Jai Sri Ram and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra

Jai Sri Ram and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra

Given the political and highly contestable nature of the Ayodhya conflict, the 9th November 2019 unanimous verdict by a five-judge constitution bench expectedly continues to generate contrasting opinions. The bench had ruled that the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya be handed over to a trust to be constituted for the construction of the Ram temple at the site, and five acres allotted at a ’prominent site’ in Ayodhya to build a mosque. Many legal luminaries opposed to the judgment had pointed out that it was “bad in law” but “politically pragmatic”...[By Philip Mudartha]

Of Headline News Stories of past three months

Of Headline News Stories of past three months

After the hiatus of two months, I resume the series of exclusive articles. There wasn’t a dearth of news stories relevant to you. However, I must admit that my readers have been less than enthusiastic to express their views on these exclusives. Which, of course, affected my motivation besides suffering from a bout of seasonal illnesses...[By Philip Mudartha]

British Palestine during the 1920-1947 period

British Palestine during the 1920-1947 period

In April 1920, the World War-I Allies divided the former territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire. Syria and Lebanon went to France. Great Britain got Palestine. However, the Palestinian Arabs wanted an independent Arab Palestine within the Federation of Syria. Palestinian Arabs speak of 1920 as ??m al-nakbah, the “year of catastrophe.”...[By Philip Mudartha]

The emergence of Zionism and Eretz Israel

The emergence of Zionism and Eretz Israel

During the last decade of 19th century, a minority of Eastern European Jews rejected assimilation as minorities. Some others developed the modern European notion of nationalism. The emergence of nationalism deepened the Jewish existential crisis and Jews were forced to choose between their Jewish and national identities. Anti-Semitism, the prevalent attitude of European nationalists, resulted in the emergence of Zionism. A minority of Jewish thinkers concluded that the only way to secure their community..[By Philip Mudartha]

Partition of Palestine, State of Israel and Nehru

Partition of Palestine, State of Israel and Nehru

In my previous article, I referred to Fred Jerome’s book “Einstein on Israel and Zionism”. I read it with my subscription to internet archive which gave me the accurate picture of Einstein as a human-being of very high moral calibre though irreligious. The full texts of Einstein’s letter to Nehru and Nehru’s reply to Einstein are available on pages 243 to 252. I realized that Einstein and Nehru were very similar in outlook and shared the same vision for global order. Both Einstein and Nehru were secular, socialist, pacifist..[By Philip Mudartha]

The Jewish Homeland, Einstein and Nehru

The Jewish Homeland, Einstein and Nehru

Einstein was not an ardent supporter of Zionism, the Jewish Homeland project by the European Jews. He felt that the waves of arriving Jews could live alongside existing Arabs in Palestine. In 1938, he predicted that the Zionist project would be threatened by “fanatical Arab outlaws”. Yet, he professed that Palestine could become “a centre of culture for all Jews, a refuge for the most grievously oppressed, a field of action for the best among us...[By Philip Mudartha]

Hamas-Israel war and India

Hamas-Israel war and India

The Hamas cross-border terrorist attack on Israel in the early hours of Saturday, the 7th October was unprecedented. Over 5,000 rockets were fired at Israeli cities, and villages. Under the cover of rocket fire, over 2,500 armed men poured into Southern Israel using either para-gliders or SUVs, trucks and motor-cycles. They went on a killing rampage of unarmed civilians who were either dancing at a Supernova desert music festival or sleeping in their homes. Women, babies and elderly were not spared. They bombed police stations and over-ran security guard-houses before the army re-enforcements arrived...[By Philip Mudartha]

Why Indira Gandhi ordered Aizawl Bombing?

Why Indira Gandhi ordered Aizawl Bombing?

Speaking in the Parliament on 10th August 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the governance and policies of the Congress in the North-East. He recalled an episode from 1966 when the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out an attack in Aizawl on the orders of Indira Gandhi. Thank you, Mr. Narendra Modi, M.A (All Political Science) for the history lesson based on your politics. You have stirred a hornet’s nest. Your statement will rekindle debate on “territorial integrity and sovereignty” of Mother India...[By Philip Mudartha]

The non-performing assets of banks

The non-performing assets of banks

I will begin this chapter on our banking system, with former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. He demitted office on 4th September 2016, upon serving his tenure of three years. After Modi-led NDA government came into office on 26th May 2014, RSS hotheads and “loose cannon” BJP members began their tirade against Rajan. Particularly vicious were Subramanian Swamy, Swaminathan Gurumurthy and Arun Jaitley. Since he was an appointee of UPA government, even Modi didn’t trust him enough to offer him a second term. Rajan was an honest..[By Philip Mudartha]

A historical perspective of bank reforms

A historical perspective of bank reforms

During the virtual Rozgar Mela event on 24th July, PM Modi said that the previous UPA government “destroyed” the banking sector with scams. His government has restored its good financial health, with India now known for the sector’s strength. According to him, "phone banking" was one of the biggest scams of the previous government as it broke the back of the banking system. Under the phone banking scheme, thousands of crores of rupees were loaned to favourites of some powerful leaders and families. Those loans were never meant to be returned, he said...[By Philip Mudartha]

The politics of Uniform Civil Code

The politics of Uniform Civil Code

Only nine months to go for the 2024 general election. PM Modi and BJP have dusted off their divisive plan to enact a common set of personal laws for us irrespective of religion. Labelled as Uniform Civil Code (UCC), BJP had promised it in its 2019 LS Election manifesto. Speaking in Bhopal to his party cadre, Modi made a strong argument in favour of UCC immediately after he returned from visits to USA and Egypt. "Today people are being instigated in the name of UCC. How can the country run on two laws? The Constitution also talks of equal rights... [By Philip Mudartha]

Attacks on Democratic Institutions in India

Attacks on Democratic Institutions in India

In Namo’ste America, I wrote: “Ever since Modi came to power in 2014, India has attracted global attention on a range of concerns that indicate that some of its goings on are inherently undemocratic. Modi has regularly fuelled majoritarian sentiments in the country and has maintained silence on a range of human rights abuses, even as his government had passed one discriminatory order after another”....[By Philip Mudartha]

Namo’ste America: Modi’s date with the US

Namo’ste America: Modi’s date with the US

Our PM Modi was accorded the honour of addressing the joint session of US Congress for the second time. Before him, Manmohan Singh, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru had addressed the US Congress once during their terms. Modi’s high-profile visit to Washington which included his first state dinner at the White House, was very pompous. The pomp is remarkable because once he was denied a diplomatic visa...[By Philip Mudartha]

Travelogue: Voyage through Magnificent Historic Turkey

Travelogue: Voyage through Magnificent Historic Turkey

Agroup of 20 people from Karnataka, Goa and Maharastra started our trip on May 27, 2023. All the tourists reported at the Chatrapathi Shivaji International Airport. , Mumbai as per the scheduled flight departure time and proceed to Istanbul, a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Upon arrival Veena World Tour Manager would guide all guests for airport formalities and proceed to the city. (By John Tauro)

An Unfamiliar Portrait of Vajpayee

An Unfamiliar Portrait of Vajpayee

A new biography of our 10th Prime Minister (PM), Atal Behari Lal Vajpayee titled ’Vajpayee: The Ascent of the Hindu Right 1924-1977’, has just been released. Abhishek Choudhary, its author, presents the unseen side of Vajpayee and punctures several myths about him. There have been several biographies published before some of which bordered on sycophantic tributes. His biographer, Kingchuk Nag wrote and I quote: From being one of the earliest members of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS), Vajpayee blossomed into a leading opposition MP by the late 1960s, [By Philip Mudartha]

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