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Trivia makes whole year silly season

Sunday, 15 Jul 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

In many countries of the West, there exists a ‘silly season’, the time most natives pack their bags and go off on their sacrosanct summer holidays. It is also a time, Parliament goes into recess and there is a break from politics. In official India, holidays are regarded as avoidable...

Miles to go for India before UK gives passport its due

Sunday, 08 Jul 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Earlier last week, I spoke at a discussion in a committee room of the House of Lords on the wide-ranging theme of Britain, Brexit and India. In my opening remarks I referred in passing to the Indian exasperation at the occasional depiction of our country as a land of endemic...

Refugee burden clouds Germany’s faith in EU

Sunday, 01 Jul 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

These are troubling days for Germany. Last Wednesday evening, Germany found itself eliminated from the football World Cup being played in Moscow after a surprise defeat against South Korea. It was a moment of national dejection, a time of intense sadness in a country where soccer is an obsession. Simultaneously,...

Indians deserve better UK student-visa care

Sunday, 24 Jun 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Last week, there was a strong undercurrent of indignation in middle class India over the exclusion of India from the list of countries approved by the United Kingdom for quick processing of student visas. In theory, this should have been a non-issue. All countries have an inalienable and sovereign right...

TV news channels’ frivolous conduct

Sunday, 17 Jun 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Public discourse in a large and diverse country in India invariably tends to be episodic. What grabs the headlines for a day or even a week often sinks without trace subsequently, with historians guaranteed to not even accord it a footnote. To be fair, the print media is relatively a...

Pranab uncomfortable with politics of untouchability

Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

India is never lacking in seasonal entertainment that often passes off as public controversy. The frenzy — both among the editorial and political classes — over former President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to a RSS function in Nagpur last week was a very Indian storm in a chai cup. There was...

Modi rule more purposeful than most other Govts

Sunday, 27 May 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

The unveiling of the saaf niyat, sahi vikas theme to define the commemoration of the fourth year of its administration, is calculated to raise another — and by now familiar — storm of controversy for the Narendra Modi Government. This is not because the slogan marks any abrupt break. The theme...

Blame Cong for installing 3rd ranker JD(S) in power

Sunday, 20 May 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

In normal circumstances, the Karnataka post-election battle of numbers would have been viewed as yet another disagreeable muddle, the likes of which India has experienced on innumerable occasions. It would have been interesting but hardly worth the carpet-bombing coverage the country has witnessed on the news channels. The difference is on...

A tale of two campaign strategies in Karnataka

Sunday, 13 May 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

Last Saturday, with just a day to go before voting in Karnataka began, a senior journalist with pronounced Left inclinations, tweeted photo images of the front pages of some dailies in the State. They showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah requesting a vote for the party....

Small number of people plotting return to power

Sunday, 29 Apr 2018 | Swapan Dasgupta | in Usual Suspects

With just about 12 months left for voting in the 2019 general election to commence, it is only natural that political activity is getting more and more frenzied. It is also natural that the opening shots of this long and gruelling election campaign are being fired by the Opposition. Being...


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