Inder Malhotra


Inder Malhotra

A precipice called Pak

After the killing of Osama bin Laden by the US Special Forces practically under the nose of Pakistan’s all-powerful Army and its premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the excruciating scene in Pakistan has become more confused, complex and challenging, not less. Moreover, the problem is by no means confined to Pakistan and Afghanistan

Revenge of the voter

The main point about the Assembly polls, which the political class can ignore only at its peril, is that no ruler can survive the pent-up rage of the people however docile they may seem. This is what lies behind the spectacular triumph of Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal and of J. Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu. Those that have used the word “tsunami” in this context are not off the mark.

Cong, BJP & the corruption roundabout

With the reappointment of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi as chairman of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the grave danger of the collapse of the entire parliamentary committee system has been averted. For, had not Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar decided to stick to the established convention

Diplomacy on a wing and a prayer

Almost from the word go wishful thinking has been a bane of Indian diplomacy and even foreign policymaking. For instance, when during the heyday of the Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai era this country realised to its dismay that Chinese maps were showing large parts of India within the Chinese borders

Mera Bharat Baiman

After understandable national joy and jubilation over the World Cup, it is time to turn our attention to the harsh realities on the ground of which steadily mounting corruption — both in its shocking spread and staggering scale — is obviously the worst. Corruption is indeed eating into the country’s vitals by corroding the entire Indian system from top to bottom. The reprehensible process, in the words of experts on the subject, is both “systemic and systematic”.

The witches’ brew

Almost immediately after the United States, the United Kingdom and France began their relentless air attacks on Libya to enforce a no-fly zone across that country, India “regretted” these strikes and, in a carefully-worded statement, urged all parties concerned to “mitigate” an already tragic situation and not “exacerbate” it. Russia and China, along with this country, Germany and Brazil, had abstained from voting on the UN Security Council’s resolution authorising the imposition of no-fly zone on Libya, and have deplored West’s action in strong terms.

Black is beautiful

When the Supreme Court is driven to asking: “What the hell is going on in this country?” (about black money stashed in tax heavens abroad), it is clear that the situation is bleak. The court’s underlying ire is understandable because it had before it the case of Hasan Ali Khan, a Pune-based stud farm owner, which is a wonder of sorts and might even merit inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records. The facts are stark.

Budget, in verse

Five days before the country’s 64th Union Budget seems a good time for a bird’s eye-view of the succession of this exciting annual event on the last day of February that I have covered or been a witness to. (Until the turn of the millennium, the Budget used to be presented at 5 pm; mercifully, the timing now is 11 am, thanks to Yashwant Sinha, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s finance minister.)

Mending fences

Around the turn of the year it was clear that makers of Indian foreign policy had decided to accord in 2011 high priority to the country’s relations with the neighbourhood and with the continent of Africa. There were good reasons for this resolve. In the first place, the contours of relations with all the major powers had already

The hungry republic

WHAT A tragedy it is that the country is “celebrating” the 62nd Republic Day on a note of despondency.

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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.

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