September 4, 2016

Across the Aisle: Lift the veil, hold a debate

Last week, India and the United States quietly signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA). The agreement had been under discussion since 2002. NDA I and the UPA government, especially the Ministry of Defence under Mr A K Antony, were not in favour. The Congress party too had reservations. The Left parties stoutly opposed the proposal. The discussions dragged […]
August 28, 2016

Dalits are right: Enough is enough

On July 11, 2016, a video of cow vigilantes mercilessly beating up seven Dalit men for skinning a dead cow in Una district, Gujarat, came to light. In protest against the incident, many Dalits have refused to handle cow carcasses. The gau rakshaks should be happy, but they are not. Non-Dalits, presumably including gau rakshaks, have retaliated with more violence […]
August 21, 2016

Across the Aisle: Gameplan, gambit or gamble?

As I write this, the curfew in the Kashmir valley has entered the 42nd day. The official death toll of protesters and civilians is 65. The number of security personnel killed is two, not counting the brave men who were killed in encounters with infiltrators. The state government is paralysed, the coalition partners are divided, and the chief minister is […]
August 14, 2016

Across the aisle: Awaiting space for policy action

Dr Raghuram Rajan will lay down the office of Governor, Reserve Bank of India, on September 4, 2016. It is a pity that the government has eased him out at the end of three years when he would have willingly served until September 2018 and, if nudged, until the government’s term ended in May 2019. Anyway, let us put those […]
August 7, 2016

Across the aisle: Good sense triumphs, danger lurks

The first round of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill is over. There were no losers. The next round is expected in the Winter Session of Parliament beginning in November 2016. Key issues are still at large, and I wish to begin a debate on them. Contrary to the impression that the Central government may have conveyed to the […]
July 31, 2016

Across the aisle: Silence-new gold standard of governance

India elected an eloquent, some would say voluble, candidate as prime minister. Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks frequently, tweets extensively and writes sparingly. No one is surprised when he seizes the occasion and speaks. It is only when he ignores the occasion and withdraws into silence that questions are raised. Here are a few samples of his silence: VYAPAM: That […]
July 24, 2016

Across the aisle: Defend the land, win over the people

The protests in the Kashmir valley continue for the third week, There is curfew in many parts of the Valley. Fresh incidents occur in the Valley every day. That is why I have decided to stay with the subject and write a follow-up column to my previous column (The Indian Express, July, 17, 2016). During the debate in Parliament last […]
July 17, 2016

Across the aisle: Kashmir is more than land, it is people

I am not surprised that the Kashmir valley is on the boil. The surprise is that it has taken so many months after the demise of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for the people to rise in revolt. We must define ‘Kashmir’. To most people it is another state that is part of the territory of India. It may have acceded to […]