Judging by the protracted slugfest between the Congress, the core of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the only other mainstream party that led a coalition government, the National Democratic Alliance, for six years (1998-2004), it would seem that the looming parliamentary poll is going to be an epic battle between “secular and communal forces”.
Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde is an interesting politician. He presents the picture of an amiable, avuncular kind of fellow, always smiling and ready to be friends with most people.
An amazing aspect of the fast escalating crisis over Ukraine, with Russia sending troops to the Crimean region, is that the United States and the European Union were so mesmerised by the prospect of bringing a nation of 45 million bordering Russia with deep historical ties into the Western-fold that they thought they could poke the Russian bear’s snout and get away with.
Ram Vilas Paswan has had quite a remarkable political career. He holds the unique distinction of being a part of all the national coalitions — the United Front, the National Democratic Alliance and the United Progressive Alliance. He also holds the record of being a Cabinet minister without a break from 1996 to 2009.
Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani had an unusual guest when he hosted a private lunch to celebrate his wedding anniversary last week at his Prithviraj Road residence. Delhi’s lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung was among the stream of visitors who turned up to wish the Advanis.
“Why do I find thee boring? Let me count the ways: It’s not just the global-warming, The rights of transsexuals and gays It’s not just the lactate intolerance And allergies by the score... I can’t tell you why you’re boring Without becoming a bore...” From Merey Aankhon ka Apple by Bachchoo
Weddings are safe. They ensure dollops of melodrama, as well as blasts of sound, or songs-and-dances which can be replicated in real life at the concatenation of sangeet, mehndi and constantly-multiplying shaadi ceremonies.
Poor Narendra Modi. The Iron Man. The man of muscle. One who claims to have a 56-inch chest. One who keeps bellowing about machismo. You are not fit to call yourself a man, he thunders, if women do not feel safe. One who has positioned himself as the top alpha male of Hindutva politics.
A recent news report announced that after the infamous pepper spray incident in the Lok Sabha, Google had swung into action to design smart cameras which will be programmed to “be intelligent, motorised eyes that can respond to obscenities of all types e.g. audio, visual, and, even social and political.
"Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage. This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other…” So trilled Frank Sinatra, the legendary American singer-actor, way back in 1955.
The chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, resigned after 49 days in office. He had been at loggerheads with the Centre on many issues, from corruption to bringing Delhi police under the Delhi government, an issue which came into focus after Aam Aadmi Party’s law minister Somnath Bharti conducted a midnight raid in Khirki Extension.
First things first. By all accounts, Rakesh Maria is an extremely capable police officer and deserves to be Mumbai’s police commissioner. Nevertheless, injustice has been done to Ahmed Javed, an officer respected in all quarters for his intelligence, ability, incorruptibility and polish, who should have been made the city’s police commissioner not just now, but almost a year ago.
There is no question that the attempt by the J. Jayalalithaa government to release seven people convicted for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi is preposterous and irresponsible.
The so-called media trials is only one of the disconcerting aspects of the proliferation of 24x7 news channels in an era where the capacity to reflect calmly is waning fast.
The Indian political process is likely to undergo a metamorphosis in the upcoming general elections with Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi set to challenge the Congress’ structures of power. This was somewhat unthinkable given Mr Modi’s social background.
There must be a method to this man’s madness. Or else, India is in serious trouble! Arvind Kejriwal seems hell bent on creating as much chaos as possible in the shortest amount of time.
Opinion polls in India, quite understandably, have a very mixed record.
With the Congress’ strategy of bifurcating Andhra as a means of retaining the 12 seats it currently holds in the proposed state of Telangana, still having to cross the last mile — negotiate a possible merger with a resurgent Telangana Rashtra Samithi that wants to get the better of the electoral bargain by pushing for six to eight seats rather than the two it currently holds — Congress strategists privately admit what has long been self-evident.
With the recent declassification of confidential documents by the United Kingdom’s National Archives under the 30-year rule, details of cooperation between the British and Indian governments have emerged regarding Operation Bluestar — the clearing operation at the Golden Temple undertaken by the Indian Army in June 1984.
With the recent declassification of confidential documents by the United Kingdom’s National Archives under the 30-year rule, details of cooperation between the British and Indian governments have emer
Since Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi has taken to tea-time tales —“chai pe charcha” — as a serious tool of political marketing (Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, not known for her humour, makes fun of him — she says she does this 365 days a year, not just before elections!), he might as well confirm that he will indeed be contesting the Lok Sabha election, and not wait for 272 to be in the bag before he just steps forward for coronation.
We are in the centenary year of World War I. A torrent of commemorations and commentaries is pouring out in the news media on international security in 1914 and 2014.
Indian society is often like a zoo, with a collection of animals selected for survival. I am not saying anyone of these is an Indian invention. But I must confess that the Indian variant is a peculiarly potent kind.
When asked about the proposed Third Front’s prime ministerial candidate, Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa dismissed the question as being pointless before the election results were out.
In his speech on January 17, 2014, Rahul Gandhi, the vice-president of the Congress Party, requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to provide 12 cooking gas cylinders a year at the subsided rate, instead of nine.
Do all nation-states originate in conquest and chicanery? Can people of the same colour colonise each other? These questions flashed through my mind when Srinath Raghavan, senior fellow of the Centre for Policy Research and probably the most respected historian of modern India, quoted Edmund Burke’s famous opening words when impeaching Warren Hastings, “There is a sacred veil to be drawn over the beginning of all governments.”
It is well known that I have been a bitter critic of Narendra Modi as he is a leader from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh whose ideological position is communal and political agenda is communalism.
It is par for the course for politicians to adopt particular issues and make them the centrepiece of their agitational politics. In 1920, Mahatma Gandhi joined the Khilafat Movement to bring Hindus and Muslims together on the plank of non-cooperation with the British.
The Central Bureau of Investigation and Central Vigilance Commission seem to be taking adversarial positions on senior appointments in the nation’s premier investigative agency.
While Narendra Modi sends Bhagat Singh to the Andamans, Alexander to the Ganga and Takshashila to Bihar, one other thing needs to be considered. What aspects of higher policy is he in control of?
Great train journeys are a fixture on the landscape of Indian nostalgia. Whenever you are stuck for conversation, all you have to do is whisper something like, “Don’t you love travelling by train?”, and all manner of stories will come tumbling forth.
The philosopher Nietzsche said, “Man alone suffers so much that he was compelled to invent laughter.” The first human laughter may have been as a gesture of shared relief at the passing of danger. That also explains why people tend to laugh in a horror film after a scary moment passes.
As the drama from the Aam Aadmi Party’s dharna at Rail Bhavan in Delhi ebbed and middle-class India searched for a new messiah, it was clear that it would be the Bharatiya Janata Party and its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, and not the Congress and its allies, who would benefit from the unravelling.
Andhra state was the first new state to be created in Independent India by separating the Telugu-speaking area of old Madras Province in 1953. Telangana denotes the Telugu-speaking area of the former state of Hyderabad — a name that was well known much before Andhra state was born.
Arvind Kejriw-al’s neo-Gandh-ian protest, spendi-ng a night on a pavement abutting Parliament, and Rahul Gandhi’s meandering interview with Arnab Goswami, rekindling public scrutiny of Congress inaction on the perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, first eclipsed the presence in Delhi of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and now continues to deflect attention from developments beyond Indian borders.
The force of love is the same as the force of the soul or truth. We have evidence of its working at every step M.K. Gandhi
Arnab Goswami’s interview of Rahul Gandhi, which aired on Monday night, was a coup of sorts. The Gandhi family is notoriously press-unfriendly and interviews of India’s most famous political family — or “dynasty” to its detractors — are rare. But having achieved this miracle — snatched last minute from other news channels as the gossip goes — what did Mr Goswami do with Mr Gandhi?
The by and large dismissive reaction to the “great Rahul Gandhi interview” is on expected lines. After all, every political leader will have a different view of how they would have tackled the same questions.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free… Rabindranath Tagore
This Republic Day, I watched the Indian high commissioner ceremonially lay a wreath at the impressive Indian Peace-Keeping Force war memorial in Colombo. Sri Lankan Navy buglers suitably participated in the solemn function.
If certain opinion polls are to believed and if the views of particular commentators in the media are to be considered seriously, the ascendancy of Narendra Modi to the post of Prime Minister of India is a foregone conclusion.
The recent revelation that China is negotiating to build three new nuclear plants worth $13 billion in Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan’s Punjab province reinforces the longstanding reality of the former purposefully undermining India’s national security.
No conversation about Old Blighty is ever complete without discussing the weather, which becomes weirder day by day. It has been a severe winter, so far, but there has also been flooding.
Now that the golden boy of the Sangh Parivar, Narendra Modi, has outlined what economic programmes a government led by him would pursue, a clearer idea emerges of who would benefit the most under his
The suicide bomber, who detonated himself last Friday at the entrance of the Taverna di Liban, in Kabul’s tony Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood, killing 21 people in the popular watering hole, and the m
It is election time. Issues of governance, ideas of India, lacklustre economy, jobless youth and a directionless nation are all staring at us for answers.
“If your son or your daughter Becomes an inveterate snorter Don’t ask them ‘why?’— You didn’t apply The disciplines mums and dads oughter” From Ain-e-Firang by Bachchoo
If she had survived the ravages of times, she would have been 82 this year.
The year 2014 has seen the public discourse in India shift to internal political drama, even turning the Devyani Khobragade saga into India, like the proverbial David, catapulting diplomatic pebbles a
When are you joining the Aam Aadmi Party?” a friend asked me the other day. I first thought it was a jocular remark. I soon found that he was being serious. “So then,” I said to him.
India, once an epicentre of the polio virus, is in celebration mode. There has not been a single new case of polio in the country since January 13, 2011.
Until the arrival of Nicolaus Copernicus, it was generally believed that man was “at the centre” of the universe.
Are celebrations still on at the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) after the recent successful flight of the Geostationary Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) using a technologically compl
New Year brings with it the annual, much-awaited Honours List. Predictably, agitated Londoners get busy scanning newspapers finding out whether one of their own has made it.
The recently held elections in Bangladesh have considerably worsened the crisis facing the country.
The single moment that lifted Prime Minister Manmohan’s Singh’s press conference out of the ordinary was his declaration that Narendra Modi would be a disastrous Prime Minister for India.
No man’s land is land under international law, land between nations or disputing parties, land under dispute, where uncertainty and ambiguity govern, land that no authority or state controls but significantly where no laws, national or others, apply.
The Year 2013 dawned under the dark clouds of the gangrape on December 16, 2012, and the consequent death of the nameless brave heart victim.
I have been associated with military operations in Kashmir from day one — October 27, 1947. I served for over a decade in different Army ranks and in all regions of Kashmir.
Unlike the vast majority of postcolonial states which failed to enshrine democratic institutions and norms, India stands out as a striking anomaly.
A red underline on my PC screen warns me that “Christmas” is an “uncountable noun” that has no plural. I assure you that I have lived through many “Christmases” in this “Incredible India”, each a different version of the One Birth of Jesus.
With the benefit of hindsight, a plethora of wise words surrounds us on how the Khobragade case should have been handled by the government — our embassy included — and how, once the case surfaced, Ms
It’s amazing how far we’ve come as a species. Whenever I use the Internet, I’m amazed how close it’s getting to replace the telephone.
December 16 — as we mark the day of shame, anguish and frustration, it is also important to register that it was a major turning point for the anti-rape movement in the country, which started in 1980 after the adverse Supreme Court verdict in the Mathura rape case.
The Indian media is presenting a glorious conclusion of the Bali ministerial, saying the Indian stand had prevailed and that India had indeed bent the US and EU to its will.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who passed away on Thursday, did not need the trappings of high office to command respect. Long before he became South Africa’s first non-white President, elected through universal franchise in 1994, the man who had spent 27 years in prison had become a mythic figure, as J.M. Coetzee wrote in his essay, Waiting for Mandela (1986).
My sister got married in 1994. She is a housewife and is dependent on her husband financially. Some of our relatives and my brother-in-law’s neighbours have seen him with one particular guy, in a very intimate positions. But no one has questioned him because my sister has instructed us not to mention it, as Anant, her husband, is very short-tempered.
The horrific and sad culmination of the story of Aarushi Talwar’s family has shook every Indian to the core. It is time we try to find the reality of the proverbial love between parents and children.
In the Aarushi double murder case, aside from the factual matrix, the singularly important legal issue that has invited debate is whether a conviction can be based on circumstantial evidence alone in
Indian English writing doesn’t attract me because it is either mediocre or boring. Of course there are a few exceptions like G.V. Desani and Irwin Allan Sealy.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was held in Colombo on November 15, where 27 out of 53 heads of government converged, but with three significant absentees — the leaders of India, Mauritius (which was to be the next chair) and Canada.
The chaos in court over the Niira Radia tapes only reveals elements of the big issues embedded within.
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.
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.
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.
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.