S.K. Sinha

Re-making a capital

The unnecessary controversy about renaming Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi as Dr A.P.J.

Anil Dharker

The dream seller

It’s an old cliche to say that we live in two countries — India and Bharat. The distinction is generally made along the urban-rural divide.

Kishwar Desai

Of museums and memoirs

Hell hath no fury like a would-be minister scorned.

Siddharth Pai

How the west was won

Plenty of ink has been spilt on the Prime Minister’s recent visit to California where he received a resounding reception from people of Indian origin and from executives at the helm of some of the wor

Ashok Malik

Murder is murder

Mohammad Akhlaq’s horrific killing in Dadri, in western Uttar Pradesh, just outside Delhi, is an act of infamy.

Dilip Cherian

Exodus continues

The manthan is continuing.

Aakar Patel

Why videshi desis cheer for Modi

This piece is about the Indians abroad whom we have seen so much of in the last 16 months.

Farrukh Dhondy

London clubs and their colour bar

“The book says that the snake misleads But Eve now knows it’s love The emotion that sows the seeds Of venom when push comes to shove! The apple was hardly to blame Was plucking it a sin?

Manish Tewari

The sum of Modi’s diplomacy is zero

In the past 16 months the Prime Minister of India has travelled aboard 29 times. It roughly translates into two overseas visits a month. In the next four months another eight trips are on the anvil.

Shobhaa’s Take

Abyss of intolerance

A few weeks ago, I had two hours to kill between flights at Singapore’s Changi airport. I was on a mission. Two, in fact.

Wasbir Hussain

Naga peace hostage to Delhi’s doublespeak

Myanmar is actively engaged in peace talks with a key Naga insurgent group whose cadres straddle the densely wooded international border at a time when New Delhi has clamped a ban on the rebel group.

Sanjeev Ahluwalia

The San Jose window

So what did the Silicon dudes, collectively representing around $500 billion in purchasing power, think of the case placed before them by the self-made, roughhewn yet charismatic Indian Prime Minister

Swapan Dasgupta

Food sovereignty

Those who have had the good fortune of travelling to China as part of any Indian delegation will readily testify to the generous and lavish hospitality of offer.

A. Rangarajan

Das Auto. Das Scam.

When assistant professor Arvind Thiruvengadam at the West Virginia University applied for a grant from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) to augment resources at his modest lab i

Shiv Visvanathan

Reimagining Gandhi

Anniversaries are moments of conscience; they remind us of things we have forgotten. But, often, they are empty rituals which become a substitute for authenticity.

Bishwajit Bhattacharyya

Black-money farce

Declare foreign assets by Septemb-er 30, 2015, or perish”, thundered the government on September 21.

Shankar Roychowdhury

Turbulent Terai

Fate has been harsh to Nepal, a small Himalayan country, arguably amongst the most impoverished in the world.

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Walk before you sprint

All this heady talk of digital India makes me think we are aspiring to sprint before learning to walk.

S. Nihal Singh

All hands on the deck

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has scored a diplomatic coup by inserting his country into the rearming of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad with new weapons and plans to set up an air base in the A

Arun Kumar Singh

Biding time to reach the trillion dollar club

I write this article with some authority based on my visits to almost all nations (except Afghanistan) of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and not only having lectured there, but discussed with think tan

Anita Katyal

Deserters, foes and the heir apparent

The Bharatiya Janata Party has not declared its chief ministerial candidate in Bihar, but it is assumed that former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi is the chosen one.

Pavan K. Varma

The Stepford Babus

My late father, who was in the Indian Civil Service (ICS), used to tell me a story about the functioning of the bureaucracy that I think is relevant.

Sidharth Bhatia

Gandhis preside over grumbling status quo

Reports are floating around in the media that several senior leaders in the Congress are informally discussing breaking away from the mothership and starting their own party.

Mohan Guruswamy

Making a case for run-off elections

The National Democratic Alliance government is getting increasingly beleaguered.

Anshuman Behera

Constitutional bias

A painful decade of bloody Maoist insurgency and then another decade of failed attempts later, Nepal, on September 20, got itself a new Constitution, a development that has led to celebrations in Kath

Mohan K. Tikku

Netaji and mystery of the secret files

Now that Mamata Banerjee has served the appetiser, everybody is hungering after the big meal.

Patralekha Chatterjee

Smart cities need smart healthcare

What do Delhi’s headline-grabbing Aedes mosquitoes have in common with the city’s equally notorious political aides? To start with, neither feels threatened by mere talk about clean surroundings.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

No reason to rejoice

Three months before the end of the calendar year, it is already apparent that 2015 will go down in contemporary history as a watershed year for the planet’s political economy.

Rajiv Bhatia

‘Kingmaker’ Suu Kyi?

Hardly a year passes without an election somewhere in India, but it is a rarity in Myanmar. Here people will have the opportunity to exercise their franchise on November 8.

Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi

Rescuing Islam, one fatwa at a time

“Declaring the atrocities of Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) as against the basic tenets of Islam, over 1,050 Islamic scholars in India have issued a fatwa against the terror group…”

Yogi Aggarwal

‘Smart’ cities: An idea we can’t afford

The problem with “smart” cities is that there is no end to the smartness.

Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Promise or performance?

Electors in Bihar will determine not just who will govern the state for the next term but will also decide the extent of mortal and political authority that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is left with.

Flavia Agnes

To honour and protect

A decade after enacting the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (or the Domestic Violence Act) on September 13, 2005, which was meant to revolutionalise family relationships in India, the B

Patralekha Chatterjee

The Big Ban Theory

Luckily, fantasies cannot be criminalised. Salivating for that scrumptious piece of tender meat is still legal.

Javed Anand

Syrian refugees’ new ‘ummah’

Daddy, please don’t die!” three-year-old Aylan had pleaded with his father as Abdullah Kurdi struggled unsuccessfully to save his two children and wife from drowning in the Aegean Sea.

Charles Marquand

EU’s refugee influx & Schengen’s future

In mid-August, I took my son to Calais to catch the cross-channel ferry to England.

Khalid Mohamed

Fodder for fantasy factory

Daring twists in the plot are a spectator sport, be it in cinema, theatre or real life.

Pradip Phanjoubam

In Northeast, lines of conflict

Eight more young lives have been lost, this time in Manipur’s southern district of Churachandpur in the most recent explosion of violence since the agitation for and against the implementation of the

K.N. Bhat

Divide and reserve

The divide and rule policy of the British invented reservation in favour of the so-called “backward classes” on the basis of caste and in provinces like Madras the policy yielded fruit.

Claude Arpi

Why does the state keep secrets?

Now that defence minister Manohar Parrikar has complained that a murder story is getting more coverage than the 50th anniversary of the 1965 “victory” against Pakistan, in the coming weeks, the Indian

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

When facts are few and fiction flies

As frenzy over a young girl’s presumed murder three years ago gripped the media, I wracked my brains to think if I had ever met Sheena Bora while visiting my son when he lived in Bandra, Mumbai.

Paulo Coelho

Importance of meditating without a cat

A great Zen master, in charge of the monastery of Mayu Kagi, owned a cat, who was the real love of his life.

Ranjona Banerji

Crying wolf on gender

As the compelling and crazy Sheena Bora murder case unfolds before us, detail by bizarre detail, the main focus remains on the prime murder accused Indrani Mukerjea.

Sudhanshu Ranjan

Right to privacy: It’s in our DNA

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India is to pronounce whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right or not.

Sreeram Chaulia

Soft power outage

A comprehensive new ranking of countries labelled “Soft Power 30” by a London-based political consultancy, Portland Communications, carries a rude awakening for India.

Jayant V. Narlikar

Kepler-452b: A space odyssey

The discovery of a new planet is always an occasion to celebrate. For it may generate a rise in confidence (so far unproven) that we are not alone in the universe.

Deepak Pental

The GMO in your mustard is good

Personalities that aspire to be cult figures often resort to hyperbole and lies and Vandana Shiva has done exactly this in her piece, GMO in my mustard, which appeared in this newspaper on August 12,

Dr S.S. Rajagopalan

A retrograde step indeed

I had never been an apologist for the Right to Education Act of 2009 for it was not brought out with any political will to provide all children quality education.

Jayaprakash A. Gandhi

Exams will bring out best in kids

The Central government's decision to have annual examination for every class from 1st to 12th is definitely a positive move, because students need a minimum knowledge and performance which should be e

Om Puri

No misbehaviour, please

As an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, I feel sad seeing what has been happening at the prestigious institute for months now.

Neena Gopal

Shifting sands

Weeks after the Babri Masjid demolition in Decem-ber 1992 by crazed pracharaks, a handful of Indian — and Pakistani — expatriates stormed the Krishna temple tucked away in the warren of shops in the I

Suparn Verma

A tragic twist in a sad talkie

A little over 70 days ago the government in its infinite wisdom appointed six people to helm the affairs of India’s premier film institute, the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.

Aditya Sinha

The spy who led Pak’s deep state

In 1993, Kashmiri separatist Firdous Syed got to meet Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul, who had formerly headed the Pakistan Army’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate and who had retired the previous

K.C. Singh

Good start, but Gulf game still open

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s August 16-17 United Arab Emirates visit produced pictures of bonhomie, ending with fist-clenched slogans to Mother India in Dubai in a stadium packed with expatriate Ind

Varun Gandhi

Time to open the eastern gates

The formation of a “Naga Club” by 20 young men of the French Labour Corps in 1918 initiated the longest insurgency in modern Indian history.

Pradeep Kaushiva

The arithmetic of honour

The current media discourse on One Rank, One Pension (OROP) is focused only on the financial aspect of the issue which, perhaps, is understandable.

Antara Dev Sen

Clean our money

It will take much more than curious laws to clean up our dirty money.

Praveen Davar

How August 15 became Independence Day

Gurdaspur has been in the news lately but, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons.

C. Raj Kumar

Death penalty fails the test of humanity

The recent execution of Yakub Memon after his conviction in the Mumbai blasts case of 1993 has brought the debate regarding death penalty in India into a sharper focus.

Amit A. Pai

Supreme Court and the dice of death

Death penalty is barbaric and inhuman in its effect, mental and physical upon the condemned man and is positively cruel.

Abhijit Bhattacharyya

J&K is not sovereign

What often goes unnoticed is the fact that the genesis of Kashmir (commonly known as Jammu and Kashmir) is linked to 565 princely states, which became independent along with the birth of two sovereign

Shruti Seth

Colour blind

Lately, I have been feeling that I am part of a dwindling minority that has the ability to differentiate between colours since most people in my city, Mumbai, seem rather deficient in this regard.

Shantha Sinha

Bachpan bachao

Eleven-year-old Lachimi has no time to play with friends, enjoy leisure, study or even do homework.

Samit Tandon

Gadar se Bajrangi tak

“When we are young, we invent different futures for ourselves; when we are old we invent different pasts for others.” — Julian Barnes in his 2011 prize-winning novel,

Faizan Mustafa

Let universities choose their V-C

Under the new regualtions of the University Grants Commission, even Albert Einstein cannot become a vice-chancellor of an Indian university.

Karan Singh

Population: The forgotten problem

In all the recent activity that we have witnessed on the economic front, representing a continuous attempt to free the economy from the clutches of red-tape, statism and rampant bureaucracy, there is

Shashi Tharoor

‘Britain owes India an apology’

At the end of May, the Oxford Union held a debate on the motion “This house believes Britain owes reparations to her former colonies”.

S. Raghotham

Thank you, Dr Singh

Quick, how many joint statements between leaders of nations have their own “anniversaries”!

Suchi Govindarajan

Tests of faith

You should’ve seen it coming”, my PT sir said. He was right. What he didn’t know was that I was a pre-teen with all the hand-eye coordination of a drunk panda.

Farrukh Dhondy

Dregs of democracy

“The innocent are struck by lightning — it’s frightening! Tsunamis wreck all before them — it’s mayhem! Earthquakes, floods, acts of God — it’s really odd

Vandana Shiva

Eat local

We have an epidemic in India of food and lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, infertility and heart attacks with the number of diagnosed cases of cancer jumping from 8.2

Vikram Sood

Been there, done that

It is perhaps best to describe the recent Nawaz Sharif and Narendra Modi meeting in Ufa as “been there done that” in the India-Pakistan context.

C. Raj Kumar

Raising the bar for legal education

The recent announcement by commerce secretary Rajeev Kher that the government will, in a phased manner, open up India’s non-litigation and international arbitration services to foreign law firms is a

Charles Marquand

A punch in the gut for eurozone

On Sunday, July 5, another chapter opened in the odyssey of Greece’s tortured relations with the eurozone.

Anand K. Sahay

Decoding the Modi mystique

When it was observed in this column a month ago that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suffered a precipitous loss of popularity within one year flat, faster than his predecessors who lasted longer tha

Arun Kumar Singh

Underwater chakravyuh

Unlike India, where submarine force levels have reached an all-time low of 13 obsolete conventional subs, China has always regarded its conventional and nuclear submarines as the spearhead of its long

Talmiz Ahmad

Saudi, Iran and the Islamic divide

Over the last year and-a-half, Iran and the P5+1 have steadily reached various milestones in their negotiations on the nuclear issue.

Mohan Guruswamy

The smart way to smart cities

Most capital cities have a concentration of government offices of various tiers and responsibilities crowded in as close as possible to the real and imagined corridors of power.

Indira Jaising

Emergency 2.0

It was on June 26, 1975, that the Emergency was declared in the country.

S. Nihal Singh

Emergency in the newsroom

Nothing energises a news room as much as a cataclysmic event. The Emergency clamped on the country late on the night of June 25-26, 1975, merited such a description.

V.M. Pandit

Case of buried SIT reports, from Emergency to Indira assassination

The declaration of a state of Emergency in India forty years ago is a matter of debate even now.

Saad Bin Jung

A ‘niyat’ for secularism

Yoga being branded and fought over as a Hindu discipline, one that is against the edicts of Islam, on one hand befuddles me and on the other exposes a very fundamental discord in our country — the Hin

Vinay Kaura

A history of humiliation

Representing India in the special representative-level boundary talks with China, national security adviser Ajit Kumar Doval is performing the most challenging diplomatic trouble-shooting tasks on beh


Pradeep S. Mehta

Regulating dream realty

In spite of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development and comments of relevant stakeholders, including consumer organisations, industry associations, academia, e


Manipur’s moment of resolution

Indian Army’s Special Forces taking out the militants who ambushed an Indian Army convoy in Manipur is a rare show of resolve, and a warning to those who think they are safe in hideouts in Myanmar.


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.


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.


Dilip Cherian

Dilli Ka Babu

Clean-up time

  • 11 comment

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.


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

  • 11 comment

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray

Why terrorism has an Islamic stamp

A Muslim is not a terrorist. A terrorist is not a Muslim”.


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.


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


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.


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!

  • 11 comment

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.


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.

  • 11 comment

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.

  • 11 comment

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.


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.


The unnecessary controversy about renaming Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi as Dr A.P.J.

It’s an old cliche to say that we live in two countries — India and Bharat. The distinction is generally made along the urban-rural divide.