I believe a group of concerned Indians should visit Kashmir with no mandate other than listening to people there. My ‘dream team’ would comprise Wajahat Habibullah, Yashwant Sinha, Kavita Krishnan, Bader Sayeed and Jairam Ramesh
It is a matter of pride that our courts can call the shameful to account. It is a shame that so much that is shameful thrives in India.
The time has also come for a serious look at the prospect of a single currency on the Indian subcontinent, which will have to follow a measure of harmonisation of macro-economic parameters such as pricing, if Pakistan and Bangladesh are not to be adversely hit by the fluctuating fortunes in Indian inflation
Jawaharlal Nehru is not to be belittled. He is not to be eclipsed by the sawdust haze of idealism’s current drought
The Constitution is wiser now. There is, however, one feature that has not only not changed but has entrenched itself. And that is about the Almighty
The abandoned and the mentally ill have to be the kind of persons Jane Taylor, the creator of Twinkle, Twinkle, must have thought of as being in need of guiding light
Rukmini Devi would have been vegetarian enough to favour the beef ban but democratic enough to not go with a sectarian manipulation of that issue
On the anniversary of the Mahatma’s assassination, we must do more than lament the greatest tragedy that has befallen India
Even 10 years from now, India’s myriad problems will not end. But the country’s republicanism will ensure that we continue to keep the faith.
Celebrating our first PM today is much more than a matter of nostalgia. It’s about defending the nation from groups wanting to re-engineer India writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi
It is in the context of whether the NDA wants dissenters to feel secure that returning awards becomes important.
This is a Bihar year.
The state of Bihar itself came into existence 80 years ago this year, by a provision of the Government of India Act, 1935.
This year’s election will be a momentous one for the state. The impact of the results, due on November 8, will be felt nation-wide.
Muhammad Bin Tughlak moving the capital from Delhi was capricious, but staying put on three live seismic faults is no less so.
We could have, in a Sanskritic mood, gone in for Vande Mataram or in a Hindustani moment, for Sare Jahan Se Achha. But Satyameva Jayate as a universal proposition that went beyond ourselves and our country to a human precept, was as universal as the Vedas and the Upanishads.
India has always nurtured powerful women who have led from the front, inspired people around them and enriched public life.
The prime ministership of India has to be the world’s toughest assignment. But it is also perhaps the world’s most powerful one. Not because his fingers can touch nuclear buttons or launch craft to the moon and Mars but because they can touch and transform the lives of our benighted millions, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
As Narendra Modi enters his second year as Prime Minister, I felicitate him and urge him to look at a picture of a very differently silent Mahatma Gandhi during his tour of riot-torn Bihar. And ask him to explain the difference between the Republic of India and a Hindu rashtra, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
What does it matter what happens to your corpse?’
"The strongest man," says Dr Stockmann in Ibsen’s immortal play An Enemy of the People, “is the one who stands alone”.
Oceanic sweep of AAP should not make it lose its balance. Facing a three-member Opposition can give the 67-member strong party a sense of heavenly writ. Nothing can be worse for democracy or for Delhi.
The ‘waters’ of pluralism, of democracy and republicanism are being tested. They must not be found to be running thin or shallow, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
The year 2014 was an extraordinary one for me. What made it so is the change I have seen at our — India’s — basic core, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
It is important for us not to lose sight of the Hind that Jawaharlal Nehru yearned for as we commemorate his 125th anniversary, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Meera Abraham offered a rare glimpse into the trading traditions of peninsular India and the link between South Indian and Roman merchants. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The Indian PM goes with the confidence he will be seen as a symbol of India’s democratic will, India’s scientific audaciousness, India’s economic venturesomeness. But this is to be noted: On his first visit to the US, PM Nehru went to represent, not market India, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Richard Attenborough and India coalesce in the life story of Mohandas Gandhi. But the epic success of Gandhi (1982) has obscured from general awareness an earlier association of his with India, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Nadine Gordimer’s death at 90 earlier this month revived interest in her life and work as no event in her life had, not since the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to her in 1991.
In suggesting that governors of the day demit office before term, the present government is doing what was done unto it. Tit for tat is not a game to be played for the office, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Opposition is not about the number of seats in Parliament. Jayaprakash Narayan and C Rajagopalachari were never MPs but their opposition was powerful, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
The rancid noun, the foetid verb and the acid invective that we heard this election season suggest that euphemism is on its way out. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Modi’s was not just the face of the 2014 elections, it was the only face, full, up-front. All others were profiles. Modi was, in reality, if there can be such a thing, ‘un-utsav-murti’, a festival statue on wheels, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
The decline in the number of Independent MPs is because they do not have the infrastructural advantage and money party candidates have.
Can people who showed the door even to a person as esteemed as Vajpayee, vote into office a govt headed by one who has split the country into those who worship him and those who fear him? Perhaps they can, perhaps they will, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
The next House will be more of a House and less of the nation’s costliest entertainment. It will have more women MPs than any previous Lok Sabha. It will have no male MP who is guilty of known or unknown violence against women.
If Narendra Modi’s bull-horns do get locked in Varanasi with Arvind Kejriwal’s sharp ram-antlers, we will witness a riveting contest.Varanasi’s hospitality to the two outsiders will be following a notable tradition, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Transfers are rehearsals of retirement from service, even as retirement is, in terms of saying final goodbyes, a pre-play of death. But frequent transfers can make a person feel professionally disintegrated, personally demoralised.
President Pranab Mukherjee is a political artist. His address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day, this year, was a triumph of this artistry, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
'When I reached Kolkata as the governor in the December of 2004, there were five people I wanted to spend time with, including the legendary actress, who preferred being left undisturbed,' Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Arvind Kejriwal's biggest strength is not his integrity but his independence. He should retrieve his natural role by offering himself as a candidate for the LS, like independent candidates do.
In this last week of 2013 that has seen sleaze in politics and misdemeanour of all kinds, we ought to know who and what ‘we’ are as a people. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
By entering the electoral portal, the Aam Aadmi Party has accepted responsibility, accountability and vulnerability to critical evaluation by the people, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
For any ambassador, presenting the letters of credence to a head of state is a very intense moment. When I stood before President Nelson Mandela, in Pretoria, the moment was more than intense, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Your Bharat Ratna did not come, as it used to, as a pleasant surprise. It came with a “lekin…” But now, Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, surprise the nation by what you do with it. Writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Bharat is where we dream and Hindustan where we live and where the common man and woman faces inflation with poverty, extravagance with squalor, corruption with defeat.
The Mahatma was the most respected, Jawaharlal Nehru the most loved and Subhas Bose the most longed-for. But when it came to the iron control over the political apparatus in the country, Sardar Patel stood alone. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The phrase ‘trust deficit’ is insufficient to describe the one thing that has gone missing from our public life. Is there any leader to whom you can say “I can trust you, I know it as I look at you?" Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi may not have been courteous in flaying the ordinance shielding convicted lawmakers, but he has served the interests of the people. But what would the Mahatma have done? Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Thanks to our diversity, we all have unresolved questions about ourselves as persons and also as members of the large joint family that is India. We have never found it easy to explain ourselves to ourselves. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Grey is a nowhere colour. Eminence is a no-win status. Yet Karan Singh and MS Swaminathan have both managed to be great examples of eminence grise. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Simone Weil died 70 years ago on this day. A phrase she has left for us to ponder is the need to ‘decreate’ ourselves and our egos. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
India’s callous, self-serving, short-termist citizens are different only in degree from the corrupt political leaders and the unfeeling bureaucrats. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
There used to be something called decency in Indian politics. Now that word has come to mean the same as naiveté. These days decency defers to cleverness. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
New or seldom-heard words often get us thinking about their origin; and in the process we unravel a series of words that have no relation to each other and yet seem similar. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
If social activists consider alternatives to an armed response to Naxalism, they are served the medicine that was given to Jayaprakash Narayan. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Love and romance are not entirely without hope in this country. There is something to it, now gone, that makes us so long for a time gone by. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The BCCI chief’s son-in-law case reminds one of the Mundhra incident in which Nehru was given a moral choice by Feroze Gandhi. Nehru made the right one. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Court acquittals, in the 1984 or 2002 pogroms, belong to the realm of law. It is the conscience that raises difficult questions that need to be answered, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
The nightmarish experience of Sarabjit Singh in his Lahore prison must make us spare a thought for life in prisons, our prisons. For a civilised nation, bilateral exchange of prisoners and discharge of undertrials against bonds should be essential and not optional. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
In a country where disasters fly around like colonies of bats, there are a million messages that could be howled out. But are they being spoken of even in whispers? Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and educationist Ahalya Chari touched thousands of lives - one with her writing and the other with her guidance of the school system. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The birth of letter-writing and the squelching into being of its mutant, the poison letter, must have been simultaneous. Or, almost. Just as the start of life on our planet and the arrival of the striped, spotted and sebaceous roach must have been, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
It is fascinating to study the history of words, their origins, and how they change over time. But sadly, going into word-roots is becoming rarer by the day, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
The Mahatma — and the Indian Independence movement — lost two determined and courageous women on February 22: Valliamma in 1913 and Kasturba in 1944, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
By denying classical music its rightful place on the Padma platform, we are undermining our tradition of giving artistes much-deserved recognition, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
We hardly know anything about the wives of several of our great leaders. This is in keeping with our mentality that regards wives as ornamental appendages. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
It is time something was done in concert to map all historic buildings like the Raj Bhavan of Kolkata and restore them delicately and prudently, Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
This year gave us many joys and disappointments. But as long as there are schoolchildren like the ones I met recently, the country has hope. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
If the parties to the Singur case reach an understanding through mediation, the result could herald the agriculture-industry balance that West Bengal urgently needs. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
As 2012 comes to end, three Indians — vastly different in their temperament and lifestyle — have left an indelible mark on me. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
I do not know what horripilate means. And I do not care since I know the actual thing: coincidence experiences. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The crow is cruel and cunning because we are also like that. It need not be our national bird, but it is a national fact, a symbol and a shameful one at that, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
There is no such thing as a perfect being and perfect behaviour. There are only perfect acts and perfect moments. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Unlike many leaders we have today, LM Singhvi thought of and spoke for India as a whole. Sadly, he has become yet another casualty of our systematic amnesia, Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The slew of economic reforms that the Union government announced recently shows that today’s India is a divided truth. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Cleverness is not intelligence. But in India today, the former is seen as a desirable extension of the latter. This blind investment in cleverness is dangerous, Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Jawaharlal Nehru wanted culture — and not politics — to guide the relationship between India and Sri Lanka. Admirably, both have managed to stick to that concept. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Remembering the Mahatma is not at all gratuitous. His life and teachings are relevant even today for India and the world, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
The Maruti strike is symbolic of two competing cultures in India. The poor are trying to balance hunger with resources while the rich are grabbing all they can. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Radhakrishnan made India realise that the vice-president’s office was not a decorous redundancy but a vitally useful acquisition. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Gandhi wanted our first president to be someone who was a political and a moral leader. He placed his trust in a harijan khadi worker, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, writes.
In a country which once had a selfless leader like Jayaprakash Narayan, there is not much idealism left in politics today, Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The great causes of today’s India, where mighty forces are at work, beg great responses. But we are not providing those, thanks to our obsession with short-term gains. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Owning up to falsehoods deserves admiration. For, if lying comes from cowardice, admitting to it takes courage. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
J&K’s unique bio-diversity, its heritage and resilient people can give the world a model of life. In return, we must give the people the answers they are looking for. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
In his respect for first principles and his ability to look beyond short-term gain, former president R Venkataraman outclassed many politicians of his generation. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
In India, there is distrust between society and the State and among different limbs of the State. We could do with the healing touch of the Dalai Lama. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
India can do with some cruelty in many areas which are not just fiscal. The State must also be kind to itself by listening to advice from our great leaders. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Voters came out in droves in the 2012 assembly elections. We should not let the extensive use of black money overshadow this positive development. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Politicians slam their foes for power and preferment. But who will slam those who are mauling our civilisation and ecology? Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The Supreme Court verdict on the 2G scam points not to a grim and grey cloud as much as to its silver lining. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
Countless brave and unknown people gave their lives to keep India secular and sane. Many continue to do so even today. It's time to honour these martyrs. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
The great genre of political satire is dead in India because our public figures have become touchy and tense people.
India's future does not depend on the Lokpal Bill. The fact that the enactment of the draft seems to have gone into a coma does not mean the country has slipped into unconsciousness. Yet, that Bill is an important and crucial framework for our moral self-confidence and for our self-pride as a people. Gopalkrishna Gandhi writes.
In 2011, Anna Hazare gave our thoughts a new direction. But now he must move from fierce campaigns to calm discussions to ensure his movement's success. GopalKrishna Gandhi writes.
Jairam Ramesh is right when he says India is 'dirty' and 'filthy'. These are not adjectives but expose our acceptance of status-quo and wrong-doings, writes Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
In Othello, Shakespeare refers to a base Indian who threw away a pearl worth more than his tribe. Through rampant mining today, we are doing exactly that.