Interview

“The key issue in this election is: Save Democracy, Save the Constitution”

Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, an engineer by training, is a rare politician: down-to-earth and with a clean image. In the midst of the hectic electioneering, Chavan spoke with Geetanjali Minhas on trends in these polls. Edited excerpts from the interview:    What are the key election issues in these Lok Sabha elections?

“Sometimes we wonder if we are living in a democracy at all”

Sharad Pawar is the grand old man of Indian politics. He is among the last stalwarts from a generation that is fading out. He has served as chief minister of Maharashtra four times and held crucial portfolios of defence and agriculture at the centre. In this election, he is busier than most, hopping across Maharashtra and addressing a series of rallies every day. Amid his hectic schedule, he sp

“Nationalism means performing your duty with due diligence”

Dr Harsh Vardhan, a union minister, is the genial face of the BJP old guard in Delhi. He is contesting again from the Chandni Chowk constituency, in the heart of the capital. He talked with Rahul Trivedi about the party’s prospects in the elections. Edited excerpts:   The election discourse has largely focused on nationalism and security, but de

On a personal note: Zeeshan Ayyub

Zeeshan Ayyub worked in theatre before he made his Bollywood debut in 2011 with the critically acclaimed No One Killed Jessica. He has since gone on to do a number of versatile roles such as “Chintu” Kumar Singh in Tanu Weds Manu, the loyal Sadiq in Raees, the traitor brother of Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika and “Guddu” Singh in Zero. Born in Delhi, Zeeshan completed his

“The people of Delhi will vote for change”

Senior Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is the Lok Sabha candidate of her party from the Northeast Delhi constituency. In a conversation with Deexa Khanduri, she says she is confident of a victory, dismissing the Aam Aadmi Party’s claim that the good work of the Arvind Kejriwal government will translate into votes for its parliamentary candidates. In fact

On a personal note: Javed Jaffrey

After his much-appreciated debut in Meri Jung in 1985, Javed Jaffrey inspired a new generation of dancers. He then turned from dance to comedy. The versatile actor constantly changes his styles and his live, film, TV and radio appearances always promise novelty and surprise. In 2014 he joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and contested in the general elections from Lucknow. 

“Managing data is challenging”

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) is a society set up by the railways ministry in July 1986 to provide IT related services to the Indian Railways. CRIS deals in a gamut of functions, like passenger ticketing, freight operations, train dispatching and control, crew management, e-procurement, management of fixed and moving assets of the railways, and production of rolling stock. V

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in students and teachers alike – not only nursed that dream, but brought it to life too.

“I have a bigger reason and motivation to join politics”

Urmila Matondkar joined the Congress party and within just two months into politics, the actor is already surrounded by controversies – from being accused of making anti-Hindu comments to inappropriate poll campaigning. Fielded against BJP’s Gopal Shetty in the Mumbai North constituency, Matondkar is aware of the long journey ahead. In conversation with Geetanjali Minhas, she ta

“Socialism is the most relevant ideology and will never wither away”

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is an archetypal Indian socialist, a Lohiaite whose tribe is practically extinct. In his personal life, he is extremely austere. In his political life, he is seen to be making Faustian bargains. What does he stand for? In a free-wheeling interview with Ajay Singh, he reveals his mind.     Let me start

“It’s time to change the narrative and have men become part of the struggle”

Documentary filmmaker Vibha Bakshi became well known in India after her film Daughters of Mother India won the National Film Award for best film on social issues and was shortlisted for the Cannes Glass Lions award for media advocacy. Her earlier docus, Terror at Home and Too Hot to Handle, were on domestic violence and global warming, the first being part of an Emmy-winning campaign by the

In search of Gandhi’s answer to the question: ‘What a human life should be’

‘Gandhi and Philosophy’, by Shaj Mohan and Divya Dwivedi, stands out among the ever increasing output of scholarship on the father of the nation. Prefaced by eminent French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, the work demands Gandhian slow reading, but rewards with profound insights. Here the authors respond to a few questions from Ashish Mehta:  

“AAP has risen in popularity, we will win in Delhi”

Brijesh Goyal, one of the founders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and convenor of its trade and industry wing in Delhi state, is contesting Lok Sabha elections from the prestigious New Delhi constituency. He spoke to Deexa Khanduri about the party’s prospects in the general polls.   Why did the AAP approach the Congress for an alliance to fight L

“We have delivered on 85% of our promises”

The BJP won the elections to the municipal corporations of Delhi in 2017 under the leadership of actor-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari. He is confident of repeating the victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In a conversation with Deexa Khanduri, Tiwari talks about how he united the party in Delhi and why the BJP is set to increase its voter base in the capital.  

On a personal note: Tara Deshpande

Actor, model and VJ Tara Deshpande is a published author and a trained chef too. After marriage, she taught at culinary schools in Boston and New York, hosted a cookery show on the Public Broadcasting Service channel and ran a catering business. Her first book was Fifty and Done (published at the age of 23). She also wrote A Sense for Spice: Recipes and Stories from a Konkan Kitchen and An

“India has huge potential to improve the account usage”

Financial inclusion can fuel the economic growth of a country. In conversation with Rahul Trivedi, Dr Pawan Bakhshi, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, talks about its India specific programmes which aim to broaden the reach of low-cost digital financial services for the poor. Edited excerpts:   What is your idea of financial inclusion? What challenge

On a personal note: Sanjay Mishra

Sanjay Mishra, an alumnus of the National School of Drama, worked in TV commercials and serials before choosing to exclusively work in films. He has worked in Hindi, Telugu, Bhojpuri and Punjabi films. People love him for his comedy; and connoisseurs appreciate his versatility and finesse. Mishra received the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor for his role in Ankhon Dekhi and the Best Ac

“Train coaches will have 100 percent bio toilets by June”

The Indian Railways is going for a huge overhaul to make travel more comfortable – from upgrading AC and non-AC carriages to retrofitting of bio toilets. In a tête-à-tête with Vishwas Dass, the Railway Board’s member (rolling stock) Rajesh Agrawal talks about plans to enhance the passenger experience. He also talks about the recently launched Vande Bharat Expr

On a personal note: Rabbi Shergill

Punjabi singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Rabbi Shergill rose to fame in 2004 with his chartbuster song ‘Bullah Ki Jaana’ from his debut album ‘Rabbi’. Inspired by rock and Punjabi folk music, he uses Punjabi language to create acoustic rock-based ballads. His poetic and socially relevant lyrics instantly connected with an urban crowd who loved him for his genuine a

Estonia eyes on more e-Residents from India to open startups

Riho Kruuv, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia talks to Vishwas Dass on key issues like the importance of e-Residency programme of the Government of Estonia and why Estonia is becoming a preferred investment destination for Indian startups and budding entrepreneurs. The Ambassador says Estonia offers a Euro 500 million European Union (EU) market to Indian entrepreneurs. &n

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