January 2011

DOUBTING THOMAS

Writing on corruption and probity in public life, ancient political theorist Chanakya started with a slightly banal observation in the Arthashastra: “Just as a fish moving deep under water cannot be possibly found out either as drinking or not drinking water, Then, reflecting darkly on the mysterious opaqueness of the inner wheels of governance, he […..]

LIP SERVICE JUST WON’T DO

In March 1938, when confronted with rising reports of corruption in the Congress provincial ministries that had come into being a year earlier under the Government of India Act, Gandhi issued a press statement from Rajkot. “The one and only task before the Congress,” he said, “is to make supreme efforts to clean the Congress […..]

CLUELESS IN SOUTH BLOCK

Beijing passed a message last week when it tested the J-20, its new generation locally produced stealth fighter, from an airbase in Sichuan on the day US Defence Secretary Robert Gates landed in China to discuss resumption of defence ties. Intended as a direct threat to US carrier fleets in the region, the J-20 is […..]

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

Trivia question for the new-year: who started the first ever global jihad? Answer: Sultan-Caliph Mehmed Reshad in November 1914, when he symbolically took the sword of the Prophet at Constantinople’s Fatih Sultan Mehmed mosque to sanctify the Ottoman empire’s war on Britain, France and Russia. The Ottoman Caliph joined with the Germans in World War […..]