September 2015

Modi and the art of political performance

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The prime minister has been doing what he does best in Silicon Valley- rock-star style public meetings, sizzling town-hall meetings that bring back the best of his election campaigning in 2014 and acting as India’s salesman No. 1 to American businesses. It has already yielded big promises from several companies like Google (plans for 500 […..]

Your TV only on your mobile

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It has finally happened. A big national channel has finally shifted a major programme totally online. Starting next week, Star Plus’ three-month old fiction show ‘Phir Bhi Na Mane… Badtameez Dil’ will move exclusively to its digital platform Hotstar. This is the first time ever that an Indian broadcaster has shifted a regular daily fiction […..]

Volkswagen: Sorry is not enough

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Volkswagen once marketed itself with the slogan, “If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen”. For years it has branded itself not just as an efficient car, but as an idea. That idea of perfection has been blown apart by its CEO Martin Winterkorn’s “I am endlessly sorry” acceptance of the environment […..]

Netaji and India’s dictatorship urge

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Did Shah Jahan want to build a black Taj Mahal? Did Lal Bahadur Shastri really die of a heart attack in Tashkent in 1965? Does the yeti really exist? The mystery of Subhas Chandra Bose has been among great unsolved mysteries of India. Mamata Banerjee’s declassification of 64 Netaji files has just made it even […..]

Getting a peon’s job harder than getting into Harvard

It’s seems it is more difficult to get a job as a peon in Uttar Pradesh than it is to get into Harvard. Consider this: Harvard University admitted 2081 students this year, for its class of 2019. They were the ones who made it out of 37,707 students who applied. That’s an admission ratio of […..]

Caste-ing Ashoka in Bihar

How caste politics is being resurrected with dubious history before polls What does an ancient emperor who died over 2,300 years ago have to do with the hurly-burly of Bihar elections in the present day? Everything, it seems, as politicians pull out all the stops to attract, make and remake caste formations. So in this […..]

Modi aura or Nitish era? Pataliputra to decide

Chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi calls it the “mother of all elections”. For once, the Bihar poll justifies the hyperbole. The road to Indraprastha passed through Pataliputra for Narendra Modi. This is why he devoted so much attention to Bihar (second only to UP) in 2014, with about 30 rallies, delivering 31 of its 40 […..]