, and if the government, media and all right-minded people in this country people truly believe that, let us not call one blast a "terrorist incident" and dismiss another one as a mere "cylinder blast" just because it is politically convenient, says Shehzad Poonawala.'If terror indeed has no religion, no partisan affiliations, and if the government, media and all right-minded people in this country truly believe that, let us not call one blast a "terrorist incident" and dismiss another one as a mere "cylinder blast" just because it is politically convenient,' argues Shehzad Poonawalla. Who will benefit from a BJP-DMDK tieup in TN polls
Subramanian Swamy stole the BJP thunder in Tamil Nadu by meeting DMDK's Vijaykanth in Chennai, and his efforts seem to have paid off, at least in the interim, says N Sathiya Moorthy.
September 14, 2015
Good politics is not necessarily good governance
'One is forced to wonder whether Modi is serious about all the bills people want him to pass. Because to me he has made no real honest effort at getting things moving legislatively,' says Aakar Patel. India only home for followers of dharma
It is mischievous to imply that the proposed bill to grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists from other nations implies that Muslims and Christians are not Indians, says Sanjeev Nayyar. Why Shekhar Gupta doesn't buy the hype around the Bihar poll
'It is an important and significant election -- but there is nothing make-or-break about it. A victory is always great, but if the BJP wins, it can't make Mr Modi any stronger in his party and government than he already is,' says Shekhar Gupta.
September 11, 2015
'Bangladesh can't lose its spirit at the altar of mad fanaticism'
Secular blogger Avijit Roy, who was hacked to death in February this year, would have turned a year older on Saturday. For his family including the extended one, it is a time to reflect on where their country is heading to, says Indrani Roy.
September 10, 2015
China's turmoil is both economic and political
The chaos on its stock markets, a fierce battle between the old and new guard in the Communist Party and the restive border provinces of Tibet and Xinjiang forebode tough times ahead for China, says Claude Arpi.
September 09, 2015
What I want for Bihar
'What I want is not for the elected to tell me what they did in the 1990s or for the past 5 years,' says A Bihari Abroad. 'I would rather know what they plan to do in the next 6 months and give the people a report on the progress of these initiatives. Perhaps, a presentation on their performance and their future plans, to the electoral public, who they represent and are actually answerable to.' Did the money trail get Rakesh Maria transferred?
'The talk in police circles is that Maria was about to crack the money transaction trail in the crime. The Mumbai police's Economic and Offences Wing had begun investigations into the money trail and Mumbai police officers had visited Singapore in this connection.'
September 07, 2015
Let us not give our Islamic neighbour a run for its money
'In the 30 years since the Ayodhya movement began, the RSS has created a generation of Hindus who are the mirror image of those fanatic Muslims who take to the streets at the slightest, even imagined, 'insult to Islam,' argues Jyoti Punwani. Why things have remained the same for the Patels in Gujarat
'The reason the protests are not happening in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Noida is that there are options available to the youth in those cities. And many people can access this sort of job because most of them are armed with English, integrating them into the global economy. This is something not available to most youth in Gujarat (the government schools do not teach English till Class 5),' says Aakar Patel.
September 04, 2015
A dead child, a world gone mad
If Aylan Kurdi was a Bangladeshi boy on the border with Assam or West Bengal, would you call him an infiltrator, asks Mango Indian. Why renaming Aurangzeb Road is right
'I am happy that Aurangzeb will no longer dance before my eyes as I jog down A P J Abdul Kalam Road. Instead, the serene, saintly, smile of the late beloved President will bless me when I take an evening stroll there.' Why Kerala's Hanuman Sena must travel to Jakarta
Our Hindutva fanatics are actually making Hindu society more like Islamists are changing Muslim societies, says Shivam Vij.
September 03, 2015
The unfair witch-hunt of Hamid Ansari
Hamid Anasari's was not talking of reservation for the whole religious community to which he too happens to belong. Yet, sections of media chose to put words into his mouth and then subject him to the criticism he never deserved. This does not augur well for our media or democracy, says Mohammad Sajjad.
September 02, 2015
Why we are so keen on demonising Indrani
A lot of what we are hearing about Indrani is coming from our desire to demonise her and deny her humanity, says Shivam Vij. What Hamid Ansari said about Muslim backwardness
'The default by the State or its agents in terms of deprivation, exclusion and discrimination (including failure to provide security) is to be corrected by the State; this needs to be done at the earliest and appropriate instruments developed for it.' The central lesson from the 1965 War
The 1965 war teaches us that war by escalation is a real possibility. Despite clear threats, Pakistan never believed that India will ever cross the international border. In the age of nuclear deterrence, this failure to deter Pakistan is the central lesson of 1965, says Colonel Anil Athale (retd).
September 01, 2015
More Mukerjea please, we're starving
'You know, there's not much else happening other than the juicy murder story starring the TV mogul's trophy turned huntress wife,' says Mango Indian. Land ordinance: The obvious answers
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley explains the future of the Land Acquisition Law in India Why target Aurangzeb alone, Mr Kejriwal?
Yes, Aurangzeb was a tyrant who ill-treated his subjects. But was he the only Mughal emperor guilty of this, asks Syed Firdaus Ashraf. Stay tuned to Moscow!
India must develop structured multilateralism to its defence buys Our deadliest battles are now fought over literature, art and culture
The only thing more dangerous than a killer who thinks he is acting to protect his faith or community is the killer who knows he is acting with the sanction of his faith or community
August 31, 2015
Why can't our cops clean up their act?
'It is worrisome that religion, politics and strong regional biases have pervaded our police force.' Prostrate before the Arnab experience
'While Television generally tends to Clarity,' says Sreehari Nair, 'Arnab Goswami's The Newshour Debate portrays our confusions. Each episode offers both the potency of an intensely-fought boxing match and the giddy pleasures of an orgy.' The problem I have with English news television
'I know and recognise that television needs interesting material. I don't even have a problem with them doing entertaining and irrelevant stories, even if they don't interest me personally. However, when something of grave importance is also breaking at the same time, then it becomes difficult for me to forgive such irresponsible behaviour,' says Aakar Patel.
August 29, 2015
Why Indrani Mukerjea gives an entire class of women a bad name
High-society incidents like this one inevitably give rise to questions about the morality and ethics of the high and mighty. Unfortunately, they also deepen prejudices and reinforce stereotypes. The 'Gone Girls' of India
Sheena Bora may be the latest of India's 'gone girls' but the list is too long to enumerate, says Sunil Sethi
August 28, 2015
Of ruthless social climbers and Indrani Mukerjea
There are many who don't mind leaving more than claw marks on people around them in their march to the top.
August 27, 2015
Niti Aayog's wrong prescription
Taking away free healthcare facilities, as recommended by the Aayog, would place a huge burden on the people, especially in rural areas, says Devanik Saha. How Lord Ram is punishing the BJP in Gujarat
'The lesson the BJP has to learn from the violence in Gujarat is that once you practise the politics of hate against any community, it will surely get back to you some day.' No longer Pappu, he has NaMo to thank!
'Manmohan Singh was blamed for administrative paralysis, but if you speak to any senior bureaucrat today, they are very bitter and say that files do not move. I am told that more than a thousand files are awaiting clearance.'
August 26, 2015
What if it was Haider Pathan and not Hardik Patel?
'If Haider petitions the court and the government for legitimate rights it is called minority appeasement, but when Hardik orchestrates violence he is lionised, romanticised and given huge media space that ends up both legitimising and oxygenating his movement, no matter how contrary it is to the Rule of Law,' argues Shehzad Poonawalla. 'OROP for jawans is justified. Not so much for officers'
'It is important to make a clear distinction between the officers and jawans. The officers retire at 54 and with two extensions can go up to 58 years before they go home. A jawan on the other hand retires at 38. Therefore, to portray a picture that all army men retire young is wrong.' Modi is unlikely to be as successful a PM as he was CM
'Modi didn't face such belligerence in his home state. Moreover, as the prime minister, he can no longer resort to his earlier ploy of describing every attack on himself as an attack on Gujarat. Instead, he has to rebut the charges with calm logic,' says Amulya Ganguli.
August 25, 2015
Early polls likely for TN assembly?
Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK may choose to capitalise on the confusion within opposition ranks and hope to ride to power on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's popularity, writes N Sathiya Moorthy. Nationalism in India is being anti-Pakistan and anti-China
'The assumption is that the lines have been drawn and the two sides (India and Pakistan) have gone to battle. All of us, whether analysts or politicians or citizens or cricketers or housewives, must see the other side as an enemy and must reject everything it says or does even if we gain nothing from it. I am no longer able to subscribe to this stupidity,' says Aakar Patel. Is Modi sarkaar wary of being politically unpopular?
The next general election is more than three years away. Yet, the Centre appears to be reluctant to take any bold move that might annoy influential sections of the electorate.
August 24, 2015
A Babaji ki booti to cure the incurable?
If Ramdev weren't a Baba, but a mere salesman, what would he make of a medicine or a herb named Putrajeevak Beej. Indo-Pak situation worse today than before Ufa
'The entire Ufa fiasco was predictable and predicted. The Ufa venue had created international interest in the initiative and its failure may have implications for both Pakistan and India. What remains for Modi to do is to produce a prettier rabbit out of his hat next time to deal with the Pakistan imbroglio,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. Internet trolls, the moral police and an intolerant nation
'I cannot say I like watching porn, or that I like to party, or that I enjoy my drink and, worse still, that I like Rahul Gandhi.'
August 22, 2015
Why is New Delhi afraid of the Hurriyat?
'India should be more confident and let Pakistanis meet Hurriyat leaders. India's main concern is terrorism, and India should talk terrorism. If that means talking Kashmir, so be it. India can't answer terror with terror because we don't have terror factories. India can't answer terrorism with war because we both have nuclear weapons. That leaves talks as the only option,' says Shivam Vij.
August 21, 2015
Uphaar verdict: The victims deserve an audacious legal ending
Sunetra Choudhury hopes the Supreme Court will eventually give a fitting punishment to the Uphaar accused.
August 20, 2015
Is frequent flyer Modi overdoing it?
How much money the Modi government has already spent and is going to spend on all those foreign trips, muses Sunita Iyer
August 19, 2015
Pakistan must be shown its strategic vulnerability
'As India and Pakistan observe the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, the one lesson that ought to have been learned by Pakistan is how vulnerable its heartland is to a sudden attack. The only alternative to this inherent geographic weakness is to have a policy of peace with India. In an extreme scenario, India can destroy Pakistani strategic targets by just artillery shelling, crossing of the border is not even necessary,' Colonel Anil A Athale (retd) The midnight swoop and all that's wrong at FTII
'There is a storm of unrest brewing as a younger, more educated and independent India grows up. The government needs to realise that force may give them temporary respite but force never is the answer,' says filmmaker Suparn Verma. The real Jai Hind moment: Stand with the soldier!
'Why can't we make it mandatory for all IAS and IPS officers to serve in the armed forces for a year before joining service? What stops us from making it compulsory for every Member of Parliament to spend three months, immediately after taking oath, in military barracks/maybe a few nights in the bunkers on the borders, to learn and understand the life of a fauji?' wonders Tarun Vijay, MP. Right to Privacy must be a Fundamental Right
In 1954, a bench of eight Supreme Court judges declared that the Constitution-makers did not recognise the Fundamental Right to Privacy. It is hoped that a larger bench as and when constituted will uphold the Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right overruling the 1954 decision, says the distinguished lawyer, P P Rao.
August 18, 2015
Ride the wave with aircraft carriers
With the United States delivering an increasing share of India's arms imports, New Delhi must work with it to retain control of our regional waters Ajit Doval must read out the riot act to Pakistan
'The Modi government's pusillanimity vis-a-vis Pakistan makes almost certain that India will, in the coming weeks and months, be confronted with cross border terrorist actions of increasing intensity,' warns Satish Chandra, former deputy national security adviser. Modi used his speech to present his own report card
'At the very end of his speech, he dealt with the 'small problems' of Indian workers. But these measures did not seem to satisfy those who had expected the prime minister to find solutions for their problems. That the prime minister generally focused on broad policy issues and not on matters of detail left them bewildered,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan.
August 17, 2015
What Modi's UAE visit means: An Insider View
'Here is a man who can steer the country out of the woods. That sense of hope towards Modi was already there. And now that he has actually visited this region, it will go to the next level.' Mr PM, give us the freedom to achieve economic success
After many false starts, India may well be at the inflexion point that Deng Xiaoping took China to post-1978. The window of opportunity is wide open right now, says Rajeev Srinivasan. Can Modi & co deliver? The world awaits
Modi's visit to some developed countries such as the US, Japan, China and Australia were sprinkled with humongous investment figures. But do we have the wherewithal to absorb such big investments? Looking towards Delhi to lead with 'model' schools
The hurdle that remains with every government announcement is implementation. We don't lack ideas; we lack either the will or the competence to implement them, says Anjuli Bhargava Mulayam Singh Yadav: Master of the about-turn
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav behaved entirely in character when he broke ranks with the Congress and backed the Bharatiya Janata Party in the monsoon session, says Aditi Phadnis OROP: The logic ex-servicemen are missing
The demand for OROP has been projected as an unambiguous issue but a good policy argument must have a sound economic element. Why the government should learn the virtue of compromise
If the government does not allow the Opposition a few victories, then it is opening the door to paralysis and an entrenched culture of confrontation.
August 16, 2015
Is Afghanistan's grand illusion of Pakistan over?
As Afghanistan gradually realises that there can be no long-term stability in the country as long as Pakistan is involved, the time has come for India to register its solidarity when it would be most appreciated, says former foreign secretary Shyam Saran.
August 15, 2015
A gentle Independence Day reminder
This is just a brief reminder, dear fellow citizens, that none of us needs permission or sanction to be Indian, in whatever way we choose, as long as it doesn't break the law.
August 14, 2015
Why do Modi and Sonia avoid the press?
'Since Modi is walking a tightrope between two worlds -- one of the saffron brotherhood and the other of the proposed smart cities and bullet trains -- it is understandable why he is averse to scrutiny lest he loses his balance by tilting too heavily on one side or the other. But, why has Sonia Gandhi acquired the reputation of a sphinx,' asks Amulya Ganguli. Advice to the BJP: Don't divert issues like Zakir Naik does
'It is time someone told BJP leaders that they were not elected to remind people of Congress corruption. The people of India voted for Narendra Modi and the BJP because they believed that he and his party were clean, unlike the Congress-led government,' says Syed Firdaus Ashraf. India's capital is Patna...
That's what teachers are telling students in many Indian schools. The battle is now for the Tipping Point in Kashmir
'How does one get to weaken all those pillars on which the Deep State of Pakistan and the Separatists rely to prevent the situation reaching that point; how must this stage of the proxy war be countered? In many ways the strategy being followed by the adversaries is a smart one, acting within threshold and avoiding overpitch,' says Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd). 20 ideas to handle a defiant Pakistan
How to deal with a country that has made export of terror a reason to make the world notice and fund it? contributor Sanjeev Nayyar offers a few suggestions
August 13, 2015
Olga Tellis, a true legend of our times
Olga Tellis, a legend in Indian journalism, completes 50 years as a reporter this year. Mallikarjun Kharge: Man of the hour
Mallikarjun Kharge showed that when the hour was on hand, he was the man, says Mohan Guruswamy
August 12, 2015
No place in India for Muslims fleeing religious persecution?
'The government is going to introduce legislation that would make it easy for Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Zoroastrians, Sikhs and Jains to migrate legally to India.' Will BJP go the Congress way in Tamil Nadu?
Narendra Modi's meeting with J Jayalalithaa in Chennai has set the rumour mills abuzz. Will the Tamil Nadu chief minister ally with the BJP ahead of the 2016 polls, asks N Sathiya Moorthy.
August 11, 2015
The ISI's grim message for Afghanistan
'The ISI has given a stunning display of its capacity to do with impunity what it likes within Kabul. Incensed over the triumphalism of the hardliners in Kabul, the ISI has hit out; it is a typical ISI reflex action that Indians are familiar with,' says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar. Naga peace accord: If it's historic, why the secrecy?
To expect that these past decades of grief, inter-group killings, anxiety and fear will be brushed aside because of the Naga peace accord is being unrealistic. Memories are built on old wounds and they heal slowly. So, it is important to be cautiously optimistic, says Sanjoy Hazarika.
August 10, 2015
Is Mulayam Singh really angry with Akhilesh Yadav?
The 75-year-old Samajwadi Party patriarch, Mulayam Singh Yadav, has been publicly rebuking the 42-year-old Uttar Pradesh chief minister of who also happens to be his son. Is the public display of anger real? Or is it just a way of fooling the public? Sudhir Bisht spoke with some keen observers of politics in UP to find out what they feel about Netaji's anger. Why Modi's progress card on I-Day speech 2014 reads 'fail'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden speech from Red Fort last Independence Day outlined some grand programmes. Shehzad Poonawalla does a quick check on the progress made. Nagaland: One political compromise after another
'The Naga Hills region, Nagaland and Manipur, have had the most uncaring and corrupt state governments with little to show on the ground despite the nation's highest per capita development expenditure,' says Mohan Guruswamy. Can NaMo be halted in the Hindi belt?
'The foundation of the 2014 triumph was Narendra Modi's appeal to voters in the Hindi belt. The Bihar Vidhan Sabha polls will demonstrate if he continues to appeal to them,' says T V R Shenoy. 'Earlier people stared at me as if I was an animal. Not anymore'
Kalpana Ghodawat, a brave acid attack survivor, runs a beauty parlour. She has undergone at least 100 surgeries, but feels one must always love life. Her favourite place in the world is her beauty parlour where she loves making women look more beautiful. We salute her courage!
August 08, 2015
Porn ban: Look at the brighter side, silly
In the looking glass world of India's governance, banning something is a good way to promote it Rahul's fit, rejuvenated, look is such a winner!
'His poise and body language were 'cool. He brought a whiff of fresh air to our television screens, a welcome break from not-so-fit loud politicians and male anchors,' says Neeta Kolhatkar.
August 07, 2015
Protect the Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right!
'The government's proposal to store citizens' data including Aadhaar data under its Digital India initiative on cloud is violative of the citizens' human rights because the cloud is admittedly beyond India's jurisdiction.' How to get more bang for buck from social sector spending
With India lagging behind on several human development indices including healthcare and education, the Union government's decision to up the spending on these sectors is a step in the right direction. However, much more needs to be done in the way of increasing accountability and arresting corruption if headway is to be made on these fronts, says Devanik Saha. Railways and a recipe for disaster
The twin-train derailments within minutes of each other that killed 25 people in Madhya Pradesh on August 5, 2015, is being blamed on flash floods. S Pushpavanam wonders if that is the only reason. China's message to India
'China's latest defence White Paper has been issued against the backdrop of the upgraded Sino-Pakistan strategic relationship which has impinged on India's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Beijing's continuing intransigence on tackling the issue of the disputed border or intrusion by PLA troops,' says Jayadeva Ranade.
August 06, 2015
Mullah Omar's successor is a pliable Pakistani lackey
'The Mansoor Taliban is really an extension of the Haqqani Network which in turn is an instrument of the ISI. With Ashraf Ghani ready to dance to Pakistani tunes and with the Haqqani Network becoming part of the Afghan government, Pakistan is all set to see the fruition of its strategic policy,' says Sushant Sareen. Why we need to stop talking to Pakistan
To persist with talks in the face of continuing terrorism that puts hundreds of Indian lives at stake is not only naive but morally repugnant and ethically unacceptable. It is time to see through this charade and abandon a path of high risk and no returns, says Vivek Gumaste.
August 05, 2015
Gandhian's death puts prohibition firmly on TN political agenda
Protester Sasi Perumal's death has given a new fillip to the pro-prohibition movement, which was beginning to draw attention across Tamil Nadu after different political parties began to make it a part of their poll manifesto for next year, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Your job is to govern, not to become our parents
'What adult citizens do in the privacy of their home, what they eat or drink or watch, is not the government's concern.' Ab ki baar, U-turn sarkar...
The decision to rethink the ban on porn Web sites is the latest reversal of decisions by the Modi Sarkar. Has the Modi Sarkar become a regime of U-turns, asks Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
August 04, 2015
The battle between secular India and Bharat
A left-leaning centralised socialist model has created a shortage/entitlement economy. In fact one of the reasons for India's limited progress is that post-independent India is at odds with its true nature. It is something that educated right of centre Hindus are trying to correct, says Sanjeev Nayyar. Yakub Memon hanging is revealing of the bumbling Indian liberal
The 'bumbling liberal' and the 'neo-fascist' are two sides of the same coin. Neither has place in a moderate India, says Nikhil Inamdar What the Naga peace accord really means
'According to top government sources, the territorial boundaries of the existing North-Eastern states will not be disturbed although cultural integration of Nagas living in states other than Nagaland will be facilitated through special measures,' reveals Nitin A Gokhale. Porn ban in Kamasutra land: Will it work?
If the government thinks that they will be able to control it, then they're either fooling themselves or have no clue about the power of viral media.
August 03, 2015
Saisuresh Sivaswamy: A tale of two janaazas
Does India's first majoritarian government that is hard-focused on economic development have it in it to provide the Muslim community the healing touch? On evidence available so far, I am not hopeful at all. Yet, like the besieged community, I too find it impossible to abandon hope in the land's millennia-old syncretic traditions, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy. The Dream Evangelist
'President Kalam pitched his dreams high. He will be best remembered for that feat.' Pakistani Punjab must pay the price for terror
'The target for all our counter-terror operations ought to be Pakistani Punjab's population,' argues Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). The reality of being Muslim in India
'There are moments, and the hanging of Yakub Memon was one, where all of the gathered injustices are crystallised. Those gathered at the graveyard were not there to protest. They came to sympathise because they are also victims,' says Aakar Patel. Media's fatal obsession with the underworld
That most newsrooms, high on the 'exclusive' interview with a fugitive living overseas, are not able to perceive this distrust is a reflection of the disconnect today's media has with reality
August 02, 2015
Nearly everyone is missing a sense of purpose in govt
When it came to power, the BJP was a government with a difference: it had a majority in the Lok Sabha. Frequently the party itself forgets this
August 01, 2015
Rahul @ FTII: Oops, he did it again
The Congress sent in Rahul Gandhi to play Aamir Khan at the FTII, but it turned out that he played Imran Khan instead, says Malavika Sangghvi.
July 31, 2015
3 questions Yakub Memon's execution left behind
'The nation State can thrive if all communities believe they have a stake in it; that their interests will be safeguarded; that there will be no discrimination; that there will be justice.' Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon
'The dragon is Narendra Modi. While it may be harsh -- a tad -- to say that it was sleeping, it is fair to say that the government's approach in tackling corruption cases was lackadaisical.' Memon was hanged not because he was a Muslim
The tragedy is that, at least on social media, the narrative that was being lapped up by many Indian Muslims was that Yakub Memon was being victimised. The purveyors of this poisonous line of thinking of course want this sentiment to grow since communal polarisation is the primary pillar of their political strategy, says Sushant Sareen.
July 30, 2015
President Kalam, an idea whose time had come
Here was an Indian like you and me, who reached the country's highest office without compromising on his integrity or values. Here was a politician who was not a Muslim, or Tamil, or a boatman's son -- but an Indian president, who opened his office to all Indians, says Sriram Karri.
July 29, 2015
My friend Dr Kalam by President Pranab
President Pranab Mukherjee pays an emotional tribute to APJ Abdul Kalam Yakub Memon spilt beans on Dawood, Tiger
'Members of the legal fraternity say Yakub Memon cooperated more than what investigators could have ever hoped for, providing information about Dawood Ibrahim and Yakub's elder brother 'Tiger' Memon, the masterminds behind the planning and execution of the Mumbai serial blasts.' If Modi isn't mingling with Muslims, it is his wish...
'... as long as he doesn't stop me from mingling with my Muslim friends.' Dr Kalam was an exemplar of plural India
'For showing us a shining vision of how even a ceremonial role can be infused with life by a patriot, a scientist and a humble man of the people, representing the best of India's pluralist ethos, we will remember Dr Kalam.' End this charade of talking to Pakistan
'India's policy makers need to pull their heads out of the sand and recognize the reality that Pakistan has supported and sponsored terrorism on Indian soil for more than three decades; a national counter-terrorism strategy must be evolved in the fullest consciousness of this fact, and of the continued hostility of the Pakistani nation-State to the very idea of India.'
July 28, 2015
In memory of Abdul Kalam, a true hero
People like Dr Kalam teach us to dream and to chase our dreams. It is their humility that they wore on their sleeves that makes them truly great people. While we weep for a true Ratna that has left us on Monday, let us be happy that we lived in a period when he was alive and with us, says reader M C Sujil Bose. Kalam made us believe the sky was never too high
'As a nation we came up short, but that did not deter Kalam. He made it his life mission to exhort the young to greatness.'
July 27, 2015
Salman Bhaijaan and BJP's mobocracy
'Nationalism has been defined for us. It is what the BJP and Modi bhakts decide, not me, you or Salman Khan. If you don't agree with their view, you are a Pakistani agent and an anti-national. Period. No more argument. The discussion ends there.' The people are silent
We're behaving like frogs in warm water. We swim around untroubled, cooled by our faith in Indian liberal democracy. We are blind to the bubbles popping around us, the bubbles warning of fundamental changes, says Mihir S Sharma. Disruption in Parliament is India's version of tradition
'Blocking Parliament brings attention to a party that has poor speakers like Rahul Gandhi. It is unlikely to shine in debates, assuming we were a nation that enjoyed listening to sparkling intellectual exchange, which we are not.'
July 26, 2015
How artillery helped India win the Kargil war
Accurate and sustained firepower against Pakistan during the Kargil War helped Indian soldiers to reduce the enemy to rubble.
July 25, 2015
I can vouch for Raman's column on Yakub Memon: Brother
I well remember the article you have published because prior to sending it to you, he had shown it to me and I can vouch for its contents in the form in which you have published it. That was why I gave the permission to <em></em> for publishing it,' says B S Raghavan, the distinguished retired IAS officer who himself handled intelligence matters for nine years.
July 24, 2015
Two deals but many lessons
Both the Greek and Iranian deals are extremely imperfect and fraught with uncertainty, says Claude Smadja.
July 23, 2015
Exclusive! B Raman's unpublished 2007 article: Why Yakub Memon must not be hanged
'The cooperation of Yakub with the investigating agencies after he was picked up informally in Kathmandu and his role in persuading some other members of the family to come out of Pakistan and surrender constitute, in my view, a strong mitigating circumstance to be taken into consideration while considering whether the death penalty should be implemented,' B Raman had written in August 2007. Congress can't win the people's trust by disrupting Parliament
'The Congress has no moral right to throw mud at others. The Gandhis talking of corruption sounds worse than the devil quoting scripture.'
July 22, 2015
Is Yakub Memon innocent? I don't know
The various theories and statements about the culpability/innocence of 1993 blasts accused Yakub Memon present him with a Rashomon act, says Syed Firdaus Ashraf. Why 'prohibition' could be the buzzword in Tamil Nadu's assembly polls
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam might have been pushed into a corner to come up with a prohibition policy of its own, if only to create the right atmosphere for talking about an Opposition coalition in the state, says N Sathiya Moorthy
July 21, 2015
Disproportionate action against Teesta Setalvad?
The government does not seem to have sufficient grounds to invoke the CBI against Teesta Setalvad. Why Yakub Memon is being hanged
'I got to know the men accused of the blasts regularly meeting them in court and jail. Some of them, like Dutt, are back in jail. Others, like Mohammed Jindran, a quiet and well spoken middle class man, were killed. And now of course Yakub is ready to be hanged. The first in the case to do so,' says Aakar Patel.
July 20, 2015
Dulat's memoir does not do justice to Kashmir, its leaders
'Dulat's professional successors in the game would now find it that much harder to access/create meaningful sources/assets needed for effective functioning in a place like Kashmir. By blowing their cover the former top spy has undone whatever he might have been able to add to his organisation's resource kitty.' How India is a nation of cheats
Rajiv Malhotra's plagiarism may not be as horrifying as impersonating an exam candidate in Indore -- but they're both forms of cheating.
July 16, 2015
Why peace with Pakistan is difficult, if not impossible
'For a long time Pakistan dreamt that India would break up and that it would be the predominant power in the region,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). How is attending an iftar appeasement?
'The reason why Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have attended the President's iftar was not merely to break a fast with the faithful, but more importantly to broker an understanding with India's second largest set of citizens,' says Shehzad Poonawalla.
July 15, 2015
Why I support Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chief
The opposition to Gajendra Chauhan's appointment has more to do with his background and less with anything else, feels Syed Firdaus Ashraf.
July 13, 2015
Mr Modi, why this change of heart about Pakistan?
'There is nothing that Pakistan has done which deserves a resumption of dialogue. The assurances made in Ufa contain no commitment except a whole range of talks, which could take place without the paraphernalia associated with a joint statement of prime ministers.' Modi is brave in agreeing to go where even cricket teams have refused
'The BJP has bent. Pakistan has not changed a single thing. It is the BJP and its supporters who have changed. And this is a very good thing,' says Aakar Patel.
July 10, 2015
Watch out India, a terror storm is brewing
Countries in the region like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Maldives face serious existential threats from a mix of terrorist groups active in the region and elsewhere
July 09, 2015
Caste no bar in Bihar's politics
Association of caste with the way people have tended to vote in Bihar has somewhat weakened.
July 08, 2015
Scams take a toll on Maharashtra government
Legislators, bureaucrats feel an impact, with works relating to their constituencies stuck at various levels.
July 07, 2015
Friend, sister, supporter... and wonderful human being
Shahnaz Anklesaria Aiyar was a formidable journalist. More importantly, she was an incredible human being, says Sanjoy Hazarika. 'Shahnaz believed what she wrote could make a difference'
'What I remember best is the vigour with which she threw herself into the job, the passion she had for issues, particularly those that affected the poor.' Vajpayee was a 'Chanakya.' Advani, a 'straight arrow'
'Advani went by the book, by files, by advice given by his babus. He may be well read and articulate and a pleasant conversationalist, but none of that makes for the kind of creative politician that Vajpayee was.'
July 06, 2015
India's entry into the SCO may bring it closer to China
It seems China is ready to cooperate with India in the central Asian region through the SCO framework, the reasons for which are manifold, says Sana Hashmi. Why Modi retains his personal support
'Modi is given a longer leash by his fans than any other leader of our time.'
July 03, 2015
The monk who thinks Indians are his gurus
Can you find a world leader who has met generations of Indian politicians, most US Presidents, European head of States, several Popes, celebrated cricketers, Hollywood and Bollywood stars, some of the greatest scientists and many ordinary people, including what he calls, 'Chinese brothers and sisters?' Meet the Besharam Janata Party
Last year, he was the BJP's darling. Today, Arnab Goswami is a hated figure for the Modi bhakts. What changed?
July 02, 2015
Bobby Jindal's identity crisis
'The height of irony is that Bobby Jindal will always be known as the first Indian-American Governor, the second Indian-American Congressman and the first Indian-American Presidential candidate, regardless of his claim to be just American. Given the situation in the US, no one will be able to erase his identity in relation to his origin.' Whatever happens, Jaya will return to power in 2016
'The AIADMK has no Number Two, frankly it does not even have a Number Hundred and Two. There is the Numero Uno, and there is everybody else -- a point that was made very clear when Jayalalithaa made her ministers take the oath of office in unison on May 23. What, after all, was the point of having them do so individually when they lack individuality?' China's support to Pak terrorists will cost it dearly
'By extending its support to the LeT, China is not helping the cause of containment and eventual destruction of radicalism and terror.'
July 01, 2015
Are we a nation of thieves?
'The major reason is the reluctance of the Indian citizen, particularly in the middle class, to pay his dues. Only around three per cent of Indians pay any income tax and these are mostly those who are employed, and whose taxes are deducted. I often refer to us as a nation of thieves, who steal from our government,' says Aakar Patel. Is India forever condemned to live with corruption?
Democracy is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for rooting out corruption
June 30, 2015
BRICS Summit: Opportunities for India, Russia and China
Srikanth Kondapalli on what to expect from the seventh BRICS summit meeting to be held in Russia in July.
June 26, 2015
The myth of the Magna Carta
The Magna Carta was not quite a grand demand for equality, freedoms and rule of law but just a narrow demand for restricting the ruler's powers to ring fence the interests of the elite. But its consequences greatly expanded over the centuries into a charter, which guarantees individual liberties, equality and justice to all, irrespective of race, religion and class, says Mohan Guruswamy. Why the RSS and BJP are the true champions of our democracy
Ironically, it was the members of the BJP (which the Indian press loves to dub as fascist) who resisted the assault on democracy and were jailed for 18 months. The RSS too played a stellar role in the resistance movement during the Emergency. Yet by some strange warped logic, the Indian media deems the Congress party with an established record of authoritarianism as a standard bearer of democracy while damning a true champion -- the BJP, says Vivek Gumaste
June 25, 2015
Praful Bidwai's final column: Why covert ops are wrong
In his last column for, Praful Bidwai joins issues with those lauding India's covert operation against Naga rebels based in Myanmarese territory. Emergency: Why Rajan's story resonates with me
Rajeev Srinivasan tells how he came very close to being another number in the 'disappeareds' during the Emergency. How Modigate has transformed the Modi sarkar into UPA III
The scandal surrounding Lalit Modi serves as a reminder for how similar our mainstream political parties are in resisting institutional reform.
June 24, 2015
When mother tongue is used for political vendetta
Given India's political scenario, where parties seek votes on the basis of caste and religion, the issue of using mother tongue in schools is more of a political vendetta, says Devanik Saha How yoga came to the UN
It was almost 10 years ago that the idea of a Yoga Day was mooted by some NGOs, but it had no takers till Prime Minister Narendra Modi realised its potential, probably at the instance of Sri Sri Ravishankar, says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. What we can learn from Tripura's withdrawal of AFSPA
Tripura should be taken as a case study on how misuse of the AFSPA can be avoided even while transforming public opinion and controlling insurgency, says Sanjib Deb. Why the regional journalist is at threat
The murders of journalists in 2015 underscore the rising power of regional language media, especially local-language newspapers, says Nilanjana S Roy
June 23, 2015
Assets case: SC may yet create problems for Jaya
A case that J Jayalalitha 'does not want' is back and in the Supreme Court. N Sathiya Moorthy reports on the possible repercussions of the disproportionate assets case on Tamil Nadu politics. Will 'Na Khaane Doonga' PM allow corruption of high office?
A Union minister and a chief minister stand accused of corrupting their office. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi lets them continue, he will have broken his election promise substantively, says Aakar Patel. Only because his name is Hamid Ansari?
Just like with millions of Indian Muslims, even the vice president of India has been forced to undergo the covert loyalty test: 'you are presumed to be pro-Pakistan until you demonstrably prove you are a nationalist', says Shehzad Poonawalla. How Parrikar is failing the armed forces
Our large military requirements make for an enormous buyer's leverage, which the defence ministry fritters away in piecemeal purchases For Ram Madhav and RSS-BJP, Muslims will always be 'Yavana snakes'
BJP leader Ram Madhav's rant about Vice President Hamid Ansari's absence at the International Yoga Day celebrations goes deeper, says Syed Firdaus Ashraf, deep into their brain. How the BJP did the shoot-yourself-in-the-foot asana on yoga day
The fracas over the vice-president's absence and alleging Rajya Sabha TV's blackout of the event took some sheen off the event.
June 22, 2015
Why Chhagan Bhujbal is on slippery ground today
The politician who has come a long way, from being a one-time vegetable vendor to one of the most powerful politicians in the state, is in big trouble today, says Neeta Kolhatkar.
June 21, 2015
Yoga day is a good beginning, but only a beginning
India needs to build its Grand Narrative, and its cultural power, which conquered all of ASEAN (then known as Indo-China), needs to be forcefully projected while simultaneously hard economic and military power are also emphasised, says Rajeev Srinivasan.
June 20, 2015
The frenemy of the people
Politicians have continued taking people for granted and managed to stay above the law, says T N Ninan
June 19, 2015
Is yoga a 'Hindu' practice?
In an age of patents and intellectual property rights, it would be improper to deny that yoga comes from the Hindu tradition, says Sankrant Sanu. Is Surya Namaskar religious? I don't think so
'Few practitioners of yoga doing the Surya Namaskar, including lakhs of Americans and Europeans, see it as a form of worshipping the sun. They do it because it is good exercise.'
June 18, 2015
How we have become what we are
We need credible retellings of the times we have lived through, or the events in the immediate past that have shaped our today, says Mihir S Sharma
June 17, 2015
Yoga, Akbar the Great and no jobs
Job creation was mentioned 13 times in the BJP's 2014 election manifesto, yoga only twice.
June 16, 2015
Curious case of Jitender Singh Tomar LLB
The fiasco over the former Delhi law minister's college degrees has damaged the reputation of the Aam Aadmi Party, says Nupur Sharma. Pakistan's wrong takeaway from India's Myanmar op
It would be foolish for Pakistan to assume that India would not act no matter what the provocation is, just because it is militarily more powerful than Myanmar and is armed with nuclear weapons, says Anand Kumar. Why engaging China at sea is both unavoidable and necessary
If the aim is to become a player with some strategic space of its own, not just in the Indian Ocean region but also in the adjoining region, then greater interaction with China is desirable, even necessary.
June 15, 2015
What the Myanmar raid signals to Pakistan
'In the short to medium term, the Myanmar raid will impose caution on Pakistan in planning another 26/11-like adventure. As a result of this caution, even if the proxy war ebbs, it will reduce the danger of escalation to a nuclear stand-off,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd). Why Gujarat model won't work in Delhi
While a centralised approach to running things expedited decision-making in Gujarat it may become the very thing that decelerates Modi in the Centre, opines Nilmadhab Mohanty. In (partial) defence of the IAS
Administration is an evolving process, requiring the civil service to constantly re-invent itself to meet new challenges. The administration must become accountable to the law of the land and to the people. Giridhar Gamang - Congress' loss, BJP's gain
The Congress' fortune in Odisha has been on the slide ever since it lost power to the Biju Janata Dal in the 2000 elections. Party loyalist Giridhar Gamang's resignation has only added to its problems, says Dillip Satapathy
June 12, 2015
Riding on the ordinance highway: Why the Supreme Court should step in
Repromulgation is a perennial malaise; and judges must clarify -- indeed, revisit -- the rules that govern this practice, argues Shubhankar Dam.
June 11, 2015
BJP remains ambivalent as Jaya awaits runaway victory in by-poll
Even as political parties in TN have decided not to field a candidate against CM Jayalalithaa in the assembly by-election, the BJP's ambivalence has shown up once again.
June 09, 2015
A fake encounter of justice?
An accused D G Vanzara gets bail months after Modi emerges as PM and hails it is as a return of 'Achche Din' while the blind-folded lady justice, almost mocks the rest of us, by suggesting that nobody is guilty for the cold blooded killing of Ishrat Jahan, Kauser Bi and the 2,000 odd innocent people in Gujarat, says Shehzad Poonawala. Development will have 0 effect on separatism
'Our experience in Nagaland and Kashmir for the last 60 years has shown our insanity, defined by Albert Einstein as doing the same thing again and again and yet expecting different results,' says Colonel Anil A Athale (retd).
June 08, 2015
Post-ambush, focus shifts to North-East but for how long?
The Centre should focus on achieving peace either through long-term ceasefire agreements or sustained military operations. Military operations which are just intermittent responses to particular incidents won't lead anywhere, says Devanik Saha. It's time to shut the IAS down
If Prime Minister Narendra Modi fails to live up to the expectations that he has raised, it will be entirely his fault. He should have started by ending the IAS Five wrongs don't make a right
Nitish Kumar is on the brink of taking another wrong turn. It is hard to fathom why he would tie up with the Congress, which has little political capital left in Bihar. Aditi Phadnis reports Let the women fight
Given how the armed forces struggle to attract talent, they cannot rule out hiring half the population, says Nitin Pai
June 04, 2015
Army ready to thwart Pakistan's diabolic plans for J&K
'I am aware that mention of a threat to Gulmarg emanating from my perception may send negative signals to tourists but there are realities which need to be taken stock of.'
June 03, 2015
Beef, Bikini Killer & Amit Shah
Syed Firdaus Ashraf spends a week in Goa in pursuit of his favourite dish, and discovers a few other things about the state as well. No Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas for Atali's victims, alas
The test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be to convince not just friends in the media with crisp sound bytes but the very people most affected by the politics of hate through concerted action, says Shehzad Poonawala. PM proposes, babu disposes
'We should hope and pray that the PM's sentiment is not held ransom by machinations and craftiness of a few junior babus who throw in an imaginary impediment at every welfare measure and snigger and giggle at the sidelines every time a soldier is ill at ease,' says Major Navdeep Singh on the one rank one pension debate.
June 02, 2015
AFSPA removal: Why Tripura and J&K are very different
My travels made me realise how different the ground situation and people's mindsets in the two states are. People seemed happy and secure in Tripura whilst there was only complaining and suspicion in J&K, says Sanjeev Nayyar. Why PM's Bangladesh visit couldn't be better-timed
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has positioned himself as a credible partner for Bangladesh. He has scored by getting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to travel with him to Dhaka, says Srinath Raghavan The Rafale deal is Modi's 'masterstroke'
'Under the present Defence Procurement Procedure, it would have been a nightmare, and a long, long one at that, to build 108 Rafales in India. Modi realised this and took the wise decision, though it is a definitive setback for his Make in India scheme.' Why India must pay attention to China's defence plans
In the case of India, there are no specific references in China's white paper. However, there are several takeaways for India, says Srikanth Kondapalli.
June 01, 2015
We killed Aruna Shanbaug
We allowed her to rot daily. We simply did not care. Soon she will be forgotten and the stories of the nurses who cared for her will become Mumbai's urban legend, says Neeta Kolhatkar. Can Karnataka's decision to move SC against acquittal thwart Jaya's plans?
Karnataka's SLP against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's acquittal has as much for the legal community across the country, as its electoral fallout may have for the political fraternity, says N Sathiya Moorthy. How India must counter Pakistan in Afghanistan
New Delhi must indicate to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that it has a long-term strategy for his country. It should point out that Pakistan's present Afgan policy will destabilise Afghanistan and help Islamic State, says Gautam Sen. Manohar Parrikar and his big mouth
'The defence minister should concentrate on acquiring a bigger stick, rather than brag of using terrorists as State policy.' Why China is in no hurry to sort border dispute with India
As of now, in the case of China's border dispute with India, China is not likely to lose much if it does not resolve the dispute. In fact, the unresolved border dispute has much to offer to China, says Sana Hashmi.
May 29, 2015
Modi's fashion sense is a welcome relief
His sartorial taste is not something he acquired suddenly as the chief minister of the prime minister. His "god-given" dress sense is like his politics: inventive, imaginative if slightly unconventional, often loud. It goes well with his oratory, robust persona and penchant for coining terms, says Mahendra Ved.
May 28, 2015
Why the future of environment looks so bleak
Prakash Javadekar's one year as India's minister of state (independent charge) of environment, forests and climate change has been an unmitigated disaster, says activist Himanshu Thakkar. Obama's ISIS dilemma
ISIS' advances in Iraq and Syria are not just tactical but strategic victories -- born of US errors and confusion
May 27, 2015
Modi's visit will boost India-China nuclear cooperation
There is enough scope for India and China to cooperate on nuclear energy issues despite the lingering issues which not only includes the Sino-Pakistan nexus, but also the Sino-India border dispute over the LAC, says Debalina Ghoshal. Modi@1: The PM's story is yet to be told
Modi needs to get his act straight and get it straight soon. Five years down the line, Modi may continue to have support from his ardent supporters, but for the masses he would lose the plot on his sudden inability to tell a good story. After all in the end, all that matters is a good story. Even if the man is remarkable and the story simple, it is always a good story that leaves a lasting impression.
May 26, 2015
Can Modi succeed where Gandhi failed?
'Will Modi succeed with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan? He will not, because cultural change does not come purely from legislation and never overnight. It comes internally and this is something Gandhi understood,' says Aakar Patel. How Modi can make our diplomats more effective
Has the Modi government ensured that the MEA keeps abreast of the times, asks Ambassador Vivek Katju. Modi@1: Some positive steps, long way to go
It has been said that by 2025, India could become among the top five economies in the world. If India does become a $5 trillion economy but gets all its rivers polluted, food chain poisoned and genetic pool depleted and biometric database of Indians sold or stolen at the behest of commercial czars, will it not be a pyrrhic economic victory, asks Gopal Krishna. Can a re-energised Rahul revive the Congress?
Congress gets into the opposition groove but still has miles to go, says Saroj Nagi. Why the Modi hope lives on
The government is following a path where it will not be irresponsible or profligate with public money but will intervene in the interest of the poor
May 25, 2015
Tamil Nadu sans Amma: A state interrupted?
Inaugurations and foundation-stone laying ceremonies might have been low-key but that doesn't mean Tamil Nadu stood still while J Jayalalithaa was out of office, Aditi Phadnis opines Modi@1: BJP's 7 popular defensive tactics
A simple guide to the strange defensiveness of the government and its supporters, and how and why the arguments they're making are wrong. Remembering the other 'Panditji'
When Prime Minister Modi observes the first anniversary of his government at Nagla Chandrabhan, Deendayal Upadhyaya's birthplace in Mathura, on Monday, he shall be essentially reiterating his commitment to achieving the ideal of Upadhyaya's 'Dharma Rajya', a State free of inequality and of division, says Dr Anirban Ganguly. PM's second year to be as busy as first on foreign policy front
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will focus on extended neighbourhood, particularly the ASEAN and Central Asian regions, says Archis Mohan
May 24, 2015
Why Mr Modi may have missed the bus
Narendra Modi promised to be A B de Villiers but has batted like a Geoff Boycott, says T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan
May 23, 2015
For Jayalalithaa, the ball is in Karnataka's court
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's celebrations on amma's return are peppered with possibilities, probabilities and problems of one kind or the other, says N Sathiya Moorthy
May 22, 2015
Did Karnataka shy away from 'fixing' Amma?
Karnataka would have served no useful purpose by initiating a sensitive legal move in a sensational case, where its locus standi might have been confined to appealing against the high court verdict and not extend to a demand for stay of its application Modi@1: Ten things I learned this past year
For the past, blame the Congress. For the present, blame the Congress. For everything, blame the Congress. But for your future, vote BJP. The right to die with dignity
Best tribute to Aruna Shanbaug would be to take some legislative action on ending the mental trauma of those who can't live outside of a hospital again.
May 21, 2015
Modi@1: Why Modi has to succeed
Modi cannot afford to fail the Indian people and in return the Indian people cannot fail Modi. There is too much riding on this equation for failure to be an option. There is too much invested in this relationship for it to splinter, says Vivek Gumaste. Modi's 'hometown' diplomacy with China
I am the Best! I am the Best!
'I told all those Indians in Cheen there are some netas who go on holiday and don't work. Here I am, working and working, going on so many yatras, shaking hands with all big world netas till my hands feel they will fall off'
May 20, 2015
Jairam Ramesh rebuts Amit Shah's defence of land bill
Jairam Ramesh, architect of the UPA's 2011 land acquisition bill, reacts to Amit Shah's interview to in which he defended the NDA government's land bill ordinance. Modi and the art of propaganda 101
From France to Canada, from Japan to South Korea, all of Modi's barbs came in front of an NRI audience. Over the last one year, with 19 foreign visits, Modi has tried to use diplomacy as a PR event and foreign policy as a means to shore up his image back at home, says Shehzad Poonawalla. The return of Amma: Will Karnataka play party pooper?
The Karnataka government is divided over filing an appeal in the Supreme Court against the acquittal of former Tamil Nadu chief minister. N Sathiya Moorthy analyses the possibilities The shocking state of Mumbai's firemen
Do you know firemen who risk their lives every day earn salaries equivalent to clerks?Last week's tragedy where three Mumbai firemen died fighting a fire must wake up the city's rulers, says Neeta Kolhatkar. Rescuing the Ganga and the country
If the Ganga manages a rebirth, so will the country.Roy
May 19, 2015
Modi@1: All that did not happen. The 'No's have it
'In the last one year, it looks like there were bad things that didn't take place, and there were good things that didn't take place,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. Aruna Shanbaug, euthanasia and whose life is it anyway?
'Aruna Shanbaug's death has again opened up the euthanasia conversation in the public domain. For a health care discourse often dominated by inane news, this is not such a bad thing.' At last, an Indian leader who knows how to deal with China
'Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have gone beyond the cautious approach usually advocated by the tightly-knit 'China group' in the ministry of external affairs in dealing with Beijing.' Modi's year on the world stage
'Modi's promise of change during the election campaign was on the domestic front, but his first year in office focused on foreign policy beyond all expectations,' says Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. India and China: Cooperation, competition or contestation?
Four major political takeaways from Narendra Modi's much-anticipated trip to China At last, an Indian leader who knows how to deal with China
'Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have gone beyond the cautious approach usually advocated by the tightly-knit 'China group' in the ministry of external affairs in dealing with Beijing.'
May 18, 2015
Will the Supreme Court's 'Tridev' ruling reduce govt ads?
'So in the tens of thousands of ads released in India from now on, we will get to see the photographs of only three people: The President, prime minister and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.' Modi@1: Disappointing record on security
'There is simply no evidence of any new or clear policy direction in internal security, and mounting evidence of policy incoherence.' 7 reasons why Modi's visit to China was different
Unlike in the past, Modi made candid, frank and direct remarks on his hosts by suggesting that the Chinese side is holding back on further improving relations, says Srikanth Kondapalli. Rahul as PM in 2019? Why ever not!
What is the road ahead for Rahul Gandhi? Shehzad Poonawalla offers a blueprint. The armed forces' strategy is still anchored to 1964
Every demand of the armed forces remains essentially anchored to 1964 and its fulfilment or otherwise largely a function of money availability Why BJP, JD-U & RJD are not ready for fierce Bihar battle
While the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Janata Dal-United are busy fighting each other, the BJP is trying not to repeat the mistakes it made the last time out, says Satyavrat Mishra
May 17, 2015
Major defence breakthrough on cards as PM heads to South Korea
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to South Korea is considered essential in strengthening defence ties, enhancing economic cooperation and forging cultural ties between the two countries, says Dr Rahul Mishra
May 16, 2015
Modi@1: Cut the PM some slack
Call for balance in assessing the first year of the PM -- and less prickliness on the part of the BJP Modi@1: The PM is wasting away great power
Narendra Modi is squandering a mandate for change on feeble, unimaginative incrementalism.
May 15, 2015
Modi-Li talks: Aspirational, productive and positive
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had gone to China with a bagful of initiatives, but not all seems to have been fulfilled given China's reluctance to go the whole hog with him Will China and India be partners -- or rivals?
It would be a chance lost if India cannot learn from and lean more on China to kick-start trade, infrastructure programmes, and increased ties, says Ravi Agrawal
May 14, 2015
China must address India's persistent security dilemma
'Difficult issues should not be brushed under the carpet, but should be raised upfront, particularly by India. While engagement and dialogue are always welcome and desirable, there should be some tangible results. Mere signing of agreements, MoUs, joint declarations are not enough.' Pragmatic Modi will achieve India's strategic goals in China
If the chemistry between Modi and Xi Jinping goes well, it will herald a new future not just for the region but for the world, says Tarun Vijay. Can Modi and Xi 'reset' Sino-Indian ties?
'China's excessive military aid to Pakistan is the real elephant in the room as far as Sino-Indian relations are concerned. India should be confident enough to accept a degree of closeness between China and Pakistan, since China may wish to use this link for its foray into the Muslim world.' Economics for India, strategic trust for China
While the two sides' objectives may appear to differ, it is clear that both India and China are emphasising on the common minimum possible areas of cooperation between them, says Srikanth Kondapalli. How Beijing's insecurity over Tibet affects the border issue
Public interest centres on whether the two leaders might make headway in resolving the Sino-Indian boundary dispute. Why the RTI Act is in danger
'The prime minister has taken pre-emptive action by not appointing a Chief Information Commissioner at all to render it dysfunctional.'</p></strong><p><strong>'The bureaucracy is also hardening its stand and in most cases has realised that the commissioners are not really committed to transparency,' says former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.
May 13, 2015
China is moving away from co-operation to confrontation
Right from conducting nuclear deterrence patrols in 2015 to its destructive space programme, from its back-tracking on economic commitments to its hardened positions on Sino-India border deal -- its approach with India spells Adversarial with a capital A, says Shehzad Poonawalla Why Modi changed his media tune
A series of political reverses like the government's failure to get crucial bills passed by the Rajya Sabha has made the prime minister realise that he needs to fine-tune his approach to both the Opposition parties and the media, says A K Bhattacharya. Jaya 'acquittal maths' keeps TN political pot boiling even more
And in the midst of it all, Jayalalithaa keeps the guessing game going, on her returning as chief minister and on calling for early assembly polls, says N Sathiya Moorthy. Pulls, pressures and the Pakistan Army
The recent postings and promotions of three-star generals in the Pakistan Army have propelled some of former chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani's favourites to traditionally important positions
May 12, 2015
The unbridgeable distance between words and meaning
A time comes when the distance between words and meaning becomes unbridgeable. Or, words become shells, which hide the real intent of the speaker. To understand how language works in the case of a person like the present prime minister, you'll have to analyse the way language is practiced by the RSS, says Apoorvanand. Modi's Mongolia visit is important too
India should enhance its economic, cultural and defence ties with Mongolia. It is high time Modi should focus on gaining clout in smaller Asian countries such as Mongolia. It is in this context, India's engagement with Mongolia would give much-needed impetus to India's foreign policy, says Sana Hashmi. A wasted year
The National Democratic Alliance government has adopted half measures instead of moving decisively on defence.
May 11, 2015
Why Bollywood cannot be neutral about Salman
Three or four stars are disproportionately powerful in the industry. All the others in Bollywood, no matter how talented, must be aligned to one of these stars or be reconciled to doing small movies with the others, says Aakar Patel. Will Jaya order fresh polls to neutralise a DMK stunned by her acquittal?
The moot point is if a re-energised Jayalalitha will order snap polls when the Opposition is in disarray and her own political starts are on the rise, says N Nathiya Moorthy. Watch out for Modi's robust engagement with China
'Building on the potential for closer ties is the changing narrative in each country about the other. The Chinese narrative on India has become significantly more positive over the past few years,' says Walter Andersen and Zhong Zhenming.
May 09, 2015
A year of Modi sarkar: Oh, such a letdown
Not only is Modi's India not the shining land of dynamism and prosperity that he promised -- though it may be that, for some people, in a few years from now -- but socially it has the positively regressive tendencies that were entirely predictable.
May 08, 2015
We don't need religious freedom lectures from the US
'Your constant reiteration on the lack of religious freedom in India has sown doubts about the kind of information that you are being fed and based on which you seem to be making adverse references to India and its tradition of religious tolerance.' Why did the Pakistan army warn R&AW?
'After General Raheel Sharif took on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, some sections of the military establishment may have felt unease as to whether the crackdown could be extended against friendlier 'non-State' actors like the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.' Mr Modi, don't avoid the 'P' word
''The avoidance of the 'P' word had less to do with reality and more to do with the politics -- domestic and international -- of Mr Modi and his efforts to both appear statesman-like (vis-a-vis Pakistan) and rid himself of the taint of being some kind of Muslim-baiting hardliner.' Be warned. The Pak army is planning something against India
'All the anti-India groups like LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul Mujahideen have been activated with terrorist camps and launching pads in place.' Why Rahul Gandhi needs to be careful
The leader should be cautious while accusing the Modi government of cronyism. Salman Khan: Bad boy, good samaritan?
He may or may not have changed, but one thing is certain: his friends and fans are going to stick by him
May 07, 2015
India has a mind of its own and flaunts it
'There is much symbolism in President Pranab Mukherjee's participation in the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow.'
May 06, 2015
Why India must not tinker with B'desh border deal
By revising the India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement, the NDA is going for short-term gains and losing the long-term perspective, says Gautam Sen.
May 04, 2015
Six reasons why Arun Shourie is wrong
You could step aside from the BJP membership, don the mantle of a full-time journalist again and then go ballistic against the government, Sudhir Bisht tells Arun Shourie in this open letter. Why SRK-Aamir-Salman had no need for Hindu screen names
'Muslim actors like Dilip Kumar thought they had to give themselves Hindu names to be acceptable. Was their caution justified?' 5 things Modi should understand about China
'While visits and personal meetings are useful, changes of strategic significance have occurred recently, with Beijing trying to take the lead which Modi must take note of.' Rahul Gandhi's big-ticket comeback
How the Congress vice president conducts himself over the next few months will determine whether or not he has understood his serendipitous situation Did you know 8 soldiers were killed on Sunday?
'The sad truth is our news managers know much more about Houston and Boston than Kohima and Kokrajhar...' The diary of a traditional Indian wife
'Odd thing: Parliament says this marital rape thing doesn't apply in India, but official reports say that 97 per cent of women are raped by people they know and intimate partners. Hmm. But that means... That means... Can it be true? Oh god'
April 30, 2015
Why the Parivar wants Dr Ambedkar
'The Parivar's ideology and politics was and remains the very opposite of what Dr Ambedkar stood for.' The danger behind Pakistan's new swagger
'Pakistan may feel emboldened to give an upswing to the proxy war in J&K, having secured a better international consensus on its strategic importance.'
April 28, 2015
How CBI plans to fight crimes of the future
For the CBI, crimes are likely to become more innovative, complex, driven increasingly by technology and transcending geographical boundaries, says Anil Kumar Sinha. What is the Shiv Sena up to?
The stakes are high. While targeting Muslims for its political game plan, the Sena needs to check its own political path. Else it will face the same debacle as that of MNS and lose its identity completely, says Neeta Kohlatkar. Generals, quotas damage the army
A soldier cannot justifiably demand faster, easier promotions based on frequent field tenures
April 27, 2015
How much does India really spend on defence?
No one really knows what proportion of the nation's wealth and income are available for defence The potential of opening up Iran
The possibility of a deal between Iran and the world on its nuclear programme has some perils but much promise for India, says Uday Abhyankar How India should handle the Ghani visit
The India-Afghanistan relationship does not have to be a template of each country's relations with Pakistan, and Delhi will do well to leave it to Ghani to redefine the parameters of Afghanistan's security cooperation with India. A zero-sum mindset can only exacerbate regional tensions, says Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar. Is anything big brewing in Modi's China visit?
'Both Modi and Xi know that if all that there is to show for Modi's visit -- barely eight months after Xi's India trip -- is a repeat of the same old declarations, there will be a terrible sense of letdown in the public mood resulting in future summits losing credibility. Only the possibility of new ground being broken can justify Modi's trip at this time,' says B S Raghavan. Who politicised deaths of farmers if not Modi?
Having made farmer suicides a campaign issue, Modi and the BJP should have no complaints in now having to live with it, says Aakar Patel. Exclusive! Sachin Pilot: Damocles' sword of dispossession hangs over our farmers
Livelihoods and lives are being destroyed in the name of building a 'better' India, writes Congress leader Sachin Pilot, in an exclusive column for
April 26, 2015
The point of no return
Is there anything any one can say after Gajendra Singh's suicide that will not come across as inadequate, insincere, fatuous or too little too late?
April 25, 2015
Modi needs to get out of his bunker
The media has given the PM and his government a far easier time than it probably deserves. Battling ISIS remains the prime objective
'What needs to be pursued as the operations progress is a degree of reconciliation amongst the other parties, less the more orthodox Al Qaeda affiliates.' For Muslims, election results will always be a defeat
'The BJP is spreading slow poison in India. The effect will not be seen now, but after 10 years you will see it for sure.'
April 23, 2015
How to effectively fight cyber terror threats
Total security against cyber attacks is misnomer but we can mitigate such threats to a large extent by establishing a robust mechanism to govern the use of IT in the country, centralised structure for proactive defence of information assets, effective cyber forensic analysis and regulatory risk evaluation enabled through legislation and across the board cyber-security awareness and training, says Lieutenant General (retd) Prakash Katoch. Why Rahul is wrong about the Indian farmer
'Rahul Gandhi accuses the Modi government of being in thrall to corporate fat cats at the expense of farmers and other common folk. But the facts do not bear out this argument, as Indian farmers are relatively better off compared to the really wretched of the earth, the unfortunate landless, often itinerant, labourer. And since Rahul's ancestors are the ones who failed them, it is a little disingenuous of him to ignore them in his rhetorical flourishes,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. 10 lodestars from Xi's Pakistan visit
'The Modi government's lurch toward America has not brought it any dividends so far. The Western world is simply not in a position to make big investments in India... India needs to take a leap of faith vis-a-vis China.'
April 22, 2015
Rahul Gandhi, lost and found?
'I hope Rahul Gandhi's interventions in Parliament are not flashes in the pan and that he is in it for the long haul.' Xi's Pakistan visit: High on substance, low on values
Considering Modi's style of practicing diplomacy, it is likely that a clear message would be conveyed to China that it is high time Beijing stops using its good relations with Pakistan as a pressure tactic against India. This is imperative not only for strengthening India-China relations at the bilateral level but also for maintaining stability at the regional level, says Sana Hashmi. Will Yechury give the CPI-M a makeover?
'It is not impossible that there will be some arrangement with the Congress in West Bengal after the ongoing local body polls.' Why our judiciary continues to ail
The recent meeting of chief justices and chief ministers skirted vital issues, which could have helped in improving the efficiency in the functioning of courts
April 21, 2015
Why Rahul is not the man who will save the farmers
The Gandhi scion can't be central figure on land bill debate unless he completely changes the way he functions and immerses himself in politics 24/7
April 20, 2015
A fundamentalist sounds more reasonable than the mainstream
'Masarat Alam is today one of the the undisputed leaders of Kashmir's Islamists. And all he had to do was to get someone to hold up a flag. He has accurately placed us and we can look forward to many more years of this from him.' Did Cuban cigars thaw US-Cuba relations?
'The irresistible Cuban cigars, which acquire their unique flavour as they are rolled on the thighs of Cuban women, have always been the ultimate temptation for cigar connoisseurs in the US.'
April 18, 2015
Rahul's 'eat, pray, love' moment
One man's vacation is another man's enigma
April 17, 2015
So how does Airtel Zero violate net neutrality?
Is the Airtel Zero plan really a big blow for net neutrality? Will it end the 'free' internet as we know it? Amidst the hullaballoo over the issue, Sudhir Bisht provides a contrarian view.
April 16, 2015
It needs more than symbolism to restore the Congress's shine
'Sonia Gandhi can't rejuvenate the party, her heir is fodder for stand-up comedians, and nobody in the Congress has the guts to question the Nehru-Gandhis.'
April 15, 2015
Modi's Rafale deal: Inventive, sudden, non-transparent
'Having himself tweaked the Rafale deal Modi may find that he may knock defence agents out of the fine print of a deal, but they lurk not only in chateaus around Paris, but in the ante rooms of ministers -- French and Indian -- or even the homes of Indian ambassadors.' Land Ordinance 2.0: Better but not good enough
On the face of it, some clauses in the new land ordinance looks pro-farmer but in reality it is not so. The problem is two-fold. The first is the vagueness of the law itself. The other problem with this ordinance is that it is against the very ethos of judicial interpretation, says Vidhan Vyas. Modi's visit to Canada is the first by an Indian PM in 42 years!
'Notwithstanding the physical distance, the two countries historically had a convergence of approach and outlook to many international issues.'
April 14, 2015
Sena needs to stop its vada-pav protests
'It is time the Sena realises that voters can see through its divisive actions. It needs to have a wider vision before the party is reduced to a slapstick political comedy.' No votes for Muslims: Sena's demand, a cry in the wilderness
'It was Dr B R Ambedkar's foresight which saved us from some marauding state political leaders who could have indirectly disfranchised large sections of our population as we see some attempts even now,' says V Balachandran.
April 13, 2015
Modi's op-ed in German newspaper
Prime Minster Narendra Modi's op-ed in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeines talks about development, New Age India and his 'Make in India' campaign. Here's the complete text of the column. The benefits of having a Gujarati prime minister
'Narendra Modi knows how to calculate and remain pragmatic. Take the unexpected Rafale deal - perhaps the first time a PM has considered the country's defence procurement as a priority, over the considerations of the babus... and over his own pet project 'Make in India',' says Claude Arpi. Why cowardly encounters will never cease in India
'If 25 black men had been executed illegally in the US in one day, the government would have fallen and the population would have rallied to the victims. In India, those of us who did not applaud the police only yawned,' says Aakar Patel.
April 11, 2015
Can Pakistan afford to antagonise the Gulf kingdom?
How long can Pakistan remain neutral in the Saudi Arabia-led Yemen conflict?
April 10, 2015
Why the Iran nuclear deal will be useful for India
'If the Iran nuke deal holds, Iran becomes a gateway to Afghanistan, and a better one than Pakistan because the route is not so mountainous. Correspondingly, I imagine Pakistan's value to the US will fall,' says Rajeev Srinivasan. Iran's last chance to shed the pariah tag
To the extent the nuclear race in West Asia is slowed down by the Iran nuclear deal, the world as a whole has reason to be happy, says Virendra Kapoor. 'France is more mercenary than we like'
'Despite frequent high-level interactions there has been little traction on substantive issues between India and France,' says Mohan Guruswamy.
April 08, 2015
Time veggies joined the Indian non-veg mainstream!
'In a country like India, it is clear that respecting religions -- in politics or in the kitchen -- is disastrous,' says Amberish K Diwanji.
April 07, 2015
PM has given a recipe for undermining the Constitution
'To suggest that activists -- and that too 'five star activists' -- are driving the courts, is to betray an ignorance of the functioning of the legal system of the most gross kind,' says Senior Advocate and former Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising.
April 06, 2015
Modi agreed with every word Giriraj said
'Modi deliberately chose such unhinged people because they said what he wanted to, but couldn't,' says Aakar Patel. Narasimha Rao carried his nuclear secrets to his grave
'If Rao had, in fact, given a word to President Clinton in 1994 that India would not test, he would not have encouraged Vajpayee to test. The note, said to have been handed over to Vajpayee by Rao with the words, 'Now is the time to accomplish my unfinished task' may not have been a reference to nuclear tests at all,' says T P Sreenivasan. Who will pay the cost of local self-governance?
With Centre, state and municipal governments passing the buck on issues as critical as sanitation, Aditi Phadnis looks at the revolving door politics that is often played with the running of local self government
April 05, 2015
Star Wars: India set to test anti-missile defence shield
DRDO's latest test towards developing an anti-ballistic missile shield, to protect Indian targets against nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles fired from Pakistan or China will provide a technology that is akin to striking a bullet with a bullet, say Ajai Shukla
April 01, 2015
Let the army decide whom to promote!
'The government must make clear once and for all that promotions in the Indian Army are not the right of individuals, but a privilege given in accordance with role and function.'
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