March 1961 – INS Vinkrant is commissioned into the Indian Navy as India’s first aircraft carrier. This warship plays a crucial role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Commodore Medioma Bhada (retd.), ex-pilot on INS Vikrant narrates a faux pas during an air sortie and the wit and presence of mind he uses for course correction.
The Strange Castes of British India
In March 1974, the University Grants Commission of India assigned me the task of giving lectures at the Punjab University in Chandigarh. It was congenial work with delightful colleagues. At the end of each afternoon we would meet for kala chai and talk about our academic work, the latest iniquities of the politicians and about India. But there was also joking and gossip and banter and I would always join in. Continue reading
Some Amazing Untold War Stories
We start 2018 with a post from Brig. Suresh C. Sharma who brings us a few lesser known war time incidents, some astonishing and amusing war stories. Such happenings are neither published nor recorded anywhere but, we guess, are talked about among the military pals and, at times, find place in the reminiscences of our real heroes. The column on “Military Musings” is Freedom First‘s salute to our real heroes and their spirit. Continue reading
Where is the India I grew up in?
This article is not so much a complaint as a cry of anguish. What is happening to the Bombay, nay India, I grew up in? As I witness the rising intolerance, tacitly encouraged by the government, both at national and state levels; as I watch the majority systematically attempting to dominate and even ignore minorities, without a thought to the latter’s aspirations and mounting frustrations; as I lament over the inexorable stripping away of our constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of expression in the spurious name of pseudo nationalism, I can only watch in helpless horror the deterioration of the nation’s core values and ethics. Continue reading
Triple Talaq Verdict – Remembering Hamid Dalwai
Nitin G. Raut
On 22nd August, 2017, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by 2/3 majority judgment struck down the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional. In the landmark judgment, Justice R. F. Nariman and Justice U. U. Lalit held that the practice of triple talaq violates the fundamental right under Article 14 which deals with equality before law. Continue reading
Christie Davies (December 25, 1941 – August 26, 2017)
I knew Prof. Christie Davies just by his name, as friend of Mr. S. V. Raju and contributor of articles to Freedom First. It was only after Mr. Raju’s demise that we started corresponding on e-mail and he offered to write for FF Digital. Continue reading
Elphinstone Bridge Tragedy : No Lessons Learnt
If there is one truism in our “sare jahan se achha” Bharat, it is the near total lack of accountability and responsibility in those we have elected to govern us. Even worse, this is accompanied by a total absence of shame. Despite the usual platitudes from our “netas”, I doubt if there is a pang of conscience or remorse among the lot of them. Their attitude is that these things happen – especially in India where life is cheap and expendable – and that the blame lies everywhere except on themselves. Nothing illustrates this attitude better than the recent human – and entirely preventable – tragedy of the Elphinstone Bridge stampede in Mumbai. Continue reading
Just A Joking!
I am amused and distressed to learn that someone in India has been foolish enough to try to take action against the widely told, harmless, ingenious and very funny jokes about Sikhs. Continue reading
The National Anthem – A Debate
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
Congress Party – R.I.P.
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