2010

AFTER OBSTRUCTION, TIME FOR SOLUTIONS

In the mid-1970s, just when national disenchantment with the opaque and corrupt polity that Congress-raj had turned into was hitting its peak, Anand Bakshi caught the popular mood with his prescient ‘Yeh public hai, yeh sab jaantee hai’ number in the Rajesh Khanna starrer ‘Roti’. Coming right before the Emergency when Navnirman politics was still […..]

CONGRESS CHITRA KATHA

In November 1947, speaking to the All India Congress Committee on the biggest issue of the time – Hindu-Muslim relations – Mahatma Gandhi told the delegates that he had come to them because they were the “real Congress.” It was the AICC, in his view, that held real power, as opposed to the party’s larger […..]

DIGVIJAY’S CYNICAL WRONG TURN

Whatever one’s views about Julian Assange and the damage done to international diplomacy through his mega-anarchist notion of a boundary-less world, the Wikileaks disclosures have done one thing: they have broken the myth about the clue-less American diplomat. Cables like the one about American diplomats being asked to spy on credit card numbers of fellow […..]

LESSONS FROM PATALIPUTRA

In the late 1990s, when Nitish Kumar was still seen as having more influence in Delhi than in Patna, there was a golden rule about Bihar that every rookie political journalist had to learn by heart. This was the M-Y or Muslim-Yadav combination, that we were taught was impregnable. Add Dalits and Lalu would always […..]

NEEDED: A RAKHI SAWANT LAW

Manmohan Singh is too occupied with the telecom scandal at the moment to worry about the shenanigans of Rakhi Sawant and company but perhaps he should, once the current logjam over the telecom licenses is resolved. It sounds flippant perhaps but bear with me a moment The Rakhi Sawant show on Imagine is now officially […..]

G20 OR G-NOWHERE?

Other countries host the G20 as a closed-door confabulation of leaders, wrapped up in a cocoon of water-tight security lest the usual legions of protesters outside spoil the party. South Korea has treated the latest Seoul meeting of the G20 as a coming-out party of sorts to showcase its own journey from poor East Asian […..]

MEMO TO BJP: RELAX ON OBAMA

The nineteenth century Prussian strategic thinker Carl von Clausewitz propounded an influential thesis on the dialectics of warfare writing that ‘˜war is politics by another means’. The BJP’s spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy may or may not have read Clausewitz but his premature criticism of Obama for not mentioning the P-word at the Taj on Saturday […..]