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Modiís Idea of India-2

My previous column (‘Modi’s idea of India-1’, January 27) interpreted the external features of PM Narendra Modi’s idea of Indian nationhood. Modi, I argued, is redefining the idea of India by emphasising the blood ties of India’s “diaspora” with the “homeland” — politically, if not legally. His concept is closer to the German-Japanese conception of nationhood than the French-American one, which relies on birth in a territory, not blood ties. India’s Constitution-makers had rejected the German-Japanese model.
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Why Indians can't write good memoirs

In the land where George Orwell was born, writes Jaspreet Singh in his 2013 book, Helium, “1984 was never imaginary. In India, it was real.” And it was real, in a most vicious and violent manner. That year saw 3,000 Sikhs being massacred in Delhi within three days just because the two assassins of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi happened to be their co-religionists. Even more unfortunate was what unfolded thereafter. Despite setting up one commission of inquiry after another...
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Indiaís challenge in a new Iran

The official start of the lifting of crushing Western sanctions on the Iranian economy in return for major concessions on the country’s nuclear programme has recently begun. While this US-Iran thaw has the potential to alter the strategic landscape in West Asia, this relationship’s biggest test is still to come. With the Obama administration’s time in Washington running out, it’s too early to assess whether the budding diplomacy between the US and Iran represents...
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A harvest-time gift

The Narendra Modi-led government needs to be complimented for taking the first major step to revamp the crop insurance system to address the increasing distress in Indian farming. With back-to-back droughts, and unseasonal rain and hail in certain pockets, it became clear that the risks in farming are on the rise, and the existing system of crop insurance was nowhere near meeting the needs of the peasantry. The sums insured were low (based on the cost of inputs rather than prospective income)...
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The Quintessential Statesman

Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Churchill was a famous man and his quote is as famous, but it fits only partially on another famous personality: Atal Bihari Vajpayee. India’s former Prime Minister did stand up for something (more than once) sometime in life, but he had no enemies and at best only political rivals. This is not the only template that goes awry on the charismatic leader who could well have been the focal point of the country’s...
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Modi's year of Possibility

More than most world leaders, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi must've cheered the end of 2015. The year was an annus horribilis for him, marred by policy paralysis, embarrassing electoral defeats and mounting doubts about how transformative his term will turn out to be. He has a chance to regain momentum in 2016, but only if he's smarter and bolder about pushing his reform agenda. Last year, voters hammered Modi in elections in Delhi and Bihar, states he'd swept in the 2014 general election.
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Dalits rebooted, suited

Indian business has long been represented by Ficci (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry). The new kid on the block is Dicci – the Dalit Industrial Chambers of Commerce and Industry. It boasts of nearly 4,000 members, heralding the new era of Dalit businessman. This represents a social and economic revolution. Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a Dicci meeting of over 1,000 Dalit entrepreneurs. Modi said he would like to double the number of Dalit entrepreneurs...
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Lead Story
Modiís Idea of India-2 - Ashutosh Varshney, Indian Express
Out with the Left - Swapan Dasgupta, Asian Age
Will Pakistan Army heed nationís policymakers? - Pioneer
Budget Session won't wait for polls - Deepak K Upreti, Pioneer
India is still facing the Ill-Effects of the Congress era inflation - Vivek Kaul, Swarajya
Engage the dragon on Balochistan - Samir Saran & Abhijnan Rej, Times of India
Battle with many corners - Bibek Debroy, Indian Express
Modi-Shah template for the BJP - Suhas Palshikar, Hindu
Most terror attacks originate from Pakistan, says Rajnath - Suhasini Haidar, Hindu
Why India needs less sound and lesser fury - Tabish Khair, Mail Today
Strengthening Afghan Army capabilities - Ashok K Mehta, Pioneer
Road to better breathing - Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Economic Times
Narendra Modi is an ascetic, he hasnít disappointed: Nassim Nicholas Taleb - MC Govardhana Rangan & Dinesh Narayanan, Economic Times
A scheme for change - Jairam Ramesh & Neelakshi Mann, Indian Express
Towards Trumpistan - C Raja Mohan, Indian Express
A vision for security - Ajai Shukla, Business Standard
The minority-majority unending debate - A Surya Prakash, Pioneer
Anti-national - A slur that is killing India - Sunanda K Datta Ray, Deccan Chronicle
Looking forward to a big bang Budget - Vikram S Mehta, Financial Express
NDA govt hails UPAís pet initiative for rural jobs - Hindustan Times
A mission to transform the Nation through Cities - Venkaiah Naidu, NewIndianExpress
The Marg Darshak Mandal of the nation - Pankaj Vohra, Sunday Guardian
We have to counter both ISIS and ISI - DC Pathak, Sunday Guardian
Growth and prosperity 2 poles of Narendra Modi government - Economic Times
Military-mullah nexus strangling Pakistan - Balbir Punj, Pioneer
Why Indians can't write good memoirs - Utpal Kumar, Mail Today
Can ĎMake in Indiaí fly? - Arun Maira, Mint
Modiís idea of India-1 - Ashutosh Varshney, Indian Express
Skilling me softly - Chidanand Rajghatta, Times of India
NDA popular despite drawing flak periodically, survey finds - Anuja & Gyan Varma, Mint
History in a few sq miles - SK Sinha, Asian Age
Indiaís perennial soft state - Yashwant Sinha, Times of India
Nitish Kumar's metamorphosis - Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad, Pioneer
Nehru's aide kept key Netaji files - Pioneer
India's challenge in a new Iran - Harsh V Pant, Mint
Pathankot: Spoiler of India-Pak talks - Ashok Behuria, Pioneer
Unveiling Netaji Bose - Pioneer
CIA leads help Indian agencies bust ISIS cells - Rajshekhar Jha, Times of India
Pakistan policy needs both carrot and stick - Ashok K Mehta, Pioneer
India shines with hope in a turbulent world - Gautam Mukherjee, Pioneer
Shifting India to clean energy - Devangshu Datta, Business Standard
Re-imagining the Middle East - C Raja Mohan, Indian Express
Mr Modi's Pakistan plan - Ajai Shukla, Business Standard
Living under the shadow of terror - Manoj Joshi, Mail Today
A harvest-time gift - Ashok Gulati, Indian Express
Kashmir: A new beginning? - Aditi Phadnis & Archis Mohan, Business Standard
Govt gears up for Budget Session, while Cong gets ready to disrupt it - Hari Shankar Vyas, Pioneer
Stemming the rot of insurgency - KG Suresh, Pioneer
'Start-up India': New tax regime for startups, Arun Jaitley says - Sidhartha K, Times of India
He made India his own like very few others did - Ashok Mallik, Pioneer
The bottle in the locomotive - Bibek Debroy, Business Standard
Why Modi deserves a big hand - Aditi Phadnis, Business Standard
Why BRICS is no longer a saleable idea - TN Ninan, Business Standard
Letís track the small bangs - Bibek Debroy, Indian Express
Pak tests India's patience for talks - Vineeta Pandey, Pioneer
NSA talks must happen - Pioneer
Emerging powers on the prowl - Mayuri Mukherjee, Pioneer
Yakub Memon: A case for media as educators - V Raghunathan, Times of India
How Kalamís role helped avert ĎHindu bombí tag - Chidanand Rajghatta, ToI
Should politics simmer in caste cauldron? - Balbir Punj, NewIndianExpress
Why we need a time-use survey - Bibek Debroy, Indian Express
Indian Universities: Decline by degrees - Upinder Singh, Hindu
Grand old men ready for their last battles - Kalyani Shankar, Pioneer
Adarsh scam: CBI gets Maharashtra Governorís nod to prosecute Ashok Chavan - Shubhangi Khapre & Rashmi Rajput, Indian Express
Expelled Samajwadi Party MPs Jaya Prada, Amar Singh to set a legal precedent - Harish V Nair, India Today
The scramble for Dalit votes in Uttar Pradesh - AK Verma, Swarajya
Indigenous leaders rule the roost in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh - Sunita Aron, Hindustan Times
PM Narendra Modi to reach out to farmers, address 4 rallies this month - Liz Mathew, Indian Express
Kerala Congress in a bind over Bengal Left tie-up - Anuja, Mint
Mehbooba Mufti seeks more steps from BJP - Gyan Varma, Mint
JD(U) eyes alliance with seven parties that got 19% votes in 2012 - Ravish Tiwari, Economic Times
Congress props up 5-point plan to corner BJP - CL Manoj, Economic Times
Playing big brother wonít do Lalu any good - Giridhar Jha, Mail Today
PM rally to mark BJP's pre-poll campaign in TN - Firstpost
PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu & Kashmir on the brink of collapse - Gyan Varma, Mint
Bengal Congress divided over alliance with Left - Times of India
Modi's pre-election wish returns to haunt BJP as Mufti delays formation of beti ki sarkar in J&K - Sandipan Sharma, Firstpost
Reconfigurations in Congress's organisation likely - Hari Shankar Vyas, Pioneer
Working on grand alliance for UP assembly polls: Sharad Yadav - Lalmani Verma & Pradeep Kaushal, Indian Express
PDP alliance with BJP unpopular, have to reassess: Mehbooba Mufti - Bashaarat Masood & Liz Mathew, Indian Express
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose death controversy to be kept alive in West Bengal polls - Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi, Economic Times
Amit Shah re-elected BJP president, has his task cut out - Gyan Varma, Mint
Veterans not party to Shah glory - Kumar Vikram, Mail Today
Bar bribery scam claims another member of Chandyís Cabinet - KPM Basheer, Business Line
Challenge is of living up to expectations - Kalyani Shankar, Pioneer
Mehbooba Mufti must end uncertainty and give Jammu & Kashmir a government - Times of India
Lalu Prasad set to nominate wife, daughter to Rajya Sabha - Gyan Varma, Mint
The Mulayam in Mamata - Abheek Barman, Economic Times
Mehbooba follows father's Agenda of Alliance with BJP - Khursheed Wani, Pioneer
Congress eyes merger with PPP - Anuja & Gyan Varma, Mint
Congress leaders rebel against Nirupam over articles on Nehru, Sonia, want him out - CL Manoj, Economic Times
No haste to form government with BJP, will review work: PDP - M Saleem Pandit, Times of India
BJP plans to emphasise 'farmer-friendly policies' in poll-bound UP - Kumar Vikram, Mail Today
Maghi Mela litmus test ahead of Punjab polls - Pretika Khanna, Gyan Varma & Anuja, Mint
The UP Lokayukta controversy highlights the need for greater attention to anti-corruption systems and processes - Indian Express
How Akhilesh Yadav tried to handpick Lokayukta until Supreme Court cracked down - Utkarsh Anand, Indian Express
UP election: BJP gears up for an early start, new strategy - Mint
Jungle Raj back, Nitish Lalu's puppet: Paswan - Faizan Ahmad, Pioneer
2017 UP Assembly Elections: All eyes are now on Amit Shah - Hari Shankar Vyas, Pioneer
Fight is only between me and Kejriwal, says Amarinder - Nistula Hebbar & Vikas Vasudeva, Hindu
PM Modi conveys India's concerns to China on Lakhvi issue - Sachin Parashar, Times of India
Monetary and fiscal policies go together - Pulapre Balakrishnan, Business Line
Exports need more than a lower rupee - Pradeep S Mehta, Business Line
Curbing black money is the way forward - Vinayshil Gautam, Pioneer
Coal auction to come with safeguards - Sanjay Dutta, Times of India
Interest-only EMI gets you 20% more loan - Times of India
Balancing act for 2016 Budget - Pioneer
Modiís polite message to industry: Perform now - Pioneer
How to expand inclusion - Ashok Gulati & Prerna Terway, Indian Express
Finding the right tool for economic intervention - Mint
ĎVisa on arrivalí to attract Japan, Korea investors - Vijaita Singh, Hindu
Sensex January fall worst in 5 years, FIIs outflow highest in 8 years - Rahul Oberoi, Financial Express
Govt plans China-type economic zones - Times of India
Chinese investors bet big on India, internet giants pour funds into digital startups - Samidha Sharma & Boby Kurian, Times of India
Commodity price crash presents India with an opportunity to transform its economy - Times of India
Starting-up India - Financial Express
Tackling IT troubles ahead of GST regime and in the upcoming Budget - Jayashree Parthasarathy, Financial Express
Iran, open for business - Business Standard
Be tight-fisted - Ila Patnaik, Indian Express
Faith and foreign hand in God's Own Country - Balbir Punj, Pioneer
PPF, NSC rates to be cut; bank FDs may fetch lower interest - Sidhartha, ToI
When good banking regulation is simply not enough - Subir Roy, Hindustan Times
Can Indian Inc rescue itself from a Daewoo-like fate? - TK Arun, Economic Times
PDP clears the air, says will form Govt with BJP - Khursheed Wani, Pioneer
Delivering on good governance - Shyam Saran, Business Standard
Centreís nod to some states going solo, bid to push rollout - Anil Sasi, Indian Express
Indian agriculture needs smart investment - Mint
Modernising Indiaís coal sector - Sunjoy Joshi, Business Line
Govt prepares plan to boost farm, infrastructure - Sidhartha & Surojit Gupta, Times of India
ED charges Marans, says PC's FIPB nod illegal - Pioneer
The Neighbourhood/World
Leadership is more important than gender , Archana Ramasundaram, Director General Sashastra Seema Bal  - Economic Times

Narendra Modi is an ascetic, he hasnít disappointed , Nassim Nicholas Taleb  - Economic Times

Lt Gen JFR Jacob, last of 1971 war trinity, dies at 92 , Lt-General Jacob Farj Rafael Jacob  - Times of India

The Quintessential Statesman , Atal Bihari Vajpayee  - Pioneer

The man who turned political wisdom on its head , Mufti Mohammad Sayeed  - Mint

Modi-Obama hit it off, India can be a Pacific power , Strobe Talbott  - Times of India

This Nehru-Gandhi family is totally Anti-National , Subramanian Swamy  - Swarajya

I have given states an offer they can't refuse , Piyush Goyal  - Business Standard

Poll outcomes will not hit reforms , Nirmala Sitharaman  - Hindu

Thinker and political narrator , Deendayal Upadhyaya  - Pioneer



A year later, Modi didn't disappoint. He seems to have delivered over the past year. Let's look at the numbers. From what we saw, numbers seem to be healthy or not degrading. The zeitgeist continues so it doesn't seem like a revolution but a systematic approach to reform. Maybe you do more here and less there but overall it is the trend that matters. Sometimes people under-deliver. You cannot control the environment but it is the effort that matters. And that fellow is ascetic. I usually trust people who are ascetic.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Lens Blogs

Modi's victory: One man who achieved the impossible -AS THE NATION awaits the prime minister-designate Narendra Modi to take over the reins of office at the Centre, it is instructive to understand the meaning of the 2014 verdict... more ››

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Unstoppable Sania-Hingis pair scoops record 29th win in a row

Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis on Thursday broke a 22-year-old world record by winning their 29th women’s doubles match in a row en route to their entry into the women’s doubles final of the WTA Sydney International, on Thursday. The World No 1 pair came from behind to beat the pair of Romanian Raluca Olaru...
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Mumbai teen makes 1,009 'record' runs

Fifteen-year-old Pranav Dhanawade, son of an auto-rickshaw driver, created cricketing history on Tuesday when he scored a mind-boggling unbeaten 1,009 runs in an inter-school under-16 tournament, thus surpassing the earlier international record of 628 runs set by AEJ Collins in UK in 1899. Pranav’s feat earned him kudos...
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Pick your designation

We have heard about new-age companies re-designating the vice-chairman as "Gardener", or the head of human resources as "Chief Happiness Officer". These designer designations once met with stifled sniggers and confused expressions, but not any more, although Google took it a step further with a job title called "Jolly Good Fellow" that was offered to Chade-Meng...
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Myth and the making of Star Wars

Here is a rough outline of a story. A beautiful princess is kidnapped by a diabolical villain and a young handsome hero rescues her, aided in no small part by an army of anthropomorphic beings and one particular half-human sidekick of immense strength. If you guessed Han Solo, aided by Chewbacca, rescuing Princess Leia from Darth Vader...
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