India Insight

India’s Games shame as countries ask for $70 million in outstanding fees

February 19, 2011

The athletes are long gone, but like the faded posters that are still scattered across New Delhi, the embarrassing legacy of India’s Commonwealth Games rumbles on in a widespread corruption investigation and charges of financial mismanagement by foreign contractors who are reportedly still owed $70 million.

Congress looks to seize the initiative as budget looms

February 15, 2011

It has been a winter to forget for India’s ruling Congress party, as a series of corruption scandals have muted its ability to control parliament, dented its popularity ratings and dappled the formerly dazzling-white kurta of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Congress’s corruption calamities continue as the Thomas saga unravels

January 31, 2011

In a season of corruption charges that have shackled India’s ruling Congress party’s political ambitions, the ongoing saga of the country’s tainted anti-corruption chief is perhaps the hardest to believe.

Karnataka governor’s sanction: Sagacity or political mischief?

January 24, 2011

File photo of a worker preparing for a rally by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Lucknow, April 4, 2004. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore/Files The tussle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Karnataka governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj has reached the President’s House with BJP leaders demanding the recall of Bhardwaj.

Has the judiciary been a let-down?

January 6, 2011

A view of the Supreme Court building is seen in New Delhi December 7, 2010. REUTERS/B Mathur/FilesA former Chief Minister of Karnataka sparked off a controversy in the 1990s by comparing the country’s legislative, executive, judiciary and the fourth estate to four pall-bearers of India’s democracy.

Will departure of embattled India anti-graft chief end Congress party woes?

December 4, 2010

India’s Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the country’s federal anti-corruption body, has a self-affirmed mandate to “fight corruption and ensure probity in public life by taking various preventive and proactive initiatives from time to time.”
The Indian parliament on Wednesday approved a $9.8-billion additional spending bill to cover various payments including outstanding government debt, food and fertiliser subsidies, and government pensions. The bill was passed by a voice vote in parliament, a type of vote allowing the government to bypass a three-week deadlock between the ruling Congress party-led coalition and opposition parties caused by rows over a series of corruption scandals. REUTERS/B Mathur
Faced with a windfall of political scandals to investigate, red faces thus abounded at the CVC when media reports showed that its chief, and the highest anti-corruption officer in the country, P.J. Thomas, was himself facing questioning in connection with corruption allegations.

Trouble comes calling for the Congress

November 10, 2010

A man talks on a mobile phone near a hoarding promoting mobile telephones in New Delhi January 20, 2004. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files
Ashok Chavan and Suresh Kalmadi have been let go by the Congress. Who will be next?

India can now follow the black money

August 31, 2010

Indians love many things about Switzerland: chocolates, watches, Bollywood movie locales and secret bank accounts.

No criticism please, we’re Indian

August 9, 2010

Suddenly, it is not cool to be against the scandal-plagued Commonwealth Games.

A commuter walks past the Commonwealth Games 2010 mascot in New Delhi October 3, 2009. REUTERS/Parth SanyalThe CWG was meant to be Delhi’s big coming-out party, India’s assertion that it is a global powerhouse capable of doing what China did with the Beijing Summer Olympics two years ago.

Ramdev: A political force for the good?

April 12, 2010

Amidst the hustle and bustle of a town dotted with temples and brightened up by saffron-clad “sadhus” or holy men, was a pandal with a thousand people waiting for Baba Ramdev’s daily yoga preaching.