Wednesday, 14 April, 2021
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Sharp and latest opinion on politics, policy and current affairs.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at Hyderabad House on 6 April 2021 | Twitter: @ANI

Jaishankar’s slip of tongue, Lavrov’s Pakistan trip — why all’s not well with India-Russia

Tensions between Jaishankar and Lavrov are a tell-tale sign that 'time-tested' India-Russia ties are shrinking because both sides are not willing to be sensitive towards each other.

Modi govt’s mistakes are to blame for India’s latest Covid crisis

As is typical in India, official arrogance, hyper-nationalism, populism and an ample dose of bureaucratic incompetence have combined to create a crisis.
A pile of coins representing Bitcoin cryptocurrency | Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

These 2 Indian tech gurus are fighting to save crypto from being killed by bureaucracy

India has done exceedingly well in mobile payments, but the bureaucracy has developed a phlegmatic resistance to newer ideas.
Joe Biden (top left), Yoshihide Sug (top right), Scott Morrison (bottom left), and Narendra Modi, during the virtual Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) meeting, on 12 March 2021 | Bloomberg

Seventh Fleet move a reminder that Quad must remain a group of equals, not a US-led posse

New Delhi must keep in mind that Quad is not a military alliance.
A worker walks inside of a uranium conversion facility outside Isfahan | Getty Image via Bloomberg

Why attack on Iranian nuclear facility should set off alarms in the US

Biden administration is keen to deprioritise Middle East in US foreign policy, but escalating Iran-Israel confrontation will demand more US attention, not less.
Representational image of a BJP rally in West Bengal | Photo: ANI

Bhadralok and the myth of casteless West Bengal politics

Mamata Banerjee tried to mitigate the impact of Muslim marginalisation but it was resisted by the BJP, resulting in the communalisation of political discourse.
PM Modi walks past a guard of honour during the 74th Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort on 15 August 2020 | PTI

India needs an honest national security document for the next decade, just like Britain made

In 1946, a telegram from Moscow gave the US a strategy that lasted four decades. India too needs an honest security doctrine that keeps it match-fit in a changing world.

Silence on Kumbh shows Indians think only Muslims spread Covid

There’s nothing more liberating than the truth. And the truth is that India has fangs of communalism deeply dug into it.

The ‘two lines’ lesson Rahul Gandhi can learn from Congress’ Assam campaign

On 2 May, the Congress party’s poll strategy in Assam may or may not pay electoral dividends but it’s a template Rahul Gandhi may like to explore.

Elon Musk leaves Putin stranded on Earth in today’s space race

Sixty years after Yuri Gagarin's historic flight, Russia's space industry can't get its act together.

On Camera

Deserted road at Marine drive as Maharashtra govt announced weekend lockdown due to surge in Covid cases in Mumbai on 10 April, 2021 | PTI

Deserted roads bring back nightmare of demand slump for Indian fuel companies

It’s an ominous sign for India, where fuel consumption still hasn’t fully recovered from last year’s national lockdown that saw oil demand fall to the lowest since 2007.

Defence

Representational image of an Indian Army convoy moving through Ladakh | Photo: ANI

China changes stance, wants de-escalation before disengagement in Ladakh. India disagrees

De-escalation before disengagement could give China an advantage as it can move troops back much faster than India due to its better infrastructure.

Why mosques in rear view mirror, like Kashi’s Gyanvapi, can crash India’s drive into future

Court’s order to ASI to survey Gyanvapi Mosque for remains of old Kashi Vishwanath Temple questions the optimism that Ayodhya wouldn’t be repeated.