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An Aspect of a Situation

An Aspect of a Situation Romesh Thapar THE theoretical debate on how to reform the political and economic system, to divide power and responsibility between the' Union and the states, to mobilise the best and the brightest for priority tasks, to strengthen self-reliance through minimum efficiencies and accountabilities' to evolve a democratic, secular and egalitarian ethos, keeps on intensifying all over the sub-continent. But how to relate all this talk to the strange disarray in governance and among the people who supposedly lead.

The Sri Lanka Killings

The Sri Lanka Killings Romesh Thapar WE had better take a firm hold of ourselves as we view the bloody carnage in Sri Lanka. Ethnic and religious collisions are not new to our part of the world, and certainly we Indians should not point ringers at others. What is terribly disturbing is that apparently a number of Western powers, particularly Britain, knew more about the explosive nature of the racial tension than Delhi.

A Pressing Matter

A Pressing Matter Romesh Thapar OUR journalists certainly are not covering themselves in glory. The personal attacks on Arun Shourie who has highlighted repeated discrepancies in the reportage of certain incidents during the Jammu and Kashmir elections, and the pathetic attempt to imply that he has enjoyed the hospitality of the state government, is typical of the goonda style of today. Take no notice of what has been said! Attack the character of the writer! Why this incensed reaction by those who reported from Srinagar? Guilty consciences, or the inability to provide the evidence for the supposed 'facts'? Arun Shourie has asked questions. And the Editors' Guild, as a responsible professional body, has requested the editors of the national newspapers and the directors of the two news agencies, PTI and UNI, to ask their correspondents to explain the wide factual contradictions. The time for investigation will come.

Bedlam to Bedlam

Bedlam to Bedlam Romesh Thapar YOU would think we have enough problems on our messy plate without creating new ones. But, then, who are we to judge? The decision to deny Chief Minister Rama Rao the use of the Hyderabad station of AIR was not the work of some minor flunkey or a 'misreading' of what are called 'guidelines' by persons who misuse the electronic media every hour, every day. Behind the decision, always and every- where, is 'the lender'. Make no mistake about it, even though much play is made of correcting the mistakes of servile incompetents.

Obsessed with Image-Building

Obsessed with Image-Building Romesh Thapar THE inevitable over-reaction over our cricketing triumph in the World Cup was punctuated by an Interesting comment by one of the fathers of the game in India, the veteran Vijay Merchant. He was reacting to Indira Gandhi's 'India can do it' claim: But the question before the vast mass of our countrymen is: 'Can Indira do it?' Can Indira do a Kapjl Dev? I submit you can, Madam. What miracles cannot we achieve if 70 crore Indians

We Are Confusing Ourselves

We Are Confusing Ourselves Romesh Thapar li: the recent Opposition conclave on the explosive Punjab situation yielded only 'simplistic solutions' (the phrase used by the simpletons who comprise the Political Affairs Committee of the Union Cabinet), I do not know what phrases would be appropriate for the kind of kindergarten governance we arc being offered by the prime minister. The performance "is so strange that even sympathetic hangers-on arc now confining themselves to what they claim is her 'phenomenal' success abroad. From what I can gather, this too is self-delusion.

A Padayatra through Our Confusions

A Padayatra through Our Confusions? Romesh Thapar IN the smog-bound political atmosphere of present-day Delhi, the arrival of paduyatrl Chandra Shekhar 15 like a breath of fresh air. His credibility has been firmly re-established, but we are naturally, wondering how he will go about the awesome task of halting the terrible drift in national affairs and restoring some focus to priority problems. The extent of our disarry is reflected in the fact that it took a pada. yatra of 4.200 kilometres to create the potential of an intervention.

Communalising Our Politics

Communalising Our Politics Romesh Thapar ALARM bells are ringing in the corridors of political power. The vibrations of Indira Gandhi's recent posturings in Assam, Punjab and Jammu (including Kashmir) have sparked speculation about the possibility that the Congress(I) is to be fashioned into a tribute of Hindu assertion. It is believed that such a role, carefully designed and dressed up in all manner of sophistication, will rally the 'disenchanted', particularly in the doped heartlands of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Looking for Alternatives

Looking for Alternatives Romesh Thapar WHILE the Prime Minister is doing her political tourism in Europe, punctuated by tedious pontifications on all manner of subjects including falsifications on the Emergency, Chandra Shekhar, walking up the spine of India in an extraordinary padaytra, is about to enter Delhi. The two visuals, whatever the motivations behind them, carry a significant moral

The Kashmir Story

The Kashmir Story Romesh Thapar I HAVE been through a strange experience

Ethnic Tangles Wanted a National

Ethnic Tangles: Wanted a National Initiative Romesh Thapar IN a terribly distorted kind of way the Assam crisis

Fear Stalks the Punjab

Fear Stalks the Punjab Romesh Thapar EVERY now and then, a nation has to face a moment of truth. I think that moment Has arrived for us. Wherever we turn, the breakdown is general. It is rooted in thoroughly incompetent governance which encourages every kind of unbalanced, opportunist and anarchist thought. There is so much evidence of this from Assam to the Punjab, from power and water famines to goondaism on university campuses. All our populist compromises have prepared this grim scenario. Forget the 'foreign hand'. We rule ourselves, and it is within ourselves that we must seek the correction.

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