End of License-Permit Raj and Inspector Raj

The new laws aim to end the license-permit raj and inspector raj in the agriculture sector. On a surface view, the exit of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s oldest ally, the Akali Dal, from the government on September 17, 2020, ostensibly over the passing of legislation delivering long-demanded agricultural reforms, … Read More

Seven years of motherhood

Sonia Gandhi’s consistency and determination are admirable. A firm believer in dynasty as a legitimizing principle in politics, she first made her son the party vice-president in January 2013, thus indicating her intent, and in December 2017, despite a dismal performance in the 2014 general elections, anointed him as Congress … Read More

Congress split inevitable

A split in the Congress party seems inevitable. Despite formal genuflections before the Rae Bareli MP, Sonia Gandhi is now only an interim president and neither offspring is acceptable as future president. Indeed, the Congress Working Committee meeting of August 24, 2020, called to address an explosive letter by 23 … Read More

Tulsidas’ testimony

An enduring mystery of the Ram Janmabhumi court battle is the failure of the Allahabad High Court and Supreme Court to mention the testimony of Goswami Tulsidas regarding the destruction of the birthplace of Sri Ram in their respective judgments. The Supreme Court’s 1045-page verdict gathered all evidence regarding Ramlalla’s … Read More

Checkmating China

Indian analysts seem indifferent to the threat of India losing the railway line from Iran’s Chabahar port to Afghanistan and Central Asia, and suggest that New Delhi should focus on ties with Arab countries that provide energy security and jobs to millions of Indians. The view that India must choose … Read More

Iran a potential bulwark against B&RI

A cursory look at the map would show that Iran, like Pakistan, can join China’s Border and Roads Initiative (B&RI) by both land and sea, giving the latter command over a staggering geostrategic space. By land, Tehran could link Beijing with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s emerging caliphate, giving it … Read More

Pakistan, via Ladakh

India’s boycott of the Border and Roads Initiative (B&RI) on grounds that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) goes through Gilgit-Baltistan that was part of the kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir and hence belongs to India, has been viewed by Beijing as threatening the security of the CPEC. Pakistan is the … Read More

Himalayan Blunders

In May 2020, Beijing intruded into Indian territory at some places across the long border, and Kathmandu claimed areas of Uttarakhand where India is building a road to Lipulekh Pass on the Tibetan border, to smoothen the journey for pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar. Amidst rising tensions, Nepalese police firing killed … Read More

China’s BRI trap

The unbearable tragedy at Galwan Valley has little to do with territorial claims and is instead a distraction “with Chinese characteristics”, to cover the fact that President Xi Jinping’s flagship project, Belt and Road Initiative, is floundering. At the National People’s Congress in May 2020, Beijing announced a military budget … Read More

A long-drawn war

The grim impact of the coronavirus, lockdown, cyclones Amphan and Nisarg that lashed both coasts have cast a shadow over the first year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term. Still, it was an eventful year, beginning with the defanging of Article 370, scrapping of Article 35-A, and bifurcation of … Read More