Is the IAS fortress showing cracks?

By Maxwell Pereira, IANS,

Is the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) feeling the heat? Has the decision of Adapa Karthik - this year's civil services exam topper for appointment to the IAS - to continue serving in the IPS shaken the citadel of power?


The unseemly politics of terrorism in India

By K. Subrahmanyam, IANS,

Following the Jaipur terror blasts resulting in over 60 deaths, there is an intense debate in the country on how to deal with terrorism. As is very characteristic of the political culture of this country, this outrage, instead of bringing our political parties together in a united effort to fight terrorism, has led to mutual recrimination. This would give a great deal of comfort and encouragement to the trans-national and intra-national terrorist organisations that target this country.

Quick media response reveals transparent gov't in China

By Xinhua,

On May 12, a powerful earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale jolted Sichuan Province, southwest China, with its tremors felt in most parts of the country and some neighboring nations.

Minutes later, the Xinhua News Agency began pouring out stories on the quake, while the China Central Television (CCTV) interrupted its regular programs to give viewers round-the-clock coverage of the disaster.

Iraqi Israeli, Arab Jew or Mizrahi Jew?

By Vered Lee,

A violin wailed in one of the auditoriums on the Tel Aviv University campus. Violinist Yair Dalal was demonstrating the creative powers of Salah and Daoud al-Kuwaiti, two brothers considered to be among Iraq's greatest musicians. With immense skill and delicacy, Dalal mastered the notes, careful not to bring the emotional audience to tears.

Will the contradict the diver?

By Mamoun Fandy,

The visit of US President George Bush to the region and the realisation of the two-state solution are governed by four determinants of which anyone interested in the peace process should not loose sight.

The first determinant is the time limit attached to President Bush's departure from the White House in eight months. Is this long enough for the US Administration to establish a Palestinian state? Will the remaining time be sufficient to establish a Palestinian state, even under international supervision in the manner of the independence of Kosovo?

An unmentionable truce?

By Sadie Goldman with Jason Proetorius and IPF Staff,

A Hamas-Israel cease-fire could be on its way, but you wouldn't know it. No press conference will be held to announce it. Instead, quiet on Gaza's borders – no rockets going out, no Israeli fire going in – will serve as the declaration that the cease-fire has begun. But this quiet will come with a tension that at any moment the cease-fire could end. And once that happens, major confrontation can be expected.

The Cease-Fire That Shall Not Be Mentioned

Gordimer to 'Post': Israel must talk to its enemies

By Tom Hope and Steve Linde,

As bitter, disheartening and entangled the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is, Nadine Gordimer's message is emphatic: Don't give up. It can be solved, but only by realising one thing: Talking to your worst enemies is the only way out.

Don't depend on outsiders to settle the Mideast dispute

By Shlomo Avineri,

Israel's 60th anniversary has come and gone. So, too, has President George W. Bush's final visit to the Middle East. Amidst the celebrations and the soul-searching, no meaningful breakthrough in the deadlocked Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is visible.

Comrades hit where it hurts in Bengal panchayat polls

By Amulya Ganguli, IANS,

In addition to the Left's across-the-board setbacks in the West Bengal panchayat elections, the significance of the outcome is that the comrades have been hit where it hurts the most. As a result, any claim that it still controls the majority of the local bodies - 518 of the zilla parishads, for instance, against the opposition's 230 - will not dispel the gloom in the Communist camp.

Management of contradictions key to India-Pakistan stability

By C. Uday Bhaskar, IANS,

The just concluded visit of Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Islamabad (May 20-21), and the tenor of domestic developments in both India and Pakistan over the past week, suggest that many opposing impulses are at play in both polities and that astute management of these multiple contradictions will hold the key to nurturing stability in the troubled bilateral relationship.