Troubleshooter Pranab Mukherjee wants to become prime minister

Sonia Gandhi’s leadership of the Congress is facing two major problems, one or both of which may be insurmountable. Manmohan Singh has proved a non-asset in securing the Congress moral and political high-ground vis-a-vis the BJP/Left opposition. No sooner than the 2G JPC was conceded, Wikileaks turned adverse floodlight on the PM’s corrupt 2008 parliament […]

Jan Lokpal: an alternative view

After 42 years of hesitation and uncertainty, an institutional mechanism to deal with the all-pervasive incidence of corruption in India is in sight. What apparently moved the state machinery was the agitation spearheaded by Anna Hazare, which drew spontaneous support primarily in the metropolitan cities. Within five days of Anna Hazare starting a ‘fast unto […]

UN needs reality check

In 2000 when every member of the United Nations agreed to focus on eight areas of universal concern, such as poverty and hunger, healthcare, primary education and status of women, there was enthusiasm that developing nations, backed by rich countries, will be able to halve the scale of these problems by 2015. However, with five […]

Why Personalize Politics?

While penning down few thoughts on this subject matter I am inclined to cite a famous quotation: People with extraordinary minds, talk about ideas.People with average minds, talk about events.People with simple minds, talk about other people.  The quote also speaks volume of the types of political personality, from the lowest level of simple mind […]

Welfare cheque prevents Aborigines from fighting for their rights

A NSW tribal leader convening an Aboriginal summit in Canberra says it will raise funds to challenge Australia’s legitimacy in the International Court of Justice.“This is Australia’s greatest fear, because when we win, Australia will owe us more than they can ever imagine, and the cry ‘pay the rent’ will be heard loud and clear […]

Regime change under UNSC cover

It is now obvious that Nato’s purported mission, under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, to protect civilians in Libya is expanding into a flagrantly illegal attempt at regime change. With fierce fighting between rebels and government forces reported in the eastern city of Adjabiya and the western one of Misrata, President Barack Obama has […]

Road map for a two-state solution

The international community must offer the Israelis and Palestinians a set of principles to reach a compromise. India can and should take the lead in promoting such an approach.   The one country which should be most worried about the current unrest in the Arab world is Israel. Though its leaders did express anxiety, particularly […]

The State's Money Trees

For the world’s ruling classes, primed for the G20 summit last week, the seemingly colorless niceties of monetary policy became the topmost theme of debate. And while the villains of the political class characterize monetary decisions as the technical and politically neutral bailiwick of qualified experts, those decisions are a weight-bearing pillar of statist exploitation. […]

Do those against corruption know about Irom Sharmila?

It was fashionable to be patriotic during the Kargil war and now it is fashionable to be fighters against corruption, thanks to Anna Hazare. Within days of the fast of the veteran Gandhian’s understandable ire against the delay in creating a Lokpal Act, the English media channels and their partners-in-arms, the English print media, have […]

Empowering Rural Women

A Regional Women Leaders’ Convention is being held on 24-25 March 2011, in Mau, UP, as part of the Empowering Rural Women (ERW) programme, which has been operating in 253 Gram Panchayats (village councils) of 10 districts of UP, since December 2007. This is a unique programme as its key focus is on developing leadership […]

Bogus cricket diplomacy

Obsessed with Pakistan, Manmohan Singh failed to promote India’s larger interests in the neighbourhood during the Cricket World Cup tournament. India’s neighbours like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives legitimately complain that they are ignored and SAARC Summits are reduced to a farce by turning such gatherings into India-Pakistan soap operas. They rightly claim that […]

The future of Asian cities

After two decades of rapid urbanisation, many Asian cities have become economically productive and prosperous. But have they become desirable places to live in? A report on the “State of Asian Cities 2010/11,” published by the U.N. Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), says ‘No’ […]