Pradeep S. Mehta

Tailoring competition laws for state units

When our public sector is much in news whether it involves privatisation or disinvestment, it is worth recalling whether they are good corporate citizens, especially when they are monopolies.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Death in Operation Theatre

How many deaths will it take to realise that too many young women in their prime have needlessly died?

S.K. Sinha

A travesty of history

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Indira Gandhi are national icons. Both made unparalleled contributions to India in different spheres.

Bharatkumar Raut

Sarkar in ICU

Now that the newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party government has won the much-talked-about confidence vote and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is in the saddle, at least for some time, a question ari

K.G. Suresh

It’s time for an objective assessment

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is certainly an icon for a large number of people but he is also fast emerging as an iconoclast when it comes to the Nehru-Gandhi legacy.

M.G.S. Narayanan

Nehru: the real architect of modern India

The Nehru era, which started in the 1930s, came to an end with the last election in India. Those who came to power following the elections are not particularly interested in Pandit Nehru’s legacy.

Kumar Ketkar

Bid to belittle Nehru through comparisons

The debate on Pandit Nehru on TV channels as well as in the press is so philistine and pathetic that one wonders whether our country has lost the sense of history and intellectual rigor altogether.

Anil Dharker

Nehru & idea of India

With television, the Internet and our smartphones we have daily sightings of our leaders.

Lakshmi Narayan

Saving face

It was meant to be no more than a gentlemanly gesture. There was a nip in the air during the recent Asia Pacific Summit.

K.C. Singh

Today’s walls are ethnic

November 9 marked 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, a potent symbol of the Cold War.

Flavia Agnes

The love jihad bogey

Saif Ali Khan, in the context of the recent “love jihad” controversy, wrote in a newspaper: “When Kareena and I married, there were similar death threats, with people on the Net saying ridiculous thin

Farrukh Dhondy

Poppy politics

“He who has the ultimate laugh Will without a doubt Laugh alone with moistened eyes And nothing to laugh about!” From Kem Dikra Kem Chhe by Bachchoo

Vivek Kaul

Tackling black money

One of the promises made by the Bharatiya Janata Party before the 16th Lok Sabha elections was that it will get back all the black money that has left India over the years.

Kiran Nagarkar

Waiting for Ebola

Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot flagged off “the theatre of the absurd” movement, which was so popular in the 1960s.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Skill-up to make in India

As buzzwords go, “Make in India” is among this year’s hits.

Neena Gopal

In India’s Ocean

Barely six weeks after a Chinese submarine docked in Colombo port in mid-September this year, the Mahinda Rajapaksa government is clearly cocking a snook at Delhi, in allowing a second Chinese submari

S.K. Sinha

Time to bury Article 370

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for public debate on Article 370 and not for it being struck down as such.

Sidharth Bhatia

Journalism can’t become a deadly profession

Ask any journalist in India about the dangers of practicing the profession and he or she will say, with justifiable pride, that the country has a free press.

Shankar Roychowdhury

Sound & fury

The Vietcong in their time would have approved of it.

Anand K. Sahay

PM Modi’s plans fail to dazzle

When Krishna is the charioteer, Arjuna’s arrows cut through the darkness and sheer clarity is produced.

Pushpa Sundar

The aid headache

Foreign funding of NGOs is a topic that never seems to lose currency.

Audrey D’Mello

The myth of Hindu monogamy

The recent comments of Justice Markandey Katju, a retired Supreme Court judge, in support of the uniform civil code on the ground that the Muslim personal law is “barbaric, backward and unjust” has ra

Sreeram Chaulia

The young are claiming the earth

What is common among Joshua Wong, Akbar Ali al-Kishi and Tef Poe? All three happen to be remarkable activists for social justice and freedom in their respective societies who are shockingly young.

Ronojoy Sen

Worst soccer team in a kickabout

When the Ethiopian footballer, Fikru Teferra Lemessa, chipped the ball over the rival goalkeeper, the roar that reverberated through the Salt Lake Stadium could have been mistaken for a goal scored in

R.C. Acharya

Chugging in a new dawn

A new committee to “restructure” railways under the chairmanship of Bibek Debroy, an economist helped by six former bureaucrats and business executives is to find the magic pill for all of Indian Rail

Shobhaa’s Take

Flirting with foes

The morning after the night before always has a special significance, especially when one is discussing a “suhaag raat”.

Dominic Emmanuel

Vanity, maya and us

I felt happy and proud reading about the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Sanjib Baruah

Our floods, their floods

There was a time when the charge of neglect by the central government was the staple of Northeast India’s politics. That is no longer the case.

Swami Chaitanya Keerti

Mystic Mantra: Sound of self

For thousands of years, scientists have been trying to solve the mysteries of life, which the Yogis of the East have comprehended through meditation.

Matthew Kavanagh

Intellectually challenged

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Last week, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with leaders in New York and Washington, DC, there was an all-out campaign by pharmaceutical companies to force the Prime Minister’s hand on intellectual property.

T.T. Ram Mohan

Growing pains

Most investors and analysts are today upbeat about India’s growth prospects. In 2013-14, the Indian economy grew at 4.7 per cent, staying below 5 per cent for the second consecutive year. From now on, analysts say, things can only improve. They see growth accelerating to 5.5 per cent in 2014-15, 6.5 per cent in 2015-16 and over 7 per cent in 2016-17.

Rakhshanda Jalil

Bonding over biryani

Ai aab-e-rood-e-Ganga woh din hai yaad tujhko Utra tere kinare jab kaarvan hamaraIqbal

Rudra Chaudhuri

Beyond the rhetoric

That Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the United States was distinctly successful is without doubt. He was, according to commentators, the second most googled — after President Barack Obama — person within the United States during the period of his stay.

Ronojoy Sen

The spirit of the Games

When the first Asian Games began on March 4, 1951, it was a modest affair. Over eight days, 400-odd athletes from 11 countries took part in six disciplines, which included athletics, swimming and water polo, cycling, weightlifting, football and basketball. In contrast, the ongoing Incheon Games has 13,000 athletes taking part in 36 sports, including Asian sports such as kabaddi and sepak takraw, 12 more than the Olympic Games.

Dilip D’Souza

Things Gandhi knew

Between 2 pm on October 1 and 10.30 am on October 2, Central government offices in New Delhi remained closed. Why? Because Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concerned about widespread filth in India, is “launching” the nation-wide “Swachchh Bharat” (Clean India) campaign today.

Pallavi Gogoi

Dreams & protests

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the Indian diaspora in New York with a grand promise: “India will touch new heights.” The crowd of 20,000 Americans of Indian origin erupted in re

Sidharth Bhatia

Amit Shah made the difference

Egos or simple ambition? Expediency or strategy? Betrayal or good, old-fashioned politics? What lies behind the big splits in Maharashtra, virtually at the 11th hour before the elections?

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Vrinda Gopinath

Buffoonery over boobs

OMG! The Old Lady of Boribunder has Boob envy! Well, if you can be sexist, misogynist, misanthropist, egotist, chauvinist, you may as well add ageist, in the Deepika Padukone-Times of India cleavage controversy.

Talmiz Ahmad

Combating the ISIS challenge

Barely three years after they withdrew from Iraq, US forces have once again unleashed their fire power in the region, this time not against an abhorred regime but on a non-state actor — the “Islamic State” (ISIS).

Samrat Choudhury

The anatomy of failed relationships

It has been a bout of haggling the likes of which are rarely seen outside of saree shops and fish markets, but it didn't end like haggling in the fish markets and saree shops does.

Sundeep Mehta

Saving lives, selflessly

The article, Darkness at Noon, by your Srinagar correspondent Yusuf Jameel, which appeared in The Asian Age on September 21, stated: “Their (Army and Air Force) first priority was to rescue their own near and other security force, tourists were next and then came the turn of seasonal labourers and other non locals, whereas, common Kashmiri was left to the mercy of god”.

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Pradeep S.Mehta

Feel free to trade

Trade is not just about transactions between two or more parties. It is more about networking and building relationships. They help create positive externalities, resulting in low transaction costs.

Dilip Cherian

The big one

The big one

Yusuf Jameel

Darkness at noon

Kashmir’s history is dotted with natural calamities and man-made disasters. And over the centuries the people of Jammu and Kashmir have perfected the art of rising from the ashes. They have seen famines and epidemics, floods and earthquakes, blazes and mayhem, organised violence and massacres, forced and voluntary migrations, incarcerations and worse.

Swapan Dasgupta

Bengal churns

The kindest thing that can be said of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s indifferent performance in the series of byelections since the general election last May is that they are a pointer to the significant role played by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in ensuring the decisive Lok Sabha outcome.


Shiv Visvanathan

No good deed must go unpunished

Disasters not only disrupt society, they also distort its basic categories, creating inversions, disrupting normalcy and suspending time in a prolonged way. Return to normalcy then becomes even more difficult and unpredictable.

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Jagdish N. Singh

Will Modi talk Tibet?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his historic meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday afternoon in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. As per schedule, Mr Modi took Mr Xi on a tour of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati ashram.

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Pavan K. Varma

BJP talks of vikas, practises vinash

Chanakya believed that the unfolding present will cast its shadow on the configuration of the future. That is why he believed that analysing the situation as it exists today, provides the material for devising the strategy that must be shaped for the morrow. There is a causal continuity between the past, present and the future.


Anita Katyal

A clash of titans and young Turks

The Bharatiya Janata Party is desperate to form a government in Delhi, but its attempts to cobble together the requisite numbers keep hitting a roadblock.

Aakar Patel

Peaks and valleys of elections

Jammu and Kashmir must have a new Assembly in place by January, but this is unlikely to happen. Unusually in India, and because it has its own Constitution, the state goes to the polls every six years instead of every five.

Suchi Govindarajan

Match fixing

In 2012, a precocious 10-year-old girl filed a Right to Information query with the Prime Minister’s Office. She wanted to know when the government had declared hockey as India’s national sport.

Farrukh Dhondy

No boots on the ground?

“The green-eyed beast lives in the closet And now and again comes out to fight. His bark is filth and obscene fantasy Threat and blackmail are his bite

Antara Dev Sen

Pride in prejudice

How much progressive liberalism can our dear old right-thinking government take? How can it unflinchingly fall in line when our highest court looks below the belt? The avuncular, ostensibly God-fearing sarkar also needs to protect our revered social conventions, our cultural traditions, our delicate sensibilities.

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Theresa Mathai

Can science defy ageing?

The first Arthur C. Clarke story I ever read was The City and the Stars. Set in Diaspar, an advanced city one billion years in the future, its protagonist, Alvin, though a few thousand years old was considered young compared to other Diasparians.


Ranjona Banerji

Being ‘sickular’

It’s a tough life being a liberal these days, but someone has to do it... Or, in other words, anything is better than being a bigot.

Javed Anand

Message from Mumbai

Until recently we only needed to worry about Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the agency responsible for funding, training, arming and showing the terror path to a small number of Indian Muslims.


Kishwar Desai

Curious case of jihadi brides

While those in India are grappling with the idea of “love jihad”, in the UK the popular press is now obsessed with jihadi brides. These are young “radicalised” British Muslim girls who have actually gone to Syria to marry men from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and are obsessed with martyrdom.

Vandana Shiva

Seeds of slavery

On July 22, 2014, an international partnership across India, Africa and the US launched the “One Agriculture-One Science: A Global Education Consortium” initiative aimed at revitalising global agricultural education, capacity building and technology transfer.

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Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Class apart

A few weeks ago a public school in the National Capital Region organised an Id Milan during school hours for students. Not all students were invited to it. During the mid-morning recess, teachers instructed Muslim students to line up and go to the place for the function.

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Patralekha Chatterjee

Vote jihad

If elections come, can conspiracy theories be far behind? With bypolls around the corner, Uttar Pradesh is abuzz with talk of a sinister plot of young Hindu women being tricked into marriage by Muslim men, and made to convert to Islam. Over the past week there has been a flood of reports about “love jihad”.

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S. Nihal Singh

Israel: A confirmed apartheid state

Peace is at the best of times a tenuous proposition in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even as the world hopes the new indefinite ceasefire that has brought 50 days of bloodshed to an end will last, the real causes of the conflict have been put to the side, rather than resolved.

Jayanthi Natarajan

Viva Chennai!

Chennai celebrated her 375th birthday last week. In my admittedly benign view as a dedicated Chennaiwasi, the celebrations ought to have been nationwide, highlighting all the absolutely wonderful dimensions of Chennai and her residents.

V. Balachandran

Westerly jihad

The first time terrorists abducted hostages with a political message to foreign powers warning them against intervention was the series of kidnapping done by “Islamic Jihad” in Lebanon during the 1980s.

Jayant V. Narlikar

Speakers Anonymous

In January this year there was a special meet in a town in northern Maharashtra to celebrate the 900th birthday of the Indian mathematician Bhaskaracharya. According to records, his birth place was near Chalisgaon, although like many historical events in our country, lack of proper records makes this claim subject to controversy.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

An oily affair

It is sometimes said that not even God can predict the price of oil. As a humble mortal, that too a practising atheist, one must confess at the outset that the dip in the international prices of crude oil has taken me and many others completely by surprise. Iraq is in a turmoil, almost on the verge of imploding.

Mohan Guruswamy

Thank God for think-tanks

The word “think-tank” owes its origins to John F. Kennedy, who collected a group of top intellectuals in White House, people like McGeorge Bundy, Robert McNamara, John Galbraith, Arthur Schlesinger and Ted Sorenson among others to give him counsel on issues from time to time.

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Anil Dharker

Populism over honour

The Bharat Ratna is of the politician, by the politician, for the politician. A look at the Bharat Ratnas awarded since inception makes revealing reading. In their 60 years of existence — the Padma awards were instituted in 1954 — the Bharat Ratna has been given out 43 times.

Sumit Ganguly

An end to the Indo-Pak Kabuki

The Narendra Modi government’s decision to call off the foreign secretary-level talks have contributed to widespread speculation about its motives, generated the usual number of conspiracy theories and has led segments of India’s intelligentsia to widely condemn this decision.

Ashok Malik

Congress & the 10% rebate

Can the Supreme Court force the Speaker of the Lok Sabha to recognise and name a Leader of the Opposition? This is the key question that emerges after Chief Justice R.M. Lodha’s query to the government on Friday, August 22, as to how the Lokpal would be appointed.


Manish Tewari

The Baloch question

With the foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan being iced due to the meeting between Kashmiri separatists and the Pakistani high commissioner, it may be worth recalling an episode from contemporaneous history.


Shobhaa De

The booing brigade

As the old saying goes, “Can you say ‘boo’ to a goose?” Well, in India, we don’t waste our precious time booing geese. We reserve our boos for chief ministers. Each time the Prime Minister steps out to attend important functions in states that are still hanging on to their own non-BJP leaders (with time bombs ticking away), the crowds make sure nobody but Narendra Modi is heard.

Kancha Ilaiah

Will Modi conduct India’s namkaran?

There is a slow but systematic attempt to change India’s name from Bharat to Hindustan — playing up the word “Hindu” in Hindustan and trying to repackage it as the abode of the Hindus. B.R. Ambedkar and his team that drafted the Constitution of India consciously avoided the term “Hindustan” as they could foresee its implications in a land that takes pride in its diversity.


K.C. Singh

Hope, history don’t rhyme

The Narendra Modi government approaching the 100-day mark demands an assessment of its performance. A national television channel even arranged, more a boxing match than a debate, a programme on whether Mr Modi’s foreign policy is continuity or radical change.


Sanjeev Sanyal

India’s East Asian dream

Much has already been said about the first Independence Day speech delivered by Narendra Modi as Prime Minister — the extempore oratory, the emphasis on sanitation and on women’s issues, and so on.

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Shankar Roychowdhury

Of America, oil & Erbil

Were the American airstrikes on the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — carried out in the Kirkuk-Erbil region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq — primarily a pre-emptive intervention o

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Can Modi make desi better than pardesi?

As commentators trip over each other to applaud Narendra Modi’s first address to the nation as Prime Minister, I must confess to the slight feeling of scepticism that laced my own admiration as I sat glued to the box on August 15.

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Bharat Bhushan

A call to India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first Independence Day speech, showed himself a master orator, raising issues that had an instant audience connect. He also coined succinct phrases which will find their way to headlines, photo-captions and tweets — referring to himself as the “first servant” of India, to “zero defect, zero effect” manufacturing, to e-governance as “easy, effective and economic governance”, and exhorting foreign capital to “make in India” and export as “made in India”.


Suman Sahai

Not the China way

We have looked to China these past several years partly as competitor, part in fear and often as an economic growth role model. The new Prime Minister is thought to have a good relationship with the leaders in China and the government is likely to build on that.

R. Viswanathan

Why Latin America took a stand

On July 29, Brazil, Chile, Peru, El Salvador and Ecuador recalled their ambassadors from Tel Aviv, whilst denouncing the disproportionate use of Israeli military force in Gaza in which civilians, including women and children, have been killed in bombings on military targets as also schools and hospitals.

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Sreeram Chaulia

Indo-US reunion

The beeline of top American officials in New Delhi ahead of a summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama in September suggests that the India-US relationship is headed for a reset.

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Varun Gandhi

Smart cities for a smart India

India’s cities are responding to myriad pressures ranging from fiscal austerity, climate change and most importantly, a rising urban population.

Inder Malhotra

Made in US

For reasons too obvious to need spelling out, world attention is currently focused on Gaza and the intolerably disproportionate use of force by Israel in return for rockets fired on Israeli towns by Hamas, an obnoxious militant organisation also deserving condemnation.

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Flavia Agnes

A fatwa on all fatwas

At the centre of the controversy around the recent Supreme Court ruling which is popularly referred to as the “fatwa ruling” is a Muslim woman from a village in Muzaffarnagar, who was raped by her own father-in-law. She was brave enough to file a criminal complaint against him, something most women would hesitate to do.

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Anand K. Sahay

The quiet republic

There are times when analysis is not needed; silence says it all. The air is still, as on a moisture-laden day. There is little expectation of rain, for it hasn’t rained even when the clouds have dutifully lined up.


Arun Kumar Singh

Promises to keep

Media reports indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all ministries to hand him, by August 10, “implementation reports” of the various projects announced by the government in the Budget, so that he can announce these in his August 15, Independence Day speech to the nation.

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K.T. Rama Rao

IT sector ready to be rebooted

The technology landscape is undergoing significant changes in the current world, and it is redefining ways in which technology interacts with humans.

Daniel Carmon

‘Goal is to neutralise terror tunnels’

Rarely in a diplomat’s career is one lucky enough to have a posting that is important and interesting, combining the elements of classic diplomacy with the new tools of development diplomacy, new media and social networks. Israel and India established full diplomatic relations just 22 years ago during the time of P.V. Narasimha Rao.

K.N. Bhat

Much ado about Katju

The conscience of Justice Markandey Katju, dormant for over 10 years, erupted recently, throwing out allegations against everyone around him — mostly in the nature of ipse dixit. His targets — three former Chief Justices of India in the collegium (Justices R.C. Lahoti, Y.K. Sabharwal and K.G. Balakrishnan) that could have but did not select Justice Katju to the Supreme Court in 2004 or earlier.

Francis Gonsalves

Friends forever

Can you imagine a world without friends? Without friendships? How would you feel if all your friends suddenly sever ties with you leaving you loveless, friendless? Wouldn’t humanity be poorer without the likes of Krishna-Sudama, David-Jonathan, Laila-Majnu? While celebrating UN World Friendship Day on July 30, let’s look at true friends and vow to fortify our friendships.

Indranil Banerjie

Selective outrage

There is no shortage of just causes in the world, filled as it is with rising inequity, conflict and brutality. Yet, some causes seem more equal than others. The current one is the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Sudhanshu Ranjan

A matter of life and death

The Supreme Court has once again opened up the interminable debate on euthanasia by asking for opinion from states and Union territories in a Public Interest Litigation pending before it.

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

When our public sector is much in news whether it involves privatisation or disinvestment, it is worth recalling whether they are good corporate citizens, especially when they are monopolies.

How many deaths will it take to realise that too many young women in their prime have needlessly died?