The Great Debate (India)

Has the Bharatiya Janata Party lost its political plot?


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday expelled former finance minister Jaswant Singh from its primary membership for praising Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in a book.

The decision to expel Singh came after the release of his book “Jinnah – India, Partition, IndependenceINDIA/” which the BJP said went against the party ideology.

As a visibly upset Singh, a founding member of the party, questioned the decision, the latest controversy to hit the BJP seems to have brought its internal conflicts out in the open.

Many pressing issues haunt the party as it begins its ‘Chintan Baithak’ – an annual brainstorming session.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

India, Pakistan : re-opening the wounds of Partition

Was it necessary to divide India and Pakistan ? Was Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, really the obdurate Muslim leader who forced Partition along religious lines in 1947 or was he pushed into it by leaders of India's Congress party, especially first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

A new book by former Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh re-opens that painful, blood-soaked chapter whose price the region is still paying more than 60 years on.

Did Indians overreact to Shah Rukh Khan being detained?


Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was en route to Chicago for a parade to mark Independence Day when he was detained and questioned at Newark airport.

INDIA-USA/KHANAfter a couple of hours’ interrogation, the 43-year-old actor was allowed to make a call, getting in touch with the Indian consulate who vouched for him and secured his release.

Is India ready to tackle swine flu?


INDIA-FLUWith the number of swine flu fatalities in India touching double figures on Tuesday, panic is slowly setting in.

Schools, malls and cinema halls in Pune are already shut and nearly a thousand people across India have tested positive for the virus.

Hiroshima Day: bleak prospects for disarmament


(C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in this column are his own)

Yet another Hiroshima Day will be observed on August 6 with grave solemnity in Japan but few other parts of the world will mark the mushroom day of August 6, 1945 with the deep concern it ought to receive.

Will the RBI cut key rates in its policy review?


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announces 2009/10 fiscal’s first quarter monetary policy on July 28 and most analysts and traders expect it to leave key rates unchanged.

Reserve Bank of IndiaIndia’s economic outlook is mixed as a weak monsoon could dampen signs of nascent economic recovery, food prices are soaring even though headline inflation is benign and the borrowing programme is huge despite ample cash conditions.

Should Kalam have been frisked?


Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’s frisking at the Delhi international airport has sparked uproar in the Indian media.

Former President Abdul KalamKalam is one of India’s most popular presidents, his tenure remembered both for his common touch and his earlier role in India’s rise as a nuclear power.

India, Pakistan reach cautious win-win perch


By C. Uday Bhaskar

(C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own)

The joint statement issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on the sidelines of the NAM Summit has generated considerable comment in both countries and is being interpreted across a wide bandwidth that ranges from outright condemnation to cautious cheer.

Is the Chandrayaan project too ambitious?


The Indian Space Research Organisation has said that Chandrayaan-1, the country’s first unmanned moon probe, has malfunctioned and its two-year mission may need to be curtailed.

Moon projectThe Chandrayaan-1, which cost $79 million, was launched in 2008 to map the moon’s surface and look for precious metals.

Has Sreedharan set an example by resigning?


INDIA/The chief of Delhi’s metro rail system Elattuvalapil Sreedharan resigned on Sunday after a section of an overhead bridge under construction gave way and crushed five workers to death.

This is the second such accident involving the mass transit system in less than 12 months. Last October, a section of an under-construction flyover in the capital’s Lakshminagar area collapsed and fell on a bus, killing at least two persons.