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India in the age of bread and circus - Siddharth Singh, Mint
It is the age of powerlessness at the Centre. For all practical purposes, a lame duck Manmohan Singh is presiding over a system where chief ministers call the shots. Nearly a dozen chief ministers, led by Mamata Banerjee, may have just ensured the freezing of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). And if any proof of the Union government’s weakness was required, the Prime Minister provided it himself. Read Full Article››
The BCCI and the monetization of Indian cricket - Mukul Kesavan, Telegraph India
Long-time observers of the BCCI know that it used to be cricket's answer to the medieval city state. No Medici controlled Florence as comprehensively as the BCCI controlled cricket in India. The Board of Control was an independent principality, located in India, surrounded by India, but not of India. Its jurisdiction over cricket in India was as absolute as the Vatican's over Catholicism; it brooked no interference in its affairs, not even from the nation state that enclosed it.
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Guard free speech, Republic - Tufail Ahmad, NewIndianExpress
On January 26, 65 years ago, when we the people of India gave ourselves the Constitution, we adopted a new way of life defined by individual liberties, secured by free speech. In the 7th century, when Prophet Muhammad proclaimed Islam, he too gave a way of life, but let’s first go hundreds of years before him to one of his ancestors, Abraham. In Muslim imagination, his story is etched as such: as a youngster, Abraham had a questioning mind about god. Once as everyone left the village for a festival, he entered the temple...
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Why America is betting on Modi - Sadanand Dhume, Times of India
Barely a year ago, most foreign policy pundits would likely have agreed on one simple prediction: the election of Narendra Modi as Indian prime minister would set back relations with the United States, and by extension with the West more broadly. Instead, the opposite has happened. Yesterday President Barack Obama shattered a symbolic taboo by becoming the first American chief guest at India’s annual Republic Day parade. Arguably, the US and India are poised to pursue a deeper...
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NaMo’s rule by Ordinances in National Interest - Anirban Ganguly, Niticentral
There has been of late, a huge ruckus, especially created by the political drum beaters of the Congress, the Left block and in that the CPIM, over the Government taking the Ordinance route in Parliament to pass crucial Legislation. True to their Goebbelesian mindset, the Comrades have succeeded, it seems, with a little help from their co-ideologists in the mainstream media to deflect attention from the real dimension of the issue – that of Parliament being...
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A simple matter of conviction - AK Bhattacharya, Business Standard
One relatively easy way of assessing how the government has tried to address the difficult challenge of governance as well as fiscal prudence will be to take a look at what it has done with respect to delivering subsidies to those who need them the most. Three initiatives in the past few months, apparently unrelated to each other, deserve scrutiny in this context. The first initiative pertains to the fillip given to the Aadhaar network of creating biometrics-based identity for the country's residents.
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Obama leads world to India - MJ Akbar, Sunday Guardian
Relations between India and the United States have been flawed with a genetic defect ever since Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called on President Harry Truman in Washington in 1949: a sharply divergent view of the nature of conflict in the post-war, post-colonial era. India was coming to terms with freedom and partition; America was sifting through the responsibilities of rebuilding the scrapheap of western Europe, while searching for allies in another epochal conflict looming ahead, the Cold War.
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The eco-fundamentalists - Deepak Lal, Business Standard
The recent furore over the Modi government's ban on the Indian branch of Greenpeace receiving funding from its foreign parent raises some important issues. What should be the role of foreign NGOs in Indian democracy - particularly since, as I have argued at length in my Reviving the Invisible Hand, a host of the environmental ones are the stormtroopers of the anti-globalisation movement? What are their true aims? Is there any international civil society of which they can be taken to be the spokesmen, as they claim?
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The great Indian data deficit - Aarati Krishnan, Business Line
Displaying an easy contempt for statistics, Mark Twain complained of “lies, damned lies and statistics”. But he may have taken a different view had he lived in India. The problem most Indian investors, researchers and policymakers face today is that there are too many tall claims floating around, with hardly any data to disprove them. Whether one is looking for proof of India’s economic recovery, the state of its stock market or on how the corporate sector is faring, one often comes up against a brick wall.
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Why Barack Obama's visit to India matters - Nirupama Rao, Mail Today
On the eve of the forthcoming visit of President Barack Obama to India, the US Deputy National Security Adviser, Ben Rhodes described the uniqueness of the visit. He called it a “transitional”, if not “transformational”, moment in Indo-US relations. The adjective, transformational, suggests a historic moment is upon us as far as this bilateral relationship is concerned. A few months ago, when PM Modi went to Washington, we heard the refrain of “Chalein Saath Saath” yet another description...
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India embraces Obama as part of long-term plan to mend relations - David J Lynch, Mint
US president Barack Obama will do something in India on Monday that an American president almost never does in public. He’ll sit in one place, in a foreign country, for hours. Obama will be the official “chief guest” at India’s Republic Day parade. The first US president invited to attend, his presence will signal an increasingly close relationship between partners with a sometimes prickly history.
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