Thursday, Aug 28, 2014
That man next to Lalu
That man next to Lalu

For now, he has reason to smile. But does Nitish model need rescuing from Nitish?

Writing freedom
Writing freedom

For U.R. Ananthamurthy, literature, at all times, was a satyagraha.

The myth of love jihad
The myth of love jihad

In its orchestration and inflammatory appeal, the current campaign shares similarities with Hindu revivalist projects in the 1920s in UP.

Because Gaza is there to stay
Because Gaza is there to stay

If there is to be Israeli-Palestinian peace, Gaza must be its foundation.

The new young
The new young

Exposure to television and digital media grew by leaps and bounds between 2005 and 2012.

Under Government Control
Under Government Control

Under the UGC Act, the HRD ministry has the power to declare any institution a “deemed to be university” (DU).

Connoisseurs of the stalemate
Connoisseurs of the stalemate

The change of mind in Pakistan via-a-vis India is real. But foreign offices of both countries remain addicted to deadlocks.

American bungle
American bungle

No one loves an Arab vacuum like jihadi extremists, and a bloody vacuum was precisely what Obama allowed Syria to become.

The barefoot government
The barefoot government

A government shorn of Western educated ministers could change the status quo.

Rethinking impunity
Rethinking impunity

Why it may be time to revoke the AFSPA in areas like Manipur.

Before it changes the map
Before it changes the map

The priority ought to be to collectively deliberate on how to confront the present and clear danger posed by the IS.

No convergence
No convergence

Some Nepalese leaders, unhappy with Modi’s new approach, are preparing to raise the ‘ek madhes, ek pradesh’ demand.

Champagne socialist
Champagne socialist

Gandhi (1982), an epic but intimate biographical film, was Richard Attenborough's greatest triumph.

To give women their due

Families have a preferred number of sons at any given fertility level as well as a preferred fertility level.

Modi’s red lines
Modi’s red lines

From Pakistan to Japan, China to US, he will be tested on ability to stick to them.

Left behind at 135
Left behind at 135

India needs a national effort to speed up human development.

Making friends with the middle
Making friends with the middle

Flexible Asian coalitions that don't include America or China should become a critical element of India’s strategy.

The wrong end of the right debate
The wrong end of the right debate

‘Neo-liberals’ emphasise sewers, sanitation and toilets, not ‘neo-communists’.

When citizen remakes the city
When citizen remakes the city

Citizen groups are chipping away at Bangalore’s urban chaos, one street corner at a time.

Charming and world weary
Charming and world weary

The noir moment seemed to perfectly illuminate Lauren Bacall.

The no blame game
The no blame game

The JD(U), RJD, Samajwadi Party, BSP, JD(S), BJD, fragments of the old Janata could come together and form a party.

Inside track: Taking no chances

Originally scheduled for July 3, Modi’s trip was re-scheduled for August 4. The visit has now been fixed for August 31.

Defeat and delusions

The Prime Minister had to select his team from the ranks of his own party but he is now making a serious effort to change the way his party thinks.

Shock treatment
Shock treatment

The appeal to provide them Pampers has been rejected, but there are some suggestions worth considering.

Perversity sells design

Americans see everything big, from them I learnt about how important it is to design industrial products for mass scale manufacture.

The labour reform myth
The labour reform myth

No evidence to show labour laws are the only, or even main, constraint to growth.

About gobi flavoured ice-cream
About gobi flavoured ice-cream

A new international cinema, of gentle fantasies of post-colonial harmony.

The religious scientist
The religious scientist

The gap of learning between India and Pakistan is significant because it goes beyond the argument of population ratios.

Levels of distrust
Levels of distrust

Survey data confirms perceptions of a trust deficit between Muslims and the police.

New at the Centre
New at the Centre

Three months is a short time, but government has emphatically regained control of its turf.

Only talk
Only talk

Why TRS supports Modi government’s decision to suspend dialogue with Pakistan.

The pragmatic PM?
The pragmatic PM?

So far, ideology has not been the defining feature of Modi’s tenure.

Stories worth sharing
Stories worth sharing

Products matter less than the narratives that surround them.

No Facebook and Twitter election
No Facebook and Twitter election

The impact of social media on electoral outcomes in the Lok Sabha polls was marginal.

‘The fire (in Pakistan) is local, even if  it gets external fuel sometimes’
‘The fire (in Pakistan) is local, even if it gets external fuel sometimes’

Farahnaz Ispahani's forthcoming book is on Pakistan’s religious minorities.

Acknowledge this
Acknowledge this

Police attitudes towards Muslims will not change unless there is political recognition of the problem.

Obama the Unexciting
Obama the Unexciting

America needs its president to illuminate and lead, not sink into petulant aloofness

No table for three
No table for three

Modi’s gamble won’t work unless Delhi gets act together on J&K, border management.

Made in English
Made in English

CSAT questions address students from urban and privileged backgrounds.

The appeal of the problem solver
The appeal of the problem solver

Modi is a seasoned politician but the rising tide of expectation poses a big challenge to his popularity.

Decoding the rage in Ferguson
Decoding the rage in Ferguson

For more than a decade, African-American gains since the 1960s have been undergoing a reversal.

Live from Mathura
Live from Mathura

Janmashtami was on our screens this week. Will other Hindu festivals follow?

Being a bully
Being a bully

India’s response to the meeting between Pak envoy and Hurriyat is misplaced.

A time to upskill
A time to upskill

A small start has been made. Technology could show the way forward.

It’ll take more than a few better judges
It’ll take more than a few better judges

Justice is now politics by another name or quite simply about luck. That’s the real crisis.

An emergency called Ebola
An emergency called Ebola

National efforts need to come together into a coordinated global response.

Painted into a corner
Painted into a corner

Are Imran Khan and his PTI truly democratic? A look at the evidence

The calm in Kabul
The calm in Kabul

Will agreement between presidential candidates keep Afghanistan from tipping over?

A needless confrontation
A needless confrontation

Government’s handling of the constitutional amendment bill has set up a face-off between executive and judiciary.

Not a zero-sum game

Residents of Gaza deserve a better future, citizens of Israel deserve quieter days.

The Maoist example
The Maoist example

If Nepal’s former radicals persist with the democratic path, will their Indian counterparts shun violence?

67 years young
67 years young

Society, not just government, must take responsiblity for India’s development

A river runs through it
A river runs through it

The Indian river linking project will be crucial to meeting future water needs

Not just about appointments
Not just about appointments

The JAC must not disrupt the institutional ideology of the Supreme Court.

Sanitation, a pipe dream
Sanitation, a pipe dream

We can easily build toilets. The problem is that our system does not allow for easy operation and usage.

Indira Gandhi’s nadir
Indira Gandhi’s nadir

After the 1977 election, she seemed to have reached the road’s end.

Out of my mind: The other Independence Day
Out of my mind: The other Independence Day

Jawaharlal Nehru thought Pakistan would not last very long and would eventually come back into the fold.

Fifth column: A new direction
Fifth column: A new direction

So it came as music to my jaded ears to hear the Prime Minister remind us of all the things we like to disregard.

Flip Side: Modi’s ID Card
Flip Side: Modi’s ID Card

Individuals and issues that are making and shaking news

From the discomfort Zone: Diametrically different
From the discomfort Zone: Diametrically different

The German machinery company is the loser too. Not only does it not sell more machines, its engineering is being copied.

Planning for a new India
Planning for a new India

New body must retain the Commission’s mechanisms for Centre-state discussion

Politically coloured, legally suspect
Politically coloured, legally suspect

The JAC does not address any of the concerns that purportedly plague the collegium.

Needed, a new  headline
Needed, a new headline

The media should encourage a fresh regional perspective on the Northeast that captures its reality.

‘Every parent should impose as many restrictions on sons as have been imposed on our daughters’
‘Every parent should impose as many restrictions on sons as have been imposed on our daughters’

Excerpts from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech at Red Fort.

The Ides of August
The Ides of August

PM of the first majority government since 1984 must put some fears to rest

Par for the course
Par for the course

The CSAT is not unfair. Class 10-level skills are not too much to ask for

No executive interference required
No executive interference required

There is no reason to abolish the collegium system at the high court level, writes Rajindar Sachar

Bangabandhu, the liberator
Bangabandhu, the liberator

On his 39th death anniversary, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman still embodies the spirit of collective freedom

Forever the leading lady of Hollywood
Forever the leading lady of Hollywood

In ‘To Have and Have Not’, Lauren Bacall drew on feminine and masculine qualities that suggest an excitingly capable woman

And another long march
And another long march

As Imran Khan and Tahir-ul Qadri face off with Islamabad, will the past be repeated?

Polls and polarisation
Polls and polarisation

Why the communal incidents in western UP may, in fact, be engineered.

Seven qualities of highly effective judges
Seven qualities of highly effective judges

Judicial appointments cannot be left to the preferences of JAC members.

Turkey’s uncertain future
Turkey’s uncertain future

Prime Minister Erdogan is now president. Can he bridge the country’s political divide?

Counting down  to the speech
Counting down to the speech

Meanwhile, Vidya Balan and the government are trying to toilet train the nation.

A grim arithmetic
A grim arithmetic

Divisive political mobilisations have left UP crackling with communal tensions.

Hands off approach
Hands off approach

A new juvenile justice act must also target cultural notions of discipline.

In defence of the collegium
In defence of the collegium

The judicial appointments commission is unlikely to fix problems and will also be prone to manipulation and favouritism.

An improvisational genius
An improvisational genius

An improvisational genius The only thing faster than Robin Williams’s mouth was his mind.

Needed, PEST control
Needed, PEST control

Because this government’s actions are brewing potential education sector troubles

The massacre of the Yazidis
The massacre of the Yazidis

After the Islamic State’s killings, who will give the community refuge?

The current accountability deficit
The current accountability deficit

Judges should be marginally outnumbered in the judicial appointments commission.

The fifth Metro letter from Bangalore: Science of giving
The fifth Metro letter from Bangalore: Science of giving

Philanthropy for medical research in India has been insignificant — until now.

For the unbanked
For the unbanked

Financial inclusion mission needs sustained supervision by finance ministry.

Misunderstanding secularism
Misunderstanding secularism

Teaching Gita doesn’t go against Indian secularism. Teaching Gita alone does.

Leave it to the House
Leave it to the House

The LG should ask the Delhi Assembly to elect its leader by secret ballot.

Lay down standards of transparency
Lay down standards of transparency

Appointments commission proposed by the UPA suffered from vices of both pre-1993 and existing systems.

The Paraskar syndrome
The Paraskar syndrome

Only cadre officers, that is, those who have been absorbed into the IPS, can hold certain jobs like SPs in the districts.

How to manage uncertainty
How to manage uncertainty

RBI has touched some critical areas to improve the functioning of the financial markets and support the liquidity conditions for banks.

Red fort rally
Red fort rally

The Ministry of External Affairs is lucky in having two Cabinet ministers looking after it, the PM as well as Sushma Swaraj.

The best jobs
The best jobs

With Indian batsmen substituting for ninepins, being an English bowler this series has to be the most rewarding job in the world.

Renewal on August 15
Renewal on August 15

Continuity is the last thing the average Indian wants because continuity means his children have no hope.

World class MSME India
World class MSME India

Most angel investors look for short-term investment and quick earnings.

Touching foot in Pakistan
Touching foot in Pakistan

The only way to keep writing about terror organisations — and live.

The loudspeaker provocation
The loudspeaker provocation

A blanket ban would not violate religious rights of any individual or community.

A case for two commissions
A case for two commissions

The judicial appointment commission has not worked well in other countries.

In search of Modi
In search of Modi

Who would have thought he would fail to communicate his thoughts, his ideas of reform, his vision for a new India?

Ties that bind
Ties that bind

India and Singapore must come together for reasons of the past and the future.

An indefensible posture
An indefensible posture

Defence establishment has turned insular. It needs to reinstate value of diplomacy

In Rajasthan’s wake
In Rajasthan’s wake

State governments could set the ball rolling on contentious reform.

Change must respect basic structure
Change must respect basic structure

Appointments and transfers of judges affect the independence of the judiciary and judicial review.

A bubble called Pakistan
A bubble called Pakistan

Another elected government is sought to be destabilised. Beneath the noisy political chaos is a country in denial about its loss of direction

How to make it difficult  for the gabblers
How to make it difficult for the gabblers

Why not add another compulsory 'vernacular' language component to the CSAT?

Spectacle of dead ends
Spectacle of dead ends

Gaza’s tragedy: All sides have given up on problem, are only trying to win argument.

English issue is a red herring
English issue is a red herring

Behind the CSAT furore lie vested interests of the teaching shop industry.

First, insulate the judge from politics
First, insulate the judge from politics

The thesis of ‘committed’ judiciary has been abandoned, but its practice continues unabated. That is the real problem, writes RAM JETHMALANI.

The irreverent prince
The irreverent prince

Miangul Aurangzeb was a proud Pakistani and a friend of India.

Mr Modi goes to temple
Mr Modi goes to temple

And a TV show that ventured outside the home draws to an unlamented close.

Great Indian backtrack
Great Indian backtrack

In reneging on the Bali deal, India helps neither itself, nor the world.

Where humanity goes from here
Where humanity goes from here

Nowhere good, if two recent sci-fi films are to be believed.

Needed: Dialogue, statesmanship
Needed: Dialogue, statesmanship

Because we cannot risk another judicial decision on appointments, writes FALI S. NARIMAN

Bihar, a new story
Bihar, a new story

Nitish has joined hands with Lalu. Together, they might just provide an alternative to an ascendant BJP.

Nepal Treaty
Nepal Treaty

The treaty is the successor to a series of agreements negotiated between the British Raj and the Kingdom of Nepal.

No comfort zone
No comfort zone

Government must guard against bureaucracy settling back into paralysis.

Ways to grow
Ways to grow

Rescue ‘sustainable development’ from its relegation to the environment sector.

Will the RBI cut rates? It should
Will the RBI cut rates? It should

If ever there was a compelling case for RBI to cut rates, it is today with CPI and WPI month on month inflation below 5 per cent for last six months.

A story of the clean energy fund
A story of the clean energy fund

It shows the gap between bureaucratic intent and practice. It speaks of excessive reliance on generalists in technical matters.

Becoming best friends
Becoming best friends

On Nepal, Modi has much to be satisfied about. But the challenges begin now.

The abrupt end of Emergency
The abrupt end of Emergency

It was a decision Indira Gandhi made only because she was forced to.

Court must cast  a wider net
Court must cast a wider net

Justice Shah’s proposal ensures judges’ ‘external’ independence from government, but not their ‘internal’ autonomy.

A new club for India
A new club for India

With BRICS, we seem to have mistaken an acronym for real policy.

And the winner is English
And the winner is English

This agitation is not against English but against the dominance of English. It is against the presumption that the national talent resides within the tiny pool of English speakers.

Gurdwara as arena
Gurdwara as arena

HSGPC is a response to perceptions of SAD dominance over the SGPC.

Flip side: Advance booking
Flip side: Advance booking

Tittle tattle could become tit for tat if Sonia retaliates with her own ‘tell-all and more’ book, as she has threatened.

From the discomfort zone: For customer value
From the discomfort zone: For customer value

Managers today mistakenly believe that once they’ve performed in their key result areas, they’ve achieved the business strategically.

Out of my mind: Colonial hangover
Out of my mind: Colonial hangover

Once the members are elected, the quality of performance of the elected legislators leaves a lot to be desired.

Inside track: Powerful addition
Inside track: Powerful addition

P K Mishra seems to have more clout than either Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra or Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth.

The political pilgrim
The political pilgrim

But Modi must carefully step away from Nepal’s domestic debates on the Hindu state.

Becoming Poirot
Becoming Poirot

Suchet’s portrayal was more than the sum of the character’s distinctive props.

Right reasons to get hitched
Right reasons to get hitched

A headlong rush into PPPs will only leave a trail of disputes, renegotiations, corruption.

Don’t give up on Prasar Bharati
Don’t give up on Prasar Bharati

Political will to let it mature has been absent. That is not its own failing.

A less sterile story
A less sterile story

Historiography needs to go beyond Eurocentrism and saffronisation.

The chief’s challenge
The chief’s challenge

General Suhag has 30 months to push the army modernisation project.

A right to anonymity
A right to anonymity

France’s burqa ban stokes a debate on rights and duties in the modern state.

Give 2013 law a fair chance
Give 2013 law a fair chance

For the first time, the interests of farmers, livelihood losers and SC/ST communities have been given high priority.

The real disaster: price of urban land
The real disaster: price of urban land

2013 law expanded rights of losers of livelihood and land, but failed to recognise economics of land.

Revisit and review
Revisit and review

2013 law freezes land acquisition by imposing lengthy procedures and high costs.

Terror connection
Terror connection

Pakistan plays a role in the story of ISIS founder Abu Musaab al Zarqawi.

Ten years 25 miles later
Ten years 25 miles later

Nasa’s Mars rover Opportunity is breaking new ground.

In the name of India, why?
In the name of India, why?

Modi-led BJP is pursuing an illogical and regressive anti-trade-facilitation stance at the WTO.

The real threat to WTO
The real threat to WTO

...isn't India. It is miscast in the role of spoiler.

Suffocating together, inside the bubble
Suffocating together, inside the bubble

Israelis and Palestinians must stop circling the grindstone of violence, remember the future

Branding the babu
Branding the babu

PM’s style has sparked enthusiasm in bureaucracy — and some unease.

How to be smart
How to be smart

It is important to look at what went wrong with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

A letter to a friend in Gaza
A letter to a friend in Gaza

Our demand to demilitarise the Strip is not only for Israelis; it’s also for you, Fathi. We prefer happy neighbours to suffering neighbours.

So many regulators
So many regulators

Sectoral agencies are trying to chip at the Competition Commission’s mandate, causing confusion.

For schools to be safe
For schools to be safe

They must follow some protective protocols that are standard and mandatory.

The less said, the worse
The less said, the worse

India’s silence on critical global issues fits poorly with its global aspirations.

Achhe din, like old times
Achhe din, like old times

Government has quickly descended into a mix of trifles, alibis and risk averseness.

A khaki overhaul
A khaki overhaul

Higher Muslim representation alone won’t address the minority’s mistrust of police.

A ‘principled’ Congress stance at the WTO?
A ‘principled’ Congress stance at the WTO?

If India succeeds in stalling talks, Modi will only be endorsing UPA’s very bad food procurement and economic policies .

Starting over
Starting over

Swaraj's message was clear: Delhi wants to depart from past practice of missing opportunities.

Modi’s institutional designs
Modi’s institutional designs

His approach resembles that of Indira Gandhi. But he must note: in Delhi, what one controls, slips away.

Between life and death
Between life and death

On euthanasia, courts should step back, let Parliament decide.

To be a fundamentalist Hindu
To be a fundamentalist Hindu

That’s the only way to fight Hindu fundamentalists.

The stories we don’t see
The stories we don’t see

We in the news media fall down in covering the big trends.

An old programme, a new chapter
An old programme, a new chapter

Nilekani’s efforts to convince the NDA of Aadhaar’s benefits appear to have paid off.

Balance of responsibility
Balance of responsibility

For nuclear development, India must be part of a stable liability regime.

Coalition adharma
Coalition adharma

The troubles looming for the BJP/NDA coalition are already on the surface.

A test for brown sahibs
A test for brown sahibs

In 2014, of the 1,122 new recruits for the civil service, only 53 came from those who wrote papers in Indian languages

Inside track: Zero Hour
Inside track: Zero Hour

Modi believes that there will be unnecessary delays if objections are put as file notings, as these files shuttle back and forth.

Harder lines in Londonistan
Harder lines in Londonistan

What the UK is doing to my Pakistani relatives who live there.

Killing MGNREGA slowly
Killing MGNREGA slowly

Focusing on private asset creation will only exacerbate its design and implementation failures.

Save Track-II from Vaidik
Save Track-II from Vaidik

Ignorant chatter over his meeting with Hafiz Saeed detracts from its value

Climbing the beanstalk
Climbing the beanstalk

Budget 2014 talked of developing career centres. We need to make them work

BRICS building
BRICS building

The long-term challenges to its success are geopolitical rather than economic

Fifth column: Ending tax terrorism?
Fifth column: Ending tax terrorism?

Please dear Finance Minister file your wealth tax returns online as an exercise to see how devious are the ways of Indian officialdom.

Forever the leading lady of Hollywood
Forever the leading lady of Hollywood

In ‘To Have and Have Not’, Lauren Bacall drew on feminine and masculine qualities that suggest an excitingly capable woman

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