OPINION / BLOGS
  • Opinion: The Truth About The Darjeeling Trouble
    Derek O'Brien
    The unrest in Darjeeling has reminded some people of the Gorkhaland agitation that erupted against the CPI(M) government in Bengal in the 1980s. This led to a demand for a separate state and a call for greater development. Are we seeing a repeat of it? The short answer is "No". The context and circumstances are very different.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: <i>Chatur Baniya</i> Remark Exposes - Again - BJP Aversion To Gandhi-<i>ji</i>
    Derek O'Brien
    Political battles are temporary. Institutions such as the Mahatma and the Indian Army - even if it is strange to mention them together - are permanent. They define our nation, and always will.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: Centre Doesn't Know Meaning Of F-Word
    Derek O'Brien
    For all its lip service to federalism, the BJP-led government at the centre is systematically undermining powers of the states. The recent restriction and virtual ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter - it amounts to a blanket ban on cow slaughter, for all practical purposes - is one example.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: 6 Lessons I?ve Learnt As An MP Including Perils Of Khan Market
    Derek O'Brien
    To be honest, six years in parliament have taught me something new almost every day. Here are six lessons from these past six years.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: When A 27-Year-Old Dies, How Do You Cope?
    Derek O'Brien
    However old you are, whatever you've experienced in life, it's never enough to teach you to cope with grief.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: Football Jersey No 110 for Arun Jaitley, Please
    Derek O'Brien
    After sterling and cross-party work to bring the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime into effect, it was disappointing that the BJP-led government introduced the GST Bills in Parliament as Money Bills. This allowed it to essentially bypass the Rajya Sabha, ignore its views, and let the government romp home on the basis of its Lok Sabha majority.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: GST Victim Of Ego War Between India's 2 Biggest Parties
    Derek O'Brien
    When either the BJP or the Congress is in government, it is all set to "Go" for GST. When in opposition, the same party and same political leaders "Slow" GST. It has been the smaller parties in the middle that have tried to take a constructive approach to GST.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: Nirbhaya Fund Remains Unspent. Happy Women's Day
    Derek O'Brien
    From 2013 to 2017, the Rs 3,000 crore in the Nirbhaya Fund has remained almost entirely unspent. In 2016 and 2017, the Finance Minister didn't even mention women's safety in his Budget speech. It's back to normal.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: 10 Tips For Mumbai, With Love From Kolkata
    Derek O'Brien
    Following the municipal elections in Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai, I've been struck by the cynicism and apathy in the media and even among politicians. They appear convinced that our cities are irredeemable and nothing can be done to rescue them.
    Opinion
  • Opinion: Dear Suresh Prabhu, Pause On Bullet Trains To See This
    Derek O'Brien
    In India, the railways serve a social as well as an economic purpose. That is why not every Indian Railways project, investment or train service is seen in commercial terms but considered with regard to the connectivity and developmental purposes it serves. Railway hospitals and infrastructure, for instance, help a larger community in the places th...
    Opinion
  • Opinion: <i>Chinnamma</i> Has Not Replaced <i>Amma</i> In Breast Pocket Photos
    Derek O'Brien
    The first segment of the Budget Session of Parliament had its interesting moments for me, especially as MPs began to gather in Central Hall and discuss the new political challenges of the New Year. Central Hall is formally used only once each year: for the address by the President to the joint sitting of both Houses. For the rest of the period, it ...
    Opinion
  • Opinion: The BJP's Social Media Armies Seek To Divide
    Derek O'Brien
    The social media armies of the BJP have systematically threatened religious harmony and social peace in Bengal. I stressed this in the Rajya Sabha, explaining how "Digital India" was being turned into "Divisive India". The examples I gave should be scary and worrying for anybody in government. Out of nothing, a Twitter trend was created by manipula...
    Opinion
  • Opinion: Trinamool Will Skip Budget On Feb 1, Here's Why
    Derek O'Brien
    Parliament begins its Budget Session earlier than usual this year, on January 31, 2017. A day previously, on January 30, the all-party ritual will take place in Parliament House. This is meant to be a meeting of all parties to discuss the upcoming session and its broad agenda, but becomes an occasion for the government - and sometimes not just the ...
    Opinion
  • Opinion: No Party Picks A Politician's Child Without Thinking Of Winning
    Derek O'Brien
    Is this first break deserved? No party contests an election to lose, even a single seat is not wasted. Therefore, if a ticket is given to a son or daughter of a senior politician or a late politician, it is rarely out of charity. It because the party believes the candidate's talent, worth, emotional appeal or tug to nostalgia will win him or her - ...
    Opinion
  • Opinion: As Usual, Government Ignores Principles For Budget On Feb 1
    Derek O'Brien
    Every year the Union Budget is presented on the final day of February. This year, it has been brought forward to February 1. As it happens, this is only three days prior to elections in Punjab and Goa and just 10 days before the first vote is punched in Uttar Pradesh. Potentially, this advancing of the budget could jeopardize the election process, ...
    Opinion

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