Monthly Archives: FEBRUARY 2018

Three years on, PDP-BJP alliance sailing smooth; Ram Madhav makes room for Mehbooba’s domestic constituency
25.02.18 - S Pal & Nischay Pal*

AT A TIME when the BJP and the PDP are taking diametrically opposite positions on some of the most crucial questions and issues faced by Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP today committed itself again to the alliance, calling it smooth.

"(I)n spite of (all the) ideological and issue-based differences, the two parties have been able to run affairs quite smoothly," Ram Madhav, BJP's general secretary in charge of Jammu and Kashmir, has said. Madhav is largely known to be the architect of this alliance.

In a wide-ranging interview to the Indian Express, Madhav, who is the BJP's pointsman for not just J&K but also the insurgency hit states in the North East, said, "One can always say we could have done better. But in J-K, the situation is always changing... you have challenge after challenge. Today, we have been able to bring peace to the Valley. Barring attacks by militants, the Valley ...

A visit that helped Amarinder complete a journey
Deconstructing Trudeau in Punjab
23.02.18 - S Pal

PUNJAB CHIEF MINISTER Amarinder Singh finally did throw a spanner in Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau's India visit plans, and while he did meet the dignitary, the Congress leader emerged as a strong nationalist voice dedicated to the territorial integrity of India, ready to wrestle anyone to the ground over even a whiff of Khalistani talk.

Meet Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab. Of the many shades of turban that he wears, I do not recall seeing him sporting saffron, but saffron is what he eats, drinks, sleeps and talks now.

Public memory may be short, but contemporary history comes back to haunt faster than politicians wedded to expediency realise.

It was natural for the media to fish out Amarinder Singh's pictures circa 2005 from Canada's Dixie gurdwara with a Khalistan Zindabad inscription banner behind him. The BJP was then in the forefront of those demanding resignation, rather removal, of Amarinder Singh as ...

Readying a saffron generation
20.02.18 - Latha Jishnu

BREAD and circuses kept the people happy and distracted in the twilight of the Roman Republic just before the rise of the Roman Empire. Satirist Juvenal called it the panem et circenses (bread and circuses) way of governance: providing cheap wheat while mounting costly shows at the Coliseum to retain power. In today’s India there’s plenty of fun and games to distract people even if bread for the needy is drying up because of a new rule that excluded tens of thousands from getting subsidised foodgrains. But there is spectacle enough to divert attention from the daily reports of starvation deaths on the one hand and massive crony-capitalist scams on the other.

As details of one the biggest banking swindles came to light, a scandal involving one of the prime minister’s charmed circle of business friends, Narendra Modi was putting on another of his rockstar performances in Delhi, this time for ...

Flattening Democracy In The Name of Good Governance
12.02.18 - Vipin Pubby

STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS are due in five states this year, in double that number of states besides the Lok Sabha elections next year, in three states during 2020 and in six states the following year. There has been no year in the recent past when elections were not held in one state or the other.

That’s one of the major arguments taken by the votaries of those who are seeking simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha as well as state Assemblies. They claim that the top political leaders, and consequently the governments they run, remain constantly in election mode and this ‘diverts’ their attention from developmental works. They also claim that the frequent enforcement of model code of conduct also derails progress and governments refrain from taking harsh decisions with election prospects in mind.

The latest to make a case for simultaneous elections are none else than President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime ...

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.
11.02.18 - By Sanehead*

I AM SO GLAD Renuka Choudhury laughed and laughed uninhibitedly, laughed loud and long, at Narendra Modi’s extraordinary claims in the Parliament.

I am glad, even if sounded like a cackle, or seemed hysterical - for it was a full throated mature woman's honest, instinctive and uninhibited reaction, to what she found utterly ridiculous.

For it not only was the most natural, intelligent and instinctive human response to the vitriolic bombast but it also, at the same time, punctured the self important delivery like no words would have. It forced the demagogue to descend from his flight of fanciful anger to the level of bathos that was the real level of meanness he often embodies

I'm glad it evoked the indignation of the Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu whose attempts to chide Renuka Choudhury as if she was a schoolgirl and he her class teacher were themselves punctured by his master Modi's mock ...

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