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Mark Tully
Articles by Mark Tully

Break the deadlock on the meaning of secularism, writes Mark Tully

Why is there a deadlock between the BJP and the Congress view of secularism? Why is there no meaningful debate among politicians on this fundamental issue?

Perhaps it was the west Delhi Member of Parliament Parvesh Verma who plumbed the lowest depth when he alleged that the Shaheen Bagh demonstrators could enter people’s houses to rape and kill their sisters and daughters(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 15, 2020 06:49 PM IST
ByMark Tully

What the tale of Train 18 tells us about India | Opinion

Train 18 is the story of a team which overcame the complex bureaucracy, the archaic procedures, the inter-departmental rivalries that have led to the railways’ failure to realise their potential

The ministry of railways has announced that it is inviting global tenders for Vande Bharat trains which take care of improvements suggested by the Chief Commissioner for Railway Safety(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jan 12, 2020 02:06 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Decoding the meaning of Johnson’s poll victory

What does this mean for India? It means that Johnson will certainly come knocking on the door, asking for a trade deal

Johnson has shown his concern for keeping India happy by the concessions he has made for students to work while studying in Britain. His trade commissioner for South Asia has said trade between the two countries may not be affected after Brexit. But the balance of trade is currently in favour of Britain(PTI)
Updated on Dec 29, 2019 08:24 AM IST
ByMark Tully

This Christmas, restore the spirit of giving

Is CSR really genuine giving, like Ebenezer Scrooge, or just doing what is required by the law and trying to squeeze the maximum advantage out of doing that?

Aga Khan Foundation in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of In India (ASI), has done remarkable work in conserving Humayun’s Tomb(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Dec 14, 2019 06:06 PM IST
ByMark Tully

How the UK election resembles India’s poll | Opinion

The Indian election campaign was so dependent on Modi’s charisma that the joke going around was that senior party functionaries had achieved a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-free India, instead of a Congress-free India, because the saffron party’s name was never heard during the campaign.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives for the Conservative party's manifesto launch at Telford, Britain, November 24, 2019(REUTERS)
Updated on Dec 07, 2019 08:12 PM IST
ByMark Tully

What litfests mean to writers and readers | Opinion

Litfests perform the very important function of promoting reading. In this visually-saturated era, when many think that television has killed books and radio, it’s important to keep both of them alive to stimulate our imagination

The litfest movement in India springs from the pioneering JLF. Starting as part of another festival in 2006, and becoming a stand-alone event in 2008, JLF has grown into the world’s biggest literary festival(Prabhakar Sharma\HIndustan Times)
Updated on Nov 16, 2019 07:53 PM IST
ByMark Tully

The Congress must bid farewell to the Gandhis | Opinion

I believe the Congress needs to bid farewell to the Gandhis, and reconstitute itself as a federal party. That would be a party which allows for the emergence of strong, self-reliant leaders

Many in the Congress yearn for Priyanka Gandhi to come to their rescue, but she has shown no sign of being willing to oblige(ANI Photo)
Updated on Jul 17, 2020 02:23 AM IST
ByMark Tully

What the Nobel Prize really means for India

The Swedish Academy’s recognition of the value of this basic, or grassroots, economics, is of course good news for India. But it should also be taken as advice to be acted on

The three prize winners’ method of research is popularly known as the Randomised Control Trial (RCT) approach. It is similar to the method used to test drugs(AFP)
Published on Oct 19, 2019 07:14 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Avoid triumphalism and resentment on Ayodhya

If Hindu and Muslim leaders involved in the Ayodhya dispute could only have a dialogue, discussing the application of this principle to their reactions to the court’s judgment, whatever it may be, the dispute could be laid to rest

So far, the Ayodhya dispute has been a dialogue of the deaf, a shouting-match between Hindu and Muslim leaders, making no effort to understand each others’ positions(HT)
Updated on Oct 05, 2019 04:53 PM IST
ByMark Tully

To decongest the cities, India needs fewer cars | Opinion

There are ways like parking and congestion charges which would discourage people from buying cars. They can only be implemented if governance, that is the enforcement of rules, is far stricter

Efficient governance would control parking, prevent encroachment, and make traffic flow more freely by enforcing rules. In Delhi, governance is so poor that the bus-lane experiment failed because traffic other than buses was not prevented from driving down the lanes(Yogesh Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Sep 22, 2019 07:09 AM IST
ByMark Tully

What India can learn from Bangladesh’s success |Opinion

India’s former prime minister Manmohan Singh has said India benefitted from reaching the verge of bankruptcy in 1990 because the crisis enabled him and then prime minister Narasimha Rao to overcome the political opposition to the reforms they believed were needed. Bangladesh, it seems to me, also benefitted from the economic crises

Samples of pulses are displayed in a wholesaler at Khari Baoli spice market in New Delhi. India’s economy grew at its slowest pace in over six years in the June quarter following a sharp deceleration in consumer demand and tepid investment.(Bloomberg)
Published on Sep 07, 2019 06:23 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Kashmir: New Delhi would like Trump to stay away | Opinion

How the US President will take that is far less certain.

US President Donald Trump 's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, The Philippines, November 13, 2017(REUTERS)
Updated on Aug 25, 2019 07:36 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Kashmir: The weakening of Indian Federalism

Amending the Constitution by a Presidential Ordinance to render Article 370 ineffective, and demoting Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh to the status of Union Territories, are the latest in a series of measures taken by the PM which indicate a trend towards less federalism and a stronger central government

A Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel stands guard during restrictions in Jammu, Aug 9(PTI)
Updated on Aug 10, 2019 06:14 PM IST
ByMark Tully

What does the English victory mean for cricket worldwide?

Andrew Strauss, the former England captain, believes the World Cup can be “a launch-pad for something bigger”, and thinks the 100-ball game due to start soon can convert the casual viewers, who watched their first-ever World Cup final this year, into cricket fans.

The England cricket team with Prime Minister Theresa May, July 15, 2019, London.(REUTERS)
Published on Jul 27, 2019 07:07 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Tackling climate change needs strong political will

The two reports I read suggest practical measures which can be taken to provide protection from the impact of climate change and clean the air we breath. They both require governments to broaden their vision beyond the bickering and concentrate on long-term measures

School children hold placards as they participate in a protest against the inaction to curb global warming and climate change, Connaught Place, New Delhi. To bring about that change will require popular pressure on politicians(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 13, 2019 07:00 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Can Modi win the minorities’ trust?

To underline his commitment to win the trust of minorities, he added the words sab ka vishwas (everyone’s trust) to the slogan he coined after the 2014 election, sabka sath, sab ka vikas (together with all, development for all). In the end Modi will be judged by his words

Will he now rein in his colleagues who are prone to hate speak? When he speaks from the Red Fort on August 15, will there be more welcome surprises for the minorities?(AFP)
Updated on Jun 15, 2019 10:36 PM IST
ByMark Tully

A government which lacks iqbal invites lawlessness

If the government does not command respect, the law will not be respected either. I haven’t heard any discussion of the prevailing lawlessness in this election

Nowadays, the(Hindustan Times)
Updated on May 18, 2019 05:59 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Parliamentary democracy: Does it really work for India?

It can certainly be argued that India would be more democratic if its MPs, now elected by being first-past-the-post in their constituencies, were elected by proportional representation

We have come to believe that a popular wave swept Narendra Modi into Parliament, whereas in fact most Indians voted for parties other than the Bharatiya Janata Party(Bloomberg)
Updated on May 04, 2019 04:52 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Perpetual subsidies undermine dignity

“This obsession with mathematics is an easy way of acquiring the appearance of scienticity without having to answer the far more complex questions posed by the world we live in”

It would be harsh to deny the benefits the poor enjoy from these schemes but their effectiveness is limited. A dole, which is what free or heavily subsidised food is, doesn’t help the poor to earn a decent living, nor does it provide them with dignity(Shankar Mourya/HT photo)
Updated on Apr 20, 2019 07:18 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Carelessness of politicians has cost India big time

In this election parties set out plans to develop India. India needs development, it needs economic growth. But what sort of development what sort of growth, and at what cost?

Illegal sand mining in progress on the banks of the Betwa river in Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh(Ashok Dutta/HT Photo)
Published on Apr 06, 2019 08:47 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Quality over quantity in politics and government

Does India need a committed socialist or a committed capitalist with an ambitious vision? Most readers of this column would probably say India has had more than enough of committed socialism

Once again an Indian election is taking place without any clear dividing line between Left and Right(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Mar 24, 2019 08:57 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Studying Kanwariyas and the politics of religion

The explosion in the number of people undertaking the Kanwar Yatra took place when the Ram Mandir issue was gathering momentum. Political and religious fervour came together, and there is no doubt that they still do. Nationalism has now been added to the mix

What, I wondered, could inspire millions of others to undergo such hardship? Was it genuine piety, was it exhibitionism, the desire to demonstrate piety, was it just following a fashion which has spread far and wide since the 1980s?(HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 09, 2019 05:10 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Why Vande Bharat Express is good for India

It is important for the railways to attract comparatively prosperous passengers because they are the people who play a crucial role in preventing the railways from suffering neglect

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off Vande Bharat Express, India's first semi-high speed train, at New Delhi Railway Station, in New Delhi on Feb 15, 2019(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 24, 2019 11:38 AM IST
ByMark Tully

The consequences of an irresponsible Brexit deal

British PM Theresa May demonstrated that sturdy refusal to budge she has become famous for. She wasn’t going to postpone Britain’s exit. She wasn’t going to agree to a second referendum.

The reason Theresa May’s plan failed was her effort to avoid any possibility of a hard border between Northern Ireland, a part of Britain, and the Republic of Ireland.(Reuters)
Updated on Feb 10, 2019 01:59 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Governance in India is a relic of its colonial past

Preserving the status quo: As seen in the World Economic Forum, the economic system which has allowed the rich to grow richer leaving those of us less fortunate further and further behind. India’s governance is a part of that problem

The World Inequality Report found that since 1980 the top 1% of the world’s population have captured 27% of the new wealth while the bottom half, more than 3 billion people had to share just 12% among themselves (Representational photo)(File Photo)
Published on Jan 27, 2019 08:25 AM IST
ByMark Tully

OPINION | Why Padmavat should be named India’s national epic

At the start of this election year I would like to propose the Sufi Poet Jayasi’s epic Padmavat for national status

The Rajputs who were so agitated about the Padmavat film see Padmavati as the ideal woman, symbolising the devotion of a wife. But many women today will see the sati not as an act of devotion but as an act enforced on the two wives by a rigidly patriarchal culture(Screenshot: Padmaavat)
Updated on Jan 13, 2019 12:07 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Being left or right is never simple in India, writes Mark Tully

Waiving loans is not a sound economic policy because it goes against the fundamental tenet of banking that money lent will be repaid with interest

More than 5000 farmers gathered in Maharashtra to put forth their demand for loan waivers and draught compensation, November 21.(Praful Gangurde/ Hindustan Times)
Updated on Dec 30, 2018 08:47 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Centre and states should work with cohesion

From the earliest day of the Republic, there haves been allegations that the central government is undermining the autonomy of the states

Congress workers waves the party flag to celebrate the party's performance in Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, in Jabalpur, December 11(PTI)
Updated on Dec 16, 2018 05:28 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Poetry can provide us solace from life’s relentless pressures

One’s home is one place where we can abdicate from today’s barbarity. Provided, of course, we don’t regard our homes as assets accruing value in the property market, writes Mark Tully.

A poetry-reading event in Delhi. Poetry stalls time, makes you stop and go back.(HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 02, 2018 05:25 PM IST
ByMark Tully

The government must ensure public sector autonomy

This chronic trespassing on the autonomy of public sector companies may no longer occur but their use by the government for its own purposes continues.

Indian railways has for some time now been dealing with its over-manning by a policy of natural wastage, or not filling posts when they fall vacant. But now with the election in sight and the government facing allegations that economic growth has not created jobs, the government has told the railways to recruit 127,000 people(AFP)
Updated on Nov 20, 2018 04:11 PM IST
ByMark Tully
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