Columnists

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

Realpolitik trumps arrogance

It has now become apparent to the Narendra Modi government that the manner in which it sought to amend the law relating to acquisition of land is not politically feasible.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Beti Bachao. But how?

If a law has not worked well on the ground, do you toss it out or try and improve its implementation?

S. Nihal Singh

The democrat who started a dynasty

Lee Kuan Yew, the father of modern Singapore, who died on March 23, at the age of 91, was in the mould of South Korean military dictators who pulled their country by the bootstraps to modernise it.

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!

Samrat

Hard to know when we’re being fed psy ops biryani

Perhaps it was a sudden, inexplicable attack of delayed honesty. Maybe it was a withdrawal symptom caused by the absence of TV cameras in his vicinity.

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.

Shiv Visvanathan

AAP paradox: Whole is less the sum of parts

AAP is both imagination and imaginary. It is an empirical organisation, a movement still graduating into a party but AAP is part a political fiction, a wish list for the future that its fans, followers and members keep projecting on to it. It is a perpetual hypothesis playing out both fact and future. AAP is still in a constant state invention. AAP faces an obstetric problem, as a midwife of a new politics it has to deliver. Kejriwal and gang have to add the governance halo to their disorderly political style.

Pavan K. Varma

Politics of correlation

Last week, on March 11, Nitish Kumar won a convincing trust vote with 140 MLAs supporting him in the Assembly, and the Bharatiya Janata Party staging a walk out.

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

K.N. Bhat

Rationalise land bill

What is all the fuss about the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill?

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.

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

Dilip Cherian

Crucial yatra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it clear that boosting India’s influence in the neighbourhood is a high priority.

Flavia Agnes

Inside the minds of rapists

It is indeed alarming to watch our parliamentarians, police, media and voices within civil society — a handful of “power” feminists, other feminists with their dissenting views, and human rights defen

S.K. Sinha

Reconciling the irreconcilable

Politics is the art of the possible in which there can be strange bedfellows in pursuit of po-wer.

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

Kancha Ilaiah

The problem in RSS’ Hinduism

US President Barack Obama, in his annual breakfast speech, where the world spiritual, social and political leaders congregated on February 5, said, “countries and civilisations would be torn asunder b

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.

Mohan Guruswamy

Let’s give the FM his due

There always comes a time when you have to heed Jesus who said: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” So this time I will render unto the finance m

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.

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.

Bharat Bhushan

What Rahul needs is a big broom

There is speculation that the so-called sabbatical of Rahul Gandhi is because of petulance at not getting his way in the party.

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

Charles Marquand

Greek riposte

The classics warn us “beware of Greeks bearing gifts”, a reminder of ancient Greek trickery in infiltrating Troy hidden in a wooden horse presented as gift.

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”.

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

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

Shankar Roychowdhury

A parade of pride

On every Republic Day, when expertly choreographed T-90 main battle tanks, superbly marching infantry, vivid cultural floats and frolicking school children pass in review before the presidential salut

Sidharth Bhatia

Left: The voice of reason India needs

In 2007, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh began pushing the Indo-US nuclear deal, the entire Opposition objected to it.

Suchi Govindarajan

On the edge of the wild

I travelled to Hampi recently and was blown away by the palace and temple ruins, and the fascinating landscape it was set in. To make it even more interesting, I stayed in a wildlife resort nearby.

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

Antara Dev Sen

We are not secular

Never mind if it was divine intervention or crafty cunning.

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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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

Shiv Visvanathan

Growing intolerance

There are several ways of looking at the debates around freedom of speech.

Seema Sirohi

Obama visit: Symbols and substance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to US President Barack Obama to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade is a confident, bold stroke.

K.C. Singh

Let there be debate

Narendra Modi’s electoral juggernaut finally hit marshy ground in the nation’s capital.

Charu Nivedita

The death of taste

The controversy that has erupted in the wake of Tamil writer Perumal Murugan declaring himself dead, disowning all entire writing, and requesting readers to set fire to all his novels, not just Matho

Rudra Chaudhuri

The cost of hate speech

The three-day siege in Paris between January 7 and 9 can at best be understood as a consequence of something much larger at play in Europe.

Nitin A. Gokhale

India’s new Lanka agenda

The smallest of diplomatic gestures are sought to be analysed from the prism of China-India rivalry on the island nation of Sri Lanka.

Sanjeev Ahluwalia

BJP dials 100, Bedi to the rescue

The DNA of Kiran Bedi and the Bharatiya Janata Party seem twinned at birth.

Inder Malhotra

A hint of a farce

In 1963, just after the trauma of the border war with China, the Congress lost three high-profile parliamentary byelections in quick succession.

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

True colours

Appearances are deceptive. A white American President will be received next Sunday by a white Asian President.

Antara Dev Sen

The politics of hurt sentiments

Is censorship good? Wait, dear reader, do not recoil in horror. Think about it. Of course not, you say? Well then why is it necessary to have a film censor board in this day and age?

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?

Sreeram Chaulia

A promise of change

The defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka’s presidential election is good riddance for the troubled island.

S. Nihal Singh

Time for a rethink?

What happened at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was condemnable without reserve and the world’s media, including in India, have risen in solidarity.

Sudhanshu Ranjan

Legislating through ordinances

The Opposition is targeting the government for issuing ordinances immediately after the Winter Session.

Samrat Choudhury

New ‘hate speech’ law is a bad idea

Good intentions may sometimes lead to bad outcomes.

Pradeep S. Mehta

A bitter pill for docs, pharma companies

Many doctors often prescribe a particular brand of medicine for personal gains.

Vandana Shiva

Corporate fiction

As the New Year begins, I feel compelled to reflect on how fictions and abstract constructions are ruling us; the nature of being and existence is being redefined in such fundamental ways that life it

Shankar Roychowdhury

Peshawar attack is a warning to India

It’s like that old story. You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them to only bite your neighbours.

Sumit Ganguly

Affirming the two-nation theory

Most Indians with the slightest knowledge of India’s nationalist struggle have at least a passing familiarity with Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s “two-nation theory” Pared to the bone, Jinnah’s contention was

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Dear Rahul, it’s time to take a decision

Dear Mr Rahul Gandhi,

Rajiv Bhatia

India’s external outlook in 2015

Beginning of a New Year is an apt time to appraise the nation’s performance in the management of its foreign policy and diplomacy as also to reflect on what may be in store in the coming months.

Kiran Nagarkar

The (un)popular science of Modi

Will the subcontinent click the pause button for just a few moments, please? I suspect that right now most of my fellow countrymen don’t have time for that self-indulgence called introspection.

K.N. Bhat

Defend right to offend

Tolerance requires no more than the ability to ignore what is not to one’s liking. But people expect others to be “reasonable” — in other words, be like me.

Austin Williams

People alone can’t keep India clean

When Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party won the election in May, many commentators were worried that a new brand of authoritarian nationalism would soon rear its ugly head.

Christel Devadawson

2014: Contours of pictorial satire

2014 was the year in which pictorial satire in India deliberately sought and found new worlds to conquer.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

The tensions beneath the growth story

Two unconnected developments marked 2014 as a unique year in the contemporary history of India’s political economy.

Syed Ata Hasnain

Resolving the Kashmir conflict

Rarely have analysts applied the theory of conflict management in the 25-year long ex-ternally spon-sored internal conflict in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kishwar Desai

Why aren’t Indians buying up London?

While Londoners are shocked to learn that prime land in London for new housing and office space is now owned by billionaires and corporates from Australia, Singapore, China, Malay-sia, Hong Kong and S

Arun Jaitley

Atalji: The gentle giant

I first heard Atalji’s speech in 1967, when I was in school. There was a political rally near my house in Delhi for the 1967 general election. He came to address that rally.

Swapan Dasgupta

What’s the real Opposition?

The term “shifting the goalpost” has come to be overused in polemical exchanges.

Pradeep S. Mehta

Power to all, and how

Earlier this month, energy minister Piyush Goyal announced that the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act, 2003, will allow consumers to exercise their choice to select the electricity supplier.

Anand K. Sahay

The Republic of RSS

This may be Narendra Modi’s government, but India may be on its way to becoming Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s republic. The signs point that way.

Sidharth Bhatia

2014: The annus absurdus

The past is another country, said L.P. Hartley and how true that sounds when one looks over the newspapers of just a year ago.

P.K. Hormis Tharakan

Real need to share intel data

The massacre of the innocents at the Army school in Peshawar highlights dangers that our schools are exposed to.

Anita Katyal

Nuclear babas, sartorial dadas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised a lot of eyebrows when he arrived at the banquet hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee for his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Rashtrapati Bhavan last week

Pavan K. Varma

Modi’s maun vrat

For most of last week the Rajya Sabha has not been able to function. Disruption of Parliament is not an edifying scene, especially when the whole nation can watch it unfold on live television.

Aakar Patel

What do the Taliban really want?

What do the Taliban really want and why is it not easy for Pakistan to fight them?

Dilip Cherian

PMO moves

PMO moves

Devanik Saha

Saffronising education

Ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party’s poster woman, Smriti Irani, has been made the Union human resources development minister, she has been embroiled in controversies.

Varun Gandhi

Talking shop at both sides of the aisle

India’s retail sector is a potpourri of formats.

Suman Sahai

Who owns our genetic wealth?

There was a news report not so long ago that ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics), an international organisation and part of the CGIAR (Consultative Group on Inte

Patralekha Chatterjee

God and mammon

Good governance seems to be all about seeking coherence through confusion.

Jayant V. Narlikar

Of God and cheeky geeks

Science is serious business! To the outsider, scientists are a body of people who are dedicated to their research and know how to go about it.

S.K. Sinha

Caught in the act

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) has become a very controversial issue.

Anil Dharker

Modi should step in

It’s good to be an optimist at the best of times.

Kishwar Desai

Of Christmas, poverty & Hawking

As the big freeze descends, London begins to look as it used to, before we knew what global warming was.

Ashok Malik

Tripping on TRPs

Elections are cathartic moments in the life of a democracy, a time for a new beginning, a new order and a new way of doing things.

Bharat Bhushan

RSS’ reconversion project

The late Dilip Singh Judeo, poster boy of the Bharatiya Janata Party for re-conversion of Christian tribals to Hinduism became the subject of a TV sting in 2003.

Jagdish N. Singh

New Delhi must back China’s entry in SAARC

Why is New Delhi opposed to Islamabad’s idea of upgrading Beijing as a full member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc).

Shobhaa’s Take

Hey Ram! Will we never learn?

After watching Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sakshi Maharaj holding forth in Parliament about Nathuram Godse, something happened in the pit of my stomach.

Manish Tewari

Policing the Internet

The Internet is the boldest attempt at anarchism and it has succeeded. It epitomises the vastest ungoverned sphere on the globe.

Farrukh Dhondy

Torture report

“Suspicion was a fairy With a cyber-sifting wand Suspicion had a licence to kill Suspicion was James Bond Suspicion knew no logic Sister of Jealousy Suspicion wove its tangled web

Yogi Aggarwal

Economy: Euphoric, not healthy

A booming stock market should normally indicate a booming economy, but the link doesn’t always hold.

Arun Prakash

A ‘Galle-ing’ experience

December 26, 2004, Sunday morning, saw the calm in Naval Headquarters (NHQ) being shattered by ominous reports of powerful seismic shocks and giant tidal surges in our Bay of Bengal islands and coasta

Dominic Emmanuel

Growing insecurities among minorities

Knowing fully well the track record of the Sangh Parivar, be it the RSS, VHP or the Bajrang Dal the vitriolic statement by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, a Union minister, about “Ram-zaadon” (Ram’s children)

S. Nihal Singh

India, Russia must reinvent ties

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin comes to New Delhi on an official visit at a tantalising time for two reasons.

Shankar Roychowdhury

Lesson from 26/11: Protect coastlines

On November 26, 2008, ten Pakistani jihadists of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba travelled by sea to Mumbai in a fishing trawler, infiltrated ashore from rubber assault boats near Cuffe Parade, split up into te

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Democracy in action

Democracy is the enemy of civilisation.

Aakar Patel

The story between action, reaction

This week we had a minister separating Indians as being either “Ramzadas” (meaning Hindus) or “haramzadas”, meaning bastards.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Culinary casteism

Kuppegala isn’t one of those places that instantly ring a bell.

Prakash Singh

A state of terror

The recently-held conference of the police chiefs of the country in Guwahati was a bit of disappointment considering the expectations generated by the Modi government.

Gautam Chintamani

Thanks for the laughs

Being a comedian is far from being funny. After a while you cease to be a person.

K.N. Bhat

Red light for green judgment

Verdicts of the courts can roughly be categorised into three classes.

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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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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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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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.

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.

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.

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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It has now become apparent to the Narendra Modi government that the manner in which it sought to amend the law relating to acquisition of land is not politically feasible.

If a law has not worked well on the ground, do you toss it out or try and improve its implementation?