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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...

Modi was chosen to transform country

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

In the end, politics is all about exercising choices. In recent weeks, a furious debate has erupted on a simple issue: Whether short-term pain is a necessary precondition of long-term gain. This is the central issue confronting the Narendra Modi Government as it finds itself confronted by the tremors caused...

Why is Didi risking enraging Hindus?

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

The spat between the West Bengal Government and a few Hindu organisations over the suspension of the Durga immersion on October 1 — which coincides with Muharram — has attracted widespread attention. With the Calcutta High Court intervening, as it did last year over exactly the same issue, and...

Luddite approach to faster connectivity

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

When looking at contemporary controversies, it helps also to examine the past and, where possible, jog our own memories. Kolkata was the first Indian city to be blessed with a metro rail. A proposal was originally given by West Bengal’s most visionary Chief Minister, Dr BC Roy, way back in the...

India can’t afford Rohingyas’ influx

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

Solidarity with the beleaguered Rohingyas in the Rakhine province of Myanmar happens to be the flavour of the season among those in Western Europe who are forever in search of issues that provoke indignation. The cause of the Rohingyas is also deliciously appetising because it involves destroying the halo around Aung...

Modi chose path of fundamental reforms

Sunday, 03 Sep 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Like lawyers, economists also like to go by precedents. As such, it is not surprising that India's demonetisation exercise didn't find favour with the more celebrate practitioners of the discipline. No functioning economy-and a growing one at that-had tried it before and it seemed too audacious a move. In any...

Privacy verdict against data misuse, not State

Sunday, 27 Aug 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

The unintended but inevitable consequence of last week’s emphatic Supreme Court judgment on a citizen’s right to privacy is that it will open the floodgates of litigation. Some of these, such as the challenge to Aadhaar and the assault on the archaic legislation criminalising homosexuality, were inbuilt into the Supreme...

Triumph that left TMC supporters squirming!

Sunday, 20 Aug 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Last week, West Bengal witnessed elections for seven local bodies across the State. The outcome was woefully one-sided. The Trinamool Congress led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee won control of all the seven bodies. Its candidates won in 140 wards, and of the Opposition parties, the BJP won in six...


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