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Economic modernity on Modi’s mind

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

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was right to stress the improvement in the Government’s revenue collections in recent weeks as a pointer to the fact that the so-called calamitous effects of the November 8 demonetisation have been overstated. However, while the full impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s audacious ethical cleansing...

Mamata bent on Bengal’s misery

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

Despite her bouts of shrillness and polemical exaggeration, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has every right to be regarded as a serious politician. Having, almost single-handedly taken on and ousted the Left from its established citadels in the State, and having won two consecutive State Assembly elections, the lady...

PM’s bid to make India great again

Sunday, 01 Jan 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

The real challenge before the nation is to channel this ongoing recovery of self in positive and constructive directions. Modi has often committed himself to making India great again. The coming year should be another step in that journey The beginning of a New Year invariably prompts a flood of speculation...

Cashless can succeed if connectivity improves

Sunday, 25 Dec 2016 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s self-imposed 50-day deadline of December 30 to resolve the birth pangs of the demonetisation exercise approaches, there are clearly visible lights at the end of the tunnel. First, it is quite apparent that most, if not nearly all, of the Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes held by...

Ban live broadcast to save Parliament

Sunday, 18 Dec 2016 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Biju Janata Dal MP AU Singh Deo has probably set a parliamentary record of sorts for having repeated the first two sentences of his speech on demonetisation on four separate occasions. This is not because the Rajya Sabha member was perverse but because on four different occasions he rose in...

Going cashless won’t be as daunting as some suggest

Sunday, 11 Dec 2016 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

With the demonetisation programme having been in operation for nearly five weeks, most Indians have arrived at some tentative conclusion over whether the huge shake-up was worth the inconvenience or not. Their final view will, of course, depend considerably on how well they—as individuals, families and communities—succeed in adjusting to...

Law not the best way to promote anthem

Sunday, 04 Dec 2016 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

It is understandable, given its timing, that the Supreme Court order making it mandatory for the national anthem to be played before any screening of films did not receive the attention it would have. With the nation confronting a far graver challenge — and one that involves every citizen —...

Demonetisation Modi’s iconic game changer

Sunday, 27 Nov 2016 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s anti-black money drive will go a long way in changing perceptions. When Modi argued that he wouldn’t take any more excuses after September 30, he wasn’t bluffing. It would seem that there is a passion in the Prime Minister for driving change, regardless of the magnitude...

Demonetisation a historic revolution

Sunday, 20 Nov 2016 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Ever since he came to power in May 2014, there has been a fierce debate on the political nature of the Narendra Modi Government. His supporters have stressed the charismatic and even inspirational role of the Prime Minister. At the same time, they have appeared hesitant in signalling whether his...

It’s time for old elite to learn or accommodate

Sunday, 13 Nov 2016 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

There are images that define a nation and a mood. The photo images of young people — almost invariably college students — hugging each other tearfully as TV stations proclaim Donald Trump’s victories in the key swing states seem to me to define the wave of despondency that has gripped...

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