India’s Judicial Activists Strain Constitutional Mandate

India’s Judicial Activists Strain Constitutional MandateFor more than 30 years India’s courts have issued instructions about how the country should be run, usually filling gaps left by inefficient and indolent governments. On Dec. 1, however, the Supreme Court arguably went too far with judicial activism when it unexpectedly said that cinemas should play the national anthem before every film screening.…

India’s ‘Post-Truth’ Answer to Crisis

India’s ‘Post-Truth’ Answer to CrisisThe publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary last week made post-truth their new word of the year. A few days later Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister, produced one when he declared that a cashless “new normal” was being introduced by the demonetization of Rs500 and Rs1,000 bank notes, and brushed aside the severe currency shortages…

Kashmiri 12-Year-old’s Death Does Little to Reduce Kashmiri Tensions

Kashmiri 12-Year-old’s Death Does Little to Reduce Kashmiri TensionsA 12-year old boy died on Oct.8 in the Kashmir state capital of Srinagar after being hit in the head by pellets fired by para-military forces at crowds of youngsters protesting against the Indian government. Junaid Ahmad’s death sparked clashes during his funeral later in the day, with thousands of protesters chanting “Go India, go back” and…

India strikes terror camps in Pakistan alongside non-military offensive

India strikes terror camps in Pakistan alongside non-military offensiveIndia has launched moves against Pakistan in the past few days that have culminated in an announcement that the Indian army conducted “surgical strikes” last night against alleged terrorist camps across the disputed Line of Control (LoC) border in Kashmir. This is the first time that India has declared such military action inside Pakistan for…

India Places $8.6 billion Jet Order Amid Failed Defenses

India Places $8.6 billion Jet Order Amid Failed DefensesAt the end of a week when India has been agonizing to little effect about how to deal with a deadly attack on an army camp near the Pakistan border in Kashmir that should never have been allowed to happen, the government has signed a US$8.66 billion deal with Rafale of France for 36 fighter…

India Caught in Another Defense Scam

India Caught in Another Defense ScamBarely two weeks after a massive data leak of technical information on Scorpene submarines that India had bought from French contractor DCNS, the Narendra Modi government is embroiled in yet another major defense scandal. Prosecutors in Brazil and the US Justice Department are now probing the alleged payment of bribes by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to wangle…

Delhi Warily Tilts to Washington

Delhi Warily Tilts to WashingtonNew Delhi doesn’t really trust Washington and many US policy experts regard India as a tiresome non-performer, but both countries need each other because of China’s increasing adventurism and aggression, and this is leading to a flurry of activity before President Obama’s time in office finishes at the end of this year. A historic defense…

Arms Race Threatened on India-China border

Arms Race Threatened on India-China borderNew Delhi's decision to deploy the BrahMos supersonic missile – the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, which can fly at 2.8 times the speed of sound – in the disputed northeast state of Arunachal, has left its rival and neighbor fuming as big-power tensions flare between China and India.  Within days of the announcement by…

India’s Supreme Court blocks Two BJP Political Coups

India’s Supreme Court blocks Two BJP Political CoupsA few hours after the bloody July 15 military coup failed in Turkey, the failure of a peaceful and far less dramatic unconstitutional coup staged by India’s Bharatiya Janata Party was also confirmed in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Located high in the Himalayas, Arunachal is especially sensitive because it is on the border with…

India’s Modi Reshuffles Cabinet: Gains, Surprises

India’s Modi Reshuffles Cabinet: Gains, SurprisesNarendra Modi’s long-awaited cabinet reshuffle took place late on July 5 with some gains in terms of government efficiency and some surprises. Overall, Modi’s supremacy has been underscored, working in tandem with Amit Shah, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s hardline Hindu nationalist president. Overall, 19 MPs joined the government in what is Modi’s second ministerial expansion and reshuffle since…