/Tag: Narendra Modi

The Modi Government’s War On The Intellect


The Telegraph

A term greatly beloved of the Modi Government is ‘surgical strike’. It was first invoked in September 2016, after a cross-border raid undertaken by the Indian Army on camps in Pakistan. In November of the same year, the Prime Minister’s sudden, catalysmic, withdrawal of the Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currrency notes was also termed a [...]

The Seductions Of Self Praise


The Telegraph

Last week, to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the liberalization process, the Indian Express carried a long interview with Dr Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister at the time the reforms took shape. Those were Dr Singh’s finest years in public office; now, in semi-retirement, after an indifferent (if not disastrous) second term as Prime Minister, one might [...]

By |2016-08-11T17:30:54+00:00July 9th, 2016|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , , |

The Mysterious Makeover of Mr Modi


The Telegraph

As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi was known to run a tight ship. He was in total command of his Cabinet, and interacted regularly with senior civil servants. He had some special areas of focus; such as attracting new investment, building better roads, and assuring regular water and power supply to farmers. In these areas, [...]

By |2016-04-10T22:16:34+00:00March 20th, 2016|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , , |

A Slogan With Substance


The Telegraph

Our Prime Minister likes coining slogans and acronyms. There was Swachh Bharat and Make in India, then Beti Padhao Desh Badhao. Now there is Start up India, Stand Up India. The Planning Commission has become the N[ational] I[nstitution] for T[ransforming] I[ndia]. I am sure the second part of NITI AAYOG must also lead to something deep [...]

By |2016-01-30T09:06:30+00:00January 9th, 2016|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , , |

A 19th Century Politics For a 21st Century State


Hindustan Times

Some years ago, I edited an anthology of Indian political thought, profiling nineteen individual thinkers. The usual suspects—Gokhale, Tilak, Phule, Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, Lohia, JP, Periyar—featured, but also some less conventional choices. One of these was Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh between 1940 and 1973. My inclusion of Golwalkar in an book [...]

An Opposition to Despair Of


The Telegraph

I spent the last week of July in New Delhi, my first extended trip to that city since the General Elections of 2014. It was a year and two months since the Modi Government had come to power, and signs of disenchantment had set in. Scholars, executives, restaurant waiters, and security personnel all made sarcastic remarks [...]

Nehru and Patel


Hindustan Times

The best biography of Vallabhbhai Patel was written by Rajmohan Gandhi. Based on full access to Patel’s own papers, it is a rich account of his life and struggles, set against the context of the historical forces which shaped them. Rajmohan Gandhi’s Patel: A Life, was first published in March 1991. The preface, written in April [...]

The Poison of Partisanship


The Telegraph

Earlier this year, I was discussing partisanship in Indian politics with a friend from Bangalore temporarily based in Boston. In no other democracy, I suggested, did the two major parties use such vile language about one another. When the Government of India chose to allow foreign direct investment in the retail sector, the Chief Minister of [...]

By |2013-07-08T12:37:35+00:00June 29th, 2013|Categories: Politics and Current Affairs|Tags: , , |

The Man Who Would Rule India


The Hindu

A journalist who recently interviewed Narendra Modi reported their conversation as follows: ‘Gujarat, he told me, merely has a seafront. It has no raw materials—no iron ore for steel, no coal for power and no diamond mines. Yet it has made huge strides in these fields. Imagine, he added, if we had the natural resources of [...]

Sycophants Saffron and White


The Telegraph

They say a writer is known by the enemies he makes. Earlier this week, I was alerted to an attack on me posted on the website of the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr Narendra Modi. ‘Ramachandra Guha’s impotent anger’, claimed Mr Modi’s website, ‘is typical of a snobbish but vacuous intellectual who simply cannot tolerate a [...]