Friday, Jan 30, 2015
The retrial of Godse
The retrial of Godse

The memory of Gandhi has been sanitised so that the nation has forgotten the fact of his assassination, let alone debating the reason why.

Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin seems to have a political audience once more
Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin seems to have a political audience once more

Gandhi was killed ‘for a cause’ by someone from his own community. But what was this ‘cause’?

Energising the friendship
Energising the friendship

Clean energy may be the new big idea in the US-India relationship.

Out of the black box
Out of the black box

Making the BCCI accountable, Supreme Court judgment is a relief for cricket fans.

The great Game Folio: Modi's China Problem
The great Game Folio: Modi's China Problem

Delhi must recognise that its relations with both America and China have potential and must be developed with greater purpose and vigour.

The art of the deal
The art of the deal

Modi has signalled a transformation of India’s diplomatic culture.

Still slipping on oil
Still slipping on oil

Government focuses on short-term revenue gains instead of boosting oil production.

India, US, and a better case for business
India, US, and a better case for business

The economic impact of Obama’s trip will be better understood months or years down the line. But a good start has been made.

The big deal
The big deal

Political recognition of the need to resolve the liability issue was necessary for implementing the Indo-US nuclear agreement.

Tele scope: The NamObama show
Tele scope: The NamObama show

It was non-stop. And everyone watched radio.

And now, India’s turn
And now, India’s turn

Obama visit recognised long term convergence of interests. India will need to reciprocate.

The philosopher cartoonist
The philosopher cartoonist

Laxman’s cartoons expressed the artlessness and helplessness of citizenship.

For the Record: ‘India will succeed if it is not splintered along lines of religion’
For the Record: ‘India will succeed if it is not splintered along lines of religion’

Excerpts from US President Barack Obama’s speech at Siri Fort, New Delhi, on January 27.

A familiar ache
A familiar ache

As many Parisian Jews prepare to leave France, the awful smell of history is back.

Barack and I
Barack and I

The real audience for Modi’s high-energy diplomatic performance is at home.

Chai and cha cha cha
Chai and cha cha cha

President Obama danced around the really tough issues

The same quarter
The same quarter

Next set of GDP figures won’t be different. We need a public investment stimulus.

Anti-Americanism is dead
Anti-Americanism is dead

India-US reach closest to a strategic partnership in an increasingly tactical world

Day after the summit
Day after the summit

Obama visit elevates India-US ties, paves way for convergence outside bilateral areas

Selling it short
Selling it short

Government continues to repeat fundamental policy mistakes in disinvestment.

An imagined community in Paris
An imagined community in Paris

Exiled from school, bereft of jobs, a radicalised minority was born.

Peace through strength, Indian-style
Peace through strength, Indian-style

Modi’s strategy on Pakistan looks similar to Reagan’s for the Soviet Union.

Where are the leaders?
Where are the leaders?

Muslims need enlightened leadership that can fight systemic discrimination, bridge communal gulf

The Fifth Metro: The unravelling
The Fifth Metro: The unravelling

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is mired in a land controversy. That’s not the Congress’s only problem

Nextdoor Nepal: Failing again
Nextdoor Nepal: Failing again

Legislature, leaders have once again missed the deadline for the constitution. Can Nepal change course?

Across the Aisle: Will the campaign end after R-Day?
Across the Aisle: Will the campaign end after R-Day?

Never before 2014 did India’s election witness such a masterly combination of organisation, money, technology

Out of my mind: Dilli Door Ast
Out of my mind: Dilli Door Ast

It was from Rajani Kothari, that we learned to think of Indian politics on its own

Fifth Column: Shameful legacies
Fifth Column: Shameful legacies

The Republic Day parade became a hollow display of weaponry and silly tableaux.

Flip side: Potus and Lotus
Flip side: Potus and Lotus

Potus (Obama) asked Lotus (Modi) to join him in his smog-proof enclosure so they could watch tableaux together

You can’t dance around the topic of radical Islam

Is there a box on my tax returns that I can check so my tax dollars won’t go to pay for this?

The useful friendship
The useful friendship

India, US must also help each other on issues not directly related to bilateral ties

Schooling trap
Schooling trap

The focus needs to shift to the teaching-learning process

No Proof  Required: Straw in the Delhi wind
Delhi Assembly Polls
No Proof Required: Straw in the Delhi wind

Here’s an early forecast: It’s advantage BJP.

A new moment in defence ties
A new moment in defence ties

The promise of a transformed relationship between India and the US seems more likely to be realised.

On conversion, a question
On conversion, a question

Conversions in Pakistan speak of a state in crisis, but why the rush to convert in India today?

Plumbing over poetry
Plumbing over poetry

India, US have the grand design. Modi, Obama must focus on implementation.

Cut in context
Cut in context

2015 cut foretold: 200 basis points
2015 cut foretold: 200 basis points

Most forecasts of repo rate cuts needed in India this year seem to be out of sync with the underlying trend of inflation and growth in India and the world.

Power play
Power play

Any target-setting on renewable energy driven by Obama’s visit needs to be embedded in a larger discussion of energy policy and planning.

Let them speak
Let them speak

The new government in Colombo promises to devolve political power to Tamils. It may help start a conversation.

Death and taxes
Death and taxes

Why smart capitalists should demand an inheritance tax.

It’s no ordinance raj
It’s no ordinance raj

Considering the circumstances, the NDA’s ordinances are justified.

How Can We Allow This?
How Can We Allow This?

...should not be the question. The CBFC needs to — has so far failed to — bring certification, not censorship, to the fore

Let’s remake the classroom
Let’s remake the classroom

Grouping children by learning level rather than age or grade could be a solution for poor outcomes.

Tele scope: The Delhi debate
Tele scope: The Delhi debate

Bedi and Kejriwal have still to come face to face, but it’s a face-off

View from the right: Republic day

The Organiser also cautions that India, which has arrived on the global stage, should understand potential threats and how those can be mitigated.

The AAPostate
The AAPostate

By setting up Kiran Bedi vs Arvind Kejriwal, BJP once again tries to co-opt rival’s agenda.

Not a clean sweep
Not a clean sweep

The Swachh Bharat guidelines make no mention of the new budget, so whether government expenditure will reach these levels is unclear.

Ten years and waiting
Ten years and waiting

India cannot afford to indefinitely defer the transformative opportunities promised by the India-US nuclear deal.

In the conversion noise, the silence
In the conversion noise, the silence

The law must recognise the Scheduled Caste status of those who may not be Hindu.

The great Game Folio: Obama and Pakistan
The great Game Folio: Obama and Pakistan

As Obama ends America’s long occupation of Afghanistan, there are questions about the future of the US-Pak relationship.

Rajni Kothari, India's political scientist
Rajni Kothari, India's political scientist

Rajni Kothari made it possible to think of India as a ‘normal’ democracy, writes Yogendra Yadav

Political scientist of India
Political scientist of India

Kothari’s analysis resonates with the contemporary political moment, writes Suhas Palshikar

The silencing of Murugan
The silencing of Murugan

How the Hindu far right conspired with caste-based assertion to break his spirit.

Network congestion
Network congestion

Telecom sector may be too crowded. Policy must address need for consolidation.

Nextdoor Nepal: To be secular or not to be
Nextdoor Nepal: To be secular or not to be

As the deadline for the constitution approaches, political parties continue to be divided on this crucial issue.

States of the Union
States of the Union

Now ensconced at the Centre, will BJP fulfil its promise of cooperative federalism?

Terror of hypocrisy
Terror of hypocrisy

Stop demanding condemnation from all Muslims when a few commit acts of violence

The silence of corpses
The silence of corpses

Blasphemy isn’t, as multiculturalists assert, meaningless rovocation. Instead, it’s critical to human progress

Rear view: Lost in Lanka
Rear view: Lost in Lanka

Rajiv Gandhi’s Colombo policy was flawed. It turned both Tamils and Sinhalese against New Delhi and dented the image of the Indian army.

Nightmare of unreason
Nightmare of unreason

Bigotry and irrationality, if not checked, will negate whatever the Modi government achieves.

Across the Aisle: Stand up and be counted
Across the Aisle: Stand up and be counted

The ordinance tilts the LARR Act in favour of the promoter of the project and against the land owner.

Flip Side: Endangered species
Flip Side: Endangered species

The list of endangered species in India has seen some new additions. Here are some...

Out of my mind: The politics of luck
Out of my mind: The politics of luck

Just consider the ways in which lucky breaks have come his way.

From the discomfort zone: Dream a weaponless world
From the discomfort zone: Dream a weaponless world

Just imagine, 70 million Kalashnikovs sold to date. To what purpose?

Fifth Column: Stealth is bad
Fifth Column: Stealth is bad

It is the sort of city that we cannot dream of in India until we accept that it is not so much ‘vikas’

No Proof Required: Why ignorance is not bliss
No Proof Required: Why ignorance is not bliss

Most expert views in India are in fact an ex-post opinion for every ex-ante fact.

No excuses for terror
No excuses for terror

Extremist ideologies cannot be allowed to flourish for fear of giving offence

Unnatural sciences
Unnatural sciences

Medical opinion is irrelevant. Section 377 is an affront to constitutional morality

The enemy within
The enemy within

Army chief Raheel Sharif makes a courageous diagnosis. Will the Pakistan army follow up?

The contest over ‘true Muslims’
The contest over ‘true Muslims’

The Muslim leadership must consider why sectarian violence has spread with such rapidity,

Winning over the states
Winning over the states

Niti Aayog has its task cut out. It needs to restore credibility of the consultation process

Down and out in Paris
Down and out in Paris

A broken model of integration alienates minorities, creating potential jihadists

A roof with no view
A roof with no view

Vantage points in the city nowadays offer only a sad sight — concrete eating into the green

The next farm downtrend
The next farm downtrend

Agriculture could be headed for an extended period of stress following the end of a decade-long global commodity boom.

Chinese Takeaway: Regime Change
Chinese Takeaway: Regime Change

The exit of Rajapaksa is a diplomatic problem in the near term for Beijing.

Paris attack: The terror within
Paris attack: The terror within

‘Charlie Hebdo’ incident must make Muslim societies re-examine blasphemy laws.

Incredible Indians
Incredible Indians

Fantastic claims about ancient science have raised no collective protest from scientists

In, and out, of the ghetto
In, and out, of the ghetto

Why, in some cities, rich and poor Muslims are beginning to live together in ghettos.

The delicate idea of France
The delicate idea of France

France couldn’t save ‘Charlie Hebdo’ killers as they refused to live it.

Who’s keeping count?
Who’s keeping count?

Once the date for the Delhi polls was announced, TV played number cruncher.

BJP and the AAPosition
BJP and the AAPosition

A challenger in Delhi could pierce the complacency at the Centre.

The city that chose to forget
The city that chose to forget

Delhi was not the characterless urban space it is today. It knew exile and loss, hopes and dreams.

Set no bar
Set no bar

Denial of opportunities arising out of state failure, as in Rajasthan’s local election eligibility ordinance, must be subject to the strictest constitutional standards.

France attack: Limits of solidarité
Charlie Hebdo Attack
France attack: Limits of solidarité

I am not ‘Charlie Hebdo’ and I am not a terrorist.

Welcome to the party
Welcome to the party

New recruitment drives can revitalise the organisational structure of political parties

The city is the solution, not the problem
The city is the solution, not the problem

‘Project Mumbai’, as an effort to improve the city, needs to work for the sake of other Indian cities.

Colombo collective
Colombo collective

Rajapaksa was defeated by the most broadbased coalition to date in Sri Lanka

Missing the desi beat
Missing the desi beat

The diaspora seems engaged with Indian politics, but it should listen more closely

Party planning
Party planning

Major political parties still deal in large sums of unaccounted money in cash.

For The Record: Amartya Sen on fusion of mathematical traditions
For The Record: Amartya Sen on fusion of mathematical traditions

There is no shame in learning from others and putting it to good use, to create new knowledge.

A capable and popular leader
A capable and popular leader

Perin Chandra, a veteran communist, passed away on January 7 .

The city of unheard melodies
The city of unheard melodies

The greatest tragedy of urbanisation is what it has done to the idea of the village.

Mahatma’s ghar wapsi
Mahatma’s ghar wapsi

The 45-year-old returning from South Africa strove to belong to all of India.

Hasina vs Zia
Hasina vs Zia

The warring leaders should end their feud for Bangladesh’s sake.

The Fifth Metro: Found in translation
The Fifth Metro: Found in translation

A new venture puts English renderings of ancient Indian texts within reach of average Indian reader.

Nextdoor Nepal: An undemocratic hurry
Nextdoor Nepal: An undemocratic hurry

Nepal may get a constitution after all — but without due process and debate.

Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo
Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo

It’s a good time to come up with a less hypocritical approach to our own provocateurs and satirists.

Across the Aisle: The State of the Union 2015
Across the Aisle: The State of the Union 2015

2014 was the year of acrimony. 2015 promises to be the year of acronyms.

Fifth Column: Je suis Charlie Hebdo
Fifth Column: Je suis Charlie Hebdo

There are lessons for us from the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

From The Discomfort Zone: Vive le crayon!
From The Discomfort Zone: Vive le crayon!

What auto-censored traditional media could not say, Charlie Hebdo ripped apart without any frontier.

Out Of My Mind: Hold your head high
Out Of My Mind: Hold your head high

It took some time before the Charlie Hebdo protest became a political issue.

Flip Side: The head scratchers
Flip Side: The head scratchers

From Sunanda Pushkar's death to Pakistan boat burning, a look at the greatest riddles of our times.

City must be equitable, not smart
City must be equitable, not smart

We have to think of ways to evolve equitable and sustainable alternatives in each sector of urban planning.

The drawing board lives
Charlie Hebdo Attack
The drawing board lives

But humour is an endangered species in India. Why we need a ‘Charlie Hebdo’

Bapu and the Pravasi
Bapu and the Pravasi

What Gandhi would have said, if he had spoken at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Uneasy in Dhaka
Uneasy in Dhaka

A bitter divide between government, opposition has corroded Bangladesh’s polity.

The Paris trap
The Paris trap

Every response to the attack on ‘Charlie Hebdo’ seems to feed the perpetrators’ intent.

Missing leader report
Missing leader report

As things stand, the Palestinian issue continues to defy a resolution.

We are all cartoonists
We are all cartoonists

Cartoonist bent over his drawing board can be gunned down. But who can stop million fingers tweeting, texting?

Not just rural, not just urban
Not just rural, not just urban

Can we devise spaces in city that allow experiments like Dilli Haat to take off and endure, asks Jaya Jaitly.

In a hall of mirrors
In a hall of mirrors

Rajasthan ordinance frames complex reality of legislative, political, linguistic barriers to gender equality.

New Congress, old story
New Congress, old story

s are now in control and searching for ‘bipartisan achievement’

The divided city
The divided city

Class-based inequalities greet you at every corner.

Thank you, South Africa
Thank you, South Africa

A hundred years after Mohandas returned to India as Mahatma, it is time again to express gratitude.

View from the right: No concept

From one law to another is not a reform unless one is clear about the objective.

Global nation
Global nation

Modi readies a new pact between India and its diaspora

The real honour
The real honour

If it wants to show respect to Vajpayee, the Modi government must curb attempts to create communal tension

‘Reconversion’ paradoxes
‘Reconversion’ paradoxes

Is ‘ghar wapsi’ a return, or conversion to Hinduism?

His foreign hand
His foreign hand

Modi’s off to a good start. He needs to engage with Europe and Middle East.

The city of activism and hope
The city of activism and hope

A new socially and politically conscious generation is changing public life in Delhi.

Driving in a circle
Driving in a circle

Irrespective of who wins, Sri Lanka’s presidential election promises to change little.

The great game folio
The great game folio

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has been described by many as the “custodian of the world’s oil prices.”

Get down to the job
Get down to the job

The ‘what’ of job creation is well known. In 2015, get to the ‘how’.

When not to use power
When not to use power

NDA’s ordinances are not against text of Constitution — but they go against its spirit.

New residents in search of the new city
New residents in search of the new city

Urban infrastructure needs to catch up with high-energy micro-entrepreneurship, writes Rama Bijapurkar

Great inflation decline: a whodunit
Great inflation decline: a whodunit

It cannot be accounted for by the oil price decrease, or that in the prices of metals, or food.

For the Record: ‘Digital connectivity should become a basic right’
For the Record: ‘Digital connectivity should become a basic right’

Excerpts from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at the Indian Science Congress at Mumbai University, January 3

UPA by another name?
UPA by another name?

NDA has embraced previous government’s worldview. It differs only in implementation.

The Jharkhand juncture
The Jharkhand juncture

It is a bridge between the BJP’s conquests in Chhattisgarh and its ambitions in Bihar.

The village that could be a town
The village that could be a town

A diffuse urbanisation is likely in India. Yet, we continue to make policies that aspire towards mega-cities.

Rear View: How Rajiv had a great fall
Rear View: How Rajiv had a great fall

He didn’t learn from past mistakes. Instead, he opened new battlefronts, made new enemies.

Over the Barrel: Oilpolitik
Over the Barrel: Oilpolitik

Why Opec is allowing oil prices to fall

Out of my mind: The man who came back
Out of my mind: The man who came back

Mahatma Gandhi is that rare example in modern history of a truly global person.

Silicon Valley’s mirror effect
Silicon Valley’s mirror effect

“If meritocracy exists anywhere on earth, it is in Silicon Valley."

Flipside: New year revolutions
Flipside: New year revolutions

From Narendra Modi to Rahul Gandhi to Virat Kohli, what are their new year resolutions?

Fifth column: A misconception
Fifth column: A misconception

"The first political leader to have noticed the urgent need for ‘parivartan’ was Modi, I support him."

From the discomfort Zone: Challenge paralysed by society
From the discomfort Zone: Challenge paralysed by society

Innovation is a big word and we use it all the time in India.

Here’s looking at you again, Mumbai
Here’s looking at you again, Mumbai

It’s not a money-making machine. It should be a vibrant city.

Break the caucus
Break the caucus

There is no halfway house to tackling problem of bad loans in public-sector banks.

Everywhere the foreign hand
Everywhere the foreign hand

For Pakistan, India and Israel are a permanent fixture, addition of US is another mental trapeze act.

Nextdoor Nepal: A failing experiment
Nextdoor Nepal: A failing experiment

Can the House give all powers to its chairman and accept his draft as the constitution?

Chinese Takeaway: Beijing's South Asia
Chinese Takeaway: Beijing's South Asia

The problem of closing the military gap with China is not a hard one to think through.

Why IIT can’t fly
Why IIT can’t fly

Latest face-off with HRD ministry shows how tough it is for institutions to take off.

A city safe for women — it’s possible
A city safe for women — it’s possible

Delhi can be a truly world-class city. All it will take is the right ‘neeyat’, writes Arvind Kejriwal.

A time before hate
A time before hate

How do I explain to my children that school was not always a battleground?

One ‘adarsh’ village is not enough
One ‘adarsh’ village is not enough

There is a shrinking of resources for rural development. And an imposition of resource-free symbolic programmes

Citizen of a larger world
Citizen of a larger world

George Verghese always looked beyond headlines, and borders.

Where’s the Irreverent Indian?
Where’s the Irreverent Indian?

A good laugh at the expense of religion and the religious has always been an essential part of our tradition.

No Proof Required: Tipping point 2015
No Proof Required: Tipping point 2015

‘Achhe din’ are coming for the world economy starting today.

Dhonis in the wings
Dhonis in the wings

He told young small-town Indians that they could conquer the cricket world

TeleSCOPE: Showman of the year
TeleSCOPE: Showman of the year

In 2014, television was dominated by one person. Will 2015 be different?

The Centre we need
The Centre we need

Five key transitions the Modi government needs to make

Mr and Mr Modi
Mr and Mr Modi

Narendra Modi, the Great Moderniser, is omnipresent. Narendra Modi, the Great Revivalist, is omniabsent

A crisis, an opportunity
A crisis, an opportunity

In Kashmir and vis-a-vis Pakistan, important tests of government’s leadership and sagacity

An unclaimed legacy
An unclaimed legacy

Can Modi, like Vajpayee, insulate foreign policy from hawks and conservatives?

With Godse at the centre
With Godse at the centre

The unseemly clamour is a portent.

Up in the air
Up in the air

Only a revolution, as in telecom, can rescue the ailing civil aviation industry

The 2015 question
The 2015 question

When can we expect Modi to view RSS as a source of injury to his leadership?

Falling up
Falling up

The US alone has seen a rise of 70% in crude output between 2008 and 2014.

From mandate to achievement
From mandate to achievement

The strong initial leadership of Nehru and Patel helped strengthen the five institutions that built India.

Frames, 2014
Frames, 2014

The year’s best movies were about people who moved and grew.

Let’s remeasure progress
Let’s remeasure progress

In other words, more than half of our world can’t possibly sustain the growth it is currently experiencing.

Make in India essentials
Make in India essentials

We need bang-for-buck reform to loosen the binding constraints on manufacturing.

No to the naysayers
No to the naysayers

K. Srikanth’s badminton triumph is Indian sport’s most heartening story of 2014.

A new resolve for the New Year
A new resolve for the New Year

No doubt the killers must have prayed prior to the carnage beginning with the words, “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim".

Looking for a non-Dravidian answer
Looking for a non-Dravidian answer

The conventional wisdom is that the people of TN are yearning for a change from the Dravidian parties.

Behind the camera, an absence
Behind the camera, an absence

Women in power tend to be treated harshly when they betray that gift by failing.

Nextdoor Nepal: To the deadline, empty-handed
Nextdoor Nepal: To the deadline, empty-handed

With the scheduled date for delivery less than a month away, the new constitution is nowhere in sight.

Out of my mind: Tanks on the lawn
Out of my mind: Tanks on the lawn

PM Modi came to power promising inclusive development and a major plank of his promise was social harmony.

Fifth column: Either, or
Fifth column: Either, or

there will be no improvement as long as the PM’s own agenda for reform and change remains subsumed by RSS.

From the discomfort zone: Challenging with gestures
From the discomfort zone: Challenging with gestures

Flip side: Presenting Christmas
Flip side: Presenting Christmas

North Korea and the speech police
North Korea and the speech police

Why should anyone be remotely surprised that Kim Jong Un decided to get in on the “don’t offend me” act?

A darker shade of green
A darker shade of green

Many national environmental groups have welcomed the decision and the NGT’s 14-point action agenda for Delhi.

Let economists lead the way
Let economists lead the way

It’s time to invest in free trade and cross-border movement of capital and people

No Proof Required: Why no applause for Modi’s reforms
No Proof Required: Why no applause for Modi’s reforms

The important has been replaced by the irrelevant, a consequence of BJP/ RSS distractions on non-policy issues

The great forgetting
The great forgetting

The reference period, 2012-13, was a year with record foodgrain production and a normal monsoon.

On the Bharat Ratna, a question
On the Bharat Ratna, a question

If Madan Mohan Malviya can get the honour, why not Sir Syed Ahmad Khan?

Coming out of the cold
Coming out of the cold

US-Pakistan ties appear to be headed back on track.

No fixed identity
No fixed identity

Conversions threaten a political order that believes in singularity.

Why Opec deserves a holiday card from India
Why Opec deserves a holiday card from India

In fact, as the year winds down, much of the rest of the world owes the cartel some gratitude as well

'We need to bring kids to science... I'll build a robot that looks like a dinosaur and send it to space'
'We need to bring kids to science... I'll build a robot that looks like a dinosaur and send it to space'

Ben-Yisrael, Military scientist and former politician, was in Delhi recently when he spoke to Sudeep Paul

The year India began acting east
The year India began acting east

If Delhi can keep up its enhanced attention to the Asia-Pacific, it can play a stabilising role in the region

A church within reach
A church within reach

Two years into the Francis papacy, it’s impossible to deny the revolutionary freshness