Babri Masjid demolition case not a matter for compromise

The suggestion of the Chief Justice of India to act as a mediator in the pending Babri Masjid demolition case, showed his concern but was a little odd considering that it has come at the instance of an inter meddler, and without parties involved being before the Court. That is why it caused a certain concern amongst the parties.

Muslims psychological displacement is underway

Beware India! You are being led into a civil war. Or, you are already in it. This is not a rhetorical statement. In UP, slaughterhouses are being demolished, closed down forcibly; small mutton shops are being gutted. Livelihood of thousands is under threat, that too by the orders of the government which had promised to work for all. In Jaipur, a hotel owned by a Muslim is surrounded and attacked in daylight, its employees beaten up by a mob, hotel is evacuated, sealed, the owner is hounded, the police joins the marauders. Youth are being arrested for Facebook posts on the new CM in UP. 

Muslims feel the most troubled in India's current political scenario

The BJP’s more hardline supporters are enjoying what they have dubbed a ‘liberal meltdown’ over the choice of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister. Many explanations have been offered for why the party would choose an unapologetic Hindutva face, notorious for his rabidly Anti-Muslim speeches, to front India’s most populous state. We are told that as the most popular among all party-men the Yogi best captures the mandate. Unlike others who command only certain constituencies of support, Adityanath alone can claim support across the rainbow coalition of castes that catapulted the BJP to victory.

Time to change Congress party leadership

rim showing of the Congress in the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Assembly elections has been magnified by the laconic comment of Mr Rahul Gandhi, the torchbearer of the party’s campaign, as a minor dip in its fortunes. Immediately, both the Congress vice-president and other Congress leaders resorted to using medical terminology of surgery, the former on the organisation and the latter on various parts of the party anatomy.

UP results as seen from across the border

Out of the over 100 people I talked to during my visit to Varanasi, 95 percent intended to vote for Modi and thought that the Bharatiya Janata Party could overwhelmingly sweep Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) elections – as it did the general elections of 2014.

UP Polls: Consolidation of Hindu votes

A simple question: why did the Modi magic work in the old Uttar Pradesh so gloriously, but failed so conspicuously to cast its charm in Punjab, Goa and Manipur? If the Bharatiya Janata Party is the new pan-India party and if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only pan-Indian leader, as was loudly claimed after the civic polls in Maharashtra, then why have the party and the leader failed to click beyond the old UP?

An “unproductive dialogue” until it is based on some strategy

The India-China Strategic Dialogue held in Beijing last week was not productive. But Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said in his statement not less than four times that his talks with Chinese officials were “useful”. Nuances are what make diplomacy an absorbing pastime. 

What attracts Daink Jagarn to publish the exit poll in violation of the law?

By publishing the contents of an exit poll for the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh – which says the BJP is likely to repeat its 2014 Lok Sabha performance – Dainik Jagran, the largest read newspaper in India, has predictably kicked up a political storm. What could be the motivation for Jagran owners to take such a huge risk as to violate the written law, which makes them liable to criminal prosecution, as stated by former chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami?

India is a pluralist nation, needs positive nationalism

The extraordinary protectionist start to Donald Trump’s presidency has brought nationalism to centre stage again — not that it has ever gone off stage in India since the troubles in the Jawaharlal Nehru University and the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar on a charge of sedition. Both Trump and the sedition charge have given nationalism a bad name. It comes with a pretty bad name anyhow because of its past association with Hitler’s National Socialism. 

President gives to what is strong, stature; to what is powerful, sanctity

India is  celebrating  yet another Republic Day today. The anniversary of the day when India became a Republic is, above all else, the President’s day. He unfurls the national flag, takes the salute at a parade where the armed forces of India march past him, places medals on the chests of gallant soldiers, awards eminent civilians with Padma awards. And on the eve of all the festivities, speaks to the nation. 

Second time a dynastic successor seizes control from the patriarch

Dynasty has its uses in politics, but is being supplanted by modern media. The internal civil war in the Samajwadi Party (SP) got enormous media coverage in recent months, along with analysis of its potential to impact upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections. Separately, it should also interest us for the possible implications on the future of dynastic political parties in India.

A case of lost opportunities at Heart of Asia

Heart of Asia conference at Amritsar, attended by 14 participating and over two dozen supporting countries was jointly inaugurated on December 4 by Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and India’s PM Narendra Modi. It brought diplomatic theatre to Punjab and transitory focus on the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. It also stirred, to borrow from Marcel Proust, remembrance of things past. 


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