The Wire’s Week That Was

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Ten must-reads from the past week

Make no mistake, the FIFA war is not about football or corruption

From Brazil to Russia: symbolic hand-over at the Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, 13 July 2014. Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, stands between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in this grab from the official FIFA video of the event. Russia will host the 2018 Fifa World Cup.The FBI’s move against seven FIFA officials on charges of corruption is seen by most countries as a desperate Western effort to isolate Russia and re-open the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. And an example of double-standards, given the free pass given to banks accused of financial manipulation and fraud on a colossal scale. Two pieces by Shobhan Saxena.



Sorry Mr Parrikar, the joke’s on India

File picture of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI photo. We don’t want Parrikar the wit. We want a serious-minded defence minister. Sidharth Bhatia on why the Raksha Mantri needs to weigh his words very carefully




A trip down the rabbit hole of Modi’s Smart Cities wonderland

Credit: SourceThe signature scheme is marred by ill-conceived projects and confusing directions. Urban bodies across India would do well to stay away from the Smart City initiative for now, A. Srivathsan argues.



Why India insists on keeping Gilgit Baltistan firmly in the Kashmir equation

Central Intelligence Agency map of the entire Kashmir region. From the outset, writes Manoj Joshi, India was less than categorical about its desire to resume control of the Gilgit-Baltistan area. The decision in the past five years to speak out about the region marks a clear shift in strategy.



A call for a new human right, the right to encryption

Where are my keys? Credit: ScreengrabIf decryption is at the heart of privacy violations, then strong encryption needs to be at the heart of privacy protection, argues Vasudevan Mukunth.




Why three retired judges could be the BCCI’s worst nightmare

File picture of BCCI President N Srinivasan at a temple  in Chennai. PTI Photo.The Lodha Commission appears to be guided by a fundamental premise: that if cricket in India is to be cleaned up, this has to be on the basis of a revised constitution that is better suited to the era of cricket as big business, writes Prem Panicker.



The Government’s plan to take Pakistan to the ICJ is a non-starter

N.K. Kalia and Vijaya Kalia, parents of Captain Saurabh Kalia, stand beside the portrait of their son who was killed in the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan. Photo: Nirupama DuttIndia’s hands are tied by the declaration it filed with the ICJ in 1974 excluding certain disputes from the jurisdiction of the court. The case of the torture of Capt. Saurabh Kalia squarely falls within the excluded category, writes Prof V.S. Mani.



Weathering one year of Modi’s media blitz

Famous morphed photograph circulated on social media by Modi fans shows Barack Obama closely following the Indian Prime Minister on TV.Modi’s media strategy is a complex one that is best summarised as ‘engaging with the media on his own terms’ in order to set the ‘national’ agenda. Sandeep Bhushan analyses.




In Manipur’s absurd theatre, even grief and mourning are open to negotiation

vThursday’s killing of 17 army men in Manipur, most likely by the Khaplang-led ‘United Liberation Front of Western South East Asia’, and the June 2 death of a woman activist in army firing, underline the government’s inability to deal with civil strife, write Pradip Phanjoubam and Wasbir Hussain in separate pieces.



It’s time for Modi to directly engage with Pakistan

Credit: SourceThe idea that India can afford to ignore Pakistan is based on the wrong assumption that its economy and regional clout are declining, writes K.C. Singh.




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