Jawaharlal Nehru

Yuji Sakai

Why We Should Be More Conscious of India’s Size

As we were getting ready to leave our lecture-hall in Manchester University, the secretary of our course announced that exiting on to Oxford Street would be difficult as a “huge” demonstration was imminent. My friend and course-mate, a senior police officer from India, enquired how big the demonstration was likely to be and guffawed when informed that between 50 to a 100 people were expected to gather. “Is that a demonstration?” he asked, “that is the average gathering at a bus stop in Delhi every day!”
Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Why India's Bureaucracy Cannot Be A Meritocracy

Raghuram Rajan's exit from the RBI demonstrates the rot in India's bureaucracy. Far from being merit-based, it is seriously politicized. Bureaucrats have become sycophants. Self-respecting independent thinkers have no place in India's system. Even the most capable survive or thrive only through their handling of political masters. The quality of their work stands for very little. It is no fault of the bureaucrats. The problem is systemic. It starts from the top.

Republic Day: An Occasion For National Introspection

Foreign rule ended on 15 August 1947. But self-rule, in the real sense of the term, began when India adopted the Constitution and declared itself a Republic. The Constitution binds us to follow, and realise, certain lofty ideals and goals as a nation. It not only guides the functioning of the State, it not only specifies the rights of citizens, but it also lays down the duties and responsibilities of the people. Therefore, if Independence Day is about celebration, Republic Day is about introspection.

Why Glorify Our Constitution? Our Founding Fathers Certainly Didn't

Far from being elated, the framers of India's Constitution turned sombre when Ambedkar presented his draft. In the six days following his motion to adopt the new Constitution, speaker after speaker came forward to praise the proposed system. Yet others couldn't shake off the feeling that something was amiss. Nearly a third took the floor only to say something disparaging about the Constitution India was ready to adopt. It was evident that it had failed to inspire.

An Obituary Of The Planning Commission

Dying souls experience epiphanies. And the voice of that epiphany seems to warn those who hammered the last nails in my coffin that it is quite easy to dismantle great institutions. The difficult part is to build greater institutions. Nehru was a great institution builder. With my passing, will new people at the helm today be able to build equally great institutions to replace me and cherish the dreams and desires of Nehru and other fathers of our great nation? I shall leave the answer to them.

Narendra Modi's Magic History Paintbrush

Narendra Modi was elected to lead a nation beleaguered by poverty and corruption to new realms of prosperity and progress, not deliver speeches on Sardar Patel's legacy (something Modi seems desperate to call his own), propagate linguistic chauvinism by replacing German with Sanskrit in government schools, or worsen India's communal equilibrium.

Our Oldest Insurgency Is Over; It's A Truly Wonderful Day For India

Nagas are ferocious fighters and both tested, and battle-trained the Army over these decades, developing healthy mutual, soldierly respect. Insurgency defied peacemaking efforts of Nehru and later of the Centre even through the good offices of Jaya Prakash Narayan (JP) and Vinoba Bhave. Zhapu Angami Phizo, the 'president" of the so-called Naga Federal Government, controlled the rebellion from exile in London.

The Spurious Celebrations Of Ambedkar's Life

On 14 April this year, we observed the 125th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar. Both the BJP and the Congress took full advantage of this occasion to indulge in unparalleled tokenism. While PM Narendra Modi unveiled plans to construct an Ambedkar International Centre, Rahul Gandhi set off to Mhow village where he called for the "annihilation of caste". Had Rahul Gandhi spent some time during his mysterious sabbatical reading some of Babasaheb's works, he would have been in for an unpleasant surprise.