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India
Going after “black money” has always been tempting for India’s political leadership. But Delhi found it hard to translate the idea into effective policy since corruption had come to grease the wheels of India’s political economy. What changed the odds in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s huge gamble on demonetisation is technology — the recent advances in digital finance.  
 

A historic popular uprising is happening in Kashmir, but the Indian public is barely aware of it. I was unaware of it myself before I went there in October and travelled across the Kashmir Valley. I had read, of course, about some sort of “shutdown” happening there since early July, and also about the stone-pelting and pellet guns. But nothing I had read did justice to the situation on the ground.

 
 

This is a novel notion of patriotism. It assumes that the acid test of patriotism is to stand up when the national anthem is played. This reminds me of Samuel Johnson’s famous quip that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. Surely there are other ways of showing respect for the national anthem than by standing up in cinema halls when the anthem is played. Many people who stand up may well be scoundrels and devoid of any sentiment of patriotism.

 
Today, citizens often pay bribes for public services which are their right; our water, power, roads, drainage, education and healthcare are of appalling quality; most of our tax money is squandered and whoever is elected, there is no real perceptible change. Our leaders asked the British to leave on the ground that good government is no substitute to self-government. Today the struggle is between centralized, bad government and self-government. There is no contest.  
 

If only the highest court in the land had noticed that real patriotism and nationalism would come naturally to Indian children if they were taught about India in their schools.

 

India’s Supreme Court is becoming a national embarrassment. In its early years, it was unquestionably one of the world’s leading courts. Its judges were erudite. Whether they leaned left or right, their decisions were jurisprudentially disciplined and impeccably argued. The court’s judgments were cited across the common law world, from Tuvalu to the House of Lords. Today’s court is a grotesque image of its predecessor, swollen with power but wanting in intellect.

 

Kerala Police had for long believed that one day the Maoists would target Kerala’s tribal population.  The Nilambur incident has confirmed this. The threat is both real and serious; and containing it is imperative, whether we like it or not. 

 
Respect is one thing, obedience another; devotion is one thing, compliance another; commitment is one thing, submission another. I respect my nation’s anthem, I am devoted to Tagore’s great vision in it. I am committed to the integrity of my nation as it stands visualised, region by region, river by river, in its image of India conjured by its diverse people — “jana”.
 

The Supreme Court’s order making it mandatory to play the national anthem in cinema halls before screening of films has once again exposed the shortcomings of judicial activism that often attracts criticism from various quarters.

 

The jail break at Nabha on November 28, when a bunch of criminals broke out of jail and a couple of terrorists accompanied them, should be embarrassing for the state authorities. 

 


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Addressing entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, and academics December 7 at the Carnegie India Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru, India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar underscored the need to harness the power of technological change for faster economic development.
 
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The strangest of the several barbs hurled hurdled at Pakistan during and after the recently concluded Heart of Asia conference at Amritsar, India,  was that Pakistan is trying to change perception about the Taliban writes Monish Gulati  
 
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Actually, Modi is on to a long-term experiment in India. He and the government aim to re-engineer human souls and minds as much as socio-economic realities. writes Sudip Bhattacharyya for South Asia Monitor.
 
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This has been a mind-boggling year for Europe. First Britain’s shock European Union referendum result and the ensuing backlash against immigrants seemed to signal the rise of the right in Europe. The certainty that the right was on a steady march to power seemed confirmed by the U.S. election result and was seized upon by right-w
 
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Diplomacy can be quirky when not decidedly cold. Donald Trump has caused a flutter in the international roost weeks before his inaugural as the President of the United States of America. He himself has been left wondering how the  "US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment, but I should not accept a congratula
 
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The Heart Of Asia conference in Amritsar called for immediate elimination of terrorism to help the war-ravaged country in its political and economic transition. Access the full text here...
 
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It is accepted conventional wisdom the world over, ever since well-known military theorist, Carl Von Clausewitz, first articulated the aphorism in the late 18th century that “war is a continuation of politics by other means”.  
 
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An aching sense of love, loss and yearning permeate this work of fiction which, however, reads like a personal narrative set in an intensely disruptive period of Indian history, and adds to the genre of partition literature, writes Ni...

 
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This is a path-breaking work on India's foreign policy since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in May 2014 and surprised everyone by taking virtual charge of the external affairs portfolio. A man who had been denied visa by some count...

 
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The pattern of Chinese actions on the global stage demonstrates that it lives by the credo of might is right, a potent tool in its armoury for the pursuit of aggressive designs, writes Sudip Talukdar for South Asia Monitor....

 
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The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others of their ilk not only destabilise Pakistan and make it one of the world's most dangerous places but also threaten neighbouring Afghanistan and India -- and even far...

 
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