The justice system is undermined. Minorities are shown their place. India moves inexorably towards a Hindu republic
Vast migration should encourage Indian cities to be more multilingual and overall more inclusive. Instead, the opposite is happening. It is ironic that as our cities grow more diverse, public services are becoming linguistically less diverse than ever
The brutalising of Kashmir’s people is also reflected in a brutalisation of the security forces, a particularly disquieting development in a conflict where men in arms now largely represent the Indian State
To address Kashmir’s fury — and unrest elsewhere — India would do well to embrace more azaadi from New Delhi.
The latest diktat against women shows education isn’t enough. Indian women must break the rules — and know they are right
A new national narrative is unfolding in India, but the Israeli experience warns us why ideas rooted in exclusion tend to fail
Many Kashmiris may not want to be Indian, but denying them rights that are due to all Indians only increases their alienation
The empowerment of popular hate began after the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. Instead of taking a stand, the Congress often pandered to emerging prejudice
Protect the strong, persecute the weak. The RBI governor reminds us that India’s progress is crippled by Indians holding back Indians.
Half the country is drought-hit and the poorest areas edge towards famine. But it would seem India is otherwise engaged.
Educated women, despite the restrictions on them, flood India’s workplaces, only to eventually find that whatever else they may desire or achieve, they must ensure ‘there are hot chapatis on the table’.
Congestion, stress and indiscipline push Indians to argue, fight, even kill, each other on the roads. Are we like this only? Writes Samar Halarnkar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his supporters are fond of saying that the last 60 years of Congress rule has been disastrous for India. They are right about the time period. Except for the eight years of Janata and BJP rule, the Congress has held sway since the first post-Constitution general election in 1951.
It’s hard to oppose the yoga blitzkrieg, but we need to focus at least half as much attention on a quietly worsening national crisis
Desperate for ‘timepass’, Indians have overwhelmingly limited leisure spaces, most created before Independence.
An indiscriminate crackdown on NGOs will affect those on India’s margins like children, the poor and disabled
Since India’s growth rate shot past China’s, it is easy for the Twitter-happy, mall-roaming, ever-aspirational urban Indian to believe that reports of cows on the roads are a western conspiracy and poverty may soon be a thing of the past. It would be even harder, for this proud person, to believe that there are Indians without a radio or bicycle, let alone a television or scooter.
A new film tries to exploit street bigotry, but it will be hard for bigots to pull apart fraying but still strong bonds among communities, writes Samar Halarnkar.
There are three questions around banning porn: How do you define porn? Is porn responsible for violence against women? Can you really stop the flow of porn? Asks Samar Halarnkar.
A feeling of impatience appears to be spreading among Indians; perhaps, emerging in the form of ever-rising political expectations, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Natural calamities are times of great truth, of togetherness, of closing ranks, of forgetting hatred and bitterness. Unfortunately, the J-K floods initially appeared to be enhancing the bitterness between Kashmiris and other Indians, writes Samar Halarnkar.
India’s railways have been a victim to politics of another extreme: Mindless populism. This is why you hear the tired objections to the fare increases from the BJP’s own allies and the Congress, writes Samar Halarnkar.
I may not any longer visit temples, but I do regard myself a Hindu, in the broad sense of tradition, pride and culture, a position not far from the fashionable position of the newly triumphant religious Right. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Across an increasingly connected world, and perhaps because of it, there is remarkable similarity in the rise of nationalist strongmen and Right-wing parties, mirroring the emergence of the BJP and Modi, writes Samar Halarnkar.
India is becoming increasingly suspicious and intolerant of those who do not conform to the strident view of things, spurred by the sly and not-so-sly pronouncements of politicians this poll season, writes Samar Halarnkar.
It may be currently spurred by the BJP and its allies, but the hate speech of the election season is only a reflection of India’s deep-seated prejudices and discriminatory practices against its own citizens, writes Samar Halarnkar.
A slew of opinion polls have identified jobs as the chief demand of India’s electorate; not the kind provided by digging ditches and road shoulders but meaningful work with some hope for a better quality of life, Samar Halarnkar writes.
You are fascinated with MH370 because modern commercial aircraft rarely crash. Taking a flight is far safer than taking a train or driving a car. Anyone with a fear of flying is either being silly, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Doctors now estimate that a quarter of Indians suffer some kind of allergy, which is often misdiagnosed. The rising prosperity of the last two decades could have something to do with it, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Monday’s curfew, although it was not so declared, was over something quite extraordinary: A terrified male leopard that had mauled five people. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Consider Penguin India’s decision to destroy copies of The Hindus: An Alternative History, if somewhat contentious, portrait of the Indian majority, by Wendy Doniger, a professor with doctorates in Sanskrit and Indian studies. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Anything related to the killing of innocents in Kashmir becomes part of a conspiracy of silence that allows soldiers and other security officials to commit excesses and get away with it.
As the bright, articulate former journalist works nights inspecting state-run shelters and homes, the Aam Aadmi Party’s youngest minister in Delhi has little time or inclination to tell the media her last name is Bidlan.
The average Indian woman is bound by the ropes of what is considered tradition. The male continues to be superior, born to be pampered and placed from birth on a pedestal, from where he can only look down at women, writes Samar Halarnkar.
To understand why the fight for Delhi will not deliver the sweeping change that Delhi — or indeed any other Indian city — craves, you must go back to 1935, writes Samar Halarnkar.
If you have not heard of a blacklist of incorrigible business defaulters, it’s probably because they have arranged for a new loan. It is particularly galling in a poor country where banks immediately blacklist poor and middle-class defaulters, writes Samar Halarnkar.
India's voyage to Mars is about giving something your best shot, about reaching something unattainable and about stirring the spirit and boosting pride in a dispirited nation stuck in a cynical, divisive time. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Although no one has teased out the numbers, add cancer, heart and respiratory diseases caused by the toxins we breathe and air pollution might rocket to the top of Indian kill charts, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Indian society, including Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and others, finds it unable to shake off the narcotic of custom and caste even today. Samar Halarnkar writes.
A male techie goes over the edge, revealing stresses of trying to achieve the Indian dream without taking wives along. If the global gloom continues, things will worsen, unless more men think differently. Samar Halarnkar writes.
A series of riots that claims the lives of about 40 people (60% Muslim, 40% Hindu, according to a police source) may appear insignificant. After all, this is a country born in sectarian violence. Samar Halarnkar writes.
India’s battles for governance and growth will intensify, fought by millions of underpaid, incompetent troops writes Samar Halarnkar.
An explosion on the submarine Sindhurakshak off the Mumbai coast must not obscure India’s recent great naval strides, Samar Halarnkar writes
If Potti Sriramulu were alive today, he would likely be distraught at the splintering of his beloved Andhra. But he would find it hard to argue with the sentiments that led to the announcement of Telangana, India’s 29th state. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The raucous debates for and against Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and the Congress overshadow the quiet collapse of a system critical to India’s future. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Twitter is not a substitute for the real world. Garrulous India -- especially its politicians -- should not forget that. It is a mistake to believe numbers of followers are a reflection of electoral popularity. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Indian business is getting more efficient and workers more productive. That may actually be ominous news for India, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Captain India is also accused of a conflict of interest. But Dhoni is no Srinivasan and as a country we just don't get it, writes Samar Halarnkar. Rhiti-run Dhoni charity too could be in ‘conflict zone’
Personal computers are not going to win political parties the votes they so actively seek. An inclusive society is now their only chance. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The government's biggest election gamble faces misplaced criticism. It's not just about food but how it should reach the plates of the poor. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Are rising incidences of rape related to young men made excess by the systematic killing of female children? It is a question worth asking. Samar Halarnkar writes.
To get some idea of what India wants — and gets instead — it’s a good idea to watch the Karnataka elections. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The religious indoctrination of young people from middle-class families can only accentuate emerging India's divisions. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Afzal Guru’s hanging should be a pivotal moment for a state never meant to be. There is no better time to consider a novel third-party solution. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Whether in Delhi or the states, the Congress or the BJP, secular India is gradually coming apart. The nation is being remade. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Consigned to the bottom rungs of a pernicious, officially sanctioned caste system, the Indian constabulary can only fail its diverse, demanding country, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Middle-class India is quick to rage after every new outrage. But this is done mostly within the comfort of the mob, Samar Halarnkar writes.
The Indian family hides terrible secrets. Unless we reveal them in the cold light of day, India’s misogyny will never end. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Fake information, a lack of meeting places and the spread of technology are isolating and driving Indians further away from each other than ever, Samar Halarnkar writes.
The UPA has come up with a neat slogan for the poor -- except it doesn’t know who’s poor and has really no time to find out, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Driven by China and India and seemingly unaffected by an economic slowdown, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will reach a record high in 2012, according to new figures made public on Sunday. Samar Halarnkar reports.
The infrastructure to transform child health is in place. Can Aamir Khan help revive a faltering but critical programme? Samar Halarnkar writes.
In Uttar Pradesh, a liquor baron may, again, corner child nutrition contracts. How money meant to fight malnutrition is reaching elsewhere. Samar Halarnkar writes.
An upsurge in sexual assault and harassment is being boosted by those who, instead of caring and protecting, often end up shaming the victim, writes Samar Halarnkar.
As corruption grows and politics swings between the venal and bizarre, the mango people are likely to become receptive to someone who breaks from the herd. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The battle against terror is setting itself up for failure if innocents are implicated and, if set free, offered no apology or reparation. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Junking the sedition law will boost free speech, as removing the anti-homosexuality law updated morality. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Regardless of Coalgate, India's coal, governance and development crisis will deepen, further endangering an already shaky economy. Samar Halarnkar writes.
To win 25 Olympic medals by 2020, India will need to learn as much about sport as about effort. Samar Halarnkar writes.
India's inability to finish and maintain public projects like power grids and dams means darker and drier days ahead. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The Guwahati assault explains why India is - and will continue to be - one of the world's worst countries for women. Samar Halarnkar writes.
India's rebellions will never fade as long as collective punishment continues to be accepted doctrine. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The battle for President is a throwback to the Mughal decline, a reminder that Delhi is losing its sway over India. Samar Halarnkar writes.
As India urbanises, its metropolitan areas are ill-prepared to join a global trend of renewal.
A vital report on India's forests is suppressed, indicating the nation's continuing preference for the few over the many, Samar Halarnkar writes.
Why Alex Menon and others of India's corroded steel frame are still the best bet against the Maoist insurgency, Samar Halarnkar writes.
As India prepares to make food a fundamental right, we should look at Brazil's model for eliminating hunger. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The US backlash against outsourcing will move from words to action. India may not get a foot in through the door. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The emerging crises, and fighting qualities, of the US education system hold lessons for the coming Indian Budget. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Born of community, the new India celebrates individual glory, but it has not yet understood public responsibility. Samar Halarnkar writes.
India’s dark, new nationalism mirrors a global phenomenon. But do we really want our version of Turkey’s Erdogan? Samar Halarnkar writes.
It could cut waste and give the poor more money. So why is the world's largest identity programme being stymied by the home minister? Samar Halarnkar writes.
A rash of stupid remarks from officials about clothes and rape reveal why Indian women are struggling to advance, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh fought the food security Bill to the end. How long can the UPA fight itself? Samar Halarnkar writes.
A Congress move to censor the new media threatens a vital safety valve and reveals a prickly and petty India, writes Samar Halarnkar.
Was Ishrat Jahan innocent? It doesn't matter. The country cannot fight terrorism by shooting college students. Samar Halarnkar writes.
The nation's technology companies must not be forever doomed to be first world islands in a third world country. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Millions of Indians need a helping hand. An ideological schism at the top reflects the uncertainty about how to do this. Samar Halarnkar writes.
It was in 1997 that Steve Jobs stood before a giant image of Mahatma Gandhi, and to these words, from an advertising campaign, launched the company’s epic recovery from corporate has-been to global icon. Samar Halarnkar writes.
It’s dangerous, comical and cripples our democracy. Don’t expect the Supreme Court to stop the use of emergency lights by (so-called) VIPs. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Built over 20 years, the reputation of India's premier anti-corruption institution was sullied in less than a week as Karnataka Lokayukta justice Shivraj V Patil resigned over a land scandal. Samar Halarnkar reports.
The stage is set for a showdown between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi in 2014. Whoever wins, India’s minorities may lose. Samar Halarnkar writes.
A rush of anti-corruption action by states indicates what existing agencies can do-if empowered-and how much more is needed. Samar Halarnkar writes.
More than 30 kg of gold and Rs 1.5 crore in cash was found by the CBI in a swift, secret, early morning raid, that led to the arrest and imprisonment of powerful former Karnataka BJP minister G Janardhan Reddy. Samar Halarnkar reports. Reddys and their empire | Lokayukta report on illegal mining | Report about Reddy bros| Does Reddy brothers' arrest mark a turning point in fight against corruption?
Harbinger of change or flash of public petulance? The real test for the Hazare Effect starts now. Samar Halarnkar writes.
A government out of touch with India’s aspirations has let Team Anna hog the centrestage at the cost of other crucial issues. Samar Halarnkar writes.
Virdhawal Khade, 19, could be marked for greatness. This languid, handsome teenager who has featured in Vogue swims four hours a day, spends two hours in the gym, eats a six-egg omelette and a kilo of meat every day and could have been an Olympic medal contender — if he were not an Indian swimmer, Samar Halarnkar writes.
The man with the 1,000-watt smile, as the local media call DV Sadananda Gowda, tried to lighten up his grim, grumpy party after taking over as Karnataka’s 26th CM on Thursday.