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... In India you may stand for election on the ticket of a political party and then betray the covenant with your constituents. Next time around, you may cross over to a rival party without incurring any moral opprobrium. Likewise, if you are a corporate honcho, you may smartly cross over to a rival business house on enhanced service benefits,and sing eloquent praises of products and business practices that you may have rubbished in conference after conference. But were you to grow up rethinking some religion you were merely born into, and decide, at some point, to reject its premises and acquire some other faith, the roof of social opinion will fall on you. ...Indian Express on Dec. 8, 2017, 1 a.m.
...PTI Photo It will be recalled that during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s premiership, a committee was set up to review the Constitution of India. It was commonly understood that that the political right-wing was of the view that the parliamentary form of government had proved itself inimical to the purposes both of national unity and rapid economic development, and that it was time to institute a more centralised presidential form of governance, top down. In all likelihood, the weight of general opinion proved too unprepared for such a drastic transformation in the systemic arrangements of India’s constitutional life and history, and the committee did not come to much. The overriding national commitment to the parliamentary form of governance in India, underwritten by India’s unparalleled diversity in cultural and local imperatives seemed piquantly and, to many, surprisingly reiterated when after the election results of 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi — in an iconic gesture full of semiotic symbolism — visited the houses of Parliament to pay a kneeling obeisance to the “temple of democracy”. ...Indian Express on Dec. 6, 2016, 12:04 a.m.
...As an unrepentant “peacenik” I wish the world were one happy kibbutz, sans boundaries and discriminations. As a located human subject, however, I am aware that for now, all human beings belong to nations and states, and that, all too often, nation-states clang on one issue or another like conjoint metal utensils in an extensive kitchen. And that often the strongest nations are those that construct for themselves some evil “other”, requiring periodic correction by force — India’s recent “surgical strike” is an instance of this situation. The event has, nonetheless, generated a question that ought not to be be lightly brushed aside or simply ridiculed from the standpoint of an a priori claim to the “truth”. Should it or should it not be in order to seek answers from the nation’s military forces? ...Indian Express on Oct. 24, 2016, 2:42 a.m.
...PTI Photo The way to you-know-where, they say, is paved with good intentions.After the results of the last assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir were in hand, it seemed a logical assumption to the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed that joining with the BJP would yield a secular bond between the two major parts of the state and that aligning with the Narendra Modi-led Central government could produce bold initiatives vis a vis the contention with Pakistan.Modi, it could be argued, is more an RSS prime minister than Atal Bihari Vajpayee and given his clear majority in Parliament, he could sell solutions to Hindu India not conceivable earlier.There were those who pointed out that the result of such a line of thinking might turn out to be the opposite of what Mufti had envisaged.Alas, that prophecy seems to have come true. ...Indian Express on Sept. 8, 2016, 12:06 a.m.