Walking the tightrope

For perhaps the most voluble antagonist of Narendra Modi at one time, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar seems to be running out of options on the relationship with his alliance partner Laloo Prasad Yadav and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). It is natural, therefore, that he should be taking a back seat on many issues pertaining to opposition unity, like the matter of a joint opposition candidate for the presidential elections.

Let’s get rid of mercury

Mercury is a heavy metal and one of the most toxic elements known to mankind. It is a neurotoxin that has been the cause of one of the worst chemical disasters — the Minamata disease. This global pollutant is extremely dangerous and harmful to both human health and environment. This necessitated global action and coming together of over 140 nations to adopt “The Minamata Convention” — a legally binding treaty.

Cut & Thrust: Islam’s dance of death

It is a short walk between victim hood and blood lust and often these days in Kashmir Valley, the lines blur and they become one and the same thing. A deep sense of victim hood leading to a scarred psyche and a singular call for blood. Which translates into stone pelting as the default setting and increasingly the return to arms to wage war against India. And if it means that the intifada provides tactical support to the terrorists, then the lines coalesce again.

Painting the world red?

The recently concluded belt and road forum in Beijing has focused global attention on China’s gigantic scheme called Belt Road Initiative(BRI). Yet not many people can easily grasp what it is all about. In fact, it would be safe to say that it is a combination of economic planning for sustainable economic growth, market development and dominance, export of excess capacity and geopolitical assertion.

The Hits and misses

As the Modi government at the Centre complete three years, one is expected to see a flurry of comments and opinions from academics and analysts on how the government as fared. While the opinions could be widely divergent, when it compared to the last part of UPA-II, atleast on the economic front, in the heart of hearts, one is expected to have some unanimity in many of the economics issues (and not getting into non-economic issues here).

On the wings of a dream

A mile of highway will take you a mile, but a mile of runway will take you anywhere”. True that! Whoever said this has probably captured the anomaly of aviation or more specifically business aviation in the country.
India is on the road to economic development, and the reform trajectory is expected to steadily and gradually pave the way for a double digit growth over the next two decades. But what is the highway or rather the runway to development? Aviation globally is recognised as a trigger to the growth of businesses and economic development.

Freedom Files: The kashmir intrigue

An empire which is toppled by its enemies can rise again, but one that is toppled from within crumbles that much faster, it could be a Trojan or a schemer or a saboteur who brings it to its knees.

Don’t be held ransom

Financial motivation has always been the major factor behind crime. Holding someone hostage and asking for ransom money was very common. Over the years, things have become digital. Most valuable information is stored on digital devices. Evolution of digital age didn’t stop crimes from happening. Even today the motivation is financial gain. The only difference is, the criminals hold the digital information hostage for ransom. This has led to the latest hack which affected more than 230,000 devices across 99 countries.

Green revolution@50

The green revolution was a transformational event changing our agricultural destiny from one of ship to mouth to one of right to food with home grown food. This transformation came at the time when the world was full of doomsday predictions concerning the fate of Indian agriculture and food security. For example, the famous scientists, Paul and William Ehrlich made the following predictions: 1) Sometime between 1970 and 1985 the world will undergo vast famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.

Cut & Thrust: The Idea of India in peril

Newly elected MP from Srinagar, winner of a farcical election in which 7 per cent of the voters turned out — Farooq Abdullah — waded through the political vector this week to explain one of his hobby horses — the J & K Assembly’s autonomy resolution of 2000 — and how this could become the basis for a dialogue and negotiation between the state and the centre.