Unequal treatment of rape cases points to fault lines within our thought process. The crime cannot be allowed to define a woman’s sense of self.
As India determines her next steps here’s what we should all avoid at all costs — loose talk - either of war or cutting off the flow of the Indus water or cross-border raids. This is no time for delusional talk of peace either, please. It’s a moment to hold our nerve and be cold and calculating instead of impetuous and hot-headed
If greater autonomy for the state is not on the dialogue table, the government must ask itself — what will it talk about and with whom? At the moment the Kashmir conundrum is trapped in a dangerous web of paradoxes and confusion
What Narendra Modi needs to do is to make his way to Srinagar and talk directly to the people. So that when he says the rest of India loves Kashmir, the “Swarg bhoomi”— he means not just its mountains, and apples and rivers and strategic value, but the Kashmiri people as well
The last few weeks have made it evident that that instead of investing political capital in Pakistan — as Narendra Modi has done — he could have directed some of that energy toward our own people.
Some leaders in the Congress seek refuge in Newtonian physics. But to wait for the Modi government to falter because ‘what goes up must come down’ is not strategy for revival
Just as Hindutva is to be opposed and challenged, so must the fundamentalist misogynists among Muslims
PM Modi must decide whether his policy will reflect tough-guy machismo or the deft agility of a statesman keen to build a foreign policy legacy
After Pakistan’s denial of reciprocal access to
the NIA, Modi will find it hard to move ahead on
Indo-Pak ties with the same flexibility as before
India is waiting for a political party that will stand up for its rights
If dialogue is possible with hardened Kashmiri separatists and Naga rebels, how can a handful of students be considered a national security threat?
By rescheduling the foreign secretary-level talks, the government seems to have worked out that ‘drawing of red lines’ can be unsustainable.
It is sickening to see how Shah Rukh Khan is being targeted by the Right-wing brigade and told that his popularity is proof of India’s secularism
Isn’t it very strange that all those who indulge in vandalism have social acceptability and those who question it are subjected to the nationalism test?
As citizens in a globalised world, there is no contradiction in being somewhat Westernised and fully Indian at the same time.
India may have sent a strong message to Pakistan but in the domestic context of Jammu and Kashmir, did the redlines resurrect them from the political graveyard of the past?
The frightening aspect of the corruption in the Vyapam scam involving admissions is not just about livelihood but life itself.
Lalitgate could well be all about cricket wars seeking to camouflage themselves behind the cover of political battle.
Today Nestlé faces a crisis of credibility in the Indian market similar to the one it faced in the 70s in the West with its milk formula
These days the press is either coming under open attack from politicians or being ignored altogether. When any of these leaders do grant interviews or even meet informally with the media it is usually only with people they like or approve of or with those they think can impact their political standing, writes Barkha Dutt.
The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence. I knew perfectly well the cars were making noise and the people in them and behind the lit windows of the buildings were making a noise and the river was making a noise but I couldn’t hear a thing.’
If the vault of freedom in the world’s largest democracy can only be unlocked by de-activating restrictive numerical encryptions like Section 66A and Section 377, then the Supreme Court has given us an important key or two.
A few years ago Pakistan’s ever-glamorous political poster boy said to me with an imperious flamboyance typical of him that “Liberals are the scum of Pakistan”.
At a time when the PM sent out a strong message on religious freedom, why is the BJP is investing so much of its capital fighting voices of dissent?
Modern-day politics is being mediated by Twitter hashtags, popular imagination and TV debate. The narrative belongs to those who script it effectively, writes Barkha Dutt.
The free and fair elections of 2014 in Jammu and Kashmir can give birth to new beginnings but only if this chance is not obliterated by the narrowness of power-seeking, writes Barkha Dutt.
The word in the BJP is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is angry. We are told that at two consecutive meetings of the party’s MPs, Modi let his displeasure be known to the motor-mouth MPs, writes Barkha Dutt.
Electoral politics in J-K has given space for soft separatism to be absorbed within the constitutional democratic process, rendering the boycott politics of the past irrelevant, writes Barkha Dutt.
Any muscle-flexing of power, small or big, is not kosher in a healthy democracy. Politicians still wield inordinate influence; but they no longer enjoy an expiry-free licence for bad behaviour. The shelf life of political entitlements is over, writes Barkha Dutt.
The brothers may have cause to celebrate, but not India's Muslims. The rise of a party known for its inflammatory politics only reinforces the worst religious stereotypes, writes Barkha Dutt.
India's response to repeated ceasefire violations along the LoC must display not just determination but also deftness, writes Barkha Dutt.
The weakest link in the Karthik Gowda case is the woman’s desire to remain married to an alleged rapist. Accusing a man who didn’t marry you as promised or who married you and then dumped you isn't rape, argues Barkha Dutt.
Rahul Gandhi wants to take apart the Congress’ structure and put his own architecture in place. But where are even the first signs of that process? Barkha Dutt writes.
It was a week in which more than 200 people were killed in Gaza, in which drought became a threat in India. But if you watched TV news you would think the biggest global crisis was the Vaidik-Saeed meeting, writes Barkha Dutt.
Women who manage boardrooms are still expected to keep an eye on what’s for dinner, whether the linen has been changed and whether the children have completed homework, writes Barkha Dutt.
Modi has always argued that the Constitution is his “holy book” and that law is equal for all faiths. Mohsin’s murder is the one moment, where a communicative PM cannot and must not remain either silent or ambiguous, writes Barkha Dutt.
The decision to reach out to the Saarc heads of government, including Nawaz Sharif and Sheikh Hasina was the first sign that Modi the PM is set to be very different from Modi the Campaigner, writes Barkha Dutt.
If Narendra Modi’s new political beginning is to be from Varanasi, he must begin a compassionate dialogue with the Muslims, writes Barkha Dutt.
Much like how lighting up in public came to be viewed with derision in the West, today in India the single most unfashionable thing you can do is to not vote, writes Barkha Dutt.
Even if Gujarat CM Narendra Modi believes he was needlessly vilified for Gujarat riots by a hostile media, as PM aspirant, there’s nothing to stop him now from making a more visible attempt at reconciliation.
If we agree that our pluralism and diversity is at the heart of the idea of India, how have we reached a point where secularism has become almost a bad word? Barkha Dutt writes.
The class and cultural divide that has kept India’s elites at a safe distance from change is about to come crashing down. Barkha Dutt writes.
If Congress vice-president wants to be a rebel and not an ‘insider’ seeking to play ‘outsider’, he should announce elections to the Congress’ top posts. Barkha Dutt writes.
Had Manmohan Singh been more upfront on certain issues- admitting to some failures or taking responsibility for some mistakes- at the press briefing, there may have been some redemption for his legacy. Barkha Dutt writes.
The party can lay down a distinct set of rules for itself, but very soon it will have to show us what its own design is for building the house of democracy.
If welfare schemes are no longer guaranteeing the rural vote and the urban vote is getting alienated, it is only bad news ahead for the Congress. Barkha Dutt writes.
Silence is the enemy of justice, and is no longer an option. Hierarchy cannot become a license for harassment. This is every woman’s battle, writes Barkha Dutt.
Rahul Gandhi's rebellion against the restrictions of his political inheritance may first need a more genuine distance from the Establishment. Barkha Dutt writes.
The Indo-Pak equation may be entering one of its worst phases. The simmering tension at the LoC is a barometer of that impending fever. Barkha Dutt writes.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will need to make a much-hyped UN summit more realistic than rhetorical, more pragmatic than passionate. In that, may lie actual courage, writes Barkha Dutt.
In the absence of clear victors, this is going to be a bitter election year. In some ways, we are today even more polarised than we were in the late 1980s and 1990s, writes Barkha Dutt.
The PM’s seemingly waffling approach to governance in his second term has created the space for Modi’s diametrically opposite and, often scary, authoritarian style, writes Barkha Dutt.
If we go by their recent actions and comments, India’s young leaders seem to inhabit a past that is retrograde and warped. Quite simply, youth has failed to be a marker of modernity in our politics. Barkha Dutt writes.
The Constitution must not be abandoned to sanctify street executions masquerading as armed encounters. Barkha Dutt writes.
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s biggest opposition is not from the secular media or even from the Congress. His real battle is at home, writes Barkha Dutt.
LK Advani was the BJP’s main chariot-driver whose yatra still needed Vajpayee for the last stretch. The question is — who will be Narendra Modi’s Vajpayee? Barkha Dutt writes.
When it comes to election results, assumptions based on privilege, charm, charisma and media endorsements are not accurate clues to the mind of the voter. Barkha Dutt writes.
Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan brings hope that a genuine democracy might take root and bring order back to a country torn by extremism and violence. Barkha Dutt writes.
The official response to horrific instances of rape helps prove that our political system prizes emotional distance over the need for empathetic dialogue. Barkha Dutt writes.
The present political scenario in India is toxic and the polity needs fresh blood. A November election may not be inevitable, but it's certainly desirable. Barkha Dutt writes.
The absence of negotiated solutions — whether in J&K or in the Naxal-hit areas — means that soldiers will be cannon fodder for political failures. Barkha Dutt writes.
The debate on Afzal Guru's hanging is now academic. To keep the Valley peaceful, focus now on reducing the widening gap in political rhetoric between New Delhi and Srinagar. Barkha Dutt writes.
It is the RSS that is making the BJP's battle to be a party of the future - a modern right-of-centre political party - much tougher. Barkha Dutt writes.
Tragedy-driven rhetoric comes easy to us; it's far tougher to create and sustain genuine respect for our soldiers, writes Barkha Dutt.
It’s difficult to feel hope in a nation that worships women and yet prays for the blessings of ‘a hundred sons’ for mothers. Let’s accept it is we the people who are part of the problem, writes Barkha Dutt.
The State has destroyed the lives of many young men by implicating them in false terror cases. But there is no policy to help them restart their lives. Barkha Dutt writes.
Social media is not above the law. Nevertheless, a draconian IT law can't have the last word over what we write and how we think. Barkha Dutt writes.
The middle classes are angry with politicians but don't want to take part in politics. This aversion towards politics is bad news for Arvind Kejriwal - as well as India. Barkha Dutt writes.
In the US, wearing one’s political bias on one’s lapel microphone seems to be the new mantra of successful TV. Given India’s vitiated political scene, this could happen here too, writes Barkha Dutt.
The Fear of The Foreign was a Congress tagline. Why is the Opposition using an outmoded conspiracy theory? Barkha Dutt writes.
The recent strife in Assam and the ripple effects in the rest of India point to an insidious game being played by extremists. Barkha Dutt writes.
Team Anna may or may not succeed in politics, but the UPA must remember that the corruption issue is here to stay. Barkha Dutt writes.
The pan-Indian leader is a near-extinct species. The absence of personalities with depth to define the heft of national politics will make it difficult to find the next PM. Barkha Dutt writes.
As the US-Pakistan relationship lurches from tumultuous to tentative, India needs to be agile and have few expectations from a volatile, inconsistent equation. Barkha Dutt writes.
From being a symbol of middle class hope, Manmohan Singh today is a symbol of middle class frustration. Can the PM still reclaim his past? Barkha Dutt writes.
At a time when India’s states are asserting themselves, extend the debate to the unique history of J&K. Barkha Dutt writes.
It is true that finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is invaluable to the Congress. But why punish him for his competence? Barkha Dutt writes.
Negotiation is one thing, surrender is another. But, above all, politicians must stop politicising the Maoist problem. A long-term solution is needed, writes Barkha Dutt.
We must overcome class-based discrimination to end the politics over quotas. The best way to do so would be to open the gates of private schools to poor children, writes Barkha Dutt.
No matter what the pundits say, don't be so sure that Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi will be prime ministerial candidates in 2014. Barkha Dutt writes.
While some voter loyalty still forms around narrow caste affiliations, it is now fairly typical for ticket distribution in UP to reflect a rainbow coalition of communities. Barkha Dutt writes.
Even though Pakistan’s main institutions are locked in a battle, the age of the army coup may well be over. Barkha Dutt writes.
A defensive UPA has given the BJP an edge. But the party is in danger of losing that advantage if it doesn’t evolve with the times. Barkha Dutt writes.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh needs to engage with Parliament much more. The House needs to respect itself before people do the same. Barkha Dutt writes.
India is slipping into a quicksand of anger and intolerance. This is making people express their disagreement of thought in a way that crosses the bounds of civility, Barkha Dutt writes.
While we are disgusted with the bystanders who allowed Keenan and Reuben to die, as women we must ask ourselves: are we becoming inured to abuse? Barkha Dutt writes.
We must stop the argumentative Indian from becoming the intolerant Indian. Let’s reclaim India for what we know it to be, writes Barkha Dutt.
By blaming unnamed 'forces' for trying to destabilise the polity, the PM is only externalising what is an internal crisis, writes Barkha Dutt.
Narendra Modi could have used his fast to genuinely recast his image. But the Gujarat CM likes to embrace his aggressive avatar, writes Barkha Dutt.
The UPA’s wounds are entirely self-inflicted. The absurd political mismanagement over the lokpal bill has led to this impasse. Barkha Dutt writes.
India's mood is negative today because of the ossification of politics. If our politicians don't reclaim their constitutional space, interlopers will take over. Barkha Dutt writes.
If the BJP wants to continue with its anti-corruption political crusade against the UPA, it must say goodbye to BS Yeddyurappa. Barkha Dutt writes.
The prime minister’s bewildering silence is making him a stranger to his own people. Like other world leaders, he must connect with the masses to preserve his legacy. Barkha Dutt writes.
By abdicating its own authority, the government has yielded space to non-political voices. Will the UPA take charge now? Barkha Dutt writes.
The hard truth is that Pakistan’s problem today is not India and the Kashmir conflict but the ‘many Pakistans’ that exist within it. Barkha Dutt writes.
High on ‘people power’ and an anti-politician mood, the Indian middle-class is misreading the signs of a functioning democracy, writes Barkha Dutt.
‘It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare,” wrote political theorist and philosopher Edmund Burke. Barkha Dutt writes.
‘Serious sport has nothing do to with fairplay,’ wrote George Orwell in 1945, sweepingly dismissing the primal emotion that defined international sporting events as ‘orgies of hatred’. Barkha Dutt writes.
The UPA's top leadership speaks only when pushed to the brink. This is making their politics look increasingly defensive and reactive, writes Barkha Dutt.