It was part of a ‘deal' for the nuclear deal arrangement with political parties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the US for his fourth visit in two years. During his stay, the Prime Minister will hold a two-hour long meeting with US President Barack Obama, address the US Congress, try to take the civil nuclear deal forward and also strengthen defence ties.

Print Intro: The real challenge of India’s neighbourhood policy has always been in dealing with China and Pakistan. Both these relationships look as confused, uncertain and daunting as ever, writes SD Muni

Two narratives have emerged following last week’s assembly election results in five states. One points to the Congress’s “irresistible decline”. The losses in Assam and Kerala follow defeats in Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir in recent years. From ruling 13 states in 2004, the Congress is down to seven with only a single big state in its control, Karnataka. As the data journalism website IndiaSpend concludes, “the Congress now directly rules about 190 million Indians, down from 270 million in 2004” while the BJP governs 520 million Indians in 12 states.

The BJP’s expanding imprint, the Congress’s diminishing footprint — that’s the sum of assembly poll results in four states and a Union territory. What we have is more of a BJP-yukt (fitted) than a Congress-mukt Bharat.

It is one, just one seat, but for the BJP, it marks a portentous shift in perceptions in the tiny coastal state of Kerala. The BJP here is the long-distance runner. It has not been able to ever breast the tape in the sprint, so it trots along at a steady clip hoping that one fine day it will pick up speed as the finishing line approaches and take home the trophy of India’s second most literate, truly socially advanced and startlingly beautiful state.

Although catastrophic communal massacres recur from time to time, the Indian State has never appointed truth and reconciliation commissions. Instead, in the political heat that follows major communal and caste massacres, governments often appoint judicial commissions of enquiry, headed by serving or retired judges. Although commission recommendations are not binding, their findings can, if conducted with fairness, carry moral weight. The Justice Srikrishna Commission that investigated the 1992-93 Bombay riots is a shining example of this. The report established the criminal role of both the Shiv Sena and police officers in the carnage. It is another matter that successive governments took no steps to punish those indicted by the commission, but still the report remains a highly credible source of truth-telling.

US and India are closer than ever before

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 00:00

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Washington DC in 2014, his mandate to govern could not have been stronger, having won the largest electoral victory in India since the early 1980s.

Two years in the life of a government, elected for five, provides an opportune juncture for an assessment on performance both in respect of domestic as well as foreign policy.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will return to power in West Bengal but with fewer seats, most exit polls indicated on Monday evening.