Columnists

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

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

Sanjeev Ahluwalia

Modi’s ‘trilemma’

India’s bland foreign policy has traditionally been based on the principle of “please all and offend none”.

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.

Anand K. Sahay

Oh, what a long year!

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes to China this week, he will be a weaker leader than when he received President Xi Jinping last year, still flush from an impressive Lok Sabha victory.

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’

Patralekha Chatterjee

Smarting cities

Everybody loves a “smart city”.

Charles Marquand

A deceptive general election

We are now in the final stages of this general election. On Thursday, May 7, voters will elect a new Parliament. So far the campaign has been curiously lacklustre and timid.

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.

Ashok Malik

Rahul, Modi and Gorbachev

Speaking on “Net neutrality” in the Lok Sabha on April 22, Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of the Congress, prefaced his intervention with a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

Kishwar Desai

Focus on solutions, not a film

While Indian TV channels have spent more than a week discussing Leslee Udwin’s film, India’s Daughter, the British media has shown no such enthusiasm, apart from some sporadic discussions on mostly As

Varun Gandhi

India & the contagion

Human influenza, while causing ordinary sneezes, occurs in three types.

Chinmaya R. Gharekhan

Expose Pakistan’s insincerity

Every time Pakistan says it wants to talk about Kashmir, India finds itself on the back foot.

S. Vaidhyasubramaniam

A ‘bhoomi pujan’ for reforms

The “Budgetometer” and its elsewhere equivalent played the real hero — caught in between the ecstatic urge to give a 10-plus and the understandably unreasonable rush in search of a negative score, it

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

‘Class’ify the Railways

Listening to Suresh Prabhu presenting the Railway Budget, I wondered whether he was really promising to bring back the halcyon days of luxury on the rails. But no, he can’t and won’t.

R. Ramakumar

The fine print is not all that rosy

The devil, they say, is in the details. There is a world of difference between the Budget speech of Arun Jaitley, peppered with smart announcements, and the real numbers in the Budget documents.

Yogi Aggarwal

Jaitley has promises to keep

True to form the Budget presented by Arun Jaitley has concentrated on giving relief and support to the business interests in the country, with only an illusion of sustaining the common man.

V.M. Pandit

World of espionage in black and white

In the ever-changing political and economic scenario, seismic changes take place in the corporate world.

Ajay S. Shriram

Towards a new India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often mentioned that India enjoys a 3D advantage of democracy, demography and demand in the global economy.

Vivek Sengupta

Setting the agenda for next 4 years

Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s maiden Budget was presented on July 10, 2014.

Sadia Dehlvi

Paragon of mercy

The 14th century Sufi master Sharfuddin Maneri of Maner in Bihar is known as the Sufi of a hundred letters.

Paulo Coelho

Of change, will & inner voice

The word “change” is generally confused with Lampedusa’s famous phrase: “better to change a little so that everything can stay the same.” And when we feel that the time has come for a change, we uncon

Shobhaa’s Take

India: 50 shades of hypocrisy

Let’s just say my spoken and written language is anything but ladylike depending on the context, of course (luckily for me, I always manage to find a context!) I like cuss words. Always have.

Vandana Shiva

Yield vs wealth, measure for measure

In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, physicist and philosopher, Thomas Kuhn revolutionised the history of science by showing that science does not evolve linearly on the basis of objective, the

Jayant Narlikar

The spirit of inquiry

Fred Hoyle was arguably the most imaginative astrophysicist of the 20th century.

Shanthie Mariet D’Souza

Breaking ISIS web

Mehdi Masroor Biswas’ was indeed a curious case.

V. Balachandran

Who’s a terrorist? US confused

For the first time since the beginning of the Afghan Taliban war in 2001, Kabul officially admitted, in March 2014, that 13,700 of its security personnel were killed.

R.C. Acharya

The passenger needs to pay

Indian Railways is perhaps, the cheapest rail transport system in the world with an average revenue per passenger, per kilometre of Rs 1.9 for upper class, 27.47 paise for second class mail/express, 1

Ranjona Banerji

Reading between the pinstripes

This much seems clear: The Bharatiya Janata Party and Narendra Modi (I think I should have written that the other way around) did not lose Delhi because Mr Modi wore that Rs 10 lakh suit pinstriped wi

Flavia Agnes

Love, sex aur dhoka

In October 2014, a popular daily newspaper carried an interesting news item “HC unties the knot for man who claims he was forced into third marriage”.

Dilip Cherian

Marching orders

The ignominious exit of home secretary Anil Goswami, for trying to dissuade the CBI from arresting former Congress MP Matang Sinh for his alleged role in the Saradha scam, is a strong message from Mod

Rudolph Lambert Fernandez

Separating myths from the legend

As cricket hurtles toward another World Cup, another test of cricketing greatness, one question lingers: Who is the greatest batsman in cricket history? Myths surround every sporting legend.

Javed Anand

Saffron Brotherhood

In its most benevolent interpretation, Hindutva is the ideology that proclaims that India is, should be, a Hindu rashtra (nation) where the status of religious minorities should depend entirely on Hin

Arun Shankar

What’s good for the goose is...

The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment on December 18, 2014 — Additional District and Sessions Judge ‘X’ versus Registrar General, High Court of Madhya Pradesh pronounced how sexual harassment case

Bharat Bhushan

Clothes, bespoke

Years ago, when I was a student apprentice in Hyderabad, people in buses would thrust money in my face demanding, “One ticket Nampally.” My friends suggested that I stand towards the front of the bus

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

It’s all personal

A bitter little tale that did the rounds of Calcutta’s buses and trams during the Emergency had it that India would have been spared a great deal of anguish if only Raja Rammohun Roy hadn’t helped to

K.C. Singh

Nuclear ironies and the perils of populism

US President Barack Obama’s visit to India may be over, but controversies swirl ranging from the cost of the pinstripe button-up suit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to what exactly has been the solut

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Modi and Obama: Trivial pursuits

On the first day of American President Barack Obama’s visit to India, the two most commonly used words were chemistry and optics.

Rakhshanda Jalil

Murugan’s silence & the clamour of others

Two recent events — seemingly unrelated and separated in time and space need our careful consideration.

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Arun Kumar Singh

A reality check

January 27, 2015, was an eventful day. A few events took place almost simultaneously on this day that are likely to impact the future of India’s security and economy.

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S.K. Sinha

The partition of soldiers

The undivided Indian Army was a unique institution set up by the British in India.

Vivek Menon

The tiger’s leap

I am happy that we have more tigers today than yesterday. But I am not happy that, as a nation, we are bent on counting tigers and alternately moaning or gloating over it.

Sreeram Chaulia

‘Barack and I’

US President Barack Obama’s second visit to India has set tongues wagging about his rare personal chemistry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Matthew Kavanagh

The patent puzzle

US President Barack Obama, during his visit to India this week, intends to highlight the strategically essential US-India relationship and shore up support for a wide variety of shared policy interest

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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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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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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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

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.