Bitter Battle Starts Over India’s Tata Group

Bitter Battle Starts Over India’s Tata GroupThe Tata group, India’s largest conglomerate, faces an unpredictable new year with a battle developing for control of what has always been regarded as India’s most stable and respected business group. The end game is far from clear at this stage, but what is clear is that serious damage has been done to the Tata…

Modinomics Bites Christies Sale

Modinomics Bites Christies SaleChristie’s high-profile annual art auctions in Mumbai just managed pm Dec. 19 to overcome growing concern about the direction of the Indian economy. They yielded a respectable but unexciting sales total of US$10.79 million that acted as more of a warning than encouragement about future prospects. In an evening auction of South Asian modern and contemporary art,…

India Gets its Guns – 30 years late

India Gets its Guns – 30 years lateThe 30-year gap between India’s last purchase of artillery and its buy last week of 145 M777 ultralight howitzers from the United States has its roots in the trauma of the infamous Bofors scandal of 1986, which rocked the Indian political establishment and resulted in the fall of the government of then Prime Minister Rajiv…

China Adventurism Grows in Pakistan’s Gwadar Area

China Adventurism Grows in Pakistan’s Gwadar AreaBeijing's decision to deploy its warships and submarines in conjunction with the Pakistani Navy at Pakistan's strategic Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea has set alarm bells ringing in New Delhi.  The port features prominently in China's 2,442-km, US$51 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which once completed in 2017 will open up cheaper cargo routes for…

India Loses a Charismatic Actress- Politician

India Loses a Charismatic Actress- PoliticianIndia lost one of its most controversial and charismatic political leaders with the death this week of J.Jayalalithaa, the 68-year old autocratic chief minister of Tamil Nadu. A former film star, Amma (mother) as she was widely known, managed to mix a reputation for massive corruption and an intensely reclusive lifestyle beset by illness with efficient…

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 Eases Defense Blacklist Ban

India Eases Defense Blacklist BanIn a dramatic departure from past defense policy, Indian authorities say they will no longer impose blanket bans on armament companies suspected of corruption or bribery. This easing of blacklisting norms will mark the end of a 10-year blanket ban imposed earlier on erring firms.  The easing of the blacklist policy appears to be a…

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…

Currency Chaos in India Aimed at Corruption

Currency Chaos in India Aimed at CorruptionWhen Indians elected Narendra Modi as their ultra-nationalist prime minister two and a half years ago, they were voting for change in the way that the country is run, just as American voters did last week when Donald Trump was elected president, albeit by a minority popular vote. But they didn’t vote for the countrywide…

UK’s May runs into EU-style blockages in New Delhi

UK’s May runs into EU-style blockages in New DelhiTheresa May has discovered in India during her first bilateral visit outside Europe that she runs into the same blockages over free trade and movement of labor internationally as she does in her post-Brexit discussions with the European Union. The lesson, which is highly significant for Britain as it prepares to leave the EU, is…