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Swapan Dasgupta

Aiyar’s neech rant with acid tongue

Sunday, 10 Dec 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Mani Shankar Aiyar was a diplomat and, from all accounts, a rather good diplomat. But that was in the past. Since abandoning his old profession and reinventing himself as a Congress politician, he has shed all inhibitions. He now says whatever comes to his mind and says it with an...

UP poll results prove Modi is on right track

Sunday, 03 Dec 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Today's Newspaper

The brief visit by Barak Obama to Delhi was, quite predictably, another occasion for those infected by Modi allergy to attempt resurrecting the very contrived issue of rising intolerance and threats to the freedom of expression in India. Whether these attempts succeeded or were deftly fobbed off by a consummate...

Padmavati victim of monopoly on ‘truth’

Sunday, 26 Nov 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

There have been a great many hurtful and ugly comments that have been made in the wake of the controversy over the film Padmavati. Some of these, particularly the threats to the actors, are completely unacceptable and there is a strong argument for initiating criminal action against those responsible for...

Modi's reforms prove India's global mettle

Sunday, 19 Nov 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

The Moody’s upgrade of India has, quite predictably, drawn sharply partisan responses. This is not surprising in view of the mini-election season. The results, when they are finally announced on December 18, may not suggest a close fight. However, in the midst of an election campaign all elections appear to...

Note ban just an aspect, war on graft not over yet

Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Shortly after the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election earlier this summer, an Opposition stalwart confessed his intense bewilderment at having misread the public mood. Active in politics since the early-1970s and a veteran legislator both in the State Assembly and Parliament, he imagined that the demonetisation of November 8, 2016, would...

Between moral crisis & feminist assertion

Sunday, 05 Nov 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Depending on your subjective preferences, it wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that public life in the West — or at least the Anglophone world — is in the throes of either an intense moral crisis or a bout of feminist assertion. Beginning with the now-disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, the entertainment...

1917 folly should never be repeated

Sunday, 29 Oct 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

If the world I knew till my youth was intact, the world would have been preparing for a grand and memorable celebration of the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution on November 7. The Soviet Union, as the immediate post-War generation was only too aware, was the great superpower rival to...

Character of India is a unique cocktail

Sunday, 22 Oct 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Sometimes, it takes a foreigner to bluntly state the obvious. President Donald Trump's comments at a Diwali celebration at the White House were, obviously, principally aimed at the American Hindus who have contributed immeasurably to their country of adoption. However, it was equally directed at India, the country in which...

Each institution must be allowed to do own work

Sunday, 15 Oct 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

What was earlier thought to be a seasonal affliction, worrying but not a cause for either alarm or panic, seems to have turned into an epidemic. For the past few months, India seems to have declared both the legislatures and the executive redundant. Instead judge-made laws have replaced the old...

No long-term damage to Modi Govt’s image

Sunday, 08 Oct 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

It is fascinating to observe how effortlessly the seasons change in the world of the chattering classes. By seasons, I don’t mean the inevitable transition from the monsoons to the brief Indian autumn when it is a series of uninterrupted festivities culminating in Diwali. I am referring to the political...


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