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Mark Tully
Articles by Mark Tully

The failure to keep creed out of politics has hindered Indian democracy

Political parties are busy doing their caste calculations encouraged by psephologists who tell them that in spite of 70 years of democracy a system, which is inherently unequal and hence undemocratic still has such a hold that it plays a major role in elections.

The BJP, which did have a tradition of inner democracy, has been taken over by Narendra Modi. So another of Ambedkar’s warnings has been ignored.(AFP)
Updated on Jan 07, 2017 10:23 PM IST
ByMark Tully

The only way to save government schools is to improve them

Governments would also need to go out and sell their schools to parents. That would mean a radical change in governments’ traditional take it or leave it attitude to the services they provide

Market-fundamentalist economists suggest the government should give up on providing education and the private sector should take over. But the record of the private sector in education hardly inspires confidence(HT file photo)
Updated on Dec 10, 2016 11:58 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Given the power of fake news, the media should stick to its old values

All three fake reports in my name supported the BJP and attacked the Congress ... I got a large number of e-mails asking me about the reports ... The fact that people could believe such obvious fakes were genuine indicates their power

In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. Facebook is under fire for failing to rein in fake and biased news stories that some believe may have swayed the presidential election(AP)
Updated on Nov 26, 2016 08:21 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Trump may get caught between his promises and Republican ideology

If Trump the plutocrat is seen as being in the hands of those who benefit from neo-liberalism — his own business community — he will alienate the people who have brought him to power. It is therefore possible he will feel the need temper neo-liberal economics

Donald Trump supporters rallied outside his election night headquarters, the New York Hilton Midtown, in the early-morning hours of Nov. 9(NYT)
Updated on Nov 12, 2016 09:15 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Warning from our roads: We cannot manage so many vehicles

To prevent cancerous growth, which feeds on the smaller towns and the villages of India, it is essential to encourage an alternative way of living to the automobile-centric life of the high-income countries

The most obvious problem is the shocking number of accidents on India’s roads. The Prime Minister did express concern about this in one of his Mann ki Baat radio broadcasts(HT)
Updated on Oct 30, 2016 07:48 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Western ‘superiority’ has been singularly damaging for India

There is no reason why progress should not have taken place in India if it were not for the heavy hand of the British Raj and Indians’ willingness to believe the Western singularity myth imperialists peddled

Two of the most important industries responsible for the industrial development which took place with the discovery of steam were shipping and railways(Getty Images)
Updated on Oct 01, 2016 09:24 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Mother Teresa belonged to the world, and India

There will be Indians of all faiths who will rejoice in India’s new saint

Many Indian Christians will regard Mother Teresa’s concern for the poor and the personal sacrifices she made to identify with them, her piety and devotion to the Church, her courage and kindness, her achievements too and her pride in India as more than sufficient evidence that she is a saint(HT)
Updated on Sep 03, 2016 10:31 PM IST
ByMark Tully

When reforms don’t have the power to reform

Until voters become aware of the dangers of unreformed administrative institutions and force reforms onto the political agenda India will face the threat of chaos, turbulence, and serious unrest

There were the floods in Gurgaon, or Gurugram, and the resultant chaos which prompted headlines and jokes on social media like “Gurujam” and property prices in Gurgaon going up because every building now has a lakeside view.(Parveen Kumar/HT file photo)
Updated on Aug 07, 2016 01:13 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Brexit lessons: India should stick to its middle road

The nation should find a path between radical socialism and rampant capitalism and hold in balance the nationalism and globalisation tension

The shock on the face of the leading Conservative Brexiteer, former London mayor Boris Johnson, the day the results were known, his subsequent disappearance, and eventual withdrawal from the Conservative leadership contest indicate that at the very least he was thoroughly alarmed at the prospect of being responsible for cleaning up the mess his campaign had created(AFP)
Updated on Jul 09, 2016 09:50 PM IST
ByMark Tully

India has much to lose from a Brexit victory

If Britain exits the European Union, one of the casualties could be the unity of the United Kingdom

Boris Johnson, until very recently mayor of London, is leading the Brexit campaign(Getty Images)
Published on Jun 11, 2016 11:15 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Education does not come only from universities

This obsession with university education leads to job-seekers being assessed by the number of their degrees

BJP president Amit Shah along with finance minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference at BJP office in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)
Updated on May 15, 2016 12:46 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Religious studies can keep secularism alive in India

At this time of religious conflicts, there is an urgent need throughout the globe for a greater understanding of the phenomenon we call religion. There is perhaps no country where this is more important than India

Madarsa education can be upgraded to include various branches of Islamic theology(HT)
Updated on Apr 24, 2016 11:21 AM IST
ByMark Tully

We need rules to rule out political interference

We can’t just blame the professionals for being spineless. We the people are spineless because we put up with governments abrogating power to themselves

The crises in JNU and the Hyderabad University (in pic) have been created by politicians trampling on the autonomy of institutions(PTI)
Updated on Mar 26, 2016 10:59 PM IST
ByMark Tully

The world at large knows what’s happening in India

Hatred is an inevitable outcome of political patriotism. Politicians create enemies to fuel the patriotism by providing someone to hate.

US president Obama prodded India to uphold the religious freedom guaranteed by its founding fathers during his visit in January 2015.(REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 28, 2016 02:21 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Missing on Paris climate summit agenda: A return to nature

If technology succeeds, we may well think we can continue our present lifestyle with a clear conscience

To “rein in and renew our links with nature” is something we have missed on the agenda at Paris.(Reuters)
Updated on Dec 06, 2015 07:37 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Rumours can light fires, which then spread rapidly

The brutal lynching of Mohammed Ikhlaq and the severe injury caused to his son were instigated by a rumour, one of the most powerful weapons in the hands of those who want to provoke hatred between communities. A PM who has cultivated so assiduously the friendship of world leaders must be aware of the threat to his reputation that rumour-mongering poses.

Family members mourn over the death of Ikhlaq after he was killed on Monday by a mob over an allegation of cow slaughtering at Bisada village.(HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 10, 2015 10:11 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByMark Tully

A balance between public and private is required

Private versus public, should the private sector or the market provide services — that hoary debate emerged again last month in two sectors of the economy, health and education. These are crucial sectors if India is to correct its lop-sided growth and grow inclusively writes Mark Tully

Updated on Jun 10, 2017 05:58 PM IST
Hindustan Times | ByMark Tully

We act as if we’ve dominion over nature’s resources

The arguments in the run-up to the Paris conference indicate that once again the chance to use the climate crisis as an opportunity will be lost — an opportunity to get people to at least think that maybe they would be happier if their lifestyle did not consume so much of nature’s resources, if they became her friend rather than her enemy.

HT Image
Updated on Aug 16, 2015 12:53 AM IST
None | ByMark Tully

Economic growth should not mean disdain for faith

Religion is still a powerful force in this country but secularisation is also becoming more and more influential. India needs economic growth but the more it follows the neo-liberal economic model to achieve growth, the greater is the danger of secularisation clashing with religion.

HT Image
Updated on Jul 19, 2015 09:30 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Displaced tribals are adrift in an alien world

In all the heat being generated by the government’s amendments to the land acquisition law, the tribals are being left out in the cold.

Updated on Jun 21, 2015 12:41 AM IST
ByMark Tully

The border deal can open many doors in South Asia

Because of its size India is feared in the neighbourhood. It must remove that fear if South Asia is to reap the rewards of regional cooperation because the burden of responsibility lies on its shoulders, writes Mark Tully.

Updated on May 23, 2015 10:07 PM IST
ByMark Tully

This is a barefoot fact, villages may wither away

With Delhi’s air being declared the most polluted in the world and one of the causes of that pollution being massive migration from the countryside, should we really agree with Ambedkar when, in reply to Gandhi’s assertion that India lives in its villages, he asked, “But must it continue to do so?” Most economists are on the side of Ambedkar because in their view urbanisation is essential for development.

HT Image
Updated on Apr 25, 2015 10:40 PM IST
None | ByMark Tully

A ‘blame’ policy is worse than policy failure

The pictures this month of young men clinging like leeches to the wall of an examination centre in Bihar, feeding answers to examinees, symbolised a dilemma of Indian governance — the problem of matching plans and policies with ground realities. All was well on paper. The carefully planned schedule of exams took place, but the reality was that they were a fiasco.

Updated on Mar 28, 2015 10:45 PM IST
ByMark Tully Mark Tully

Newspapers for readers, Parliament for voters

Events in Britain this February indicate that voters are not protesting sufficiently strongly against the role of big money in their democracy, and when it comes to the press, the old question ‘who will guard the guardians?’ has still to be answered.

Updated on Mar 01, 2015 10:29 AM IST
ByMark Tully

PM Modi knows the power of radio, let's enjoy it too

PM Narendra Modi has another feather in his turban. The management of the Obama visit was superb. Inevitably one or two questions were raised but they were comparatively minor matters, writes Mark Tully.

Updated on Feb 01, 2015 12:27 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Science is spectacular, but humanities matter

There is the danger that with all the emphasis on the usefulness of science, the value of humanities will be forgotten, writes Mark Tully.

Updated on Jan 04, 2015 02:05 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Politically, legally and litter-ally incorrect

When those self-styled moralists take the law into their own hands — burning books, threatening artists, attacking bars, and harassing young couples — they should be punished. Sadly all too often they are not — another example of the government seeing it as PC to disobey its own laws.

HT Image
Updated on Dec 13, 2014 10:46 PM IST
ByMark Tully

Imagine a world with no religion, no partition and no 9/11

To win votes on a religious basis voters have to be convinced that their religion is threatened or they are being discriminated against because of their faith, whether they are the majority of an electorate or a minority, writes Mark Tully.

Updated on Nov 16, 2014 09:50 AM IST
ByMark Tully

Wasting the potential of our vast wastelands

Reclaimed wastelands could more than compensate for land lost to mining, industry and infrastructure. The pulses produced would go a long way in combating malnutrition, writes Mark Tully.

Updated on Oct 19, 2014 02:23 AM IST
ByMark Tully

PM Modi is not a listener; so be prepared for it

PM Narendra Modi has come to remind me of an old-fashioned headmaster. He reportedly treats his ministers as schoolchildren, telling them what to wear, who to meet, and what to say, writes Mark Tully.

Updated on Aug 31, 2014 07:52 PM IST
ByMark Tully
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