Times of India

Modern marriages aren’t made in heaven

In the past few weeks, sexual tragedies have blighted some prominent and attractive lives. Sunanda Pushkar, wife of the writer and minister, Shashi Tharoor, died recently in Delhi. Around the same time, the French First Lady, Valerie Treirweiler, had to be hospitalized in Paris. Both events followed revelations of alleged sexual affairs. Sunanda Pushkar accused her husband of an intimate relationship with a Pakistani journalist. Ms Treirweiler was devastated by the French president, Francois Hollande’s liaison with an actress; France’s first family split a few days later.

Inflation, not corruption, will be the key issue in LS polls

In the last assembly elections, the aam admi complained inconsolably of rising prices. TV clips showed voters quoting the prices of potatoes, onions, and dal. Pundits put it down to the ‘usual election whining’, but more than corruption, inflation turned out to be the reason for Congress’ defeat. Even though it has slowed a bit recently, all political parties are warned — the aam admi is not going to forget the pain of inflation in the coming general election. 

Desire or dharma: Dilemma that is as old as the vedas

Over the past few weeks we have been mesmerized by the tragic story of Tarun Tejpal. He was a moral voice to a whole generation, looked up to for courageous and uncompromising journalism. The evidence of sexual assault against the founder editor of Tehelka suggests that he not only failed a young colleague but collectively all journalists, workingwomen, and his legion of admirers. Millions of words have been written on this story but no one has explained why men in positions of power behave badly.

Our bullion-dollar troubles can end if India goes for gold

It was a subdued Diwali this year. Gold trading on Dhanteras was down by 50%. Traders blamed it on mostly on the lack of gold supply which was 83% lower than last year. But policy makers cheered. Their draconian policy of restricting gold imports was working. India’s trade deficit had declined and the rupee had calmed. But it is a temporary victory. Gold smuggling is on the rise and will eventually triumph, undermining a great victory of the 1991 reforms, which was to kill the havala market. There is breathing room, however, as gold forecasters expect world prices to fall.

Secularism or development: Making the right choice

At long last India’s democracy is moving in the right direction in offering voters genuine choices in the upcoming general elections. One of these is a choice between “left of centre” and “right of centre”economic policies — a polarization that exists in many democracies and ends in educating citizens about two distinct paths to prosperity. The two main parties, Congress and the BJP (after Narendra Modi became its official candidate) now reflect this polarity.

Secularism or development: Making the right choice

At long last India’s democracy is moving in the right direction in offering voters genuine choices in the upcoming general elections. One of these is a choice between “left of centre” and “right of centre”economic policies — a polarization that exists in many democracies and ends in educating citizens about two distinct paths to prosperity. The two main parties, Congress and the BJP (after Narendra Modi became its official candidate) now reflect this polarity.

Long-term prosperity vs short-term populism

“Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards,” says an epitaph from the philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard. It rightly belongs on the grave of this dying UPA government that has destroyed our economy, with the traumatic collapse of the rupee its latest achievement. The epitaph reminds us that we must not ignore history if we want to lead a reasonably predictable life in the future.

Just one hour a week is the answer to our political discontent

Democracy is as depressing in practice as it is uplifting in theory. There have been so many corruption scandals in the past few years but political parties refuse to learn. In Uttar Pradesh, which always leads the country in bad behaviour, workers of the Samajwadi Party are back to their crooked old ways while they settle scores against Dalits. At the centre, the UPA has pushed through a dreadful food security law via an ordinance in a desperate move to shore up its popularity before the coming elections, knowing full well its potential for fraud and waste.

Waiting for inspiration, sirji!

The spot fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League of cricket is only the latest disgrace in the sickening, never ending saga of moral failure in our national life. We have got so used to blaming governance and the institutions of the law that we forget that our pathetic education system is also responsible. And yes, parents too are guilty, for the home is the crucible of the moral life. However, one inspiring teacher can make all the difference in moulding the values of young human beings.

Narendra Modi: temptation of the middle class

 

The sudden ascent of stocky, 62 year oldNarendra Modi as a serious contender for the nation’s leadership has taken people by surprise. The general election is still a year away but the average, open minded, middle-of- the-road Indian wonders how to think about the polarizing chief minister of Gujarat. Either you love him or hate him, which is precisely why one must not react with a knee-jerk but try and go beyond the shallow surface of a flawed but remarkable human being.