Arcot: The Prototype of Divide-And-Rule

WHEN THE CURRENT prince of Arcot, Mohammed Abdul Ali, called on Pranab Mukherjee soon after he became President in mid-2012, the Congress veteran and former Union minister welcomed him to Rashtrapati Bhavan with a gleeful remark: “It is because of you people that British ruled India.” Ali didn’t say a word but grinned because he … Continue reading Arcot: The Prototype of Divide-And-Rule

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“All Aadhaar-enabled Services Are Prone to Cyber Attacks”

SANDEEP SHUKLA IS the Poonam and Prabhu Goel Chair Professor at IIT Kanpur. Along with his colleague Professor Manindra Agrawal, he set up the interdisciplinary Centre for Cybersecurity and Cyber Defence of Critical Infrastructure at the institute, which is shortly expected to launch India’s first industrial-scale cyber security test bed for power and manufacturing equipment. … Continue reading “All Aadhaar-enabled Services Are Prone to Cyber Attacks”

Arvind Panagariya: Farewell, Professor

FOR MORE THAN a year in the run-up to the 2014 General Election, Arvind Panagariya had played a pivotal role in hardselling the Narendra Modi brand of ‘economics’ and reviving a debate over the Gujarat- versus-Kerala models. Along with his mentor, the trade economist Jagdish Bhagwati, Panagariya also locked horns with Nobel laureate Amartya Sen … Continue reading Arvind Panagariya: Farewell, Professor

When Pinarayi Vijayan Put Sitaram Yechury in His Place

LIKE MOST OF his puritanical predecessors in the Stalinist confines of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM), Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is a reluctant conversationalist. His interactions with the media are always guarded. He belongs to a generation of Marxists taught to be tight-lipped about the goings-on of the party apparatus, unlike the CPM’s … Continue reading When Pinarayi Vijayan Put Sitaram Yechury in His Place

M Venkaiah Naidu: A Friend and Loyalist

ON THE EVENING OF July 18th, Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu received a call from Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief, who was in Kashmir at the time. It had been an emotional day for the 68-year-old parliamentarian. He had wept before his colleagues after formally stepping down from all political positions, including his primary membership of the … Continue reading M Venkaiah Naidu: A Friend and Loyalist

Actor Dileep’s Arrest Is a Wakeup Call for India’s Misogynistic Film Industry

THE ARREST OF Dileep, one of Kerala’s most popular actors, over a plethora of charges, including gang rape, criminal conspiracy, blackmail, attempt to destroy evidence and an assortment of other alleged crimes, is a wake-up call for an Indian film industry known for its brazen misogyny, unaccounted-for wealth and cartelisation. It ought to send shockwaves … Continue reading Actor Dileep’s Arrest Is a Wakeup Call for India’s Misogynistic Film Industry

The Grand Alliance of Bihar Unravels as Nitish Kumar Loses Patience with Lalu

AT A RECEPTION IN a South Delhi farmhouse hosted two months ago by a former high-profile bureaucrat long associated with Bihar, a senior Union minister was holding court when he announced that Lalu Prasad, president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), had been confabulating lately with some leaders of the BJP, imploring them for help … Continue reading The Grand Alliance of Bihar Unravels as Nitish Kumar Loses Patience with Lalu

Tariq Ali Resurrects Lenin from the Distortions of History (Book Review)

The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution | Tariq Ali | Verso | 384 Pages | Rs 1,750 SOVIET-ERA PUBLICATIONS have for long offered us a highly truncated picture of Vladimir Lenin. Besides those endless hagiographies, I remember reading one book that was slightly different for the age before the fall of the … Continue reading Tariq Ali Resurrects Lenin from the Distortions of History (Book Review)

Why the Politicisation of the Indian Military is Bad News for India

ONE FREEZING AFTERNOON in September 2015, I was fortunate enough to dine at the warm officers’ mess at Siachen base camp, one of the highest and most famous war zones in the world, where a lunch- time chat that started with Kashmiri cuisine drifted to books by Myra McDonald and Nitin Gokhale and then to … Continue reading Why the Politicisation of the Indian Military is Bad News for India