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India should assess Trump in its interest

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

Stored somewhere among my old papers is a postcard dating back to the early-1980s showing President Ronald Reagan furiously picking his nose. Written below the horrible depiction is something to the effect ‘Would you elect such a man?’ The postcard was just one of the many items of pop art...

Note ban bid to leapfrog India into 21st century

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

Last week, a section of the media got terribly excited at the comment of a prominent Indian industrialist that argued against the very idea of demonetisation, rather than pick holes in its implementation. Various pundits lauded his courage for speaking out in an environment where, traditionally, industrialists and businessmen are...

Modi trying to create an ethical India

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

My admiration for Prime Minister Narendra Modi has increased exponentially over the past six months. Far from being tamed by the ‘system’ and the comforting environment of Lutyens’ Delhi, Modi has not lost the fire in his belly. First there was the ‘surgical strike’ on terror camps across the Line of...

Hypocrisy and India’s politics

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

When Parliament works, as it has done in the past week, it can serve as a mirror to the cross-currents in the country. Yet, the question arises: Among the many versions of India that get reflected, which one comes closest to representing the aggregate? There were many different pictures of India...

Assembly polls test for Opp, not Modi

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

Every clutch of State Assembly elections are invariably portrayed by some players and the more facile sections of the editorial classes as a referendum. This has been the case since the late 1980s when Assembly elections began throwing up outcomes that didn’t always correspond with the voting pattern in parliamentary...

One lesson from Trump: Focus on own citizens

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

There is a cynical expectation, at least among the global punditry, that wise politicians employ any expedient rhetoric to win elections and that, once victorious, do precious little to unsettle a cosy consensus. There was a quiet expectation in some quarters that the 45th President of the United States would...

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...

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