Mamata’s Lenin love stems from BJP fear

Sunday, 11 Mar 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

The very idea that one day West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would publicly stand up for a statue of Lenin that had been installed to commemorate the CPI(M)’s victory in Tripura in 2013 would have seemed quite preposterous until last week. Despite the ‘progressive’ streak in the Congress —...

BJP win shows Modi magic undiminished

Sunday, 04 Mar 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Three weeks ago, at the Central Hall of Parliament, BJP president Amit Shah told me quite categorically that the CPI(M) would be swept away from Tripura in this election. To be honest, I felt he was overstating the extent of the BJP surge in a State where it had polled...

Trudeau’s visit just to wow Indian diaspora

Sunday, 25 Feb 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

From all accounts, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s attempt to blend a family vacation with sharp politics and some casual diplomacy was only a limited success. Trudeau was certainly extremely successful in getting his happy family photographs across both Canada and India. Indians weren’t terribly impressed by his bling apparel...

Opp’s Nirav mud unlikely to reach PM

Sunday, 18 Feb 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

The only two things Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nirav Modi — the businessman now at the centre of a huge scam involving a public sector bank — have in common is a common surname and, maybe, a common mother tongue. Otherwise, the two individuals occupy different universes. Yet, these...

Strange bedfellows trying to cobble up anti-Modi unity

Sunday, 11 Feb 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

If the talk in the Central Hall of Parliament is anything to go by, the unceasing slogan shouting by Congress MPs during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on the President’s address had the direct blessing of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Far from subduing Modi — who never shies away from...

Modi ends hypocrisy on India’s Israel policy

Sunday, 21 Jan 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s remark that Americans had nothing to fear but fear itself has a large measure of universal relevance. This is no least in India where the smokescreen of ‘democracy’ is often used to justify institutionalised lethargy, intellectual laziness and even condone colossal incompetence. The argument that India is...

Indian economy in exciting transition

Sunday, 14 Jan 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

In the penultimate day of the all-too-brief Winter Session of Parliament, there was a brief but interesting discussion on the economy in the Rajya Sabha. Anyone who heard that debate, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s very erudite reply, would have been struck by the two very different accounts of where...

Opp ploy to delay triple talaq Bill indefinitely

Sunday, 07 Jan 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

The grand hope that the first week of 2018 would witness the first progressive legislation in Independent India governing the Muslim community was dashed by the logjam over the triple talaq Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The seemingly innocuous suggestion that the two-page Bill needed an exhaustive deliberation by a...

Victory satisfactory, but it’s wake-up call for BJP

Sunday, 24 Dec 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Viewed from any direction, the past week has not been ideal for the Government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, it has not been as disastrous a week as some of his more trenchant critics make it out to be. First, the election results, while entirely satisfactory, fell below the BJP’s...

Rahul needs to keep his nerve, can’t afford slips

Sunday, 17 Dec 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

It would be churlish to not recognise that for committed Congress members and supporters, the coronation of Rahul Gandhi as party president is a momentous event. It marks the passing of the dynastic baton from one generation to the next. The dynastic principle may seem abhorrent to those who believe the...


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