Recent content by Praful Bidwai

India's nuclear weapons pursuit is leading to a runaway increase in arms spending, in which its adversaries become the decision maker.

U.S. and Indian industry pressure to cap liability for civilian nuclear accidents will create a regime that shields offending corporations and punishes the public.
The government has not made a break with conservative and neoliberal policies despite the election’s message and its own promises.

The Left can recover from its rout only through radical rethinking and mass mobilisation on working people’s gut-level issues

The BJP’s multiple crises are now set to worsen—including its ideological confusion, its political mobilisation crisis, and its organisational crisis.

Unless Left parties acknowledge their blunders and rebuild their links with progressive intellectuals and civil society activists, and involve them as well in changing course, they will face marginalisation and a historic decline.

The great story of Election-2009 is the Congress’ rejuvenation on an inclusive pluralist-secular platform and the electorate’s emphatic rejection of the BJP’s divisive, communal politics. The Congress has got its second wind and overtaken the BJP by 90 seats and a hefty 10 percentage points in votes.

The UPA’s key appointments reflect conservative foreign and security policies and a “free market plus social security” approach to the economy.

AFTER three long weeks of consultation, deliberation and jockeying, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) finally formed a Council of Ministers. But the result is not authentically representative of India’s diversity, or the sources of its own victory.

President Barack Hussein Obama’s address from Cairo on the relationship between the US and the Islamic world lays the foundation for a radical change in western attitudes towards Muslims, writes Praful Bidwai.

President Barack Hussein Obama’s address from Cairo on the relationship between the US and the Islamic world lays the foundation for a radical change in western attitudes towards Muslims. Obama’s speech, calling for “a new beginning,” comes when the whole Islamic world, including “moderate” states like Egypt, is angry at violent US interventions in Muslim-majority countries.

The Indian electorate has delivered its judgment on parties - the BJP has been punished for its divisiveness, the Congress rewarded for inclusiveness, and the Left told it must correct course

India’s general election has produced a decisive verdict. The people have sent the Bharatiya Janata Party packing and rejected its politics of exclusion, divisiveness and ethnic hatred. This shatters the BJP's claim to be a "natural" party of governance on a par with the Congress and the national alternative to it. The difference in the two parties' vote-shares has widened from four percentage-points to nearly 10 percentage-points.

The results show the Congress's ascendancy nationally and in most states barring Gujarat and Karnataka.

India's general election has produced a decisive verdict which sets a new political trend after 20 years, writes Praful Bidwai. Congress was rewarded for its inclusive pluralism, while the Bharatiya Janata Party's politics of exclusion and ethnic hatred was clearly rejected.

India's general election has produced a decisive verdict which sets a new political trend after 20 years. The people have sent the Bharatiya Janata Party packing and emphatically rejected its politics of exclusion, communal divisiveness and ethnic hatred.

India’s heavy-handed interference in Nepal, which aggravated its political crisis, speaks of a colossal foreign policy failure, argues Praful Bidwai.

Is India about to lose the huge fund of popular goodwill that it earned in Nepal over the past four years by encouraging reconciliation between the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) and other parties, by facilitating a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), by helping to bring the Maoists into the political mainstream, and by facilitating the country’s transition from a despotic monarchy to a constitutional republic?

All credib

India has never before witnessed such mobilisation of international and national support for a person imprisoned within its borders. Twentytwo Nobel laureates from different countries have issued spirited statements of protest against the continued detention of Dr Binayak Sen, a public health activist and civil liberties defender.

Sending the Bharatiya Janata Party to the margins of politics and consolidating progressive secular forces should be the voters’ topmost priority, argues Praful Bidwai.

The spin doctors of the Bharatiya Janata Party, always more media-savvy than any other party’s supporters, have launched a concerted campaign to claim that the Congress has squandered away its early lead in the electoral arena, the Third Front has not managed to make much headway at half-time, and the election’s momentum has shifted decisively in favour of the BJP.

This campaign has taken three forms: the plantin

Has the Bharatiya Janata Party [Images] abandoned even the pretence of playing by the rules of the democratic game and decided that it's not bound by any considerations of minimum political decorum and that it must stoop to the lowest possible level whenever it's questioned or challenged?

Going by its reaction to the Supreme Court's order to the Special Investigation Team to inquire into the alleged role of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], his ministers and officials in instigating and abetting the terrible communal violence of 2002, that would indeed seem to be so.

The cou

India should welcome Obama’s call for a nuclear weapons-free world and launch a spirited campaign for the rapid elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

PRESIDENT Barack Obama’s April 5 speech in Prague calling for a world free of the scourge of nuclear weapons is a major foreign and security policy initiative that deserves applause.

Whatever the outcome of India’s general election, the contest itself will be remembered for many peculiarities and oddities. Just consider four of these. First, there are no major issues at stake in the elections, no great ideological contentions, and no fault-lines that sharply divide parties. There are many state-level issues, of course. The electoral outcome will influence how India copes with the economic slowdown, affect the future of the project of building a pluralist-secular society, and impact the way class and caste coalitions are shaped.

Identity, not economic need, is the prime mover as the great democracy of India goes to the polls. The affluent can rest easy, says Praful Bidwai.

India's general election, which began last week, is as full of variety and dauntingly complicated as the country itself.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown may have declared the death of the Washington Consensus. However the G20 summit’s decision to entrust the most neoliberal institution of the IMF with overseeing the process suggests we have missed a precious opportunity for radically reforming the global economy.

The media hype over the build-up to the London summit of the Group of 20 representing the world’s biggest economies, and over the meeting’s atmospherics, was dismayingly followed by a stunning silence on the content of its decisions and their implications.