Amaury had predicted four decades ago that in the US, the President would assume powers which the US Constitution had not bestowed on the Executive. This is precisely what has happened after September 11, 2001. Amaury had also predicted that the US will be the singlemost powerful country in the world, with a reach unknown and unheard of. Here again, he has proved right. The Coming Caesars and The American Empire are out of print. Some publishing house should reprint them.
The NC got 28 seats. Down by 29. Farooq Abdullah is wonderful company, is witty, irreverent, ebullient, courtesy personified, hospitable and a good friend. Sitting in an office and poring over files is not his forté. Beyond a point, his free-wheeling style, his frequent jaunts abroad earned him the title of NRCM or Non-Resident Chief Minister. When the cat is away, the mice have a free ride. The state bureaucracy could ask for nothing more congenial. They ruled or misruled as they pleased. I'm confident the new dispensation will end the administrative high-handedness and make the bureaucracy an instrument for efficient and honest governance.
An offshoot of these elections is the Vajpayee government's intention to include Abdullah senior into the central cabinet and as of today also allow Abdullah junior to continue as minister of state. The sensible young man has resigned, but our laid-back PM refuses to let him go. This is nothing short of a tragic farce.
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