Columnists

Anand K. Sahay

Decoding the Modi mystique

When it was observed in this column a month ago that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suffered a precipitous loss of popularity within one year flat, faster than his predecessors who lasted longer tha

Paulo Coelho

Running the business of life

Pamela Hartigan, director of the Schwab Foundation, drew up a list of 10 points common to people who become dissatisfied with the world around them and decide to create their own work.

Jayant V. Narlikar

Guardians of our galaxy

In a community of humans like a village or a city, we will find people of varying ages broadly classified as children, senior adults and old people who have retired from active life.

Indira Jaising

Emergency 2.0

It was on June 26, 1975, that the Emergency was declared in the country.

V.M. Pandit

Case of buried SIT reports, from Emergency to Indira assassination

The declaration of a state of Emergency in India forty years ago is a matter of debate even now.

Saad Bin Jung

A ‘niyat’ for secularism

Yoga being branded and fought over as a Hindu discipline, one that is against the edicts of Islam, on one hand befuddles me and on the other exposes a very fundamental discord in our country — the Hin

C. Raj Kumar

A case against NJAC

The procedure and process for the appointment of judges to the higher courts in India have become an important subject matter of constitutional adjudication.

Javed Anand

Yes to yoga, no to yogis

In December 2014, 170 member nations, including 37 Muslim countries, endorsed the UN proposal to observe June 21 every year as World Yoga Day.

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Vinay Kaura

A history of humiliation

Representing India in the special representative-level boundary talks with China, national security adviser Ajit Kumar Doval is performing the most challenging diplomatic trouble-shooting tasks on beh

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Shri Prakash

Emulate the e-rickshaw

Mild, unseasonal rains and thundershowers in an extremely hot summer season this year, have lifted the spirits of Delhiites as it brings down the elevated toxic ozone levels and improves the air quali

Sanjeev Ahluwalia

King of the industrial jungle

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s adoption of the Asiatic Lion as the symbol of “Make in India” has triggered off a debate. The lion — Gujarat’s state animal till now — has become ubiquitous.

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Vision vs action

In one of the interviews Prime Minister Narendra Modi granted to mark the first anniversary of his government, he said that his government would not discriminate on religion lines because he believed

Patralekha Chatterjee

Scrambled priorities

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? The question has agitated everyone from the ancient Greeks to modern-day thinkers.

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Arun Kumar Singh

N-carriers vs N-subs

The US defence secretary Ashton Carter is expected to visit Visakhapatnam on June 3 and then New Delhi on June 4-5 to sign the 10-year Indo-US Enhanced Defence Framework Agreement, and convince India

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Tridivesh Singh Maini

Lessons from Delhi on cooperative federalism

In the past year, one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's major priorities has been more robust Centre-state relations, and the need for “cooperative federalism”'.

Ashok Malik

The Bofors saga

On May 31, President Pranab Mukherjee begins a three-day visit to Sweden. This is important for several reasons.

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Shobhaa’s Take

Who’s a ‘Big Shot’?

The central thought behind Bombay Velvet was powerful enough. Such a pity it was tossed aside to make an unappetising khichdi that has been declared the biggest turkey of 2015.

Varun Gandhi

Small can be big

India harbours tenacious entrepreneurs.

Charles Marquand

Tories enter minefield

The dust is beginning to settle on an extraordinary election result in the UK.

Neena Gopal

India unwanted pawn in US AfPak game

Pakistan’s ludicrous charge that India’s spy agency RAW is behind the Karachi attack on the Ismaili community maybe laughed out of court here, given that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed re

V. Balachandran

Overt impact of covert acts

Immediately after Independence we had a police chief in the old Bombay state who was very fond of sports hunting. Police officers soon learnt that the best way to please him was to arrange a hunt.

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Vandana Shiva

Save our annadatas

The peasants and farmers of India are the most resilient and independent community I have ever known.

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S. Nihal Singh

Kejriwal’s new avatar

Arvind Kejriwal’s transfor-mation from an anti-corruption advocate and street fighter to a shrewd hard-boiled politician is a remarkable Indian political phenomenon without parallel.

Farrukh Dhondy

Britain-EU relationship status: It’s complicated

“Descartes was wrong: To simply be conscious is not to be; Our constant song Is ‘I must make a mark, acknowledge me!’ The mirrored face Is not sufficient evidence that we Are in the race

Claude Arpi

LAC not ripe for settlement

Invariably, when an Indian Prime Minister goes to China or a senior Chinese leader visits India, the Indian media goes berserk speculating, “this time” the border dispute between the two Asian giants

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Disproportional representation

The triumphant “David Cameron phir ek baar” outcome of Britain’s parliamentary election might suggest that India has won a signal victory in a foreign land.

Mohan K. Tikku

Can Sirisena lift Lankan curse?

On Tuesday (April 28), last week, Sri Lanka commenced a process of constitutional change that has gone mostly unnoticed by large sections of the media in this country.

Farrukh Dhondy

Vic-Tory for Britain

If Bachchoo were a Sufi he would say “Arrey mere yaar don’t take it the wrong way When I say ‘The Beloved — my stars, my moon, the sun’

Kishwar Desai

A princess arrives, a queen departs

Within hours the tweets changed from “It’s a girl!” to “Who’s the hairdresser?” as Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, emerged on the steps of St Mary’s Hospital with the newest baby princess in

Shikha Mukerjee

Trinamul’s tryst with success

An unquestionably authentic verdict is fundamental as much for democracy as it is for political parties that win with spectacular success.

Shiv Visvanathan

Culture and regulation

The media as news often triggers a compost heap of interpretations. One wants to read events both as forms of action and as modes of thought.

K.C. Singh

Nepal: Stay the course

The Nepal earthquake on April 25, 2015, caused colossal loss of life and property by a combination of intensity (7.8 magnitude), its shallowness and the nature of the ground beneath the largest Nepale

Inder Malhotra

Affairs & break-ups

To say that China and Saudi Arabia are the closest friends and biggest benefactors of Pakistan would be to stress the obvious.

Bharat Bhushan

Why PM hates some NGOs

The Narendra Modi government has suspended the registration of Greenpeace India under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010, (FCRA) for 180 days, preventing it from receiving any foreign funds

Sidharth Bhatia

What’s wrong with appeasement?

The Hindu Council UK has prepared its own “manifesto”, a list of demands submitted to political parties ahead of next month’s elections in the United Kingdom.

Suchi Govindarajan

Life measured out in boxes

Can I pack the fridge items now madam?”, one of the packers asked and proceeded to wrap our pickle jars, sauce bottles and sundry other items from the fridge.

Austin Williams

To Amaravati

Earlier this month it was announced that Amaravati will be the new capital of what some have disparagingly called, “the rump state of Andhra Pradesh”. This will not be just any old capital city.

Samrat

Farming in India: Decline of a profession foretold

The death of a farmer, Gajendra Singh Rathore, during an Aam Aadmi Party rally in Delhi in front of cameras and crowds has shocked an increasingly insensitive nation. Whether the death was a publicity stunt gone wrong, or suicide, is now being hotly contested. The statements by relatives of Rathore that have been reported from his village in Dausa so far suggest that he had political ambitions, was not poor by Indian standards, and had spoken of returning from the rally at which he died.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Murder by 377

Middle-class urban India woke up to some bitter truths last week when a young woman doctor ended her life in a hotel room in New Delhi’s Paharganj area.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

Sher-o-Shayari

When politics, business and media rivalry get mixed up in wildlife conservation, the consequence can be pretty bizarre.

R.C. Acharya

Chugging reforms

The Bibek Debroy Committee, seventh in a series of committees spanning over last two years, and set up to suggest reform and restructuring of Indian Railways, has come up with a long list of recommend

Pinaki Roy

Bakshi! Bakshi! Burning bright?

When William Blake published his The Tyger in 1794, he carefully replaced the usual “i” of “Tiger” with a “y” in order to suggest the extraordinariness of the apocalyptic beast.

Swapan Dasgupta

A fur coat & a shawl

Some months ago, a prominent journalist posted a photograph on Facebook of Indira Gandhi visiting a Government of India-run emporium in New York.

Bharat Bhushan

The prodigy or the prodigal?

The Congress Party seems divided over who between Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi is most capable of leading the party.

Mohan Guruswamy

The myth of ‘Greater China’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon be in Beijing following up on the Chumar incident blighted visit by Chinese’s President Xi Jinping.

Kancha Ilaiah

No one can convert Ambedkar

The 124th Ambedkar Jayanti celebrations on April 14 (leading to the 125th next year) are trying to tran-sform Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar into an acceptable Buddha of our times by totally opposite politica

Shankar Roychowdhury

Yemen must not occur in India

The Indian Navy has once again kept the country’s flag flying high, in the emergency evacuation of a large number of Indians from Yemen.

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Minority Report

A leading Jewish figure’s warning to Britain’s Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband, to change his position on Israel and Palestine before the May 7 parliamentary election is a reminder that minorityism i

Samik Ghosh

Towards a secular future

As a school principal, I cherish talking to our school alumni whenever I get a chance. Each such interaction often triggers a new line of thought.

Dominic Emmanuel

Three wise men

Speak truth to power, make the truth powerful, and make the powerful truthful,” said Jeremy Cronin, a South African poet and Communist leader.

Audrey D’Mello

Diluting dowry law betrays gender bias

The recent announcement by the ministry of home affairs, that the government is planning to dilute the provisions of Indian Penal Code’s Section 498A due to its alleged misuse has alarmed not just wom

Jayant V. Narlikar

Challenge the ego

Considera-ble thought has gone into the question of how to make teaching interesting to the taught.

Pradeep S. Mehta

Let’s get down to business

Deepak Parekh, the non-executive chairman of the board of HDFC, has rightly lashed out at the government that there has been little improvement in the “ease of doing business” in India by the governme

Anil Dharker

In Mumbai, back to the drawing board

The best thing about Mumbai’s draft development plan (DP) is that there is one.

Shanthie Mariet D’Souza

Delhi must play in Kabul

Thirteen months after the then external affairs minister Salman Khurshid promised to deliver helicopters to Afghanistan “soon”, New Delhi is all set to transport three helicopters to Kabul.

Flavia Agnes

The shame is not hers

When a 71-year-old nun, who has dedicated her life to the service of society, is gangraped, it becomes a symbol of our collective shame.

Shiv Visvanathan

A B-grade movie called AAP

The recent crisis in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has cynics chuckling quietly to themselves. They insist that ideals and utopias are alien to politics.

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

War of proxies in West Asia

Listening to a Gulf potentate declaring at the recent Arab League summit that the Palestine problem was the cornerstone of the region’s unhappy conflicts, I was reminded of the short shrift Prime Mini

Sudhanshu Ranjan

The injustice of justice

The verdict of the Tis Hazari trial court (in State v.

S.K. Sinha

BJP’s power nap

A month has elapsed since the alliance of convenience — People’s Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party — came to power in Jammu and Kashmir.

Aakar Patel

India cannot be Lee’s Singapore

Praising the Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew, who died on March 23, the diplomat Henry Kissinger pointed to his economic achievement.

Dilip Cherian

IIT blues

Human resource development minister Smriti Irani is facing yet another crisis with chairman of IIT Bombay’s board of governors Anil Kakodkar resigning.

Pavan K. Varma

Ode to a Ratna

On Friday, March 27, President Pranab Mukherjee graciously went to Atal Behari Vajpayee’s residence to confer upon him the nation’s highest award, the Bharat Ratna.

Antara Dev Sen

Illuminating thoughts in an hour of darkness

I attempted to file this column piously early so that, if the passion arose, computers this column is likely to pass through at this newspaper’s office could be switched off in time for Earth Hour on

Ravi Visvesvaraya Sharada Prasad

Clause and action

While the nation heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court struck down the draconian Section 66A of the Information Technology Act as violative of the rights to freedom of speech and expression

R.K. Puri

India’s missed date with Bond

The controversy surrounding the banning of Leslee Udwin’s film India’s Daughter somehow glossed over the question as to how the permission to film the documentary was given, notwithstanding the well-e

Ranjona Banerji

Loss, losers and their loony tunes

In 2012, Brazil saw 29 football hooliganism-related deaths.

K.N. Bhat

When babus are more loyal than the king

In the early hours of January 11 this year, Priya Parameswaran Pillai, an Indian citizen, was all set to board an Air India flight to London from Delhi.

Praveen Davar

Gems, semi & precious

As long as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime Minister, no questions were raised about the worth of who were selected for Bharat Ratna.

Sreeram Chaulia

Banking on China

China’s government and state-owned media are on cloud nine. “Welcome Germany! Welcome France!

Ashutosh

Crisis of adolescence, but core intact amid flux

Few would like to call it mid-life-crisis, considering the age of the leadership but I prefer to pronounce the present episode in AAP, as the crisis of Adolescence.

Anita Katyal

The return of vintage Sonia

Having learnt a bitter lesson on the Sri Lankan front by placing all its bets on Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential election, the National Democratic Alliance government is now treading carefully.

Farrukh Dhondy

Finding Neverland?

“All things bright and beautiful God made their DNA Then came the dark and ugliness The devil had his way…” From Haram Hymns by Bachchoo

Anjali Bhushan

‘India’s Daughter’ sensationalises rape

Make no mistake. Rape is a heinous crime.

Samrat

Fluid identities

The recent lynching of Syed Sharifuddin Khan, a man accused of rape, in Dimapur, Nagaland, raised several uncomfortable questions.

Talmiz Ahmad

All eyes on the house of Saud

Forty-five days is an insignificant period in the reign of a new monarch.

Manish Tewari

Let freedom reign!

Should freedom of expression be an absolute right was the provocative punt that set the Hooghly ablaze one cool evening in Kolkata?

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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Khalid Mohamed

Matchpoint: Deepika

Now, why am I not surprised? The very actors, directors and power-brokers, who had once dismissed her either as just another pretty face or as an actress who looks good but acts bad, are now eating their words for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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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.

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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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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Yogi Aggarwal

Transfer of cash & responsibility?

The curious thing about subsidies being replaced by the so-called direct cash transfer scheme is that the initiative is unlikely to have the effect the government hopes for and the Opposition fears.

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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When it was observed in this column a month ago that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suffered a precipitous loss of popularity within one year flat, faster than his predecessors who lasted longer tha

Pamela Hartigan, director of the Schwab Foundation, drew up a list of 10 points common to people who become dissatisfied with the world around them and decide to create their own work.