Sunday, Mar 01, 2015
Across The Aisle - Fourteenth FC: Generous to a fault?
Across The Aisle - Fourteenth FC: Generous to a fault?

Abhijit Sen can take heart that he may not be alone when he wrote his four-page dissent to the Report of the FFC.

Out of my mind: A house of illusions
Out of my mind: A house of illusions

Every country which is rich today was once poor and agrarian. It got rich by using land for industry.

Inside Track: Yadav weds Yadav
Inside Track: Yadav weds Yadav

Lalu once hoped that his eldest daughter Misa would marry Yadav’s eldest son Akhilesh.

Fifth column: Not Jantar Mantar again
Fifth column: Not Jantar Mantar again

The land law is not the only bad piece of legislation that the last government bestowed upon us.

Whose national interest?
Whose national interest?

Home ministry’s affidavit in Priya Pillai case is a study in irony.

The frailty of judges
The frailty of judges

It is increasingly difficult for Pakistan to punish those who kill for religious reasons.

#RahulWillBeBack
#RahulWillBeBack

Change is not easy, and the Congress flirts dangerously with obsolescence if it cannot reinvent urgently.

No clean slate
No clean slate

Budget 2015-16 will be watched for how much it breaks from the past.

Track changes
Track changes

Indian Railways should decentralise by using PPPs in a big way.

Running late
Running late

Rail budget missed the opportunity to lay out an agenda for the future.

Put the scissors away
Put the scissors away

If promoting obscurantism is a concern, TV is far more guilty than films.

Finance minister’s Victor Hugo moment
Finance minister’s Victor Hugo moment

Post-reform India has had three gamechanging budgets. Will Arun Jaitley’s be the fourth?

Chugging ahead
Chugging ahead

Rail budget makes many right moves. But beware of rail ministry’s ‘implementation bug’.

The investment quandary
The investment quandary

Union budget will be watched for the incentives it offers to encourage private investment.

Meeting point Srinagar
Meeting point Srinagar

A PDP-BJP coalition could help heal the rift between Jammu and Kashmir.

Engines of growth
Engines of growth

Real challenge for railways is to keep pace with a fast expanding economy.

‘The man I offered my complaint to smiled it off... I regretted having spoken to him at all’
‘The man I offered my complaint to smiled it off... I regretted having spoken to him at all’

A victim of sexual harassment speaks out about why most women choose to remain silent.

The case against private coal
The case against private coal

It will increase the price of coal and eventually the price of power.

View from the right: PM on tolerance
View from the right: PM on tolerance

The Organiser editorial interprets Modi’s recent speech on religious freedom not as a message to Hindutva outfits.

Tele scope: Once again
Tele scope: Once again

Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal rolled back the years with a return to protests, and TVs.

Me and my mandate
Me and my mandate

How Nitish, Rahul and Modi have overplayed their hand

All that glitters
All that glitters

Budget offers government a chance to tap gold stocks, monetise them.

Off the coal blocks
Off the coal blocks

Aggressive bidding and transparency in the auction process have rescued the sector from the uncertainty caused by the cancellation of allocations.

Chinese Takeaway: Railway Lessons
Chinese Takeaway: Railway Lessons

By the turn of the 20th century, the subcontinent had nearly 15,000 km of railway track, in comparison to just 600 km in China.

A time to bid
A time to bid

There is no going back to corruption in coal allocations.

Come to the House
Come to the House

Government must avoid the temptation to bypass the legislature.

A taxing matter
A taxing matter

Both form and content of GST Constitution amendment bill need to be re-thought.

Nalanda’s cosy club
Nalanda’s cosy club

The revival of a university in Nalanda is a noble mission. But the past seven years have seen a hijacking of the project by a small clique.

An icon for Swachh Bharat
An icon for Swachh Bharat

To sustain the abhiyan, we should draw inspiration from beloved saint-reformers like Sant Gadge Maharaj.

The immunisation imperative
The immunisation imperative

A renewed commitment will improve India’s record on combating childhood diseases and help set the global agenda on child health.

A distorted landscape
A distorted landscape

Land markets are skewed by policies that urgently require correction.

Unequal opportunities
Unequal opportunities

Why Rajasthan’s recent ordinances limiting who can run for local office are flawed.

The new normal in MP
The new normal in MP

A Hindu majoritarian cultural agenda seems to be entrenched in the state.

A climate of bilateralism
A climate of bilateralism

India should be wary of acceding to US demands on emissions cuts.

Victory signs
Victory signs

Despite AAP’s Delhi win, if strategies are put in place to deliver on promises by his third year, Modi may well preside over a 10-year transformation of India.

Across the Aisle: What will the fm do with 282?
Across the Aisle: What will the fm do with 282?

Mr Narendra Modi and his ministers started by believing their election rhetoric that the Indian economy was in the doldrums.

Inside Track: Potential Recruits
Inside Track: Potential Recruits

Long ago, when they were buddies, Pravin Togadia rode the bike with Narendra Modi as pillion.

Out of my mind: Secular, not socialist?
Out of my mind: Secular, not socialist?

How many of us are aware that the Election Commission requires every political party to affirm that it is socialist?

Fifth Column: Crusaders in a time warp
Fifth Column: Crusaders in a time warp

It is true that in elections past, the RSS helped the BJP win, but it is not true of the last general election.

Stalemate in Dhaka
Stalemate in Dhaka

Unless BNP calls off agitation, owns up for the violence, talks seem unlikely.

Becoming what we hate
Becoming what we hate

India’s democracy did not have Pakistan’s flaws. Why, then, would India want to imitate Pakistan?

The great Game Folio: Defence Diplomacy
The great Game Folio: Defence Diplomacy

Addressing the gathering, Xi underlined the importance of military diplomacy in achieving Beijing’s larger national goals.

Avoid the fast track to reform
Avoid the fast track to reform

Higher education should not be overhauled by overemphasising technical skills and employability.

Voting in Brazil
Voting in Brazil

Its electoral process faces two challenges: party fragmentation and campaign finance.

For a clean bill of health
For a clean bill of health

Public health policy needs political leadership, not another please-all document.

The new normal in Madhya Pradesh
The new normal in Madhya Pradesh

A Hindu majoritarian cultural agenda seems to be entrenched in the state.

Thus spake Modi
Thus spake Modi

Now he must outmanoeuvre the politics of resentment and zealotry in his parivar.

Far from the horseshoe table
Far from the horseshoe table

Despite US support, permanent Security Council membership may prove elusive.

For The Record: Full text of Amartya Sen's letter
For The Record: Full text of Amartya Sen's letter

The governing board was kept completely in the dark about an attempted unilateral move by the government to rapidly reconstitute the entire board.

Halting the demolition derby
Halting the demolition derby

AAP’s move is welcome. Now, it must extend secure tenure to slum dwellers to build a more inclusive city.

Whose biryani  is it anyway?
Whose biryani is it anyway?

The dish has come to telegraphically signal ‘anti-national’.

Reconfiguring the military
Reconfiguring the military

India needs a matrix structure where the operational and support roles are separated.

Roads to a comeback
Roads to a comeback

Nitish Kumar’s elevation and then his attempt to oust Jitan Ram Manjhi may have been a blunder.

Telescope: ‘Blowing off’ Pakistan
Telescope: ‘Blowing off’ Pakistan

From coast to coast, that’s what India appears to have been doing of late.

What Delhi rejects
What Delhi rejects

Hindu right’s conduct put off voters who had supported BJP for growth, governance.

No more economic bandaids
No more economic bandaids

View from the right: Freebies Vs Growth
View from the right: Freebies Vs Growth

The Organiser cautions people against the distribution of freebies by the Arvind Kejriwal regime at the cost of India’s economic growth.

‘My government will not allow any religious group majority or minority to incite hatred against others’
‘My government will not allow any religious group majority or minority to incite hatred against others’

Excerpts from PM Narendra Modi’s speech at the national celebration of the elevation to sainthood of Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Euphrasia on February 17 in New Delhi.

No such thing as free water
No such thing as free water

AAP should scrap free water policy for all and target poor localities, and those with no access to piped water.

The road to safety
The road to safety

India needs a two-pronged approach: it must reduce the risk of fatality and encourage public transport.

Remaking the Centre
Remaking the Centre

Union government is changing old ways. It is yet to find new equilibrium.

Some fresh GIAN
Some fresh GIAN

Can India support a global network of academics to teach in its universities?

The Peshawar effect
The Peshawar effect

It increased Pakistan army resolve to pursue militants. It is also helping it acquire more power.

Woman from Monroeville
Woman from Monroeville

Fame came with tragic consequences for Harper Lee, the writer.

While Rahul stood still
While Rahul stood still

In Delhi, AAP grew into space vacated by Congress. From here, its challenge gets more interesting.

A Sholay we don’t know
A Sholay we don’t know

Both India and Pakistan deserve a release of the original version of the film.

Rear view: The rise of V.P. Singh
Rear view: The rise of V.P. Singh

Intrigue and confusion characterised the tenure of the National Front government.

ISIS’s dark theatre
ISIS’s dark theatre

Contrary to the polite fictions of legal history, violent public punishment has survived across the world.

On the Record: ‘India, EU can gain from a more open trade regime in India’
On the Record: ‘India, EU can gain from a more open trade regime in India’

Jose Manuel Barroso was in India for the Delhi Sustainable Development Conference earlier this month.

Across the Aisle: Lessons for all in the Delhi election
Across the Aisle: Lessons for all in the Delhi election

Good and bad ideas will come the AAP’s way, and there are many of both kinds in their manifesto.

Inside Track: Coomi Kapoor
Inside Track: Coomi Kapoor

There was understandable gloom on the day, as the trends of the Delhi results became clear.

Out of My Mind: Now deliver
Out of My Mind: Now deliver

In a democracy, it is the electorate which plays this role.

Fifth Column: Well done, Kejriwal
Fifth Column: Well done, Kejriwal

It served as a warning to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he has not delivered on ‘parivartan’.

A new AAPtion
Delhi Assembly Polls
A new AAPtion

Not class struggle but enlarging the public space within existing structures.

The Delhi fumble
Delhi Assembly Polls
The Delhi fumble

India-watchers are keen to see how Modi responds to the Delhi verdict.

No Proof Required: A fifth triumph for Australia?
No Proof Required: A fifth triumph for Australia?

What’s in the stars, and in the stats, for World Cup 2015.

A Valentine story
A Valentine story

How a ritual from pagan Europe has, over the centuries, become a universal festival of love.

When madrasa challenges state
When madrasa challenges state

Pakistan’s plan to tackle terrorism will fail if it refuses to bring madrasas under the scanner.

Fact and fission
Fact and fission

What exactly is the ‘breakthrough’ achieved by the BJP on the N-deal?

Don’t obsess over growth
Don’t obsess over growth

The government has time on its side. The 2015 budget should focus on the medium term.

To make a city smart
To make a city smart

Begin with systematic and planned development of government land.

Bihar, after Delhi
Bihar, after Delhi

The Delhi verdict has injected a new frisson in the battle for Bihar.

Man with the arched eyebrow
Man with the arched eyebrow

Jon Stewart, speaker of truth to power, is an artist of his time.

Checkpoint Delhi
Checkpoint Delhi

The Delhi drubbing could push BJP to being a ‘normal’ party again.

Turmoil on campus
Turmoil on campus

A spike in violence in Bengal’s student politics speaks of larger power shifts

The tyranny of hurt sentiment
The tyranny of hurt sentiment

Those of us who are more offended by gratuitous violence than by cartoons must defend Shirin Dalvi.

The real development
The real development

All parties speak of development, but in Delhi, voters have expressed their preference for the AAP’s understanding of what it means.

Tele Scope: When people speak
Tele Scope: When people speak

When people speak... parties and news anchors are forced to eat their own words.

A victory of possibilities
A victory of possibilities

Delhi, BJP looked old. AAP wears imprimatur of a new revolution.

Grand Ossified Party
Grand Ossified Party

Polity has a Congress space. But Congress doesn’t seem up to filling it anymore.

No Proof Required: Dilli ko gussa kyon ayaa
No Proof Required: Dilli ko gussa kyon ayaa

Modi should not see AAP victory as having relevance only for Delhi. Kejriwal should not see it as having meaning beyond Delhi.

To the CM-in-waiting
To the CM-in-waiting

It is prudent to circumscribe your promise now, because even if Delhi is on your side, the Constitution will prevail.

Dear Narendra bhai
Dear Narendra bhai

The effect of negative campaigns is generally marginal to the final result.

These rancid rankings
These rancid rankings

IP rankings are politically motivated and express a clear preference for ‘faith’ over ‘facts’

Who rules the city?
Who rules the city?

Even as India marches to its city, local urban governance remains the missing link.

Obama, the disenchanted
Obama, the disenchanted

His wrestling with past sins seems cynical since it doesn’t touch his own party or worldview.

How to reap a good harvest
How to reap a good harvest

Finance minister must focus on policies that address both production and distribution of farm produce.

Civil disservice
Civil disservice

We suspect sudden transfers but ignore the arbitrary rules for appointment.

Mistress of texture
Mistress of texture

Mrinalini Mukherjee took common craft materials and turned them into high art.

A make in India conundrum
A make in India conundrum

How much we make will depend on the interest rate, how much is exported will depend on the exchange rate.

Barack's message
Barack's message

Indians must do some soul-searching. And Modi must act.

The Fifth Metro: All wound up
The Fifth Metro: All wound up

Mental health problems are on the rise and yet the city turns away from them.

A new menu
A new menu

Shanta Kumar panel report shows the way for reforming an outdated food policy.

Across the Aisle: Truth, damned truth and statistics
Across the Aisle: Truth, damned truth and statistics

We must forget past and filter memories through the prism of our individual preferences.

Flip side: Parting shots
Flip side: Parting shots

Now we have to bid goodbye to drama and dramatists, it’s almost like the empty nest syndrome.

Inside track: Slight tension
Inside track: Slight tension

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, things can go awry.

Fifth Column: Dreaming of good days
Fifth Column: Dreaming of good days

As if all that the new government has done in the past few months is settle easily into the ugly mould.

Out of My Mind: Now What?
Out of My Mind: Now What?

History luckily does not repeat itself. Not exactly anyway.

No Proof Required: Believe it or not statistics
No Proof Required: Believe it or not statistics

The miraculous 2013-14 growth has essentially come from artificially lowering the numbers for 2012-13.

Nextdoor Nepal: The foreign hand
Nextdoor Nepal: The foreign hand

But Nepal’s leaders cannot escape accountability for failing to deliver the constitution.

A jolly good show
A jolly good show

AIB roast has opened up space for our comic industry.

The NITI gritty
The NITI gritty

New body must encourage policy based on evidence, not intuition and ideology.

Art of investment
Art of investment

In India, art is slowly being recognised as an asset class.

Moving on
Moving on

A new moment may be changing Pak relationship with India, and the world.

Closing argument
Closing argument

This Delhi campaign was high on oratory, low on debate.

Can they make Delhi a liveable city?
Can they make Delhi a liveable city?

Delhi is set to vote in a new government. But Delhi may remain the same.

The bank in a new world
The bank in a new world

Power has shifted to the consumer, geography is not important, and change is constant and quick.

For the record: ‘If politicians go into a shell, they waste opportunity that has no cost’
For the record: ‘If politicians go into a shell, they waste opportunity that has no cost’

The second change was that 24x7 television decided they are not meant to report but to set the agenda.

Whose Delhi?
Delhi Assembly Polls
Whose Delhi?

Why a victory or setback in the national capital matters

Great expectations
Great expectations

The NDA’s first budget will set the tone for the rest of its term

Because the goal is equality
Because the goal is equality

That’s why the Constituent Assembly viewed secularism and economic democracy as necessary.

Win-win-win
Win-win-win

If Draghi and Lagarde show leadership and meet Tsipras halfway, a new deal is possible for Greece and Europe.

Tele Scope: Losing her voice
Tele Scope: Losing her voice

A coy Kiran Bedi makes Arvind Kejriwal sound almost statesmanlike.

A fuel’s errand
A fuel’s errand

The kerosene subsidy needs reform to reduce leakages, better target the poor.

The resilience of briefcase politics
The resilience of briefcase politics

After-effects of the 1969 ban on corporate donations to political parties linger.

No plaything
No plaything

Legislators are bound to uphold the basic structure of a secular, socialist Constitution.

Dear President Obama
Dear President Obama

India understands well the havoc “splintering” along religious lines can cause to a nation.

Chinese Takeaway: Sushma in Beijing
Chinese Takeaway: Sushma in Beijing

Swaraj signalled India’s determination to intensify the engagement with China on a pragmatic basis.

Putin’s next step
Putin’s next step

Will he take the Mao option or the Soros route? India, and the world, are watching.

The spirit of khadi
The spirit of khadi

It embodies a worldview that is of the past — and of the future.

A cut in time
A cut in time

Low rates will help. But sustainable higher growth requires the government to debottleneck sectors and push through pending reforms.

His own diplomacy
His own diplomacy

Modi’s postures and policies have not gone according to the hard nationalist script.

The hunt for black money
The hunt for black money

Modi can lead an international consensus on curbing the flow of illicit funds.

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

A make in India conundrum
A make in India conundrum

How much we make will depend on the interest rate, how much is exported will depend on the exchange rate.

The Fifth Metro: All wound up
The Fifth Metro: All wound up

Mental health problems are on the rise and yet the city turns away from them.

Barack's message
Barack's message

Indians must do some soul-searching. And Modi must act.

A new menu
A new menu

Shanta Kumar panel report shows the way for reforming an outdated food policy.

Stalemate in Dhaka
Stalemate in Dhaka

Unless BNP calls off agitation, owns up for the violence, talks seem unlikely.