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Showing posts from March 31, 2015

Electoral victory, political defeat(HinduEditorial)

For the Aam Aadmi Party which claims the rationale for its very being is ushering in more democratic and transparent governance, the current troubles at the top levels of the leadership present an existential threat. While Delhi Chief Minister and national convener of the party Arvind Kejriwal was able to easily win support where it immediately mattered — among the MLAs in Delhi and among the members of the national executive — the issues raised by the dissident duo of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav would not go away quickly. What the AAP sees as problems in the Indian political system — corruption, absence of transparency and lack of accountability — now seem very much a part of its own self. A seriesofexpos√©s have shown up the AAP as suffering from the very ills it attacks in other parties. From horse-trading and giving the party ticket to persons of dubious background to autocratic decision-making and suppressing dissent, the AAP appears susceptible to all the diseases plagui…

The Australian supremacy(hindueditorial)

If there were any doubts about Australia’s preeminence in cricket’s world order, those were ruthlessly banished at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. A fifth World Cup crown in 11 editions — each achieved in a different continent, between 1987 and now — confers an aura of supremacy as nothing else. Consider that Australia has made two other finals at the game’s quadrennial showpiece event, and you get a sense of a country that produces dynamic, match-winning cricketers who pass on bloody-mindedness from generation to generation. Michael Clarke’s men were slight favourites at the start of the current edition; hardly anyone in cricket circles picks against Australia in big tournaments, especially outside the subcontinent. Given the side was likely to play a majority of its matches at home — including the semifinal and final at Sydney and Melbourne respectively, stomping grounds where it has historically been hard to beat — it was no surprise that the smart money was on Australia r…

It happens only in India(HinduEditorial)

Forty years after returning as a Peace Corps volunteer to a village in Tamil Nadu, the writer finds religions in harmony, borrowing customs and cultural norms from one another The hotel manager was politely incredulous. Wouldn’t I like a car or an auto rickshaw to take me on a tour of Thanjavur’s rural areas? No, thank you. As a Peace Corps volunteer, albeit returning after 40 years, I was determined to get to my village in the traditional way — by bicycle. And in my village garb: a brightly coloured lungi. A few minutes later, I took off on the best bike the hotel could find, a rickety Raleigh that might have dated from my Peace Corps days. The old path through the rice paddies was now a motorable road, but with only the occasional motorcycle or tractor to disturb my peaceful ride into years past. Reality soon intervened. About the time the bike pedal fell off, a light rain began to fall. I was four miles short of Sholapuram, my destination, and the only shelter nearby was a Catholi…