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.
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.
“Love is and only is what’s between you! It isn’t what isn’t between you and others.” From The Gift of Graffiti by Bachchoo
Engaging-with-Pakistan has been one of Delhi’s big growth industries over the past 15 years. Apart from domestic investment (both from the public and private sectors), it has attracted generous quantities of foreign direct investment, despite not having much to show by way of tangible returns.
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.
A political party which seeks a text book start often remains superficial, pretending that the preamble or the introduction remains the real thing. For a party that created a great propaganda machine to devastate the Congress during the election, the Bharatiya Janata Party regime has little to say.
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.
It is widely acknowledged that relations between the West and Russia have never been as bad as they are since the end of the Cold War. The reason, of course, is Ukraine, but beyond it lie the implied conflicting interests of the two sides.
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.
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
In the annals of history, they will mark the noughties as the beginning of the end of the traditional South Indian brahmin wedding. Mehndi and sangeet ceremonies are now common additions. At engagement ceremonies, the bride and groom cut three-tier cakes and exchange rings.
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.
Recently in Parliament I raised the issue of our policy towards Pakistan. Without a doubt, all Indians, except a lunatic fringe on both sides of the border, would like the establishment of peace and amity between India and Pakistan. Both countries need to focus on economic development and the elimination of poverty, and reduce the sterile expenditure on waging war, proxy or otherwise.
In whatever he does, Narendra Modi likes to change the script. But for his maiden Independence Day speech at the Red Fort as Prime Minister he got rid of the script altogether. He spoke extempore. He spoke for more than an hour, he spoke with passion and sensitivity. And in general he talked sense.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his first Independence Day speech this week, and he showed again what a terrific orator he is.
Here’s another story about how Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeps track of the activities of his ministers and their families.
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”.
When Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister in 2004 in his very first speech he said that the reform of the bureaucracy was his topmost priority. He didn’t achieve very much.
Red Fort was not the venue of celebrations on August 15, 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru decided to address people from this symbolic citadel of power the next day.
If ever an idea went viral in contemporary discussions about India, this is it — everybody wants reforms. The problem is that the word means different things to different people. Traditionally, ideological foes — the Left and the Right — have not seen eye to eye on what constitutes reforms.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj might not have known the unwritten axiom in the “intelligence world” when she protested to the visiting US secretary of state John Kerry on July 31 that “friends don’t snoop on each other”.
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.
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.
Actor Rekha and I were at school together in Chennai. All I can say is that in those days she did not look like she does now, but was still warm and fun and laughing all the time. And then she became a star.
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.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. The hypocrisy of the two largest political parties in the country, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Indian National Congress, stand thoroughly exposed because of the manner in which their representatives have been wrangling over the issue of increasing the cap on foreign investment in Indian insurance companies from 26 per cent at present to 49 per cent.
This is a particularly bad time to talk about the spirit of cricket because the side that’s constantly going against that spirit is the side that’s winning. And winning handsomely. In fact, India’s humiliation on the cricket field is so complete that you almost want to say, “Be like Anderson. Abuse the opposition. Then beat the hell out of them.”
India’s cities are responding to myriad pressures ranging from fiscal austerity, climate change and most importantly, a rising urban population.
Speaking at the launch of the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the Energy and Resources Institute, Union minister of state for environment Prakash Javadekar said: “We have not said no to science. Nobody can say no to science.
Count me as part of the global community of individuals, organisations and governments protesting against the latest round of brutality being perpetrated by Israeli forces on non-combatant men, women and children of Gaza.
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.
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.
World War I, the centenary of the beginning of which occurs this year, affected India on land, sea and air, literally. The entire argument about whether the Great War — or the “War to End all Wars”, as it was optimistically called — has any resonance in India and should be commemorated in any manner is ridiculous.
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.
The technology landscape is undergoing significant changes in the current world, and it is redefining ways in which technology interacts with humans.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wellington, New Zealand Rarely, if ever, have I written a self-referential essay. However, I had occasion to visit the Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Museum of New Zealand. My leisurely stroll through the museum enabled me to peruse the exhibits with some care.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government faces significant challenges in trying to reinvigorate India’s economy back to the robust growth it enjoyed a few years ago.
Even a casual user of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter would have come across nasty elements who spew abuse and sometimes, threats. On Facebook, only those who you admit as friends can see what you write; Twitter is more public and seems to attracts the vilest kind of people who get their jollies only by being abusive.
Violence against women has been a pressing concern since the early Eighties.
The monsoon has finally arrived but the heat and dust of elections 2014 is unlikely to settle down anytime soon.
Is Sri Lanka a “society at peace” which has made “a lot of progress when it comes to human rights and the rule of law” since the war against secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels conclu
The first Budget of the Narendra Modi government, in its core thrust, represents continuity with the United Progressive Alliance-2 government’s Budgets.
The most direct way by which the Union Budget affects the common man is through changes in tax rates — both direct and indirect. While income tax is a direct tax on your income, indirect taxes only hit you at the time of incurring an expense, for example a service tax on your telephone, restaurant bill etc.
So what do finance minister Arun Jaitley and Bollywood have in common? They both love the number “Rs 100 crore”. Bollywood cannot stop talking about films that have done a business of Rs 100 crore or more. And Mr Jaitley, in his maiden Budget speech, uttered “Rs 100 crore” 29 times, while making allocations to various government schemes.
Every Union Budget is an opportunity to right the wrongs, make mid-course corrections and, on occasions, to even change the fate of sectors. While I would not go as far as to say that finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget squanders such an opportunity, I believe it could have definitely done much more.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley is going to read out the Narendra Modi government’s first Budget today. As is routine, industry associations and business leaders have already filed their “Budget expectations” with the media, along with, of course, policy recommendations. The difference this year lies in two things: High hopes, and the daunting volume of expectations.
Amdavadis should rejoice, for they will be able to whiz into Mumbai at 300 kmph if and when railway minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda’s dream project of a 540-kilometre-long corridor materialises, of course adopting the Planning Commission’s magic formula of PPP (public- private partnership) which, unfortunately, has not been very successful in past projects of both railways and the road sector.
Almost all the state capitals in the country with the exception of a few like Chandigarh and Gandhinagar are old cities which have evolved into their role for historical reasons.
When the Land Acquisition Act was passed by the colonial British government in 1894, it was mainly used to acquire land for the then growing railway network. The sarkar’s prerogative ruled over all lowly matters like peasant rights to compensation and livelihood.
The Budget Session of Parliament, which is upon us, will reveal the mind of the newly elected Modi government on critical policy matters pertaining to the economy — from where the money will come (taxes to be imposed) and the manner in which it will be spent through the various ministries and departments.
To be a quintessential Bengali, one must love food — from the purchase of ingredients to the consumption of the finished item. The ability to rustle up a plateful is an art that the Bengali matron imbibes from infancy and Mamata Banerjee is no exception. Her exoneration of the indefensible is proof of her ingenuity in cooking up a feast.
A recent newspaper cartoon in an English daily shows India’s Union health minister Harsh Vardhan teaching sex education to children: sunflowers in each hand touching each other.
The institution of governors in India is a colonial legacy. Today some people maintain that they are redundant and should be dispensed with. This is a debatable issue.
The Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen wrote very absorbing stories which not only kept his child audiences enraptured, but his stories also had some messages for adults. I find one of his stories having particular relevance to what is happening in the world of cosmology.
Very often, historical narratives need to be rewritten. Not only because the perspective changes over time, but also because research throws up fresh insights.
The formidable reputation earned by the Indian military in two great wars and many post-Independence conflicts owes much to the unquestioning obedience and loyalty that the Indian soldier, sailor and airman have traditionally rendered to their officer.
Sir Jadunath Sarkar, the doyen of Indian historians, wrote that it was a unique fact in history that six successive generations of Mughals, from Babar to Aurangzeb, held a continental-size empire toge
When events th-at bear a striking similarity to others unfold in India’s neighbourhood, within days of a new government taking over in Delhi, it becomes clear that not only could several 26/11-like challenges lie ahead, but attempts to derail India’s global power prospects under a can-do Prime Minister like Narendra Modi are now in full play.
Mr Akhilesh Yadav, I looked away as soon as the picture came up on my Facebook feed. But it was too late. In the seconds that it took for me to realise what it was that I was looking at, the image was firmly planted in my head. And now I can’t seem to shake it off: The body of a young girl in a short, bright red kurta, her toes peeking out from her purple salwar, hanging from a tree branch.
The first time I ever had to get back to my car within five minutes of stepping out to cover an event was on April 7 this year. Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav was visiting the riot affected areas of Shamli and was scheduled to address a rally as a part of his political campaign. Teenage boys on tractors, young men on the roof of buses, men in the public ground — a total of at least 40,000 men — had gathered to attend the rally. I was the only woman amongst them.
Those who were inconsolably dejected with the massive mandate the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance got in 2014 general elections have been blaming the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system.
It’s not every day that I take the Eurostar, but imagine my astonishment to learn that the day I head to Paris this week is the very day Her Royal Highness, the Queen of England is also embarking for France.
The aggravated sexual assault and brutal murder of two young dalit girls in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday fills us with anger, raging grief and a deep sense of failure. It is so easy to spirit girls away, like the two cousins were; so routine and everyday to torture them in unimaginable ways; and yet so easy to proclaim that India has moved beyond caste.
After losing a bitterly fought election to become “the most powerful man in the world”, John McCain was gracious enough to say to Barack Obama in his concession speech: “I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will now be my President.”
“It’s the economy, stupid.” — James Carville, campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, US Presidential election 1992 India’s general elections 2014 are over, and the vigorous, experienced and sophisticated electoral process has generated a total change in management this time around, placing an entirely new government in office.
During a public discourse, a man walked up to the Buddha and began to berate him, calling him a fake and his teachings worthless. The Buddha ignored the man, who continued to rant and rave. All those present were shocked by the man’s rudeness towards one regarded as an enlightened teacher.
And so, it begins. Even before Narendra Modi has taken over as prime minister, the speculative fears over what he might do have begun to spark off trouble. The first to get spooked into action have been the conflict entrepreneurs in Pakistan, who seem worried that Mr Modi might ruin their businesses. His invitation to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has once again raised the (for them) frightening prospect of peace. That would lead to their shops, which bear names such as Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, shutting down.
The suspense is over. A Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party has swept back to power in New Delhi with the biggest mandate any party has won in three decades.
This is with reference to Mohan Guruswamy’s article China’s chairman is our chairman? (May 19) on interlinking of rivers in India. I plead to differ.
At first glance the 2014 election verdict confirms all the reports of a “Modi wave” that had been coming in over the past few months. There is no ambiguity in the mandate.
The antics of Gujarat 2007 are adorning India 2014. If you care for some entertainment via FM radio, you know telephone calls are being made by “development” to “Indians”, announcing its plan to arrive in the country after 10 years, now that Narendra Modi’s win is inevitable.
An election is not the best of times for fissures within a political party to get exposed — more so, mid-course. It may also be the most inappropriate of times to undertake trials in leadership with an objective to change command.
The Henderson Brooks Report remains in the news, but for the wrong reasons. A number of military historians and strategic analysts, including former Army and Navy Chiefs, have made their views public on the “leaked” report.
Though our political system is based on the Westminster system, there are many features that we have not borrowed from the mother of our Parliament. One of them is the shadow cabinet. Britain and some other countries like Australia have shadow cabinets, which are formed by the parliamentary Opposition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
New York Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may not be king again but he certainly can launch a guerrilla action or two.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Kajol, who lived on the upscale Altamount Road, had never seen life in the raw.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.