It’s worse than just Kar’nataka’; politics as farce

Imagine a middle-aged man standing outside the grand Vidhan Soudha building in Bengaluru and thinking aloud about the goings on inside the hallowed premises. I or for that matter anyone else won’t blame him if he wished to see them all out.It’s been weeks since an unseemly drama started in Karnataka.

Track Two diplomacy can put India-Pak ties on track

The proposed Kartarpur Pe...

Uncle Sam dictates terms of endearment to India

United States president D...

Sidhuisms return to bite Sidhu’s back, a chronicle of disaster foretold

A maverick with words and the bat – during his cricketing days – Navjot Singh Sidhu’s political career is like an interesting seesaw T20 match, just that, in his case, the 55-year-old plays the batsman, bowler, fielder and the umpire. “Wickets are like wives – you never know which way they will turn,” is one of cricketer-turned-politician’s famo...

Navjot Sidhu quits Punjab govt, keeps inevitable tryst with ‘le phad’ mom...

If Navjot Singh Sidhu were a brand, spinning a tagline for him would have been a cinch for copywriters. Without a shade of doubt, without a breath of dissent, the choice would have been unanimous: Le phad (Punjabi for I quit). Because, le phad, is what Sidhu does every few months. Le phad is what Sidhu says every time his ego is hurt. Le phad, a...

Greed vs Fear: Decoding the Congress-JD(S) gameplan in Karnataka

Politics has given the Congress-JD(S) coalition a lemon in Karnataka. Together, like true optimists, its leaders are trying to make a lemonade out of it. And the Supreme Court status-quo till Tuesday (July 16) on the resignations by rebel legislators has added a bit of sugar to their efforts. It is clear by now that the Congress-JD(S) government...

Karnataka stalemate points at immoral leaders, daft voters, ineffective laws

The ongoing political drama in the fittingly named state of Karnataka is a moment of deep shame for Indian democracy. The theatre of absurd, replete with themes of betrayal, treachery, greed and conspiracy, is exposing the ugly, dark side of India’s politics and the vile characters who have come to dominate it. The theatrics point not only at th...

Are mass resignations of Karnataka MLAs constitutional?

As the political drama in Karnataka unfolds, the Constitutional role of the Speaker, to accept or reject resignations, becomes crucial for further course of action, which will script the health of democracy. However, as much as the onus is on the Speaker, MLAs too are equally responsible to uphold democratic and constitutional values. It seems t...

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How Sheila Dikshit’s contributions transformed Delhi

Chennai: https://youtu.be/KazHwxEx...
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Lawyers behind Section 377 verdict come out as a couple

https://youtu.be/cLuSZj-Y...
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Priyanka Gandhi protests after being detained by police

Chennai: https://youtu.be/cD5R-GX_...
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Why does Assam experience floods every year?

https://youtu.be/TO7x01Xo...

This is how North East plans to rescue its elephants

https://www.youtube.com/w...
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Beef politics rocks Tamil Nadu

https://www.youtube.com/w...
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‘The Squad’ rejects Trump’s bigotry

https://youtu.be/76rHdLyU...
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ICJ rules in favour of India in Kulbushan Jadhav case

https://youtu.be/8t42Lt-S...

BJP may offer rebel K’taka MLAs cabinet berths, but Constitution doesn’t

In 2019 February the Karnataka Speaker disqualified then Congress legislator from Chincholi, Umesh Jadhav for defecting to the BJP as per the 10th schedule of the Constitution. But, recently Jadhav became a member of the Lok Sabha after contesting the Gulbarga Lok Sabha seat on a BJP ticket. What could be more ironical than the fact that a disquali...

NATO ally-like status for India: Natural and inevitable?

The US Senate recently accorded North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally-like status which is a major milestone in India-US relations. The formalization of India’s association with the NATO alliance from an Indo-centric national security and foreign policy perspective amounts to a burial of Nehruvian non-alignment that was against entanglemen...

Economic Survey preaches what the government doesn’t want to practise

The chief economic advisor to the Union ministry of finance, Krishnamurthy V Subramanian, has continued the practice initiated by his predecessor Arvind Subramanian in 2014, of presenting the Economic Survey in two volumes, together with a separate volume as a Statistical Appendix. This format had been inspired by that of the World Economic Outl...

Ms FM, why go back to basics when Green Revolution hasn’t failed us?

In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the country would go back to the basics on one count — agriculture — with zero-budget farming. She called it an innovative method that must be scaled up, and appreciated states like Andhra Pradesh which were training their farmers to take up zero-budget farming. But, why go back to t...

Congress minus Rahul and without a Gandhi: Road ahead for the party

Now that Rahul Gandhi is officially the ex-president of the grand old party of Indian politics, the Congress seems to be on the crossroads of extreme confusion. Can Congress survive without a Gandhi on top? Can a non-Gandhi face lead the Congress? Is Congress headed towards a complete disaster without a Gandhi at the helm? Who could b...

Instead of reforms, nat’l edu policy may trigger power tussle in bureaucracy

What is most frustrating about the draft National Education Policy (NEP) is that its recommendations are scattered throughout the text and it is quite a task to identify them. There is no summary of recommendations anywhere in the text. An addendum titled ‘The Way Forward’ enjoins both the central and state governments to implement some of its reco...

Criminal gangs infiltrate Indo-Pak border trade, customs dept needs more teeth

In its latest and largest ever drug haul, the Department of Customs seized 532 kg of suspected heroin worth ₹2,700 crores, on June 30 which was smuggled into India from Pakistan in a truck through the trade route via Attari border. The consignment of heroin and another 52 kg of suspected mixed narcotics was concealed under hundreds of bags of rock ...

Union Budget: Firmly neo-liberal, with a nod to social welfare

In earlier times, the Union Budget was seen primarily as a statement of estimated annual receipts and expenditures of the government of India. Over the years, the Budget presentation has become a media event, and the finance ministers in their speeches defer more than willingly to this reality, by spending a good part of their speeches on announcem...

In reply to a defence of Kabir Singh: enough glorification!

It was nearing midnight as she walked home alone on the poorly lit streets. She didn't seem to mind the dark though, she continued talking to amma about work and eventually put down the phone to enjoy the walk. As she was about to open the gate of her house, she heard a whistle. Startled, she turned around and there he stood, in the middle of the r...

Budget: Inspired by Tamil text, FM wants more rice, but ignores elephant in the room

In her maiden Budget speech, finance minister quoted an Urdu couplet, Chanakya sutras and Vivekananda’s sage advice. But, her real message was hidden in a Tamil verse from the Sangam-era work Purnanuru. “Just a few mounds of rice cooked from a small piece of land is enough for the elephant. But if the same elephant enters a paddy field it will end...

Mahatma Rahul: Confused philosopher’s bid to drive Cong with his ‘moral’ heft

Rahul Gandhi’s political journey so far can be seen as a confused attempt to traverse the varied paths of his father, grandmother, and grandmother, and embracing the ideology of his great-grandfather. Now, he wants to emulate Mahatma Gandhi. Capturing a career that spans 15 years in a few lines is difficult. But, a few broad themes can be see...

Union Budget: Free trade in agriculture key to bring India’s golden era back

Guiding a nation to transit from one thought process to another is always tricky. The leadership has to deal with legacy issues and find ways to break the mould and inject a new thought. As human beings we are wired to play safe when it comes to breaking new grounds. Agriculture in India largely faces that dilemma and I would like to describe it...

GDP never fell: Why Nirmala Sitharaman is right about demonetization

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is right about demonetization. In fact, she is always right. As defence minister she was right about the Rafale deal, which, she said could be held up as an epitome of transparency, honesty, and anti-cronyism. As commerce minister she was right about, er, well about everything she said and even about what she lef...

Mr PM, need action against BJP motor-mouths, berating them not enough

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (June 2) said that arrogance and misbehaviour will not be tolerated in the BJP, no matter who the person was or whose son he/she was. The stern message comes days after Indore MLA Akash Vijayvargiya, son of party general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, made headlines for thrashing a municipal official duri...

Regional parties could be right in seeing concurrent polls as threat to federalism

The Narendra Modi government is keen to have simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and all the state assemblies. But, the proposal needs an informed debate on its pros and cons before the government takes the idea further. The idea of One Nation One Election (ONOE), simultaneous elections, was first made in the annual report of the Election Co...

2 Congress MLAs quit, set the stage for more ‘nataka’ in Karnataka

You can never take nataka (drama) out of Karnataka. The two, like conjoined twins, seem united by birth and destiny. So, in true nataka style, two Congress legislators quit the Assembly on Monday. And, in this theatre of absurd, you can already hear the Doors singing, this is the end, my beautiful friend. Oh, and since HD Kumaraswamy is in the U...

To double farmers’ income, PM Modi should focus on eastern India

In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised his government would strive to double farmers’ income by 2021-2022. Commentators like agricultural economist Ashok Gulati had cautioned that the goal is ambitious and impossible to achieve. But isn’t it good to have an ambition as the adage ‘if you aim for the moon, even if you miss, chances are yo...

At G20, Donald Trump shows Uncle Sam is nobody’s friend

If there is one glaring take away from the G-20 summit in Osaka it is this: the United States is nobody’s friend. Talks of allies, relationships, deals and friendships end where the US’s interests begin. Take the example of the US’s closest ally, Britain. Notwithstanding all the talk of “eternal friendship” US President Donald Trump has been acc...

Current insolvency law overlooks certain labour, federal rights

Two recent judgements from the Supreme Court (SC) have far-reaching implications for labour rights but they leave the question of federal rights on a related issue in the grey area. In a landmark judgement on April 30, 2019, the Supreme Court allowed trade unions to initiate insolvency proceedings against a company on behalf of workers whose dues w...

Chennai water crisis man-made, but still can be reversed

Chennai: Everyone is screaming about water crisis, especially in Chennai, pointing their fingers at someone else. Look at Cooum and Adyar, these rivers did not turn into big drainage canals overnight! We did not hear any screams, did we? Let us step back and analyze what led us to the current situation. Understanding the problem is the first step to solv...

NEP: Din over Hindi takes focus away from key issues

The noisy criticisms being made by some political parties on the three-language formula — a routine and hardly implementable recommendation made by the Kasturirangan Committee — are insincere and crassly chauvinistic. The formula is being carried around like a millstone by successive committees on education from 1966 onwards and this committee is n...

G-20 eclipsed by Trump’s spat with China, India

The two-day G-20 summit starting in Osaka, Japan, on Friday (June 28) is crucial for reasons unrelated to the multilateral meeting. If India is watching to see whether the United States will back down on its belligerence on the issue of tariffs, the world is keenly awaiting the outcome of the talks between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese ...

Mike Pompeo visit focuses on shaky plight of US-India ties

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s current visit to Delhi, the first face-to-face interaction since the Modi government returned to power, gives a chance for India to sort out difficulties that have cropped up in the relationship but, realistically speaking, is unlikely to lead to any solutions. Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Mod...

How Bihar’s turnaround hero Nitish Kumar lost all his aura

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is going through the worst phase of his political career. The man who was once credited with the 'turnaround' of Bihar and heaped awards for his good governance is now being questioned for his 'gross administrative failures'. Strangely, this has happened in his second innings with the BJP. What can be seen as an...

Why EC must share Lavasa’s dissent notes on Modi’s election speeches

It is a coincidence that the Chief Election Commissioner’s (CEC) rejection of an RTI request for disclosure of dissent, in violation of fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, clashed with the 44th anniversary of Emergency in India. In his speech in Parliament on June 25, Prime Minister ...

World cup cricket: How West Indies learnt to behave and forgot to win

Nice guys just get carpets, not the World Cup. And who would know this better than West Indian fast bowler Courtney Walsh. In 1987, Walsh had his team knocking on the doors of the semi-finals of the world cup. Snared by the opportunity, Walsh stopped for a brief moment. And then, instead of walking through the door, he turned back with a wry smi...

Tamil Nadu likely to be worst hit by US withdrawal of trade concessions

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal is known for fiery debates on TV channels. However, on June 21, 2019, he was not at his articulate best on the floor of the Rajya Sabha when he tried to put up a brave face saying that withdrawal of tariff concessions under Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) by the United States—which came into effect from 5 June...

Lenders, flawed policies, low-cost airlines: Reasons that failed Jet Airways

Like vultures which eat away every bit of the flesh leaving only the skeleton, the country’s full-service carrier, Jet Airways finds itself in a similar situation. The beleaguered airline currently cooling its heels at NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) may have nothing to offer to potential investors except its brand name. Considering the fac...

Pa Ranjit’s speech and its misogynistic undertones are disturbing

The recent Pa.Ranjit-Rajaraja Chola controversy caused quite the outrage and led to numerous historical accounts and debates on the king who ruled some thousand years ago. Before I start with where I stand with respect to what happened, I want people to understand my socio-political leanings. I believe in equality, social justice, feminism and w...

Independence of judiciary, CJI Gogoi calls for introspection

The recent utterances of the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asking the judiciary to resist populist forces are an indication and general perception that there is increased threat to the independence of judiciary. Earlier this week, speaking at a conference of Chief Justices at Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at Sochi, Russia, CJI Gogoi hi...

In defence of Kabir Singh, a man flawed like many around us

There are just two types of cinema in this world. One is a reflection of our society, interpretation of something its makers may have seen, perceived or felt in the world around them. The other is a celluloid avatar of human imagination, an attempt to give form to a fantasy that is removed from the limits of reality. That brings us to Kabir Sing...

Will unhappy Karnataka marriage end in divorce?

Say Karnataka and the first question that comes up is: how long will the government last?A month after the Lok  Sabha election results,  the ruling Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) alliance is still to recover from  a shock performance that saw its numbers touch a new nadir. Of the 28 seats, each got just one, the remaining going into the Bhara...

How glaring loopholes render anti-defection law toothless in Indian politics

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which had lured three MPs from the YSRCP in 2014-19 has now lost four of its Rajya Sabha MPs – all businessmen - to the BJP now. The development will change the colour of politics in Andhra Pradesh. Some BJP leaders have openly stated that several of TDP’s 23 MLAs were in ‘touch’ with them and soon there would be an...

Err…which yoga do you prefer? Pop, Hot or Islamic…

“You can’t throw a yoga mat in New York without hitting someone coming out of a yoga session”. This quote by writer JR Thorpe in Bustle.com says it all. The ancient Indian-engineered system is today found all over the world. From serious practitioners to fad followers, everyone is attempting to figure out their own versions of yoga. On top of it...

From bahaar to bimaar, how Nitish Kumar let Bihar’s children down

In the 2015 elections, Patna’s roads were adorned with the promise of a Bihar spring with some clever alliteration. “Bihar main bahaar ho, Nitishe Kumar ho,” the Janata Dal (United) prophesied in its poll campaign. Four years later, the promise of a state in bloom has been replaced by the image of a fertile ground for a mysterious illness that’s...

States reduced to ball boys in draft education policy

There is a two-thousand-year Tamil poem from Purananuru which exhorts the students to learn using all means. ‘Give your teacher good money. Help him in need, don’t get angry with him and don’t be impertinent with him. Your purpose is to learn,’ it says. The poem underscores the point that education had always been valued highly in India and there h...

World Cup matches dull and dreary: Are players suffering burnt out syndrome?

In the middle overs of the recent India-Pakistan encounter, while Virat Kohli & Co were piling on the runs, the cameras zoomed in on the mug of the Pakistani captain, the affable and pleasantly portly Sarfaraz Ahmed. Bang in the middle of the most-awaited contest of the world cup, standing right behind the stumps, Ahmed’s let his jaw drop a ...

Time timid Europe stands up for Iran 

The Persian Gulf resembles a chess game, but with a difference. One wrong move by either of the two primary players — Iran or the United States — and the board will blow up. The world is watching the spectacle unfold, hoping it will end without necessitating a bloody conflict. Unfortunately, one major observer who can make a difference is letti...

Docs holding patients to ransom could end up losing last strand of faith

Why should doctors across India strike work if angry relatives of a dead patient hit a doctor in a Kolkata hospital? Ideally, the victim should file a police case, let the law take its course and nobody else should be made to suffer. But, why put the gun to the entire country’s head? Why let patients across India suffer, even die, to make the gover...

Why street fighter Mamata could be her own nemesis

Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee prides herself as a product of protest. She never misses an opportunity to remind how she doggedly fought the once mighty and well entrenched Left Front, and vanquished it. “Amake andolan dakhaben na. Aami andolan theke toiri hoyechi (Do not teach me about protest. I am a product of such protest movements),” she is often heard sa...

Political will needed to solve border dispute with China

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who recently met at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit at Bishek, have agreed to expedite dialogue on the India-China border dispute to find a “fair” solution to the almost intractable problem. Considering China is India’s largest trade partner since 2013 the two neighbours al...

West Bengal faces unprecedented healthcare crises as Mamata loses plot

Kolkata: The four-day long healthcare crises in West Bengal deepened further on Friday (June 14) with around 200 doctors of state-run hospitals tendering their resignations citing the “prevailing situation”, a day after chief minister Mamata Banerjee intervened to break the logjam. Many more doctors are expected to follow suit, said a senior doctor-profe...

Heatstroke victims let down badly by Indian railways

Bengaluru: There was a time, many years ago, when a pilgrimage to the Hindu holy town of Varanasi was considered a dangerous journey with the elderly never sure whether they would return to tell their tale. But today that is not the case. It is safe to travel, especially by trains. Or is it? The death of six passengers due to a heatstroke inside a train casts...

Indian space war exercise aims to curb armaments race in space

India’s first ever space war exercise designated IndSpaceEx scheduled for July 2019, highlights the need to checkmate adversarial space-faring nations from the militarisation of space. Space technologies have military utility related to communication, reconnaissance and navigation. The 1991 Gulf War and thereafter, the military campaign over Kos...

Why people are willing to die for political cause in Bengal?

‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.' When Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong had coined the phrase, Bengal was nowhere in his mind. But it is in this state that his political philosophy has been finding resonance, with a little tweak, for decades as a powerful means to establish political supremacy. At least 13 people -- seven...

Jagan’s farmer incentive scheme: A palliative, not a panacea

Amaravati: During the 3,400 km long padyatra across Andhra Pradesh that propelled him to power, the YSR Congress Party president Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy was moved by the plight of farmers. One of his first set of assurances during the mass contact programme was that his party, if voted to power, would provide direct cash benefit to farmers to meet their investm...

India’s victory over Aussies reminiscent of Tolkein’s heroes

If you believe in coincidences, India’s victory over Australia should be a valid reason to stock up on the champagne. In the history of the cricket World Cup, every time India have beaten the Aussies in the first encounter between the two teams, they have gone on to win the tournament. Even if you don’t believe in coincidences, the win should be...

Azim Premji, a compassionate capitalist with an eye for picking leaders

Azim Premji is not only a top leader in the IT industry but also shares his wealth with his employees and is a compassionate person.

RaGa, the new Wayanadan Thampan

“I have not come here as a politician. I’ve come here as a brother, as a son, as a friend.” Thus spake Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Wayanad, soon after taking a call that he needed to look beyond Amethi, for whatever reasons. During the thick of campaigning in the sweltering heat of April, the oft heard refrain was whether the Congress presiden...

Take that glove off, Dhoni, you don’t need it

One of the defining moments of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s career was the open bus journey he and his teammates made on the roads of Mumbai after winning the 2007 T-20 World Cup. Dressed in a white shirt, his famous tresses being gently swept back by the afternoon zephyr, Dhoni leaned on the railing of the open bus throughout the ride. While everyone...

Modi, our aspirational youth don’t want to sell pakoras

Five years of Modi government at the Centre has had its share of hits and misses. But two big misses that it should own up is increased joblessness and poor economic growth. The government which had been refusing to share unemployment data in the run up to elections suddenly announced on Day-1 of its second term that the unemployment rate was 6....

West stings as ‘red rag’ Huawei threatens monopoly

The United States and Europe are watching with trepidation, instead of eager anticipation, the emergence of 5G technology in the mobile Internet space. The reason for the concern is because China is leading the way in implementing the 5G network which is expected to make a quantum jump in mobile communications and related technology. For China, ...

The Macbethian fate that awaits Bihar’s Nitish Kumar

If Nitish Kumar’s political story were to be written in one word, betrayal would be the apt choice for it. Backstabbing is the defining theme of Kumar’s politics of three decades. He has been both its beneficiary and victim. It is the defining trait of his political equation with everyone who has had the mixed fortune of allying with him. From L...

If the BJP has a water strategy to woo TN, now is the time to unroll it in Cauvery

The Cauvery Water Management Authority’s order to the Karnataka government to release 9.2 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu has put the ball in Karnataka’s court and eventually in the Centre’s court. If the BJP is serious about expanding its support base in Tamil Nadu, it will be hard for it to pass the buck on Cauvery. The combined storage in the fo...

Saffron parivar’s public embrace of Hindi a political ploy

There isn’t much difference between BJP’s eagerness to promote Hindi across India and its desire to rile Mamata Banerjee with chants of Jai Shree Ram. For the party that currently runs India’s government, Hindi is part of its dream of achieving what members of its alma mater, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, call ‘sanskritik ekatmavad.’ The phra...

Why India’s agrarian economy needs a foolproof plan, not just cash for farmers

There has been much discussion (mostly, statements of opinions) in the media on the economic agenda for the new government in India. There has been plenty of advice on the imperative to privatise just about everything, and more or less to hand over the economy and policymaking in that sphere to the corporate sector. Protecting the farmer’s incom...

Modi 2.0: Blurs party-govt separation, rewards performance

New Delhi: Narendra Damodardas Modi has begun his second innings with a bang at the majestic forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday. His swearing-in ceremony as prime minister for the second consecutive term was a spectacle with 6,500 invitees, the largest ever, watching the event. He took the oath of office and secrecy with the colourfully lit re...

Amit Shah – a controversial minister and a dynamic party president

Till a few years ago, Amit Shah had a favourite pastime. He would sit in a room with a couple of TVs and constantly flip channels. When not watching news or election rallies, he’d switch to saas-bahu serials that once dominated Indian airwaves. Today, if you look back at it, Shah’s own life resembles a soap opera that’s had more twists and turns...

How loyalty and messaging are the only criteria for selecting ministers

One of the most memorable and important stories related to the making of a Union Cabinet is from 1980. When Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980, it was widely speculated that Mohan Lal Sukhadia, the Congress stalwart from Rajasthan, would hold the number-two position in the government. Sure about his prospects, one of India’s leading English da...

New challenges to Modi govt in neighbourhood

India’s neighbourhood and the international political scene are far more taut and tense now than when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government first took office in May 2014.  The challenges in foreign policy therefore for the new government are far more complex and crucial. Take Pakistan first.  In 2014,  the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif wa...

Rahul withdrawal into shell can be fatal for self, party; may help rivals ensnare big...

Those who know the Ramayana would agree going into the kop bhavan (sulking chamber) can have disastrous consequences. In the epic most Indians know by heart, Dasratha’s favourite queen Kaikeyi recedes into her private quarter to express displeasure with the king’s decision to anoint Rama as his successor. Her act sets off a chain of events that lea...

Modi Rajarishi and the goal of Hindu Rashtra

Yes, I was expecting Mr Modi to return to power, but with reduced numbers. My expectations were belied and the victory he has achieved is stupendous and almost without parallel. In the initial years of independence, Nehru won similar victories, but the opposition to him was not as antagonistic as it was in the case of Modi. In the case of Indira Ga...

With India refusing to pay heed to Rahul Gandhi, he should quit

Rahul Gandhi should step down as president of the Congress not because he ran a poor campaign in the 2019 elections. He should go because India is just not ready to listen to him. A politician who can’t even make himself heard, even when he talks about the welfare of the people he seeks to represent, has no right to a leadership role. In the 201...

From Modi to Didi: What the 2019 Lok Sabha election results teach everyone

After a torturous seven phase elections, spread over six weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is back with a bang with an increased majority. A triumphant Modi delivering his second victory speech Thursday evening pledged that in “national interest he would take along everyone as the trust reposed by the electorate places increased respon...

Why the model code of conduct should be scrapped

Let’s face it. The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) did not work in the just-concluded general elections, results of which are scheduled on May 23.  It ended up largely favouring the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah. The MCC is a good-intentioned, well-meaning set of guidelines that is in...

Poll panel questionable actions a serious dent on credibility of institution

From WhatsApp to Twitter, every social media platform was used to spread fake news, from God to Godse every non-issue became a serious issue, from Pulwama to Balakot, and region to religion, nothing is left for electoral exploitation by ruling party.  It was difficult for the Opposition to cope with the variety of strategies adopted by the BJP, wit...

Rajiv’s death anniversary: Did time of demise affect Congress poll prospects?

Chennai: The assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi  at Sriperumbudur in Chennai on May 21, 1991, impacted the election process only partially as nearly half the electorate in the country had already voted.  Polling was held in the second phase after a delay of a few days post-assassination, and therefore it could be said that the Congress deri...

Exit polls: Why Congress getting wiped out is not a big surprise

Look at the Congress numbers predicted by exit polls. They read like a telephone number starting with the country code of Bangladesh: 880- 6543214610. These are the projected seats for the Congress in 13 major states of India, except Kerala. Its highest score is projected to be in Punjab, where it might win 8 seats, and in Karnataka, where it ma...

A polarising poll: What Piloo taught us 

We were a bunch of fresh graduate engineers. Many had done engineering because only that offered a decent career option in the 1980s. And we had been thrown together because we were soon going to be sent on board merchant ships. Some hadn’t quite realised what that meant — months, if not years, away from home; living in a closed environment; and...

How the BJP did a massive favour for Mamata

During a debate at the Calcutta Club in 2017, the BJP’s Sambit Patra made a vociferous defense of the Modi government’s ‘surgical strikes’ using rhetoric appealing to ‘Bengali pride’ complete with recitations in praise of Ma Durga – Bengal’s presiding deity. He received loud cheers from the city’s elite. Emboldened by their response Patra then comp...

‘Match referee’ Election Commission under cloud, again

A  WhatsApp joke doing the rounds goes something like this: The Election Commission will not join the BJP. Instead it has decided to provide outside support to the party. Though the purpose is to elicit a laugh, the joke is indicative of a deeper problem regarding the credibility of the EC going by its recent rulings which are seen as favouring ...

India put on hold for two months in needlessly lengthy poll exercise

The prolonged, elongated election process initiated by the present Election Commission has proved to be a taxing and time-wasting exercise with a deep impact on governance in the country, besides depriving voters of an opportunity to deliver a quick mandate. This is the second-longest election schedule (39 days) since the first general elections...

There is something about Priyanka Gandhi’s smile

Bathinda (Punjab): At a rally in Punjab's Bathinda, Priyanka comes on the stage, takes the lantern and says, 'Bole so nihaal.' The rows of men in colourful turbans and women in bright dupattas seated in front of her chant back, 'Sat sri akal'. Priyanka Gandhi reveals a grin that will stay on her face throughout her 20-minute speech. There are smiles and there is t...

World looks on as Trump bullies Iran

As the United States (US) ratchets up its moves to sequester Iran over the nuclear issue, the rest of the world, including Europe, is just watching on, unable to intervene effectively to douse the growing tension in the Persian Gulf. The situation is a throwback to 2002-03 when Washington hyped  the fabrication that Iraq’s president Saddam Husse...

BJP may need more than Sunny Deol punchlines to win Gurdaspur

In any other election, under different circumstances, actor Sunny Deol’s victory from Punjab’s Gurdaspur constituency could have been safely assumed. The constituency, which is just about 10 km from the international border, is tailor-made for the actor whose defining screen persona is of a fearless patriot who vanquished Pakistan in many battles, ...

To avoid wrath of voters, BJP’s Kirron Kher shifts to cyber campaign

It can be safely presumed from her filmography that actor Kirron Kher has very little work these days in Bollywood. So, she is utilising her fabled acting skills in politics — behind the camera. Kher, the incumbent BJP parliamentarian from Chandigarh, is defending her seat against the Congress party’s Pawan Bansal this election. Much of the defe...

‘Strong leader’ Modi, myth or reality?

The mention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi immediately conjures up the image of a “strong leader”, an individual with a “56-inch chest”,  he is macho and can single-handedly change the destiny of India.  He is someone to be feared,  a leader who cannot tolerate corruption;  an authoritarian streak runs in him and if he comes to power now India may...

EC fumbles in TN, greater transparency needed for re-polls

Chennai: The clumsy manner in which the Election Commission has gone about the task of ordering re-polling in 13 booths across Tamil Nadu on May 19 had fuelled rumour-mongering and wild allegations about "manipulation" of EVMs by the ruling AIADMK with the assistance of the BJP-led NDA  at the Centre. All that had happened was that empty EVMs were being shi...

In Bhopal, a tale of two competing brands of Hinduism

In Bhopal, this year’s election is not about choosing a parliamentarian. It is instead a referendum on two competing brands of Hinduism. One is the Hinduism, rather Hindutva, of Pragya Thakur of the BJP, exemplified by her in-your-face symbolism: flaming saffron robes, rudraksha mala (garland), a huge vermillion stain on the forehead and a predi...

Modi hurts his cause with statements that erode credibility

Narendra Modi went up the hill, To fetch a pail of voters, Modi’s jaw fell down and opened his mouth, And half-truths came tumbling after… The problem with our Prime Minister these days is that he can barely make an election speech without triggering a burning desire for checking facts. Such has become his propensity for half-truths, hy...

Airline firms can soar if government loosens its grip

Pulp fiction writer James Hadley Chase named one of his books “Just a Matter of Time” which became quite popular in the seventies. It might just be a matter of time before the Indian airline industry begins to flounder. India has become a graveyard for domestic airlines. At least three big and six to seven smaller airlines have closed down i...

Not only must justice be done, it must also be seen to be done

I request the Honorable Supreme Court to make public the report that gave a clean chit to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi regarding charges of sexual harassment filed by a former woman employee of the top court for the following reasons. We don’t know what the truth is! All laws and procedures are in place only to find out the truth. If ...

If Rahul looks inward to see the world in new light

Rahul Gandhi is a born-again Buddhist. He says he regularly does Vipassana – the meditation technique apparently taught by the Buddha himself. In Vipassana, one sits and observes one's body. The meditator starts by hunting for sensations in each part of the body from the feet to the top of the head. And over a period time, he or she turns all hi...

Federal Front — is this an idea whose time has come?

If non-Congress, non-BJP parties are nursing an ambition of forming a Federal Front at the Centre, they must start making their moves now. After completion of five rounds of polling on May 6, 2019 it is clear that BJP is set to lose seats as compared to 2014 elections as there is no visible Modi wave. The Prime Minister’s following seems to be i...

Petty politics & poor optics: How vitriol clouds BJP’s discourse

When in Varanasi next, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should walk through the narrow lanes that connect Maidagin — the busiest market of his constituency — to the Manikarnika Ghat. Modi may notice a few things about Indian culture he may have missed because of his busy schedule. Every day, dozens of dead bodies from across the state are brought to...

Why Prez, NHRC should step in and support Gogoi accuser

If the executive and the legislature violate the rights, the victims look to the Supreme Court for protection. What happens if the apex court itself sets such an example of inquiry and protection to the complainant of sexual harassment? How can a panel of inquiry proceed in the absence of the complainant in the allegations of sexual harassment rais...

The incurable, chronic ailment of stereotyping autism

"Lok Sabha TV is showing a film on an autistic child at 10 am" was a message from a well-meaning friend on a Sunday morning. Lok Sabha TV. Doesn’t bode well, says a voice inside me. But I try to suppress the prejudice against government channels by dredging up positive memories of Doordarshan’s Sunday afternoon broadcast, in the distant past, of aw...

Raebareli and Varanasi tell the tale of two Indias contesting 2019 polls

A five hour journey from Raebareli to Varanasi, on a winding road that passes through silent towns, sleepy villages and several river fronts, shows two Indias fighting the 2019 election in Uttar Pradesh. One is the India of Raebareli: Quiet, nondescript, rugged and, like the parliamentarian who represents this high profile constituency, missing ...

Can India’s ailing airlines take a cue from US restructuring?

After over a quarter century of operations, one of India’s largest private airline operator Jet Airways grounded its fleet in April due to heavy debts. India’s state operator Air India is reeling under debts of over ₹50,000 crore. Despite a strong bankruptcy law such as the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC), why are Indian airlines unable ...

Sanctions on Iran: Trump diktat challenges Indian sovereignty

At a time when many in India are making a song and dance about “nationalism” here comes the Iran test that is going to determine whether their government in New Delhi can walk the talk. The United States’ deadline for at least five countries, including India, to stop importing oil from Iran is ending on May 2. Three other countries — Italy, Gree...

In fight with Gambhir in Delhi, Atishi lives up to her name

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi Marlena is living up to her name in the battle for East Delhi. Those who have been following her career know that her unusual surname is a mix of Marx and Lenin, two communist icons her father, a Delhi university professor, idolised. Her first name is equally interesting and unique. For those not well versed w...

Importance of the battle of Begusarai, the former citadel of CPI

In the sweltering heat of Begusarai, under a blazing red sun, Kanhaiya Kumar usually campaigns in a flaming red shirt. Every few minutes, he underlines the symbolism of his sartorial choice with his trademark salutation delivered with a clenched fist and a raised arm: Jai Bheem, Lal Salaam. But, the essence of Kumar’s campaign is the Bheem in hi...

Lacunae in law on who will judge the judges

“Kanche chenu mesthe” (is a Telugu proverb that means ‘when the fence eats the crop’). When that happens how do we protect the crop from the fence? Among the three estates of the Constitution, the judiciary is the only saviour where wrongdoings of the executive and the legislatures need to be corrected. If the guardians of the Constitution, the jud...

You can keep Modi out of theatres, but not theatrics out of Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi must have taken the popular description of India’s voter as mango people (aam aadmi) quite literally. Bang in the middle of a general election, he is regaling them with stories about his fondness for aam. Finally, after talking about Balakot, Pulwama, Hindutva and Pakistan, the PM has brought aam — never mind if it i...

Election Commission slides from Seshan’s ‘blast’ to Arora’s ‘whimper’

In the run up to the 1991 general elections, an institutional earthquake shook political parties. That year, the Election Commission of India (ECI) woke up from its deep slumber and strode the landscape striking down on anyone violating electoral norms, cutting the weed of corruption, irregularities and tightening the screws of electoral laws that ...

In Hindi heartland, Congress struggles to rise above the Modi din

Addressing a rally in Madhya Pradesh, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh tried some Q&A with his audience. He beckoned a young guy in the front row to the stage and asked a simple question. This is how the conversation went. Singh: “Did you get ₹15 lakh in your account?” The young man: “Narendra Modi struck terrorists in Balakot. What else…” ...

Sri Lanka: When ‘hurt’ is globalised, revenge crosses borders

The scale, spread, and intensity of the terror attacks in Sri Lanka, which have left more than 300 dead and many more injured, has been marked with a ruthlessness and elaborate organisation rarely seen in today’s conflict-hit world. The motive behind the attacks is mystifying, especially since no one has formally claimed responsibility for the a...

Adieu Muthiah! It’s now time to celebrate the real history of Chennai

Chennai: (S Muthiah, who passed away on April 20, did a lot to dig out and record the history of Madras. His contributions helped in creating an awareness among the residents of Chennai, formerly Madras, regarding the history of the city. We at The Federal are committed to presenting all sides of any theme or issue. Below is a critical appraisal of Muthiah)...

Pragya Thakur’s candidature shows BJP will pursue aggressive Hindutva

For years, the BJP plied its Hindutva trade from behind the fig leaf of hypocrisy, aptly summed by its 2014 slogan, sabka saath sabka vikas (support and development for everyone). With Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s candidature from Bhopal, the BJP has thrown off even that flimsy cover, revealing the ugly, divisive and communal underbelly of its politics. ...

‘Two Prime Ministers’ – an exercise in distortion

Distorting facts, quotes and spewing vacuous venom in political rallies seem to be the flavour of the season. Take the latest trending “two prime ministers”.   Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleague Rajnath Singh and the BJP national chief Amit Shah have vowed that they will never allow “two prime ministers” in the country. What the...

Modi, the verbal juggler who can spin any word to his benefit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be a fan of Humpty Dumpty. Oh, this is not about the guy who sat on a wall and had a great fall. But, about a great linguist who could, as he told Alice while she was lost in Lewis Carroll’s wonderland, make every word mean exactly what he chose it to mean — ‘neither more nor less.’ Give Modi a word — Modi, in t...

I-T’s selective raid ‘kolaveri’ continues to target the opposition alone

Famous Urdu poet Mohammad Iqbal once wrote a shikwa (complaint) to Allah, in which he lamented bounties always rain on the houses of non-believers while thunderbolts strike only the hapless Muslims. Iqbal’s famous line, ‘Barq girti hai bechare Musalmanon par’ (thunderbolts strike only the Muslim), explains the current virulence of Indian agencie...

Mocking democracy: TN’s dirty, open secret that seems to bring no shame

After the 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections were declared, a political leader privately accused the Election Commission of allowing a “mockery of democracy”. His party was contesting alone and he was referring to how it had been swamped by the distribution of cash to voters by the DMK-led and AIADMK-led fronts. This election, he is part of one of ...

Revenge in Rampur: Jayaprada brings worst out of Azam Khan

Actor Jayaprada is contesting from the filmiest place in all of Uttar Pradesh. And, keeping with the spirit of her constituency Rampur, a small town with a unique Bollywood history, a racy confrontation between a wronged woman and a misogynist villain—both of whom incidentally were friends once but are now intent on revenge— is unfolding. The dr...

Muslim-dalit alliance: A betrayal of Ambedkar’s legacy

It couldn’t be more ironical that as the nation would be celebrating the 128th anniversary of  Dr BR Ambedkar on April 14 this year,  those who claim to have inherited his legacy are the ones who are betraying it. The prime claimants of Ambedkar’s legacy are some regional outfits out of which Bahujan Samaj Party is the most prominent one and the...

Sense of “Hindu victimhood” triggers NRIs love for Modi

Among the mass of supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a huge, unseen but raucous contingent that cheers him along. No prizes for guessing who makes up this contingent. They are the Hindu NRIs, obviously not all but definitely many. The NRIs (non-resident Indians) have given him a blank cheque of adulation, and a level of ‘bhakti’ that ...

Desperate BJP turns to ‘tragedy vampirism’ to garner votes

There are two key takeaways from the first round of polling for parliament that ended on April 11. One, the BJP is really desperate for votes, and thus jittery. Two, there is no wave in favour of the BJP or Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP’s desperation is evident in the speeches of the party’s top brass. Its campaign is leaving nothing out...

India’s armed forces have a history with the courtroom

Controversy courts the country’s Navy chiefs, the the latest example being Vice Admiral Bimal Verma challenging the appointment of Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the Navy Chief designate. Vice Admiral Verma took his case to the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) on the grounds that he is six months senior to Singh. Now, the former has withdrawn his petiti...

Adichanallur excavations point to a cosmopolitan Tamil country

While a radio carbon dating test ordered by the Madras High Court has established that the archaeological site at Adichanallur, in Tuticorin district of southern Tamil Nadu, goes back to 900 BC, the site reveals more than just the ancient history of Tamils as explained in part 1 of the article. Adichanallur provides crucial clues that could help se...

BJP manifesto: A khichdi of promises specially ordered for polls

The main chef of the BJP manifesto for 2019 has worked with a simple recipe. Mix four decades of Janasangh, five years of Narendra Modi and eight decades of Congress welfarism; garnish with nationalism, patriotism; spice up with jargons like ‘tukde-tukde elitism’; serve hot with a dash of Ram temple. You would notice the BJP raided its entire pa...

It is official: Tamil race is at least 3,000 years old

On April 5, it was established that the Tamil civilization is proven to date back to at least 900 BC. Results of radio carbon dating of samples from an archaeological site were revealed by the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court. The site is at Adichanallur, a village on the banks of the Tamirabarani river in Tuticorin district of southern Tamil...

Why our hearts should not bleed for Advani, the architect of BJP

Since Lal Krishna Advani is a big fan of Hindi cinema, he would be aware of the poignant lines poet Shahryar wrote for the 1980s classic Umrao Jaan. “Ye kya jagah hai, doston (what is this place, friends)?” he asked, adding as far as eyes could see there were just clouds of dust. Advani, now in his 90s, was in an introspective mood on Thursday, ...

Yogi’s Modi sena remark ignorant; don’t politicise our professional Army

Monk-turned-politician, Yogi Adityanath, is controversy’s child. There is never a dull moment when he is around, especially when he is delivering campaign speeches. On April 1, he pushed the envelope a bit more than he usually does by describing the Indian Army as “Modi-ji-ki-sena” or Modi’s Army. There were howls of protests from several quarte...

Why set up NaMo TV when other channels do the job

The BJP has finally lived up to one of its numerous 2014 promises. In the run up to the elections, its cadres had chanted “Har- har Modi, ghar- ghar Modi (hail Modi who is in every Indian home)” by smartly repackaging a slogan that deities chant for Lord Shiva. Turns out, five years later Prime Minister Narendra Modi is indeed going direct to  ever...

How Conrad Sangma is giving BJP a Christian-tribal headache in Northeast

A popular adage about India's Northeast describes Assam as "the land of lahe-lahe" (laidback) and Meghalaya "the land of paase-paase" (the one that listlessly follows the slow steps of Assam). But in the ongoing political churn ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, this equation seems to be changing. After the BJP came to power for the first time in...

Rahul: Liberal, well meaning but may not be taken seriously

The Congress election manifesto is a reflection of its leader Rahul Gandhi’s personality. It is well-meaning, liberal, reformist but also a bit naïve in its approach towards critical issues like employment and rural distress. And like him, since it has come in the middle of an election being fought on issues like Hindutva and Pakistan, it is unlike...

Pappu taunt by Left shows Opposition has fallen apart

Just when “pappu”, the word used in derision to refer to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, had quietly made its exit from India’s political lexicon, it has made a surprising comeback. His national ally, the CPM, has resurrected it. Created by the BJP-RSS camp, pappu came into being when Rahul Gandhi emerged as a challenger to Narendra Modi. The t...

The inseparable twins: PM Modi and the Hindutva hero

Sometimes it is difficult to separate Hindutva ‘hero’ Narendra Modi from the Prime Minister of India. Every few months, there comes a time in the Indian polity when both the identities converge, erasing the difference between the leader of an ideology and the leader of a country. That familiar moment made its expected appearance on Monday (April...

Parties do precious little to give women decisive roles 

Chennai: Tamil Nadu has reason to be proud of its progressive label. Noted psephologists Prannoy Roy and Dorab R Sopariwala, charting the participation of women voters down the years in the country, say, “...among the bigger states, those which have the best record, with the lowest under-representation of women, are from the south of India: Tamil Nadu and A...

Why the EC’s clean chit to govt on A-SAT is dodgy

The Election Commission is in the eye of a storm by giving a clean chit to the Prime Minister on his announcement of Mission Shakti.  On Friday night, the EC declared that PM’s address to the nation on successful completion of A-SAT mission didn’t violate its Model Code of Conduct. The decision was based on para 4 of part VII of the code that appl...

Rahul’s Wayanad decision pragmatic, but betrays lack of guts

In his 1994 hit Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey asks Lauren Holly what are the chances of a “guy like her and a girl like him ending up together?” Holly replies: “Not good, I would say one in a million.” Carrey’s face lights up with a smile as he says: “So, you are saying, there is a chance?” So, like Carrey, let us imagine for a moment that t...

US pressures China on ban of JeM chief Masood Azhar

China is once again under pressure on the issue of designating the Jaish e Mohammad chief Mazood Azhar a terrorist, but in a watered down version,  at the UN Security Council. The US, undeterred by China’s veto against the move a few days back,  has with the cooperation of Britain and France moved a resolution against Azhar  but not under the 12...

Regional or national, Telugus want leaders who can deliver

In May 2014, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana went into their first Assembly polls and simultaneous parliamentary elections following bifurcation. Five years down the line, the electoral outcome in the two states couldn’t be starkly more different. While K Chandrasekhar Rao, the supremo of Telangana Rashtriya Samiti or TRS, is sitting pretty in Telanga...

Modi’s satellite ‘strike’ may have missed electoral target

New Delhi: By now it must have become evident that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an excellent strategy to attract attention before a crucial election. The template of this stratagem is this. A) Make a big bang announcement. B) Leave out its details. C) Go to town calling it an unprecedented decision. D) Dazzle the voter with high-voltage propaganda and ...

Why Goa MLAs joined BJP in post-midnight ‘coup’

The BJP has consolidated its hold on the Goa Assembly with two of the MGP legislators officially joining the party, intriguingly in the early hours of Wednesday. With two more legislators in its kitty, the BJP is now on par with the Congress at 14 legislators each. But what has attracted attention is that the entire exercise of joining the BJ...

How Sapna Choudhary exposed the hypocrisy of Indian political class

New Delhi: Until a few days ago, conversations about the coming Lok Sabha elections revolved mainly around Narendra Modi’s masculine nationalism in a country where brave men can’t wait to fling themselves into battle. While the BJP started shoving its 56-inch chest in the face of Indian voters, the Congress sucked its thumb in circumspection. For a moment it ...

With Rahul’s dole promise, Cong sets agenda for first time in 2019

Rahul Gandhi’s pre-poll promise of an annual dole of Rs72,000 to families living below the poverty line has finally managed to give the Congress a semblance of control over the poll narrative. For the first time in this election, Rahul Gandhi has set the agenda and forced the government to respond to him. In an election where the Congress was me...

Why Chidambarams need Sivaganga now more than ever

The candidature of Karti Chidambaram from Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga constituency, which had been a stronghold of his father and veteran Congress leader P Chidambaram, is least surprising because what he needs the most at the moment is political protection. The BJP-led NDA government has been after him over alleged corruption and money-laundering ca...

100 years of Dravidianism: Why TN remains a tough nut for BJP to crack

Chennai: Palanivel Thiagarajan did not mince words. “How is it possible to have a uniform policy that would apply to the average Bihari who is 20 years old, has finished only primary school, and earns Rs45,000 a year as well as to the average Tamil who is 29 years old, has finished college, and earns four times as much?” he wondered. An MBA from the Sloa...

Safe seat for Rahul Gandhi from South India is pragmatic politics

Rahul Gandhi is about to make the smartest decision of his political life by contesting from a safe seat in India. He is about to implement the biggest lesson of warfare: when defeat is inevitable, survival is at stake and an aggressive enemy is closing in, flee to a safe haven. For, even Lord Krishna would have agreed that desertion is the better ...

In Karnataka, JD(S) tactfully fills the regional vacuum

Regional parties have dominated neighbouring Tamil Nadu and undivided Andhra Pradesh for decades and now Telangana too. Kerala has its own unique coalitions. But, Karnataka stands out for the absence of a regional party. The national parties — Congress, Janata Dal (Secular) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — still dominate electoral space in th...

When Parrikar kept his word and knocked on the door…

Bengaluru: My assignment was to interview Manohar Parrikar, the then Goa Chief Minister. The year was 2002. Parrikar was at the helm for the first time, having come to power a couple of years earlier. But in a state known for unstable governments, his was no different. And, one more election came up in June 2002. As the special correspondent of a Delhi-based...

Why is BSP Supremo Mayawati all hate for the Congress?

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo has no love and all hate for the grand old party of Indian Politics — The Indian National Congress. Recently, while holding a joint press conference with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, she spelt out her reasons for this. Mayawati claimed that her experience told her that the vote of the BSP was indeed a ...

Despite snub on Masood Azhar issue, India can’t dare China

That China again chose to tilt towards Pakistan on the issue of declaring Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar a terrorist is clearly an assertion that Beijing considers Islamabad a friend though that does not necessarily mean it sees New Delhi as a rival. While one question could be how easy was it for China to take the call considering that it ...

21 days; 7 states; 25 visits: PM’s domestic sojourn on poll eve

Days: 21 States: Arunachal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu Visits: About two dozen Mode: Criss-cross, air, train and road. Attire: Local As soon as Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed power in 2014, he set off on a whirlwind tour of the world. He covered 50 countries in 41 trips costing the exchequer ₹355...

Is Modi the daddy that hero-worshipping Tamils are missing?

Soon after the NDA public meeting in Chennai on March 4, DMK president M K Stalin attacked the alliance asking how the AIADMK could ally with the BJP and Narendra Modi when Jayalalithaa did not do so in 2014. He recalled how Jayalalithaa refused to break bread with the saffronists, defying a nationwide Modi wave. Though Jayalalithaa recognised M...

Ayodhya mediation route could be win-win situation for all

In 1859, seven years after Hindus and Muslims rioted in Ayodhya over the ownership of a shrine on a hill referred to as Ramkot, the British made the first attempt at mediation. To restrain both the communities from spilling blood over the disputed site, the British built a fence around the structure. As part of the temporary truce, Muslims were all...

Pak crackdown on terror: How Imran Khan still controls the narrative?

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart fight their respective battles to restore a 'New India' and 'Naya Pakistan', a new war of words has broken out after Islamabad announced the arrest of 44 people affiliated with outlawed outfits, including the son and brother of JeM chief Masood Azhar. The question that everybody’s ask...

‘Missing in action’: Abhinandan’s return brings Sitharaman back

New Delhi: Where was India's defence minister? This is the question that seemed to bother many Indians as tensions between India and Pakistan escalated to a whole new level this week, before Prime minister Narendra Modi on March 1 reminded everyone of "India’s first woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman". "I am proud that India’s first woman Defence Mini...