Date(14-04-2014): The so called ‘Big Fight’ in both these constituencies is all made up to generate excitement for TV. Amethi will go to Rahul Gandhi and Varanasi will go to Narendra Modi. I am willing to stick my neck out on this and call.
Date(07-04-2014): Whoever coined the phrase “the dance of democracy” captured the essence of the electoral process that celebrates democracy. Barely three months after the elections in Bangladesh — and battling against worse odds — Afghanistan went to polls on Saturday.
Date(24-03-2014): A pseudonymous Twitter user, @thecomicproject, posted on Saturday: “Journalists have four designations: Journalist, Senior Journalist, Veteran Journalist, Politician.” He was referring to the recent induction of journalists into political parties, a trend which is viewed skeptically on social media. Nobody is quite comfortable with the fourth estate encroaching upon the political arena. That is because the media’s role includes being a watchdog of democratic processes and supervising the role of political players. But when these roles overlap, a shadow of doubt appears over the journalist’s past reporting: surely she must have been biased in her reporting of events.
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.
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