M.J. Akbar

A tipping point in Pakistan

A tipping point in Pakistan

Given the track record, and growing influence of regressive conservatives in Pakistan, this news item was unusual. The Pakistan Senate’s...

It’s a question of when, not whether on NSG

It’s a question of when, not whether on NSG

A significant change has taken place in our quest to become a participant in the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group [NSG]: it...

A Jogi in search  of Nirvana

A Jogi in search of Nirvana

It is not difficult to define success in electoral politics; it is measured by objectives. There are, broadly, two objectives....

The power of regret

Cuba. Vietnam. Hiroshima. Is Barack Obama trying to tell us something? I think yes. In the last months of American...

In praise of Lalit Modi

In praise of Lalit Modi

A question has left me wondering about an answer: how incendiary is the combination of great ideas with great luck?...

From once to once-too-often

From once to once-too-often

It has been well established, since the beginning of human conflict, that success has a thousand fathers and defeat is...

How can an Italian court  murder Indian democracy?

How can an Italian court murder Indian democracy?

The ancients knew their metaphors. They classified the state of a human mind into four categories, or “humours”, based on...

 Non reply doesn’t make Agusta non issue

Non reply doesn’t make Agusta non issue

There is a term in government parlance called non-paper, basically designed to cover grey space, to suggest a position without...

The Pope talks to Europe

Real stories so often get lost in the news; and news itself becomes a passing banner in the long parade...

Gandhi, Chakrayya and Ambedkar

Gandhi, Chakrayya and Ambedkar

​In May 1947, Mahatma Gandhi suffered a grievous personal loss. Chakrayya, a young Dalit disciple who had served at Sevagram...

In the end, there  could be whimper

In the end, there could be whimper

Success measures capability; a crisis tests an individual’s or institution’s maturity and resilience. Congress was hit by an explosion in...

The many stories of Mofijul and Rafiza

The many stories of Mofijul and Rafiza

Any good narrative has a sub-plot; this short story has many. Mofijul Rahima Sheikh, 22, had started work in the...

Hysteria Trumps democracy

Hysteria Trumps democracy

Barack Obama was in a thoughtful mood during the joint press conference with Canada’s Prime Minister Justine Trudeau on Thursday,...

Indian Railways finds its rhythm

Indian Railways finds its rhythm

Governments tend to have an institutional approach to bad news. The first hope is that the problem will resolve itself...

The universe has ears

As an enquiry, science has generally left me perplexed. During first encounters in school, physics was a bit of blank...

A socialist in America

Wonders, we have been told more than once, will never cease, but we just might be witnessing a wonder that...

Congress pays heavy price for GST obduracy

Congress pays heavy price for GST obduracy

One can hear the silence and visualise jaws drop in the Congress High Command drawing room at the results of...

The revenge of  the samosa

The revenge of the samosa

There is no retribution harsher in politics than the revenge of the samosa. Every politician knows this much. The surprise...

A cricketer and a gentleman

A cricketer and a gentleman

There is no better way to bring in a new year than to cheer a man who can be honest...

At Odds with Ends

At Odds with Ends

A curious role reversal seized Parliament for much of last year, resulting in apoplectic fits that bode ill for the...

Bonhomie in Lahore transforms the climate

Bonhomie in Lahore transforms the climate

History, sometimes, seems to be an accumulation of moments. Few have been as spectacular as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision...

A cloudburst out of thin air

A cloudburst out of thin air

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s outburst against the Union government after CBI raided the offices of a member of his...

Bluff is not course correction

Bluff is not course correction

The bizarre is not as distant from our political discourse as we might wish it to be. There are times,...

Future of cricket might lie in hockey

Future of cricket might lie in hockey

There is only one sensible solution to the festering stalemate swamping India-Pakistan cricket: make the game so utterly boring that...