Columnists

Sanjeev Ahluwalia

Fuelling the fire

Nothing illustrates the cost of wantonly discarding democracy and handing over the government to unelected officials than the case of Uttarakhand.

Padma Rao Sundarji

Journalism 101

An aspect of the ongoing AgustaWestland scandal that has drawn the loudest blood-lust at the gladiators’ circus called Twitter is the Rs 50 crore that middlemen are reported to have earmarked for “man

Shikha Mukerjee

Bengal 2016: Real paribartan

Turning the politician into a hero so larger-than-life is a habit to which West Bengal has been addicted for as long as memory serves.

Kishwar Desai

Of Queen, Prez and pedigree

What a fortnight it has been.

Anil Dharker

Lest museums become history

It’s unusual to start a column with a joke, but since this one illustrates the point I want to make. I seek your indulgence. Here goes: “An Indian dies and goes to hell.

Ashok Malik

Historical amnesia

Saturday’s edition of this newspaper had a small but puzzling news report on page 12. It was headlined: “John Wayne Day scrapped in California over race row”.

Aakar Patel

The motions of education

Gujarat University has been asked to produce Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s correspondence course degree. I wish they could find my diploma as well.

Dilip Cherian

Rajan’s sound advice

When Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan speaks, the government listens.

Manish Tewari

News diplomacy

The parallel accounts put out by both the sides of what transpired at the meeting between the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan and the media spin on it in respective countries has once again

Farrukh Dhondy

Much of the world is Shakespeare’s stage

“Does one have to pay a price For friendship?’ The Sufi enquires And then: ‘for Love’s fires What sacrifice?’” From Paradox of Paradise by Bachchoo

Siddharth Dube

War on drugs: Roll it and smoke it

In 1998, the world leaders attending a UN General Assembly special session on global drug policies proclaimed, “A drug-free world — We can do it!” They vowed to rid the world of illegal narcotics by 2

Shobhaa’s Take

Tolerant India still exists

This week I attended a delightful wedding hosted by a modest-sized silver merchant I know and admire.

Sudhanshu Ranjan

Small can be beautiful

Whenever there is any judicial conference, the topic that invariably comes up for discussion is pendency of cases and delayed justice.

Shiv Visvanathan

The death of the university

The university is one of the strangest, grandest institutions. It is a theatre of knowledge, a site for debates, a custodian of democracy and the epitome of pluralism.

Sanjay Kumar

The politics of freebies

Like other elections held in the recent decades, the biggest worry for the Election Commission (EC) these days as it conducts and oversees Assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala

Shankar Roychowdhury

Change the course of water wars

The likely withdrawal, around the end of 2016, of the El Nino (“Christ Child”) weather system is likely to mitigate the adverse effects on the monsoon winds associated with it.

Sharmistha Mukherjee

Anti-farmer sarkar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his latest Mann ki Baat called for a movement to “save water”. He said, “To fight the drought and water scarcity, the governments will do their work.

K.C. Singh

Modi’s diplomatic flip-flops

The foreign policy of any nation is both continuity and innovation within established boundaries of national political consensus.

Mohan Guruswamy

The other side of the visa story

There is more than what meets the eye of the recent controversy on the issuance and withdrawal of visas to Dolkun Isa and Omar Kanat of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

Bhopinder Singh

Hero worship

The dustbowl districts of Bhiwani, Sonipat and Hisar in Haryana are the inexplicable factories of fine sportswomen and sportsmen who are rewriting the conventional theories about Indians underperformi

S.K. Sinha

Kashmir is not Balochistan

Balochistan and Kashmir are two former princely states afflicted by insurgency on the subcontinent. All others merged with either India or Pakistan and have been peaceful.

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Dressed for rebellion

India is on the move. Not in housing, education or healthcare. Not in urban reconstruction. Certainly not in political maturity.

S. Nihal Singh

Obama’s baring of soul has nothing for India

In an extraordinary and unique document based on a series of long interviews over time which Jeffrey Goldberg dubs The Obama Doctrine (The Atlantic, April issue), a sitting American President voices h

Pavan K. Varma

The hubris of power

What the Bharatiya Janata Party attempted to do in Uttarakhand is of course a violation of sacrosanct constitutional principles, but I look upon it more as a metaphor for the hubris of power.

Anita Katyal

Banking on providence & ‘shudh maas’

When election strategist Prashant Kishor sat in on a meeting of Uttar Pradesh Congress members in Lucknow recently, he probably did not know what he had bargained for when he accepted Congress vice-pr

C. Uday Bhaskar

A strategic triangle

India has engaged in a series of high-level political meetings with both the US and China and more are in the offing over the next two months.

Sidharth Bhatia

Protests: A mourning for achche din?

The sudden burst of street protests in Bengaluru last week has surprised not just the local government but also shocked the Central government for its sheer vehemence.

Ranjona Banerji

Quantum of solace

“Normal computers work either with power going through a wire or not, a one or a zero. They’re binary systems.

Talmiz Ahmad

Salman bridge & ‘Islamic Nato’

Over the last year, Saudi Arabia has been experiencing a series of crises that have strained its economy, jeopardised its security and threatened its leadership of the Arab and Islamic world.

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Nitish floats on dream for all India

Some days ago, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar floated the idea of “Sangh-mukt Bharat”.

Sreeram Chaulia

Fallen comrades

Mega corruption scandals are taking a toll on two leading democracies of the developing world — South Africa and Brazil.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Pati, patni aur police

The course of true love never runs smooth, the Bard told us hundreds of years ago.

Vandana Shiva

Seeds of drought

The United Nations has designated April 22 to be International Mother Earth Day. It is also the day when the Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv commences in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.

Antara Dev Sen

Mob justice, finally!

In school, when the whole class was being detained for some mischief caused by a few, there would usually be that one boy who would snitch.

Claude Arpi

A road to the border

In India, for any editor, there is a hierarchy in the news; I presume that the same is true the world over. This week the “royal visit” made it to the front page.

Padma Rao Sundarji

The Maldivian muddle

Ports and islands are useful things, especially those scattered across thousands of miles of a hotly contested ocean in one of the most volatile regions of the world.

Swami Agnivesh

God, save us from miracle-mongers

It makes me angry; though I know I should not be. The spiritual discipline common to all religious traditions demands that we master our emotions and become tolerant unto dust.

Yogi Aggarwal

A political cash cow?

In these troubled times when the Rightwing is on the offensive, among the many issues that animate their campaigns, none seems more delicate than the move to ban cow slaughter and to make the possessi

Vivek Sengupta

Gurugram: Adding insult to injury

In a move smacking of breathtaking insensitivity, the Haryana government chose the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti to announce that Gurgaon would henceforth be known as Gurugram.

Swapan Dasgupta

Let it pour down on Bharat Mata

In recent years, India’s Meteorological Department (IMD) hasn’t exactly earned a reputation for unfailing accuracy.

Jayant V. Narlikar

How science demolishes ego

The history of mankind is full of instances where important sections of society expressed views that we humans on the Earth are the most important part of this universe.

Anand K. Sahay

A zero for Modi on diplomacy

The past 10 days have cruelly exposed the foreign policy pretensions of the Modi government as deep embarrassment has simultaneously been caused to India from three crucial quarters: Pakistan and Chin

Sushant Sareen

Defiance, denial deception and delusion

Seen from a rational perspective, Pakistan needs to clean up its act and change its course to become a normal state instead of behaving like a paranoid, 'greedy' state that leverages and encashes its

Manoj Joshi

Can the real Sharif please stand up!

No one seems to know where the Modi government's Pakistan policy is, or where it is going. It has jerked up and down for a while and now the vehicle has come to a juddering halt.

Samrat

Not just numbers: Why our cities are so messed up

It was late night. The roads were completely empty, with not a soul in sight. Suddenly a sports car raced into view. From my perch on the balcony, I saw it screech to a halt.

Paulo Coelho

Why make rules for everything?

In the fall of 2003, I was walking in the middle of the night through Stockholm, when I saw a lady walking with ski poles.

Sidharth Bhatia

The discreet charm of Amitabh Bachchan

It’s been a strange week for Amitabh Bachchan: One day mentioned as the prospective President of India, a couple of days later named as the holder of foreign accounts in far away Panama, in a list th

Arun Kumar Singh

Growing reach of the sea dragon

India’s latest defence budget is about 1.72 per cent of its gross domestic product (the lowest in GDP terms since the disastrous 1962 Sino-Indian war), and it’s about 25 per cent of the Chinese defenc

M. Venkaiah Naidu

One-shot polls

Contrary to the forecasts of the colonial doomsayers, who were reluctant to leave India free, democracy in our country has moved from strength to strength.

Arun Maira

The weak links in our discordant democracy

India is rightfully proud of many of its democratic institutions — its Constitution, its systems of electoral democracy, and its independent judiciary.

Amrit Sadhana

Goodbye depression

In today’s world, we often hear the word “depression”. Psychiatrists and researchers are trying to investigate depression.

Shaji N. Karun

The Rs 500 crore conundrum

There seems to be a devastating drain of wisdom from our country’s collective conscience. And nowhere is it felt more than in our cinema.

Subhash K. Jha

Why can’t big be successful?

Ever since S.S.

Suchi Govindarajan

The perils of slim-fit

It may be summer, but a cloud hangs over corporate India. Companies are valiantly trying to recruit a diverse workforce, but at what expense? Can it be ignored any longer?

Sudhanshu Ranjan

Time to tax the farms

Against the backdrop of peasants committing suicide in large numbers because of penury, the news about millionaire farmers in India would ordinarily have been dismissed as drivel.

Krishna Menon

Society is the real widow-maker

Vrindavan — the name evokes a beautiful green forest of the fragrant and holy Vrinda plant.

T. Harish Rao

India must act fast on water use

India is the world’s second most populated country with 1.25 billion people. It is the 10th largest economy and represents around 2.5 per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product.

Varun Gandhi

India’s bad loans conundrum

India’s commanding heights are being brought down by its own laxity. With the rate cut underway in savings schemes, India’s fiscal policy is beginning to come to grips with its bad loans conundrum.

K.N. Bhat

Overzealous tribunal

The mega international cultural event organised by Sri Sri Ravishankar from March 11 to 13 was by all accounts a grand success.

Flavia Agnes

The extraordinary ordinary

Each of the five women awarded on the occasion of European Day of the Righteous, which was held on March 8 this year to coincide with International Women’s Day in Milan, Italy, had a heroic story that

Sunanda K.Datta-Ray

India is eternal by any name

Given the mood of the times, it should not be surprising if someone accuses Justice T.S. Thakur, the Chief Justice of India, and his colleague on the Supreme Court bench, Justice U.U.

Prabhash Ranjan

State must fund, not rule, education

Much has already been said on the Jawaharlal Nehru University row. Many have rightly pointed out the significant contribution JNU has made to academic scholarship and nation-building.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Azadi’s new odyssey

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” phonetics professor Henry Higgins had wistfully chanted to his pal Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, the musical movie version of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

Cow waving the tricolour

Did particular functionaries of the Naren-dra Modi government and supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party anticipate that their actions would contribute to a young PhD student of the Jawaharlal Nehru

Akshima T. Ghate

Travelling against all odds

The recent abduction of a Snapdeal employee while she was returning home by a “shared autorickshaw” and many such similar incidents of harassment or abduction of women on roads and in various modes of

Devinder Sharma

Will Bharat reap?

Two days after finance minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting Budget 2016, promised to double farmers’ income in the next five years, three farmers in Punjab — the food bowl of the country — committe

Vijay Jawandhia

Another carrot for farmers

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget has no ray of hope for the farmers, though the media has created hype that the Budget is pro-farmer.

Vivek Kaul

Pulse of the matter

The Economic Survey of 2015-2016 is a lovely document which goes into great detail on what is wrong with India on the economic front and offers good workable solutions to solve these problems.

R. Ramakumar

Big promises, bigger discontent

1 Arun Jaitley’s Budget 2016-17 clearly has a conservative fiscal stance.

Ashok P. Hinduja

‘There’ll be bottom up demand, jobs’

Is the Budget up to your expectations? The Budget is prudent and, thus, largely addresses the fiscal priorities of the government of reducing the deficit.

Pritam Mahure

Decoding indirect taxes

As per the Budget proposals, flats, jewellery, readymade garments, mobiles, ropeway rides are likely to cost more. How? Let’s understand. Service Tax

Deepak Chandnani

The cashless revolution is here

The year 2016 comes with great expectations for the evolving payments industry.

Srinivas Thiruvadanthai

Splurge a bit, Mr FM, it’s good for growth

As the finance minister prepares to announce the budget for fiscal year 2017, expectations are muted compared with a year ago.

Amarpal Chadha

I-T, real estate hold fiscal key

With the Budget round the corner, it is once again that time of the year when individual taxpayers’ expectations are at a high, confidently believing and reassuring oneself that the government will an

Lawrence Liang

Ultra-nationalists make light of patriotism

Definitions, American poet Toni Morrison once wrote, belong to the definer not the defined.

Dr R. Balashankar

Abdicating Role

It was game as usual for a section of rabidly anti-national goons in Jawaharlal Nehru University till the nation at large decided to call their bluff and punish the guilty in spite of the tremendous c

Aparna Jain

The fault, I’m afraid, lies with us

Much has been written and said about the R.K.

R.C. Acharya

Sustaining the reform track

As the saying goes, “Well begun is half done”.

K.P. Fabian

Airlift: Not lifted from the facts

The film Airlift is a commercial success. I was bewildered by its repeated attempts to suppress what is true and suggest what is false.

Meena Kandasamy

Dirty politics equals angry protests

Suicides the world over are deceptive deaths and when they occur in succession, they give the appearance of being contagious.

Jarpum Gamlin

Arunachal story, from ground zero

On ground zero, Article 356 of the Indian Constitution is not at all a part of debate.

Siddharth Narrain

Sec 377: The battle for identity

Two years after the Supreme Court dismissed a review petition filed in Suresh Koushal vs Naz Foundation, in which the court had held Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code to be constitutional, the case

Taslima Nasreen

A new Delhi rose out of odd-even

Delhi appeared almost unrecognisable during the days of the odd-even rule — evenings appeared livable, devoid of traffic snarls and as if in the midst of a holiday season or a citywide general strike.

Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi

Fight ISIS in classrooms

Radicalised Muslim youth joining the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in Pakistan or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to attain what they call “istishhad” (martyrdom) is not a recent phenomenon.

S.K. Chatterji

Defence can start up Make in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Start-Up India was the loudest bang on the weekend.

G. Sudhakaran

Change the rules, else they will be your downfall!

When I was the Devaswom minister in the LDF government, five women from Andhra Pradesh, who were below 50 years of age, attempted to climb the Sabarimala hill. They were arrested.

Arundathi B.

Sabarimala: The uphill climb to gender justice

Facts of history can be questioned with new evidence, facts of science subjected to reasoning, but how do you question myths and beliefs since they do not submit to logic?

Rahul Easwar

Ayya, Appa, and Bavar Swamy

I was around seven when I went with my grandfather, Sabarimala Supreme Priest Kandararu Maheshwararu, to Sabarimala for the first time. Our first stop was at Erumeli, in the famous Bavar Mosque.

Narendar Pani

Change must come from within, not courts

The Supreme Court is moving quite firmly into the cultural and religious domain.

Arun Kumar Singh

Postscript Pathankot

On January 10, 2016, the media reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dissatisfied by the manner in which the terror attack on Pathankot Air Force base from January 2-5 had been dealt with, despi

Indranil Banerjie

Kejriwal and the art of losing friends

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal continues to ride a groundswell of support 11 months after his election.

Kanwar Sandhu

‘India lacks a strategy on Pak’

The January 2 terrorist attack on Pathankot airbase once again points to the lack of not just an immediate but also a long-term strategy to deal with our warring neighbour, Pakistan.

Hina Rabbani Khar

‘Let’s invent a future’

I do not believe relations between India and Pakistan are a zero-sum game. It is not true that in every move, gesture or negotiation, one of us is a winner, the other a loser.

Nitin A. Gokhale

NSA took decisions promptly

If there is one major lesson that the Modi government must learn from the controversy surrounding the Pathankot terror strike is this: get the perception management model right!

Shiv Visvanathan

The idea that united Delhi

A friend of mine once said, “Talk about any major reform in Delhi and the first objections will come from two categories: The bureaucrats who will tell you how difficult and expensive it is and the so

P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti

Only safe cities are Smart Cities

The unprecedented floods in Chennai this winter, preceded by equally unprecedented cyclone in Visakhapatnam and flood in Srinagar last year are, apart from devastating tragedies, indications of the gr

Rajiv Bhatia

India abroad in 2016

All those involved in the country’s foreign policy — as its makers, implementers and analysts — have reason to be happy: the subject received special salience in the national discourse during 2015.

Vivek Katju

Modi must take path of caution

With that one surprise stop-over at Nawaz Sharif's family estate at Raiwind near Lahore on Christmas Day, and the weeks of top-level meetings preceding it — in Paris (Modi-Nawaz meeting), Bangkok (Ind

Husain Haqqani

An opening for South Asian trade?

India and Pakistan have initiated dialogue several times over the last six decades, only to end the process amid acrimony.

Rekha Sethi

Women’s time to have it all

A few years ago, this question stirred up furious debate after a poster-woman of feminism, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Director of Policy Planning under Hilary Clinton, said that women could still not have

Tridivesh Singh Maini

Keep windows open for the world

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not allow political roadblocks on the domestic front — defeat in Delhi and Bihar and a dysfunctional Parliament — to impact his hectic foreign itinerary.

Amitabha Bagchi

Politics and its meanings

Now that the dust has settled on the sequence of events set in motion by Nayantara Sahgal’s decision to “return” her Sahitya Akademi Award, barring a few cinema halls here and there still refusing to

Mohan K. Tikku

On being Tipu

In a year that saw the lynching of a man on the outskirts of Delhi for his alleged food preferences, it was inevitable that some others, including a few long dead royals, would be raised from their gr

Dr Nagarathna A.

Regressive reform

Famous jurist Jeremy Bentham opines, “Every law is an evil because every law is violation of liberty; so government, I say again, can only choose between evils.” He further suggests that a legislator

Ranjana Kumari

No second chance for hardened criminals

It is important to understand that juvenile crime is an outcome of violent culture in the society and family.

Kiran Nagarkar

Crying wolf

When I was an insufferable obstreperous child, like all Indian mothers, my mother too would tell me that if I didn’t behave, she was going to call the policeman from the local chowki to straighten me

Aditya Sinha

A long time ago

I was 13 when I watched the original Star Wars (now confusingly called Episode IV: A New Hope), and I felt as if I was 13 again when I watched the latest Star Wars film, Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Cut, retake

The guns have fallen silent at the Film and Television Institute of India after students returned to classrooms, calling off their 139-day strike for the removal of institute chairman Gajendra Chauhan

Kavita Krishnan

In the spirit of anger & revenge

The Juvenile Justice Act has been amended in the wake of the outcry over the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16, 2012, case, after serving his sentence.

Ved Kumari

Juvenile injustice

On Tuesday, India joined the league of countries that punishes its children.

G. Haragopal

A wrecked Parliament?

In the history of Indian Parliament, the current session is, perhaps, one of the most tragic — tragic, in fact, is a sympathetic expression about the state of affairs.

Anjali Lal Gupta

Loitering and other offences

In her famous video poem, How to be alone, Canadian writer and musician Tanya Davis suggests several sites where solo existence could be healed and even celebrated — public transport, gym, streets, th

Suman Sahai

Genetically irresponsible

Recent developments in the saga of genetically modified (GM) crops have begun to reveal the fault lines of this technology.

Ramakrishnan T.S.

Bihar: Nitish’s facesaver

The victory of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar Assembly elections is certainly remarkable.

Audrey D’Mello

The sacrament of prenups

Maneka Gandhi, minister of women and child development , recently gave a call for pre-nuptial agreements to be recognised in India.

Chandra Bhushan

There is no planet B

Over 150 nations are assembled at the climate conference in Paris to sew up an agreement on how to curb carbon emissions into the earth’s atmosphere and slow down global warming.

Mahesh Uppal

Free Basics, more Internet

How should governments and regulators view the Internet.org initiative to expand Internet use? I argue that we must rely on established regulatory principles rather than ideological preferences.

Khalid Mohamed

Smooch ado about nothing

Flip a coin: heads he stays, tails he goes. The guessing game is on. Following a controversy-a-day will the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification be shown the door?

Shobhaa De

Shobhaa’s Take: The patriot games we play

My word! Are we touchy... or are we touchy? Our skins are getting thinner and thinner by the day.

B.K. Chandrashekar

Cut Carbon, not growth

Are countries which have not been responsible over decades, perhaps even over centuries, for huge greenhouse gas emissions, promoting global warming now obliged to cut on their CO2 emissions in global

Vappala Balachandran

The clash of uncivilisations

ISIS, or more accurately Daesh, is a creation of multiple forces – its seeds were sown by America during its Cold War confrontation against the erstwhile Soviet Union, it has been nurtured well since

Ranjit Gupta

Syria is key in the war on ISIS

At the end of 2010, after a devastating four-year drought, the worst ever in Syria’s history, more than a million Syrian farmers had fled to the cities, their livestock had perished.

Vikram Sood

That long, horrible night

It was in the month of Ramzan 2014 that there was an announcement about the establishment of the Caliphate.

Charles Marquand

Unite, not divide

Last Friday evening news began to come in of a series of terrorist atrocities in Paris: gunmen had been indiscriminately shooting at diners in restaurants and bars and spectators at a sports stadium a

Shikha Mukerjee

The Patna conclave

An emerging collective of regional parties after the triumph of the Mahagatbandhan in Bihar signals the building of a barricade to keep out ambitious encroachers.

S.K. Sinha

Nitish is now PM material

The pollsters, exit polls and I were proved totally wrong in anticipating the results of the recent Bihar Assembly elections. The former’s expertise went astray in their predictions.

Rajeev Shukla

UNSC membership for Rs 73 crore?

India has been fighting for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the last 20 years but our efforts are yet to fructify.

Khalid Mohamed

At home in Lucknowi and Queen’s angrezi

He was habitually wont to begin a sentence with, “Amma yaar”, as in “Amma yaar, aap kaise hain?”, “Amma yaar, badi manhoos garmi hai”, “Amma yaar, aaj shaam ko thodi gup-shup ho jaaye.” <

Nawal Kishore Chaudhary

...and the vote goes to poll managers

As somebody rightly said, “it is more important to say ‘perfect’ things ‘imperfectly’ than to say ‘imperfect’ things ‘perfectly’.

KG Suresh

2016: BJP’s big fight

BJP’s defeat in the Bihar Assembly election is undoubtedly a setback for the party, more so the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo, given the fact that while the former was the mascot of the party's campaign

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

How radical Islam haunts Egypt

Whatever other result the tragic crash of the Russian Metrojet Airbus A321 whose Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg Flight 9268 ended in the sands of Sinai, killing all 224 persons on board, may have, i

Wasbir Hussain

Arunachal’s high-stakes unrest

It is rare for indigenous tribes-people in the Arunachal Pradesh frontier to be in ferment.

R.C. Acharya

Railways: Back on track

American management guru Peter Drucker had famously said, “The spirit of an organisation is created from the top”, and Union minister for railways Suresh Prabhu, with an excellent track record of his

K.V. Rajan

Terai key to better India-Nepal ties

The dramatic downturn in India-Nepal relations in recent weeks raises a number of questions.

Mohan Guruswamy

A raja’s whims and Aksai Chin

Indian and Chinese troops are in yet another face-off in the Aksai Chin region. How this cold and wind-swept desert became a seemingly intractable dispute is a tale worth telling.

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Way to India’s heart is through Gandhi

A leading member of Britain’s Liberal Democrat party, which is a member of the ruling coalition, has resigned following a sting operation with a reporter posing as a wealthy British Indian businessman

Jayant V. Narlikar

Tracing Supernova 1054

Old books and manuscripts provide a measure of the intellectual maturity of the society that produced them. Spread over centuries, they generate a credible story of the evolution of the society.

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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Dilip Cherian

Dilli Ka Babu

Clean-up time

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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.

Bharat Bhushan

Rahul’s risen, now he needs to shine

Congress scion Rahul Gandhi has announced his party’s leadership transition with a bang. His dramatic intervention to scuttle the ordinance nullifying the Supreme Court order on convicted politicians in public life demonstrates his desire to dictate the future course of his party.

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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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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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Farrukh Dhondy

A toothy tale

“How far can you go If you’re not Rimbaud? How much do you dare If you’re not Baudelaire? Contemplate time In its grip be calm Drink a toast to Omar Khayyam” From Fatty Ravi the Kavi by Bachchoo

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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Nothing illustrates the cost of wantonly discarding democracy and handing over the government to unelected officials than the case of Uttarakhand.

An aspect of the ongoing AgustaWestland scandal that has drawn the loudest blood-lust at the gladiators’ circus called Twitter is the Rs 50 crore that middlemen are reported to have earmarked for “man