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Opp living in a ghetto built on hatred of Modi

Sunday, 13 Aug 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

For much of the 70 years since Independence, Indian politics has presented a picture of lively contestation. One side or another has invariably prevailed in electoral battles but this outcome was preceded by fierce encounters that were principally aimed at trying to secure converts from the other side. In other...

Need for restoration of faith in democracy

Sunday, 06 Aug 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Last week, at a farewell dinner for M Venkaiah Naidu who is all set to assume charge as India’s next Vice President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew an important distinction between good Government and the quality of democracy. India, he suggested, has taken important...

Modi’s rising stature made Nitish switch

Sunday, 30 Jul 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Jumping to instant conclusions is one of the occupational hazards of the 24x7 news cycle. It is not desirable but it is unavoidable and driven by consumer demand. Consequently, it was but natural that the dramatic developments in Bihar last week should have prompted a series of instant judgments. Sifting through...

Modi insurmountable challenge for Opp

Sunday, 23 Jul 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Ram Nath Kovind’s emphatic victory last Thursday in the presidential election did not come as any great surprise. The numbers were too heavily stacked in favour of the unassuming man from Kanpur Dehat for the challenge offered by the Sonia Gandhi-Mamata Banerjee-Lalu Prasad-Sitaram Yechury alliance to make any real difference....

Bengal regressing to pre-1965 days

Sunday, 16 Jul 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

The eruption of sectarian antagonism in West Bengal has come as a great surprise to those who have an idealised image of the State as a bastion of so-called ‘progressive’ thinking. The surprise is unwarranted. The first half of the 20th century marked Bengal as a communal hotspot. Between the collapse...

Basirhat riot not a freak disturbance

Sunday, 09 Jul 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Offensive or even ‘blasphemous’ postings on social media is a familiar problem the world over. India too has had its share of posts that are calculated to offend, anger and disgust. However, when a Facebook post of an unknown 17-year-old boy provokes a bout of vicious rioting, it becomes necessary...

Shrill chants on gau rakshaks may help Modi take middle ground

Sunday, 02 Jul 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

It was entirely predictable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthright condemnation on Thursday morning of the high-handedness in the name of cow protection would leave his critics both dissatisfied and jubilant. The “too little, too late” retort and the demand that it must translate on the ground are predictable responses...

Presidential election: It’s ordinariness vs pedigree

Sunday, 25 Jun 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Contemporary journalism lends itself to both shrillness and hyperbole. An example of the latter was the reaction of most of the media — apart from the habitually disgruntled sections — to the BJP’s selection of Ram Nath Kovind as its nominee for the President of India. Despite Kovind being relatively less...

Biased western media concocts anti-Modi tales

Sunday, 18 Jun 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Last week, I received an email from a producer in a global TV network requesting me to be a guest in a discussion on Aadhaar. In normal circumstances I would have happily obliged. However, the timing — post midnight — was inconvenient and I sent my apologies. The producer replied...

Credit goes to Scots for halting Corbynite march

Sunday, 11 Jun 2017 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

It was by any reckoning an extremely close shave. If the United Kingdom has been spared the grim tragedy of Jeremy Corbyn waving to the cameras in front of 10 Downing Street before assuming office as the head of a so-called “Progressive” coalition, the credit goes to the Scots. In...


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