Recasting the appointments debate

In order to build bipartisan support and public confidence, the draft amendment must articulate the goals of creating a competent, independent and socially diverse judiciary that upholds constitutional values and ethical institutional and personal conduct.

No caste, no creed, no gender

Excerpts from A Southern Music: The Karnatik Story by acclaimed vocalist T.M. Krishna.

A good start in Bali

The WTO, founded in 1995, was fast fading into irrelevance what with countries forging bilateral trade pacts and powerful regional trade agreements, especially in the developed world.

Uncertainty in Thailand

The political unrest in Thailand against a popularly elected government is a clear sign that democracy is yet to fully take root in that country.

If unwittingly we err, history will not forgive us

Arvind Kejriwal , in conversation with Gargi Parsai and Mohammad Ali, reflects on his transition from activist to leader, and the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Neither too hard nor too soft

While the Election Commission should not allow the perception of its being an eroded authority that would make enforcing discipline among contesting parties difficult, it should also not lay itself open to ridicule by raising objections to clever wordplay by campaigners.

The ‘Asia Rebalance’ in disarray

A gesture of good faith towards Tehran’s re-engagement with the West might have been for Mr. Obama to ease up on the oil sanctions, perhaps permit friends of Iran such as India, who depended significantly on crude imports, to resume limited trading.

A retrograde decision

The Supreme Court’s retrograde decision to overturn the 2009 Delhi High Court verdict that decriminalised gay sex has enthroned medieval prejudice and dealt a body blow to liberal values and human rights.

The sugar imbroglio

A little over a year after the Rangarajan Committee, which went into the regulatory and business aspects of the industry submitted its report, only a part of its sensible recommendations have been implemented.

Obama’s relentless pragmatic diplomacy

The administration’s turnabouts, especially in the Middle East, have been so sudden and unsentimental that Machiavelli himself might blush.

Doublespeak on women’s rights

The Congress and the BJP have taken hypocritical positions on the Tehelka sexual assault case and the alleged surveillance of a woman by the Gujarat government.

An entertainer should help build the moral fibre of society

Some films may not entertain you, as in make you laugh or clap, but they engage you emotionally, spiritually, and are therefore “entertaining” in their own way.

A principled course

Sunday’s fractured verdict placed Mr. Kejriwal on test and his challenge is to resist a continuing flow of inducements from the two other contenders.

Woes of migrant labour

The widespread exploitation of migrant labourers in Qatar threatens to undermine whatever prestige the country may have earned by winning the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Not just about the islands

China’s decision to have an Air Defence Identification Zone in the East China Sea could have more to do with bigger maritime security issues than with any dispute over islands administratively controlled by Japan.

Making human rights a reality

Progressive judicial pronouncements were a reaction to social action groups and movements that sought judicial intervention to persuade the government to defend the rights of the marginalised.

When the definition of poverty harms the poor

We rarely ask the poor what poverty means to them and what changes in lifestyle would make them poverty-free.

Small consolation

The long-pending demands for reworking of Centre-State relations and for greater autonomy for the States will not go away no matter which party is in power.

Talk of war and peace

The denial by Nawaz Sharif of his “fourth war over Kashmir” remark, and his reiteration that problems with India have to be resolved through peaceful methods, came not a moment too soon.

The not-quite ‘semi-final’ and what it portends

Everything now points to the BJP emerging as the single largest party, by some distance, in the sixteenth Lok Sabha. But the Modi-led alliance will not go into the mid-2014 ‘finals’ as the favourite, in any event not the overwhelming favourite.