Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Strong and small
Strong and small

Modi is a tall leader. Then why does his government sometimes act in petty, vengeful ways?

At Home In Kanpur
At Home In Kanpur

Bollywood is learning to live in small-town India, not just visiting for local colour.

One year of Modi govt: India Inc, be patient
One year of Modi govt: India Inc, be patient

There is significant behind-the-scenes activity to improve ease of doing business.

The queen  needs allies
The queen needs allies

Jayalalithaa returns as chief minister. Going forward, she will need the support of other parties.

The elusive Modi
The elusive Modi

It is hard to take his measure. All the contradictions of India play out in his persona.

The weakest link
The weakest link

Among the Modi government’s many hits was one crucial miss — agriculture.

Groom For Groom
Groom For Groom

There is need for mutual understanding between anti-caste and queer groups.

One year of Narendra Modi Government: Us versus them
One year of Narendra Modi Government: Us versus them

Modi’s year in power has seen the hardening of a bipolar alliance system in South Asia, with America and India on one side, and China and Pakistan on the other.

So much to talk about
So much to talk about

Standoffs are old-fashioned. India and Pakistan should resume dialogue.

Next Door Nepal: What Nepal wants
Next Door Nepal: What Nepal wants

The government, bereft of any plan, should allow others to spend money.

Work fatigue
Work fatigue

The professions that defined middle class aspiration are now sites of a deepening discontent.

The Deepening Furrows
The Deepening Furrows

Poorly designed policies are largely to blame for farm distress.

Fighting from the top
Fighting from the top

The biggest asset for this government in its battle against corruption has been the incorruptible leadership of the prime minister himself.

Re-skilling skill development
Re-skilling skill development

Rigorous evaluations are needed to ensure vocational training results in desirable outcomes in terms of jobs and wages.

Most reform since 1991
Most reform since 1991

This government is the first to clearly stress the importance of manufacturing for growth and employment.

Art of the state
Art of the state

The Seventh Schedule is not set in stone. Government must push for greater decentralisation.

Time For School
Time For School

The World Education Forum is a test of our commitment to children.

Narendra Modi Government, one year After: A new manual for diplomats
Narendra Modi Government, one year After: A new manual for diplomats

Modi’s greatest momentum has been in foreign policy. But the external opportunities he has successfully created for India could be undermined by potential domestic failures.

The show  chugs along
The show chugs along

Outcomes from Modi’s China visit are not spectacular. But they are substantial.

Telescope: Here, there, everywhere
Telescope: Here, there, everywhere

Since last year, even when the PM travels, he is just a remote control button away.

Death by a thousand cuts
Death by a thousand cuts

The NDA government and HRD minister have displayed outright contempt for scholars and scholarship.

He got the blues
He got the blues

When B.B. King played, it was the cold hard truth — like hearing Martin Luther King speak.

Snap judgment
Snap judgment

Were the court’s restrictions on government advertisements really dictated by ‘democratic wisdom’?

Such a Long Death
Such a Long Death

Aruna Shanbaug’s passing should be a turning point in the euthanasia debate.

Why Miliband lost
Why Miliband lost

It wasn’t ideology. The Tories just ran a better campaign.

The promised land
The promised land

Government’s insistence on acquisition is rooted in a rush to impose the Gujarat model on the rest of India.

Bombay Ragtime
Bombay Ragtime

Undecided and unwilling
Nepal Earthquake
Undecided and unwilling

The government just cannot make up its mind about what donors should do.

Rear View: Vajpayee makes a big bang
Rear View: Vajpayee makes a big bang

But the euphoria after Pokhran II lasted only a short while.

Across the Aisle:  It is the ‘Middle’ that makes or breaks
Across the Aisle: It is the ‘Middle’ that makes or breaks

Middle class values, not quite defined, are considered good values.

Fifth Column: A bad idea
Fifth Column: A bad idea

If jobs do not start raining down, Modi will soon see signs of enormous despair.

Reverse Swing: The reforms hogwash
Reverse Swing: The reforms hogwash

By privatising slivers of State-owned companies and allowing public-private partnerships, the government has been able to raise capital from the private sector.

Inside Track: Learning Golf
Inside Track: Learning Golf

Despite his hectic schedule of late, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is learning to play golf at the prestigious Delhi Golf Club.

Out of my mind: The Jekyll and Hyde Parliament
Out of my mind: The Jekyll and Hyde Parliament

The idea was that parties behaved like reasonable angels in power and villainous devils in opposition.

In country-sized states
In country-sized states

State governments cannot make cities livable. They must give urban areas freedom to manage themselves.

The greedy state
The greedy state

A recent book on the Pakistan army concludes that Pakistan will not self-correct.

For The Record: Asia’s voice will be stronger if India  and China speak  in one voice, says Narendra Modi
For The Record: Asia’s voice will be stronger if India and China speak in one voice, says Narendra Modi

Edited excerpts from Modi’s speech at the Tsinghua University, Beijing, delivered on May 15.

How to create a better school system
How to create a better school system

Memorising material simply isn’t going to teach children the skills they need.

Hungry For Homework
Hungry For Homework

Without better quality schooling, attempts to curb child labour can only go so far.

On the altar of justice
On the altar of justice

Salman Khan had to be sacrificed so that we can rest easy about the impersonal majesty of the law.

The foreign threat
The foreign threat

Government has merely called to account those NGOs that have violated Indian law.

No proof required: Legacy of tax terrorism
No proof required: Legacy of tax terrorism

In its first year, Modi government has undertaken a major economic restructuring. But it has also scored policy self-goals.

Tories Unshackled
Tories Unshackled

It will be a Conservative government doing conservative things in the UK.

The Nagas of India and Myanmar
The Nagas of India and Myanmar

Delhi will not succeed in dealing with Khaplang if it fails to understand Naypyidaw’s new priorities.

A closer partnership
A closer partnership

Indian industry must seize the opportunities the PM’s visit to China promises to create.

Mom, relax
Mom, relax

Rahul is live on television and clearly enjoying himself, so what if he sounds a little repetitive.

Whom do you trust?
Whom do you trust?

Judiciary or the executive — that’s the key question. Perhaps the NJAC’s compositon, rules need tweaking.

To Beijing, Softly
To Beijing, Softly

Hard bargaining could be helped along by cooperation in climate diplomacy.

Green road to Paris
Green road to Paris

At COP-21, India should highlight the domestic measures it has taken to fight climate change.

The Fascist impulse
The Fascist impulse

It is necessary to distinguish between honest and dishonest, and correct and incorrect, decisions.

41 years in the making
41 years in the making

Land boundary agreement has finally been ratified. This is a moment for Delhi, Dhaka to widen cooperation.

Working for Welfare
Working for Welfare

Contributory social security schemes launched last week could be game changers.

Don’t rush the PDMA
Don’t rush the PDMA

Public debt management is best left to the RBI.

Britain’s electoral plumbing
Britain’s electoral plumbing

But in both the UK and India, the gaps in the first-past-the-post system are increasingly visible.

Chinese takeaway: Modi in Mongolia
Chinese takeaway: Modi in Mongolia

Modi is trying to move the Sino-Indian relationship out of the stasis that it finds itself in.

Beyond the boundary
Beyond the boundary

Modi is abandoning the old approach to China. But he needs to get the Delhi establishment to play ball.

Those Troubled Peaks
Those Troubled Peaks

Greater Chinese presence in Gilgit-Baltistan lends it geo-strategic significance

From plate to plough: Padyatras, politics, policies
From plate to plough: Padyatras, politics, policies

Rahul Gandhi will help farmers more if he focuses on how policies are implemented

Next Door Nepal: Will Nepal make up its mind?
Next Door Nepal: Will Nepal make up its mind?

Neighbours’ competitive help for reconstruction will mean little otherwise

Sardar Patel’s police force
Sardar Patel’s police force

National security needs that led him to press for the IPS are as alive as ever

Across The Aisle: Government proposes, RBI disposes
Across The Aisle: Government proposes, RBI disposes

Mr Raghuram Rajan and Mr Jaitley is obliged to disclose and explain the take on PDMA.

Inside Track: Spring Cleaning
Inside Track: Spring Cleaning

Narendra Modi ordered a spring cleaning of his office and residence at Race Course Road. Twelve truckloads of stuff was removed in the clean-up drive.

Fifth Column: Modi’s first year in office
Fifth Column: Modi’s first year in office

PM’s biggest failure has been his inability to give a hint of new policies in education and healthcare.

Out of my mind: Surprise! Surprise!
Out of my mind: Surprise! Surprise!

David Cameron is easily under-estimated.

When Mr Narendra Modi goes to China
When Mr Narendra Modi goes to China

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping can lay the foundations for a stable Sino-Indian relationship.

One And Only Bhaijaan
One And Only Bhaijaan

Does being a star allow you to buy into your own myth?

That ‘eat cake’ moment
That ‘eat cake’ moment

Reactions to Salman Khan’s conviction reveal an elite that would literally bulldoze everything in its path.

For The Record: Preserving Calcutta for the future
For The Record: Preserving Calcutta for the future

A letter to the chief minister of West Bengal on safeguarding and restoring the city’s architectural heritage.

View From The Right: Nepal Lessons
View From The Right: Nepal Lessons

An editorial in the Organiser talks about the lessons to be learnt from the destruction caused by the recent earthquake in Nepal.

Juvenile injustice
Juvenile injustice

Undue haste in pressing ahead with the bill in the face of dissent is intriguing.

Clash of civilisations?
Clash of civilisations?

Huntington’s ghost is bemused as Muslims clash within their own civilisation.

Be bold, not paranoid
Be bold, not paranoid

Why Prime Minister Modi should ignore Arun Shourie’s advice as he sets out for Beijing

Once Upon a War
Once Upon a War

Remembering the world’s first televised war in Vietnam.

Local is national
Local is national

As in India, voters in Britain must learn to grapple with more diffuse electoral outcomes.

United  Kingdom?
United Kingdom?

Tories’ last chance rests on voter suspicion, outside Scotland, of the Scottish National Party.

Anything But Maroon
Anything But Maroon

West Indian cricket stars prefer playing for IPL. But new talent waits in the wings.

Beware the hierarchy
Beware the hierarchy

It is not intrinsically bad. But it forms a cocoon that ‘protects’ those on top from new ideas.

Telescope: Breathless over Salman
Telescope: Breathless over Salman

TV news kept its promise to give viewers carpet coverage of the verdict, relegating all else.

Two many heads
Two many heads

Delhi is home to a division of powers. In taking on the LG, CM Kejriwal is audacious and imprudent.

Will Real IP Policy Stand up?
Will Real IP Policy Stand up?

Government has been speaking in two tongues on intellectual property.

Redraw the calendar
Redraw the calendar

There is a very strong case for moving the government’s fiscal year, to start around Deepavali.

Who’s corrupt?
Who’s corrupt?

It is necessary to distinguish between honest and dishonest, and correct and incorrect, decisions.

Debate the debt
Debate the debt

A clear-headed discussion on separation of monetary and debt management is needed.

The Unfreedom of Religion
The Unfreedom of Religion

Supreme Court has taken a restrictive view of Article 25.

Belling the mice
Belling the mice

Addressing administrative corruption is the easy part. Policy corruption is more difficult to tackle.

The Smart Staff
The Smart Staff

Address skills shortage in municipal bodies to reform urban governance.

Over the barrel: A new energy
Over the barrel: A new energy

Government has done well on energy policy so far. But it needs to provide clarity on the New Exploration Licensing Policy.

Rear View: Year of Atal and Sonia
Rear View: Year of Atal and Sonia

In 1998, India began watching a new prime minister and a new Congress president.

Across The Aisle: Even to the causing of death
Across The Aisle: Even to the causing of death

The demand to repeal AFSPA is not a demand of the separatists in J&K alone.

Fifth Column: Future planning
Fifth Column: Future planning

Rahul Gandhi is back with an ideology: Nehruvian Socialism.

Out of My Mind: Losing the Plot
Out of My Mind: Losing the Plot

What is striking is the lack of visibility about what the government is doing to relieve the (farmer) distress.

InsideTrack: Rawal, in play
InsideTrack: Rawal, in play

The bold Hindi play Kishan v/s Kanhaiya staged in the auditorium of Parliament House library left MPs by surprise.

On shakier ground
On shakier ground

Modi government is caught in traps, some structural, some of its own making.

His Story of India
His Story of India

Chris Bayly challenged many of the conventions of Indian history writing.

Woman, moment, nation
Woman, moment, nation

The autobiography of a midnight’s child tells the tale of growing up in and with Pakistan.

Hastening the Asian century
Hastening the Asian century

China’s economy has entered a ‘new normal’. Cooperation with India is in full swing.

Fighting yesterday’s war
Fighting yesterday’s war

The land market crisis is actually a labour market crisis. The problem is our inability to create enough non-farm jobs.

Dancers in the dark
Dancers in the dark

In the world of the devadasis, we can recognise fragments of our own.

Missing entrepreneurs
Missing entrepreneurs

The current crisis in the Indian economy is because of the undersupply of the risk-taker.

It’s Cloudy Over Tehran
It’s Cloudy Over Tehran

Israel whips up fears based on misinformation on Iran’s nuclear programme.

Modi lessons for CPM
Modi lessons for CPM

He reivented himself. He made himself attractive to the people.

Saying no to a friend
Saying no to a friend

Pakistan’s rebuff, assertion of sovereignty, came as a shock to Riyadh.

Telescope: Quake and competition
Telescope: Quake and competition

The news channels’ efforts to convey the depth of human suffering in Nepal were buried by one-upmanship.

The Assam type house
Nepal Earthquake
The Assam type house

Because earthquakes don’t kill; the buildings in which we live do.

Our Multiplex Patriotism
Our Multiplex Patriotism

We have been brainwashed into always-on devotion to flags and anthems.

How to meet a quake
How to meet a quake

We cannot prevent earthquakes. But conjoint Saarc-wide planning and action could soften the blow.

For those marked ‘Other’
For those marked ‘Other’

Transgender bill has gaps. Wider consultation with the community is needed.

Untie the farmer
Untie the farmer

To leave farmers on land and not give them skills for urban and industrial lives is equal to trapping them in misery.

View From The Left: Farmer Distress
View From The Left: Farmer Distress

Focusing on the death of a farmer during an AAP rally in Delhi, the CPI’s New Age says it brought people’s attention back to the “distress” faced by the agriculture sector.

Danger looms
Danger looms

Removing sari from handlooms reservation act would ill serve weavers and a shared heritage.

A bitter crop
A bitter crop

Current rural distress is not about land acquisition. It is rooted in the low viability and high volatility of agriculture.

To Go On, Defiantly
To Go On, Defiantly

Sabeen Mahmud was shot. But she will not be concluded.

The inclusion project
The inclusion project

Jan Dhan Yojana is a remarkable achievement. But financial inclusion must be more ambitious and look beyond bank accounts.

For the record: Taxation policy has to be non-adversarial, says Arun Jaitley
For the record: Taxation policy has to be non-adversarial, says Arun Jaitley

Excerpts from 16th DP Kohli memorial lecture by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Delhi, April 27.

Chinese take away: Nepal Challenge
Nepal Earthquake
Chinese take away: Nepal Challenge

If there was a moment to lend substance to the claim that the neighbourhood ranks first in India’s foreign policy, it is now and in Nepal.

Out of the debris
Out of the debris

Resilient Nepal will reconstruct and rebuild. India must continue to lend a hand.

For all the Shah Banos
For all the Shah Banos

Constitution, not community’s code, should decide religion-based disputes.

Fifth Metro: Bangalore, 1, 2, 3
Fifth Metro: Bangalore, 1, 2, 3

Karnataka chief minister has seized control of the state’s biggest and richest civic body.

More modestly, with Kabul
More modestly, with Kabul

During Ashraf Ghani’s visit, Delhi must signal support informed by an appreciation of Afghanistan’s strategic dilemmas.

Across  the Aisle: Inflation is bad, but is deflation good?
Across the Aisle: Inflation is bad, but is deflation good?

Deflation is not an unmixed blessing. Sometimes it can be more calamitous than inflation.

Inside Track: Unconventional approach
Inside Track: Unconventional approach

PM Narendra Modi broke with convention on at least three occasions on his recent visit to France, Germany and Canada.

Out of My Mind: Playing with lives
Out of My Mind: Playing with lives

The AAP went on with its rally because that is one activity its leader enjoys the most.

Fifth Column: Lies and more lies
Fifth Column: Lies and more lies

Rahul Gandhi's lies are serious and so must be analysed seriously.

The other Parivar
The other Parivar

Bihar will be the litmus test for the Janata merger.

An inability to grieve
An inability to grieve

For political parties, ‘people’ are an abstraction. Gajendra Singh’s death drives this truth home.

No Proof Required: Some media-bashing
No Proof Required: Some media-bashing

Going by their learned comments on farmer suicide, if the Congress had won the previous election, it would have introduced a right to happiness bill to satisfy all voters.

To win the peace
To win the peace

Post-conflict Sri Lanka needs to start talking of demilitarisation

Law as farce
Law as farce

‘Court’ points to a heartening trend of questioning

Yemen’s long shadow
Yemen’s long shadow

The conflict has made Pakistan feel more divided at home.

Those paper boats
Those paper boats

European reaction to sinking of migrant ship has all the trappings of a farce.

If you want to help the farmer
If you want to help the farmer

Evidence of farm distress mounts. Government needs to broaden its policy focus.

‘Civil society is like a Socratic gadfly to the state’
‘Civil society is like a Socratic gadfly to the state’

John Hawkes professor Leela Gandhi talks about her new book, the inner life of democracy and what it means to be postcolonial in 2015.

The anti-labour mindset
The anti-labour mindset

But looking only at labour market policies will not solve low employment elasticity of growth

Web of deception
Web of deception

Arguments for state censorship of internet service providers in the name of net neutrality have an Orwellian feel.

The silencing of dissent
The silencing of dissent

Government’s treatment of Greenpeace is an example of a worrying trend.

Tele Scope: Seen and heard, again and again
Tele Scope: Seen and heard, again and again

News TV is relishing Rahul Gandhi’s return and his face-off with the government in Parliament.

The Vizag line
The Vizag line

CPM won’t separate struggle against neoliberal policies from fight against Hindutva.

Lighting up a century
Lighting up a century

How Chris Bayly redeemed modern Indian history from a damning critique.

The new progressive
The new progressive

CPM must overcome defeatism, refresh itself to dominate debate.

A tax hell on earth
A tax hell on earth

The demand of Rs 40,000 crore minimum alternate tax is the latest example of Indian tax terrorism.

A day in the fight for the right to know
A day in the fight for the right to know

An attempt on my life last year in Pakistan made me a hero for a powerless majority.

The clean energy opportunity
The clean energy opportunity

India and the US need to work together to usher in the change.

Two birds, one $46 billion stone
Two birds, one $46 billion stone

China, Pakistan have done better on security than economics. Can it be different?

Can it hit the road?
Can it hit the road?

Rahul’s challenge is not to become party president but to make a party out of Congress.

Great Chinese diversion
Great Chinese diversion

India must be prepared to deal with China’s plans to divert Brahmaputra waters.

Death by Breath: And malice towards the non-polluter
Death by Breath: And malice towards the non-polluter

Municipal policies keep street vendors and cycle rickshaws trapped in a web of illegality.

The great Game Folio: China in Bandung
The great Game Folio: China in Bandung

A fortnightly column on the high politics of the Af-Pak region, the fulcrum of global power play in India’s neighbourhood.

What’s Left?
What’s Left?

CPM must connect with the future. It will need hard rethinking, even harder ground work.

When a great city dies
When a great city dies

Mumbai’s long-standing tradition of openness and tolerance is fast eroding.

Radical storyteller
Radical storyteller

With Eduardo Galeano’s passing, Latin American history has lost a valued witness.

Air, an election issue
Air, an election issue

The growing public concern over pollution must enable a political moment where governments view action on air quality as a vote-getter

Rear view: An end and a beginning
Rear view: An end and a beginning

The exit of Narasimha Rao triggered the coalition era

Reimagining the triangle
Reimagining the triangle

Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan could be an opportunity to transform New Delhi’s relationship with Islamabad and Beijing.

Across the Aisle: The bugle has been sounded
Across the Aisle: The bugle has been sounded

If one compared the budget estimate for 2014-15 and 2015-16, the reduction was extremely harsh.

Fifth Column: Clarity on Kashmir
Fifth Column: Clarity on Kashmir

Nobody seriously believes that there will be another redrawing of India’s borders.

Out Of My Mind: Rest in peace
Out Of My Mind: Rest in peace

Now lo and behold, poor Babasaheb is being claimed by the BJP/RSS as a great Hindu!

Inside Track: Sticking on
Inside Track: Sticking on

Unlike others who have had to leave after completing their parliamentary terms, Amar Singh has so far managed to stay on.

In Delhi, do as Beijing does
In Delhi, do as Beijing does

Adopt more stringent fuel quality and emission standards — and push for the national automobile pollution and fuel authority.

A call to account
A call to account

Public accounting needs to reclaim its pre-eminence as a profession and as a calling.

The oil games
The oil games

N-deal with Iran opens another front in the international arena.

Worse than war
Worse than war

This year’s UN report on sexual violence in conflict documents the horror and suggests early warning systems.

GIFT that gives back
GIFT that gives back

Institutional capacity in finance SEZs will eventually reform the mainland.

The buck stops where?
The buck stops where?

While violation of approved conditions is rampant, enforcement of environmental laws is abysmally poor.

If you do not hear the farmer
If you do not hear the farmer

Rural distress is growing. Chand Committee report on MSPs shows a way out.

Not a zero sum game
Not a zero sum game

China takes the lead in Afghanistan. Why India need not feel threatened.

Let’s talk about Israel, not Iran
Let’s talk about Israel, not Iran

Tel Aviv’s unchecked nuclear capabilities, not Tehran’s pursuit of a bomb, have destabilised West Asia.

Tele scope: Follow the PM Narendra Modi
Tele scope: Follow the PM Narendra Modi

Otherwise, TV news is insular, uninterested in the world.

How we failed Ambedkar
How we failed Ambedkar

Facing up to him means confronting questions of our own complicity and guilt.

The shadows of forgotten ancestors
The shadows of forgotten ancestors

PM’s visit to ‘Komagata Maru’ museum highlights the trials of first generation Indian immigrants to Canada.

Transforming our cities: On water, Singapore shows the way
Transforming our cities: On water, Singapore shows the way

Every drop of rain that can be captured, should be captured. Every drop of wastewater that can be safely reclaimed, should be reclaimed.

What Delhi can learn from Paris
What Delhi can learn from Paris

For India, in a phase of urban transition, solutions to air pollution are both local and global.

The wild card
The wild card

Private funding is a supporting mechanism, but conservation must remain a public priority.

Ambedkar for our time
Ambedkar for our time

He will be relevant as long as concerns of most disempowered are unheard.

A very ordinary Byomkesh
A very ordinary Byomkesh

Dibakar Banerjee’s film rekindles a romance that has endured for 83 years.

Take the longer, larger view
Take the longer, larger view

If we use the corrected number for cars, we get a statistic of eight cars per hundred persons in Delhi.

A prize for bad behaviour
A prize for bad behaviour

The international community must create a viable alternative to the Lausanne deal with Iran

The great Game Folio
The great Game Folio

As they face similar threats from religious extremism and terrorism, India and Canada can significantly expand their intelligence-sharing on a bilateral basis.

For the record: ‘India’s priorities fit well with Germany’s expertise’
For the record: ‘India’s priorities fit well with Germany’s expertise’

Excerpts from PM Narendra Modi’s oped in German newspaper ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’, April 13

Lateral entry, blind alley
Lateral entry, blind alley

Far from infusing energy, it could further enfeeble the bureaucracy.

On a new track
On a new track

Railways revival could begin with reforms charted by Sreedharan, Debroy panels.

Across the Aisle-Land acquisition: Nine steps to nirvana
Across the Aisle-Land acquisition: Nine steps to nirvana

The old Land Acquisition Act of 1894 was an oppressive and exploitative colonial legislation.

Fifth column: A five-star hullabaloo
Fifth column: A five-star hullabaloo

When Modi promised to eliminate laws that came in the way of the justice system moving faster.

Inside track: Not so tweet
Inside track: Not so tweet

Some of Anil Vij’s earlier tweets can also be interpreted as innuendoes against M L Khattar.

Out of My Mind: Idealism is not enough
Out of My Mind: Idealism is not enough

AAP is of course not a political party in any ordinary sense.

The Sudeten parallel
The Sudeten parallel

How a misinterpretation of Hitler’s demand for German majority areas in Czechoslovakia influenced the Muslim League’s demand for Pakistan.

A new vehicle for clean air
A new vehicle for clean air

The best way to improve Delhi’s toxic air is to massively augment public transportation systems.

Two controversies
Two controversies

Extending beef ban is unreasonable. Decision on Marathi movies was needed

Gandhis, like the Bhuttos
Gandhis, like the Bhuttos

A similar tale of dynasty and power unfolds on both sides of the border.

The write choice
The write choice

Recent spate of Bollywood films offers a new premise: story can be the hero

No, prime minister
No, prime minister

PM has talked down to the judiciary. His reference to ‘five star activists’ intimidates.

Three is not a crowd
Three is not a crowd

When Ghani visits, India should welcome thaw between Kabul and Islamabad.

And not a drop to drink
And not a drop to drink

A basic change in our attitude to water is needed.

Modi and the middle powers
Modi and the middle powers

Paris, Berlin and Ottawa can each contribute substantially to the realisation of India’s new national goals.

Friends for the future
Friends for the future

Singapore, India must keep renewing their cultural and historical links, writes Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh.

TeleScope: Beyond cricket
TeleScope: Beyond cricket

Arvind Kejriwal looked sunny. And Partition is revisited from across the border.

Why a Congress-mukt Bharat would be bad for BJP
Why a Congress-mukt Bharat would be bad for BJP

A hasty Congress decline, as in Delhi, would consolidate anti-BJP vote in states with prominent regional parties.

Creating lesser citizens
Creating lesser citizens

SC order declaring that high courts will not entertain challenges to orders of the Armed Forces Tribunal curtails military litigants’ right to justice.

Justice, bottom up
Justice, bottom up

No amount of judicial reform is likely to yield results unless legal education is also cleaned up.

My outrage and yours
My outrage and yours

Even those who rush to indict terrorism at every turn seem to treat this incident with nonchalant indifference.

Chinese Takeaway: Yemen evacuation
Chinese Takeaway: Yemen evacuation

Beijing and Delhi have regularly tasked their armed forces with evacuation operations in different parts of the world.

A greenprint for reform
A greenprint for reform

New ideas are needed to protect India’s forests, reduce horrors of climate change.

A sadness in Bangladesh
A sadness in Bangladesh

In a society split down the middle, along political lines, religious bigotry rears its ugly head.

Vision and the city
Vision and the city

Our engagement with cities must not be only about problem solving.

Over the barrel: Big problem, small solution
Over the barrel: Big problem, small solution

Government would do well to identify and take the small steps to change.

Rear View: How Narasimha Rao became PM
Rear View: How Narasimha Rao became PM

Rao was not Sonia’s first choice. The timing of his rise to power could not have been worse.

Across the Aisle: Who wants rupee at 40 to the dollar?
Across the Aisle: Who wants rupee at 40 to the dollar?

There are clouds on the horizon. The first is, what will the US Federal Reserve do? Will it hike interest rates?

Fifth Column: Meaningless hysterics
Fifth Column: Meaningless hysterics

There have been no massacres of Christians, Muslims, Sikhs or Dalits since Narendra Modi took office.

Out of my mind: Speaking of Nigeria
Out of my mind: Speaking of Nigeria

Nigeria needs India’s attention and respect. Giriraj Singh notwithstanding.

Inside Track: House on fire?
Inside Track: House on fire?

T K Viswanathan, has written to both Narendra Modi and Pranab Mukherjee that the Delhi Fire Service had refused to give a fire safety clearance to the building.

So much to gain
So much to gain

Iran n-deal is a handsome reward of diplomacy, in contrast to military options

Culture of machismo and bias
Culture of machismo and bias

More women are needed in managerial roles. It’s even good for business

Higher education, higher meddling
Higher education, higher meddling

No quick-fixes can help public universities if successive governments exercise power unbridled by reason.

That state in the middle
That state in the middle

It is not incidental that Kipling was inspired to set ‘Jungle Book’ in Madhya Pradesh.

Nextdoor Nepal: When a doctor protests
Nextdoor Nepal: When a doctor protests

Why Govinda K.C.’s fast shook the government.

Banking on change
Banking on change

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank could rearrange the global financial balance of power.

Eye on Sana’a
Eye on Sana’a

Yemen conflict is sharpening. India and Pakistan need to coordinate their response.

New world bank order
New world bank order

China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank extends its regional and global strategy.

A reality check for gau rakshaks
A reality check for gau rakshaks

Anti-slaughter laws don’t recognise the reality: the cow has a future only in states that permit at least selective culling.

Dastango and the sea of stories
Dastango and the sea of stories

The Dastangoi tradition is the confluence of many cultures and civilisations

Trust not the boat but the river
Trust not the boat but the river

Kailash Vajpeyi chose to walk a middle line that was often the most radical place to be

Crushing a broken system
Crushing a broken system

Government must step aside, not bully academic institutions into submission.

A promise to Sunita Tomar
A promise to Sunita Tomar

Her suffering will not go in vain. Solutions to tobacco are within reach.

Look again at the Middle East
Look again at the Middle East

A nuclear agreement could end the long confrontation between Iran and the West — and also open up diplomatic space for India.

TeleScope: AAP [Live]
TeleScope: AAP [Live]

We watched the party implode. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Barefoot solar engineers
Barefoot solar engineers

A Gandhian partnership model involving women could help the electrification of villages.

A new kind of babu
A new kind of babu

The main task of the next cabinet secretary must be civil service reform.

And what about Section 377?
And what about Section 377?

As with 66A, SC could use the ‘void for vagueness’ doctrine to strike it down.

Divided government, gridlocked House
Divided government, gridlocked House

Different parties rule at state and national levels. It is not yet clear if this is a sign of maturing democracy or a crisis of governance

Closing the military loop
Closing the military loop

A chief of defence staff is a good idea. But first, let’s debate the challenges of higher defence management

Officer and a gentleman
Officer and a gentleman

Former Mizoram Chief Minister T. Sailo spoke up against the conduct of security operations during the Mizo insurgency

View from the left: Land Lies
View from the left: Land Lies

Do these changes being made by the Modi government not suggest that PM Modi is bringing them to benefit both the foreign and domestic corporates

Freedom most reasonable
Freedom most reasonable

SC’s resounding words while striking down 66A apply not just to internet but to all media.

What the states got right
What the states got right

Centre must learn from models of land acquisition satisfying both buyer and seller.

Test of a prime minister
Test of a prime minister

Last week, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was conferred the Bharat Ratna. Here, his former media advisor, Ashok Tandon, recalls the story of one of the Vajpayee regime’s biggest challenges — and achievements

The Great Game Folio: Pakistan in Yemen
The Great Game Folio: Pakistan in Yemen

A fortnightly column on the high politics of the Af-Pak region, the fulcrum of global power play in India’s neighbourhood

Soul and the city
Soul and the city

Prithvi Theatre and Café Samovar — which closes down this week — are the last bastions of the city’s warm, secular spirit

Lead from the Centre
Lead from the Centre

To invest more in agriculture, Union government has to reorient food and fertiliser subsidies by moving to cash transfers.

Aadhaar, the spectre
Aadhaar, the spectre

Jean Drèze’s question ‘Is Aadhaar voluntary or compulsory?’ is disingenuous.

Empower, don’t patronise, the farmer
Empower, don’t patronise, the farmer

Challenge is to come up with a method of determining compensation that makes farmers beneficiaries, not victims or obstructionists.

In China, like Singapore
In China, like Singapore

Chinese leaders have tried to imitate, not always accurately, Lee Kuan Yew’s statecraft.

No one’s children
No one’s children

Will drastic cuts in child health, nutrition outlays really be made up by states?

Nextdoor Nepal: Fear of trial and punishment
Nextdoor Nepal: Fear of trial and punishment

A new sense of vulnerability is driving the effort to reunify the two Maoist parties.

Across the aisle - Natural resources: Fog is yet to clear
Across the aisle - Natural resources: Fog is yet to clear

Supreme Court approved of any fair, transparent and non-discriminatory method of allocating natural resources.

Out of my mind: Being a Hindu
Out of my mind: Being a Hindu

No one should be surprised that many Dalits left Hinduism. Indeed the puzzle is that so many remained.

Fifth Column: A time to lead
Fifth Column: A time to lead

Singapore has become a model for China and most Southeast Asian countries. The beacon of change was Lee Kuan Yew.

Inside track: Image conscious
Inside track: Image conscious

Sharad Yadav was at the centre of a controversy last week over his comments on south Indian women.

Faults and lines
Faults and lines

Parties have split before. But AAP’s internal dissension doesn’t look fundamental.

The judge, my hero
The judge, my hero

I filed a petition against 66A. But SC judges made us all win.

Unfair House
Unfair House

Parliament condemned my statements on Gandhi and Bose without giving me a hearing, writes Markandey Katju.

A story of Bhuttos, and South Asia
A story of Bhuttos, and South Asia

A new book recounts the turbulence in the life and times of Benazir Bhutto.

A mixed record on freedom
A mixed record on freedom

Supreme Court has upheld civil liberties in Section 66A judgment — unlike during Emergency.

Torchbearer for a progressive politics
Torchbearer for a progressive politics

Tahira Mazhar Ali struggled to reclaim spaces for a secular, pluralistic Pakistan.

It pays to be smart
It pays to be smart

But will there be takers once states realise a Smart City isn’t a ticket to Central funds?

The Farkhunda shame