There is something universally uplifting about independence — be it for a teenager, a city, a village, a province or an entire country. Coming into your own is empowering. But only if opportunities exist to break free of the inevitably skewed nature of endowments and constraining regulations. The warm feeling around cooperative federalism has faded […]Read More An opportunity called Independence- use it or lose it
It is foolish to keep doing the same thing to solve a persistent problem. The Narendra Modi-led Union government has internalised this adage and strives to be big-bang innovative, as illustrated by demonetisation to control corruption, although with less than spectacular success. Article 370 – A Gordian knot or fig leaf Yet another instance is […]Read More Kashmir: Light beyond the Banihal Pass
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman made history merely by standing up to present the Union Budget on Friday — being India’s first full-time woman FM to do so. True to the forceful style of the BJP, she delivered the speech with zeal and conviction to the loud thumping of desks by the treasury benches with a […]Read More Nirmala Sitharaman hits all the right buttons for a balanced budget
We are all of the “buy and forget” generation, which expects not to be distracted from its primary focus — be it mere survival or amassing wealth; remaining young forever; spirituality; saving the planet from self-destruction or just studying to score a perfect 100 per cent in the exams. This extreme focus leaves little time […]Read More Can Modi 2.0 cater to the bindaas Vote and Forget generation?
The 2019 election results illustrated the transformative political and social changes sweeping India. Will the new Narendra Modi government adapt its economic policies to fit the changed expectations or will it dish out more of the same? The honeymoon is over The 2014 Budget was expectedly a laundry list of good intentions. Five years down […]Read More Modi 2.0 Different Economic Strokes?
So, the laddoos will remain to be savoured in the spanking new BJP headquarters. But formal celebrations are delayed. The results cannot be announced till 5 vote-verified-paper-audit-trail (VVPAT) per assembly segment are matched with the vote count of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)– a concession the Supreme Court gave to the wailing opposition parties who […]Read More Modi 2.0 Benign Ambition
A duality of capacity and intent casts a patina over elections in India. At one end, battery-powered, surround-sound “hologram discs” worn around a party worker’s neck shock and awe while belting out the BJP’s message in remote Himachal Pradesh. At the other end, the less well-endowed Aam Aadmi Party in metropolitan Delhi is falling back […]Read More Elections highlight the duality of Indian politics
BJP president Amit Shah is technically correct to say that Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, one of the accused in the September 2008 Malegaon (Maharashtra) bomb blast case, who is on bail, has a right, under our liberal electoral laws, to contest the elections. It hardly matters that she voluntarily claimed being part of the Hindutava forces […]Read More The Sadhvi as a symbol of New India
Manifestos don’t count for much if elections are won on the popularity of a single leader — Narendra Modi. Oddly, the Congress chose to follow a similar strategy last week, with Rahul Gandhi as its key protagonist, presenting a David versus Goliath choice. We are far from junking top down, paternalistic, big man rule. Regional […]Read More BJP’s Sankalp Patra – spans realism and fantasy
Most of the major political parties in India, other than the Communist parties, do not align their electoral rhetoric within a broad, directional, policy agenda. Why should they when the outcomes from ideological monogamy have been so very poor? The demise of ideology During the 2014 general election, the share of valid votes of both […]Read More Voters dilemma – should the heart rule or the head?