January 2016

Open up for women: In Sabarimala temple case, constitutional right to equality trumps other arguments

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Should the 1,500 year old Sabarimala Sri Ayyappa temple be opened up to women? The temple authority, Travancore Devaswom Board, cites tradition to say no to women between the ages of 10 to 50 for its sanctum sanctorum. The Supreme Court has rightly cited constitutional guarantees of equality to question why. “Unless you have a […..]

How ‘Jake sweetie’ conquered Dhaka for India

JFR Jacob passes away

It must count as one of the most memorable messages ever to finish a war. As he entered Dhaka on the morning of 16 December 1971, Major General Gandharv Nagra sent his ADC with the adjutant of the 2nd Paras, the first Indian battalion to have reached the city, to the Cantonment with a truce […..]

Our security setup is stuck in Mountbatten-Ismay era

Raj relic: Security is not an electoral issue in India and few netas understand it

The NSG is not Rambo. If Pathankot proved anything, it was this. Unlike chest-thumping, Rambo-type films or what passes for fighting terror in Hindi films like Holiday, defence operations are extremely complex and, when they go wrong, highly emotive. By now, everything that needed to be said about the Pathankot attack has been said — […..]

How President Obama indirectly helps North Korea’s nuclear rise with “ally” Pakistan

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Kim Jon-Un’s advance birthday gift to himself of a hydrogen bomb test which North Korean TV announced as a “perfect success” has once again confirmed Pyongyang’s rogue instincts. With this explosion, North Korea is directly poking Washington in the eye and Americans should remember that all this is only possible because of help to North […..]

Questions from Pathankot

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The government’s public handling of the Pathankot attack raises several serious questions which show that the lessons from 26/11 or other terror attacks haven’t been learnt. First, why was there no clear communications strategy and why did ministers prematurely rush into congratulatory mode? The primary aim of terror is to spread public panic and clear […..]

Pathankot first big challenge to Modi’s new Pakistan policy

Exactly a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised India by dropping in on Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, comes the first big challenge to his new peace initiative with Pakistan. Imagine if the terrorists had succeeded in blowing up a Mig-21 or a Sukhoi at the Pathankot Indian Air Force base? They failed — the […..]