Free Press Journal
  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee: A statesman par excellence

    Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died on Thursday after a prolonged illness at the age of 93, was one of the tallest leaders of the post-Independence India. Outside the Congress stable, he ranked the highest. Though the Opposition had several notables, nobody contributed as much for so long to end the Congress monopoly over power as he did. He was the face of the Opposition long before the Congress, basking in the reflected

  • We open the doors to new possibilities: Atal Bihari Vajpayee

    The poet-Prime Minister, an awarded parliamentarian, is renowned for his sparkling oratory, often laced with humour. He made many powerful and historic speeches; here are extracts from five of the most memorable ones.

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee: A man of dignified words and silence

    It was the summer of 1996. The Congress government of Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had lost the general election and, for the first time, there was an opportunity for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), headed by the moderate and well-liked Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to take power. He lacked parliamentary majority but nevertheless made the bid to form a government and become Prime Minister — an ambition that he had long nurtured

  • A good report card

    The Prime Minister addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Wednesday, the last Independence Day before he returns to the people for a fresh mandate, devoted most of his time listing what all the Government had done in last four-plus years. It was a dhobi list of big and small things meant to ameliorate the condition of the underprivileged and to set the economy on the path to

  • A great vision for healthcare, if…

    The present government should soon announce (maybe on Independence Day)  the Ayushman Bharat—National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) which could make India have the world’s largest health insurance programme.  The scheme could also have a multiplier impact on allied sectors like pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical devices and the overall Indian economy by way of employment generation.

  • Loaded I-Day electoral message

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s persuasive India-rising speech at Red Fort carried an electoral message, with a subtext of continuity-with-change. The country’s rapid growth trajectory, he hinted, must not be compromised by political upheaval. A masterful balance of fact and dream-mongering, it was aimed at ramping up the feelgood factor induced by a satisfactory monsoon.

  • Simultaneous polls likely

    The on-going debate over simultaneous polls received a huge fillip with the BJP president Amit Shah writing to the Law Commission making a strong case for them. Shah’s detailed letter has naturally caused disquiet in the Opposition ranks. Speculation that the letter is a precursor to the idea being accepted officially is rife in the political circles. Shah has forcefully countered the Opposition plea that simultaneous polls are against the federal structure

  • Feminism and freedom: The Indian way

    The hold of Western feminism on Indian mindset is alarming, deadlier than colonization. Before taking out morchas for women’s rights, we must peep into the deep crevices of our own cultural history and determine whether we really have a woman suppressing tradition. Is the nickname “oppressive,” attached to our culture by manipulative western thinkers, justified? Should we retort that freedom and equality are intrinsic to Indian life, since Vedic times? The West,

  • Waiting in the wings to queer the pitch

    There is a huge power vacuum in Tamil Nadu with first J Jayalalithaa and 20 months later her bitter foe and political rival M Karunanidhi passing into history, ending the era of stalwarts at least for now in a state given to fanatical hero-worship.

  • conflicted genius, Nobel Laureate V S Naipaul, London, genius

    A conflicted genius

    Nobel laureate V S Naipaul, who died at his home in London on Saturday, was a conflicted person, conflicted about the land of his own and his grandparents’ birth at one level, and between the two and the place he adopted as home for much of his writing career. He seemed not to be at peace with himself and never really embraced fully the cultures and traditions of the countries of his

  • veste, public secret, editorial, reluctant, blood, BCCI, Cricket, sports

    Vested interests hard to beat

    It is hard to fight entrenched vested interests wherever they may be. It is a public secret that various sporting bodies in the country have for long been the preserve of a small group of people who are reluctant to step aside to allow fresh blood to be inducted. Scan the list of office-bearers of various sporting organisations and you will find that the top honchos have been around for decades, some

  • Marxist, Editorial, party, Opposition, Somnath Chatterjee, Lok Sabha, Lok Sabha speaker, Communist, CPI-M

    A Marxist abandoned by his party

    For long, the voice of Opposition, Somnath Chatterjee, was the first Communist Speaker of the Lok Sabha and one who defied his party and refused to quit the post over the Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008, leading to his expulsion from the CPI-M. From championing the cause of the downtrodden as one of India’s finest parliamentarians and barristers, and settling effortlessly into the role of wooing investors to industry-dry West Bengal, Chatterjee