May 2011

CONSPIRACY-STAN AND SEA OF STORIES

By now it is clear who attacked Mumbai on 26/11. Contrary to general opinion, it was a wily plot by India itself to malign the good name of Pakistan. 9/11: it was a Jewish conspiracy, didn’t you know? Use the Roman principle of cui bono who benefits and the truth is self-evident. Didn’t the Americans […..]

THE IN-BETWEEN MOVEMENT

By now it is fair to characterise the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption campaign as the ‘in-between’ movement. In-between because of its curious timing between the World Cup and the IPL, because the particular version of the Lokpal Bill it is rooting for has led to discord even among its most ardent supporters, because the wide coalition […..]

OF ISLANDS AND POLICEMEN

In December 2009, soon after completing his first year as Home Minister, P Chidambaram gave an important speech to Intelligence Bureau officials where he proposed radical changes to India’s internal security structures and identified the key weaknesses as he saw them. As he put it, the first big problem was that “the police stations in […..]

THE LEFT IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE LEFT

Just before the 2009 Lok Sabha election, Prakash Karat, still strutting with the swagger of the Left’s largest ever contingent in Parliament, declared before an election rally in Agartala that it was a “thousand per cent confirmed” that the Third Front would form the next government in Delhi. The Left was promptly reduced to a […..]

India-China Media Relations: Panda and Elephant at Cross-purposes

India and China are doing better at reaching understanding on the ocean waves than the air waves. While their navies are talking to each other, their media organisations encounter each other’s country with the astonishment of a panda bumping into an elephant on a dark night. Ten months ago, Indian and Chinese navies were muscling […..]

ERILS OF RAMBO-NATIONALISM

One of the more interesting and revealing comments about the Osama killing this week came from a gushing academic at the French Institute of Foreign Relations who took the debate into the realms of psychology and gender impulses. What was great about the raid on Abbotabad for American voters, in this view, was that it […..]

ROBBER BARONS OF YAMUNA

When the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III died in 1250 without an agreed successor, his empire went into turmoil. Among the first administrative casualties of the flux were the toll collectors on the river Rhine, which for a thousand years had been the commercial heart of Europe and its principal economic highway. With the government […..]