Inder Malhotra


Inder Malhotra

Tainted tycoons, corporate crooks

Salman Khurshid is one of those Union ministers who are both able and articulate. These are attributes with which the council of ministers is not overburdened.

Prisoners of indecision

On the brief drama outside the finance ministry in North Block last week — produced and directed, of course, by 10 Janpath — the kindest comment has been: “Ceasefire yes, but will th

Dr Singh, why don’t we talk?

Like the Bourbons, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government seems to learn nothing and unlearn nothing. There can be no other explanation for the manner — both ham-handed and insensitive — in which it raised the petrol price last week for the 12th time in the last 18 months. The storm of protest it has thus invited would surprise no one but itself. The imperious way in which it inflicted the fresh burden on long-suffering consumers — hasn’t finance minister Pranab Mukherjee admitted that inflation has reached an “unacceptable level”? — is entirely in keeping with its bumbling style that has, paradoxically, been its hallmark since its return to power with a stronger mandate in May 2009.

Indian Parliament: A life of brief glory

How sadly short-lived has been the relief over the end of the “Anna storm” on a reasonably constructive note! No sooner had this denouement been reached, and Parliament and Anna Hazare’s movement appeared to be on the same page, than the reverse process began, with little prospect of the downhill descent being stemmed.
On Saturday, August 27, when the settlement was clinched after day-long debates in both Houses, Parliament had risen to heights not seen in recent decades.

Anna’s fast: Too legitimate to quit

At this stage of Anna Hazare’s fast it is unnecessary to discuss the monumental folly of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in first arresting him and then abjectly surrendering to him. To draw attention to his and Team Anna’s manifest obduracy would be equally pointless. Their demand that only their heavily flawed Jan Lokpal Bill should be passed by a certain date, and no other version of it, is totally unacceptable.

Not an august month

Over the nearly six-and-a-half decades since the tryst with destiny, there have been several Independence anniversaries when the country has been in a sombre mood. Although the brief but brutal border war with China in 1962 had ended in December of that year, on I-Day eight months later, the humiliation the nation had felt over the military debacle and political disaster had shown no sign of abating.

A halfway house

With the exception of 9/11, American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and Princess Diana’s death, no live TV coverage has so fixated the viewers across the world, or at least in English-speaking countries, as the recent “firestorm” unleashed by the monstrous phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s mighty media empire.

Telangana tailspin

Of all the wounds that the Congress-dominated United Progressive Alliance has inflicted on itself in its second tenure (UPA-II), arguably the worst is the dithering over the burning Telangana issue. The thundering silence of the top leadership of the government and the Congress Party amidst tempestuous turmoil on the ground speaks for itself.

Inner strength first

Beleaguered though it is for various reasons, some of them of its own creation, the Union government’s decision to appoint a task force on national security, internal and external, merits a welcome. It hasn’t come a day too soon. The composition of the task force is also reassuring.

Woes of diarchy

Let us not get bogged down in the dreary details of what the Economist rightly calls the “farce” into which Baba Ramdev’s “fast unto death” against black money and corruption turned. After being shifted to Hardwar, the tragicomedy has come to a halt with the end of the fast. The yoga guru’s threat to continue his satyagraha has yet to unfold itself.

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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.