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Date(06-01-2014): The electoral contest in 2014 is changing dimensions. With the thundering entry of the newbie in Indian politics Aam Aadmi Party, all calculations have been thrown up in the air. That muffler wrapped face of Arvind Kejriwal is now all over our TV screens. Much more than BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the sitting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Dr Singh, after two uninterrupted tenures as prime minister, has hung his boots when he said last week, “In a few months time, after the general elections, I will hand the baton over to a new prime minister. I hope it will be a United Progressive Alliance-chosen prime minister.”

Date(13-01-2014): Congress deewane mulk mey, raat mey aur dopahar mey, aabodaana dhoondtay hain, ek aashiana dhoondtay hain. Apologies to the makers of the 1970s Hindi film Gharonda, in which Aam Aadmi Amol Palekar and Aam Aurat Zarina Wahab sang the song written by Gulzar which roughly translates to: two enthusiasts in the city, scout day and night, hunting for a nest, hunting for a home. The ordinary struggle of an ordinary urban Indian couple, of finding a roof above their heads. The Congress leaders today are like that desperate couple, hunting for safe constituencies for themselves and Rahul Gandhi. The search is getting urgent. It is bordering on the crazily obsessive.

Date(20-01-2014): Online privacy is dead. Somebody or the other is reading your text messages, your e-mails, your Whatsapp and Facebook status updates, and your BBMs. Take it for granted that nothing is safe anymore other than silence. Either your parents, or your children, your spouse, love interest, employer, or the government or Americans….somebody is reading your online communication.

Date(27-01-2014): And so, one more Republic Day went by. Once more we saw the military parade on TV; once more we marvelled at the cultural diversity on display at the Rajpath in the capital. And once more we battled in our minds whether the display of military muscle is a throwback to Soviet era extravagance or is it a justified celebration of the idea of the Republic of India.

Date(03-02-2014): There was some buzz again last week that Dr Manmohan Singh was contemplating a visit to Pakistan next month, before he hangs his boots. It is one of those rumours which in the past nine years has been neither denied by the foreign office nor confirmed. And the ‘news’ gained ground when a visiting bunch of Pakistani journalists reported that all that was left was a fixing of dates. Meanwhile it appears that the Prime Minister might instead be traveling to Myanmar to attend the summit of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation). The interesting grouping consists of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. Look East Sir, look East.

Date(10-02-2014): Recently I attended a lecture by Kishore Mahabubani, the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore where he posed a question: Can India be Cunning?

Date(17-02-2014): It is quite natural for the media to focus on political news in an election year. However, the grand obsession with politics and political news has become quite oppressive. Every news story acquires political contours; grand meanings are read into anecdotal events.

Date(24-02-2014): As we draw closer to elections, politicians are going to talk about religion and its role in society and how they will defend the rights of every religious group of people. For people of religious minorities, this is significant as they look for an affirmation that their rights will be protected as determined by the Indian constitution.

Date(03-03-2014): There is something about arranged marriages in India. It’s like the entire universe conspires to actualise them. There is near panic when families cannot organise one. No amount of personal success at work or happiness in life is acceptable unless a ‘suitable’ match is found. It doesn’t matter if the couple has nothing much in common, and are not even remotely attracted to each other. No, just some random people or a computer thinks that a fit is found and heaven showers blessings.

Date(10-03-2014): A month before the elections kick off, campaigning has turned into a reality show. Move aside Bigg Boss and Satyamev Jayate, there is more drama to be devoured in election coverage.

Date(24-03-2014): A pseudonymous Twitter user, @thecomicproject, posted on Saturday: “Journalists have four designations: Journalist, Senior Journalist, Veteran Journalist, Politician.” He was referring to the recent induction of journalists into political parties, a trend which is viewed skeptically on social media. Nobody is quite comfortable with the fourth estate encroaching upon the political arena. That is because the media’s role includes being a watchdog of democratic processes and supervising the role of political players. But when these roles overlap, a shadow of doubt appears over the journalist’s past reporting: surely she must have been biased in her reporting of events.

Date(07-04-2014): Whoever coined the phrase “the dance of democracy” captured the essence of the electoral process that celebrates democracy. Barely three months after the elections in Bangladesh — and battling against worse odds — Afghanistan went to polls on Saturday.

Date(14-04-2014): The so called ‘Big Fight’ in both these constituencies is all made up to generate excitement for TV. Amethi will go to Rahul Gandhi and Varanasi will go to Narendra Modi. I am willing to stick my neck out on this and call.

Date(21-04-2014): Those who don’t want Modi will have to go to Pakistan, those who vote for Congress want Muslims to rule India like Babar did, those who vote for BSP want upper castes finished forever, those who vote PDP want Kashmir to go to Pakistan, those who vote for CPI want India to become a satellite of Russia/China.

2014 is not 1998 2014  4  28

Date(28-04-2014): With Priyanka Gandhi jumping out in the open into the Congress campaign programme, feeble hopes have rekindled in the Grand Old Party. She smiles, waves, hugs, makes pithy remarks about Narendra Modi without naming him, recalls her martyred father, her family links with Amethi and Rae Bareli and then disappears for a day.

Goodbye Dr Singh 2014  5  5

Date(05-05-2014): “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it,” wrote Sir Winston Churchill.

Date(12-05-2014): After the last vote has been cast for the 2014 general elections today, there will be a sense of catharsis for some. The venomous statements that politicians have made against each other will reduce to a great extent. Many of them have already begun backroom negotiations, just in case they need to forge alliances.

Date(19-05-2014): The new prime minister of India has a fantastic choice before him one that his predecessor did not have in his two terms in office. Not only can he freely choose who he wants to work with, he can even choose which jobs he wants to allocate to them.

Date(26-05-2014): This evening, Narendra Modi and his council of ministers will take the oath of office and secrecy from the President in the presence of about 4,000-odd invitees, who include foreign dignitaries, heads of government, eminent citizens and common Indians.

Feeble old party 2014  6  2

Date(02-06-2014): There is nothing really left of the Grand Old Party, the Indian National Congress, other than ‘old’. But it seems that the electoral shock of a near total wipeout has not resulted in any churning or ‘manthan’. The young brigade, which in Indian politics means those in their forties and fifties, are confronted with a moth eaten fabric. They are unable to come to terms with the new reality.

Date(09-06-2014): It was November 25, 2009, in Washington DC. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was midway through his visit to the American capital, and everything seemed to be going right.

Date(16-06-2014): With a prayer on my lips: It is a privilege to report on a Prime Minister’s maiden foreign visit and Bhutan is certainly on every Indian journalist’s bucket list. But for a queasy flyer, landing at Paro airport is a nightmare.

A Dragon in our room 2014  6  23

Date(23-06-2014): Within two weeks of assuming office, Prime Minister Modi has successfully completed his first tour abroad, to neighbouring Bhutan. He had earlier met the six heads of government of the region during his swearing in ceremony.

Date(30-06-2014): The ‘mountains of death’ that have passes between high peaks that even the troops of Alexander the Great found treacherous are once again the scene of battle. The 800km of Hindu Kush mountains stretch from Central Afghanistan to Northern Pakistan.

Bringing back Indians 2014  7  7

Date(07-07-2014): The rescue of 46 Indian nurses from Iraq last week is the second diplomatic success for the new NDA government.

Date(14-07-2014): From Syria to the border gates of Wagah, the fear of Balkanisation along the lines of religious radicalism and sectarianism poses a threat to the internal stability of countries of South Asia including India.

Date(21-07-2014): The horrors of war and conflict have been overwhelming this past week. Four boys, aged 9 to 12, all cousins, were killed in Israeli bombings in Gaza just minutes after they were playing on the beach, thinking that the sandy shores were safer than their streets.

Date(28-07-2014): First, the disclaimer. I have not read any of Shri Dinanath Batra’s books. Second, I don’t think it is the end of the world if anybody’s books are put on the supplementary reading list, however bizarre they may be.

Blame it on Rahul 2014  8  4

Date(04-08-2014): It is all Rahul’s fault. The lost election, the lethargic opposition, weak monsoon (maybe) and that we had Dr Singh as PM and not Sonia Gandhi. No, seriously how can one man be responsible for all ills when we also blame him for inaction?

Date(11-08-2014): On August 15, 2013, Narendra Modi made a speech at Lalan College in Bhuj, drawing derision from his opponents, especially the Congress party. The speech followed the prime minister’s address to the nation from the Red Fort and was covered extensively by the media. Modi termed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech as lacklustre. No one could find fault with that. Not even Sonia Gandhi will say that the former prime minister was a stirring orator. Not one of Dr Singh’s ten consecutive speeches from the Red Fort was inspiring.

Untouched by pain 2014  8  18

Date(18-08-2014): Robin Williams’ suicide shocked us all, though for most of us our only connection to the Hollywood actor was through his films or comic acts. Yet, he was part of our growing up years and brought us immense joy and laughter. On Twitter, Facebook and TV, people spoke endlessly with disbelief that a man who seemed so accomplished and famous could be so lonely, a person loved by millions could feel so unloved and a person who won so many awards could have such a low sense of self worth that he ended his life. A final solution, maybe to frustration, to the inability to make sense of the world.

Date(25-08-2014): Hospital stays in India are traumatic. Nothing less. Just like school life, dating, commuting, train journeys and paying taxes in India. This article is not a guide for survival at a government -aided or -run hospital, because for that you need active intervention of God and fate. Nor is it a survival manual for every hospital run in India. This is just my personal experience at several swanky hospitals in Delhi.

Sau din sauce kay 2014  9  1

Date(01-09-2014): Readers of a certain vintage would recall a ghastly Bollywood film produced in 1980 called Sau Din Saas Kay which had Reena Roy as the rebel daughter-in-law and Lalita Pawar as the archetypal vicious mother-in-law. This film was loud and melodramatic but it was a huge hit because suddenly tables had turned. The daughter-in-law had changed the equation in the Hindu undivided family. Somehow a 100 days is supposed to make a difference. The ‘nice’ period ends. Everybody is open to critical analysis at the end of a hundred days. So here goes the saucy tale of a hundred days.

Palli palli in Korea 2014  9  8

Date(08-09-2014): Travelling to countries that have witnessed partition and wars and managed to move on from that trauma is always an introspective experience. One ends up drawing parallels and experience a sameness of sorts. I visited South Korea last week as an invitee of the Cultural Communication Forum. For three days, 16 delegates from around the world were taken to museums, restaurants and high-tech offices to experience Korean culture.

Date(15-09-2014): I am always a bit flabbergasted reading tweets or hearing people saying “I am proud of being a Hindu” or “Garv sey kaho hum Hindu hain”. It is by accident of birth that one is born a Hindu. One really had no choice in the matter. Converting to Hindusim is not really easy. So how does one claim pride in something that was fate or fortuity?

Underwhelming Jinping 2014  9  22

Date(22-09-2014): Even as the Chinese President left Indian shores, there was a sense of unease that nothing y has really changed between India and China in all these decades. Trade, yes. Suspicion, oh yes. Distrust, most certainly. Same page, definitely not. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the Chinese first couple on a guided tour of Sabarmati Ashram and the Narmada Riverfront with disarming simplicity of purpose. President Xi Jinping also made the right moves, donned a Khadi jacket, smiled at times, and seemed to enjoy the meal. And yet, his army was marching into the Indian territory even while all this bonhomie was on.

Date(29-09-2014): Modi supporters are everywhere. I bet Mangalyaan will find them even on Mars. Here in New York, there are Modi supporters all across Manhattan. They have come in busloads to support their hero. So from Dekho Dekho kaun ayaa... Bharat ka sher aya (Look who has come, India’s lion is here) to Bharat Mata ki Jai to Vande Mataram, every slogan that Narendra Modi the campaigner raised during his gruelling election campaign was repeated over the weekend in the Big Apple.

Date(06-10-2014): I first covered an Indian Prime Minister at the UN when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister in the early 2000s and nobody gave a rat’s posterior of what an Indian PM had to say at the UN. Being part of the Indian media contingent, one could only hope for a passing mention of the Indian PM. And hopefully not hyphenated with Pakistan or Kashmir crisis. But even that was ambitious. In contrast Pakistan’s President General Musharraf was all over the place. He even managed to appear on Jay Leno’s show, which was huge.

Date(13-10-2014): It is more than a week since the prime minister has returned from the US and by norm, reporting should have whittled down, attention should have shifted to the Next Big Story, and follow-up should have been left to the babus of Delhi to do in ‘due course of time’.

Date(20-10-2014): The BJP’s achche din juggernaut rolls on. Tripling its numbers in an assembly election is no mean feat. But Amit Shah and Narendra Modi are on a roll. This partnership has brought in more laurels to the BJP than the Vajpayee-Advani partnership. One victory after another. And nobody is complaining though some, even in the BJP, do seem a bit overwhelmed.

Just a selfie 2014  10  27

Date(27-10-2014): The selfie epidemic is contagious. You will catch it if you have a camera-phone. Nobody is immune from it - from Narendra Modi to Barack Obama to Sonam Kapoor and yours truly. We have all clicked our own pictures eating, posing with family or celebrities or near monuments and during important moments. We document it for posterity, delete it if embarrassing, share with friends and family who are far away, post it on social media for FB likes and retweets. Momentary vanity or embarrassing moment, it is a thrill that you want to relish or keep forever.

Yes, We are Serious 2014  11  3

Date(03-11-2014): Mr Robert Vadra’s “Are you serious?” seems to have captured the media’s imagination more than the fact that he called the ANI reporter an idiot and nut, demanded the footage be deleted, instructed his guards to delete the footage and that the guards obliged him by dropping their mandate of guarding their protectee and proceeded to detain and harass the reporter to delete the footage. Let us leave the larger issue of the Haryana land deal and/or corruption aside and focus on the incident of Saturday night.

The fall of Robin Raphel 2014  11  10

Date(10-11-2014): Robin Raphel, former US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia and India’s long time foe is now under a counter-intelligence probe. According to media reports from Washington DC, the investigation involves allegations of spying on behalf of foreign governments. If the charges are proven, then it would hold that Ms Robin was not just India’s enemy; she was a foe to her own country as well.

Elections in Kashmir 2014  11  17

Date(17-11-2014): In ten days, Kashmir will go to polls. Do you hear the silence? It’s the silence of the old commentariat... those international opinionists who would exude scorn at any kind of democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir because of their own biases. There are no crude comments now from the OIC, the EU or from surly American commentators on the right to self-determination of Kashmiris being ignored... at the altar of Indian democracy. Yes, they have said something to that effect in the past. Why, even Pakistani commentators have more or less accepted that assembly elections in J&K are inevitable and more importantly, the people of the state want them.

The XVth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit began here on Wednesday. Heads of Government of 118 developing nations will discuss issues related to the global economic downturn, terrorism, climate change and food security during the summit.
 

Basamati rice is the preferred choice of Indians everywhere in the world.In the US, Indian grocery stores prominently display at least 10 to 15 varieties of basmati rice, all imported from India and Pakistan. Most Indians buy basmati rice in bulk, 15 to 20 kilos in sacks made of jute or plastic.

 

Barely into the second paragraph of his speech at the 15th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement at Sharm-el-Sheikh, Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani brought up the topic of Kashmir by saying "long standing unresolved disputes" were putting stress on international systems.

 

Does the Intelligence chief on one country go to another because the Prime Minister of that country summons him? He doesn't. And especially not if it is the ISI chief and the Prime Minister is an Indian. It was naïve to think that Dr Manmohan Singh would tell Mr. Asif Zardari, send your ISI chief and the chief would come marching on from Wagah border. An ISI chief has never come to India and a RAW chief has never been to Islamabad. But Zardari said 'yes '. Not just the ISI chief but he would send Army Chief Ashfaq Kiyani, who is himself and ex-director general of the ISI.

 

Crude oil skyrocketed to 145 dollars a barrel and Americans are feeling the pinch like never before.
With the Fourth of July weekend looming up, Americans are planning low key Independence Day celebrations.
 

Journalists from across the globe, who have gathered in London to cover the G-20 Summit, gave mixed reactions about their experience on Thursday.
 

It is a glorified house arrest. No less. For those who need to commute to work to downtown London on 1st or 2nd it is going to be a harrowing exercise. Everybody has been advised to carry as many forms of identification as they possess. Roads are blocked, thousands of policemen are patrolling the streets, presidential cavalcades are speeding down roads, potential protest demonstration sites are being sanitized of public movement, banks and government institutions are being guarded with particular emphasis

 

It is as certain to happen as Bilawal Bhutto will one day become Prime Minister, as certain as some Indian politician will accuse ‘Pakistani agent’ of tampering with EVM machines, as certain as match fixing, as certain as Prakash Karat finally supporting the Congress Party.

 

Jean Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, in his 1825 work, The Physiology of Taste, wrote, "Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are."Our current leaders do not talk much about what their dietery preferences are, though everybody knows that the Father of the Nation survived on the bare minimum and the satvik bhojan that he partook of was a major reason for the disciplined life that he led.
Similarly, India's first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, to the manor born, was not much of a foodie, but veered towards European cuisine. His daughter Indira Gandhi again did not really relish her meals, but was particular that they be served in a proper manner. Her son Rajiv on the other hand would not hesitate in eating a kachori from a roadside dhaba made in the most unhygienic surroundings.
Barely a fortnight before his tragic assassination (May 21, 1991), I covered his campaign in Bhopal and saw him unabashedly polishing off three samosas in a matter of minutes and washing it down with water which I am certain didn't come out of a bottle. I couldn't hide my smile at such simple trust he had on people who thrust food at him. That probably was the way he went through life, trusting all and trusting implicitly.

Ah double relief the Lakme fashion Week has ended and Miss India 2008 has been crowned. Glamour please take a back seat. But wait! Horror of horrors, did you notice, that awful fashion item, the kaftan is back? It was seen last week on the ramp, in all its 'awful glory' and fashion gurus gleefully gave sound bites to pyts on TV channels that it's time Indian women stocked up on this throwback to the seventies.

 

What’s cooking is the buzz.... What is going to be served at the banquet hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for the world's 20 most powerful leaders? The menu is a secret but some leaks are out. One is that it is going to be comparably frugal and two that pork is off the menu. That is certain. The Saudi Arabian, Turkish and Indonesian delegations wouldn't want that.

 

For the first time ever, an Indian school soccer team is taking part in a youth soccer tournament in the US.
 

As most of the world watched with bated breath, the impossible happened. A highly emotional General Musharraf handed over command to General Ashfaq Kiyani. It was a historical moment for the subcontinent, the world and hopefully Pakistan. As America slept (given the time difference) Pakistan awoke to a new freedom. Symbolically perhaps, the baton got stuck in its groove as Musharraf with shaking hands struggled to pull it out. Kiyani bent forward to help but by then even the Gods, probably moved by the poignancy of the moment, came to the rescue of the two awkward Generals. The baton moved and it was handed over by General Musharraf to General Kiyani.

 

Indian grad students studying in the US are finding the summer hard. Those who chose not to go back to India for the summer break, hoping to get summer jobs are finding that for the first time there are no jobs...not even in grocery stores and fast food eateries. Employers cut 62,000 jobs in the month of June as soaring fuel prices and a slowing economy forced companies to reduce costs. The US Department of Labour reported that the economy has lost about 438,000 jobs since the beginning of the year. The unemployment rate was at 5.5%.
 

The new President of Pakistan after taking oath of office promised the country "come hell of high water, elections will be held". Twisting his mouth derisively he said any talk of boycott should be ignored. Parvez Musharraf dressed in a black bandh gala suit was administered oath of office in capital Islamabad this morning by Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Dogar. Breaking with convention, the new President decided to address the august gathering. Neither Benazir Bhutto nor Nawaz Sharif or his family members were present, but there was a large contingent of judges, several army officers and colourfully attired ladies, including the first lady Sahiba Musharraf.

 

From early hours of the morning, Indian techies and Non Resident Indians have started lining up outside AT&T and Apple shops to buy the new 3G iPhone. This new generation phone, if one can call it that, promises faster Web browsing experience. At least faster than the original iPhone launched in June 2007..

 

Where are the famous Mangaloreans who brandish their origins at the drop of a hat? Why are they not speaking up for the protection of the secular and liberal culture of this beautiful port city?
 

Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan – Shiv Shankar Menon and Salman Basheer – burnt the midnight oil on Tuesday to try to work out some kind of framework to lay the ground for the resumption of talks between the two countries.

 

No seriously, how much lower will the dollar go? It's gone lower beyond Mallika's neckline and even Rakhi Sawant's décolletage seems nun-like proper in comparison to this plunge. Is that how low it goes or further?

 

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, left for the French capital, Paris, today to be the Chief Guest of Honour at France''s National Day celebrations on July 14th.
He is the first Indian leader to be bestowed this honour, as France does not have a tradition of inviting foreign heads of state to be chief guests at their Bastille Day or National Day celebrations.
 

As part of the media team accompanying the Prime Minister to Egypt to take part in the 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit meet, I can't help but feel a sense of anxiety.

 

On the sidelines of the G-20 summit meeting are the innovative protests and demostrations that will attract just about as much attention as the photo opportunity of world leaders shaking hands. Protestors have every intentin of being innovative and clever adn fool the over 20,000 cops who will be on duty on April 1st and 2nd during the summit.

 

Remember the uproar that Barack Obama caused when in August 2007 he said, "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will." Cut now to last his answer last Sunday to Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press. When asked whether India had the right of "hot pursuit" to go after terrorists in Pakistan. Obama's response, "I'm not going to comment on that. What, what I'm going to restate is a basic principle. Number one, if a country is attacked, it has the right to defend itself. I think that's universally acknowledged."

 

Indian Americans residing here are of the view that India can and will play an integral role in keeping the American economy competitive, despite the ongoing meltdown on Wall Street and its impact on global economies.
 

Obama says hey Rahm 2013  8  18

President elect Barack Obama has a selected his chief of staff and his name is Rahm. Though the name has nothing to do with the Hindu mythological figure of Ram, Indian Americans who are loyal Obama supporters are sure to be happy with the name that sounds so like the Hindu God.

 

Sex for Gas! 2013  9  6

As gas prices skyrocketed to new high this week, a 50 year old Kentucky resident actually paid for sex with a 100 dollar card good for gas at Speedway gas station.
An undercover cop caught him having sex with a call girl last Friday at a Days Inn in Fort Wright.
 

Imagine not inheriting a permanent bureaucracy. Freedom to bring in your own babus. It is every Indian politician''s dream. Here in "the land of the free", it is a privilege that the President enjoys. He is not encumbered with a permanent bureaucracy. So on January 20th, when President elect

 

Which pup for Obama? 2013  11  15

Just a few months left before the presidential election and it's time to get the Obama's a dog. They have none.

 

Date(18-11-2013): General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani retires this month despite speculation that he would get another extension. Rarely does a Pakistani general retire into oblivion, that too without having either mounted a coup, established martial law or destabilised an elected government and placed a pliant prime minister.

As most of the world watched with bated breath, the impossible happened. A highly emotional General Musharraf handed over command of the Pakistan Army to General Ashfaq Kiyani.
 

Date(25-11-2013): The country mourns with you, the country stands by you and the country vows to never ever forget or forgive. The diabolical attacks five years ago were sixty hours that are imprinted in a generation’s mind. It changed forever the innocence of our countrymen who thought that they had gotten a grip over terrorism or that terror came in the form of a bomb, not men with guns shooting people in cafes, stations and hotels in the heart of the city. Mumbai learned that it is and will always be vulnerable.

Date(02-12-2013): If you believe that media is objective, then you also believe in Santa Claus. While some media outlets at least make attempts to be impartial or fair, it is impossible in today’s age to be truly neutral. In a period of high decibel TV debates and social media activism, media trials and judgmental reporting have become the norm. Senior journalists and media observers bemoan the fact that old school reporting has all but disappeared. Subjectivity and manipulation of images and events have completely changed the way news is reported.

Date(09-12-2013): Indian voters have shown again that there is a price to be paid for arrogance. Verdict 2013 has two messages: it is a no-confidence vote against the Congress and it is a go-ahead for the BJP for its prime ministerial candidate. And there is a subtext: there is an alternative to the two of you too, the Aam Aadmi Party. So slog it out for the next four months because none of you can sit back on these results.

The two 16 Decembers 2013  12  16

Date(16-12-2013): On this day in 1971, Indian armed forces, along with the Mukti Bahini, got the Pakistani forces led by General Abdullah Khan Niazi to surrender. It brought to an end the genocide conducted by Pakistani forces against their own people in erstwhile East Pakistan. India commemorates December 16 as Vijay Diwas.

Date(23-12-2013): “Dude, who is Kamraj?” “He was a swarthy skinned, lungi wearing Southie, who kind of got Congressis to quit ministerial posts and work for the party.” “Wow! And they did?” “Yup, in 1963, and the dude didn’t have social media, cell phones, not even the Internet to charge them up.” “Kinda cool huh?”

Date(30-12-2013): If anything, what I don’t want to do is look back at 2013, annus horribilis that it was. Even if I say it in Latin, it doesn’t take away the fact that the year gone by has been terrible. As the year draws to an end, there are some small signs of hope about the year that lies ahead. There is hope because we will elect the 16th Lok Sabha this spring.

Dont get me wrong, this has nothing to do with Mrs Gursharan Kaur. Its got to do with the Prime Minister and the media. The Indian media has had the longest ever live in relationship with a Prime Minister to date. Not even Rajivji got this long a date. Agreed that the media in the giddy eighties saw young Rajiv as the bright beacon dragging a kicking screaming lethargic nation into the new millennium but then the gun happened. Remember the 'B' word. It just undid everything else. Even the "hum jeetenge ya loosenge" or "naani yaad dila denge" seemed cute in front of the barrage that the Bofors gun let loose.

 

At the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in downtown Moscow, the Indian Prime Minister laid a wreath against the Kremlin Wall. In an essentially one-day visit, the Prime Minister had just two engagements besides his talks with President Vladimir Putin. Despite the strong wind chill factor and snowing that has been on all day, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stood for a few minutes before the flame and then took salute of the guard of honour. Clad in a grey overcoat and tourists who had no idea from which country the head of state was watched black suit, Manmohan Singh. There were no flags on lamp posts as is common in many nations when there is a state level visit.

Athens (Greece), May 08, 2007 (ANI)
Speaking to scientists and academicians at the National Centre for Scientific Research at Demokritos, Athens, on Friday, President A.P.J.Abdul Kalam said that "energy independence is India's first and highest priority." Kalam also advocated the need for using thorium reactors for the country, saying, "India has to go for nuclear power generation in a big way using thorium-based reactors. Thorium, a non fissile material is available in abundance in our country."
 

Its all about energy 2012  6  2


If there is a swagger in Vladimir Putin it has nothing to do with his six-pack, though going by photographs he could put Sharukh in OSO to shame. The swagger is due to his country's bulging oil profits and India with huge energy hunger has come abegging. Manmohan Singh knows that subsidies have to roll back and triple digit figures per barrel have India like China clawing at Russia's door. With the 123 agreement in the dock, India has to look simultaneously for other options. Russia is where it has always sought.

After his late night meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, which the two sides described as frank and detailed, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Basheer expressed regret that relations between the two South Asian neighbours had come to such a pass that they have to meet thousands of miles away here in Egypt.

 

So, the White House gatecrashers were actually invited to a Bollywood party in chic Adams Morgan in downtown DC, whereas reporters tailing the Salahis had to gatecrash the party!
The party was hosted by Kelly Ann Collins and titled “Hollywood vs. Bollywood.” and the Salahis were special invitees.
 

India and Russia today jointly pledged to take forward the India-Russia-China troika forward to "promising heights." At the end of two hours of deliberations between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the two leaders waxed eloquently on bilateral relations but were almost effusive in their plans for expansion of the scope of the troika. President Putin spoke of continued meeting of leaders of the three countries and
 

Putin packs a punch 2012  6  28

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a man of few
words. He isn't given to effusive sentimentality. He was very
comfortable during his two-hour-long meeting with Indian Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, who like his host, has a sphinx like exterior
but packs a deadly punch when needed.

 

A 47-nation Nuclear Security Summit in Washington agreed Tuesday to lock up the world's most vulnerable nuclear materials within four years to prevent terrorists from setting off a global catastrophe. The communique issued at the end of the two day summit noted "nuclear terrorism is one of the most challenging threats to international security and strong nuclear security measure the most effective means to prevent terrorist criminals or other unauthorized actors from acquiring nuclear materials".
 

Several women in the Prime Minister's delegation to Moscow for his 24
hour visit and not one woman in fur. Not even faux fur. And this in a
city that revels in its fur fashion. Mrs Gursharan Kaur wore a black
woolen overcoat most of the day while the Prime Minister preferred a
grey woollen coat. His colleagues were all men, no fur there. And the
media team which had a record ten women teamed their outfits with
leather or woollen coats to beat the -7 degrees Celsius weather. Not
one of them owned a mink coat. It’s kind of hard to combine mink with
Kanjeevaram or Banarasi sarees, which is as dressy as a woman
Journalist gets.

 




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