Did polarization of Hindu votes take place in Uttar Pradesh?

I was invited to Zee News for discussing assembly election results and there I had the opportunity to talk to Arif Mohammad Khan, who once was a state minister and an active politician, famous for being the Muslim face who quit Congress when Rajiv Gandhi, then enjoying a mammoth majority in Lok Sabha, took steps to overturn the Shah Bano judgment to please Muslim fundamentalists.

As trends appeared to settle down and it looked like BJP was all set to win Uttar Pradesh (and it has swept the elections like the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as I write), some people started talking about kabristan-shamshan and “polarization”. Continue readingDid polarization of Hindu votes take place in Uttar Pradesh?

This TV ad explains the importance of ‘appearing’ liberal

This thought had struck me more than a year ago, when I saw this particular television advertisement. Then the ad slowly disappeared from TV screens. However, I saw it again during the recent India-England cricket series. So hitting a mauke pe chauka, I thought to pen my thoughts finally.

First, take a look at the ad: Continue readingThis TV ad explains the importance of ‘appearing’ liberal

The problem with ‘reforms must come from within among minorities’ argument

Last week, the government took a stand in the Supreme Court against triple talaq, arguing that such practices were regressive and needed reconsideration. Around the same time, the Law Commission of India issued an appeal (pdf link) seeking public consultation on the issue of Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Continue readingThe problem with ‘reforms must come from within among minorities’ argument

It is not just Barkha vs Bhakts, it is also Barkha vs Gunday

Barkha Dutt, the celeb journalist from NDTV, has written a book and it’s getting negative reviews (one star) on Amazon, by scores of people who have most probably not even read a sentence of it. It’s silly, but it’s not unprecedented.

Barkha is blaming it on “bhakts” – a term she and other “liberal” commentators use very liberally to describe people who support Narendra Modi. And the truth is, most of those giving one star and negative reviews to her books are indeed Modi supporters.

So this is all about Barkha vs Bhakts? Or rather just about Bhakts, who last month, angered by Aamir Khan’s comments on “rising intolerance”, raced to uninstall the Snapdeal app and give it a bad review on app stores?

Can we simply close the case because these Bhakts appear as an organized gang of online goons? Gundays harassing a “liberal” law abiding citizen Barkha?

Yeah, gundays, rather Gunday. There lies another story.
Continue readingIt is not just Barkha vs Bhakts, it is also Barkha vs Gunday