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Democracy in Pakistan: Not a few reasons to cheer

In our country, we have become used to democratic transition of power. More than six decades after the British left our shores, and we gave ourselves a Westminister style parliamentary democracy, governments have changed hands both at the state and the Central level with a maturity that has earned us the ungrudging respect and admiration all over the globe as the biggest functioning democracy. But unfortunately, this has not been the case with our neighbour -- Pakistan. For reasons that are too numerous to be recounted in this brief essay, they have not been able to have a democratic system. Self-appointed guardians of the democratic system have attributed it to various elements,


Karnataka verdict: A time for humility

These are testing times for the Indian polity.  It is under fire from every possible quarter. The judiciary seldom misses an opportunity to slam politicians; the media enjoys bashing politicians of all shades. To top it all, the rival political parties are engaged in bitter contests that transcend all limits of decency. For them, nothing is sacrosanct and above politics. It is in this backdrop that the verdict from the people of Karnataka for the state assembly should be seen as a time for some humility across the political spectrum.
For quite some time we have been witnessing in the parliament and outside it an almost frenzied approach by the Opposition parties and the media on


The challenge after Chintan

On a personal note, itwas unfortunat that I could not attend the Congress party's Chintan Shivir at Jaipur last week due to health reasons. But this personal absence does not detract anything from the level of involvement either from the process or the course that shall follow from its outcome.
After the Jaipur deliberations were over I had the privilege of an exclusive meeting with prime minister Manmohan Singh that afforded me the opportunity to have a broad perspective of the recent developments. Through this meeting it emerged that the prime minister was very candid about accepting that price rise was a big challenge for the government.


Why make a Khan less of an Indian?

And then mock at the idea of India!

I have been mulling over this question for quite some time now. Even before the Bollywood Khan spoke out his mind on this sensitive issue. To quote, he said: “I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India... I have been accused of bearing allegiance to our neighbouring nation rather than my own country...”
When Shah Rukh Khan spoke these words, he actually voiced a grievance, not unique to his famous Bollywood persona.


Rape: Indian mindset needs to change

As I write this, information is streaming in that the 23-year old physiotherapy student who was brutally gang-raped by half a dozen men in a moving bus and then dumped on the road has been airlifted to Singapore for treatment. She is a brave-heart. She has demonstrated extraordinary tenacity and will to live after such a murderous attack.
I am writing this piece after a pretty long time. I thought I would take a sabbatical. But then this incident which shook the nation did not allow me to rest. And this restlessness has resulted in expressing my innermost feelings.