The Foreign Desk

John Elliott Delhi Police fire tear gas and fire water cannon at peaceful

I have just returned from India Gate in central Delhi where police and paramilitary forces fired tear gas and water cannon at peaceful demonstrators, spectators including families, and mobile television studios at around 5pm at the end of six days of country-wide mass protests sparked by the gang rape of a young woman last Sunday night and subsequent government and police indifference.

John Elliott 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.

Anne Penketh Why Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie is President

President Obama was out on the campaign trail yesterday with his new friend, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey. Sorry, scratch that, Obama announced he was suspending the campaign and his spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that "this is not a time for politics." So what we saw yesterday was a Democratic and a Republican politician putting America before politics as they discussed putting New Jersey back on its feet after Hurricane Sandy. Now that's a rarity in this polarised country.

John Elliott 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.

John Elliott China telecoms pose risks to Indian defences 50 years after Himalayan

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”.

John Elliott India retasilIndian government responds to critics with symbolic

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.