Congress must address the elephant in the room

Published on Oct 20, 2022 07:45 PM IST

Kharge may be at the helm, but Rahul Gandhi’s role — of wielding power without responsibility — must be acknowledged. This will help bring in structural changes that can revive its fortunes

Kharge as president is at best a stop-gap arrangement, but not the answer to the Congress’s existential crisis. Eventually, it is for Rahul Gandhi to decide: Is he the de facto leader of the Congress or is he a radical political activist? (PTI)

Xi’s quest to solidify his power poses grave risks to the world

The biggest danger is Xi’s excessive personalisation of power. With internal checks and balances extinguished, the fate of the Chinese people rests on Xi’s judgment.

Since his advent in 2012, Xi has stamped out dissent with systematic ruthlessness, reminiscent of his role model Mao Zedong. (AFP)
Published on Oct 20, 2022 07:41 PM IST

What are India’s options in a multipolar West Asia?

The West Asian region is critical to India for hydrocarbons, remittances, investment and its market. But faced with such a chaotic transition there, what options do we have?

While engaging all regional players in an increasingly volatile West Asia, India should anticipate their expectations and respond quickly. (Shutterstock)
Published on Oct 20, 2022 07:39 PM IST
ByMahesh Sachdev

In the inflation fight, a liquidity conundrum

Without any liquidity provision by RBI, bank deposit rates could go up; funding the State’s fiscal deficit could be more challenging, and credit growth may falter

The Reserve Bank of India should be conscious of creating enough liquidity to ensure money supply growth broadly tracks nominal GDP growth (HT)
Updated on Oct 19, 2022 08:03 PM IST

Does Mulayam’s death mark Mandal’s demise?

Most successful Mandalite politicians, such as Mulayam Yadav, latched on to one dominant backward class and appeased the minorities to create a winning combination. But Modi and Amit Shah ensured that even neglected backward castes got representation in the party and the government

Mulayam Singh Yadav started his political career as a young leader in the Jayaprakash Narayan movement before the Emergency and became the face of Mandal politics during the protests over other backward classes (OBC) reservations in north India and the messiah of backward groups in UP (PTI)
Updated on Oct 19, 2022 08:04 PM IST
ByShantanu Gupta

All major powers face two-front challenges

Like the US, Russia and China, India is also facing two-pronged challenges. but there is enough wiggle room. To be effective, India’s foreign policy must be pragmatic. till now, Delhi has done well in coping with the geostrategic challenges of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine

The unipolar moment may have passed, but as the pre-eminent power, the US still has the wherewithal to determine the contours of the global strategic landscape. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Oct 19, 2022 08:05 PM IST

The art of a good unicorn | Startups, the future is more than just crypto

Cryptocurrency has dominated the blockchain conversation till now. This has led to startups missing the big picture and not fully powering their future.

So, what exactly is Blockchain and how do companies use all it has to offer? (Shutterstock)
Published on Oct 19, 2022 05:51 PM IST
ByShrija Agrawal

Distantly Close | Kharge may find leading Congress harder than defeating Tharoor

Kharge will have to withstand pressures from status quoists of all hues to build a second line of leadership to resurrect the moribund party. This will need tact and toughness in a fine blend

History does not hold out much hope for Kharge as the Congress had weakened and started falling apart under the past two non-Gandhi presidents, PV Narasimha Rao and Sitaram Kesri. (PTI)
Published on Oct 19, 2022 05:37 PM IST
By Vinod Sharma

SC’s Saibaba order raises doubts about safeguards in UAPA, authority of HCs

Apart from depriving the accused of the liberty they were entitled to by virtue of the HC’s reasoned judgment, the order sends a signal across the judiciary, ie, that the sanctity of procedural safeguards under UAPA is negotiable, at best.

When we notice that one of the accused — professor Saibaba — is 90% disabled, the SC’S action grows even more concerning. (PTI)
Published on Oct 18, 2022 07:16 PM IST

Why the Arihant missile test was critical for India

As a nation committed to ‘no first use’, it is of critical importance that the adversary never be in doubt about the credibility of India’s nuclear deterrent

Although INS Arihant undertook its first, notional, “deterrent patrol” in 2018, impressive visuals of the missile launch demonstrate Arihant’s fully-operational status as well as its crew’s proficiency. (ANI)
Updated on Oct 18, 2022 07:34 PM IST

India plays a crucial role in US semiconductor plans

The US doesn’t have the people to help industry grow. That’s where India can step in, with its high-quality innovators and researchers. India’s own ambitions are likely to benefit from this move

The success of the US semiconductor industry — deemed a topmost economic and national security priority by the government — will depend on acquiring the requisite human capital almost overnight. (Shutterstock)
Published on Oct 18, 2022 07:10 PM IST

Keeping up with UP | In the post-Mulayam era, Akhilesh faces five challenges

At stake is their own political identity after the passing away of their community’s tallest leader, who gave them political voice and power at a time when the state politics was dominated by upper castes in the 1960s and 1970s.

People in the hinterland firmly second Mulayam’s decision to hand over the party’s legacy to his son Akhilesh Yadav. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
Published on Oct 18, 2022 06:57 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Hutong Cat | A scripted Communist congress, and two red banners of protest

The 20th CPC national congress is important but listless, interesting but, mostly, predictable — except for the composition of the top leadership — and political but somehow feels apolitical.

People watch a screen showing China's President Xi Jinping speaking during the opening session of the Chinese Communist Party's Congress in Shanghai. (AFP)
Published on Oct 18, 2022 04:02 PM IST

In the hijab row, let education not suffer

The orthodoxy does not care about the education of girls. But institutions in a democracy must. They have to adopt a more compassionate view of women students wearing the hijab, allowing room for accommodation to account for tough social circumstances

The hijabi girls have not refused to wear the uniform. They want to wear the hijab over and above the uniform. An educational institution can frame its uniform policy. But equally, it cannot demand rigid insistence on uniformity, devoid of social circumstance (PTI)
Updated on Oct 17, 2022 08:21 PM IST

Xi’s Taiwan policy has a message for the world

Xi has sounded the bugle that Taiwan will continue to be the most important fault line in his global engagement. The rest of the world, including India, must assess the implications of this development with a degree of seriousness

China's President Xi Jinping gives a speech during the opening session of the 20th Chinese Communist Party's Congress at the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, October 16, 2022 (AFP)
Published on Oct 17, 2022 08:19 PM IST

State-led industrialisation is making a comeback

Industrial Policy 2.0 is not without its risks. It could lead to cronyism, helping entrenched conglomerates set up new lines of businesses

The innocent idea that we can all depend on and prosper from unfettered and uninterrupted global supply chains finds few takers today. Globalisation is not dead yet. But the forces of de-globalisation are gaining strength, finding powerful political patrons across the world. Old Statist ideas, long discarded, are making a comeback. (Bloomberg)
Published on Oct 17, 2022 08:19 PM IST

The Taste With Vir: The Kohinoor and its controversies

Should the Brits give it back to us? Most of us would say yes but the matter of ownership is complicated. Who gets it back? Persians, Afghans, the descendants of Sikh maharajas or the government of India?

The Taste With Vir: The Kohinoor and its controversies(AP File Photo)
Published on Oct 17, 2022 12:25 PM IST
By, Delhi

The great significance of being APJ Abdul Kalam

Besides his relentless work to see India as a developed nation and his vision for India 2020, it is the sheer sense of possibility that he brought to millions of Indians. He made us confident that if we had the will, we could make it happen

Kalam himself, down to earth, interested, conveyed a friendliness that made ordinary people feel at ease, and they reached out to him for any problem through email or a simple letter. (HT Photo)
Published on Oct 16, 2022 11:38 PM IST

What a third Xi term means for India

If the 20th CCP meet, which began on Sunday, enhances Xi Jinping’s power, it would reinforce trends associated with his tenure: Assertiveness abroad, no compromises on boundary issues, and a willingness to use the military as an instrument of policy

People watch an outdoor screen showing the live speech of Chinese President Xi Jinping, October 16, 2022 (AFP)
Updated on Oct 16, 2022 08:35 PM IST

Mahakaal: Another step in cultural renaissance

PM Modi’s new mission for India’s cultural renaissance is poised for success. Its impact shall be reflected in improved quality of life of different communities and the opening of new frontiers based on art, culture and history.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs darshan and pooja at Shree Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain, October 11, 2022 (ANI/ PIB)
Updated on Oct 16, 2022 08:33 PM IST

How hatred is driving society and politics

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 973 hate crime cases were reported across the country in 2016. The number grew by leaps and bounds over the next four years

Are political hatred and religious bigotry only being seen among the majority? Definitely not. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Oct 16, 2022 08:43 PM IST

First Principles | What the new Data Protection Bill might look like

Word in policy-making circles now is that a new version of this Bill will be tabled in Parliament by December. When fully implemented, all spam may end.

Over 90% of Indians use the Chrome browser built by Google to do that. While the browser is free, the data that Chrome collects about each user is used by another division of Google to serve users highly targeted ads. 
Updated on Oct 15, 2022 09:56 PM IST

Just Like That | Notes on nostalgia, a must-read book and important translations

Remembering a serendipitous evening in my house with a very talented ghazal singer; necessary reading on the forced displacement caused by Partition; and young colleague's work in translating his grandfather's work.

The 1946 Partition of British India (L). Pavitra Papi. 
Published on Oct 15, 2022 09:07 PM IST

The road ahead for the next Congress president

The new chief will have to grapple with three challenges — the upcoming assembly elections in the short term, expanding its organisational base in the medium term, and telling the public what the Congress stands for in the long term

The Congress planned this election as a showcase of its robust internal democracy as part of its initiative to simultaneously revamp both its organisation and grassroots connect in a bid to rejuvenate its cadre, dispirited after a string of brutal electoral reverses. 
Published on Oct 15, 2022 08:07 PM IST

Why India needs a fresh look at juvenile justice

It is important to understand the circumstances in which children are driven to commit crimes rather than focus on whether one or the other juvenile should be tried as an adult.

It must be kept in mind that a child committing a crime could well lack formal education, have poor cognitive abilities and emotional functioning and lack the resources to move ahead after serving time. (Representative Image)
Published on Oct 15, 2022 08:05 PM IST

An interesting read on the Anglo-Indian community

Barry O’Brien’s new book, The Anglo-Indians: A Portrait of a Community, tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the community. It is a cornucopia of encyclopaedic information.

Barry O'Brien's The Anglo-Indians: A Portrait of a Community. 
Published on Oct 15, 2022 08:04 PM IST

What the row over mass conversion says about politics

The attempt to criminalise conversions has been building up in India. With several elections around the corner, this issue will dominate political discourse. Unfortunately, what will not be discussed is the plight of marginalised communities

The BJP’s political project would naturally prefer to subsume caste hierarchies within a larger, consolidated Hindu identity. Its ambitions to court the Dalit voter in the North Indian heartland have met with success, especially among non-Jatav Dalits (PTI)
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 08:32 PM IST

India is on the cusp of a mega aviation boom

Air Indians, and we hope all Indians, share the view that seizing this decade and realising India’s aviation opportunity by the centenary year of JRD Tata’s first flight would be the finest possible tribute to his pioneering achievements and legacy.

Today marks 90 years since JRD Tata, India’s first licensed commercial pilot, operated the first flight of an airline, then called Tata Air Services, from Karachi to Mumbai. Though the DeHavilland Puss Moth aircraft had two passenger seats, it only carried mail. (HTPHOTO)
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 07:54 PM IST
ByCampbell Wilson

Do India’s women have the right to choose?

The hijab row is now headed to a larger Supreme Court bench and all eyes will be on the Chief Justice of India. The composition of this bench will be crucial to determine what is at heart a simple question: Do India’s women have the right to choose?

Justice Shudhanshu Dhulia’s dissenting opinion trends towards this option (though, of course, karva chauth is not part of his remit). “It is a matter of choice, nothing more and nothing less,” he ruled. The thing which was uppermost in [my] mind was the education of girl child…. Are we making her life better?” (PTI)
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 07:54 PM IST

AGP: From fierce Assamese regionalism to BJP’s faithful ally

Carrying the burden of an inglorious track record and a fractured organisation, the AGP leadership today is in a much better position to rebuild the party by using the advantages that power brings than without

The AGP’s decision to stick with the BJP in the aftermath of anti-CAA protests could be seen as a pragmatic move by its leadership to buy more breathing space for the party. (ANI)
Updated on Oct 14, 2022 07:54 PM IST
ByAbhinav Pankaj Borbora
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