Air power is the most capital-intensive means of war. A modern fighter jet now could cost several hundred crores and the prices seem to be rising exponentially.
I returned to India in August 1946 after serving in Burma and Indonesia during the Second World War.
If February comes, can high-decibel talk about green shoots of the economy and the growth story be far behind? In the Budget season an outpouring of suggestions rents the air.
The import of the constitutional impasse in Arunachal Pradesh goes beyond the technicalities of gubernatorial action and powers that the Supreme Court is ascertaining.
Though the victory march of the Bharatiya Janata Party that began in 2014 was brought to a halt in 2015 with major setbacks in the Delhi and Bihar Assembly elections, there seems to be a reversal of t
The film Airlift is a commercial success. I was bewildered by its repeated attempts to suppress what is true and suggest what is false.
Suicides the world over are deceptive deaths and when they occur in succession, they give the appearance of being contagious.
On ground zero, Article 356 of the Indian Constitution is not at all a part of debate.
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
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.
India just celebrated 66 years of being a Republic based on the Constitution that grants to its citizens, among many other wonderful things, a network of rights — both individual and group.
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.
Terrorism and how best to contain the challenge was the central theme of French President Francois Hollande’s three-day visit to India as chief guest for the Republic Day parade.
Being workaholics and 24x7 people, Team Modi must be avid coffee drinkers, with a yen for espresso.
While writing a recent book on criminalised love and sex, I kept a short printout right by my laptop.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Start-Up India was the loudest bang on the weekend.
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.
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?
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.
The Supreme Court is moving quite firmly into the cultural and religious domain.
Mature democratic politics requires an Opposition that does not blindly oppose.
Congress insiders are convinced that communications department chief Randeep Singh Surjewala is positioning himself for a key role in party vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s office.
We are going through a strange period in our economic history. The finance minister spoke recently of the possibility of 9 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth by India this year.
Amitabh Kant, secretary in the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), has been appointed full-time CEO of Niti Aayog, the organisation which has replaced the erstwhile Nehruvian Plannin
All of us are archers of divine will. And, so, it is indispensable to know which instruments we have at our disposal.
“The anticipated betrayal means judgement of character; the unanticipated is a lesson in life” From Future Lives by Bachchoo
To fully understand the import of Kiku Sharda’s arrest for allegedly insulting the so-called godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Insaan, one has to consider that the comedian was picked up by the Haryana police
Last year, the cow was at the centre of many heated debates in India. As 2016 starts, it is the turn of the bull.
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
My alma mater, the University of Cambridge in England, celebrated its 800th birthday in the year 2009. A university that old does pick up legends and traditions. Here are some.
Last year, as he addressed the congregation from the pulpit of the mosque in Mosul, the self-styled caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi invited all Muslims to migrate to the Islamic State “because hijra to th
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal continues to ride a groundswell of support 11 months after his election.
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.
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.
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!
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
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
When a large American Internet company spends close to Rs 100 crore on a massive advertising campaign to push for a free service it is offering users of the Internet, something does not smell right.
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.
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
India and Pakistan have initiated dialogue several times over the last six decades, only to end the process amid acrimony.
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
Every organisation introspects as much about success as about failure. Some do so regularly; most do so when the environment in which they work throws up new challenges.
It is not the stuff of big front-page headlines or raucous debates on national television, but the year ended with heavy losses for the Bharatiya Janata Party and major gains for the Congress in local
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.
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
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
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
It is important to understand that juvenile crime is an outcome of violent culture in the society and family.
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
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
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
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.
On Tuesday, India joined the league of countries that punishes its children.
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.
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
If, imagine the unimaginable, that Republican presidential aspirant, Donald Trump, is an avatar of an Indian political leader, who would it be?
Most of the non-BJP parties have excoriated the judgment of the Supreme Court that upheld the constitutional validity of a law enacted by the Haryana government, which debars illiterate persons from c
It’s a huge story. And it’s not getting the kind of media attention it deserves. It’s a story about India’s farmers.
From the magnificent capital of pre-modern Japan, Kyoto, to the everlasting epitome of India, Kashi (Benaras or Varanasi), Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi have drawn a line of connection
Are members of Parliament free to disrupt the proceedings without any consequences?
Recent developments in the saga of genetically modified (GM) crops have begun to reveal the fault lines of this technology.
Unlike many political leaders who are inclined to shoot from the hip, Congress president Sonia Gandhi takes caution to an extreme.
Narratives of disasters are virtually summoned by the urgency and intensity of the event. They convey the immediacy of the loss, the helplessness and the range of destruction.
The message as Chennai limps back to normal from the grip of flooding that is bound to have countrywide consequences is that India does not need smart cities. It needs cities that are livable.
The victory of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar Assembly elections is certainly remarkable.
Maneka Gandhi, minister of women and child development , recently gave a call for pre-nuptial agreements to be recognised in India.
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.
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.
It is interesting to note that of over 23,000 trains running daily on the 65,000-km network of Indian Railways, two-third carry passengers, thereby contributing to just a third of the revenue while th
The global security situation is changing fast and India, currently focused on economic growth while it deals diplomatically with what is now being termed as “hybrid war”, needs to adapt quickly.
Indians are likely to be among the worst affected victims of climate change, with average temperatures in north India potentially rising by 2.9 to 5 degree celsius by 2080.
Participating in the Constitution Day deliberations in Parliament on November 26, home minister Rajnath Singh spoke about how the words “secular” and “socialist” were interpolated into the Preamble in
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?
My word! Are we touchy... or are we touchy? Our skins are getting thinner and thinner by the day.
Tolerance of the intolerant or intolerance of the tolerant: Which is the battle being fought in India today?
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
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
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.
It was in the month of Ramzan 2014 that there was an announcement about the establishment of the Caliphate.
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
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.
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.
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.
A variation of the former British statesman Harold Wilson’s remark that one week is a long time in politics is apt for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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.” <
As somebody rightly said, “it is more important to say ‘perfect’ things ‘imperfectly’ than to say ‘imperfect’ things ‘perfectly’.
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
Terrorist Massacre in Paris”, “The Horror”, “Carnage in Paris”, “The War in the Centre of Paris” — On Saturday morning I woke up to these headlines in the French press when all I wanted to know was th
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
It is a famous victory in Bihar for two regional leaders, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav, even as the over-confident Bharatiya Janata Party licks its wounds on its rout at the hands of the coaliti
Diyar fellow Indians, as you are knowing, we have recently completed our Karva Chauth festival, a great tradition celebrated in North India since centuries, and in rest of India since the ancient era
The bravest voice among all the voices raised against today’s climate of intolerance belongs to Shah Rukh Khan. That’s because he has the most to lose.
It is rare for indigenous tribes-people in the Arunachal Pradesh frontier to be in ferment.
Within a political climate of minority bashing, the request for derecognition of their adoption centres by the Missionaries of Charity (MoC), the religious institution founded by Mother Teresa, has ac
In 2008, before the climate summit in Copenhagen, I wrote the book Soil Not Oil.
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
The dramatic downturn in India-Nepal relations in recent weeks raises a number of questions.
So finally, here’s the announcement that British Indians have been impatiently waiting for! Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to the UK, in the second week of November.
I absolutely love the level of political discourse these days. Forget content. Forget style. Forget logic. Forget civility. When the gloves come off, what we get is straight and simple name calling.
It has been a fortnight since the Supreme Court struck down the Constitution (99th Amendment) Act and also declared the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, 2014, as unconstitutional and voi
Dal prices have been on fire and the bureaucrats and politicians have been caught napping once again. In the recent past, tur dal prices have crossed Rs 200 per kg.
In an article published in a financial daily a week ago, columnist Aakar Patel who readers of this paper are familiar with, tries imagining what it must be like to be a Muslim in today’s India.
Recent reports of a Chinese hydro-electric power project at Zangmu, feeding off the Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet (which in its lower reaches is the Brahmaputra in India) has come as an unpleasant su
Some years ago, a socially mobile Indian Foreign Service officer in charge of the high-profile external publicity division (XP), whose penchant for publicity of the Page 3 kind irked the then foreign
The resolution passed “unanimously” by the Sahitya Akademi (SA) — which still pretends it is India’s National Academy of Letters, no less — at its special meeting on October 23, leaves little doubt th
Article 44 of the Constitution of India stipulates that the State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code (UCC) throughout the territory of India.
Ravan is the epitome of evil — his effigy is burnt ritualistically every year during Dussehra, in every street corner in north India.
The Supreme Court of India, in a landmark verdict, declared the 99th Constitutional Amendment and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act void and unconstitutional.
What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? / Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? — Lady Macbeth
One of the essential components of the process of finding a home by adoption is to provide children and families a larger information base to the emerging identity and consciousness about adoption.
On July 17, 2015, when the Jammu and Kashmir high court’s division bench, comprising Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey, declared that signing of the “Instrument of Accession” wit
Many officials in the Uttar Pradesh government do not carry any visiting cards because they are not sure whether they will hold the same position the next day or not as there’s a possibility of becomi
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
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.
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?
The sharp and sudden collapse of international prices of crude oil brings significant short-term gains for the Indian economy.
The defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka’s presidential election is good riddance for the troubled island.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Rahul Gandhi’s intervention last Friday on the side of the Supreme Court and the people, and against the ordinance-in-the-making that seeks to bail out criminal politicians, was the stuff of history.
I’m a 20-year-old college student. I was in love with my classmate. Last month I broke up with her. She cheated on me. And now it is very hard for me to face her all day in class.
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
The personal is political. And the political is personal too. Only the incurably innocent or doggedly somnambulant would refuse to recognise this.
Slut as in slattern “Isn’t it strange? Isn’t it rich? That Panini The Grammarian of Sanskrit Is now an Italian sandwich?” From Hai Doonya!
It is easy to be nostalgic about US-India relations. Think of the days when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would gush to President George W.
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.
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.
“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
Gazing into India, on my occasional visits, standing on the Pakistani side of Wagah border, the only land crossing permitted along the border between India and Pakistan, I have inevitably, with moist eyes, remembered my late father.
Kajol, who lived on the upscale Altamount Road, had never seen life in the raw.
John Garver, a leading American expert on Sino-Indian relations, has likened Beijing’s strategy towards India to the Chinese way of cooking a frog. Plonk the frog in a vessel and turn up the heat slowly. If the water was hot to begin with or the temperature were to rise much too quickly, the frog would simply jump out and escape.
Nations on the march, or those in the dumps, have sometimes found great leaders to lift their spirits, offer a guiding vision, fuel ambition and help them leap forward. A down and out China found Deng Xiaoping, a fast-declining Britain got Margaret Thatcher, and a de-spirited America had Ronald Reagan.
Maverick, eccentric or unique? Which of these adjectives describe Justice Markandey Katju — the current chairman of the Press Council of India — adequately? Considering Justice Katju’s ability to shift from reality to fantasy without any forewarning, all of these epithets may fit on a given occasion, but none as aptly as I-centric.
One of the most tumultuous occurrences in the history of British media took place this year when some journalists working at the highly successful tabloid, News of the World , were accused of using underhanded means for news gathering.
In the next 10 days, Gujarat will go to polls, ostensibly to elect a legislative Assembly, but in reality to put a stamp of approval on its chief minister for over a decade, Narendra Modi. The only suspense is whether it does so with absolute conviction, that is, with a clear majority of votes cast, or through a plurality.
Once again, we are furiously debating parental abuse. A court in Norway has convicted an Indian couple for allegedly maltreating their seven-year-old son. This is the second time that Indian parents have fallen foul of Norwegian parenting laws. A furious war of words has broken out about good parenting.