Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /nfs/c03/h07/mnt/56080/domains/retributions.nationalinterest.in/html/wp-content/themes/canvas/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160
Archive | Aside RSS feed for this section

Moving on

Time to Leave Takshashila

It almost seems silly to write this post as I am a lapsed blogger—only occasionally can I subdue my laziness enough to write—but it is perhaps a wise decision to leave an official note. I have been involved with the Indian National interest project for nearly a decade and while my role in Takshashila has always been peripheral, it has been a joy to see it evolve to its current form. However, all good things in life eventually come to an end. And I have decided to move on from INI and Takshashila. The reason is simply this: I mainly write about politics and it is hard to avoid the impression that my views don’t reflect the opinion of Takshashila. Operating my own platform allows me to write more candidly about topics and the issues I care about including politics. And as Takshashila is much more focused on policy issues, it is able to retain its core competency without getting caught in needless partisan sniping.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with Takshahila and I remain its well-wisher! Thanks to Nitin for this wonderful platform and best wishes for the future!

Thank you all who read this blog; I will be moving to a new platform soon.

Wait for the announcement!

The Importance of Jaswant Singh

Let’s stop whitewashing our history

Jaswant Singh’s new biography of Muhammad Ali Jinnah has quite predictably raised political hackles. The Congress which has long forgotten the distinction between the Nehru-Gandhi family and India has raised questions about Mr Singh’s nationalism. BJP, a party which has never shown much fondness for intellectual pursuits, has disassociated it self ”completely” from Jaswant Singh’s book with some leaders even demanding ”action” against the author.

But what is particularly disappointing is the response from the media. Barring some honorable exceptions–Karan Thapar’s interview with Jaswant Singh was particularly well done–the majority seems to view the book from the prism of current Indian politics. Or worse, question why BJP leaders are obsessed with Jinnah. Sample this comment from CNN-IBN’s National affairs’ editor,

This BJP craze for Jinnah is ridiculous. Why deify a partitionist when Maulana Azad harboured little ambition and worked for a united India?[link]

For one, Jaswant Singh has clearly stated that he has written his book as an Indian concerned about one of the most important events in modern Indian history (Not to mention that BJP is most embarrassed about Jinnah). For another, true history can never only be about the ”good guy”–it must involve those who shape history whether we like their politics or not. In that respect, Jinnah was definitely one of the most important and influential figures of Indian history.

Continue Reading →

Taking a Break

Bad timing but..

Pressing academic commitments mean this blog will be silent for the next three months though this silence may be punctuated by very occasional posts. Regular service is expected to resume from the first week of July.

You can however continue to follow Retributions on Twitter–it is expected to be updated at least for the next couple of months.

See you all on the other side. Be good.

Guest Post: A 10 Point Agenda for BJP

Towards a better polity

By Harsh Gupta

The BJP is the only party which can be both truly nationalist and truly liberal – and while it has many defects it is much closer to those ideals, compared to other parties. The other parties are pseudo-secular and throwback leftists- these communal socialists believe in vote banks and socially engineered populism to cling to power.

Agendas must be both principled, yet practical politically and policy-wise. In that cautiously optimistic spirit, I propose a 10-point agenda for the BJP (this agenda is partially a result of discussions with INI fellows, but I am responsible for the final document and it it does not indict any of them)

1. On governance the BJP must support, as a principle, smaller states and more power to local governments. Residents of Uttaranchal and Chhattisgarh have received better governance since their states’ creation, and so will residents of a future Telengana, parts of a further trifurcated UP, and so on. Also, states must be incentivized to allow direct mayoral elections for cities, and more financial powers for panchayats.

Continue Reading →

Happy New Year!

May it bring good tidings

Retributions wishes all its readers a very happy and prosperous new year.

Keep readings. And as The Acorn would say, thanks for helping with my education.

p.s In case you have not noticed, Retributions is now on Twitter too. Hop on for gyan in small doses. Subscribe or follow via  sidebar.

Pragati’s Print Edition

Tell us

We have been contemplating taking Pragati to the next level–a print edition. In order to make our model sustainable, we need more information. Help us by answering this simple online survey. If you have already answered the survey as a subscriber to Pragati’s digital edition, then please don’t do it again. Please feel free to forward the link to friends/relatives/acquaintainces or anyone whom you consider a potential subscriber to Pragati’s print edition.

Tell us here.

Dear Amit Varma

A question of power

Echoing Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Amit Varma asks,

  1. 1] Frame an argument, or even your position on the subject, that states why Kashmir should remain part of India.
  2. 2] Then replace the word ‘India’ with ‘the British empire’, and ‘Kashmir’ with ‘India’.[link]

Now, the secession argument is terribly complex. Taken to its logical conclusion, what stops Malviya Nagar or Andheri from declaring independence? Or indeed, an individual to declare himself as a republic of one and refuse to abide by the law? But leaving aside such issues, lets tackle the larger question.

Aiyar, and by extension Varma, display a classic misunderstanding of imperialism: The fundamental logic behind imperialism is the same which has underlined geo-politics since ages and continues to do so: Power. Imperialism was never an end by it self but merely an exercise in advancing national interest by using the instrument of military conquest. In that respect, it was no different from Alexander’s wars or the Mughal empire or any of the great empires of world history. Unfortunately, much of modern discourse has focused on outward symbols of imperialism–White Man’s burden for example–while ignoring its manifest logic. India was colonized simply because Indian people were unable to protect themselves. And when the British left India, it was simply because the cost of ruling India outweighed the benefits. The struggle between Indians and the British may have been couched in lofty moral terms but at its heart it was a power struggle.

Continue Reading →

Happy Independence Day

India turns 61

A very happy independence to all readers of this blog.

p.s I am back from the rather extended work and travel related break. Regular blogging resumes from tomorrow.

Switch to our mobile site