October 25, 2015

Across the Aisle: Paradise lost, will it be regained?

There cannot be a better moment for our closest neighbour Sri Lanka where all the planets seem to be smiling in the right houses. Before 1947, the phrase “neighbouring country” stood for Sri Lanka and, some distance away, Burma. Pakistan and Bangladesh are latter-day neighbours. We had little contact with Bhutan until Jawaharlal Nehru made his famous visit riding on […]
October 18, 2015

Across the Aisle: A call to the collective conscience

After many years, ‘protest’ has found its voice and a new legitimacy. In the last two weeks, about 25 writers have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards and some have resigned from the Akademi. Most of these writers practise their craft in regional languages. They are quiet private citizens wrestling with the human condition using the written word. Protesting against the […]
October 11, 2015

Across the aisle: What’s at stake in Bihar polls

Novelty of elections is passé.  Elections will take place, the results will be announced, a party or an alliance will win, a government will be formed, and in a few days life will be back to the usual routine. However, I have the feeling that post-Bihar elections, life in Bihar — and India — will not be back to the […]
October 4, 2015

Across the aisle | Cut in repo rate: Now, do the heavy lifting

As they say, it is “done and dusted”. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) finally met the expectations of the Government, business and a number of economists and cut the repo rate by 50 basis points. The Governor, Dr Raghuram Rajan, was hailed as a hero. He would have been hailed as a hero even if the RBI had cut […]
September 27, 2015

Across the aisle | Encryption Policy: Act first, think later

The zeal with which the policy was announced was matched only by the speed with which it was withdrawn. It lasted all of Monday morning to Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, a scapegoat was found — a poor low-level scientist — and everyone else washed his or her hands of the draft National Encryption Policy. It was indeed a draft, but it […]
September 20, 2015

Across the aisle: Refugees, immigrants and humanity

As long as humankind has existed, misery has been its companion. Poverty, disease, civilian strife, persecution and wars have brought untold misery to humankind. There is no greater misery than having to flee one’s home and hearth and seek refuge in another country whose people may speak a different language or practise a different religion or follow a different culture. […]
September 13, 2015

Across the aisle: The OROP whodunit

The other mystery story running on our screens is One Rank One Pension (OROP). Actually, there is no mystery. All the facts are recorded and documented. However, in the race to claim credit (and disown criticism), the OROP issue is being presented as a big controversy shrouded in mystery. Get facts right Let’s get the facts right. The Indian Armed […]
September 6, 2015

Across the Aisle: The rise and rise of intolerance

Among the many myths about Indian society is an ancient one — that we are, and have always been, a tolerant society. It is an old yarn to cover the prejudices, discrimination, oppression and violence that have, unfortunately, marked our history. The intolerance is most pronounced when it comes to matters concerning identity — not religious identity alone, but every kind […]