The National Anthem – A Debate

Keshav Rau

By the time these words appear in print, the euphoria associated with the country’s Independence Day celebrations would have died down.  Every Independence Day is an occasion for a lot of high-sounding pledges being taken by all to safeguard the long and hard-fought independence achieved through the sweat and toil of our forefathers.  Each Prime Minister, since independence, addresses the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort (nowadays within the confines of a fortified enclosure) announcing freebies and policy proclamations to the downtrodden and poor.  Continue reading

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Congress Party – R.I.P.

Firoze Hirjikaka

It is now more or less official. The Congress Party is virtually defunct. The Grand Old Party, whose stalwarts fought for India’s independence, laid the foundation of genuine democracy in a region that had never experienced it, ensured equal representation for all minorities in a complicated and diverse nation, experimented with and then discarded Nehruvian socialism; and put India on the path of economic liberalization in 1991, is now a diaphanous shell of its former self.   Continue reading

Is India’s Foreseeable Political Future Immutable?

Firoze Hirjikaka

In my previous article “Where is India heading”, I had reflected on the ruling BJP aggressively pushing its Hindutva agenda and, by inference, its growing confidence about the inevitability of remaining in power till at least 2024. This deduction was bolstered by the lost-in-the-woods attitude of a mindless and incoherent Opposition. The certainty of seven more Modi years has been slightly diminished by recent events around the world, which may or may not have an effect on the Indian electorate.  Continue reading

Loan Waiver and its Myriad Facets

N. S. Venkataraman

The farming community has always been held in high esteem in India which possesses the second largest agricultural land in the world (around 60%), only next to the USA.

So when the farmers feel distressed, the Indian society becomes concerned and wants to do whatever it can, to help remove the crisis.  The government steps in with its schemes, offers and waivers.  Continue reading

The Pakistan Problem

Firoze Hirjikaka

Since its inception as an independent state, Israel has been living with what it euphemistically calls “The Palestine Problem”.  Generations of Israelis have come to accept Palestinian hostility as a fact of life and one that is probably never going to go away. They have tried everything – they have fought and won three wars with neighboring states; they have retaliated with ten times the force to every armed transgression by the Palestinians and their sponsor states; they have even tried peace talks. The result? The intensity of attacks and suicide bombings may have lessened, but every Israeli man or woman is acutely aware that when he or she leaves home, there is no guarantee that they will return in one piece.

India has “The Pakistan Problem”, which in some ways is similar to the Israeli experience. We have fought wars and major skirmishes with an intransigent neighbour; and we have tried to talk peace. But the hostility from the other side has been relentless and unyielding. Until now, the element that was missing was forceful retaliation; and now we have done that – although in very small measure. Will it change the situation on the ground? Don’t hold your breath. Continue reading