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India

India has, since 1998, signed “strategic partnership” agreements with 30 countries and organisations, ranging from Afghanistan and ASEAN to Uzbekistan and UAE.

 

India is riding high. And so it should be. Days after the global ratings agency, Moody’s, upgraded India’s status, making the country more attractive for foreign investors, an Indian, Dalveer Bhandari, has been re-elected to the International Court of Justice.

 

When the country’s defence minister conducts an official press conference from South Block, flanked by the ministry’s top bureaucrat and a military officer in uniform on either side, the least you expect is a presentation based on facts and figures.

 

Our Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. Like all fundamental rights, it is not absolute. It can be restricted inter alia on the grounds of decency, public order or defamation. However, the restriction imposed should not be excessive or arbitrary.

 

Amidst all the excitement and anxiety about the Indo-Pacific quad — which brings together India, United States, Japan and Australia — it is easy to miss the significant prospects for Delhi’s bilateral maritime security cooperation with Paris in the Indian Ocean.

 

For all its ‘Congress-mukt’ talk, in its desire to capture public institutions, BJP is inspired by a Congress PM

 

Some years ago, I spent several months studying the official correspondence of P.N. Haksar, who was principal secretary to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from 1967 to 1973. In his letters and reports, Haksar came across as a man of patriotism and erudition.

 

There is something different about the Gujarat election this time. After ruling the state for over two decades, the BJP faces challenge from several civil society movements.

 

Why is a low-key meeting between officials from four nations — India, US, Japan and Australia — taking place after a gap of 10 years drawing so much attention? After all, India has joined so many mini-lateral forums since the end of the Cold War. That America is a big part of the quad provides a partial answer.

 

The first thing that the Central and Delhi governments should own up to regarding the air pollution crisis is that everyone was forewarned and cannot pretend to be taken unawares. This “winter of our discontent” is the season when, as temperatures dip, pollutants hover around the surface of the city and do not waft upwards.

 


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