Saturday, Oct 25, 2014
Less LoC, more FTA
Less LoC, more FTA

Trade talks are crucial to normalising bilateral ties. Kashmir can wait.

Two laws on censorship
Two laws on censorship

Documentaries are held to a different standard than Bollywood films.

For a second wave
For a second wave

To enable infrastructure investment, financing bottlenecks must be removed and bankruptcy procedures created.

Rural issues, local solutions
Rural issues, local solutions

For rural India, trust, empathy, aspiration and empowerment are as important as toilets

The train’s on track
The train’s on track

The government seems to be missing the larger picture in the reconstruction efforts.

MGNREGA is unwell
MGNREGA is unwell

But tinkering with labour materials ratio or its coverage is not the right medicine

Change, Chetan Bhagat style
Change, Chetan Bhagat style

Game the system for love, money and a Bollywoodesque happy ending

This transaction is still incomplete
This transaction is still incomplete

Opening accounts and issuing cards create numbers but amount to little.

End of the American century
End of the American century

Obama’s strategic failures in dealing with the IS indicates how far US hegemony has been eroded.

Polled into exhaustion
Polled into exhaustion

Partly due to election fatigue, TV news’ coverage of the assembly election results was less than riveting.

No endgame in Hong Kong
No endgame in Hong Kong

Beijing is likely to restore order in the short term. But does it have a long-term solution to the crisis of governability?

Chinese takeaway: Modi and Jokowi
Chinese takeaway: Modi and Jokowi

There are good reasons why Prime Minister Narendra Modi should start paying serious attention to the new Indonesian president.

New sick man of Europe?
New sick man of Europe?

France is battling a bad case of collective despondency.

View from the left: Make hay in India
View from the left: Make hay in India

An editorial says that Modi, in his first Independence Day speech, had spoken about making India an industrial hub.

Centre, state, Modi
Centre, state, Modi

Will the BJP’s dominance rework federal equations?

An exit that shows the way
An exit that shows the way

A new generation of Indian entrepreneurs is looking to leaders like Murthy, Nilekani and Gopalakrishnan on how to do it right.

Shooting ourselves in the foot
Shooting ourselves in the foot

Experience and government statistics show that machismo has never worked as a plan against Pakistan.

New old  friends
New old friends

Mexico and India have enjoyed a close bilateral relationship for decades. It is set to gain a new impetus now.

A Hindu-Muslim couple walks into a bar...
A Hindu-Muslim couple walks into a bar...

Go on, complete the joke. It’s time someone declared open season on ‘love jihad’, writes Altaf Tyrewala.

They gave Modi a walkover
They gave Modi a walkover

Modi has a map for the future. Regional chieftains only have a Tughlaqesque politics.

Why Tirole
Why Tirole

From patent pools to platform pricing, his wide body of work resonates.

Modi, for many reasons
Modi, for many reasons

Caste played a diminished role in Haryana and Maharashtra. BJP must seize the opportunity, make its own politics more open.

BJP, like Congress
BJP, like Congress

BJP’s success shows that there is no alternative to Congress-style politics. Or that it is yet to emerge.

New voter, old Sena
New voter, old Sena

Maharashtra verdict is snub to parochial politics. Regional parties need a new plan.

The Haryana leap
The Haryana leap

BJP success hinged crucially on winning over leaders from other parties.

Marriage, politics, propaganda

The creation of the ‘love jihad’ frenzy has little to do with fact or religion, writes Subhashini Ali.

Out of my mind: Honouring Gandhi
Out of my mind: Honouring Gandhi

The last time he came to London was in 1931 for the Second Round Table Conference.

Fifth Column: Do we hear a death knell?
Fifth Column: Do we hear a death knell?

Democratic feudalism has reduced our smaller states to fiefdoms over which a handful of families lay claim.

Flip Side: Going crackers
Flip Side: Going crackers

The latest arsenal of fireworks comes with some interesting variations. Here are the more popular ones.

Inside Tracker: Weeding out laws
Inside Tracker: Weeding out laws

The Congress seemed to have conceded defeat even before the results of the Assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra were announced.

From the comfort zone: Digital barbarian
From the comfort zone: Digital barbarian

The modern harmonica of ten holes and two metal reed plates was invented by an European named Richter around 1825.

And peanuts for MGNREGA
And peanuts for MGNREGA

It has given 100 million work with dignity. What more could a government want?

Islam for peace, or violence?
Islam for peace, or violence?

Religion doesn’t need reform, its followers do.

A used-up slogan, a persisting rumour
A used-up slogan, a persisting rumour

RSS crafted the ‘Love Jihad’ campaign but will find it difficult to revive it.

Unfathomable greatness
Unfathomable greatness

An incurable romantic, poetry suited Begum Akhtar’s temperament.

Fear and disillusion

A terror warning unleashes a frisson ahead of the SAARC summit.

A case for low idealism

The low idealist recoils from any movement that promises new beginnings.

Do it like Alappuzha
Do it like Alappuzha

What Swachh Bharat could learn from a port town in Kerala.

Politics and loathing
Politics and loathing

Election rallies are less about hope, more about hype — and hate.

A real threat, a phobic fantasy
A real threat, a phobic fantasy

We need to rise above the left-right divide to investigate the menace of ‘love jihad’ with thorough precision.

The girl who lived
The girl who lived

Why, for many in Pakistan, it is safer to think of Malala as an American spy.

Singing it out loud
Singing it out loud

Hong Kong protesters have relied on pop culture to get their message across.

Criticism in the age of Narendra Modi
Criticism in the age of Narendra Modi

He honed in on the yearning to defeat defeatism. How do you lock horns with that?

And then he vanished
And then he vanished

Imagine the majestic Kim hobbling around, looking a little worse for wear. It would humanise him for his audience.

Love, control and punishment
Love, control and punishment

The prohibition against inter-community marriages is not an invention of Hindutva. But Hindutva articulates and disseminates it most systematically, writes Tanika Sarkar.

Telling the right reform from the wrong
Telling the right reform from the wrong

Moves to dilute labour-material ratio in MGNREGA and focus exclusively on select backward blocks will adversely impact rural poor.

Looking it in the eye
Looking it in the eye

TV channels competed to provide edgy coverage of Cyclone Hudhud.

States of the party
States of the party

In Maharashtra and Haryana, a BJP strategy to reshape local identities from above

The talent problem
The talent problem

Our municipal corporations suffer from a lack of expertise

Intermarriage is not jihad, it is India
Intermarriage is not jihad, it is India

India is a mix and to deny this is to cheat ourselves of our inheritance, writes Saif Ali Khan.

Good cities are safe cities
Good cities are safe cities

Urban planning and flood management must be woven into India’s growth story.

The critical optimist
The critical optimist

Abbas Ali, INA veteran and social stalwart, lived a life of pragmatic idealism.

Wanted: dogma-free models of inflation
Wanted: dogma-free models of inflation

It is incumbent on experts, policymakers to construct models that stand up to the tests of reality

Standing up for children
Standing up for children

Kailash Satyarthi’s relative inconspicuousness in public life thus far speaks of a larger social failure

A new form of quarantine
A new form of quarantine

We need to reconsider our strategy for containing Ebola

The nativist’s dilemma
The nativist’s dilemma

Shiv Sena’s journey has culminated where it began — on an anti-Gujarat plank. But the context of state politics has changed

Malala, despite Pakistan
Malala, despite Pakistan

The Nobel prize winner will find it difficult to return to the country she wants to serve

Rear View: A missing government, an international crisis
Rear View: A missing government, an international crisis

As the Red Army crossed into the land of the Afghans, for the US Pakistan turned almost overnight from a pariah country into a ‘frontline state’ in the war on ‘godless Russians’.

Politics 4.0
Politics 4.0

A new politics, anchored in execution and keeping promises, is taking shape

The appropriation of Gandhi
The appropriation of Gandhi

The RSS has hated Gandhi but has had no option but to praise him in public, especially after his assassination.

Faking it
Faking it

UGC guidelines on academic fraud should go beyond plagiarism

Nextdoor Nepal: In reverse gear
Nextdoor Nepal: In reverse gear

Prachanda stepping in to take charge of the peace process does not inject any fresh hope.

Out of my mind: Elections forever
Out of my mind: Elections forever

The BJP’s problem is a severe shortage of capable people at the top.

Fifth Column: Modi’s first real test
Fifth Column: Modi’s first real test

The Congress dream has always been only to “alleviate” poverty.

Flip Side: Words of war
Flip Side: Words of war

Pakistan decides that India must pay the penalty, and so the shootout begins, as in the final.

Inside track: Health rumours
Inside track: Health rumours

But he developed two complications in quick succession — a stomach infection and then a lung infection.

From the discomfort zone: Sardinian sojourn
From the discomfort zone: Sardinian sojourn

There once were 10,000 megalithic stone dolmens scattered across the island depicting prehistoric architecture.

After the spectacle
After the spectacle

He’s made his US debut. Now Modi needs to get himself a diplomatic GPS.

It’s raining forecasts
It’s raining forecasts

But the IMD’s monsoon predictions are too wide to be useful to farmers.

World Bank isn’t telling it like it is
World Bank isn’t telling it like it is

It is better to show higher world poverty by raising the poverty line than to distort history by using obsolete and questionable data

Who’s eminent?
Who’s eminent?

The ‘eminent persons’ on the judicial appointments commission must be well versed in judicial processes.

Poor marks for research
Poor marks for research

Indian universities will not figure in global rankings unless there is a structural overhaul of the research system.

The chronicler  of Paris
The chronicler of Paris

In choosing Modiano, Nobel Committee shrugs off criticism that it favours obscure Eurocentric writers.

Maximum mistrust
Maximum mistrust

Our fascination with surveillance-based discipline stems from a culture of control.

Quieter, steadier
Quieter, steadier

Jan Dhan Yojana would be better off without aggressive deadlines.

Cultivating conspiracies
Cultivating conspiracies

If Pakistan is going through one of its typical convulsions, simply blame the CIA, Mossad, RAW, the US.

Leading from the centre
Leading from the centre

The BJP, no longer a bit player in Haryana, is relying heavily on Modi in a multi-cornered contest.

Handle age with care
Handle age with care

India does a poor job of caring for its elderly. Government can start by introducing a midday meal scheme.

A new Panchsheel
A new Panchsheel

Modi brings five new emphases to the way India deals with the world.

Failure to take off
Failure to take off

Air chief has pointed to worrying absences in air defence.

The quality of judges
The quality of judges

For judicial office to attract the best talent, raise judges’ salaries and their age of retirement.

Not dancing to VHP tune
Not dancing to VHP tune

In Gujarat, as always, Muslims were present at garbas as organisers, entertainers and participants.

On the  poll trip
On the poll trip

From Bhiwani to Bhiwandi, TV channels are riding pillion with political leaders.

Coal and punishment
Coal and punishment

SC order was sweeping. Now government must denationalise coal.

A fragile arrangement
A fragile arrangement

The first challenge for new Afghan government will be keeping itself together.

Arithmetic, not ‘love jihad’
Arithmetic, not ‘love jihad’

Alteration in the electoral landscape had a larger impact on BJP’s UP bypoll performance than its Hindutva campaign.

Chemistry is overrated
Chemistry is overrated

Benefits of a personal relationship between leaders of nations are exaggerated.

Chinesetakeaway: Not so coy
Chinesetakeaway: Not so coy

The reference says more about India’s changing political attitude under Modi.

Cleaning up sarkar
Cleaning up sarkar

It won’t be easy. First, revisit the General Financial Rules.

Mob and the city
Mob and the city

State response to attack on Africans in Delhi has been ineffective and perfunctory.

Cleansing Gandhi of radicalism
Cleansing Gandhi of radicalism

By re-discovering Gandhi as only an icon of cleanliness, government has taken the first step towards dismantling his legacy.

Don’t blame MSP for inflation
Don’t blame MSP for inflation

Ill-thought-out assertions about the efficacy of monetary policy can unhinge private expectations of inflation.

Pakistan in Turkey’s mirror
Pakistan in Turkey’s mirror

Having helped create the IS, Ankara has reasons to fear a Taliban-like blowback.

Look who’s splurging
Look who’s splurging

The trademark austerity of southern India’s billionaires is fast disappearing.

Rhetoric signifying something
Rhetoric signifying something

Unlike so many past communiques, the India-US vision document is granular in content and far-reaching in aspiration.

Most wanted ally
Most wanted ally

It is critical to conclude the US-Iran nuclear deal so that a bust-up does not add to the mayhem in the Middle East.

The other saffron
The other saffron

Adityanath belongs to a distinct ideological tradition that is growing more assertive.

A plan for coal
A plan for coal

Sensible principles have become a casualty in the noisy pricing debate.

Banking on diversity
Banking on diversity

A diversified banking sector can help promote viable businesses, further social goals.

Bullet trains, in perspective
Bullet trains, in perspective

They will have to be integrated with the existing rail network.

Cleaning up
Cleaning up

Civil servants on their holiday gingerly handling a jhadu to satisfy the PM will not be enough.

Public hygiene and politics
Public hygiene and politics

Most children who die in India before they get to their fifth birthday die of preventable diseases like diarrhoea and malaria.

Sweeping changes
Sweeping changes

With ministers and bureaucrats and those who wield clout now wielding a broom, we are in for some sweeping changes.

Inside Track: Despite hurdles
Inside Track: Despite hurdles

His visit to the US fell between two important Jewish festivals, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Italian rhapsody
Italian rhapsody

Scientists here were working on Apple Mac computers, their screens exposing high-tech scientific sense; but all of that was overshadowed by her Italian design touch; even in a scientific lab.

A new bully pulpit
A new bully pulpit

Modi intuits link between communication and change. There’s no other game in town.

Still backsliding
Still backsliding

Private spending will resume when expectations on the future change, when the economy resumes growth, when incomes and wages stop falling.

What the Raj can’t be blamed for
What the Raj can’t be blamed for

If India has communal riots, Pakistan is brutal to Hindus in Sindh.

Hamlets of India
Hamlets of India

‘Haider’ is a befitting new step in a long tradition.

To the PM, from a mother
To the PM, from a mother

Children actually outgrow their mothers, no matter how much Narendra Modi may tell us otherwise.

Death of a citizen
Death of a citizen

A story of a murder and fast to death roils Nepal.

A sanitation sena for India
A sanitation sena for India

The government has made sanitation a priority in important symbolic ways, and has stirred a level of enthusiasm never seen before.

A responsibility to lead
A responsibility to lead

‘Make in India’ must not be heard as ‘Make emissions in India’.

Dividing line
Dividing line

Northeast policy should dispense with archaic systems like the inner line

Only if they break free of the past
Only if they break free of the past

India-US rhetoric is promising. Now we need policy shifts in India and concessions from America

Again at the crossroads
Again at the crossroads

Last year alone, almost 5,700 lives were lost after a cloudburst caused floods in Uttarakhand.

The second chance
The second chance

Modi brings much-needed clarity, assurance to Delhi’s strategic calculus on US.

The right not to believe
The right not to believe

Bombay HC order on disclosure of religion expands individual’s freedom to choose.

A sarkari campaign about us
A sarkari campaign about us

The real question is not why government wants to push the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, but what it wants to pack into this campaign.