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Mumbai (2013-01-07): Even if we want to, we can’t. It is not possible to sweep this monster-sized guilt and humiliation under the carpet, veil it behind a chador, or shroud it in a sari. The shame and dishonour is there for all to see. Globally, there is shock over the gruesome rape and then respect for how common Indians moved as a nation to find ways out of the current morass.

Mumbai (2013-01-14): How does one wage peace when conflict turns macabre and public opinion favours revenge? Logically, policies are not formulated due to pressures of knee jerk public opinion. However, disregarding public opinion too is political suicide.

In Republic we trust 2013  1  21

Mumbai (2013-01-21): Accomplished actress Chitrangada Singh recently said, “This Republic Day, I am in no mood to celebrate. We should mourn, introspect and hang our heads in shame.” She is just one among thousands of young Indians on social media and at candle light vigils in cities and towns who have voiced similar sentiments, shaken as they are, after the brutal gang rape of a paramedical student in Delhi and the insensitive remarks of our politicians thereafter.

Mumbai (2013-01-28): Justice JS Verma, after submitting the report recommending changes in laws related to sexual crime, said that he was shocked over the seemingly unsympathetic attitude of the administration to the public outpouring of grief, and their resultant frustrated anger should serve as an eye-opener to our leaders. Since governments don’t take people’s reactions seriously one presumes they will take commissions and committees they appoint seriously.

Mumbai (2013-02-04): In the name of God, just go! Like a pimple that just doesn’t go away, General Musharraf reappears with exasperating frequency.

Mumbai (2013-02-11): It began as an interview of a film director-cum-author-cum-poet, a Bengali artiste who has won many national and international awards and whose popularity transcends geographical and political borders.

Mumbai (2013-02-18): 21st February is celebrated as International Mother Language Day. If you are a Calcuttan (or Kolkattan), you couldn’t miss it as the day is observed as Bhasha Dibosh in solidarity with the former East Pakistanis who wanted Bangla/Bengali to be declared the official language, long before the birth of Bangladesh.

Mumbai (2013-02-25): Hidden from international and regional attention, ethnic cleansing to the point of genocide of sorts is going on in Pakistan. The Hazara community in Pakistan’s largest province, Balochistan, is being systematically annihilated by mass murder, while law enforcement agencies look on, either helplessly or in connivance. Cries of ‘Shia Shia, Kafir Shia’ rend the air, pamphlets threatening elimination of the entire race of Hazaras are distributed right under the nose of the Pakistani military and intelligence services in the garrison town of Quetta, yet nobody does anything to stop this business of hate and murders.

Mumbai (2013-03-04): The genocide in Bangladesh took place more than 40 years ago but it is only now that the enforced stupor of its people is ending, as the War Crimes Tribunal delivers its verdicts. Bangladesh is undergoing a historic catharsis that is being ignored by the world and even by its neighbours. On February 28, the War Crimes Tribunal delivered its third verdict: capital punishment for Delawar Hossain Sayeedi, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, for the murder, abduction, rape and torture of his countrymen during the Liberation War of 1971.

Mumbai (2013-03-11): Some say there is a leadership crisis in the country while others aver that there is a plethora of ‘electable’ (a word used in Pakistan) politicians who are our leaders. The truth precariously stands somewhere in between. As the current term of the Congress-led coalition comes to a close, the leadership battle is heating up. The heir apparent of the single largest party in the country today says, “The prime minister’s post is not my priority. I believe in long-term politics.” Rahul Gandhi has ruled himself out as the leader of the next government, if his party wins the 2014 elections. But as we have seen in the past, leaders can be ‘persuaded’ by persistent supporters to take up the mantle of leadership.

Mumbai (2013-03-18): Another house comes crumbling down. A real estate developer is bringing down a 40-year old house next to my home. With each bang, a wall disintegrates and the painstakingly constructed home of the Lekhis takes its last breaths. The House of Lekhis is not named thus, but in our family that is what we called it. Ramneek Lekhi was a photojournalist employed with CBS News in the sixties. He was very keen to travel abroad and waited anxiously for a foreign assignment. A father to three young sons, he promised them toy-cars if he indeed went abroad.

Mumbai (2013-03-25): All it took was for the Indian Prime Minister to thunder (well almost) in Parliament that “there will be consequences” unless Italy returns the two marines charged with the murder of two Kerala fishermen, that the signal went out to the European nation that India means business. That and some frenzied diplomatic activity. Rome’s unbecoming decision to go back on its word given to the Indian Supreme Court was a huge embarrassment for the Congress-led UPA government and a violation of every diplomatic treatise. The marines arrived before the deadline and though they may not be housed in the Tihar jail (where rape undertrials commit suicide) or in the Yerawada prison (where Sanjay Dutt might soon be imprisoned), the fact is that they are back and will be tried in an Indian court.

Mumbai (2013-04-01): Blame it on Spring fever, or old men in a hurry, or too long a period of stability. There is a rapid movement towards the formation of a Third Front, an alternative to the BJP and the Congress. It was in these very pages that this columnist had written last year of the expeditious coming together of regional satraps frustrated at waiting on the sidelines and not getting their due in Delhi.

Mumbai (2013-04-08): Flashing headlines across the world declaring India as the world’s rape capital is making many of us cringe. The government insists it’s not all that bad and tourism hasn’t got hit, but industry says there is a 25 per cent drop in foreign tourist traffic and a 35 per cent drop in female travelers coming to India.Some hotels think that complementary spa treatment for women would increase female tourist traffic! Err…maybe a panic button in the room is more realistic?

Mumbai,(2012-01-02): The Rajya Sabha debate or rather the debacle last week was termed as a "devious dance of deception", "match-fixing of the worst kind", "murder at midnight" and "death of democracy" by many bitter politicians and commentators.

Seething with anger at what was clearly political manipulation of Parliamentary proceedings, our MPs puffed into television microphones pithy and ominous sound bites, delivering obituaries of democratic traditions and parliamentary norms.

'Make the budget here' 2012  1  9

Mumbai, (2012-01-09): Dear Finance Minister and team, You have a month and a half before you present the annual budget, so here are my humble suggestions. For this massive exercise, do not closet yourselves in the Planning Commission and North Block. Do not go to any fancy retreat where you are entertained by poets and actors for Rest & Recreation.

Turn your privileged attention to our oft-neglected villages. This is where farmers with bumper harvests are setting fire to their paddy crop (West Bengal), driving their tractors over their potato harvest (Punjab), junking their onion crop on highways (Gujarat). Don't give them sops. That is the easy way out. Release land and loan for private investors to build cold storages, streamline supply chains, build roads, and ensure reliable power supply and water for irrigation.

Mumbai (2012-01-16): Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party." A phrase from a typing drill, it can well be used for the BJP today. The election campaign is in full swing in Uttar Pradesh. However, BJP is missing in action. Where are the star speakers? A party that shows its lungpower in Parliament and has some fantastic orators has not yet unveiled them, in the state that matters. The few good men and women that comprise the top rung of the BJP seem to have expended all their energy in December, battling the government on permitting multi-brand FDI in retail and then the Lokpal bill. The elephantine gait of this party is similar to Mayawati's BSP. Bhenji has been MIA from the scene too, but then again, she already has one vote bank in the bag ¦can we say the same for the BJP?

Mumbai (2012-01-23):It is exhausting to be a 'Pakistan watcher'. It blows up every day. It blows up several times a day. And with avid fascination, we watch the country carved out of our own after much heartache, somehow pull through and survive despite all odds. For months now, the elected government of Yousuf Raza Gilani and the Army have been at loggerheads, each trying to outwit the other, yank at the constitution and the judiciary to bring things to a head-on collision.


For almost a month now, Pakistan watchers in Delhi and DC have been predicting a direct coup or a proxy one in Islamabad, that didn't happen. Gilani is now the longest serving democratically elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. Who would have thought, that a man who was seen as a mere puppet placed by the Bhutto-Zardari clans would be the one upholding democracy in Pakistan. 

Mumbai (2012-01-30):In Canada, the alleged 'honour killing' of three teenaged daughters by Afghan-born parents shocked the western world. Polygamist Mohammad Shafia is accused of murdering his three daughters and his first wife.

Mohammad, his son and second wife have pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder supposedly committed to 'purify' the family name of disgrace, brought about because the girls flirted and dated boys. 

New Delhi (2012-02-03): Smita Prakash: Hailed as a superpower in the making, India today stands on the cusp of a past, rich in history, and a promising future. Its democratic ethos is hailed worldwide; from Canberra to Cairo, India is looked upon as a stabilizing force in the Asian region and a voice for developing countries.

As we celebrate our 63rd Republic Day, it is with pride and humility that we can look back upon our civilizational ethos and our pluralistic democracy and realize that these two are strengths, which make us a beacon of light in the region. Quite naturally, it leads one to wonder why just a soft power? Why not a hard power or a super power?

Mumbai (2012-02-06): Results for nursery admissions were out last week in most cities in the country. Despair and joy was evident as parents rushed to see if their three-year-olds had made it to the list. Some had applied in as many as 18 to 20 schools, hoping to make it into at least one.

There were heartbreaking scenes as mothers wept on facing rejection. Three-year-old children waited in cold weather next to their parents wondering what it is that they had done to bring such sadness on their parents' faces.

Mumbai (2012-02-13): In the past three months, three attempted coups have been foiled in our neighbourhood plunging the governments there into crisis modes. In Bangladesh, Pakistan and Maldives, elements within their respective political set ups threatened democratically elected governments. 

In December an attempted coup in Bangladesh by army officers aligned with the fundamentalist outfit Hizb ut Tahrir was foiled, saving Sheikh Haseena's fledgling government. The coup was plotted to subvert the trial of war criminals that had sided with the Pakistani army in the 1971 war.

Mumbai (2012-02-20): It is the seventies revisited, when our cricket team would play to draw matches, never even aspiring for a victory. In Uttar Pradesh, politics today is all about numbers and caste. In the final lap, one can safely bet that no political party is playing for a win. Their arrogance stems from an insecurity of confusion and fear of loss.

Mumbai (2012-02-27): For once, I want my country to say that. Just be the bully on the block. On second thoughts, not really a bully, a smart power held in awe and given the respect due to it. India, the regional super power, the emerging economic power, the soft-power giant, the majestic elephant: are all fine. But can my government just behave like any kind of power for once?

Lucknow, Feb.29 (ANI): In Uttar Pradesh, you can spot an anti-Dalit (socially backward Hindu caste) village from a distance.

In a state where 21.5 percent of the 35.1 million population consists of Dalits, and all political parties beg for their votes, this caste should have been able to rise above abject poverty and deprivation.

Mumbai (2012-03-05): No news that comes out of Bangalore shocks one anymore. Here was city once referred to as the Silicon Valley of the East, which was supposed to showcase India of the 21st century. And now, from Porngate to media-mayhem, Bangalore is in the news for all the wrong reasons.

A widow's tears 2012  3  12

Mumbai (2012-03-12): She sat by the side of her husband's lifeless body; a stray tear escaped her blood shot eyes. Relatives, village elders and her husband's colleagues openly wept at the cruel end of a life that held so much promise.

Rebellious 'atoot angs' 2012  3  19

Mumbai (2012-03-19): Folklore has it that the term 'atoot ang' or unbreakable limb was first used by Atal Behari Vajpayee to describe Kashmir's status in the Indian union. In a political coalition the atoot angs are the political parties, which keep it in office. While an atoot ang is treated with respect for the value it brings to the main body, the problem arises when these 'angs' turn rebellious.

Mumbai (2012-03-26): Do you pick up your newspaper every morning with dread? Do you switch TV news channels hoping to avoid visuals of weeping widows, parents and young children sitting beside dead bodies of victims of mob violence, police brutality or sexual crimes?

That sinking feeling 2012  4  2

Mumbai (2012-04-02): We, the people, have become we the insulated middle class people. We, the newspaper reading, television watching, cell phone using, educated, well-travelled, cynical,pragmatic, angry, annoying Indians.
 

Mumbai (2012-04-09): Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has a habit of springing surprises.Not really known for his overt religious leanings, his sudden announcement to visit India took everyone by surprise. Though Zardari and Benazir had visited the Chisti dargah in 2005, he has since never expressed any significant religious zeal.

New Delhi, Apr 11 (ANI): In Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan's only Shia dominated province ethnic cleansing is being carried out systematically, away from media glare and international attention. Hundreds of Shia Muslims staged a protest in front of the Lahore Press Club on April 10th urging the media to pressurize the Pakistani government to stop the atrocities on its community in Gilgit Baltistan. On April 9th a rally was held in Kargil against targeted killings in GB and local leaders appealed to the Indian government to take up the issue with the international community.

Why not go to Gah? 2012  4  16

Mumbai (2012-04-16): It is really a Delhi fixation. More so, a Delhi power corridor fixation. Gah is a small village in Chakwal district about a 100 kilometres from Islamabad. Before partition it was the hometown of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Ever since Dr Singh became Prime Minister, peaceniks from both sides of the border have been repeatedly saying that Dr Singh should visit his birthplace, a journey that would improve relations between India and Pakistan. This demand has become stronger after the so-called personal visit by President Asif Ali Zardari to India and the invitation delivered at the Prime Minister’s residence to visit Pakistan.

Mumbai (2012-04-23): On Saturday, when many of us were relaxing over the weekend break with our families, a young District Collector was interacting with poor and deprived villagers, trying to bring about small changes for the better in their lives. Alex Paul Menon, the District Collector of Sukma in Chattisgarh was interrupted in his task by Maoist guerrillas, who, disguised as rural folk, suddenly opened fire, killing the two security guards protecting him. Within minutes Alex had been whisked away into the thick jungles without leaving a trace or threat note.

New Delhi, April 25 (ANI): I trudge up the stairs to her second floor apartment in a middle class suburb in Delhi. The first word that comes to my mind is: unpretentious.

The doyen of Indian theatre and films, Zohra Sehgal, lives in a tiny IInd floor apartment. I am here to talk to her about her life, even as her family and fans plan on celebrating her hundred years on planet Earth on April 27th. Zohraji lives with her daughter, the renownedOdissi dancer, Kiran Sehgal.

Mumbai (2012-04-30):  At a recent public meeting, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said, “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.” Romney was invoking an old phrase - “It’s the economy, stupid,” famously used by Bill Clinton in his successful 1992 campaign, that unseated President George Bush (the father). Bush had won the Gulf War but lost focus on the economy. From a 90 per cent approval rating he fell to an unimaginable defeat.

New Delhi, April 26 (ANI): "If there is one tragedy in my life today, it is that I can't read and write (due to a problem with her vision). I used to do crossword puzzles night and day. I used read books, one after the other, especially detective novels with a lot of sex in them (winks), my daughter-in-law Seema (grand daughter of Munshi Premchand) used to bring them for me...but now I can't read. I accept it. Its ok...after all I have lived a hundred years.

Mumbai (2012-05-07): Days before he was assassinated on May 21st 1991, Rajiv Gandhi at an election rally in UP said “mehangai ke bojh taley dabein hain sab, aur koi sukha bhi nahii pada” (we are burdened with rising prices and there isn’t even a drought). Ironically the Congress has been in power for 13 out of the 21 years since his death but mehangai is still an issue.

Mumbai (2012-05-14): Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of the party.” Only there is no party, just the atmosphere being created for it. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha hinted at a non-Congress, non-BJP front when she talked about inter-state regional cooperation. The meeting of minds between Jayalalitha, and Naveen Patnaik was evident during the long hours spent in ripping apart the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
 

Mumbai (2012-05-21): The Queen is dead, long live the Queen is the traditional proclamation where monarchies reign, signifying the continuity of the kingship. It probably holds true for the Queen of Hills — Simla, which was once the summer capital of India. Today, it is like any other hill station in the country: overpopulated, noisy and decaying and yet lakhs of tourists come here every year, to experience the last vestiges of its charm.

Give me back my Kirana 2012  5  22

New Delhi, May 22 (ANI): What do you do if your neighbourhood grocery store shuts down and you are left with little option but to ask the 'ladies who know' for help? There is this band of 'knowledgeable ladies' in every city who always seem to know where you get what, and the best deals the city has to offer. I have learned, over the years, to tap on these 'google ladies' for information.
 

New Delhi, May 26 (ANI): The class XII CBSE board exam results are due on Monday 28th and I am ready for them, armed with brownies and several mugs of coffee. Yes, that is the only way to deal with them regardless of whether you are a Tiger Mom or a Tortoise Mom. You could have spent years slogging away with your kid, lovingly slaved over 'her' (actually your) summer projects and laboratory files, prepared umpteen nutritious meals for him/her before the exams, but now you need to fortify yourself with sugar and caffeine before the results are out.

Mumbai (2012-05-28): Snubbed and benched in Chicago, a week ago, at the NATO summit on Afghanistan, the ally from hell, Pakistan is angry — and insulted. And a livid Pakistan is like a maniac with a suicide vest on, grenade in his mouth and a gun to his head. Not to mention, the nukes piled in the garage.

Washington DC (2012-06-04): Traveling by road is to explore one’s country…bit by bit. It is difficult, dangerous, strenuous, time consuming, yet rewarding and well, an experience that is a part of many people’s bucket list. In the west, a driver’s licence is your ticket to freedom; to get out of your parent’s protective circle and step out into the world. There are rules to be followed and you are taught early in life that drinking and driving is stupid. Following traffic signs is like swimming; if you don’t do it then you die.

Washington DC (2012-06-11):  In 2002, the US ambassador to India, Robert Blackwill had famously commented “India-US trade-relations are as flat as a chapati.” Relations were then limping to normalcy post 9/11 till President George W Bush gave a carte blanche to his administration to chart out a new path with India. Today, the India-US relationship is nowhere as flat as a chapati, indeed it is as puffed up as a poori.

Aam matters in the US 2012  6  18

Washington DC (2012-06-18): It was quite a sight to see American and Indian businessmen, lobbyists and journalists push, shove and grab their bag of free Indian grown mangoes at the US-India Business Council meet on the sidelines of the 3rd round of the India-US strategic dialogue in Washington DC.

Washington DC (2012-06-25):  The not so nice phase of the US presidential campaign is slowly coming closer. Remarks aimed below the belt have begun. It is quite like that phase in Indian elections when leaders tear up candidate lists or call each other ‘maut ka saudagar’ or make comments about other’s foreign origins.

Mumbai (2012-07-02): Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai will hold talks with his Pakistani counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani on July 4 under the shadow of rapid developments of the past week, which saw release of Indian prisoner Surjeet Singh, Pakistani flip-flop over Sarabjit Singh’s release and the capture and shocking statements by 26/11 mastermind Abu Jundal.
 

Monsoon of hope 2012  7  9

Mumbai (2012-07-09): It's that time of the year when we look up to the skies in hope. Hope for a bountiful monsoon that will grab us from the downward slide and give the economy the boost that it craves.

Mumbai (2012-07-16): The Monsoon has arrived in all parts of the country, not wholly or completely or in full measure but very substantially (with due apologies to Jawaharlal Nehru). It is a time when India, urban and rural alike, celebrates the end of dusty, dry, parched days and nights, and the onset of prana or the life force of monsoon rains. But the newspapers and television beam us depressing and horrific news of rapes, murders, atrocities, suicides, accidents, terror and hopelessness. How is one supposed to smile and feel optimistic in such times?

Mumbai (2012-07-23): Elections are the crucible where democratic credentials of a country are put to test. In a few months from now, we are going to witness assembly elections in many states. Holding free and fair elections is perhaps more important than the result itself. After all, the result in a democracy is nothing, as the cynics quip, but the tyranny of the majority.

RAW and unripe 2012  7  30

Mumbai (2012-07-30): India's external intelligence agency, R&AW (Research and Analysis Wing) is in the news again, not because of an ex-spy having been released by our not-so-friendly neighbour, but because of a work of fiction penned by a former R&AW officer, Amar Bhushan. Escape to Nowhere, the patchily written novel is based on the real-life incident of a long drawn out counter-intelligence operation to nab Rabinder Singh, a CIA mole in the R&AW, who escaped to the US in 2004. More than a thriller, the novel is tragedy: a mole discovered by R&AW, and they couldn’t nab him after almost hundred days of tailing him.

New Delhi, Aug 3 (ANI): It is a secular festival we are told, practiced by Indians of all faiths, celebrating the bond between brother and sister.

New Delhi, Aug.3 (ANI): It was my son’s last day in school. I woke up at 6.30 a.m., as I have been doing for the last fourteen years, knocked on his door, and said: “Wake up, it’s time for school.”  But this was the last day I would be doing it. He was going for his shirt signing ceremony and bid farewell to his teachers.

Mumbai (2012-08-06): Not even Manoj Kumar has the stomach for making a Kranti today. And no Bane is coming to bring about a revolution in India’s Gotham cities. Arvind Kejriwal is sorely mistaken if he thinks that middle class India can be woken up from it’s deep, dark and tired slumber. But then, that is now and, that is the middle class. With a 6% growth projected due to drought conditions in the country, we are looking at tumultuous times ahead with income and employment stress that can throw up all kinds of political equations; even a revolution of sorts. Whether Messrs Kejriwal and Co. will lead that revolution is to be seen.

Mumbai (2012-08-13): For the expat Sikh, the Gurudwara was the sanctuary, the place that connected him to India, the land that he left behind for higher education, a better standard of living and in some cases, for safety, after the Khalistan movement and the riots of 1984. It was a place that connected him to his religion, his community, his mother tongue, his countrymen, cricket, bhangra, parathey and all other memories of his native land. It was a place where arguments with his parents regarding pagdi, beard and arranged marriage subsided when he heard the Gurubani...only to be resumed on the journey back home in the car.

Mumbai (2012-08-20): A tweet on my timeline last week by an expatriate Indian,who goes by the twitter handle @filter_c said: “idu namma desha (this is our country). A Tibetan’s response to me in Bylakuppe, Karnataka, when I asked him how he knew Kannada.”

NAMaskar to Tehran 2012  8  27

Mumbai (2012-08-27): Being the founder member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Belgrade in 1961, it would suit us perfectly to say to its other 119 members: “Rishte mey toh hum tumhare baap lagte hain, NAM hai India.” (With due apologies to Amitabh Bachchan in Shahenshah).

How to pack for Iran? 2012  8  28

New Delhi, Aug 28 (ANI): It is my first visit to Iran so naturally, I am excited about going to a country which has had historic ties with India, and is currently going through a politically tumultuous phase.

New Delhi, Aug 28 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will arrive in Iranian capital Tehran this evening to attend the 16th summit of the Non Aligned Movement.

Tehran, Aug 28 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, arrived here on Tuesday to attend the XVI Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.

Tehran, Aug.28 (ANI): Waking up to the new threat of cyber jehad, India has decided to appoint a cyber security controller in the National Security Council.

Tehran, Aug 28 (ANI):  Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport is located 30 miles southwest of the city, but the drive from the airport to the downtown area where the hotels are located is a smooth drive despite the traffic.

Tehran, Aug 28 (ANI):  The last few years in India have been relatively free of communal tensions as we have known it in the past, but new challenges are rising which need new methods to meet and deal with it, said an Indian official speaking on the sidelines of the 16th NAM summit in Tehran.

Tehran, Aug 28 (ANI): On the eve of possible meeting between Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, on the sidelines of the XVIth Non-Aligned Summit Meet in Tehran, a government source said “Sirf baatcheet se terrorism hall nahii ho sakti.” (Terrorism will not be solved with just talks).

Tehran, Aug 29 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Wednesday hoped that Pakistan would not fail to take note of the Supreme Court's verdict of upholding the death sentence of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist involved in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that claimed 166 lives.

Tehran, Aug.29 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife, Gursharan Kaur, visited the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha Gurudwara and an Indian school run by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan here on Wednesday.

Tehran, Aug.29 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s wife, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, on Wednesday announced a grant of two crore rupees for the Kendriya Vidyalaya in Tehran.

Tehran, Aug 29 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday met a Sikh delegation here on the sidelines of his visit to Iran to attend the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit.

Tehran, Aug 29 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, met his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the XVIth NAM summit here on Wednesday, during which the two leaders broadly discussed all aspects of bilateral ties.

Tehran, Aug 29 (ANI): Iran is hoping that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) presidency will boost Tehran's image in the world and rally more support for its nuclear programme.

Tehran, Aug 29 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, called on his host, the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, here this evening on the eve of the XVIth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): How does a country stay relevant in a grouping of 119 countries with little or nothing in common today, other than the fact that they had gotten together in a time and era when there was a Cold War on in the World.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): Yesterday, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, told Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh about how he was impressed by India's first Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru beliefs, which came from Gandhiji's teachings, and helped to formulate and guide the initial years of the NAM movement.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): Yesterday, in his meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei, talked about his respect for Mahatma Gandhi and how he was "deeply impressed with Gandhiji's visage and leadership during the freedom movement."
 

Tehran, Aug.30 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday urged members states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to work together to ensure food security and energy.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that the current structures for global governance are inadequate in dealing with economic and political crises of our present.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): Terming the situation in Syria as a matter of concern, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday said the ongoing crisis in that country should be resolved peacefully.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Pakistan President Asif ali Zardari on the sidelines of the ongoing XVIth Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit here on Thursday.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): Details have yet to emerge of what transpired at the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the 16th Non Aligned Summit here today.
 

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): India on Thursday urged Pakistan to conduct the trail of the 26/11 accused residing in Pakistan in an expeditious manner.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is said to have told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during their bilateral interaction that sectarian feuds should be avoided, and that every effort must be made to promote harmony among all groups.

Tehran, Aug 30 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai here on Thursday on the sidelines of the XVI NAM Summit.

Onboard Air India One, Aug 31 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said it would be his government’s constant endeavor and objective not to let any of the accused involved in the November 2008 terror strikes on Mumbai, which claimed 166 lives, off the hook.

On board Air India One, Aug 31 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday once again has invited AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to join the government.

Onboard Air India One, Aug 31 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Friday said he would not resign from office, despite the opposition clamour and demand for him to do so over alleged irregularities related to the allocation of coal blocks across the country, which have been revealed by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
 

Onboard Air India One, Aug 31 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Friday, again described Naxalism as a menace and an internal challenge that his government has to deal with and counter.

Onboard Air India One, Aug 31 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said on Friday that he would welcome any move to end the logjam in Parliament, but added that he was not tuned in or well informed on reports of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav considering plans to form a Third Front of non Congress and non-BJP parties in the run-up to the 2014 general elections.

Hairan in Tehran 2012  9  3

Mumbai (2012-09-03): I got lost every single day in Tehran. Reason: irrespective of the country you are in, male chauffeurs never ask for directions. Most of the cab drivers, hired temporarily for the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, were not from Tehran; and with no GPS devices to assist them; they were lost in the capital’s wide and oddly deserted roads. The NAM Summit was a surreal event — as much for us who accompanied the Prime Minister as part of the media delegation, as for the people of Tehran. A five-day holiday was declared so that the residents of Tehran stay away from the streets. They were in fact encouraged to leave the city during the Summit.

NAM Gum Jayega 2012  9  4

Tehran, Sep 4 (ANI):  It was 2005 and we were on board Air India One heading to Washington DC as part of the media delegation accompanying Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh when he signed the historic Indo-US Nuclear Accord. It was also the time that Shahrukh Khan's song "Ab phirta hun mein London Paris New York L.A. San Francisco, Dil mein mere hai Dard-E-disco" had hit the charts. Nikhil Lakshman, Editor of Rediff.com and I drew parallels between the Khan in that song and Dr.Singh -- the restlessness of the two, wanting to push ahead with reforms, travel the world and sell the India story.
 




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