In the end, Sarabjit Singh was executed not by a hangman but by Pakistan’s famed ‘non-state’ actors – his fellow prisoners on death row – who are believed to have been put up to the job of bludgeoning him into a lifeless pulp by ‘state’ actors (jail officials). Of course, instead of someone pulling the hangman’s lever, in Sarabjit’s case it was the proverbial plug being pulled on the life support machines by ‘state’ doctors.
An analyses of the affidavits filed by candidates contesting the Karnataka Assembly election on May 5 provides further evidence that politics is now completely out of the reach of the poor and the middle classes. These affidavits also offer irrefutable evidence that there is no business like the “business of politics” in the country. There are also indicators that politics may not be a good calling for law-abiding citizens because there is steady rise in the number of candidates with criminal records or pending criminal cases.
Democracy is passing through a difficult phase of institutional decline. The political parties are functioning in a manner detrimental to the interests of the country and its citizens. Persons without any commitment to the Constitution and its values are being elected in large numbers to the Parliament and State Legislatures. There is a growing conflict of interest between them, their parties and the people they profess to serve. Some of the policies they pursue are anti-national and unconstitutional.
China’s motives in provoking the Depsang valley incident in Ladakh are not easy to decipher. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the undemarcated India-China border is not defined on the ground, unlike in the case of the Line of Control in J&K. We have our own perception of the areas we control and the Chinese their own. One way to signal territorial control is patrolling, which both sides undertake in contested areas.
The Christian era is marked by two initials, B.C. or Before Christ and A.D. or Anno Domini, which means in the Year of Our Lord. However, when we read the newspapers today it would almost appear as if these two initials have been replaced by B.D.R or Before Delhi Rape and A.D.R. or After Delhi Rape. In the B.D.R. era rape cases were reported somewhere on the seventh page of a newspaper as a tiny item, but in the A.D.R. era right from the front page headline every page has mention of some rape case or the other in some part of the country. Were we all celibate saints in B.D.R.
What is often referred to as the Afghan endgame is in fact the US endgame in Afghanistan. For the Afghans there is unlikely to be any endgame because if the US desperation to exit from Afghanistan is anything to go by, then Afghanistan is in for a very turbulent future. All available indications suggest that Afghanistan is going to be embroiled in what is almost a ‘death game’ or, if you will, a game of survival.
The United Nations general assembly has approved the arms trade treaty on April 2, causing India some discomfiture. India participated actively in the negotiations but could not endorse the final text because it lacks clarity, fails to balance the rights and obligations of both exporting and importing countries, protects specific interests, and is difficult to implement.