Technologies are tools for doing or making things. They are a means to transform what nature has given into food, clothing, shelter, means of mobility, means of communication.
Institutions of governance like the judiciary, the bureaucracy, the police and the Army created during the British era stood by us through the very unsettled first decade and more after Independence.
Arnab Goswami to BCCI lawyer: “Is this a cover up?” BCCI lawyer: “No, it’s not a cover up.” Arnab Goswami: “I am asking you again, is this a cover up?” BCCI lawyer: “No, it’s not a cover up.”
Ever since the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal broke on Thursday morning (May 16), there have been two equally tiresome responses. On Thursday itself, a succession of former cricketers, Indian or otherwise, turned up in television studios and spoke about the “romance of the game” being violated.
Those who have attacked Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s style of functioning have found one aspect to him difficult to penetrate. This is his success at governing Gujarat. If there is a weakness in the way that he has done it, his opponents, whether in politics or the media, have not found it.
Why do people indulge in extramarital affairs? Because it gives extra pleasure outside an ordinary marriage in an extraordinary way.
If you haven’t ever visited the campus of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, you’ve missed out on the heavenly scent of cinema. Quite old-worldly, the 53-year-old institute’s centrepoint is a cool, shade-casting Wisdom Tree.
You are a well-known person. How difficult is it for a celebrity to find balance in normal life when one is under constant public scrutiny? Would you have preferred a normal life, like many others? Harleen
The recent Chinese military incursion into Ladakh was a painful reminder of the cost of losing Tibet. And this week Chinese officials announced plans to demolish what remains of Lhasa, Tibet’s ancient capital. Despite its inclusion in Unesco’s World Heritage List, Lhasa is a symbol of Tibetan nationalism, and China’s Politburo has determined that Tibetan culture, religion and identity must be exterminated to ensure “stability”.
While others felt the seismic shock of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and British soccer player David Beckham retiring this week, for me, it was time to remember another British phenomena called David Bowie as we attended an exhibition on his life and work at the Victoria and Albert museum.
When I spent some 18 months in London in 1995-96 in the role of a foreign correspondent for an Indian newspaper, there was one issue that dominated “high politics” in Westminster: the European Union.
What Angelina Jolie did by declaring to the world on Tuesday that she had had bilateral prophylactic mastectomies — surgical removal of both breasts without evidence of breast cancer in either — is being seen by many as an act of courage. Her decision is sure to go a long way in creating awareness.
Politics is a hard game where there is no place for sentiments. No one expected the Opposition to go soft on the Congress or for the media to play happy collaborator. Yet, in these turbulent times, I think the Congress made the best out of a very bad situation. Things would have been different if action on the two ministers had been taken a week ago. It wasn’t, and eventually Congress president Sonia Gandhi had to rescue the party.
Why did the Congress Party allow the resignation of its two ministers, law minister Ashwani Kumar and railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, to be drawn out for so long?
Monsoon clouds had not yet gathered over Kolka-ta, but political outriders had already manifested themselves in the city as early as March 31 in the form of a large, well organised “gathering of minorities” at the Shaheed Minar in Kolkata Maidan to voice resentment against Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, for instituting war crimes trials in Dhaka against Razakars who collaborated with the Pakistan Army in committing horrific atrocities on the local population during the War of Liberation in 1971.
It’s tough being a minister. When I bumped into Dinesh Trivedi in the Taj Hotel lobby the other day he was grumbling about the tiresome things he had to do when he was in charge of the railways. “Why should the minister have to approve when some official goes abroad?” he asked. Later, I heard him reiterate on TV that 99 per cent of the files he had to sign were unnecessary.
There is a proverb in Kannada, “Kaiyalli sharanarthi, konklalli donne” (Folded hands, but with a stick under the arms). That’s what the people of Karnataka demonstrated last week.
All those who went to missionary schools will remember that the day began with the prayer, “Our Father thou art in heaven.” The whole student assembly, led by a teacher or a student with a good voice,
Airports can sometimes be the venue for unexpected rendezvous.
Yes, I smoked (grass), but did not inhale,” was one of the two statements by the former President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, that had no takers; the other related to a certain Moni
The recent Chinese incursion across the Line of Actual Control near Daulat Beg Oldi in Ladakh is nearing a diplomatic resolution.
Rape has, of late, become an acute disease in the Indian society.
Once again, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is back in the news for “sharing” the status report it submits periodically to the Supreme Court which has taken upon itself to monitor the invest
The little Chinese misadventure is over but only because India agreed to raze the fortified observation post at Chumar well inside its territory. The restoration of status quo based on such surrender provides China with a ready excuse to march into the Indian territory again, with an undefined Line of Actual Control (LAC) legitimating armed intrusions. Peace bought by concessions cannot last.
This, I fear, is the season of bashing the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), because it’s a time when our defence services project their wishlists for the latest in weapon systems and arms merchants from all over the globe flock to Delhi peddling their wares. Some of their products may still be on the drawing board and some may have grown old awaiting a buyer, readying for a graceful retirement.
The withdrawal of Chinese troops from the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector of Leh on May 5 is a welcome development, although its suddenness raises questions. Firstly, did the Chinese extract any concessions on Indian patrolling, future infrastructure development or even force structures along the Line of Actual Control?
The invention of cellphone or mobile phone has been a boon in many ways, such as the ability to contact a person anywhere in the world, locating friends lost in a crowd or getting help in case of a vehicle breakdown. But indiscriminate use of this instrument has its disadvantages, too. Consider the following scenario.
With the India-China border faceoff following the Chinese intrusion into Indian territory over for the present, New Delhi has lessons to learn, the chief of which is the old Russian proverb President Ronald Reagan was so fond of repeating, “Trust but verify”. As the Manmohan Singh government contemplated the correct posture to adopt towards the Chinese move, it had already lost the first battle in the public perception of its attitude.
This country is on the threshold of the most challenging phase of its engagement with Afghanistan in the post-Taliban period, one which raises the question whether engagement should proceed at all.
When it comes to the borders, our public debates tend to verge on the irrational. For a country that has several major and minor territorial disputes, we seem to proceed on curious premises. All our neighbours must accept our claims and we need to make no concessions whatsoever.
Last year, a team of eight eminent persons, including foreign secretary Shyam Saran, Lt. Gen Prakash Menon (Retd) and Nandan Nilekani (all of whom had also interacted with the national security adviser, Shiv Shankar Menon, and his two deputy NSAs), released a document titled “Non Alignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the 21st Century”.
Restraint in the conduct of foreign and security policies, especially in relation to neighbours with whom one has a long-standing dispute and particularly in a time of tension, is a commendable attribute. New Delhi has, therefore, been wise not to overplay the provocation China has offered in Depsang valley in eastern Ladakh since as far back as April 15.
I was saddened to hear about the death of Shakuntala Devi, the maths genius, earlier this week.
My overall business fall down is due to the media entry,” wrote Sudipta Sen in his curious letter to the CBI. This is not funny, coming from the man behind the `1,200 crore Saradha chit fund scam. In fact it is tragic. This scam reveals not just how easily corrupt politicians and traders can rob poor people of their life’s savings in India, it also reveals the fearless use of media in such public crimes.
“Pay no heed to any advice. (Kindly read this sentence twice!)” From To Pee or Not to Pee by Bachchoo
The Indian Air Force has been clever over the years in a petty sort of way. Short-range or medium-range combat aircraft and so on are uniquely IAF nomenclature; no other Air Force has such categories. In the age of aerial tankers, describing warplanes by their radii of action is a distraction.
It’s always easy to divert attention from the most pressing issue — an issue that demands serious introspection and seismic changes in the way our world is structured. So it’s natural that in response to the outrage over the gangrape of a five-year-old girl, a lawyer has filed a public interest litigation seeking to criminalise pornography.
Travelling and reading travelogues remain a bigger passion for me than writing. And reading travellers like Ibn Battuta is akin to travelling in the time machine.
The Congress appears confident of coming to power in Karnataka where Assembly elections will take place on May 5. This is arguably the only state in the country where the country’s “grand old party” is hopeful of increasing its number of MPs by more than 10 when the 16th general elections are conducted.
In a pessimistic new book, The Dispensable Nation, Prof. Vali Nasr of Johns Hopkins University decries America’s current retreat from global hyper-interventionism and paints this scary scenario: “China and Russia would have gobbled up Central Asia, cornered Europe’s energy markets and planted themselves smack in the middle of West Asia.
Surely, it can’t get any funnier! It’s a good thing Indians have a sense of humour or else by now we’d have gone through several bloody revolutions. We laugh at ourselves, we laugh at our leaders, we laugh at our fate. We laugh for no reason. This amazing ability to keep laughing saves us from going insane.
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.
Modern theories of efficiency and equality are such that one loses a celebration of the marginal. Ever since socialism, we have removed the category called “third class” from our trains and our lives. As an upwardly mobile nation, we want to travel first class and as a truly global country we want our institutions to be world class. Our presidents and vice-chancellors were upset when they realised that our IITs and IIMs are not world class.
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.
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.
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.