K S Venkatachalam

K S Venkatachalam

The author is an independent journalist and political commentator. He tweets as @Venkat48 (twitter.com/venkat48)

Why countries in the subcontinent continue to fare poorly at the Olympics

The performances of athletes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who took part in the Olympics continued to be dismal. While India has managed to win 28 medals since its independence, Pakistan has managed only 10. Sri Lanka lags even further behind with just two medals. Bangladesh has never managed to win any. Even a comparatively smaller country like South Korea, which has a population of only 50 million, has managed to win 21 medals at Rio 2016. Athletes from Thailand and Malaysia also performed relatively better. India, a country with a 1.3 billion population and a $2 trillion economy, mustered only two medals at the Rio Olympics. Michael Phelps, the ace swimmer from the ...

Read Full Post

Is China justified in rejecting the UN tribunal award on its claims over the South China Sea?

The United Nation’s appointed ‘Permanent Court of Arbitration’ has rejected China’s claims over the South China Sea, as well as the Islands within it. In a landmark judgment, delivered on Tuesday, the arbitration court found that China had no historical rights over the waters of the South China Sea and had violated the Philippines sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by, 1. Interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, 2. Constructing artificial islands and, 3. Failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone. The tribunal had also claimed that fishermen from the Philippines (like those from China) had traditional fishing rights at ...

Read Full Post

Will China ever allow India to be part of the Nuclear Suppliers Group?

Before the start of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) plenary session in Seoul on June 24, 2016, the word was out that China would not be supporting India’s membership into the NSG. China had exhibited a similar reluctance towards India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. Although China managed to stonewall India’s application, what came as a total surprise to them was that out of 48 countries, 44 countries openly supported its membership; evidence of India being recognised as an emerging global power. In fact, the Chinese negotiator was pulled up because of the unprecedented support India received at the meeting. Those who have been following ...

Read Full Post

Rahul Gandhi is inexperienced and lacks vision

The Indian National Congress has been enjoying unbridled power ever since independence. Until 1999, India did not have any opposition party strong enough to challenge it. However, with the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as a national party in the late 90s, the face of Indian politics changed. The BJP led National Democratic Front first came to the national scene in 1996, and after a brief interregnum for two years, they won the general elections in 1999 again, where they remained in power for five years. The party has gone from strength to strength ever since. However, BJP’s victory in the 2014 ...

Read Full Post

Will the Muslim women in India find protection in the courts?

One may accuse Trupti Desai’s symbolic entry to the Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai, and her earlier attempt to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple, as a well thought out publicity stunt highlighting her political intentions. However, one has to grant her and her organisation, Bhumata Ranrangini Brigade, due credit for their gumption to take on religious clerics and other religious organisations. Her determination resulted in the decadent old custom that prevented women from entering places of worship, into the public domain. It is indeed a sad commentary that even after 69 years of India’s independence; Indian women have to fight for their rights. Women have to constantly fight ...

Read Full Post

Religion and feminism: Why women in India are fighting for a place in temples

It’s time we remove the decadent practices that discriminate against people belonging to marginalised sections of society, especially women, from entering religious places of worship. On January 26, while most Indians celebrated the participation of an all-women’s contingent during India’s Republic Day Parade, 400 strong women activists did what has never been done before: they forcefully tried to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra to break an age old custom that prevents women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The attempt was a symbolic act to assert women’s rights and fight patriarchy. Indian women have for long struggled to attain gender equality, and ...

Read Full Post

Why should male tennis players be paid more than female players, Novak?

The women even in the most liberal countries face discrimination when it comes to receiving the same pay compared to their male counterparts for similar work done by them. This discrimination is more pronounced in the sub-continent. Although, various NGOs’ and women activists have been fighting relentlessly to bridge the gender pay gap, women still continue to face discrimination in some form or the other, especially in the unorganised sector. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) in a report issued last year; “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap” highlights the issue of gender pay gap in the United ...

Read Full Post

Afridi’s comments in favour of India were not a “national shame”, Miandad!

It has been a trend that whenever Pakistan tours India or vice versa, there are elements in both the countries that come up with preposterous statements to vitiate the atmosphere.  It was, therefore, not surprising when a few ex-cricketers of Pakistan took umbrage to the innocuous comments made by Shahid Afridi during a press conference. In an attempt to create a cordial atmosphere, before the start of the marquee match with India, and also to pre-empt any possible hostility from the Indian crowd during the match, Afridi had stated that, “We have always enjoyed playing in India and have been loved ...

Read Full Post

Nawaz Sharif’s government is great for India

In a rare and candid admission, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, accepted complicity in the Kargil misadventure during a rally addressed by him at Muzzafarabad. It requires real courage and conviction for any leader to admit to their mistakes. Sharif also endorsed former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s assertion that the Kargil incident was ‘a stab in the back’. His admission comes at a time when the Pathankot incident has derailed the peace process between both the countries. Following Partition and the three wars since then, both countries have adopted an ostrich like approach when it comes to engaging with one another. Strained India-Pakistan relations are ...

Read Full Post

President Barack Obama is probably the best president America has ever had

After listening to the debate of prospective presidential candidates, from the Democratic and Republican parties, one can’t fail to notice the stark difference in their leadership styles with the present incumbent. President Obama presents a dignified image, a vision backed with impeccable integrity coupled with great communication skills. Perhaps, these qualities are enough to set him apart from the aspiring candidates. Although, it would be too early to assess his performance as the president, since he will be demitting from his position in January 2017. Regardless, one can’t resist the temptation of revealing a scorecard of his achievements and failures during his two terms tenure. Obama’s inclusive ...

Read Full Post