Inder Malhotra


Inder Malhotra

India’s nuclear fix

How things change! In 2008 when the Indo-US nuclear deal was signed and sealed — and was followed by the “clean waiver” to this country by the 45-nation Vienna-based Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) from all its restrictive guidelines — there were great expectations here of a speedy spurt in the installation of nuclear reactors with foreign collaboration and investment.

How to make friends and play politics

As was expected by almost everyone, except the graceless loser, P.A. Sangma, Pranab Mukherjee has sailed through to Rashtrapati Bhavan. He has indeed won with an even bigger margin than was anticipated. Not only the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav and the Bahujan Samaj Party of Mayawati, but also such BJP allies as the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar willingly extended support to him.

Our towering adarsh nagrik

As far as I know the exact translation of adarsh is ideal. But as the monumental Adarsh scam in the “maximum city” underscores, the humongous combination of greed and perversity would trample underfoot every ideal in this ancient land. Indeed, what has come to light in recent days chilled the blood even during a heat wave.

A star in a glittering galaxy

On September 1, 1946, when India’s first interim government — with Jawaharlal Nehru as vice-chairman of the Viceroy’s Executive Council — took over, I was still in college and hadn’t yet joined the trade of journalism. Even so, like almost everyone of my generation, I was elated at this advance towards Independence.

An area of darkness

Two events took place a long distance away from each other last week at about the same time. Nothing could have been more ironic than this coincidence. At Los Cabos in Brazil Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured the G-20, a forum at which he is listened to with respect, that his government was “determined to take tough decisions” to reverse the economic slowdown and the decline of the rupee, and to “revive investor sentiment”.

Rashtrapati bhava!

Now that Pranab Mukherjee’s election as the next President is as good as assured — indeed the surge in the support for him, even from Opposition parties, is assuming the proportions of a mini-tsunami — a look back at his long and chequered, sometimes like a rollercoaster, career is timely and instructive.

US-Pak: Separated, not divorced

During his visit to New Delhi last week, the United States’ defence secretary, Leon Panetta, concentrated on the shift of American “pivot” from West Asia to East Asia or Indo-Pacific, as the region is increasingly being referred to of late.

Making sense of security

Although the much-awaited report of the task force on the much-needed reform of the national security system, submitted last week, is yet to be published, some of its contents have already found their way into the electronic media, even if desultorily. South Block would do well, therefore, to publish it at the earliest for a thorough public discussion on a subject of paramount importance.

Two cheers for Parliament

Sunday’s celebration of Parliament’s completion of 60 years — first at special sittings of the two Houses and then at a joint sitting in the Central Hall — were entirely understandable, even inspiring

How honour was court-martialled

In a rather unusual, if also belated, move, President Pratibha Patil, who is also the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, has publicly expressed her “concern” over the civil-military mess created by an honest but obstinate Army Chief and an honest but dysfunctional defence minister that has dismayed the country. The President, in her interview to a newspaper, chose her words carefully, and was terse. But there was no mistaking her disquiet.
“This was something”, she said, apparently in reply to a question, “that should not have happened. It should have been handled in a disciplined manner”. Beyond that she did not go. So nothing is known about whether she conveyed her unhappiness to her government, and if so, why it did not produce the desired result.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.