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Look who’s talking ethics in Karnataka?

 Just after the UP assembly election in 1996, I was among the scores of reporters waiting at Kalyan Singh’s residence, waiting to get the first inkling of the future course of the BJP. The party had secured the maximum seats – 174 out of 425 seats – but was short of the majority mark. Since TV cameras had still not taken over the public space for news coverage, the crowd

Why hasty ordinance on rape of minors needs gender balance

Of all offences, it’s the crime of rape that fires public sentiment the most, eliciting an outrage that exceeds the seemingly worst felony of all – murder too. It has probably more to do with the offence and associated gory details staying, even being replayed ruthlessly, in memory with continual mention and recall that compound its severity. It’s this outrage that offsets any

“No city habitable unless it attracts investment and creates jobs”

Most of our big cities were built during the British era. They were meant to accommodate a certain size of population and last for a certain period. However, due to rapid urbanisation, these cities have become overcrowded with an unbearable pressure on civic amenities including water and sanitation. In an interaction with Governance Now, Misra talks about urban planning challenges while working

Poetry and diplomacy combine ambiguity and brevity: Diplomat Abhay Kumar

Abhay Kumar is a poet and a diplomat, a 2003 batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service, now serving as India’s deputy chief of mission in Brazil. He edited 100 Great Indian Poems, an anthology that was published in February and is being translated into Portuguese. He is also known for the Earth Anthem, which he penned in 2008. It was set to music in 2013 and recorded in eight langua

Some Sholay dialogues can help make sense of Karnataka polls

While driving down from Bengaluru to Mysuru, you come across a patch of hillocks near Ram Nagar, a place that provided the backdrop for the all-time hit Bollywood movie, Sholay. This was where villain Gabbar Singh, played by inimitable Amjad Khan, delivered that immortal dialogue, “Kitne aadmi the? (How many people were they?)” The dialogue is better remembered for its style of deli

Caste in two minds

Dr BR Ambedkar has been one of those rare thinkers, social revolutionaries and outstanding scholars who have earned unparalleled posthumous recognition. With each passing year, more and more social thinkers and political parties are competing to appropriate the iconic figure of Ambedkar. Although he had a much larger world view, Ambedkar’s undelivered lecture to the ‘Jat-Pat Todak M

Expect Karnataka to thrash predictable political punditry

If political punditry is to be believed, the predictable outcome of the Karnataka election will invariably be a hung house. And this punditry is based on sound logic which is quite convincing for anyone familiar with science of election forecast.   If you have any doubt, look at these facts: split Karnataka into four parts and try to analyse the electorate’s beh

Administration of justice should be in public: Upendra Baxi

The supreme court and the question of judicial reforms are much in debate these days. You have recently commented, “Any reform of the system will have to come from within the court itself.” In that context, how do you view the move of the four senior Justices to go public?  Yes, but they all also said that they respect the office of the chief justice

Yoga is the way ahead: Dr HR Nagendra

Popularly known as prime minister Narendra Modi’s yoga therapist, Dr HR Nagendra was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016. He has a doctorate in mechanical engineering from IISc, Bangalore. A former NASA scientist, he now heads several central government committees on yoga education and development. Dr Nagendra talks about the recent study done under the initiative of the ministry of AYUSH

Modi-Jinping meet: The art of personal diplomacy

Just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi walked up to the museum in Wuhan during his two-day China visit, a smiling president Xi Jinping was waiting to receive him. Xi then gave him a nugget of critical information. No Chinese president has ever accorded reception to a visiting head of the state outside Beijing. “I did it twice for you,” Xi is learnt to have told Modi.  

My musical journey has been really beautiful: Harshdeep Kaur

Harshdeep Kaur is a playback singer better known for her Sufi renditions. She sings Hindi as well as Punjabi. She sang ‘Ik Onkar’ in Rang De Basanti apart from several other soulful songs. Her track ‘R.I.P.’ composed by AR Rahman was part of Oscar-winner Danny Boyle’s film 127 Hours. Apart from Rahman, she has also worked with pathbreaking musicians like Pritam

“We are becoming American digital colonies”

Data is the new oil; and it needs to be protected. In an interaction with Governance Now, Lionel Baraban, CEO of Famoco, talks about how the French tech firm is developing secure business devices to safeguard data against going to other countries. What are the major roles of Famoco? Our major job is to validate digital transactions. Peop

The East African gambit

India has been consistently forg ing closer ties with African states since the India-Africa Forum Summit of taneously, there has been notice able emphasis on the eastern and october 2015. Simultaneously southern coastal states of the continent abutting the Indian ocean region. owing to the presence of the Indian diaspora in these countries for more than a century, India has been able to facilit

Kodnani’s acquittal raises doubts about criminal justice system

 Maya Kodnani, a BJP leader who was the MLA from Naroda when this locality on the outskirts of Ahmedabad witnessed one of the most gruesome episodes during the Gujarat riots of 2002, was acquitted by the Gujarat High Court on Friday. Her acquittal in the Naroda Patiya massacre case is only a sequel to a series of such exonerations of those named in collective crimes.   

Energy as the new value system for redesigning daily life

Remember Kardashev scale? For the uninitiated, it’s a method of measuring a civilization’s level of technological advancement, based on the amount of energy it is able to use for communication. We will get to its unconventional relevance to the big urban questions at the end, but just keep it at the back of your mind and dig it out when we get to it. All serious urba

A rare peek into the mind of Modi

It’s always lonely at the top. Prime minister Narendra Modi’s marathon townhall event at the Central Hall Westminster, titled ‘Bharat ki Baat, Sab ke Saath’, was nothing but his way of shedding that loneliness, communicating and mingling with people and showing his vulnerable side.   “I am one among you and I have all weaknesses that anyone has.&

"We will be involving community volunteers to effectively police the park"

The work on Sunder Nursery, a lush green refuge from urban chaos in central Delhi, started in 2007, when the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) undertook a conservation and renewal project. The 90-acre complex houses 15 monuments (out of which six date back to the 16th centur

From ‘Nirala’ to Kuldeep Singh Sengar, Unnao has come a long way

“Sadak par todti patthar, Dekha maine use Allahabad ke path par (She was breaking stones, I saw her on footpaths of Allahabad)”. This verse by Hindi poet Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ is not alien to anyone conversant with elementary Hindi literature. Nirala revolutionised Hindi poetry by penning in simple words a complex concept of individualism a

Sengar episode once again highlights the perils of Yogi’s macho statecraft

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath can be singularly credited for borrowing the phrase, `thok denge`, from Bollywood flicks and introducing it right in the mainstream governance discourse. The phrase is a Bollywood euphemism for eliminating somebody. Yogi used this expression last year ("Agar aparadh karenge to thok denge (if they commit crime, they will be bumped

Painting RSS as anti-dalit is prejudiced –and contrary to facts

Disparate attacks on dalits over the last three years read with the supreme court’s recent ruling switching off the automatic arrest of an accused in an Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Atrocities Act complaint, have had opposition parties and political commentators jump to very facile and specious conclusion: that this is hardly surprising because the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), th

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