From ‘Church attacks’ to ‘Muslims lynched’ – how the narrative plays part in politics

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Indian National Congress, the grand old party of India, suffered its worst ever electoral defeat in May 2014. Reduced to 44 seats, it was staring at a risk of being pushed to the margins if immediate corrective steps were not taken.

The reasons for its defeat were pretty obvious – corruption charges, anti-incumbency, lackadaisical leadership of Rahul Gandhi, and ‘Modi Wave’.

However, if you think like a pragmatic and seasoned politician, especially one belonging to the Congress party, these reasons don’t warrant any “corrective” steps. They are transient in nature. Continue reading

For the elitist Indian media, Ram Nath Kovind does not have the ‘class’

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I will be lying if I claim that everyone knew who Ram Nath Kovind was when BJP President Amit Shah, on Monday, announced his name as his party’s choice for the next President of India. Even though he was the governor of Bihar when the name was announced, not many knew about him.

However, the common citizens can be excused for this ignorance. A huge majority of them will fail to name governors of many Indian states, and that’s fine. But what explains the ignorance of journalists, who are supposed to have a better general knowledge owing to them dealing with current affairs on a daily basis?

What was worse, was that this lack of general knowledge was flaunted by many journalists – especially from the English language media – who instead of questioning their own level of political awareness, decided to mock the stature of Ram Nath Kovind – an educated man from humble origins who rose up within the ranks of BJP thanks to become the governor of a state and could now become the next President of India. Continue reading

Why the special law to protect journalists in Maharashtra is flawed

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According to media reports, Maharashtra has become the first state in India to enact a law that aims to protect journalists and media organisations from violence.

The bill “Maharashtra Mediapersons and Media Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage or Loss to Property) Act, 2017” was reportedly passed without any discussions on the last day of the budget session of the state assembly yesterday.

The news led to many on social media question the rationale behind such a move. While no one disagreed over the fact that violence needs to be stopped and punished, people wondered why give a special status to journalists? Are the provisions in the IPC (Indian Penal Code) not enough to stop violence? Continue reading

Outrage over ‘raincoat’ comment – how Congress is trying to re-write history

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During 2009-2014, Manmohan Singh presided over a regime that saw scams of all hues and proportions. As a Prime Minister, he didn’t act promptly to stop these scams, and in fact is accused of helping in some cases. What we saw under his tenure is described best by a term he himself coined – organised loot and plunder.

While the loot largely happened during the second term, Manmohan Singh undermined the dignity and constitutionality of the office of the Prime Minister for full ten years where the PMO was reduced to executing orders of NAC under Sonia Gandhi – something that is corroborated by the PMO files. Continue reading

Hindustan Times shutting down editions – it’s dangerously lazy to blame demonetisation

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A couple of days back, some people on Twitter posted about speculations over Hindustan Times closing down several of its city editions. On the same day, reports claimed that Hindustan Times had decided to shut down its business bureau. Now it appears that both the speculations about the paper shutting down some of its city editions and its business bureau are correct, as the media company has not issued any denial so far.

As per a ‘leaked’ letter being circulated, the newspaper has decided to close down its Kolkata, Bhopal, Indore, and Ranchi editions. It’s not yet clear what happens to the journalists employed for these editions i.e. whether they would be absorbed into the main business or would be laid off. If chatter among the media community is to be believed, most probably they are going to lose their jobs. Continue reading

Narendra Modi has forgotten the 2014 elections, and this is why he has done that

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In May 2014, Narendra Modi recorded an unprecedented victory in the history of contemporary India. I have deliberately called it a Modi victory rather than a BJP or NDA victory, because it indeed was victory of a personality called Narendra Modi.

While hardly anyone gave Congress any chance of it returning to power, and people talked about Modi wave, no one knew about this Modi tsunami that would strike the pollsters, some “intellectuals”, and of course, the Congress party.

People just couldn’t stop talking about 2014 after the results were out. Well, even otherwise it was a hotly debated election, but the results made it burning hot. How it happened, why it happened, does this change India forever, and all kinds of things were discussed.

Whether Modi haters or his ‘bhakts’ – both love to go back to the last general elections, and remind or warn each other that it will repeat or it will not repeat in 2019. Books were written and are still being written about the 2014 elections.

It’s been around 30 months now, but it appears that most people can’t get over the 2014 verdict yet.

Except one man – Narendra Modi himself. Continue reading