While it is not the EC’s job to see that the ballot boxes in Gujarat produce a verdict commensurate with the angry mood, it should go to any lengths to ensure a level playing field.
The foreign enemy has already been overdone. We need to invent new enemies. History or a certain version of it is to be flaunted to graze up our sore spot.
Perhaps the BJP national managers know that the Modi spell is over. Shrewd operators that they are, they must be cognisant that shoddy goods have been sold to gullible Gujaratis for nearly two decades.
India feels morally cheated. Those who proffered themselves as our saviours and social cleansers have turned out to be ordinary political operatives, if not worse. No society will allow itself to be hoodwinked a second time.
Opposition parties and leaders may or may not be able to cobble together a coherent counter-narrative, but citizens are beginning to take note of the abuse of public confidence and poll promises.
Gauri Lankesh, and others like her, will not be left alone to keep on articulating their dissent. After all, it is the untamed individual voice that is found to be particularly irritating.
We no longer wish to define ourselves as a secular nation, and just like Pakistan, we too now seek national glory from re-writing our history books to cater to our religious prejudices.
The biggest casualty in the whole fiasco has been the sanctity of the voters’ mandate.
As democratic institutions – cabinet, bureaucracy, media, presidency and judiciary – weaken, the Modi establishment is riding high on overconfidence. This is bad news for the Indian polity.
Beyond sedition, the Indian captain is guilty of a much more indefensible crime: weakening the nation’s resolve to demonise Pakistan and dehumanise Pakistanis.
“Your chelas may be good at counting votes and notes, but I cannot bring myself to keep quiet in the face of the creeping institutionalised shoddiness in India’s political life and public space.”
The media has been seduced to redefine its role: run the Opposition out of town. No other government since Independence has had the media so eagerly eating out of its hand, not even during the infamous Emergency.
It is unlikely that President Pranab Mukherjee will find himself elected for a second term because he has not endeared himself sufficiently to the ruling establishment.
While Trump has put in place a new culture of disruptive disagreement, institutional constraints and a vigorous media have combined to subject him to the rites of scrutiny and accountability.
The Election Commission is obligated to assure the polity that it does not feel itself intimidated by the authority of the day.
For the first time, the Nehruvian order is facing an existential challenge. It can be met – as it must be – but only by a morally superior politics.
At the moment of his resounding success, Modi has also deepened a fault-line for the Indian state.
The ruling dispensation knows that things have not worked out during its tenure, so they are returning to what they know best – injecting fear into political life.
In a changing India, we seem ready to demand that political arrangements justify themselves in terms larger and nobler than just a will of the ‘leader’ or the ‘demand of the cadres’ or the ‘internal affairs’ of a party.
Whatever be the electoral outcome, one thing appears certain: minorities are not going to turn their back on the idea of a secular India.
Institutional feebleness and political imperfections have given the prime minister the upper hand.
Invoking people’s power as a force higher than state power, as the prime minister appears to be doing, is highly dangerous.
Are we heading towards an authoritarianism that curbs our freedom to spend our own money?
After the Obama years, Americans were itching to go back to their roots
Legitimacy, political respectability and electoral advantage are being sought to be derived from the soldier and his martyrdom, while unthinkingly, new space, new respect and new autonomy are being ceded to the army brass and other security forces.
Beyond the personalities and the calculations at work in the NDTV-Chidambaram censorship affair, what we should indeed be mourning is the sudden death of liberalism.
Every “deshbhakt” has a long wish list as to how the prime minister should be doling out maximum pain to Pakistan. Will he be able to escape this trap?
Modi and his band of cheerleaders are discovering now that there is no magic wand.
The separatists were not born separatist. What drove very many Kashmiris over to the other side were our policies, postures and pretensions, and “our” politicians and their arrogance and aberrations.
While all the powerful businessmen and politicians have escaped the CBI dragnet, a man like H.C. Gupta – whom everyone unhesitatingly certifies to be “the most honest officer” of his generation – has to go through the ordeal of a trial.
Rural and semi-urban Gujarat remains a site of extensive and elaborate social discrimination. The only thing new about the Una violence is that it became available on social media and provoked a national hue and cry.
Perhaps Jaitley was not over-pitching when he argued that “the whole concept of the GST Council is Indian federalism at play in the best possible mode”.
Those who claim to be knowledgeable have breathlessly informed us that Priyanka Gandhi is about to venture beyond “Amethi and Rae Bareli.” The buzz is that she will be the face of the Congress campaign in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll next year. We are assured on good […]
Surely the voice of true nationalism deserves to be heard in the real corridors of power and not on Twitter
If India is indeed Modi land, then surely West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala remain in a defiantly secessionist mood, happy to receive whatever tattered blessings their regional leaders have to bestow.
The BJP president and finance minister were stampeded into holding a press conference on the PM’s academic qualifications. Both came out looking unconvincing and diminished. But such is the allure of confrontation that sobriety and reasonableness become dispensable qualities. This is the Swamy effect.
The country expects a president to behave with a little more gumption than Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed could summon back in 1975.
At one time the BJP’s ideologues called Ambedkar a “false god”, now they are keen to appropriate him
Both his predecessors understood that a strategy of cultivated animosity towards Pakistan produces neither peace nor social harmony at home. It seems Modi has also reached a similar conclusion.
The godman has become an accomplice in the million injustices that scar this land every day. In turn, the politician finds ways to ensure the baba’s revenue model enjoys state protection and patronage.