Special Article

Hype over the Mars mission

By Praful Bidwai The contrast between India’s two recent science and technology (S&T) projects couldn’t have been starker. One, by delivering accurate early warnings about Cyclone Hudhud, saved thousands of human lives, and prevented destruction of property on a monstrous scale. The other put India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) Mangalyaan spacecraft successfully into a distant orbit around the planet-a technological achievement, but without much [Full Article...]

Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA)

By TFL Mawlong A seminar on the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act was organised on the October 21 last at the Shillong Club, thereby drawing our attention yet again to this repressive act in the so-called Disturbed Areas of North-East India.  Under this Act, the army personnel are virtually non-accountable to citizens and victims of their excesses.  A common observation is that AFSPA [Full Article...]

Wanted: A Truly Secular State

By Babet Sten  Today as Narendra Modi strides across the country like an old Colossus, I find myself asking about how the future of Indian Secularism will fare in the long run. After the stampede of RSS, VHP, ABVP goons and the slow but deliberate injection of fears and hatreds has taken place, where is Ambedkar’s dream headed? Everyone wants to ride with the [Full Article...]

BJP gets upper hand with regional allies

Differing signals from Assembly elections By Amulya Ganguli As always, the electorate has sent a clear message to every party in the just concluded elections. For the BJP, the memo is that the regional parties cannot be ignored, as the Maharashtra results have shown. It was the same lesson which the BJP learnt in the parliamentary polls when it could not breach the regional [Full Article...]

Modi alone will no be able to fulfill his promises

By Indranil Banerjee Those familiar with yes minister know how easy it is for bureaucrats to house-train ministers through saccharine phrases. Preening in the midst of what is outwardly an adoring group of senior officials, ministers may be forgiven for going along with the bureaucracy’s prescriptions on what they should do, no matter that such an approach would perpetuate a situation in which 300 [Full Article...]

India weighs capability to fight two-front war

By Anirudh Prakash Fighting a war on two fronts is taxing for most armies. In the early modern European wars, this was rather more common. Fronts shifted as did alliances. Wars of this era usually became attritional wars and ground on till man and material resources on either or all sides depleted. Napoleon Bonaparte true to his military genius had a masterful plan to [Full Article...]

Dealing with the US always tests our diplomacy

By Kanwal Sibal Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit presented him with a difficult challenge. At the rhetorical level, projecting the India-US relationship as between two democracies is easy. The US calls its relationship with India a defining one in the 21st century, though actual US policies belie such rhetoric. Our hype about the US being our ‘natural partner’ is not justified by the [Full Article...]

Child labour in Indian tourist havens

Violations in Satyarthi’s home state By L.S. Herdenia Madhya Pradesh is the home state of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi – the founder of ‘Bacchpan Bachao Andolan’. Satyarthi was born 60 years back at Vidisha, a district headquarter town about 55 kms from Bhopal. He did his schooling and degree in engineering from the government engineering college at Vidisha but instead of going for a [Full Article...]