Columnists

Anil Dharker

Our obsession with medals...

So, finally, there was a silver lining to the dark clouds over India’s Olympic participation, as a bonus a bronze one too. P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, thank you for giving us reasons to exhale.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Sedition: Tragedy, terror and tamasha

The frequency with which the word “sedition” has been crashing into the front page or prime-time television news of late is tragic, terrifying and ridiculous.

Mohan Guruswamy

RSS & demographics: A reality check

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is riding its old hobby horse again.

Sharmistha Mukherjee

J&K: Start talking

Harud is a film directed by Aamir Bashir.

Vikram Sood

Change of tactics, not policy

Prime Minister Modi’s comments on Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK were about 350 words in a speech that lasted more than one hour and a half.

Antara Dev Sen

Leave sport to talent

As we look back at the Olympic Games at Rio, we have a lot to be proud about. We had a whopping big contingent of 117 players.

Padma Rao Sundarji

Indian sports: Status quo ante

A few years after the disastrous Commonwealth Games (CWG) of 2010, the swimming team from Uttarakhand, a relatively new state with inadequate infrastructure, applied for permission to train in one of

Kishwar Desai

Britain has left Brexit behind

Brexit has not dampened the Olympian spirit — and UK’s team is going for gold.

Aakar Patel

10 ways to love your country

How many ways can you love your country? Actually being Indian is the first way, by which I mean holding an Indian passport. In my case, three passports.

Ashok Malik

Bihar: Tipple tips the odds against Nitish

About 12,000 people are in prison in Bihar for violation of the new prohibition law. Broadly, they have been taken into custody over the past three months.

Dilip Cherian

Goodbye Rail Budget

From next year there will be no separate Rail Budget, ending a long British-era practice.

Manish Tewari

An injudicious delay

The Chief Justice of India twice — on August 12 and again on August 15 — expressed his anguish over the obduracy of the NDA government for sitting on the recommendations made by the Supreme Court coll

Shobhaa’s Take

Enough of Rio, aim for Tokyo

I’m being totally upfront when I say: Sakshi Malik, we are proud of your stupendous achievement...

Jayant V. Narlikar

A challenge to ‘smart cities’

Imagine two friends residing in the same city but in different suburbs decide to meet. They are some five-six km away from each other. A in suburb X agrees to visit B in suburb Y.

Farrukh Dhondy

Britain’s free speech dilemma

“The dog barks up the wrong tree While behind him whole forests grow His indulgence in fantasy Means there are things he’ll never know.” From Dhoka Kola by Bachchoo

K.N. Bhat

Judges must get judicious about time

If the government knows how to dig in its heels on certain issues, then the judiciary would be equally strong in its resolve to stick to its stand.

Sanjeev Ahluwalia

How viable are hiked wage rates

Populism, buttressed by dodgy economics, has become the fashion statement in politics. Last year, the Union government approved handsome “real” increases in government salary.

Shiv Visvanathan

Amitabh, sensuality & the social sciences

One of the exercises I perform daily is to read the newspaper supplement for quotes. I love filmstars and celebrities when they play Socratic.

Sandeep Bamzai

How Gilgit was lost forever

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching a massive counter offensive against Pakistan’s intensified propaganda war on Kashmir, by throwing into stark relief the human rights violations in the Shia-

Sreeram Chaulia

The dragon’s exactions

Ever since an international tribunal in The Hague delivered an adverse verdict on China’s preposterous territorial claims in the South China Sea, Beijing has responded by firing on all cylinders.

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Basit goes off the diplomatic radar

It would be a violation of diplomatic propriety if Abdul Basit is still in this country as Pakistan’s high commissioner when this appears in print.

Shankar Roychowdhury

The ship of Indian State endures all challenges

O captain, my captain, our fearful trip is done, The ship has weathered every wrack, the prize we sought is won… — Walt Whitman

Martin Macwan

Dalits at the crossroads

In a week when India celebrates its 70th Independence Day, the pervasiveness and perniciousness of the caste system in all its discriminatory manifestations stands out.

S. Nihal Singh

Modi’s silence is his undoing

Independence Day anniversary is a time for stocktaking.

Pavan K. Varma

J&K: Focus delayed is opportunity denied

The beautiful valley of Kashmir is going through a phase of turbulence that should be a matter of concern to all political parties and all Indians.

Anita Katyal

Judges spar over BCCI

After lying low for nearly a month over what was widely perceived to be a step down from the ministry of human resource development, minister for textiles Smriti Irani has now started taking interest

Sidharth Bhatia

Well tried! But it’s the medals that count

The beast we know as social media needs to be continuously fed to keep it in perpetual outrage mode, and this week author Shobhaa De did the needful.

Claude Arpi

China’s border tactics unchanged

In July 1952, the Intelligence Bureau sent New Delhi a worrying report about the Garhwal-Tibet border; after explaining that the border in this area could “only be crossed through Mana and Niti Valley

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Testing times for BJP

Not all charismatic leaders are astute administrators. Efficient governance has little correlation to the ability to seduce the electorate.

Devi Kar

In schools, teach kids basic life skills

The term “skill” has been given a new urgency and significance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Skill India programme, the purpose of which is to “align the demands of employers for a well-trained, s

Bhopinder Singh

Why Pak isn’t quite like Turkey

The similarities between Pakistan and Turkey are eerie — both were born of Islamic lands that portended an aspired identity of modernism and secularism.

Vandana Shiva

Free people from ‘dictatorship’ of 0.01%

The only way to counter globalisation just a plot of land in some central place, keep it covered in grass, let there be a single tree, even a wild tree.” This is how dear friend and eminent writer Mah

Sudhanshu Ranjan

Gau raksha: Don’t let myths defy the law

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unequivocal and strong condemnation of “gau rakshaks” (cow protectors) is expected to go a long way in reining in the cow vigilantes who have virtually unleashed a reign

Sanjay Kumar

A lot to do for achche din

The passage of the long-pending Goods and Services Tax Bill in the Rajya Sabha last week was a big achievement for the Narendra Modi government as it was finding it hard to negotiate with the Oppositi

Surendra Kumar

Change mindsets, and laws, to save dalits

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited over 50 nations in the past two years, more than any other Indian PM in the same duration since Independence.

S.K. Sinha

Forces are top-heavy, cut the flab

Border defence and border policing are important aspects of national security. They require different approaches, and different organisations.

Wasbir Hussain

Sharmila’s choices: Why the fuss?

Irom Sharmila Chanu, the iconic symbol in the fight against the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, surprised everyone by announcing she would end her 16-year-long fast on August 9, conte

Anand K. Sahay

Playing dangerous politics in J&K

When Pakistan tries to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir, its malicious intent must be countered with vigour.

Ranjit Gupta

Fighting IS: Tolerance is our best bet

There is much unfounded hype that the Islamic State poses a deadly threat to India.

Yogi Aggarwal

Ushering in GST: A lot is yet to be explained

The Goods and Services Tax Bill has been poised in the Rajya Sabha between the government’s determination to see it through and the Congress’ resolve to block it unless the amendments that it has sugg

P.S. Raghavan

Use of soft power: Myth and reality

The United Nations’ adoption in 2014 of an International Yoga Day was remarkable for many reasons.

Sreeram Chaulia

Russians and DNC emails: The joke’s on America

Allegations that Russian intelligence agencies hacked into emails of the US Democratic Party’s National Committee (DNC) and released them via WikiLeaks prove that the division between domestic and int

Nani Bath

Arunachal: After Khandu, what?

On July 13, as the Northeast Democratic Alliance met in Guwahati, the Supreme Court redefined the constitutional role and responsibilities of a governor by declaring unconstitutional the governor’s di

Vivek Sengupta

J&K: Go back to 1953, and start again

In the wake of the recent upheaval in Kashmir, resulting in nearly 50 deaths so far, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for a plebiscite in the troubled province.

Sandeep Bamzai

‘Intifada’ lessons from Israel

Failure normally is a fog through which one can glimpse triumph.

Samrat

Kashmir: Reality check on valley of futile dreams

A figure familiar to Mumbaikars is currently leading a march in Pakistan in support of Kashmir’s freedom from India.

Kamal Davar

Make Pak pay for J&K mischief

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Or, in some cases, they get worse!

Sandeep Bamzai

Unrest in Valley: Rework strategy

Nothing about Kashmir is monochromatic.

Charles Marquand

Brexit: Europe hurt, puzzled, relieved

At the end of last week I was in Freiburg; a prosperous, pretty university town in the southwestern corner of Germany.

Jarpum Gamlin

After SC verdict, a mess in Arunachal

After the Supreme Court delivered its verdict Wednesday on the SLP involving Nabam Rebia and Bamang Felix vs Deputy Speaker and others, it is clear it was an “open and shut” case.

K.C. Singh

India, Africa: Let’s grow together

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s four-nation African diplomatic safari from July 7 covered three different kinds of African neighbours across the Indian Ocean.

Sankar Ray

Bangla: Probe terror’s money links

The jihadist attack in Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery, a posh café and restaurant next to a tranquil lake frequented mostly by expats looking for French croissants and Manhattan-style brunches, where at

Arun Kumar Singh

Watch China, it may be eyeing Andamans

On April 19 this year, in anticipation of an adverse ruling by the UN tribunal at The Hague known as the Permanent Court of Arbitration, that was delivered on Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in New Delhi

Andrew Marszal

May: A ‘Plan B’ PM

Look past the lavish, eccentric ceremonies and histrionic “boo-hiss” parliamentary debates, British politics has always been a rather boring place.

Neena Gopal

In Dhaka, under the surface: ISI at work

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignores Dhaka at his peril.

Abhijit Bhattacharya

Judges’ choice: India & the world

In the United States, federal judges, including those on the Supreme Court, are chosen by the President and need the approval of the Senate and, notwithstanding any restriction on age of retirement, h

Skand Tayal

A dissent channel?

Last month the New York Times reported that 51 US state department officials had signed an internal memo sharply critical of the Obama administration’s policy on Syria and urged the United States to c

Talmiz Ahmad

ISIS set to expand its empire of terror

As the holy month of Ramzan drew to a close, Saudi Arabia got the worst possible gifts from its arch-enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — three attacks directed at targets having consid

Syed Badrul Ahsan

Bangladesh: A nation searches for its soul

Bangladesh is today engaged in a search for its lost soul.

Sidharth Bhatia

Bring civility back to public life

In any civilised country, Yogi Adityanath would have been in jail, or at least facing serious hate speech charges that the authorities would pursue with diligence.

Prshant K. Lahoti

This star will keep shining

K.G. Subramanyan was one of the most important figures in Indian art, particularly in the period after Independence.

Biswajit Dhar

India must rework its EU links

In one of the most significant developments since the dawn of the new millennium, a majority of the electorate in the United Kingdom told their government they no longer wish to remain a part of the E

Karnika Seth

Protect our kids from trolls

Is children accessing the Internet a boon or a bane? It can become a bane if a child is victimised through cyberbullying or faces other kinds of online victimisation.

Abhijit Bhattacharyya

Delhi as a ‘full state’ will lead to anarchy

The political and constitutional status of Delhi, as India’s capital, has long been a matter of controversy.

Charles Marquand

UK: Turbulence ahead

Last week the referendum campaign on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union descended into the gutter.

Uttara Choudhury

America at gunpoint

Ever since the brutal mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last Sunday, Florida has become the focus of concerns about easy access to guns, and the mayhem such access can produce.

Diana Monteiro

Anger, not fear, at core of homophobia

The tragedy that unfolded at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12 has led to an intense focus on homophobia and the attitudes of societies across the world that, directly or indirectly, foster discri

Julio Ribeiro

Punjab: Holding a mirror to reality

I must see the film Udta Punjab next week! I am told that the proliferation of drugs in Punjab is the single problem that the inhabitants are discussing in their drawing rooms and village dhabas.

Suchi Govindarajan

Living in the age of free non-basics

It is a dull, rainy morning at the Dujiangyan Panda Base in Chengdu, China, and my husband and I are inside a large giant panda cage.

Flavia Agnes

Stop this brutality, it shames India

The blockbuster Marathi film Sairat (Wild), rated as the most important film of 2016, has grossed Rs 80 crores in 29 days and is heading towards surpassing the Rs 100-crore magic figure.

Vijay Chauthaiwale

Deoras: The man behind BJP’s rise

The quarter-century from 1971 to 1996 witnessed some of the most transformational events in Indian history that changed the socio-political discourse and led to a tectonic shift in the Indian polity.

Ranjana Kumari

The other remains alien

Except the fact that we are 'Indian', everything else is ambiguous here.

Salman Khurshid

Idea of India will beat all aberrations

Many things in nature look attractive and beautiful in a holistic perspective from a distance, but a closer look changes everything.

G. Ramachandram

China’s 1962 attack to discredit Nehru?

Jawaharlal Nehru, who tried to build a bridge between democracy and communism and mediated in many world crises at the height of the Cold War between the two rival blocs led by the United States and t

N.P. Ashley

BJP’s single Kerala seat: What it spells for the state...

As the dust settles on the recent Assembly elections, what emerges is a bifurcation of the political tendencies of the 2014 general election: if Tamil Nadu and West Bengal reiterated the political val

M.K. Bhadrakumar

Taliban’s new boss ISI’s old friend

The Taliban acted swiftly to elect a successor to Mullah Akhtar Mansour, who was killed in a US drone attack on Sunday.

G.R. Ravindranath

Is NEET the ultimate solution?

After the Supreme Court made the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) mandatory for MBBS and BDS admissions from this year, the Central government promulgated an ordinance to exclude state govern

Pradip Phanjoubam

Manipur: BJP’s next N-E target

The BJP’s victory in the Assam Assembly elections, the results of which were declared last week, was expected but not by the landslide margin the party and its allies took the Assembly, together baggi

Indranil Banerjie

Is Chabahar India’s Great Game changer?

Balochistan is one of the world’s driest, hottest and most desolate regions, remembered by Alexander the Great’s historians as the cruellest land they ever encountered and which almost destroyed them

Patricia Mukhim

Saffron horizon widens in Northeast

This is the first time that an election result in a Northeast state has got so much attention in the so-called national media.

Himadri Bhattacharya

Start policy reforms, delink rupee & inflation

In the parlance of global investors and analysts, the Indian rupee is one of the world’s high-beta currencies.

Shikha Mukerjee

Didi looks at wider horizon

Mamata Banerjee has won. She won against her negative image projected by the Opposition and made manifest in possibly the ugliest campaign ever in West Bengal.

T.P. Sreenivasan

Mega scandals outshone mega projects

The main question in Kerala this time was whether the state would follow the revolving-door pattern of electing the Congress-led UDF and the CPI(M)-led LDF every five years, or whether the NDA’s adven

S. Murari

Nehru’s legacy a mixed bag

For a proper understanding of Jawaharlal Nehru, independent India’s first Prime Minister who was as much revered as he was reviled, we have to shed some of preconceived notions about him

Dr M.A. Kalam

Dangerous game

While all the developed and developing countries of the world constantly endeavour to modernise and update their educational structures, we in India seem to have other ideas.

V. Mahalingam

Cut flab in Army, but not in a rush

Media reports that have been circulating suggest that the Army, one of the three armed services, has instituted a study headed by Lt. Gen.

Madhav Acharya

Fuelling myths

The news that Mitsubishi Motors in Japan has admitted to falsifying fuel economy data for several of its car models is the latest blow to the global auto industry, coming on the heels of the Volkswage

N. Sathiya Moorthy

The incumbent jinx

Independent of parties and leaders, and also the search for a viable “third alternative”, the May 16 Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu will be watched, and remembered, for the possibility of chief minister

Suman Sahai

Vested interests fuelled Uttarakhand forest fires

A few days ago, I sat on the verandah of the Gene Campaign field station in Orakhan in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, watching the forests of Mukteshwar burn.

Bhopinder Singh

Arms and the middlemen

Corruption in Indian defence deals date back to the 1948 jeep scandal when the pesky and brazen V.K.

Zeenat Shaukat Ali

Haji Ali for all

Although social changes in this century have altered the situation of women in society opening opportunities for their participation in various fields of endeavour, patriarchal attitudes are reasserti

Haresh Jagtiani

It’s my right to choose my food

I would be perfectly willing to match wits and join issues with a vegetarian or a vegan who questions my desire to eat beef.

Krishna Menon

Marital rape & the dynamics of power

The sanctioned violence and rape within marriage in many cultures limits the possibilities of consolidating a democratic society with just and egalitarian values.

Siddharth Dube

War on drugs: Roll it and smoke it

In 1998, the world leaders attending a UN General Assembly special session on global drug policies proclaimed, “A drug-free world — We can do it!” They vowed to rid the world of illegal narcotics by 2

C. Uday Bhaskar

A strategic triangle

India has engaged in a series of high-level political meetings with both the US and China and more are in the offing over the next two months.

Ranjona Banerji

Quantum of solace

“Normal computers work either with power going through a wire or not, a one or a zero. They’re binary systems.

Padma Rao Sundarji

The Maldivian muddle

Ports and islands are useful things, especially those scattered across thousands of miles of a hotly contested ocean in one of the most volatile regions of the world.

Swami Agnivesh

God, save us from miracle-mongers

It makes me angry; though I know I should not be. The spiritual discipline common to all religious traditions demands that we master our emotions and become tolerant unto dust.

Swapan Dasgupta

Let it pour down on Bharat Mata

In recent years, India’s Meteorological Department (IMD) hasn’t exactly earned a reputation for unfailing accuracy.

Sushant Sareen

Defiance, denial deception and delusion

Seen from a rational perspective, Pakistan needs to clean up its act and change its course to become a normal state instead of behaving like a paranoid, 'greedy' state that leverages and encashes its

Manoj Joshi

Can the real Sharif please stand up!

No one seems to know where the Modi government's Pakistan policy is, or where it is going. It has jerked up and down for a while and now the vehicle has come to a juddering halt.

Paulo Coelho

Why make rules for everything?

In the fall of 2003, I was walking in the middle of the night through Stockholm, when I saw a lady walking with ski poles.

M. Venkaiah Naidu

One-shot polls

Contrary to the forecasts of the colonial doomsayers, who were reluctant to leave India free, democracy in our country has moved from strength to strength.

Arun Maira

The weak links in our discordant democracy

India is rightfully proud of many of its democratic institutions — its Constitution, its systems of electoral democracy, and its independent judiciary.

Amrit Sadhana

Goodbye depression

In today’s world, we often hear the word “depression”. Psychiatrists and researchers are trying to investigate depression.

Shaji N. Karun

The Rs 500 crore conundrum

There seems to be a devastating drain of wisdom from our country’s collective conscience. And nowhere is it felt more than in our cinema.

Subhash K. Jha

Why can’t big be successful?

Ever since S.S.

Sudhanshu Ranjan

Time to tax the farms

Against the backdrop of peasants committing suicide in large numbers because of penury, the news about millionaire farmers in India would ordinarily have been dismissed as drivel.

T. Harish Rao

India must act fast on water use

India is the world’s second most populated country with 1.25 billion people. It is the 10th largest economy and represents around 2.5 per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product.

Varun Gandhi

India’s bad loans conundrum

India’s commanding heights are being brought down by its own laxity. With the rate cut underway in savings schemes, India’s fiscal policy is beginning to come to grips with its bad loans conundrum.

Sunanda K.Datta-Ray

India is eternal by any name

Given the mood of the times, it should not be surprising if someone accuses Justice T.S. Thakur, the Chief Justice of India, and his colleague on the Supreme Court bench, Justice U.U.

Prabhash Ranjan

State must fund, not rule, education

Much has already been said on the Jawaharlal Nehru University row. Many have rightly pointed out the significant contribution JNU has made to academic scholarship and nation-building.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Azadi’s new odyssey

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” phonetics professor Henry Higgins had wistfully chanted to his pal Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, the musical movie version of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

Cow waving the tricolour

Did particular functionaries of the Naren-dra Modi government and supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party anticipate that their actions would contribute to a young PhD student of the Jawaharlal Nehru

Akshima T. Ghate

Travelling against all odds

The recent abduction of a Snapdeal employee while she was returning home by a “shared autorickshaw” and many such similar incidents of harassment or abduction of women on roads and in various modes of

Devinder Sharma

Will Bharat reap?

Two days after finance minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting Budget 2016, promised to double farmers’ income in the next five years, three farmers in Punjab — the food bowl of the country — committe

Vijay Jawandhia

Another carrot for farmers

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget has no ray of hope for the farmers, though the media has created hype that the Budget is pro-farmer.

Vivek Kaul

Pulse of the matter

The Economic Survey of 2015-2016 is a lovely document which goes into great detail on what is wrong with India on the economic front and offers good workable solutions to solve these problems.

R. Ramakumar

Big promises, bigger discontent

1 Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2016-17 clearly has a conservative fiscal stance.

Ashok P. Hinduja

‘There’ll be bottom up demand, jobs’

Is the Budget up to your expectations? The Budget is prudent and, thus, largely addresses the fiscal priorities of the government of reducing the deficit.

Pritam Mahure

Decoding indirect taxes

As per the Budget proposals, flats, jewellery, readymade garments, mobiles, ropeway rides are likely to cost more. How? Let’s understand. Service Tax

Deepak Chandnani

The cashless revolution is here

The year 2016 comes with great expectations for the evolving payments industry.

Srinivas Thiruvadanthai

Splurge a bit, Mr FM, it’s good for growth

As the finance minister prepares to announce the budget for fiscal year 2017, expectations are muted compared with a year ago.

Amarpal Chadha

I-T, real estate hold fiscal key

With the Budget round the corner, it is once again that time of the year when individual taxpayers’ expectations are at a high, confidently believing and reassuring oneself that the government will an

Lawrence Liang

Ultra-nationalists make light of patriotism

Definitions, American poet Toni Morrison once wrote, belong to the definer not the defined.

Dr R. Balashankar

Abdicating Role

It was game as usual for a section of rabidly anti-national goons in Jawaharlal Nehru University till the nation at large decided to call their bluff and punish the guilty in spite of the tremendous c

Aparna Jain

The fault, I’m afraid, lies with us

Much has been written and said about the R.K.

R.C. Acharya

Sustaining the reform track

As the saying goes, “Well begun is half done”.

K.P. Fabian

Airlift: Not lifted from the facts

The film Airlift is a commercial success. I was bewildered by its repeated attempts to suppress what is true and suggest what is false.

Meena Kandasamy

Dirty politics equals angry protests

Suicides the world over are deceptive deaths and when they occur in succession, they give the appearance of being contagious.

Siddharth Narrain

Sec 377: The battle for identity

Two years after the Supreme Court dismissed a review petition filed in Suresh Koushal vs Naz Foundation, in which the court had held Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to be constitutional, the case

Taslima Nasreen

A new Delhi rose out of odd-even

Delhi appeared almost unrecognisable during the days of the odd-even rule — evenings appeared livable, devoid of traffic snarls and as if in the midst of a holiday season or a citywide general strike.

Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi

Fight ISIS in classrooms

Radicalised Muslim youth joining the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in Pakistan or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to attain what they call “istishhad” (martyrdom) is not a recent phenomenon.

S.K. Chatterji

Defence can start up Make in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Start-Up India was the loudest bang on the weekend.

G. Sudhakaran

Change the rules, else they will be your downfall!

When I was the Devaswom minister in the LDF government, five women from Andhra Pradesh, who were below 50 years of age, attempted to climb the Sabarimala hill. They were arrested.

Arundathi B.

Sabarimala: The uphill climb to gender justice

Facts of history can be questioned with new evidence, facts of science subjected to reasoning, but how do you question myths and beliefs since they do not submit to logic?

Rahul Easwar

Ayya, Appa, and Bavar Swamy

I was around seven when I went with my grandfather, Sabarimala Supreme Priest Kandararu Maheshwararu, to Sabarimala for the first time. Our first stop was at Erumeli, in the famous Bavar Mosque.

Narendar Pani

Change must come from within, not courts

The Supreme Court is moving quite firmly into the cultural and religious domain.

Arun Kumar Singh

Postscript Pathankot

On January 10, 2016, the media reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dissatisfied by the manner in which the terror attack on Pathankot Air Force base from January 2-5 had been dealt with, despi

Kanwar Sandhu

‘India lacks a strategy on Pak’

The January 2 terrorist attack on Pathankot airbase once again points to the lack of not just an immediate but also a long-term strategy to deal with our warring neighbour, Pakistan.

Hina Rabbani Khar

‘Let’s invent a future’

I do not believe relations between India and Pakistan are a zero-sum game. It is not true that in every move, gesture or negotiation, one of us is a winner, the other a loser.

Nitin A. Gokhale

NSA took decisions promptly

If there is one major lesson that the Modi government must learn from the controversy surrounding the Pathankot terror strike is this: get the perception management model right!

Shiv Visvanathan

The idea that united Delhi

A friend of mine once said, “Talk about any major reform in Delhi and the first objections will come from two categories: The bureaucrats who will tell you how difficult and expensive it is and the so

P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti

Only safe cities are Smart Cities

The unprecedented floods in Chennai this winter, preceded by equally unprecedented cyclone in Visakhapatnam and flood in Srinagar last year are, apart from devastating tragedies, indications of the gr

Rajiv Bhatia

India abroad in 2016

All those involved in the country’s foreign policy — as its makers, implementers and analysts — have reason to be happy: the subject received special salience in the national discourse during 2015.

Vivek Katju

Modi must take path of caution

With that one surprise stop-over at Nawaz Sharif's family estate at Raiwind near Lahore on Christmas Day, and the weeks of top-level meetings preceding it — in Paris (Modi-Nawaz meeting), Bangkok (Ind

Husain Haqqani

An opening for South Asian trade?

India and Pakistan have initiated dialogue several times over the last six decades, only to end the process amid acrimony.

Rekha Sethi

Women’s time to have it all

A few years ago, this question stirred up furious debate after a poster-woman of feminism, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Director of Policy Planning under Hilary Clinton, said that women could still not have

Tridivesh Singh Maini

Keep windows open for the world

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not allow political roadblocks on the domestic front — defeat in Delhi and Bihar and a dysfunctional Parliament — to impact his hectic foreign itinerary.

Amitabha Bagchi

Politics and its meanings

Now that the dust has settled on the sequence of events set in motion by Nayantara Sahgal’s decision to “return” her Sahitya Akademi Award, barring a few cinema halls here and there still refusing to

Mohan K. Tikku

On being Tipu

In a year that saw the lynching of a man on the outskirts of Delhi for his alleged food preferences, it was inevitable that some others, including a few long dead royals, would be raised from their gr

Dr Nagarathna A.

Regressive reform

Famous jurist Jeremy Bentham opines, “Every law is an evil because every law is violation of liberty; so government, I say again, can only choose between evils.” He further suggests that a legislator

Ranjana Kumari

No second chance for hardened criminals

It is important to understand that juvenile crime is an outcome of violent culture in the society and family.

Kiran Nagarkar

Crying wolf

When I was an insufferable obstreperous child, like all Indian mothers, my mother too would tell me that if I didn’t behave, she was going to call the policeman from the local chowki to straighten me

Aditya Sinha

A long time ago

I was 13 when I watched the original Star Wars (now confusingly called Episode IV: A New Hope), and I felt as if I was 13 again when I watched the latest Star Wars film, Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Cut, retake

The guns have fallen silent at the Film and Television Institute of India after students returned to classrooms, calling off their 139-day strike for the removal of institute chairman Gajendra Chauhan

Kavita Krishnan

In the spirit of anger & revenge

The Juvenile Justice Act has been amended in the wake of the outcry over the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16, 2012, case, after serving his sentence.

Ved Kumari

Juvenile injustice

On Tuesday, India joined the league of countries that punishes its children.

G. Haragopal

A wrecked Parliament?

In the history of Indian Parliament, the current session is, perhaps, one of the most tragic — tragic, in fact, is a sympathetic expression about the state of affairs.

Anjali Lal Gupta

Loitering and other offences

In her famous video poem, How to be alone, Canadian writer and musician Tanya Davis suggests several sites where solo existence could be healed and even celebrated — public transport, gym, streets, th

Ramakrishnan T.S.

Bihar: Nitish’s facesaver

The victory of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar Assembly elections is certainly remarkable.

Audrey D’Mello

The sacrament of prenups

Maneka Gandhi, minister of women and child development , recently gave a call for pre-nuptial agreements to be recognised in India.

Chandra Bhushan

There is no planet B

Over 150 nations are assembled at the climate conference in Paris to sew up an agreement on how to curb carbon emissions into the earth’s atmosphere and slow down global warming.

Mahesh Uppal

Free Basics, more Internet

How should governments and regulators view the Internet.org initiative to expand Internet use? I argue that we must rely on established regulatory principles rather than ideological preferences.

Khalid Mohamed

Smooch ado about nothing

Flip a coin: heads he stays, tails he goes. The guessing game is on. Following a controversy-a-day will the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification be shown the door?

Shobhaa De

Shobhaa’s Take: The patriot games we play

My word! Are we touchy... or are we touchy? Our skins are getting thinner and thinner by the day.

B.K. Chandrashekar

Cut Carbon, not growth

Are countries which have not been responsible over decades, perhaps even over centuries, for huge greenhouse gas emissions, promoting global warming now obliged to cut on their CO2 emissions in global

Vappala Balachandran

The clash of uncivilisations

ISIS, or more accurately Daesh, is a creation of multiple forces – its seeds were sown by America during its Cold War confrontation against the erstwhile Soviet Union, it has been nurtured well since

Vikram Sood

That long, horrible night

It was in the month of Ramzan 2014 that there was an announcement about the establishment of the Caliphate.

Shikha Mukerjee

The Patna conclave

An emerging collective of regional parties after the triumph of the Mahagatbandhan in Bihar signals the building of a barricade to keep out ambitious encroachers.

S.K. Sinha

Nitish is now PM material

The pollsters, exit polls and I were proved totally wrong in anticipating the results of the recent Bihar Assembly elections. The former’s expertise went astray in their predictions.

Rajeev Shukla

UNSC membership for Rs 73 crore?

India has been fighting for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the last 20 years but our efforts are yet to fructify.

Khalid Mohamed

At home in Lucknowi and Queen’s angrezi

He was habitually wont to begin a sentence with, “Amma yaar”, as in “Amma yaar, aap kaise hain?”, “Amma yaar, badi manhoos garmi hai”, “Amma yaar, aaj shaam ko thodi gup-shup ho jaaye.” <

Nawal Kishore Chaudhary

...and the vote goes to poll managers

As somebody rightly said, “it is more important to say ‘perfect’ things ‘imperfectly’ than to say ‘imperfect’ things ‘perfectly’.

KG Suresh

2016: BJP’s big fight

BJP’s defeat in the Bihar Assembly election is undoubtedly a setback for the party, more so the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo, given the fact that while the former was the mascot of the party's campaign

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

How radical Islam haunts Egypt

Whatever other result the tragic crash of the Russian Metrojet Airbus A321 whose Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg Flight 9268 ended in the sands of Sinai, killing all 224 persons on board, may have, i

R.C. Acharya

Railways: Back on track

American management guru Peter Drucker had famously said, “The spirit of an organisation is created from the top”, and Union minister for railways Suresh Prabhu, with an excellent track record of his

K.V. Rajan

Terai key to better India-Nepal ties

The dramatic downturn in India-Nepal relations in recent weeks raises a number of questions.

Mohan Guruswamy

A raja’s whims and Aksai Chin

Indian and Chinese troops are in yet another face-off in the Aksai Chin region. How this cold and wind-swept desert became a seemingly intractable dispute is a tale worth telling.

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Way to India’s heart is through Gandhi

A leading member of Britain’s Liberal Democrat party, which is a member of the ruling coalition, has resigned following a sting operation with a reporter posing as a wealthy British Indian businessman

Jayant V. Narlikar

Tracing Supernova 1054

Old books and manuscripts provide a measure of the intellectual maturity of the society that produced them. Spread over centuries, they generate a credible story of the evolution of the society.

Javed Anand

What can I say?

To the mourning parents, siblings, children, spouses, lovers, family and friends of those who were gunned down in the horrific massacre in Paris, what can I say?

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

Running on fumes

The sharp and sudden collapse of international prices of crude oil brings significant short-term gains for the Indian economy.

Sreeram Chaulia

A promise of change

The defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka’s presidential election is good riddance for the troubled island.

Anil Dharker

Two cheers for Rahul

What Rahul wants, Rahul gets,” was the headline in one national newspaper. Others were not so direct, but nevertheless played up Rahul Gandhi’s outburst against the ordinance on convicted MPs and MLAs.

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Kishwar Desai

Attack that came with benefits

If anyone in India thinks heaping abuse upon a politician or their families can wreck careers, they must think again. Sometimes the more an individual is reviled, the more public sympathy s/he arouses.

Ram Gopal Varma

Wrong and right

Relationships are really the bane of our life whether they be with our loved ones and also within our so called professional lives. We’re, throughout our lives, seeking that one very right relationship with a very right person who we think is absolutely right for us.

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Dilip Cherian

Dilli Ka Babu

Clean-up time

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Aakar Patel

Soft side of the Hindutva hero

Has Narendra Modi softened himself as his campaign continues to progress? This week we had a statement from the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate that for him, toilets were the priority over temples.

Bharat Bhushan

Rahul’s risen, now he needs to shine

Congress scion Rahul Gandhi has announced his party’s leadership transition with a bang. His dramatic intervention to scuttle the ordinance nullifying the Supreme Court order on convicted politicians in public life demonstrates his desire to dictate the future course of his party.

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Rakhahari Chatterji

Gandhi’s India

A charitable interpretation of the acceptance by our leaders of Partition and the bloodbath that it entailed would be that they expected it to have, once and for all, settled communal conflict in Inde

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Seema Sirohi

Dr Singh may not be king, but he won

New York Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may not be king again but he certainly can launch a guerrilla action or two.

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Shankar Roychowdhury

Nuclear realities

The significance of the second test on September 15, 2013, of India’s improved Agni-V intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) from Wheeler Island test range, off the coast of Orissa, has to be per

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Sidharth Bhatia

In politics, it’s a season of friend requests

Along with holding public rallies all over the country to up his profile and take his message of throwing out the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Narendra Modi has also been working to get friends

Anand K. Sahay

Tear up the ordinance & make history

Rahul Gandhi’s intervention last Friday on the side of the Supreme Court and the people, and against the ordinance-in-the-making that seeks to bail out criminal politicians, was the stuff of history.

Anupam Kher

Balancing act in life

I’m a 20-year-old college student. I was in love with my classmate. Last month I broke up with her. She cheated on me. And now it is very hard for me to face her all day in class.

Pavan K. Varma

Where Parliament fails, judiciary saves

The Supreme Court’s ruling that legislators must cease to be members of the House if they are convicted by a court for an offence where the punishment is more than two years, and its more recent judgm

Antara Dev Sen

Democracy of disgust

The personal is political. And the political is personal too. Only the incurably innocent or doggedly somnambulant would refuse to recognise this.

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Farrukh Dhondy

Slut as in slattern

Slut as in slattern “Isn’t it strange? Isn’t it rich? That Panini The Grammarian of Sanskrit Is now an Italian sandwich?” From Hai Doonya!

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Srinath Raghavan

Forward Ho!

It is easy to be nostalgic about US-India relations. Think of the days when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would gush to President George W.

S. Nihal Singh

Will Syria be the West’s next Iraq?

The world is staring at another military intervention by the United States and its allies in Syria to punish the Assad government for allegedly using chemical agents leading to hundreds of deaths of civilians.

Shobhaa De

Silencing the rationalist

Certain “dastardly deeds” (how our netas love these two words!) are just more “dastardly” than others. The cold-blooded, pre-meditated daylight murder of a legend called Narendra Dabholkar was one of them.

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Farrukh Dhondy

A toothy tale

“How far can you go If you’re not Rimbaud? How much do you dare If you’re not Baudelaire? Contemplate time In its grip be calm Drink a toast to Omar Khayyam” From Fatty Ravi the Kavi by Bachchoo

Sajjad Ashraf

The muffled sounds of the dholak

Gazing into India, on my occasional visits, standing on the Pakistani side of Wagah border, the only land crossing permitted along the border between India and Pakistan, I have inevitably, with moist eyes, remembered my late father.

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Khalid Mohamed

Dancing in the dark

Kajol, who lived on the upscale Altamount Road, had never seen life in the raw.

Bharat Karnad

A frog in the hot water

John Garver, a leading American expert on Sino-Indian relations, has likened Beijing’s strategy towards India to the Chinese way of cooking a frog. Plonk the frog in a vessel and turn up the heat slowly. If the water was hot to begin with or the temperature were to rise much too quickly, the frog would simply jump out and escape.

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Bharat Karnad

A can-do helmsman

Nations on the march, or those in the dumps, have sometimes found great leaders to lift their spirits, offer a guiding vision, fuel ambition and help them leap forward. A down and out China found Deng Xiaoping, a fast-declining Britain got Margaret Thatcher, and a de-spirited America had Ronald Reagan.

K.N. Bhat

Judge, gadfly and newsmaker

Maverick, eccentric or unique? Which of these adjectives describe Justice Markandey Katju — the current chairman of the Press Council of India — adequately? Considering Justice Katju’s ability to shift from reality to fantasy without any forewarning, all of these epithets may fit on a given occasion, but none as aptly as I-centric.

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Kishwar Desai

Convulsions in pop press

One of the most tumultuous occurrences in the history of British media took place this year when some journalists working at the highly successful tabloid, News of the World , were accused of using underhanded means for news gathering.

Shreekant Sambrani

The election that isn’t

In the next 10 days, Gujarat will go to polls, ostensibly to elect a legislative Assembly, but in reality to put a stamp of approval on its chief minister for over a decade, Narendra Modi. The only suspense is whether it does so with absolute conviction, that is, with a clear majority of votes cast, or through a plurality.

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Patralekha Chatterjee

Children of lesser parents

Once again, we are furiously debating parental abuse. A court in Norway has convicted an Indian couple for allegedly maltreating their seven-year-old son. This is the second time that Indian parents have fallen foul of Norwegian parenting laws. A furious war of words has broken out about good parenting.

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So, finally, there was a silver lining to the dark clouds over India’s Olympic participation, as a bonus a bronze one too. P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, thank you for giving us reasons to exhale.

The frequency with which the word “sedition” has been crashing into the front page or prime-time television news of late is tragic, terrifying and ridiculous.