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Today s Power Scenario

Today's Power Scenario Romesh Thapar WHATEVER persuaded the newspaper editors in Delhi to give the international criminal, Charles Sobhraj, the hottest coverage ever seen? The 'escape' should not have been a surprise. Tihar Jail is notorious for its loopholes', whatever the levels of security. Then what? Obviously, the assumption is that a flood of easy money paved the way. How else did Sobhraj have himself moved from one section of the Jail to another to record his 'memoirs' for a visiting foreigner? Then again, who arrang ed daily interviews for him with a host of sleezy characters? And how was his departure to Thailand where he was to hang delayed for a year?

Dimensions of Open Governance

Dimensions of 'Open' Governance Romesh Thapar I NEVER thought that the time would come when the Judiciary would begin to lead us politically. This is actually happening at various levels. There was a certain inevitability about it when we surrendered our political platforms to the corrupt and the criminal. The citizenry have nowhere to turn to except the courts. Intelligent governance is hardly visible. Indeed, if we were a little more active and gutsy, we would have tied our rulers into a series of legal knots. They are so terribly stupid.

Fiddling, Fiddling, Fiddling

Fiddling, Fiddling, Fiddling. . . . Romesh Thapar THE newspapers are not a reliable guide to events in our sub-continent. This is becoming very apparent as we move from one startling development to another. But what is inexplicable is the totally false impression created by parliamentary reporters. The other day, Rajiv Gandhi was busy making a pathetic boy scout reply to the debate on the President's address

The Congress Conspirators

The Congress Conspirators Romesh Thapar WHATEVER else Raja Vishwanath Pratap Singh may not have achieved in his budget- ting, he has at least demystified it. February 28 was always a day for stupid titration and speculation over taxes and prices somewhat arbitrarily organised to keep the government in business. Now, we know that economic management is something more than playing with taxes and prices

There s Big Trouble on the Way

There's Big Trouble on the Way Romesh Thapar THIS is usually the month during which the urban sprawl of India talks about price levels, inflation, taxes and money. By the looks of it, we are going to have an over- dose of it. It is something that is breaking through the deep gloom over the Punjab situation where we are on the edge of witnessing a bloody battle among the Sikhs in the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Tribalism, Casteism, Communalism ...

Tribalism, Casteism, Communalism ... Romesh Thapar SOMEONE is playing the fool with the PM. Open the door. Close the door. Say this. Say that. Make a statement. Deny it. Smile, Frown. Get angry. Laugh It's all very unnerving. We are beginning to wonder who or what rules us. Whether it is civil or military or police, no one knows what's brewing. India is too large to be ruled in this berserk way even though the objective is to change things and move us into whatever the twenty-first century is supposed to stand for.

End This Rule by Yaars

End This Rule by 'Yaars' ONE of the plus points of resuming an interrupted column on India is that the political and economic situation unusually remain static, marks time. Yes, Assam has been lost to the ruling party, but surely some such result was expected after several years of insensitive governance. The Punjab accord is also coming under increasing strain, and only because a belated solution was not backed up by the necessary corrective action. And the so-called centenery turned out to be the sorry, messy, vulgar tamasha it was expected to be.

Levels of Violence

cliches of diplomatic intercourse, and the embarrassments over map boundaries, it is good to find the political potentates of seven South Asian nations (why is Burma excluded, and Afghanistan?) gathering in friendly parleys in Dhaka. Normally, we have got accustomed to associating them with angry confrontations and abusive exchanges on all manner of major and minor matters.

The Political Undercurrents

The Political Undercurrents Romesh Thapar IT took the mother a number of years to see her way to total power, and to intoxicate on it, A major ingredient was the destruction of the Pakistani army in Bangladesh. The son seems to be behaving and talking as if he is already well on the way to being drunk with the adulation and grovelling around him. What it all means is anyone's guess. Policy changes from day to day. Satraps sacked and recruited without any exercise. No anchors visible.

Anxieties Begin to Grow

Anxieties Begin to Grow Romesh Thapar WHATEVER impression the newspapers and magazines might be trying to create, or for that matter the government agit-prop of Akashvani and Doordarshan, anxieties are building in the Capital over policy formulation and the casual comments on them by our Prime Minister. Considerable confusion is building on both internal and external posturings. Even the clarification! obfuscate.

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