S. Nihal Singh


America’s Iran-Israel conundrum

To anyone outside America, starting a new war in the Greater Middle East region after defeats or near defeats in two wars would be sheer madness.

The prince returns to the Kremlin

Vladimir Putin’s return to the Russian presidency was a foregone conclusion, but allegations of fraud in the voting process by local as well as outside groups are a reminder of how far the country has progressed since the first term of the leader in 2000. Even by the count of his critics, grouped under the League of Voters, he won just over 50 per cent of votes, instead of the official 63.6 per cent, propelling him to victory. In the old Soviet days, leaders won elections by close to 100 per cent.

To play its new role, Delhi can’t be timid

If the attack on an Israeli diplomat in the heart of New Delhi brought the ferment in West Asia to India’s doorstep, it presents a dilemma for the Indian leadership to define its attitude towards a we

Nothing succeeds like succession

As the state Assembly elections rumble on, trends that will affect future contests in the country have come to the fore. The Nehru-Gandhi family has, of course, given the lead in dynastic politics, but grooming close family members has become the norm cutting across party lines, with rare exceptions. And the avidity with which the smaller regional parties are following the Congress lead is truly amazing. Many politicians are not shy in declaring that there is nothing wrong with a father passing on the torch to his son, daughter, son-in-law or another close family member much like a doctor passes on his practice to his progeny.

UN veto takes Syria nearer civil war

The stalemate over Syria in the UN Security Council is leading the beleaguered country in one direction: a civil war. It was as if the double veto exercised by Russia and China was preordained because Moscow was acting on its belief that it was an assault on Syrian sovereignty,

US and the yawn factor

Despite Newt Gingrich upsetting Mitt Romney’s apple cart in the South Carolina Republican primary, the US presidential election race has lost the magic of the old days for the world.

Can Taiwan stay out of Beijing’s clutches?

Taiwan punches much above its weight because circumstances and the feisty nature of the Taiwanese people have combined to place it along the fault line of Sino-US relations.

The new year’s rites of passage

The flaw in the Anna Hazare movement was that though he could inspire many to campaign against corruption, particularly among the youth and the middle classes, he could not sustain it.

Dictating new terms

Of all the events in the year 2011, the pride of place must go to the Arab Spring. Revolutions never take a straight course and the spring has seen a harsh winter. As events in Egypt have proved, the old order is still fighting to retain its privileges. But there can be no doubt that the fruit vendor in Tunisia who lit the spark that spread like a prairie fire will not be doused by palliatives and the Arab world can never be the same again.

US addiction to foolish adventure

Now that the United States has said its official goodbye to the Iraq War, it is time to draw lessons from a misadventure that will rank among the most foolish of American interventions around the world. At one level, it was a toxic cocktail of neo-conservative thinking and a US itch for unilateralism to turn the world around to its own way of thinking and show who the boss was. At another level, it was a tragic misreading of how the region works, accentuated by the umbilical cord that unites the US with Israel.

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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.