/Tag: BJP

A Brief History of Cults of Personality

The Telegraph

The term ‘cult of personality’ is thought to have been first used with regard to the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Stalin died in 1953, after more than two decades in power; three years later, in a speech to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, his successor Nikita Khrushchev spoke of how [...]

Why Modi has Failed India


Last week, the respected US rating agency Moody’s downgraded India’s sovereign rating to Baa3, the lowest grade. It thereby joined Standard and Poor and Fitch, which had already relegated India to the bottom rung in this regard. Explaining their decision, Moody’s said: ‘While today’s action is taken in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, it was [...]

The Government Of-By-And For The Slogan

Hindustan Times

At its recent meeting, the National Executive of the Bharatiya Janata Party passed a political resolution, a passage of which read: ‘Our Constitution describes India as Bharat also, [hence] refusal to chant victory to Bharat is tantamount to disrespect to our Constitution itself. Bharat Mata ki Jai is not merely a slogan. It was a mantra [...]

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, [...]

A Wish List Revisited

The Telegraph

In an essay published just before the General Elections of 2009, I had argued that for Indian democracy to become more focused and effective, four things needed to happen: First, the Congress party had to rid itself of its dependence on a single family. Rahul Gandhi had a right to be in politics, but not to [...]



Every year, in November, the American magazine Newsweek departs from its focus on current events to publish a special number which examines national and regional trends that cannot be slotted within the weekly cycle of news. Writing in the last such issue, the editor of a Delhi newspaper (not this one) wrote that ‘Indian foreign policy [...]


The Telegraph

An influential editor from Delhi, visiting Bangalore, hosted a dinner for some local politicians, and invited me along. Among the netas present was the Karnataka Youth Congress president, the spokesman for H. D. Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular), and an office-bearer of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The conversation turned to the history of communal violence in [...]


Hindustan Times

Article 44 of the Constitution of India reads: ‘The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India’. The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the first Law Minister, Dr B. R. Ambedkar, were both modernists who wished to reform archaic personal laws and bring them [...]


The Telegraph

Bangalore voted on Sunday the 20th of April, the first round of polling. Anticipating crowds in the morning, my wife and I went to the neighbourhood booth in the afternoon. Outside, the names of the candidates were pasted on the walls. There were a dozen candidates in all but here, as in many other parts of [...]