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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Samar Halarnkar

Moment of truth: Floods expose the great divide in J-K

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.

Unless PM Modi soothes nerves, bad days may be coming

Unless Prime Minister Narendra Modi says something special, soothing and truly inclusive, from the ramparts of the Red Fort tomorrow, divisiveness in India will grow exponentially, writes Samar Harlankar.

BJP's high-speed rail plans and fare hike could save Railways

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.

Liberal, secular and Indian in the age of PM Modi

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.

Let's say it for India, my name is Khan

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.

For all to see: India's prejudices in poll season

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.

Employment: India’s electorate's chief demand

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.

Morbid fascination with jet shows growing reliability of aviation

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.

Leopard on loose: Encounters with wildlife warning of accelerating crisis

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.

Tree of Hinduism under threat from concerted effort to prune it

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.

To secure Kashmir, India should sacrifice the guilty

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.

How Rakhi Birla represents the best about AAP

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.

Men are conditioned to think that a woman should be put in her place

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.

India wants change but those voted to power can't deliver it

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.

Serve the rich: banks go easy on India's big loan defaulters

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.
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