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.

Narinder Batra: Man in a tearing hurry

By Veturi Srivatsa,

Narinder Batra, a law graduate from the University of Kashmir, is a powerful organiser. An industrialist with business interests in healthcare, automobiles, renewable energy, transportation, education, oil and gas, has chosen to make a mark for himself in hockey. He is proving to be as autocratic as some of his predecessors had been.


Maulana Abul Kalam Azad as Educationist

By Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam,

1857 is a watershed in Indian history when with the fall of Delhi, British sway was fully established all over India. Men of substance and vision like Sir Syed were quick to realise that the rout had come because the Indian side had fallen behind the British in the realm of knowledge of all kinds, especially that of science and technology.

Kashmir assembly: Dice loaded in favour of Valley

By Vijay Kranti,

Probably the Jammu and Kashmir assembly in India is the only elected house in the world which keeps 24 of its seats vacant in the name of one of its erstwhile regions that is now disputed territory -- what is known as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir or PoK. That is why voters in the state elect only 87 representatives in a house of 111 legislators.

Oman-India gas pipeline a most promising option

By H.S. Ramakrishna,

Natural gas, a very highly consumed commodity in India, is at present supplied from two sources: domestic production and imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). Energy demand and supply projections indicate that by 2021-22, due to rising demand, India will also need to start sourcing natural gas from cross-border pipelines to fill the gap between demand and availability. In such a situation, India will have to examine its options carefully to minimise the cost of imports and consider appropriate sources of natural gas to keep the import bills under check.