Date(10-03-2014): A month before the elections kick off, campaigning has turned into a reality show. Move aside Bigg Boss and Satyamev Jayate, there is more drama to be devoured in election coverage.
Date(03-03-2014): There is something about arranged marriages in India. It’s like the entire universe conspires to actualise them. There is near panic when families cannot organise one. No amount of personal success at work or happiness in life is acceptable unless a ‘suitable’ match is found. It doesn’t matter if the couple has nothing much in common, and are not even remotely attracted to each other. No, just some random people or a computer thinks that a fit is found and heaven showers blessings.
Date(24-02-2014): As we draw closer to elections, politicians are going to talk about religion and its role in society and how they will defend the rights of every religious group of people. For people of religious minorities, this is significant as they look for an affirmation that their rights will be protected as determined by the Indian constitution.
Date(17-02-2014): It is quite natural for the media to focus on political news in an election year. However, the grand obsession with politics and political news has become quite oppressive. Every news story acquires political contours; grand meanings are read into anecdotal events.
Date(10-02-2014): Recently I attended a lecture by Kishore Mahabubani, the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore where he posed a question: Can India be Cunning?
Date(03-02-2014): There was some buzz again last week that Dr Manmohan Singh was contemplating a visit to Pakistan next month, before he hangs his boots. It is one of those rumours which in the past nine years has been neither denied by the foreign office nor confirmed. And the ‘news’ gained ground when a visiting bunch of Pakistani journalists reported that all that was left was a fixing of dates. Meanwhile it appears that the Prime Minister might instead be traveling to Myanmar to attend the summit of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation). The interesting grouping consists of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. Look East Sir, look East.
Date(27-01-2014): And so, one more Republic Day went by. Once more we saw the military parade on TV; once more we marvelled at the cultural diversity on display at the Rajpath in the capital. And once more we battled in our minds whether the display of military muscle is a throwback to Soviet era extravagance or is it a justified celebration of the idea of the Republic of India.
Date(20-01-2014): Online privacy is dead. Somebody or the other is reading your text messages, your e-mails, your Whatsapp and Facebook status updates, and your BBMs. Take it for granted that nothing is safe anymore other than silence. Either your parents, or your children, your spouse, love interest, employer, or the government or Americans….somebody is reading your online communication.
Date(13-01-2014): Congress deewane mulk mey, raat mey aur dopahar mey, aabodaana dhoondtay hain, ek aashiana dhoondtay hain. Apologies to the makers of the 1970s Hindi film Gharonda, in which Aam Aadmi Amol Palekar and Aam Aurat Zarina Wahab sang the song written by Gulzar which roughly translates to: two enthusiasts in the city, scout day and night, hunting for a nest, hunting for a home. The ordinary struggle of an ordinary urban Indian couple, of finding a roof above their heads. The Congress leaders today are like that desperate couple, hunting for safe constituencies for themselves and Rahul Gandhi. The search is getting urgent. It is bordering on the crazily obsessive.
Date(06-01-2014): The electoral contest in 2014 is changing dimensions. With the thundering entry of the newbie in Indian politics Aam Aadmi Party, all calculations have been thrown up in the air. That muffler wrapped face of Arvind Kejriwal is now all over our TV screens. Much more than BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the sitting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Dr Singh, after two uninterrupted tenures as prime minister, has hung his boots when he said last week, “In a few months time, after the general elections, I will hand the baton over to a new prime minister. I hope it will be a United Progressive Alliance-chosen prime minister.”
Date(30-12-2013): If anything, what I don’t want to do is look back at 2013, annus horribilis that it was. Even if I say it in Latin, it doesn’t take away the fact that the year gone by has been terrible. As the year draws to an end, there are some small signs of hope about the year that lies ahead. There is hope because we will elect the 16th Lok Sabha this spring.
Date(23-12-2013): “Dude, who is Kamraj?” “He was a swarthy skinned, lungi wearing Southie, who kind of got Congressis to quit ministerial posts and work for the party.” “Wow! And they did?” “Yup, in 1963, and the dude didn’t have social media, cell phones, not even the Internet to charge them up.” “Kinda cool huh?”
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- A safe seat for Mr Gandhi
- Live by Twitter, don't die by it
- Patriotism is for everybody
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- Five years on, neither forgotten, nor forgiven: 26/11
- The myth of objectivity in media
- Verdict 2013: A no-confidence vote
- 15th NAM Summit begins in Sharm-al-Sheikh
- US thanks India for extending hospitality to Dalai Lama
- Indian Americans not buying Basmati rice
- India-Pak FS meet again ahead of Manmohan-Gilani pow wow