Meghnad Desai loves to cook, watch and write about old Bollywood movies and shuttles between London, Delhi and Goa. He pursues controversies on economics, history and anything else which catches his attention. He is also a British parliamentarian sitting in the House of Lords. He has written over 25 books, over 200 articles in learned journals and hundreds of newspaper columns in UK and India.
The astonishing thing is that the case has been brought by Gambia. Not by any neighbouring Asian nation. Not Malaysia nor Indonesia nor Pakistan.
The Conservative Party has been deeply divided over the Brexit question, but right now Johnson is asking for a large vote ‘to get Brexit done’. He has negotiated a deal and he needs a comfortable majority to get it through the House of Commons.
There is a glaring lack of interest in the fortunes of the economy, which was the central focus in Modi 1.0. Has Modi 2.0 abandoned Sabka Vikas?
From the proceedings in Maharashtra, there are deeper conclusions to be drawn. If two Hindu nationalist parties cannot agree on a power-sharing coalition because of the Brahmin/non-Brahmin difference, what hope is there for a Hindu Rashtra?
The beauty of the present judgment is that it accommodates the realities of power with requirements of legality in a way which bequeaths a legitimacy which is conducive to public peace if not harmony.
The Republic of India has the most extensive territory, larger than any previous Empire it has seen — Hindu, Afghan, Mughal or British.
The episode involving the European Parliamentarians shows that the government does not believe in its own propaganda that all is well.
Certain things are clear. Never take the voters for granted. Voters know not only how to use their vote but also how to lie to pollsters.
A recent example of this sensitivity to Western opinion came when the British Labour Party passed a resolution on Kashmir. It was critical of the Modi government.
It has been a tense few days and the coming days will be even more so. Boris Johnson has to bring the deal to the House of Commons, persuade Parliament to support it.
English laws were to be used to keep Indians in order. The British rulers never understood their subjects — the mob as they called it. They needed someone to fashion tools for keeping Indians in order.
It was alright for England, Scotland and Wales — Great Britain — to leave the European Union and get out of the Customs Union and the Single Market. But what of Northern Ireland, which shared the island with the Republic which wanted to remain in the EU?
The crisis in the UK yields an interesting contrast concerning the question ‘Who Rules?’
The reason for saying this is not political but simple understanding of the difficulty of measuring a large population accurately. Remember the debate about unemployment rates.
Yet much worse is happening with the Motor Vehicles Act, a fine piece of legislation to make car drivers behave in a responsible fashion.
The anger in Kashmir Valley has a long history. To expect it to die due to a constitutional change would be a delusion. It would require concrete policy changes in economic and social sectors to heal the wounds of the past 65 years.
Through a political and public life spread over 44 years from the Emergency to his retirement from Cabinet, he was a confidant of many, Narendra Modi perhaps being his longest political friend.
At what stage of prosperity can India give up reservations? After all, other democratic societies have income and class inequalities but do not require affirmative action. Why not India?
If Hindus outnumbered Sikhs in Punjab, would that be ethnic cleansing of Sikhs? If Kashmir is no longer a Muslim-majority province, it will become more like secular India than before.
Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have cut the Gordian knot of the Kashmir problem. They have removed Article 370 which was still in the chapter on transitory measures in the Constitution since its introduction way back.