A new pilgrimage

"You are greater than your deeds,/ That's why the chariot of your life/ Leaves your deeds behind/ time and again."
Sheikh Hasina May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

United Front

India, much to the chagrin of the Bharatiya Janata Party, is yet to be free - mukt - of an Opposition. There were signs of a resurgence in Opposition ranks at the ceremony to appoint H.D. Kumaraswamy the chief minister of Karnataka. The bonhomie that was evident among the leaders of the regional parties has, however, been necessitated by electoral arithmetic. In Karnataka, the Congress and Mr Kumaraswamy's party, the Janata Dal (Secular), had been compelled to come together to keep the BJP out of power. The template of such an unusual union had been set earlier. In the by-elections to Phulpur and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party - bitter rivals under ordinary circumstances - joined hands to decimate the BJP at the hustings. This triumph in a state where the BJP is in power had led to an important reassessment of the political situation on the part of the Opposition. Even in 2014, when the BJP swept the general elections, its vote share had only been a little over 30 per cent. This makes it clear that Opposition parties are in a position to stop the BJP juggernaut if they were to take on, not one another but, the saffron party unitedly. Regional parties, energized by the outcome in Karnataka, are working on forging a bigger confederation as the parliamentary polls draw near.
May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Strange gap

Science can only help, but its abuse is often evil. The same holds true for technology. This is because technology can be used to violate the very principle behind its invention. The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, is, in the opinion of a group of doctors, a case in point. 
May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Some Tumult

Battle lines are hardening after the United States of America pulled out of the nuclear pact with Iran. The most significant fault line is developing between Europe and the US. The Donald Trump administration is in no mood to relent on its decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in order to put pressure on Tehran. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was signed in 2015 by the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany and the US with Iran to curb Iranian nuclear activities in return of the lifting of sanctions by the United Nations, the US and Europe on Tehran. After repeatedly denouncing the Obama-era pact, Trump finally decided to pull the plug on the deal. The US has sanctioned six people and three companies for their ties with Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
Harsh V. Pant May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Eating away at troubles; Tables turned; Stress factor

Eating away at troubles

• Sir - Guppies are kept mostly for ornamental purposes. But they can becom... | Read»

Tables turned

• Sir - It seems like the Bharatiya Janata Party politician, B.S. Yeddyurap... | Read»

Stress factor

• Sir - A father throwing a party to celebrate his son's failure in board e... | Read»

May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Love through the generations

THE SPARSHOLT AFFAIR By Alan Hollinghurst, Picador, Rs 450
Sonia Sahoo May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Three lives

THE LIFE OF NAINA DEVI By AshaRani Mathur,Niyogi, Rs 495
S.D. Chaudhuri May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Potent messages in between the lines

Was it courage or hubris that led Oscar Wilde to take a man to court for calling him homosexual? Perhaps it was his confidence that there was no situation he could not talk himself out of. But on May 25, 1895, Wilde discovered that he was wrong; he was convicted of "committing acts of gross indecency with certain male persons". Of course, it did not help that he had offended sensibilities with The Picture of Dorian Gray - parts of which were read out at his trial. Critics pointed out that "no work of mainstream English-language fiction had come so close to spelling out homosexual desire".
Srimoyee Bagchi May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Treasures: Allahabad Museum

TREASURES: ALLAHABAD MUSEUM (Niyogi, Rs 995), edited by Rajesh Purohit, is part of a series initiated by the ministry of culture. It documents a selection of objects - statues, coins, weapons, as well as paintings in varied media - preserved in the museum. However, the accompanying text fails to provide context as the provenance of several items is missing. The literal descriptions of artefacts are mostly redundant. Little has also been said regarding the choice of objects.
May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Below the surface

• CYBER SEXY: RETHINKING PORNOGRAPHY (Penguin, Rs 399) by Richa Kaul Padte is illuminating. The book does exactly what it claims in the subtitle, helping the reader delve and discover the layered nature of a realm that most - even regular consumers - only have a fuzzy knowledge about. It questions the tropes that the domain of adult films are viewed through and tries to break taboos surrounding adult entertainers. Padte, courageously, does not back away even from sharing personal anecdotes.

May 25, 2018 00:00 IST

Against governors

If the office of the state governor didn't exist, no republican democracy would invent it. A state's governor is a provincial pro-consul. In British India, its institutional necessity was obvious: the governor represented viceregal authority in the same way as the viceroy represented the British monarch's imperial prerogative.
Mukul Kesavan May 24, 2018 00:00 IST


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