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December 31, 2008
Is this New Delhi's notion of 'Bharat Nirman'?
To the detriment of national interest, Arunachal Pradesh has not yet been vested with even a fraction of the powers or resources as mandated by the Constitution.

December 30, 2008
The government cons the military, again
The only sensible solution is in having a separate pay commission for the armed forces.

December 29, 2008
Military options are never easy
'The military measures that are adopted have to be carefully calibrated to ensure that escalation can be controlled short of all out war. The aim of Indian retaliation should not be to target the people of Pakistan but to punish the perpetrators and supporters of terrorism, that is the Pakistan army, the ISI and the terrorist organisations like Lashkar and Jaish.'

The man who calls the shots in Pakistan
With an increasingly prevalent view in India that the Mumbai attacks had the sanction and endorsement of the Pakistani Army and the shadowy Inter Services Intelligence, it is General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani -- the man at the helm of things -- who is under a scanner.

December 28, 2008
The ship of New India has not yet arrived
'Today the world sees us as a 'Rising Power'. This journey is one of the most exciting and important journeys made by any people in modern history. But we have miles to go, and mountains to cross. We have weathered many storms, but the waters remain choppy.'

December 26, 2008
Why I make the journey back to 'My Mumbai'
For most of us, the abject terror of a month ago in Mumbai is difficult to understand. But, as we seek answers and action, I believe we cannot stop looking at the good amongst us. The good in Mumbai, which I learnt as a 20-year-old, was that Mumbai is for all and does not delineate by any thread that separates us. And thus, my respite comes by not visiting just my temple but by everyone else's.

December 23, 2008
Pakistan could sink into chaos and anarchy
The real fear then is of an unstable Pakistan sinking into chaos and anarchy and vast amounts of territory, weapons and perhaps nuclear materials falling under the control of Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaeda. This would without a doubt be the United States and India's worst nightmare. Indeed it might turn out to be the last act before decisive foreign military operations to neutralise Pakistan began in earnest.

India's 9/11: What next?
'There is widespread anger among the citizens of Mumbai and the whole country. This is the time to channel this anger and frustration into enormous energy before it dissipates and gets buried under the pressures of daily survival.'

December 22, 2008
Take the war to the enemy
Equip the intelligence agencies with clear directives and resources to conduct deniable acts in enemy land similar to Islamabad's terrorist acts. Thus raise the cost to the enemy and make it prohibitive for Pakistan. This will also fuel the disintegration of this tottering state. The game can be played by equal finesse by us.

Pak's terror is world's greatest danger
Terming terror infrastructure in Pakistan as the 'greatest danger' to the entire world, India on Monday said efforts made by the international community to deal with the situation are 'not enough' and that New Delhi will use 'all measures' necessary to tackle the problem.

Hit Pakistan army where it hurts -- its funding
'What the Pakistan army lacks is not resources, but will. It needs a clarifying message that the support of terror will directly hit its interests rather than those of the over-burdened citizens of Pakistan.'

December 19, 2008
No Islamic burial for Mumbai terrorists
'By publicly denying a burial to the killed terrorists, with enough publicity worldwide, we can hopefully make a dent in the brainwashing of the would-be suicide bombers that since they are not assured of an Islamic burial they will not go to heaven. Maybe, just maybe, that may dissuade some of them to desist from carrying out the suicide missions.'

December 17, 2008
Death of a salesman and other elite ironies
In the end, politics killed the few hundred innocents in Mumbai. In the final count, politics, every single day, is killing, impoverishing, starving, denigrating, millions of Indians all across the country.

December 15, 2008
BSP's growth is bad news for Congress, BJP
As things stand, both the UPA and the NDA may gain or lose 15-20 seats this way or that in 2009. In such a scenario, the role of the third pool of the non-Congress and non-BJP parties will become critical. The BSP is likely to lead the pack, even though Mayawati is not expected to go for pre-poll alignments.

Indian Navy cannot rest on its laurels
In the general euphoria surrounding the safe return of the Stolt Valor and its crew we tend to forget some of the more disturbing aspects of the incident.

December 11, 2008
Target the Pakistan army, not Pakistan
'There has been clamour for an attack on Pakistani territory to take out the 'terror-training camps'. This is asinine. Does anyone think that the camps will still be there?'

December 09, 2008
Pakistan should be made to pay the price for terror
Finally, let us recognise that no one is going to fight our battles for us, that only we can safeguard our security and integrity through our own actions, and that any outside help, whether by a super power or the international community, can only be supplementary to our own efforts.

December 08, 2008
View: Why the MNF lost Mizoram
The return of the Congress to power is the change that has been long awaited. The anti-incumbency factor had stacked up against the MNF. For Pu Zoramthanga, who lost in his home constituency Champhai North and his party, the decade of smooth tongue wagging to save the party failed after they repeatedly did not deliver their promises.

No time to dither: India must act
Preparedness for war ensures peace. Mobilisation need not mean war. Mobilisation and concentration does not rob skilful commanders of opportunities to achieve surprise.

The unbeatable force, in both war and peace
'Ours are 24-carat bonds that would easily pass the test of time and trials. This camaraderie is the NDA’s most perdurable gift.'

December 05, 2008
Muslims have gained nothing from terrorism
Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan says Muslims must focus their energies on spreading God's love and restrain from any negative and destructive activities.

Pakistan: Thus far and no further
A divided Pakistan, a bleeding Pakistan, a Pakistan ever on the verge of collapse without actually collapsing -- that should be our objective till it stops using terrorism against India.

How should India respond to Mumbai attacks
The Mumbai terror strike is no ordinary attack. All over the world there have been several blasts but in all those cases they have been attacks by stealth. Here is the first instance where the attackers have openly defied a nation of one billion. That the nation's 200 elite commandos were defied for 60 hours is a tremendous boost for the morale of terrorists all over the world. The effect of inaction can be devastating.

December 04, 2008
A letter to the prime minister
So long as India's response to terrorism will be characterised by a shameless appeal along religious lines with political parties trying to consolidate their vote-banks as opposed to coming together to fight the menace, we will continue to be viewed as a soft target by our adversaries and we will continue to fight terrorists in our streets.

Decvember 03, 2008
The obvious battlefield is Pakistan
'New Delhi needs to work out its long-term option with clarity, objectivity and decisiveness in view of the extremely hostile 14,000 kilometres of borders. The other critical element is the substantial Islamic population in India that certain external forces want radicalised to create civil strife. Honestly speaking, given the internal and external security imperatives, non-governance is not an option for New Delhi.'

Remove politicians' security. Now!
Let each of these politicians be stripped of the security cover and perks. Let them feel like the common men they really are. Let them understand that they are the servants of the people -- and then let us find out how many of them actually want to serve the nation.

Why are we targeting politicians alone?
Merely paying taxes is not enough, the trouble is that no one wants to go beyond that and giving lectures to politicians.

Decvember 02, 2008
People's anger and a crumbling spy agency
If you watch the surge of emotions one thought clearly emerges that people are frustrated, desperate and wants things to change. They want to bury the chalta hai attitude.

It's a fight for humanity
We can't start overthrowing governments but we can keep a strict watch on them as citizens of a free world, who give a damn. We can also choose who we give power too. A democratic government is said to be: of the people, by the people, for the people. India is the largest democracy in the world and home to 1.2 billion people living all over the world. It is possible for a resounding voice to be heard if we speak together now, says Priya Kale.

Time to hold Pakistan accountable
The West should stand in solidarity with India in telling Pakistan that it cannot allow Lashkar-e-Tayiba to exist.

The consequences of the Mumbai attacks
Former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once said that the enemy gets a vote. The Islamists cast their ballot in Mumbai.

Why do they hate a City of Dreams?
'This city will prove its true greatness not by 'getting on with it'; but, rather, by holding accountable those who perpetrated this act and those who allowed it to happen.'

Who was in Charge?
'For two days, no one moved to take charge, neither in Mumbai nor in Delhi.'

Decvember 01, 2008
Pakistan government can't rein in ISI
'We must with or without the cooperation of Pakistan get rid of the terror training camps, and let Pakistan know that any action against terror outfits inside their territory is no violation of their sovereignty. Instead, it will help them restore their authority and save India from murder and mayhem.'

The Taj Burns
Like New York, let us rise from the gray ashes, shaking off fear and despair to find peace. But let us find answers without darting down dark alleys of suspicion and down hawkish labyrinths. May we have the courage to do what it takes to rebuild a safe world for our children.

November 29, 2008
Clueless India as terror revisits Mumbai
Indian anti-terror strategy refuses to come of age.

November 28, 2008
What we have today is systemic failure
'India must get ready to detect, deter and destroy this menace before it destroys us.'

Mumbai attack shows Lashkar, al Qaeda hand
Given these factors and similarities in modus operandi, selection of targets and use of sophisticated weapons and explosives, the involvement of a similar groups with links to ISI becomes highly probable.

November 27, 2008
A brave officer and a gentleman
In the TV footage of Hemant Karkare, he appeared calm and collected as he put on the helmet and a bullet-proof jacket before chasing the terrorists, but his brave act of fighting the terrorists personally ended in tragedy. He will be remembered for his patriotism, courage and sacrifice, but he should also be remembered for the diplomatic battles he waged for India in the halls of the Vienna International Centre, says T P Sreenivasan. It's time India got its act together
This does not appear to be the handiwork of someone on a shoestring budget. This appears to be a 'battle' in a carefully crafted campaign, or several campaigns.'

The democracies MUST ensure they win
All those who support terrorism in any way must be held ultimately responsible for their actions. If Britain, the US or indeed India fails to carry the war to those who make terrorism possible, wherever they may be hiding, then they too most be equally held responsible for their appalling failure to protect their own citizens. The terrorists and their supporters have declared open war on the democracies and their citizens

November 25, 2008
Why J&K's voter turnout is good news
It shows the electorate's growing faith in the credibility of the electoral process. People obviously think it is worth their while to line up in long queues in inclement weather because they believe that what they punch into their EVM machines is going to decide who will be the victor.

Where have the real friends gone?
The encounter made me think once again of the force and total hold of Facebook and Myspace on generation next.

November 24, 2008
Sino-Indian ties: Troubled times ahead
Pranab Mukherjee was right when he suggested in Beijing sometime back that India-China relations will be one of the more significant factors that will determine the course of human history in the 21st century. If the present indications are anything to go by, human history is in for some tough times ahead.

Corruption is a violation of human rights
Legal and judicial measures for deterring corruption are only a part of the solution. The long-term solution lies in the realm of education at all levels.

November 21, 2008
The Obama moment and the challenges it brings
For President-elect Obama the hard reality of governance is going to sink in rapidly. The world will wait to see if this triumph of hope, will transform into fulfilment of that hope.

November 19, 2008
Why we must lose sleep over Hindu terror
But the crucial question is whether our politicians realise the continuous damage that they have inflicted on the unity and integrity of the nation by their recklessness? Do they realise the consequence of the rise of Hindu terror and what caused it in the first place? Do they sincerely believe that the government can effectively protect the minorities through its police, judiciary and other organs of the state?

November 17, 2008
The real reason for Margaret Alva's exit
Could coteries in the Congress they have put Alva up to attacking Digvijay Singh by destroying his reputation? In other words, in the byzantine politics of the Congress, is Alva merely a lamb being led to slaughter by those who want to use her to get at other leaders including Digvijay Singh?

November 14, 2008
Will Obama and India seize the moment?
India can positively engage Obama by seeking his cooperation in an initiative for a reform of the global governance system.This means moving away from parochial, short-term preoccupations and thinking big. Can our policymakers muster the will to do this?

November 12, 2008
The end of the Dalai Lama's Middle Way?
The Dalai Lama has not dropped his dream to see the Tibetan people happy in the Land of Tibet. It may only take more time and other paths.

November 10, 2008
Free at last!
And yet no one should make the mistake of thinking that the playing field has been leveled completely.

Naan will still be part of the Washington menu
If Obama takes the lead to get India into the Security Council, he would go miles ahead of Bush in befriending India.

November 07, 2008
Deconstructing the Assam blasts
The challenge is: what can be done to prevent a repetition of such catastrophic acts of terror and violence?

November 05, 2008
Obama and the four-letter word
Few leaders in contemporary world history have embodied hope and inclusiveness as much as the 44th President of the United States.

November 04, 2008
The Obama I (don't) know
One Chicago law professor writes about another.

The Obama generation
What will its America look like?

To America, from abroad, with love
An American working in India is still optimistic about his country's prospects.

What if McCain wins?
One answer: a government of national unity, says Reihan Salam.

Six handicaps for John McCain
Though these setbacks are unfair, he can't overcome them by Election Day.

The Bush election
John McCain, let us admit, is battling not only Barack Obama but also George W Bush. This election is about Hope, Change, the New ... but all these slogans are uttered with Bush in mind. McCain is fighting with Bush on his back, and is losing because of Bush on his back.

Obama, Mayawati and the people around me...
Joe Biden has been in politics for 36 years, and had a net worth of about 66 lakhs. On hearing this my driver said, an Indian politician would have made at least Rs 1000 crores in that time.

October 29, 2008
US elections: Waiting for bin Laden
Is OBL planning a similar entry into the poll scene before the Americans vote? It will be out of keeping with him if he does not. Watch out during the days to come.

October 27, 2008
The battle is not for Marathi asmita
Time the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena cease talking about protecting the Maharashtrian asmita (pride) when they talk in support of fighting the influx of job-seeking migrants. Instead they should come clean on the fact that the present concern with regard to migrants is only economic.

October 24, 2008
India's knee jerk reactions in Lanka
When he wants the attention of New Delhi, the Sri Lankan president or his administration dials Beijing and Islamabad and vice versa. So petrified is New Delhi at the prospect of Beijing or Islamabad consolidating its grip on the island nation that in the last two years India has given in to every whim and fancy of the Rajapaksa government.

October 23, 2008
India's reluctant diplomacy in Lanka
Clearly, it is pressure from various parties in Tamil Nadu which appears to have forced the hand of New Delhi. The guess in political circles of Sri Lanka is that India chose the NSA as he represented the prime minister directly and wanted to give an impression to various constituencies in Tamil Nadu that it was getting tough with Colombo.

October 22, 2008
Sri Lankan tsunami in Indian politics
New Delhi has fallen into the trap it assiduously dug since the current phase of escalation of hostilities in Sri Lanka in June/July 2006. The security establishment managers of the United Progressive Alliance simultaneously indulged the nationalist elements in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, the former in line with domestic political compulsions, the latter in the name of New Delhi's geo-strategic interests.

Some searching questions on terrorism
The Hindu Right has, ever since its inception, consistently used terror as its major weapon for stirring up Hindu passions so as to cultivate a Hindu vote-bank. This has been particularly the case on the eve of major elections, as is the case today, says Yogi Sikand.

October 21, 2008
Raj Thackeray should revisit his past
Raj Thackeray, I hope, recalls the SUS's 'social commitment' -- the organisation's own words -- which was 'to create jobs and develop entrepreneurial opportunities for the sons of the soil'. Nowhere was it said then or later that opportunities would be created by scaring away the outsiders who seek to aspire for a better life in Mumbai, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

India Looks East and discovers Tokyo
Relations between India and Japan seem to be at an all-time high, with the two countries making a concerted attempt to interact at various levels -- economic, political and strategic.

October 17, 2008
Pak NSA in India as country slides downhill
New Delhi should constantly bear in mind that despite Major General Mahmud Ali Durrani's soft-spoken approach, crucial decisions on relations with India, particularly on terrorism-related issues, will remain in the hands of the Punjabi-dominated Pakistani military.

October 15, 2008
Analysis: Will the Jhelum smile again?
It is time India acted like Lincoln and not like 'men of straw' who succumbed to pressure in 1947. It is time that India makes it clear that secession is not an option and that Indian unity is non-negotiable.

October 14, 2008
View: Extremism and the misinterpretation of Islam
According to Islam, the declaration and conduct of jihad, in the sense of qital or physical warfare, and the establishment of Islamic laws related to collective affairs is solely the responsibility of the State. It is completely forbidden in Islam for non-State actors to form parties in order to engage in struggles or movements for this purpose

How safe are Pakistan's nuclear warheads?
Among Pakistan's neighbouring countries, India will be particularly vulnerable if Islamist terrorists and their Al Qaeda and Taliban brothers ever lay their hands on Pakistan's nuclear warheads as it is one of the nations that the Al Qaeda has named as an enemy. Being a contiguous land neighbour, it is also easier to target even if sophisticated delivery systems like ballistic missiles are not available

October 10, 2008
India should reciprocate Zardari's overture
India can help Pakistan generously in its hour of crisis -- if it builds a relationship with it independent of the US. India must thin out troops in the Kashmir Valley, offer Pakistan security cooperation and joint projects in Afghanistan -- thus decisively defusing the Cold War-style mutual rivalry in that country.

October 08, 2008
LK Advani: Don't communalise the fight against terror
The Navratri festival has begun. It will conclude on Vijayadashami, which symbolises the victory of Good over Evil. I suggest that, in addition to Ravan Dahan (burning of the effigy of Ravan), let Navratri pandals all over the country also do Atankvaad Dahan (burning the effigy of the Demon of Terrorism). Let it symbolise our collective resolve to make India terror-free, says L K Advani

View: Losing the psy-war in Afghanistan
There should be no doubt that if the Americans leave without finishing the job in Afghanistan they will be doing this at their own peril. In the globalised and borderless world of today, the US doesn't have the luxury that the British enjoyed of leaving Afghanistan to its own devices

October 07, 2008
Harsh V Pant: India and the EU: A directionless courtship
The EU's lack of a strategic direction in foreign policy makes it difficult for it to respond effectively to new challenges such as the rise of India. India should leverage its growing economic and political profile in the international system to impress upon the EU that it's time for the EU to act seriously on its promise to make India a strategic partner.

US, Saudi Arabia revive Taliban's comeback
From the US perspective, the immediate political advantage of the Saudi involvement will be two-fold: its impact on Pakistani public opinion and, secondly, in countering the expanding Iranian influence within Afghanistan. The Saudi role would hopefully temper the stridency of 'anti-Americanism' in Pakistan, given their influence on the Islamic parties in Pakistan, especially the Jamaat-i-Islami

October 03, 2008
Heed the cry of the armed forces
A nation neglects its soldiers at its peril. Instead of structural tinkering through pay commissions, it makes sense to have a separate pay commission for the defence forces.

How the nuclear deal helps India's power situation
According to a study by the Centre for the Study of Science, Technology and Policy based in Bangalore, there is a good chance of nuclear power contributing about 57,000 MW by 2030 through LWRs and FBRs. By building more PHWRs too -- with totally indigenous technology, but run on imported uranium fuel -- the level could touch 70,000 MW or higher

October 02, 2008
Deal with US raises troubling questions
'The deal on offer creates a Tarapur-style trap of gigantic dimensions. In fact, the latest Act specifically empowers the US to do what it did in 1978 -- retroactively rewrite the rules of cooperation with India by enacting a new domestic law.'

October 01, 2008
Why can't we be careful and change?
Safety consciousness of the people and the authorities is abysmally low to the extent of being non-existent. Care, caution and concern are always missing. The absence of a sense of safety and the required discipline to secure it in our daily lives is appallingly missing.

Why bother with news about blasts!
A time may come when human rights activists, liberals, intellectual elite, eminent persons, secularists and other lumpen elements may argue that it is okay for the State to fund the activities of such violent groups who according to them mean well to "liberate" those people who vibe on the same wavelength with them!

September 30, 2008
A weak Pakistan is a threat to neighbours
"People are confused about this war," said Daud, negotiating the office vehicle he was driving through downtown Karachi's chaotic traffic.

September 29, 2008
Reprieve for Shivraj Patil sends the wrong message
And yet Patil's continuation raises a different question: What is going to be the criteria for becoming and remaining a minister? Wearing good clothes? Keeping the leader happy? Or should it also have something to do with performance?

Time for the police to come clean
The country could ill-afford such a situation where innocents are made to pay a price because an incompetent police wants to keep the record books filled. It is time now to ask sharp questions. And time has come for the investigating agencies to answer them. Quickly.

September 26, 2008
In FATA, the war is just starting
It is in the interest of the US, of Pakistan and even of India (which will have to bear the brunt of a destabilised Pakistan) if Pakistan is forced to make the necessary course correction and combat Islamic radicalism.

September 25, 2008
The govt's employment policy disappoints
The draft policy paper has opted for 'ignorance is bliss' and served platitudes which do not add up to a serviceable employment policy.

Wounded hearts
The aggressive conversions and the justification of it by the 'harvesters' are hurting Hindus as much as any other violence. Still there are saner ways to explain that hurt if there are saner platforms to receive those voices.

Should J&K polls be held on schedule?
When to hold elections in J&K is not an easy call to take, though there is nothing like a perfect moment. Clearly, the priority has to be to bring down the temperatures in the valley first before embarking on an electoral exercise.

September 23, 2008
Steady progress at Sino-India talks
Unlike Indo-Pak talks, which are equally sensitive, India-China border talks have been low-key without arousing any kind of unrealistic optimism or expectation. Talks have been slow, but steady, without meeting any roadblock. This is symbolic of maturing of relationship between the two countries which has been achieved over the years.

September 22, 2008
View: Manufacturing 'terrorists' the Indian way
The mounting indiscriminate arrests, torture and detention of vast numbers of innocent Muslim youth across the country in the name of countering terrorism not only makes a complete mockery of our claims to secularism and democracy but is a perfect recipe for making Muslim terrorism a self-fulfilling prophecy

September 19, 2008
Enemies within the borders
Today, you give away Kashmir, tomorrow you will have to give away Hyderabad and then Coimbatore and then Moradabad and so on.

'Terrorism needs to be dealt with an iron fist'
Veerappa Moily on the Administrative Reforms Commission's measures against terrorism.

September 18, 2008
India sidelined in Lankan war
Perhaps the Indian establishment do not subscribe to the thesis that un-exhibited power is more potent. Innovative diplomacy and statesmanship with no nonsense approach is the need of the hour.

We need enforcement, not anti-terror laws
Right now what we need, as much as we needed them all along in the life of this nation, is proper law enforcement. Also, the law enforcement has to be done legally. That seems a little odd when said, but that's what we need.

September 17, 2008
When cowards run, the State nation bleeds
If citizens encourage and harbour the wicked, forget dates like December 13 that should be remembered, forget to take revenge on anti-nationals, continue with their late-night parties when dead bodies of their fellow citizens lie splattered in busy fashion markets, no one can save that deadwood society.

The intent behind the terror attacks
Deadly enemies though they present themselves as, Hindu and Muslim chauvinists desperately need each other. Without each other they are incomplete, indeed unable to survive. That is what this series of blasts, as well as the entire history of Hindu and Muslim communalism, clearly suggests.

SIMI's 'success' is a result of our secular polity
SIMI does not believe in a nation-state. Its ultimate aim is to have an Islamic Caliphate with an Islamic India an integral part of such an arrangement. And to achieve this, SIMI sees secular, democratic modern India as a hurdle. Yet it is the secular cabal that acts as a cheerleader for SIMI!

September 16, 2008
Terrorism is no crime, it is an act of war
'Once we acknowledge that terrorism is an act of war waged against India then it becomes the paramount duty of the central government to decide how long we will allow ourselves to bleed and how soon shall we put an end to this aggression.'

September 14, 2008
Pathetic handling of blasts' aftermath
'Before we learn to catch the terrorist and then use any law against them, let us learn to handle those innocents who fall victim.'

September 11, 2008
The case against azadi for Kashmir
It is therefore time that India starts 'thinking the unthinkable' to end Kashmiri separatism. If the case for Kashmir's azadi rests only on numbers, then let us change the numbers in Kashmir. If this means settling people there from other parts of India, then so be it.

September 09, 2008
What a Zardari presidency means
Zardari assumes Pakistan's presidency at a time when the very survival of the nation is at stake. There is nothing in his past to suggest that he will be successful in overcoming the challenges that Pakistan faces and there is every likelihood that a fresh round of political instability is just round the corner. India should hope for the best but get ready to face the worst in Pakistan in the coming months.

How the media created the Raj Thackeray bogey
It gave him the cause. Strange, but true. And also tragic.

September 08, 2008
Political implications of the NSG waiver
Dr Manmohan Singh has emerged as the Congress' prime ministerial nominee for 2009. That is the first political implication of the Nuclear Suppliers Group waiver.

In defence of the armed forces
There is a need for addressing the whole gamut of raising, equipping, manning, and governing the armed forces so that their effectiveness as a national institution is assured.

September 05, 2008
Reiterations, not revelations
The US State Department's reply to Chairman Tom Lantos covered by the Washington Post is not a revelation, but only a repetition of what was plain as noon-day sun for anyone with a modicum of political savvy. In that sense, again, US Ambassador to India David Mulford is spot on when he says that all that the letter says had already been conveyed in an open and transparent manner to New Delhi and was already known to those whose business it was to keep track of developments.

The good that madrasas do goes unnoticed
As the ulema often point out, the voluntary services of the madrasas, generally provided completely free of cost, saves the public exchequer a huge amount of money, but yet their services in this regard, far from being appreciated, are generally reviled by those who have little or no understanding of the madrasa system.

September 04, 2008
McCain-Palin: The GI Joe-Barbie ticket
Republicans, in choosing a woman, argue that they are the true party of feminists, even if their female candidate is anti-choice, pro-military, pro-guns, pro-religion in the public sector, anti-sexual education and is, in general, diametrically opposed to everything the feminist movement has achieved for American women.

September 02, 2008
Kashmiri separatists are isolated from reality
India must sit tight and not succumb to pressure tactics. After the relative peace that Kashmir has got used to, let there be a dose of unrest for the Kashmiri to come to his collective senses.

September 01, 2008
West Bengal: Communists paying for their bad Karma
Obviously, the Leftists are caught in a bind. If they use force against these protestors they would be doomed in the next elections. If they don't, surely Tata may exit Singur and relocate their Nano plant elsewhere, which means economic doom for the state.

Kosi's tragedy: Blunder after blunder
If the government had woken up on August 18, then a more planned evacuation was possible and most of the lakhs of people marooned today would not be there. It is clear that there has been a series of grave and criminal blunders that have led to this disaster of huge proportions. The trouble is, even now we do not know who people are whose neglect caused this disaster, and going by our track record we may never know who they are

August 29, 2008
Why Kashmir is up in flames
'It is the obduracy of the valley -- that sees demons in any and every attempt at economic development as 'Indian imperialism' -- that has got the people of Jammu agitated.'

August 28, 2008
India needs IITs for sports
'A goal should be set to take our medal tally to 10 at the London Olympics.'

Kashmir's 'azaadi' demand is about religion
'The Hindus of Jammu and the Buddhists of Leh find themselves in precisely the same position as did supporters of the Muslim League in pre-Partition India, only now the actors have reversed their roles.'

Treat the farmer as a joint-entrepreneur
Every landholder who was forced out without gains with the State acting as the broker who pays less than what the project pays to the government, is like that of a person who loses his land to an irrigation project. The dam has come up on his land and he got not a chew for that but those downstream reap the harvest, year upon year. Now read industrial project for 'irrigation' and the perspective is clear.

August 26, 2008
Why Pakistan is reactivating the Kashmir front
Quite clearly, the reactivation of the Kashmir front is a clear signal to the politicians that they should not even think of making any deal with India without taking the views of the Pakistan Army into account.

August 25, 2008
Mayawati's caste gambit
Mayawati needs to retain support of the Dalits without alienating other castes.

August 21, 2008
Giving Kashmir away? No way
The nation needs answers and accountability about why in less than two months the marginalised separatist groups are once again being allowed to set the political agenda in the Valley.

Armed forces should put their house in order
‘Resources alone will not make the Indian armed forces the envy of its adversaries. It is the policy direction that is set by the military leadership and the quality of training imparted to its manpower that will make the difference. The debate on the wide-ranging changes that India's defence set-up needs should have been initiated long back by the armed forces themselves.’

August 20, 2008
View: Who will be the next PM?
One reason why Sharad Pawar may be rooting for Manmohan Singh is to earn his goodwill, and the backing of all those forces who support what Singh stands for, and paradoxically of those inside the Congress who would not want Singh as prime minister again. The recent launch of the "Saam" channel in Maharashtra by the Sakal group considered close to Pawar is being seen as a preparatory move by Pawar

What Prachanda as PM means for India
If Prachanda is prudent and mature, he won't let relations with India be marred by anti-India posturing. Will he be able to do that? India's long border with Nepal has seen an unusual growth in madarssas and jihadi activities. Will Prachanda's Nepal help handle that?

August 19, 2008
What Musharraf's resignation means for India
'What has been on view since the bombing of the Indian embassy at Kabul is consistent with some or most elements of the ISI turning into 'rogues'. These considerations concern us more in India rather than the ouster of President Musharraf or the state of democracy in Pakistan.'

Reciprocity and Hindu anger
At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, the most peace-loving people in the world, those the Mahatma Gandhi once gently called 'cowards', those who cower in their houses at the least sign of riot, erupt in fury, uncontrolled fury.

August 18, 2008
Pay hike for govt staff: What about guarantee of output?
The impression is that few public functionaries paid out of taxpayers' money feel answerable to anyone, least of all to the public.

August 15, 2008
Serious implications for India in NSG draft proposal
Although New Delhi may have expressed satisfaction with its inoffensively packaged wording, the draft proposal carries serious implications for India. The draft is likely to attract even more India-specific conditions when it is taken up for consideration by the NSG, given the cartel's consensual decision-making process.

Sobering thoughts on Independence Day
The empty seats in the VIP rows, the thin crowds and the prime minister's pointed reference to terrorism from behind his bullet proof enclosure told its own tale about my beloved nation.

India at 61: Light and Lament
Meet Mother India's quiet army of political servants.

August 14, 2008
Amarnath shadow on Doda's tenuous peace
The violence that is rapidly engulfing large parts of Jammu and Kashmir, set off by a controversial government decision to grant a tract of land to a temple trust in Kashmir, threatens to totally disrupt the already tenuous inter-communal relations in the region.

We do not belong to past dawns, but to the noons of the future
'Some say India is shining, others will tell you, India is incredible, India is the nation to reckon with in the future, but this India is still far from where she could and should be. '

August 11, 2008
India's new challenges in Afghanistan
A stable, secure and prosperous neighbourhood is a sine qua non for the emergence of a great power. India cannot be merely seen as free-riding on the outside powers for regional stability.

August 07, 2008
Jammu is not for burning
The unrest could have easily been avoided if only both the state and central governments at the highest levels had had the leadership, imagination and sensitivity to gauge the delicate nature of the crisis at hand and taken effective measures to address it.

August 06, 2008
Appeasement is never good for a nation
Politicians might say that the Amarnath issue is not about religion, but it is all about religion.

Why UPA wants to delay monsoon session
Conceivably, the deferment of the Parliament session to beyond the second week of September has more to do with the nuclear deal with the United States than the alienation of Kashmiris or the wheeling and dealing by the UPA and its allies.

August 05, 2008
Jammu's Hindu uprising
'What we are witnessing in Jammu is a Hindu intifada: The young and old, men and women, youth and children are locked in an unequal battle with the police and the army -- demanding the immediate revocation of the government order cancelling the transfer of 800 kanals of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board.'

August 02, 2008
We are not there yet
The ominous explanations of some of the NSG countries in the Board should alert to the perils ahead.

July 29, 2008
How the trust vote will change Indian politics
What has however changed above all is the country's politics. It is in a state of flux, but broad contours of the new alignments are getting delineated. With the Left-Mayawati handshake, the country is once again headed for a tripolar polity. The UPA, NDA and the third front.

Not a done deal yet
Now that the United Progressive Alliance coalition has nine months in office, it must be transparent and accountable to those who pay and elect it to serve the people of India. A single mis-step on the 123 could irreparably damage rather than advance India's national interest.

Should we be ashamed of Kargil victory?
Has the Kargil victory, like so much else, fallen prey to petty, partisan politics?

July 28, 2008
Incubus of Indian Mujahideen
'The emergence of the Indian Mujahideen as a new terrorist menace on the scene can be said to be the gravest development yet insofar as India is concerned.'

Could the terrorists have panicked?
'In none of the blast cases since October 29, 2005 have the law enforcement agencies obtained such powerful evidence. Deciphered painstakingly by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies, the Wagon-R and its cargo could lead the investigators to some of the terrorists.'

July 25, 2008
The truth is security in India is a joke
'So, we are supposed to feel concerned about what happened in the 'IT capital' on Friday afternoon; we are supposed to slam terrorism 'in no uncertain terms'; we are supposed to light a candle in our hearts and mourn.'

July 24, 2008
What China thinks about the N-deal progress
An authoritative and well-connected strategic affairs journal in China has come out with a prompt independent comment on the progress in the N-deal.

View: Why Somanth Chatterjee was expelled
Expulsion from the party often entails a social boycott of the person by the members of the political family, say insiders, and this is not going to be easy for Somnath Chatterjee who has spent the best part of his life in the CPI-M.

July 22, 2008
Dr Singh is wrongly in the eye of storm
Beyond political divide and diatribes, Dr Manmohan Singh remains disarmingly unattackable and innocent!

The numbers game was never as vulgar
The trust of the vast majority of India in the political establishment has been shattered yet again.

Today, let's wish the best ideas prevail
The Congress's clumsy political handling of the nuclear deal has laid bare before the world a nation that is desperately trying to search for a foreign policy.

July 21, 2008
Will nuclear power benefit the masses?
'We are being told that to cushion our energy needs from the volatile oil market, we need nuclear power. That's hogwash: Our power sector is not dependent on oil.'

Everyone is a suspected Judas
'With MPs bargaining like Shylock for their pet projects and with defections and desertions, the prime minister is besieged.'

July 18, 2008
A sad saga of the PM's betrayals
The buzz is that Dr Singh has already secured the nuclear deal with the United States and a defeat on July 22 will not alter that reality.

July 16, 2008
What if there is a free vote?
This is the ultimate paradox of the N-deal: A majority in the Congress would rather not have the deal and a majority in the BJP would love to have it, now that the military programme has been assured.

Lessons from a Kerala textbook
After reading the textbook and the controversial chapter we are left wondering as to what could have led the opponents of the book to conclude that the chapter promotes atheism.

IAEA draft: Invoking Para 29 won’t be easy
Agreements may provide rights but this does not mean asserting them or implementing them will be easy. India may consider itself to be on firm legal ground in invoking Paragraph 29, for example, in order to deal with the consequences of a fuel supply disruption, but the political opposition it will encounter internationally could be formidable. Some of this political opposition could even be couched in legal terms.

Afghanistan: Another frontier of Indo-Pak rivalry?
The increasing bonhomie in the Indo-Afghan relationship had posed a challenge to the ISI, which is interested in regaining its lost 'strategic depth' in Afghanistan.

July 15, 2008
Is the nuclear deal about big business?
At a time when the global nuclear industry is somewhat dormant, India's ambitious plans to increase power generation capacity substantially through the nuclear route has come as a shot in the arm for nuclear suppliers who are looking for big money and to revive their industry.

July 14, 2008
France and the nuclear deal
The question has to be asked of France: why don't you recognise Kashmir as you recognise Tibet? Then India need not sign a nuclear treaty with the US, which will bind her politically and economically to the Americans for two decades. France would be an excellent nuclear, economic and political partner for India.

There's plenty of room in the Democratic tent
Senator Obama has the ability to unite our nation as no one has done in my lifetime. Perhaps you need more proof, and in the coming weeks I'm sure he and his talented team of campaign staffers will show us.

Price for Samajwadi support = Oust Maya
That will be the last pound of flesh Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh wish to extract for the support they are giving the dying Congress party. Fortuitously, the Congress too wants a similar outcome.

Amar Singh: The man of the moment
The king of the politics of possibilities - Amar Singh, and he is back in action. Few have the ability to network and manipulate the levers of power as Singh does. A profile.
July 10, 2008
View: Little to fault in IAEA agreement
The Left too, assuming it finds it possible to lay aside its fundamental objections (subservience to the US, infringement of India's sovereignty) to the main nuclear deal, would find little in the contents of the agreement to which it can take serious exception.
July 09, 2008
Drawing lessons from the Kabul bombing
Each time an Indian life was lost, the top officials in Delhi reiterated their resolve not to be deterred by terrorists. A high level meeting of officials ensued to take stock of the security of the Indian personnel in Afghanistan. We, then, moved on. But does that approach suffice? Is anyone listening out there in the Hindu Kush? Isn't a comprehensive relook of policy warranted?
July 08, 2008
The nuclear deal's essence is politics
‘The Indo-US nuclear agreement is a political deal masquerading as a technology treaty. The essence of the deal is politics, with technology and the energy it is supposed to bring simply a smokescreen. Power, to light up India, is not the driving force behind the deal. It is politics, and to be charitable to its prime proponents, of a global scale. The aim is to redraw the global politico-strategic framework under the guise of providing technology, energy, and power. But like all power that is not earned, produced, there is a cost. And it is this cost that gets the goat of most Indians.’

Analysis: The options before the UPA
The challenge before the Congress is to get its arithmetic right and mount an operation that is foolproof, particularly after the way things were botched up in Srinagar.

July 07, 2008
Where Azad and the Congress failed in J&K
Azad had given Delhi the impression that he had got his act together. And Delhi -- both the home ministry and the Congress party -- were happy to take his word for it. The fact is that of late Delhi has been caught up in the nuke deal to the exclusion of all else.

Has the Left overplayed its hand?
The Left under the stewardship of the impulsive and inexperienced Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechuri and the like has overplayed its hand and needlessly thrown the nation into turmoil, besides finding itself outmaneuvered.

July 04, 2008
The taxi drivers' guide to world politics
Pearls of wisdom are often attributed to the cabbie who comes up with profound insights on the outcome of elections or the course of the conflict, or what have you.

July 02, 2008
How the Congress mismanaged the N-deal
The fiasco over the Left alliance, among others, exposes the party's weaknesses.

India most privatised country for education
Many Indians live under a comfortable, though wrong notion, that education is not a 'commercial' service and cannot be regulated.

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