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Negotiating Ayodhya: A road to nowhere

Sunday, 26 Mar 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

It is a terrible idea to go back to sitting across the table to untangle the Ayodhya dispute. The same points will meander their way through pointless chatter. This may sound like a cynical view, but it is not an invalid one In an amazingly bizarre twist to the seemingly endless...

‘New India' votes Modi, can BJP live up to hopes?

Sunday, 19 Mar 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

There are a million explanations why a particular election went a certain way. The simplest, and possibly the most correct, explanation for the way Uttar Pradesh voted is that people chose to repose their trust in the Prime Minister Last Sunday, the day after the BJP swept the Uttar Pradesh Assembly...

Notebandi a non-issue as BJP sweeps local polls

Sunday, 26 Feb 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

The larger point is the continuing decay and decline of India's only other (now increasingly notional) national party, as Rahul Gandhi leads it from disaster to unmitigated disaster. It voters are increasingly switching sides There was much excited chatter in Lutyens’s Delhi on how elections after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bold...

Strategic partnership with UAE is India's moment

Sunday, 05 Feb 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with UAE is India's opportunity to forge a regional order that looks beyond a moribund SAARC weighed down by a cussed Pakistan, based on prosperity, stability and tolerance It's a tough choice to decide as to what is the most memorable sight in Abu Dhabi, the largest of...

Consumed by prejudices against the West, India

Sunday, 22 Jan 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

It would be erroneous to trace the Muslim rage that we see to post-9/11 American policy and the war on terror waged by President George W Bush. It predates 9/11 and, according to a Muslim writer, has to do with Israel Strolling along a flagstoned Byzantine lane in the Arab quarter...

‘Problem is that other cultures want Islam to accept them ... Freedom for Muslims is not absolute, it is defined by Islam'

Sunday, 15 Jan 2017 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

Dr Abbas Shoman, deputy Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, the world's oldest surviving university and global centre of Islamic theology, talks about Muslim Brotherhood, terrorism, Middle East in turmoil, Islam and democracy, and related contentious issues, in a conversation that happened in Cairo Al Azhar is the oldest Islamic seminary in...

The Empire's Second City is now a second-grade city

Sunday, 11 Dec 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

Calcutta was fashioned after London. But while the towering facades of Victorian buildings still stand tall and proud in the Empire’s First City, in Kolkata, the iconic New Market has been allowed to fall apart Sir Stuart Saunders Hogg didn’t quite have native shoppers in mind when he built Kolkata’s New...

Do you even know the story of National Anthem?

Sunday, 04 Dec 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

What is now the National Anthem of the Republic of India is the first stanza of a five-stanza Brahmo Sangeet or psalm. It was composed by Tagore on December 11, 1911, in adulation of Para Brahma Every time the National Anthem is in the news, as it is now courtesy the...

So Manmohan lived for his present, not India’s future?

Sunday, 27 Nov 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

As Prime Minister, he didn't even bother to change the dressing of the maggot-infested cake. Theft turned into robbery and robbery into loot. His utterance may have been slip of a mind haunted by scams of his time Ages ago there was a Hindi film called, Kasme Vaade, starring Amitabh Bachchan,...

In Hillary's defeat, three lessons for our politicians

Sunday, 13 Nov 2016 | Kanchan Gupta | in Coffee Break

The US presidential election has three lessons for India's politicians — conceit can make you feel bigger than life; trust opinion polls only to a point; leaders must desist from talking down to people and labelling them as the ‘other' So the long and tortuous presidential election in the United States...


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