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The power of ordinary people

When Gandhi went to England in 1931 to attend the Second Round Table Conference, one of his close aides suggested that he retreat for the weekend to Oxford in order to reflect on the “big questions of principle involved in negotiations”. It would also afford an opportunity to have informal, …

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Settling the Ayodhya case once and for all

The Ayodhya issue is tantalisingly poised and there are only guesses about how the case could pan out — the Supreme Court of India had allowed arguments before the court and mediation talks to proceed simultaneously. It has been an unusual step. The dichotomy of this approach could perhaps be …

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Picture of Pak. Muslims

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan to-day [October 17] called upon Indian Muslims not to entertain a false feeling that Pakistan was formed for them as it was created by the British for those who “served” them. He was addressing a gathering of about 7,000 people at Jumma Masjid here [Ahmedabad] after …

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When breaking news is not enough

Every reporter’s dream is breaking news. We grab opportunities to do this with excitement and a tinge of nervousness. But there are occasions when bosses tell us that what we did was good, but not enough, and that we need to go behind the scenes to find something more. It …

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Awaiting the verdict

On the Ayodhya dispute, mediation is the only way to deal with faith-related arguments It has taken 70 years for the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi litigation to come close to finality. The appeals against the Allahabad High Court’s judgment on the title-suits filed by both Hindu and Muslim parties have been …

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The secondary monsoon

There is little understanding of the behaviour of the Indian Ocean and monsoon impact India’s most torrential monsoon in a quarter century officially ended on Wednesday. This has been the most delayed withdrawal of the monsoon since 1961 but both the quantity and the timing have had no effect on …

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Greening the powerhouses

Climate change is still not integral to the planning of Indian cities and towns, despite the risks it poses Can cities, which generate over 80% of the world’s GDP, be the driving force for mitigation of climate change as national governments fail to provide leadership? At a recent summit of …

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The dominant caste dilemma

The Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana appear to be of limited interest elsewhere, and commentaries focus on personalities. The advantageous position the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) finds itself in is credited to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis; the decline of …

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Vital additions to empirical research

Despite limitations, the use of randomised control trials has led to a paradigm shift in development policy evaluation If Rip Van Winkle was an academic economist and woke up from a two-decade long sleep this week, he would be baffled by the news of the Nobel Prize in Economics this …

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What can India do to overcome the global slowdown?

Strengthening the manufacturing industry and increasing domestic demand are key imperatives The IMF expects global economic growth to be just 3% this year, the lowest since the 2008 global financial crisis. Unlike in 2008, when India was insulated from a global economic meltdown, the economy now is on the ebb, …

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