Modi's Nepal visit: Unfurling vision of an integrated South Asia

By Saroj Mohanty,

Flying in to Kathmandu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he wanted to forge a "new relationship" with Nepal that could serve as a model for regional partnership in South Asia. After his two-day visit, it is apparent he has succeeded to a large extent and opened in his own words a "new chapter" in ties with the Himalayan republic.

Human Development: Ends over Means

By Amit Kapoor,

Human development is a process of enlarging people’s choices. The most critical ones are to lead a long and healthy life, to be educated and to enjoy a decent standard of living. – HDR 1990

CPI-M needs new leadership to recover politically

By Samir Kar Purkayastha,

The CPI-M has decided to hold its 2015 party congress in Kolkata instead of Agartala, capital of the only state now ruled by the party. Tripura is far off, more difficult and expensive to reach, reasoned the party leaders while picking Kolkata. While the 1,000-odd delegates would miss out on a chance to see for themselves the workings of the party in a state where it has held on for years, the Kolkata congress may be seen as an opportunity to boost the morale of activists in West Bengal, where not a day passes without reports of desertion from the Marxist ranks.

Parliament of words: Politicians as successful writers

By Vikas Datta,

A British prime minister who was a novelist too, a US president known for works on history and nature, an Indian statesman who was a famous philosopher too... They make a compelling case that politics is not a full-time occupation and its practitioners can shine in other fields too. Writing - beyond autobiographies or political polemics - for one.

Nitish’s another turnaround story: But will it ensure victory?

By Soroor Ahmed,,

The fresh political realignment in Bihar is actually the byproduct of a bitter lesson learnt by the former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in the recent Lok Sabha election. He has come to realize that development works do not get translated into votes. This is the line adopted by his former bête noire Lalu Prasad. It is this belated realization that had forced him into the lap of the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, with whom he broke away exactly two decades back.

Modi sends Advani, BJP old guard into exile

By Amulya Ganguli,

In the Hindu way of life, old age entails exile from home and hearth. As the Manu Smriti says, when a man sees "his skin wrinkled and his hair gray and when he sees the son of his son, then he should resort to the forest".

India's veto doesn't mean collapse of global trade talks

By Arvind Padmanabhan,

India's demand for concessions on food subsidy as a quid quo pro to a pact to simplify procedures on global commerce may have blocked the first major step forward in the 19-year history of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). But that does not mean the global trade talks have collapsed.

Will Gaza truce lead to Hamas-Israel-US meet in Cairo?

By Saeed Naqvi,

Does the 72-hour ceasefire in the three week long conflict in Gaza brokered by the UN and US advance peace? Just as I write this comes news that the Palestinians have captured an Israeli soldier. Has the ceasefire collapsed? I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Relevance of Khudai Khidmatgar today

By Sandeep Pandey,

It would seem improbable today but in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, which is centre of continued violence today dominated by Taliban, there existed an organisation dedicated to non-violence called Khudai Khidmatgar not very long back. The person who founded this was called Frontier Gandhi – Khand Abdul Gaffar Khan popularly known as Badshah Khan or Bacha Khan. The first organisation he founded was called Anjuman-e-Islah-e-Afghania which worked for education of Pathans or Pashtuns. Badshah Khan was not a politician. He was more of a social reformer. He believed in socialism. He worked for empowerment of women, peaceful resolution of feuds between community members known for their short temper, abolition of alcohol, etc. He started the first school in his own village Utmanzai. How difficult his work must have been can be imagined from the 2012 incident when a teenager activist Malala Yousafzai was shot at merely for advocating the right of girls to education. Malala also hails from the Pashtun community. What the Taliban did to Malala, the British did to Gaffar Khan much earlier as they banned his school.

Special Social Development Corridor can ensure inclusive growth

By Sachi Satpathy,

Can the new NDA government break the existing political vendetta in the administrative system and open space for all chief ministers, irrespective of their political affiliation, to collectively work and take ownership of the much-awaited nation building process and help achieve the much needed growth in selected worst performing states on major human development indicators? In this direction, a national program with focus and complete concentration on specific areas and issues can be an option to bring balanced inclusive growth in the country.