John Elliott

John Elliott is a British journalist based in New Delhi. He has been in South Asia for more than 20 years and writes a current affairs blog, Riding the Elephant - http://ridingtheelephant.wordpress.com/

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In India the place that matters this week is Gujarat

There has been a lot of heat and tension in India’s parliament over past week as the government has won grudging and expensive approval for its foreign supermarkets investment policy and there have been noisy scenes over allegations that Wal-Mart has been corruptly lobbying for the cause.

Corruption gossip floods India but change will be slow

India loves tamashas and Delhi loves political gossip, and both forms of entertainment have been in full supply over the past couple of weeks when the reputations of top politicians and others have been publicly attacked, mostly by Arvind Kejriwal, a politically ambitious anti-corruption campaigner. This flood of allegations – and the prospect of more to come - has widespread ramifications because it seems to be open season to reveal the suspected wrongdoings of the rich, famous, and powerful, using right to information laws.

China telecoms pose risks to Indian defences 50 years after Himalayan victory

There has been a stream of articles in India’s newspapers over the past week marking the 50th anniversary of country’s humiliating defeat by China in a brief Himalayan border war that shattered India’s self-confidence so devastatingly that the country has yet fully to recover. Headlines have included “The war we lost – the lessons we didn’t learn” and “Lessons from 1962 - India must never lower its guard”.

India retasilIndian government responds to critics with symbolic reforms

Stung by increasingly sharp criticism at home and abroad, the Indian government today announced a raft of foreign direct investment reforms in supermarkets, airlines and other areas that ended three years of policy inertia. This followed a highly controversial decision yesterday to cut fuel subsidies, triggering a 12% increase in diesel retail prices and restrictions on the sale of cooking gas.

India “is looking sticky” as the system crumbles

It is tempting to think that India is heading towards some form of implosion. The parliament didn’t operate for 75% of the monsoon session, doing little business, because of Bharatiya Janata Party opposition tactics.

Peace broken in Kashmir as forces fire on protesters

Killing by security forces outside power station could reignite separatist unrest in disputed region

Dynastic shift at India’s Tata group keeps the clan intact

Watch out Rahul Gandhi – yesterday’s news that Noel Tata, a reticent low-key member of the Tata family, will not be the next head of India’s biggest and most respected business group shows that reluctant dynastic heirs do not always win by default.

OBITUARY: Professor Francisco Toms y Valiente

Spanish public life has suffered a devastating blow in the death at the hands of an ETA terrorist of Professor Francisco Toms y Valiente in his office at the Autonomous University of Madrid. His murderer could hardly have chosen a victim more representative of all that was best in the new democratic Spain.
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