Gandhi preferred young Nehru over Patel, just as BJP opted for Modi in place of Advani

By Soroor Ahmed,,

If the BJP preferred Narendra Modi over Lal Krishna Advani as its prime ministerial candidate because of the former’s young age, by that logic Mahatma Gandhi was right in not accepting the opinion of 12 out of 15 Pradesh Congress Committees to make Vallabhbhai Patel the first PM of India and opted for 14 years younger Jawaharlal Nehru.

Indian economy: Modi government’s claims and the real picture

By Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam,

Thanks to India’s strong democratic tradition, even Narendra Modi came to power after a regular vote. This tradition requires that new legislators and governments are allowed a fairly long grace period before their performance is evaluated. This is why no legislator is interrupted in his or her maiden speech in assembly or the Parliament.

Does SAARC summit have sport on its agenda?

By Veturi Srivatsa,

Wonder whether sport is all that important to be on the agenda of the two-day South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu Wednesday-Thursday when the heads of states sit down to deliberate on a wide range of issues.

India's research conundrum

By Amit Kapoor,

Research and development (R&D) forms the basis of future competitiveness of any nation. It is because R&D is critical for any form of innovation. Today’s science is tomorrow’s technology. A classic case in point is the US economy. It is a world leader in technological innovation. From the development of critical, indigenous defense production to the development of world-class products and services it has shown that public and private sectors can both be pioneers in R&D within a nation. The scientific and technological prowess has done good for not only US’s citizens but has done a lot in general for the betterment of the human condition. What can explain the rise of US? In our opinion, it is because the country has fostered a spirit of scientific inquiry that was part of its founding father’s legacy. Part of this started with having had a targeted approach in fostering science and technology within its policy context. Part of it has also to do with developing economic centers of activity (think Silicon Valley) based on its science and technology ecosystem. Also, it has had a specific focus on institutions that have enabled its stupendous economic growth post the Second World War.

Indian equity bulls shouldn't anticipate further crude price decline

By Vatsal Srivastava,

Oil is in a bear market. Over the past few months, both major crude benchmarks - Brent and Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) - have corrected by over 25-30 percent from their 2014 peak. Interestingly, and as it often happens in the financial markets, the timing of this plunge has surprised many. The fundamental factors behind the drop in oil prices—easing - geopolitical tensions, slowing economic growth, especially in the Euro area and China, the Libyan output hitting the supply market again and the US shale oil revolution (the dominant factor) — could have been factored in well before and the plunge could have been smoother and more gradual, unlike the kind of capitulation we are witnessing now.

Colours of terror

By Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam,

Recently, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an ASEAN summit that terrorism had no religion, Indian Muslims heaved a sigh of relief. This line, that “terror has no religion”, is a relatively new Sangh refrain, being mouthed as a policy mantra by all persons affiliated to it.

India's ambivalence on China can derail regional groupings

By Subir Bhaumik,

A senior diplomat recently told a seminar in Kolkata that India joins too many regional groupings, some of them overlapping, and then not doing anything worthwhile to carry forward their intended agendas. The message from this former ambassdor to three countries was clear: Only when convinced it will benefit India should we join a grouping - and that with a clear roadmap and leveraging it for Indian interests.

Of Islamophobia in the name of secular stereotyping

By Abul Kalam Azad,

Secularism, for many upper caste liberal Hindus, is a stick to beat the Muslims. They shed crocodile tears that can drown the entire nation over the apparent ‘communalization’ of middle class Muslims. They started betraying this extreme discomfort, as the author of this highly problematic article, at many young middle class Muslims ‘sporting long beards and wearing pathani suits’ because you know the body etiquette is all this country needs to brand a Muslim as ‘communal’ – a Hindu sporting a sindoor, a Hindu wearing a janeu, these specimens are capable of pure unadulterated secularism (or the Indian version of it) – and show dubious concern over them being usurped by ‘global jihad’.

Galloping words: The poetry of horse-riding

By Vikas Datta,

The Ancient Greeks credited Poseidon, the sea deity, with being the creator of horses, drawing a correspondence between the waves from his realm crashing on the shore and the galloping of majestic, spirited steeds. Can we draw a related analogy to equate ideas or, better still, words - the prime medium used to express them - with horses and their different gaits? The resemblance is not far-fetched as it may apparently seem, especially as far as poetry is concerned. A pensive trot, a gentle canter, a spirited gallop and more can be discerned in various examples of verse. And then, various episodes of horse-riding have underlaid some of the most stirring poetry seen in western letters.


Enhancing understanding of Muslim communities in South Asia

Book review: Being Muslim in South Asia

By Kashif-ul-Huda,,

History of Islam in South Asia is almost as old as Islam in Arabia. Population of Arab nations is estimated to be 370 million while more than 500 million Muslims live in South Asian countries. But Arab-centric writings on Islam have done a great disservice.