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articles by Vembu


Despite the spot-fixing shame, the IPL show must go on

The scandal points to the need for cleansing the IPL culture, but it's no reason to pull down the entire edifice. The IPL is still a platform for talent-spotting, and retains enormous entertainment value that cannot be robbed by a few charlatans.


Triumph of Japan's 'Abenomics': the proof is in the lingerie

Want proof of the success of expansionary fiscal and monetary policy? Just check out the length of the skirts of Japanese all-girl bands and the undergarments of lingerie models...


Cloak but no dagger: The awfully mundane world of spies

There’s an endearing quality to reports that a CIA spy was arrested in Moscow: he comes across as a bumbling amateur who represents the lost Age of Innocence in the world of espionage.


China's push for border deal: Why India must 'trust but verify'

Indian suspicions about Chinese grand strategems should not be allowed to impede any progress in the Sino-Indian border talks. But it is important to mark the boundary before committing to a freeze on troop and infrastructure build-up.


From here on, Sonia-Manmohan dyarchy is a slow train wreck

The "two heads" power arrangement between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is coming apart at the seams.


Parliament deadlock: Why Rudy's alternate suggestion won't work

Rajiv Pratap Rudy revives an old debate about ending the gridlock in the prevailing system of government by switching to a model that directly elects the Chief Executive. But with all its merits, it may not fly.


Pakistan turns a corner, but let's go easy on Aman Ki Asha dreams

The outbreak of unbridled Aman Ki Asha sentiments in India, following Nawaz Sharif's victory, points to unreasonably heightened expectations on the Indian side of the Wagah border.


Not Bansal or Kumar: Dear PM, you're the real sacrificial goat

When it comes to ring-fencing Sonia Gandhi from the taint of corruption that overruns the UPA government, everyone - even the Prime Minister - is expendable.


How the Sarabjit-Sanaullah episode diminishes India

The Sarabjit-Sanaullah episode shows that for all of India's attempts to project itself as an emerging global power, with a footprint larger than just the South Asian peninsula, it is unable to break out of its hyphenated relationship with Pakistan.


Don't look now, but Mao Zedong is sneaking into your wallet...

For all the chatter about the "inevitable" rise of the Chinese yuan to global reserve currency status, the reality of the structural weaknesses in China's own economy may mean that that transition may not be accomplished quite so easily.


Coalgate scam: Careful, Mr PM, the fig leaves are falling off...

If there was no wrongdoing in the allocation of coal blocks, why did the Law Minister and officials from the Prime Minister's Office go to such elaborate lengths to doctor the CBI's draft report - and get top law officers to lie in court?


Early trends: Will BJP now introspect on Yeddyurappa affair?

When the BJP reflects on the outcome in Karnataka, it will likely draw the wrong inferences from its handling of the BS Yeddyurappa affair.


With an eye on Food Security Bill, Sonia stoops to conquer

With Sonia Gandhi reaching out to Sushma Swaraj in Parliament on Tuesday, the Congress finds itself in a win-win position on the Food Security Bill.


Coalgate and the pressing need to 'liberate' the CBI

It is perfectly legitimate for citizens who are sick to their stomach of the mountain of corruption scandals of recent times to press for a truly autonomous investigating agency that is free from political interference.


Cobrapost to Saradha: How we subsidise the corrupt

The entire financial system is geared in such a way that the middle-class and the poor exist only to cross-subsidise the crooked and the corrupt, who walk away with risk-free, guaranteed returns.


India, China stand-off in Ladakh ends but at what cost to India?

India and China have backed off from their eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in the Himalayas. But there is reason to believe that India may have paid a high price by giving China the right to determine what happens on our side of the fence.


'Coercive diplomacy' is the key to beat China's Ladakh ingress

There is diplomatic space for India to exert itself against the Chinese incursion without resorting to military adventurism. But to exert the levers of coercive diplomacy, you need to know that you have a spine in the first place.


Spy vs spy: Sarabjit wasn’t even a poor man’s James Bond

If we, as Indians, don’t respect our own ‘spies’ enough and send them across without training and at their own risk, how can we expect the Pakistanis to treat them any better?


China’s Ladakh incursion is war minus the shooting

To the extent that Chinese troops are still in notionally Indian territory and are looking to extract a price for their withdrawal, China is looking to expand its sovereignty map - without firing a single shot.