John's Feed
Oct 29, 2012

Anti-corruption crusader rattles India’s political class

NEW DELHI, Oct 30 (Reuters) – From a shabby house in one of
New Delhi’s grimmest suburbs, a mild-mannered former tax
official has launched a salvo of accusations of corruption
involving some of India’s most powerful people, rocking the
political establishment.

In quick succession, Arvind Kejriwal has publicly levelled
charges of shady dealings against the son-in-law of ruling
Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, the outgoing law minister and
the leader of the main opposition party.

Sep 29, 2012

How Sonia Gandhi was persuaded to back reforms

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – It had been a brutal August for the Congress party: economic growth was wilting, the monsoon rains were failing and the opposition had it cornered on yet another corruption scandal.

In stepped Sonia Gandhi to revive the morale of the ruling party’s lawmakers, exhorting them at a meeting to “stand up and fight, fight with a sense of purpose and fight aggressively”. It was a stunningly assertive speech from the normally temperate matriarch of a dynasty that has ruled India for most of its post-independence era.

Aug 1, 2012

India’s blackouts shine light on broken power sector

REUTERS (Reuters) – As India’s power minister stood up to address parliament one day last May, the chamber was plunged into darkness and a roar of laughter went up.

Rolling power cuts are part of daily life in India, where energy production falls far short of the demands of a fast-growing economy and an increasingly affluent population, but blackouts for two days this week across a vast swathe of the country were no laughing matter.

Jul 31, 2012

Drought could delay fuel reforms: Ahluwalia

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The drought threatening India due to elusive monsoon rains will make it politically harder for the government to raise prices of subsidised fuel, delaying a reform urgently needed to rein in the country’s fiscal deficit, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, told Reuters.

So far India’s monsoon rains are 22 percent below average and are unlikely to pick up enough to avert a drought, which could dent both crop output and rural incomes and increase reliance on subsidised fuel such as diesel to irrigate farmland.

Jul 2, 2012

Voice of Mumbai attacks points finger at Pakistan

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Forty-eight hours into the bloody assault on Mumbai in November 2008, smoke was billowing from the wreckage of the Taj Mahal hotel and commandos were flushing out the last gunmen holed up in the opulent landmark of India’s financial capital.

A short distance away in the city’s southernmost peninsula, security forces were still battling at Nariman House, a Jewish centre where two of the Islamist militants had taken half a dozen people hostage, including a rabbi and his pregnant wife.

Jul 2, 2012

Insight: Voice of Mumbai attacks points finger at Pakistan

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Forty-eight hours into the bloody assault on Mumbai in November 2008, smoke was billowing from the wreckage of the Taj Mahal hotel and commandos were flushing out the last gunmen holed up in the opulent landmark of India’s financial capital.

A short distance away in the city’s southernmost peninsula, security forces were still battling at Nariman House, a Jewish centre where two of the Islamist militants had taken half a dozen people hostage, including a rabbi and his pregnant wife.

Jun 17, 2012

Myanmar boat people swap violence for desperation

GOLAR PARA, Bangladesh (Reuters) – At first, the boat bobbing in the water in the middle of the night appeared to be empty. But when Bangladeshi villagers took a closer look, they found a baby too weak to cry, a refugee from marauding mobs in Myanmar apparently abandoned by her family.

The cleft-lipped infant, just weeks old, is among hundreds of Rohingya Muslims who fled this month’s sectarian violence in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, packing themselves into rough wooden boats and heading for the shores of neighboring Bangladesh.

Jun 3, 2012

India’s growth: build in an incompetence discount

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – It had been another brutal day for the rupee on the foreign exchanges as India’s economic crisis escalated and, travelling home from a visit to Myanmar last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh summoned journalists on his plane for a briefing.

The one statement he had prepared for the media that night, however, concerned allegations of corruption levelled against him and his cabinet ministers – not the economy.

Jun 3, 2012

Analysis: India’s growth: build in an incompetence discount

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – It had been another brutal day for the rupee on the foreign exchanges as India’s economic crisis escalated and, travelling home from a visit to Myanmar last week, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh summoned journalists on his plane for a briefing.

The one statement he had prepared for the media that night, however, concerned allegations of corruption leveled against him and his cabinet ministers – not the economy.

May 22, 2012

Interview: Out of jail, Sri Lankan ex-general says government must go

COLOMBO (Reuters) – He was pardoned by the president and released from jail, but Sri Lankan former army chief Sarath Fonseka had nothing but scorn for the government on his first day of freedom and vowed to fight for its downfall.

The ex-general said it could take 5 to 10 years to change the political culture of the island nation but he was determined to join forces with opposition parties even if the terms of his release prevented him from standing for office.

    • About John

      "John Chalmers is the Reuters' Bureau Chief for South Asia. He was previously a correspondent in London, Paris, Hanoi, New Delhi and Brussels."
    • Follow John