Erdogan’s Ottoman designs

Just when the killing fields of Syria were seeing a glimmer of hope in a United Nations-sponsored peace process in the new year, the regional scenario was rocked by a new development in the country’s multi-faceted conflicts: on Tuesday, November 24, the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian aircraft near Yayladag, north of Syria’s […]

Modi’s Vajpayee Opportunity in Kashmir

As Kashmir prepares for the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 7 and address a rally at Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, the media build up to it bears an uncanny resemblance to the visit to Valley of his towering predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee on April 17, 2003. In throes of militancy at the time, Kashmir […]

Some Glad Tidings at Last

Past few days have witnessed two game-changing developments in Kashmir and the rest of the country, which has ushered in a new political discourse. First Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the economic package for J&K thereby fulfilling the PDP-BJP coalition’s much flaunted promise – albeit after an inordinate delay of eight months.  And second, the […]

Post-Bihar, Budshah's beef lesson for India

What is identical between a sixteenth century Kashmiri king and the BJP governments of Maharashtra and Haryana? All banned beef. Only difference is that king was Sultan Ghiyas-ud-Din Zain-ul-Abidin and he had banned the cow slaughter in the state in deference to the religious sentiment of his Hindu subjects. As beef ban takes centre stage […]

Schools That Don’t Educate

IN a welcome move, the School Fee Fixation Committee constituted by the state government has declined the request from some prominent private schools to hike their fees. The assessment of the accounts of these schools by the committee reveals that they already charge fees disproportionate to their operational costs. One of the missionary schools in […]

Not Another War on Terror Please

A series of coordinated attacks by suicide bombers and gunmen in Paris on Friday night left around 129 innocent people killed. The eight gunmen, armed with assault weapons, grenades and suicide belts packed with explosives attacked a concert hall, restaurants and the national sports stadium to kill as many people as possible.  The so called […]

Some Hurriyat rethink, at last

In first such exercise, Hurriyat faction led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has started a social media debate on the “alternate forms of protest” in Kashmir.  Mirwaiz has sought opinion and constructive ideas on “alternative protest strategies, other than frequent hartal, from youth and other stakeholders”. The ideas and questions can be posted at #askHurriyat and […]

NC as opposition is no better

Now that PDP is fighting to retain an otherwise grudging public support in Valley for its alliance with BJP, has NC has staged hurtled back into the reckoning?  It hasn’t. And for this the party is itself to blame. For its politics continues to be tame, pusillanimous and the passive. If the past eight months […]

A new idea of India

Rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been phenomenal. From an ordinary RSS pracharak to the three time Chief Minister of Gujarat to a dizzying sweep to power at the centre, Modi makes for an inspirational story.  And as former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri has said in his book Neither a Hawk, Nor […]

Governance is the key

If there is anything that has stood out as the marker of some development in the eight months of PDP-BJP government, it is the improvement in the condition of some major roads in parts of the state. One reason for this is the revision of the funding per kilometre from Rs 18 lakh to Rs […]