September 22, 1996 |
Months of unparalleled allegations of corruption in Indian politics reached a dramatic peak Saturday when a judge ordered criminal charges brought against former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao in an influence-peddling case. If Rao is prosecuted, it will be the first time a current or former Indian leader has been dragged into court on charges of committing illegal acts while in office.
August 24, 1996 |
This week, India showed it could say no to the great powers. After the United States and the four other avowed nuclear-weapons nations declined to bind themselves to a timetable for liquidating their arsenals, India effectively vetoed the global nuclear test ban pact being negotiated in Geneva by refusing to sign it. International criticism was immediate, but the Indian government has vowed not to budge.
June 6, 1996 |
"The Indian elephant has awakened and begun to dance," Anil Ambani, one of his country's leading industrialists, told a conference earlier this year in the United States. This week, the music changed. A wobbly 13-party coalition--composed of free marketeers, Communists, regional parties and low-caste Hindus--is now in charge after five years that saw India sever a 4-decade-old tradition of quasi-socialism and begin adopting market-driven reforms. On Wednesday, the government of Prime Minister H.
September 8, 1996 |
In the alpine vales and mountains of bloodied Kashmir, voters went to the polls Saturday to choose their government for the first time in nearly a decade, an act that Indian officials hailed as a triumph of democracy and a vital step on the road to peace. Instead, many Kashmiris said they trooped to the ballot box only under threats and pressure from the Indian army and security forces.
June 2, 1996 |
Over the weekend, India's 13-day-old Hindu nationalist government was replaced by a coalition of 13 leftist and regional parties after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee failed to assemble a majority in Parliament. The new government has 11 days to produce a working majority. The Indian Parliament today is a large quilt of numerous ideological, ethnic and regional patches. None of the parties represented in it has a countrywide following.
November 29, 1997 |
India's fourth government in two years collapsed Friday night, ending a shaky, short-lived coalition and heralding a new period of political chaos. Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral resigned and his United Front government fell after the Congress (I) Party, a key ally of his coalition, withdrew its support. Gujral lasted seven months.
May 29, 1996 |
Assailed by hoots and jeers during an uproarious session of Parliament, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee abruptly resigned Tuesday, ending the most short-lived government in independent India's history. The world's most populous democratic republic headed next for a center-left coalition government of still-murky policies and personalities, chaired by H. D. Deve Gowda, the son of a middle-class farming family from southern India.
November 14, 1996 |
The how and why of the world's worst midair collision is as yet unexplained, but on Wednesday critics were eager to say I told you so, making India's air traffic system appear more like a mortal game of dodge ball. The flight recorders of the doomed planes, which collided over India on Tuesday, have now been recovered. Transcripts show that the crew of the Kazakh aircraft had been warned of an oncoming Saudi jumbo jet.
February 16, 1997 |
Joined by just a thread of land to the rest of the country, India's last frontier is an isolated region of rugged beauty and constant turmoil. For 50 years, the Indian northeast has been tormented by separatist insurrection, guerrilla warfare and terrorism. Its inhabitants--nearly half of them from aboriginal tribes--are still uncertain of their place, whether within India or outside it. When some insurrections wane, others flare.
July 6, 1996 |
In India, the Congress (I) Party, which led the world's most populous democracy to independence half a century ago and had dominated its politics ever since, is unceremoniously thrashed in national elections. Farther east, the Liberal Democrats, who ruled Japan for 38 uninterrupted years until 1993, garner a paltry 22% voter preference in a recent opinion poll before recovering to 36%.