ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Sukumar MuralidharanSubscribe to Sukumar Muralidharan

The Many Faces of Indira Gandhi

Indira: India’s Most Powerful Prime Minister by Sagarika Ghose, Delhi: Juggernaut, 2017; pp xvi + 342, ₹699. Indira Gandhi: A Life in Nature by Jairam Ramesh, Delhi: Simon and Schuster, 2017; pp ix + 437, ₹799. India’s Indira, A Centennial Tribute Anand Sharma (editor), New Delhi: Academic Foundation for the Indian National Congress, 2017; pp 299, ₹3,500.

Silencing a Critical Voice

The murder of M M Kalburgi in Dharwad in Karnataka is a part of an intensifying war against critical thinking by social forces that use obscurantist belief in the quest for political hegemony. The eminent Kannada writer, scholar, educationist and social campaigner was for long associated with...

Israel as a Historic Mistake

The original sin of Israel's birth has scarred it for life and it remains incapable of finding an identity that would meet basic democratic norms. Its neighbourhood in West Asia has had no option but to accept its truculent presence.All international law has to be rewritten, if necessary, to ensure Israel's state of exceptional nationhood. The United States' nuclear deal with Iran signals that the burden of carrying this exceptionalism is becoming too heavy to bear.

TRAI Report on Media Ownership

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recently released its report on media ownership to a studied indifference from the print media which otherwise debates this issue vigorously. Why have the newspapers avoided a serious and vigorous engagement with the report's consequential recommendations?

Modi, Mulayam, Muzaffarnagar

As electoral competition intensifies, the key battleground of Uttar Pradesh begins to experience severe stresses. Low level conflicts, amenable to resolution through local processes, are likely to explode into major electoral issues. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which seeks redemption from two electoral debacles in a return to its hardline ideological agenda, will strive to dismantle electoral bonds created as acts of resistance to its majoritarianism. Its competitor, the Samajwadi Party which holds power in the state, will try to induce the religious minority, which has substantial electoral clout, to forget their divided loyalties and invest solely in it.

No More a 'Transmission Belt'

Congress after Indira: Policy, Power, Political Change (1984-2009) by Zoya Hasan (Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2012; pp xiii+256, Rs 795.

Quashing Dissent: Where National Security and Commercial Media Converge

Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and expression in India today, seem a distant, almost illusory promise when the politics of the street -- and a loud and seriously misinformed media – are final arbiters of fundamental rights and the defence of privilege is becoming the dominant motif of state policy.

Express Delivery of Death

The rush and secrecy with which Afzal Guru's execution was carried out under the orders of Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, after the presidential rejection of his clemency petition, is an affront to civilised values enshrined in the Constitution. Considering the circumstances of Afzal Guru's conviction and execution, could it be said that he simply was a man who had to be eliminated, since he had too much knowledge of the dimensions of India's two-decade long dirty war in Kashmir?

"Forty-Eight Hours": A Home Minister Murders the Constitution with Express Delivery of Death

The rush and secrecy with which Afzal Guru’s execution was carried out under the orders of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde post the presidential rejection of his clemency petition, is an affront to civilised values enshrined in the Constitution. Considering the circumstances of Afzal Guru’s conviction and execution, could it be said that he simply was a man who had to be eliminated, since he had too much knowledge of the dimensions of India’s two-decade long dirty war in Kashmir?

A Judicial Doctrine of Postponement and the Demands of Open Justice

The doctrine of "postponement" propounded by the Supreme Court with numerous safeguards against possible abuse is not quite immune to arbitrary interpretation. Indeed, it could well become an instrument in the hands of wealthy and influential litigants, to subvert the course of open justice.

The March of Virtue: Phase 4 in the Anna Hazare Crusade

Two constructions of virtue are in contention as Anna Hazare prepares for the fourth phase of his agitation. For team Anna, virtue is a closely held monopoly, embodied in its leader’s self-denial and moral resoluteness, consistently denied in the electoral fray and endangered by the ruthless competition between parties to extend their patronage networks. For team Manmohan Singh, virtue is just as rare an attribute, typically found in close proximity with extreme wealth, and worthy of special commendation since it could easily slip into its opposite. Corporate India though, still has unmet expectations and Manmohan Singh is their best assurance of securing these. Media loyalties in team Anna's fourth phase of campaign are therefore, likely to lie with the prime minister who sees wealth as the marker of virtue.

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