2010

IS KALMADI THE ONLY ONE AT FAULT?

In 1991, jewellery tycoon Gerald Ratner, who successfully turned his family jewellery business into billion-dollar public enterprise, made a speech where he called his products “total crap” and boasted that some of his earrings were “cheaper than a prawn sandwich”. It immediately wiped off much of his fortune and Ratner lost his job. It was […..]

CAN PAKISTAN GET OFF THE TIGER?

A year or so ago a respected social scientist told me a telling account of his meeting with a Pakistani general and his wife at a reception in a foreign capital. They were being asked worried questions about the deteriorating security situation in their country but cheerily swatted away all such queries — ‘what the […..]

MISSING OUT ON A COMMON GOAL

Long before he became a politician, Suresh Kalmadi was an Air Force pilot. Among his favourite memories, he has said in the past, was landing planes in Leh when there were no proper runways. The big question now is can he deliver the Commonwealth Games with what looks like poorly finished stadiums? Responding to such […..]

A GROWING POLITICS OF INTOLERANCE

It has not been a good week for liberal India. The Headlines Today office was brutally attacked by goons in Delhi; Zee 24’s studio was raided in Kohlapur, pro-Kannada activists being roughed up for expressing their views on a live show; and the political melodrama over the James Laine book has now gone to absurd […..]

MOVING BEYOND THE BANDH

Enunciating his political ideas for India in 1908, Gandhi wrote a book called Hind Swaraj, that among other things, distilled his ideas about non-violent resistance, bandhs and hartal. In a week when several political parties seem to have rediscovered the bandh as a political tool, it is useful to go back to the original master […..]

COLOUR THE OLIVE GREEN INTO KHAKHI

Can there be anything more symptomatic of the current malaise in the police than the caustic retort by the Chattisgarh police DG that his forces can’t “teach the CRPF how to walk”? Coming in the wake of yet another massacre of CRPF jawans in Bastar, the comment is not only in poor taste, it also […..]

A Question Of Honor

Writing to a minister at the height of the contentious debate over the Hindu Code Bill debate in the 1950s, Jawaharlal Nehru characteristically pointed out, “We have to remember that in the acknowledged social code and practice in India, as it has existed, thus far, there was no lack of moral delinquency as well as […..]