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
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?
The notion that a strident anti-Islam national sentiment can co-exist with India’s geopolitical ambitions is laughable. Strident Hinduism has no future. This should be self-evident. Just look at our geography. For 4,000 km to the west, till Sub-Saharan Africa; to the northwest till Eastern Europe and to the southeast of India through Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia […]Read More Indian election – Democratic Nationalism vs Communalism
The brouhaha over Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Nagpur, as the chief guest at a valedictory function of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), foregrounds the stunted nature of politics in India. Politics is about reaching out First, consider the absurdity of the prevailing schoolboy notion of “team” spirit extending to a ban on supping […]Read More Pranab da mimics Atal ji
So when does hubris — the corrosive comfort of undiluted power — overtake a government? Conventional wisdom points to three early red flags. First, when routine tasks are ignored for grand ambitions. Second, when party cadres act out of entitlement rather than commitment. Third, when rant replaces reason as public outreach. Has this already happened […]Read More Is hubris slowing down Modi?
The rout of the BJP, in the Bihar and Delhi Assembly elections, were loudly touted as evidence of the deep roots of the “idea of India” — so dear to the Left-leaning, “secular” intelligentsia. Two years later, Bihar is back in the BJP stable and Delhi limps along with Arvind Kejriwal nursing his 2017 defeat […]Read More BJP – mega political mall
So is “the cow” (including bulls) a living deity, like the Ganga or Yamuna rivers, to be revered as a “mother”, or just another productive asset like a buffalo or a goat? This debate dates to the Constituent Assembly sessions in the late 1940s. Cow protection smuggled into a non operative part of the Constitution […]Read More Pensioning-off cows
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh “foot soldiers”- ostensibly till now a cultural “Hindu” organisation. Saffron is their colour. Utopian secularists are in convulsions at a “yogi” becoming chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Of course, they have cause to worry. It does not help that Adityanath Yogi, as he now calls himself, has a history of political […]Read More Three constitutional safeguards against Theocracy
Haryana’s folk dances are vigorous and fiesty like its people. Photo credit:alchetron.com Haryana wears its heart and mind on its sleeve. There is a lot of brawn and bravado but little guile here. Last week, the Haryana Assembly listened in rapt attention to a pravachan (teachings of a holy person) by a Jain monk. Alarm […]Read More The Monk and Haryana’s Assembly
Graphic credit: chloesimonevaldary.com Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage — playing in Mumbai and Delhi — makes us laugh at ourselves by stripping bare the self-serving hypocrisy underlying socially acceptable roles. Bleeding-heart Indian social liberals would do well to see themselves in the mirror via this play. Admittedly, we humans must get beyond our basically brutish nature. […]Read More Bleeding heart liberals are social hypocrites