Free Press Journal
  • Karnataka Elections 2018: Unholy alliance needs a dip in holy Ganges

    Winning the trust vote naturally involved dodgy moves. Yet, as Indira Gandhi often demonstrated, the electorate always nurtures a grudging respect for those who can beat the odds, ethics being no bar in war. If the battle, for the BJP, was all about defeating the Congress — and, by implication, the Old Establishment that is…

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  • narendra modi, india, rahul gandhi, karnataka assembly elections 2018

    BJP is inadequate, Narendra Modi is not

    Siddramaiah has tried very hard to give a distinctly Kannada flavour to the elections, even at the risk of being dubbed regionalist. He seems to have taken a leaf from Modi who, during his stint as Chief Minister of Gujarat, always made Gujarati pride an important sub-text of his campaigns in 2002 and 2007. There…

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  • Mitra foresaw lumpenisation of TMC

    Economist Ashok Mitra, a former Finance Minister in the Jyoti Basu government of West Bengal and subsequently a Rajya Sabha MP, who died on May Day in Kolkata will probably not be remembered so much as a Communist—a label he proudly flaunted—as one of India’s foremost polemicists. His pen portraits of illustrious contemporaries, his social…

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  • Injecting politics with extra fire and power

    With just about 12 months left for voting in the 2019 general election to commence, it is only natural that political activity is getting more and more frenzied. It is also natural that the opening shots of this long and gruelling election campaign are being fired by the opposition. Being in government and having control…

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  • Commonwealth: A last throw of the dice

    London this week was preoccupied with the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. It is an event made particularly special because this is probably the last occasion the Queen will perform her ceremonial role as the Head of the Commonwealth, an honour she inherited from her father King George VI, when the old British Commonwealth was…

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  • 2019 Lok Sabha elections: No strategy to recover lost ground

    With about a year to go before voting, the election campaign for 2019 has well and truly begun. As of today, there are three broadly distinct campaigns underway. As the incumbent with control of the Central government and a parliamentary majority to defend, the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the most at stake….

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  • Lutyens’ Delhi hits back at Narendra Modi

    The extent to which Lutyens’ Delhi is a microcosm of India or exists as a rarefied enclave is the subject of endless and inconclusive discussions. Whatever be the reality, this tiny corner of India’s Capital is always an interesting case study since its social influence far exceeds its spatial limitations. For the past three years,…

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  • Secular media ignores Hindu disquiet

    It is extremely unlikely that the average reader of newspapers—whether in English, Bengali or Hindi—would have anticipated the violence that broke out in Asansol and Raniganj in the aftermath of the Ram Navami celebrations on March 25. The media, among other things such as entertain, shock and build public opinion, is also meant to inform…

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  • Parliament paralysis: Democracy loses vigour

    Even by the whimsical standards of India’s 24×7 TV news channels, the coverage of the Rajya Sabha elections, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, was exceptionally bizarre. Whether the Bharatiya Janata Party would manage to secure eight seats or nine in UP was, of course, a matter of some interest. But the coverage was laced with an…

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  • A moment for sober, strategic reflection

    There is no doubt that the four by-election victories have energised the Opposition as never before. The triumphalism that has marked the TV and print contributions of the editorial classes clearly suggest that the Opposition believe the tide has turned against the BJP. The remarkable extent to which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has contributed to…

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  • Mamata Banerjee fighting battle on several fronts

    Mamata is likely to try and forge links with all the political parties that have issues with the BJP. This includes the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti and the Telugu Desam in Andhra Pradesh. The very idea that one day West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee would publicly stand up for a…

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  • Encouraging a move towards bipolarity

    My feeling is that the Tripura verdict will encourage a move towards bipolarity — BJP versus anti-BJP — for the 2019 election. This implies that the BJP has to persevere relentlessly in its bid to enlarge  its social base, particularly the poorer sections that have not been traditional supporters of the party. Three weeks ago,…

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