When Rains Fall, the Roads Break: Can We Prevent It?

The hilly area of Uttarakhand is a very fragile region highly prone to disasters. 90% of the passenger and freight transportation is dependent on roads. Despite this, every year during monsoon the roads are damaged or remain blocked for days. A close view of the road construction/management process in Uttarakhand reveals that the state fails to…

Uttarakhand’s Battling Interests: Time to Change Priorities?

Tourism and hydroelectricity generation are the major contributors to Uttarakhand’s economy. However, underutilisation of existing hydroelectricity projects, indifference towards environmental impact, proposal of new projects in environmentally sensitive zones and acute concentration of tourism in selected pockets is a cause of much worry. This article was published in Terra Green-an internationally circulated environmental monthly published…

Democracy is in Danger When Leaders Become a Cult

In the interest of a vibrant democracy, it is imperative that the political leadership of the time is always subjected to critical questioning—both by the public as well as from within the respective political parties. While personality cults in politics do not necessarily endanger critical questioning by the public, it definitely murders such an exercise…

Who Cries When a Journalist Dies?

Of the many threats that journalists face in India, criminal violence is just one. Apart from this, freedom of press is also curtailed by a sinister use of defamation and sedition laws to silence journalists. Financial uncertainties in the form of inadequate salaries and large scale job cuts also looms large. This article was published…

It’s Not Solely Our Democracy’s Fault

Have political incapacity and corruption reached a point of no return in India? Can we never salvage lost pride and trust in the political class? Or is an entire class of people and a whole system of governance being crucified for the wrongs of a few? An edited version of this article was published in…

How Much Can The Hills Take?

While the hills provide the visiting tourists a refreshing ambiance; an uncontrolled and highly concentrated tourism industry imposes heavy burdens on the meager resources. This article was first published in Hardnews and can be accessed at http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2016/06/uttarakhand-how-much-can-hills-take With large parts of India still under the spell of a scorching sun, the hill stations in Uttarakhand…

How Will Posterity Remember Chetan Bhagat’s Work?

One may disagree with the views Bhagat expresses in his columns and other public forums. I myself, on most occasions, find it difficult to agree with him. However, it is perfectly possible for one to disagree with him and yet appreciate the positives that he has contributed to the public space. Depriving him of this credit, which he has…