2015

Getting a peon’s job harder than getting into Harvard

It’s seems it is more difficult to get a job as a peon in Uttar Pradesh than it is to get into Harvard. Consider this: Harvard University admitted 2081 students this year, for its class of 2019. They were the ones who made it out of 37,707 students who applied. That’s an admission ratio of […..]

Caste-ing Ashoka in Bihar

How caste politics is being resurrected with dubious history before polls What does an ancient emperor who died over 2,300 years ago have to do with the hurly-burly of Bihar elections in the present day? Everything, it seems, as politicians pull out all the stops to attract, make and remake caste formations. So in this […..]

Modi aura or Nitish era? Pataliputra to decide

Chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi calls it the “mother of all elections”. For once, the Bihar poll justifies the hyperbole. The road to Indraprastha passed through Pataliputra for Narendra Modi. This is why he devoted so much attention to Bihar (second only to UP) in 2014, with about 30 rallies, delivering 31 of its 40 […..]

Fadnavis and musical chairs in Mumbai

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Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is away in Japan to inaugurate a memorial and statue of Ambedkar at Koyasan University and for courting investments from Japanese companies. He has left behind him in Mumbai a raging controversy over the abrupt transfer of Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria and the game of musical chairs being played […..]

Narasimha Rao was magnificent, govt now too clever by half — Indians incapable of objectivity: Jairam Ramesh

Congress leader and former UPA minister Jairam Ramesh is author of To The Brink and Back: India’s 1991 Story. Speaking with Nalin Mehta, Ramesh discussed working in Narasimha Rao’s PMO, recounting how India started economic reforms, Rao’s historical legacy — and the lessons of 1991 for today: You say Narasimha Rao was magnificent — why? […..]

China’s rising military threat: Why India should worry

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After a harrowing month in which China signaled new economic vulnerabilities and sent shock waves from Wall Street to Dalal Street by devaluing its yuan, the made-for-TV martial pictures of smartly dressed People’s Liberation Army soldiers marching in step on Tiananmen Square must have given a breather to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Make no mistake: […..]

Why housewives back One Rank One Pension

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So, overheard a dark and disturbing joke from a veteran today. Pakistani soldiers on the border had unfurled a banner on their bunker saying “Jo ham se takraega, Jantar Mantar pe dande khaega” (Whoever clashes with us will get beaten up at Jantar Mantar). It shocked me out of my wits – it’s certainly not […..]