29 Jul 2012
Last month, I had to visit the State of my birth and education, UP. Very little seemed to have changed in the quality of civic life ever since the last trip about two years ago. Same old power cut, dusty and pothole roads, chaotic traffic, growing unemployment, whiling away of time aimlessly on street corners, petty politics, civil insecurity albeit suspected to grow and a sense of despair on the faces of the people.
30 Nov 2011
Things have been moving in a positive direction on the India-Pakistan frontier. Pakistan’s military acted with speed to return to the Indian military a helicopter that had inadvertently crossed the Line of Control on October 23. A few days earlier, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hira Rabbani Khar announced that her country was finally considering granting India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. India bestowed MFN status on Pakistan in 1996. Under World Trade Organization agreements, the MFN principle is supposed to ensure that WTO members do not discriminate against one another, allowing all countries in the organization to benefit equally from the lowest possible tariffs.
10 Oct 2012
A CHANCE meeting with BJP chief Nitin Gadkari proved to be very productive. But it has left me confused. I found him saying more or less what the leftists uphold. I wondered whether their ideological differences had got rubbed on him and the BJP after their joint boycott of parliament and joint demonstrations over the past few months.
13 Sep 2012
While India and China are Asia’s two largest neighbors and the most populous nations in the world, their high-level political contact is limited and more so in the defense sector. Thus the visit of a Chinese Defence Minister to India may be deemed a significant event – more so when the last such visit took place eight years ago in 2004.
08 May 2012
There are few politicians who have made the journey from the sublime to the ridiculous in so short a time as West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee. A year ago, as the well-entrenched Left Front Government floundered, the leader of the Trinamool Congress emerged as a Mother Goddess, hell bent on slaying the Marxist demons who had intimidated an entire people for three decades.
04 May 2012
Whether or not unexpected troop movements around Delhi in January, on the same day that the army chief took the civilian authorities to the Supreme Court, spooked the government to the extent that it was deemed a coup in the making is a matter now for the historians to sort out. But what cannot be denied is that the relations between the civilians and the military are at an all time low and the trust deficit is widening by the day.
06 Feb 2012
The Supreme Court decision on Friday (Feb 3) in the matter of the date of birth controversy apropos the Army Chief General VK Singh has placed the government – as represented by the Ministry of Defense in an awkward position.
02 Mar 2012
Any riot, be it inspired by religious, caste or any other frenzy, leaves huge wounds behind. It causes death, injury, loss and suffering. It divides the society, polarizes people on basis of their birth marks. Every civilized society has to free itself from the menace of such social tensions.
22 May 2011
It is the same story of a farmer and his land. The government acquired green fields at Greater Noida, in the suburbs of Delhi, for “public purpose” to develop the Yamuna Expressway for allotment to the highest bidder in the private sector.
03 Feb 2012
AS the dust over an attempted coup or conspiracy in Bangladesh settles down, it is confirmed that the Indian intelligence agencies warned army top brass at Dhaka about the conspiracy hatched against the Sheikh Hasina government. On this occasion, the Bangladesh army acted in time and nipped the defiance in the bud. In 1975 too when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib-ur Rehman and his 15 family members were killed by the army, the Indian intelligence had cautioned an attack on Mujib. But then the top brass were themselves in the midst of coup and the army deliberately did not act. The result is known to all.