World War II redux in the nuclear age

A mega Indian Army exercise aimed at sharpening Army's deep strike capabilities in enemy territory concluded last month in Rajasthan. Firdaus Ahmed analyses why having the strike capabilities in this nuclear age might be a mixed blessing.

Nat. Security Subcontinental Musings

Hope in Bihar
Recently, Ashish Kothari visited some areas in Bihar where interesting things are happening. Under progressive governance and grassroots action by its citizens when these are implemented state-wise, Bihar would be well on the path of progress.

Can India provide a new lens to the ISIS challenge in Syria?
Is military combat the only way to deal with the Islamic state and its likes? Firdaus Ahmed ponders about the role India can play in making the ongoing temporary ceasefire in the five-year old Syrian civil war a more permanent one.
Firdaus Ahmed Subcontinental Musings

Towards radical democracy in India
A multitude of grassroots movements are emerging across the country in resistance to the mainstream economy and polity. These initiatives are exploring sustainable, equitable and just paths to human well-being. Ashish Kothari and Pallav Das offer an insight into the need for such movements.
Ashish Kothari

Modi worsens India’s doctrinal muddle
In light of events in Pathankot, Firdaus Ahmed analyses Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech, given to the military brass last month at the Combined Commanders’ conference aboard the INS Vikramaditya, on the way forward with Pakistan.
Nat. Security Firdaus Ahmed Peace Subcontinental Musings

The language of diversity
Adivasi Academy, a learning institute set up by Bhasha Research and Publication Centre is a must visit place for one to learn the importance of language and cultural diversity of our country. Ashish Kothari writes about his experience and learnings at the Academy.
Ashish Kothari

Fighting the ISIS: Why India should measure its steps
The Indian defence minister’s recent interactions indicate an overt leaning towards military action against ISIS under the UN flag. While it may not be difficult to explain this stance, or even find apparent justification for it, there is a need for a more cautionary approach, says Firdaus Ahmed.
Firdaus Ahmed Subcontinental Musings

Pakistani “idiocy”: A general gets it half right
Commanding general of Western Command, KJ Singh recently described Pakistan’s repeated military posturing in the broad framework of history as “the hallmark of being idiotic”. But can India really afford to say that? Firdaus Ahmed presents an incisive inward-looking analysis.
Nat. Security Firdaus Ahmed Subcontinental Musings

No, I will not give back my awards!
Two-time national award winner, veteran journalist Shoma A Chatterji explains with disarming honesty why, despite being deeply concerned over the prevailing socio-cultural milieu in the country, she would not like to blindly follow her celebrated co-awardees in returning the awards.
Government opinions

The seeds of revolution
Deccan Development Society (DDS) is transforming the lives of villagers of Zaheerhabad, Telangana. Ashish Kothari visited the place recently and writes about how DDS is successfully working with Dalit farmers towards ecologically sustainable farming, women empowerment and community-led communications.
Telangana Ashish Kothari Ecommentary

The military musical chairs
Key army posts are currently vacant including two very sensitive posts. Firdaus Ahmed highlights the plausible reasons for this hold up by the Indian government and cautions there there could be deeper reasons for this than is being discussed in the media.
Nat. Security Firdaus Ahmed

Ladakh in the throes of change
The pristine and idyllic pictures of Ladakh do not tell the true story. In recent past Ladakh has been losing its rich cultural heritage and natural resources, and sadly there has been no sincere concentrated official effort to stop this deterioration. But hope is on its way, says Ashish Kothari who visited the region recently.
Jammu and Kashmir Ashish Kothari

One year of the Modi government: Between the cup and the lip
The present government completed one year in the office in May this year. It came to power by promising to bring achhe din for the Indians, who were frustrated with high inflation, corruption and policy paralysis during the last government. Pradeep Baisakh objectively analyses the performance of the Modi government in its first year.

World War II redux in the nuclear age
What is really driving India’s Pakistan strategy?
Euphemising forest diversion?
Pope’s Encyclical: Is this the push the world needed?
Look who’s doing yoga now!
Is Europe staring at a second Renaissance?
The seeds of India’s ‘tough guy’ image
How deep does our prejudice run?
A rocky road for Gram Swaraj
MHA: A Ministry for Hounding Activists?
China policy: Will economics trump the military stance?
What I brought back from my meeting with practitioners & visionaries
Time to write an obituary for AAP?
What will it mean to have India as a ‘security provider’?
Why Fadnavis mustn't be soft on motorists
Confluence of hope: Converging for a better world
Give us the strength!
Will the Aam Aadmi Party deliver true 'swaraj'?
Challenges of the brass in a political minefield
'Krisis': Can Greece inspire India?
What’s ‘fashionable’ about protesting human rights violations?
Where veterans refuse to give up, what does the future hold?
Is the army court’s verdict on the Machhil killings enough?
Sunburn warning for India’s day in the sun
There are more things in heaven and earth than stock markets!
Indo-Pak talks: Getting past the eyewash
Will Modi relook at ‘massive’ retaliation in India’s nuclear doctrine?
Why I wouldn’t mind Modi’s 'juggernaut'
What the Modi juggernaut entails
The AAP phenomenon: Too early for an epitaph
A dream come true, but can it seed another?
The rich and famous funding elections - why not?
A scheme for a better parliament
Why I will not fall for the ‘Vote for PM’ trick
Getting ‘practical’ on No-First-Use
Rating our MPs: A few ground truths
When a river is reduced to an adjective
One gaffe too many
Mr. Leader, I have a question...
Could being ‘right’ be wrong for AAP?
A few facts for GM-advocate Manmohan Singh
FDI: Neither necessary, nor sufficient
Why Arvind Kejriwal does not need magic
Bad Economics, bad politics
The relevance of Vanzara's letter
US-EU spanner in the works of India's food security programme
Soldiers, not servants
An ambush loaded with meaning
Paid news undermines democracy
What makes world class cities?
Both of India's politics on display in KA
A good school for Maqbool
The new 'normal' at the border
In search of quality care
How they fool us, the outraged
The importance of being Asif Ibrahim
The strange case of 2nd Lt. Kalia
Making politics people-friendly
Reaching beyond its brief
The way ahead for women
A secure minority, for a secure nation
The fog of jungle warfare
No space for women
Expanding too fast?
Uncivil war in South Block
A permanent poverty
An age-old lesson
The 'Age' of misjudgment
A Prime Minister in peril
To specialise or not?
Degrading democracy
Some states fight the trend, but still ...
Who will bell the media cat?
The question of English
The pay-to-print saga resumes
A man to match his mountains
Shall we imprison everyone?
A flawed food security system
How valid is the criticism?
The Anna dilemma exposes an insincere government
Whose command? Whose control?
Not even a dent!
Ban the ban
Negotiate in good faith
Who killed Sathyamma?
Defence reforms: The next phase
Unity in militarism
Power women
Uttar Pradesh to set up 2000+ mandis
China in the strategic debate
The Anna Hazare phenomenon
The way we used to eat
Who won? Politics.
Long road still ahead
The nuclear black swan
Setting their own paths
What if Pakistan implodes?
Rising risks along the coast
Lacunae and contradictions
Manufacture of a partner
Can you really empower me?
For the few, by the few
The Army's right to its opinion
Empowering communities the right way
The lessons of Bihar
Muddling along
Home-schooling citizenship
The great drain robbery
Can I build my own house?
The national process
The narcissism of the neurotic
Mis-counting mortality
Starving for England
The nationalisms of India
Sickness at altitude
Dying of indifference
Demanding, and getting their entitlements
Food security, by definition
The tangled triangle
The tolerance of incompetence
Fear in the city
Oliver Twist seeks food security
Private Treaties harm fair, unbiased news, says SEBI
Ushering in change, the Ningamani way
The Empire strikes back - and how!
Will I get my dry firewood?
My name is Akkamma
The truth about encounters
Preparing for a tsunami of migration
Talk another day
Food security - of APL, BPL and IPL
Who pays the price for paid news?
Invisible environmentalists
Institutional ethics
Soldiers in our own images
Pause the mineral economy
Expand the moral commons
Solar Mission: More light needed
Twists, turns, dead-ends
The colour of water
AFSPA: Between battle lines
How to feed your billionaires
Politics: In need of revival
Genes can't be patented, says US court
Development now!
The great unmentionable
Schizophrenia of agricultural policy
Institutional order and disorder
Countdown to better representation of women in media
The government versus the military
Yet another pro-farmer budget!
The knowledge economy and the knowledge society
Educating India
A serpent in paradise
Farm suicides: A 12-year saga
The nation as a person
Nearly 2 lakh farm suicides since 1997
Man with a vision
Surgical strikes: Missing the mark
Playing the victim
Mass media: masses of money?
It is shameful to misguide people
Social banditry
Much hullaballoo, little cause
Growing without a plan
The "era of Ashok" - a new era for 'news'?
Our atom state
The Indian mercantilist empire
Our view, their view, the world-view
The honest leftist
Between a village and a town
The medium, message and money
A job for an infantryman
All fronts and no backs
The winter of our austerity
The beauty of compromise
Saved by the women
Stories of development
The Borlaug I knew
Superpower fantasies
The nuclear numbers game
Maharashtra polls, Act II Scene I
Where history and prejudice collide
The Media and the Flu
In praise of conservatism
Wanted: A peace movement
The absent celebrant
More migrations, new destinations
Drought of justice, flood of funds
Put your money down, boys
Power dressing
Home, not so sweet home
Turning Tamil swords into Oriya ploughshares
Making Kargil serve a purpose
The prickliness of our foreign relations
Food for all? Not through the NFSA.
Your identification, please
The chancellors' vice
The Age of the aam crorepati
Privatisation of behaviour
Looking at China, missing Pakistan
A law with flaws
Price of rice, price of power
Questions of policy
Inward lens for incoming government
Its own greatest enemy
Madhubani: The old and the new
The charkha and the naturalist
Many more Mayawatis
With a past to honour
Awakening the somnolent state
The dull days of White Gold
Darwin in India
Disturbed in Manipur
HDI Oscars: Slumdogs versus millionaires
The coming fateful decisions
Searching for Charlie
New language, old crisis
Whose crisis is it, anyway?
Towards positive change
Corporates look for rural gold
Mothers and motherhood
2009: A preview of security issues
Making visible the invisible
The sensitive sociologist
Woman of steel
Responding to terror
A stimulus package for farmers?
Over 16,600 farmer suicides in 2007
An indirect response to terror
Faceless citizens
Outsourcing food production
Who fits the bill?
The Jurassic auto and idea park
How deep is the rot?
Democracy as vaccine
Breaking the silence
Military cooperation with the US: A mixed bag
The Hindu Jinnah?
The violence of the virtuous
A forgotten Bengali hero
In Muslim India, an internal battle
Pause before you eat
Mid-year chakravyuh
Of need and greed
Niketa's choice
Like father, like son
Wrong priorities?
Decentralising knowledge
NREGA: A fine balance
NREGA hits buses to Mumbai
Making nuclear sense
Work matters
Borderland travails
As inequalities rise, the moral commons is vanishing
Diary of the displaced
Jadcherla 13 draw votes from main parties
Watching the watchdog
They lock on to the NREGA
The nation and the nation-state
Of loan waivers and tax waivers
Connecting to the Northeast
What about the other entitlements?
The beauty of compromise
Between a rock and a hard place
A creeping insularity
The beginning of history
And now the good news
Is Vox Populi good enough?
Oh! What a lovely waiver
The evolution of violence
Successful deterrence? Hardly.
The crowded centre
The glory days of the Raj?
A rosy narrative
Invisible women
Discrimination for dummies: V 2008
Internal security agenda for the new year
India 2007: High growth, low development
Unrecognised heroines
Selectively virtuous
Media and Health: Who will heal who?
What is progress?
Expansion in Indian nuclear theology
Kabul then, Myanmar now
A world without women
1.5 lakh farm suicides in 1997-2005
Farm suicides worse after 2001
Maharashtra: The graveyard of farmers
One farmer's suicide every 30 minutes
Indexing inhumanity, Indian style
The 'invisible' half
Is the media watching poverty enough?
Unacceptable underside of 'deterrence by punishment'
'Incredible India' right here at home
Is this sports, or false patriotism?
Protection at home, preaching abroad
Concern over content and conduct
The Nagaland model for Kashmir
Nine decades of non-violence
Talking about harassment
Whose media are they anyway?
The last battle of Laxmi Panda
Public missing in Broadcast Bill debate
Be safe, don't exist
India's investment opportunities in sustainable business
Vidarbha's one-litre-per-cow package
Young, male and deadly
Why Pooja got 'mad'
Weaving a life in Anantapur
Why Tagore?
Better traffic ahead
Moving beyond symbols
Bare right field
Unwilling parents, unwary orphans
Weeding out wheat
Small state, big stakes
CEOs and the wealth of notions
In Yavatmal, life goes on
Farmer's diet worse than a convict's
A certain ruthlessness
No place for single women
Farming: It's what they do
Suicides are about the living, not the dead
Attacking real democracy
Patriot, not chauvinist
Jailhouse talk a fate worse than debt
Growing credibility gap
'Gendered' health
Whose budget is it anyway?
And now for a commercial break
And meanwhile in Vidarbha
Sex education and survival tools
Lessons from the cotton debacle
This summer, at a border near you
What's 'inclusive' about the Budget?
Think of the mother
Holding the centre
Pronounced guilty
Under pressure, India makes U-turn
Growth ideology of the cancer cell
The great garbage rush
The other revolution of 1857
Big box retail will boost poverty
One-step, two-step, write
When even Pax Romana seems gentler
Striking a note of dissent
And all the world's a stage
Information or technology?
A forest road less travelled
Feeling left out
Elite activism: can't vote, can vet
Keeping fingers crossed
The Indian Army: crisis within
Exploring the new expressways
The fear of democracy
The new Maharajas
Chhatisgarh's ray of hope
No sugar coated pills for cotton farmers
Sources, two. Understanding, nil.
Shangri-La and sub-Saharan Africa
A fading cotton bumper crop
Till the cows come home
It's official: distress up, suicides apalling
Community radio gets its day
Reviving Agriculture
Behind closed doors
Missing links - II
Missing links
A suggestion for Munnabhai
Has the Bt cotton bubble burst?
The memory of a memorial
Forced departures
Lessons from recent wars
The 'Free trade' explosion
Three 9/11s, choose your own
What the heart does not feel, ...
IMF is still the rich world's viceroy
A withering crisis
Babies in the well
A final note on credit
The media, war and peace
"Give us a price, not a package"
Learning from Mumbai
The worst act
Politics of packages, packaging of politics
Death of a 10-year-old
Grand manoeuvre, yes, but to what end?
How Mumbai came to discover Vidarbha
Slowing down the suicides
Kashmir: Another view
Long distance call
Waiting for 'anna' in Vidarbha
Three weddings and a funeral
A managed media
When the media are silent
Thirst for profit
How things change in government
Classy cast of mind
Rape and the media
Will live ballots revive a dying economy?
Politicisation and the Indian military
The speak-out sisters on the Net
India Shining meets the Great Depression
Privatisation, come hell or high water
Why dowry will not die
Look to helpline, land in jail
A thin Indian line
Naturally allied
Muslim headcount: A useful controversy
Missing in action
'Forced privatisation' of cotton
A scenario of post-mortems 24x7
Creative solutions, sarkari-style
Educating Mr. Modi
Covering the Republic of Hunger
Friday at the court
Maharaja's New Year gift
The health of nations
The swelling 'register of deaths'
Security agenda: 2006 and beyond
Much ado about nothing
Your hands, so warm
A divided city
Able but unwilling?
Stop the violence
Cry, the beloved countryside
Women speak out
Nobody touches the Act
Falling farm incomes, growing inequities
Ecology for the people
Compassion at the top
Theatre of the absurd
Far from labouring the point
Vidharbha awaits a deadly harvest
Shamrao Khatale breaks his appointment
Confusing water rights with quotas
Good girls don't drink
All down saar
The great Indian laughter challenge
Of nukes and counter-nukes
The politics of farm technologies
Viewing health as an inalienable right
Covering the silent revolution
Why urban AP's message is important
The riots and wrongs of caste
Mortgages are out, land grab is in
Chor Bt aur Bt chor
Rice in a private grip
Of chit funds and loan lotteries
The farmer and his festival lights
Savita's choice
Not that lucky
Ballia shining!
Cutting through the urban jungle
A much larger house on fire
Second Strike and false security
Counting people, discounting their worth
The Raj and the famines of good governance
The class war in Gurgaon
It says about a city
Where have all the children gone?
Who will make hunger history?
Good practice, bad theory
Talking across the divide
'Reality' rape
Layers of history
Health as someone else's wealth
Save groundwater or ground democracy?
As you sow, so shall you weep
Conflict of approaches
No rain, but 'snow' and waterparks
Suicides: The price of power?
Russian roulette in Vidharbha
Whose suicide is it, anyway?
BHEL: The turtle and the hare-brained
Blaming women
Last refuge of the victim
Six out of ten?
Political courage, and the next step
Chutney. That's all.
Bhakra dam, Supreme Court, questions
Water: How the deal was done
Maharashtra's coming water wars
The bank and the big bang
Winds of change
Moral police not moral policing
Dandi: Crowds say something too
Gendered tsunami
Disaster management: Putting people first
I'm with Wolfowitz
Stung by the West
Hold economists accountable too
Public discourse on public health
Inspiration from Pakistan
An illusory battleground
Where science falters
But don't be a zero
No pesticides, no Bt cotton, no pests!
Media with a message
Weddings on hold as prices crash
Sania's sisters
Forget Shanghai, remember Mumbai
Citizen voices, policy choices
Spice of life carries whiff of death
Cut-off by the date
Food safety bill may hurt hawkers
The unbearable lightness of seeing
Coffee sails globally, sinks locally
Not that simple
Gender, media and tsunamis
Ahluwalia echoes World Bank's line
Commerce and crisis hit students
Mumbai's tragedy
The shape of common sense
Trust, but verify
Tsunami, mangroves and market economy
Invisible sportswomen
Wayanad: Arrack as distress trade
Can women ever be safe?
When violence is not news
Classes everywhere, not a stop to think
Death knell for low cost medicines
Hail to the new chief
Un-shining India
The lucky rag picker
Crisis drives the bus to Kutta
So near to God, so far from Heaven
Fewer jobs, more buses in Wayanad
Hope dies slowly in Wayanad
The cross and the crisis
Subsidy to nowhere
Why women tolerate
Your quake, my insecurity
Entitled to subsidies!
Preparing for the wrong war
Citizen Lakshmi
Gudiya's choice
What happened in Vidarbha
Maharashtra: The last lap
Believers in free air
Freeing our heroes
Why India survives
Radio policy: untying the knots
Alang: give us a break
Special powers, mixed results
Renew lapsed farmers' insurance policies
Renew lapsed farmers' insurance policies
Andhra farmers lose crores in insurance
Entering the environment
Things could be different
Tax India, fail Bharat
Against the grain
Faulty frame, savage reality
Instant justice
Obscuring reality
Jobs drought preceded farm crisis
The after-death industry
How the better half dies
How the better half dies - II
The sociology of suicide
The pressure for accountability
One step forward, two steps back
Illiteracy begins at home
The questions, they will not die
The policy has no clothes
Don't moan, fight back
What happens to girls?
Anatomy of a health disaster
Chandrababu: Image and reality
Dreaming of water, drowning in debt
Micro-credit, maxi risk
Little panchayat, percentage raj
Seeds of suicide - I
Seeds of suicide - II
Unshackle FM radio
Enough of inter-basin politics
Meet you at the library
A new security agenda
Can science be women-friendly?
Sense and nonsense
Death of a carpenter
When farmers die
Sinking borewells, rising debt
Election Diary: Srinagar, April 2004
The calculus of 'Cold start'
Andhra's electoral earthquake
Mass media versus mass reality
Pick your favourite millionaire
Peace: more important than Cricket?
GM food and hunger
India becoming a GM-trashbin?
Perception isn't reality
The millions who cannot vote
Progress by any other measure
Rural poor to pay for urban elite
Time to reflect and celebrate
Storm in the vale
The feel good factory
Bringing laws on course
I'm the traitor
Turning farmers into brokers
Towards a grey revolution?
Rice is now Oryza syngenta
The Tower of Gabble
The rise of India and WSF
Leadership by non-believers
This irony beacons hope
Nothing much to feel good about
Chief of Defense : Implications
Another world
Remember this?
Bhoodan betrayal in Bihar
In search of the blooms
Busy exploiting hunger
Not yet history
Not born to rule
Road to the top
No run outs please, we're Indian
Charity in the name of science
Flogging a dead horse
A national confidence syndrome
Something is changing
Living in truth : hope in Koinpur
No GM please, we are British
Rigged results, failed promises
Missing the security target
Hundred years of battle
At home, at work
Investigative journalism : Not dead
The great trade robbery
WTO: End of the road?
Lies in the name of 'security'
In the name of servitude
Images that promote fear
Beyond the cola wars
River links and judicial chinks
The matter of relief
Disquiet before Cancun
Man and cow - a new equality of species
Must remain 'unfinished’
Grounded at fifty
Are people a problem?
Warning: Monopoly Media
Can local democracy be enforced?
How can I help you?
It Flickers Again
Abandoning agriculture
Reorienting research priorities
Questions in search of answers
My fair lady
Must boys tease girls?
Drought in the driver's seat
Chowkidar to the Empire?
Better, not just different
From Pomato to Protato
PM Peace Initiative : Much Ado?
Hitting dowry for a six
No bill, no will
The bus to Mumbai
The wrong route out?
A gruel-ing season
Hi-tech, low nutrition
Understanding 'encroachment'
Pests, Pesticides and Modern Science
Lessons from Baghdad
Poor, but pedicured
Who defines obscenity?
Further to the margins - by law
The promise of a different life
Kashmir after Nadimarg
Another kind of war
The grey in Haryali
Making agriculture attractive
Limited nuclear war, limitless anxiety
Patent nonsense
Cricket, women and war
Why we will say 'no'
Crisis of Governance: Stirrings in the Corporate Sector
Their lands and our laws
A scientific fairytale
Suppressing criticism
Zero tolerance for farm subsidies
A debt we can do without
Out of the Wreckage
Burning aspirations
Saying no to war
The Internet : 21st century democracy's promise
Feeding the farmers
The GM potato hoax
India-Pak: Arms control and disarmament
Why a dress code? Why only women?
Urban Water: Judicial recipes falling short
To right the wrongs of development

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