Kuldip Nayar

Kuldip Nayar has been many things in his life -- reporter, editor, detainee during the Emergency, high commissioner to Great Britain, peacenik, Rajya Sabha member -- but what he does best is explore the byzantine maze of Indian politics to provide amplification and clarity of events, issues and personalities.

Burning our bridges   - October 5, 2001
'The old hated word "self-sufficiency" is already in use. It will come back with a vengeance. We have already burnt the bridges behind us and we have no clear way ahead.'

The disease is mistrust   - September 25, 2001
Pakistan is going to be an intransigent neighbour for a long time to come. India has to learn how to live with such a country.'

The Naga solution   - August 31, 2001
'The Government of India has put itself and the NSCN on an equal footing. Is this what New Delhi wanted to convey?'

The defiant finance minister   - August 24, 2001
'During the debate on the UTI scandal in the Rajya Sabha, one Shiv Sena member injected in his speech the name of Vajpayee's foster son-in-law, Ranjan Bhattacharya. This was enough to divert the attention from Yashwant Sinha.'

The Enrons of the rich world   - August 9, 2001
'The issue that moved people to travel to Genoa was not whether to globalise, but how to do it in ways that would not leave the majority of people behind. Will the G-8 do it or will they go on like Enron, bamboozling people and giving the impression that what was being done was in their interest?'

Editors and prime ministers   - July 28, 2001
'The Vajpayee government's attitude towards the media is archaic, bureaucratic and steeped in suspicion. In fact, it is busy restricting their area of operation and putting shackles even on the Internet, which is free all over the world.'

The Musharraf logic   - July 19, 2001
'How will a change in the LoC make any difference if people are not given the real power? Musharraf should consider alternatives that meet the aspirations of the people, not the ones, which may tear apart India's fabric by religious or separatist forces.'

The dignity of law   - May 18, 2001
'I think there should be a review of the contempt law. It should suggest how to do away with frivolous and motivated petitions.'

The rot within   - April 16, 2001
'If the nation is to preserve the fundamental values of a clean society, every person must display a degree of vigilance and willingness to sacrifice.'

Balco is only a symptom   - March 21, 2001
The disease is the revision in the Congress's thinking on economic reforms, which it wants to exploit in the coming assembly elections in five states.

Reaching out to Dhaka   - February 23, 2001
'The Bangladeshis are going to come to India anyway. It is better they do so legally and for a fixed period through work permits. Their main interest is employment, not living in India.'

Why should the BJP shy away from reopening the Rajan Pillai case?   - January 9, 2001
'Going through the sordid incidents, it is hard not to conclude that there was a design to have him disgraced, if not dead.'

'Kashmir is Pakistan's cat's paw'   - December 15, 2000
'The real problem is Musharraf or, for that matter, the military. They do not want a settlement with India because their raison d'etre depends on stoking the fires of differences.'

Reforms should be discussed before implementation   - December 2, 2000
'The other day the prime minister told me informally that he would like reforms to be discussed in the open before implementation. "We should have done it earlier," he admitted. The government should make this a policy decision and not be pushed around either by the World Bank or the IMF.'
The colossus has bowed out   - November 6, 2000
'Basu's declaration that he is not quitting politics is welcome. But he has to lead the Communists out of thickets of rigidity and regimentation. He is right when he says that he is unhappy at what is happening in Delhi. But is wrong when he believes that CPI(M) can lead the nation to find the answer.'

The desire to pull down the NDA cannot bring into being a front that the people need   - November 1, 2000
'What will be the difference between the new front and the NDA? Apart from the rhetoric, both sides have an army of communalists, casteists and the corrupt. The nation is exasperated by such fronts.'

The Yahya Khan file   - October 24, 2000
'Yahya Khan helped arrange the meeting between Nixon and Chinese leaders through handwritten letters. Both America and China were so beholden to Pakistan that they promised action if Indian forces ever went to East Pakistan to assist the Bangladeshis in their struggle for liberation. But did not.'

June 26, 2000: Friend and all-weather friend   - June 26, 2000
'Narayanan should not have minced words. As a person who is considered a friend in China, he would not have been misunderstood. Beijing would have least known the depth of the hurt among Indians.'

What Delhi must do   - June 9, 2000
'New Delhi has said again and again that it supports the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. But these are only pious words.'

What makes NDA tick?   - June 1, 2000
'The two main factors which have strengthened the BJP-led government are: one, the absence of an alternative and two, the BJP's appreciation of the coalition politics.'

Kashmir: How to begin?   - May 29, 2000
'Just as the government of India has to get out of the South Block-made status quo syndrome, the Hurriyat too has to face reality.'

The ugly Indian   - May 18, 2000
'How can New Delhi even entertain the idea of equating the Chandrika Kumaratunga government with Prabhakaran's LTTE when the latter is a fascist, brutal, set-up which India has already banned?'

Between the lines   - May 10, 2000
'France may have been conscious that Narayanan's visit was ceremonial. But it used the opportunity to convey that it sought close friendship with India'

After the visit   - April 5, 2000
'Clinton should put all his weight against terrorism. South Asia is a good laboratory for experimenting, provided he gives up the policy of balance of power, of bolstering one country against another.'

Cracks in the NDA   - March 29, 2000
'For the first time ideological contradictions have surfaced among the NDA constituents. Such differences have a tendency to reappear in one form or the other no matter how hard the BJP tries to mend these cracks because they relate to conviction and commitment.'

Live, but not learn   - March 15, 2000
'General Malik frankly says the armed forces should not be used for counter-insurgency operations. But he singles out Kashmir which, he believes, has to be defended from intruders from the other side. He considers it a theatre of war. However, he does not want the army to be involved in operations in the northeast. That matter, he feels, needs a political solution.'

They know what they do   - March 8, 2000
'Laloo Prasad Yadav in Bihar, Om Parkash Chautala in Haryana and Naveen Patnaik in Orissa are in no way associated with even the thinking of the impoverished. They do not deserve the positions they have reached.'

Vajpayee's Laxman Rekha   - March 2, 2000
'Communal poison, which has been dripping into Indian politics is destroying India's ethos. The result is the roots of tolerance are weakening day by day.'

Bhindranwale's ghost?   - February 24, 2000
'Punjab's problems are yet to be solved and there are elements wanting to disturb peace on one ground or the other. The Centre has to keep this in mind.'

The strings to Clinton's visit   - February 16, 2000
'52 years of Independence have made us more confident and we now look other nations straight in the eye. We are beginning to be conscious of our identity. This is what I fear America has not realized.'

With the demolition of the masjid, the issue is dead   - February 7, 2000
It is not only the mandir which has distanced Vajpayee from many in the BJP. There are some other issues on which he does not see eye to eye with them. The Prime Minister's Office is at odds with the Home Ministry.

Our governments have a tendency to keep things under wraps   - January 19, 2000
'I asked in the Rajya Sabha why the Henderson-Brooks report on the India-China war had not been made public even after 38 years. The reply was that it could not be done in the public interest. The Subrahmanyam Committee report on Kargil looks like going the same way.'

Why is New Delhi pussy-footing on Islamabad's involvement in the hijacking?   - January 12, 2000
'President Clinton spoke on Kashmir but did not mention a word about the hijacking... A few countries said something through their spokesmen, more to please New Delhi than to name the instigators of the hijackers. Even the tone of condemnation was cursory.'

The hijack, another Kargil?   - January 6, 2000
'Parvez Musharraf was the author of the Kargil tragedy. He may have also blessed the hijacking. This may be his way of erasing the humiliation he suffered at Kargil.

The jokers and the joke   - February 2, 2000
The dismal performance of the Indian team on their tour Down Under compels Kuldip Nayar to write on cricket for the first time in his journalistic career of more than 40 years.

The view from Kashmir   - December 18, 1999
'It looks as if when it comes to India, almost all Kashmiris join hands. The realisation that Islamabad is in no position to force any solution on New Delhi makes them feel helpless. And then they pick on India all the more.'

The hidden agenda   - December 10, 1999
'The complexion of the ministry at the Centre and Joshi's "cultural nationalism" will fuel the fear that the RSS-BJP has a long-term agenda. They will furrow their way slowly and secretly. And when they have entrenched themselves, they will strike.'

Millennium politics   - November 30, 1999
'The BJP's biggest dilemma is: After Vajpayee who? Will the party split after him despite the underpinning of the RSS, its cadre and concept of Hindu rashtra?'

The guilty in Orissa   - November 13, 1999
'The state government did not wake up for 10 days. It had no defence. The state did practically nothing. Even when it came to know that lakhs of people were marooned and had no food, no drinking water, it expressed helplessness. If this is not the failure of the state machinery, what else is?'

Coup to stall conciliation?   - November 11, 1999
'New Delhi should now take the nation into confidence and tell what happened. R K Mishra undertook five trips to Pakistan and Niaz Naik visited India six times... The entire sequence of events has become important because Kargil may have led to the military coup in Pakistan.

A meeting with the PM   - October 29, 1999
'Vajpayee was conscious of the enormous responsibility put on his shoulders. He wanted all political parties to sink their differences and work unitedly on this one point programme: how to give a better deal to the people.'

The chances of reconciliation between New Delhi and Islamabad have further receded   - October 18, 1999
'Whether Nawaz Sharief consulted corps commanders before dismissing Musharraf or not is not known. Obviously, he did not because Musharraf has been supported by the commanders. They are the ones who ultimately decide things in Pakistan, democracy or no democracy.'

Hurriyat's frustration in Kashmir   - September 28, 1999
'Desperation will not bring any results. It will only harden New Delhi's stand. The Hurriyat leaders have lost another opportunity to enter Parliament which they could have probably had if they had not boycotted the election.'

Voters keep their fingers crossed   - September 20, 1999
'The BJP has said that it will win a majority on its own. How and from where will it get 95 more seats? In fact, if there is no let-up in the revival of the Congress, the BJP's strength of 181 in the dissolved House may not increase much. It can even go down.'

Jockeying for Power   - September 6, 1999
'The worst examples of sabotage have been in the Congress. They are being cited in the durbar of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Some party leaders, for instance, worked against Dr Manmohan Singh who contested the election from South Delhi. They are quite indiscreet in their remarks that they wanted to end once for all the talk that Sonia may nominate him as prime minister if the Congress came to power.'

The Second Coming   - September 1, 1999
'Non-BJP/non-Congress parties have begun to examine if the BJP and the Congress can be played against each other for a third alternative to emerge. If the other parties secure around 200 seats, India's politics will undergo a drastic change. Anyone from among Sharad Pawar, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Jayalalitha, Mayawati and George Fernandes may then throw his/her hat in the ring.'

'The LoC may be de facto at present, it might become de jure tomorrow'   - August 24, 1999
'We should go to the farthest extent to make peace with Pakistan. War is no solution to the problem. That Islamabad has betrayed our confidence goes without saying. So did Beijing in 1962. Still we have mended our fences with it without getting any part of the territory which China occupies.'

'India has had no policy on Kashmir and has committed mistake after mistake'   - August 7, 1999
'The ball is in the Kashmiri leaders' court. Some of them are unnecessarily trying to touch Srinagar, Delhi and Islamabad at the same time. The leaders, particularly the younger lot, have to face the realities.'

Pak may challenge Siachen control   - July 16, 1999
'America may be willing to guarantee no-man's land status to the glacier. This is the impression I got from United States Under Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth in April at Washington when I met him.'

Who are the infiltrators?   - June 14, 1999
'It is apparent that Islamabad has been finding less and less response among the Kashmiris for continuing insurgency. Otherwise, it would not have depended first on mercenaries and now on their regular forces.'

The Third Front?   - May 17, 1999
If only he had got rid of Advani, Joshi and Sinha!   - April 22, 1999
Growing Differences   - April 8, 1999
Benazir's Judgment Day   - March 13, 1999
People are fed up of Laloo Yadav!   - March 6, 1999
It is fundamentalism again   - February 22, 1999
Tolerating the Intolerant   - January 30, 1999
Foreigners are Assam's perennial problem   - January 23, 1999
Vajpayee willing to strike, but afraid to wound   - January 16, 1999
Why was Bhagwat sacked?   - January 9, 1999