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Congress campaign: Perennially catching up?

The general elections of 2019 commence on April 11 and the last phase of campaigning in the 91 constituencies of 21 states is under way. Both prime minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi are addressing multiple rallies in the poll-bound constituencies in a final attempt to woo voters. The debates in the last phase of campaigning are important in the battle of perception and

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:  

Schooling in freedom

This year’s interim budget allocated Rs 93,847.64 crore for education. Of this, Rs 56,386.63 crore was for school education, a hike of 10 percent over the allocation made in the previous budget. Does this materialise into tangible and sustainable improvement and enhancement, offer solutions to our stubborn and complex education challenges?   In education there a

A blind spot

 “The 21st century is the century of human mobility and migration. We can no longer think about our economies, societies or cultures without thinking about human mobility.” – Laura Thompson, deputy director general, International Organization for Migration   Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the importance of migratio

Beyond Justice

You will not find God or grace in legal concepts, in formal notions of criminal justice. Certain values and ideals are beyond justice. These include mercy, forgiveness, redemption, dignity. Also love. This crime story is about values larger than mere procedural justice. It is a story that was not so widely covered by the media, but it should have been. I first read about this twisting

“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.  

The chronicles of a gradual fadeout

Few know that LK Advani was often accused by Sangh Parivar apparatchiks of exercising ‘unilateralism’. In the history of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its earlier incarnation, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), Advani’s influence on the organisation was not only overweening but also extended for decades, from the 1970s to 2013. His numero uno status was frowned u

How taxes vanish into a black hole

When a citizen does not pay due taxes, the result is black money. Everybody gets worked up about it, and rightly so. But when the government collects taxes and does not use the revenue for the intended purposes – or even collects money for non-existent taxes, what would be the result? Grey money? That has been happening, and despite reminders from the supreme auditor, goes on happening su

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

Land digitisation and India

The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report 2019 ranks India at 166 out of 190 countries in ‘Registering Property’, lower from last year’s ranking of 154. This, in spite of a 53-place jump in India’s overall ranking in the last two years alone!   In Mumbai, it takes a little less than three months to get a property registered in the na

“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

Easing birthpangs

Most of us have paid at least one visit to a health facility. It is easy to identify quality care when we receive it – an attentive doctor, a responsive team of health workers, adherence to hygiene and safety protocols, and so on. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to high quality care, a situation we are working hard to change.     In Delhi in Dec

Rethinking healthcare

The new world is aggressively batting for individual rights and self-determination. As the society is evolving for the better, we see a more assertive Indian coming to the fore. An Indian who has higher expectations and an Indian who is cognizant of his/her rights. Our constitution guarantees us several freedoms and rights, with Article 21 affording a window for the generations to interpret and

Why not have a reconciliation panel?

Jenine di Giovanni, a reporter who was a first-hand witness to the destruction in Bosnia, Chechnya and other places, wrote: “In the aftermath of any war or genocide, healing and reconciliation are ultimate aspirations.” After some years of the end of the apartheid era in South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established there under the chair of Archbishop D

An engineering disaster

After passing the 12th board exams in 2014, Vikas Kumar, of Madhepura in Bihar, took a year’s break to prepare for the engineering entrance exam. The hard work paid off and he managed to score high enough to qualify for admission to one of the prestigious National Institutes of Technology (NITs), where admission rates are as low as 1-2 percent of the applicants, making them only next in s

Who benefits from India-Pakistan conflict?

The dastardly attack on the personnel of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) of February 14 in Pulwama that killed forty men has already turned a new page in the India-Pakistan ties. The loss of precious human lives caused immense resentment across India against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, for the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM), which is being supported by the Inter-Service intelligence (ISI), a wing

Priyanka’s ill-advised photo op with Azad reveals Congress diffidence in UP

Here is a picture of the late 1970s: prime minister Indira Gandhi calls on an ailing Sheikh Abdullah at a hospital in Srinagar. He had just been released and had taken over the reins of Jammu and Kashmir after elections. The picture shows Gandhi offering her hand while Sheikh is lying in bed. Yet, the persona of Sheikh, a veteran leader from Nehru’s generation, towered over Indira Gandhi.

Crossing the border

Ghar mein ghus ke marenge (We will hit you right inside your own home),” prime minister Narendra Modi thundered, when he addressed a meeting at the civil hospital in Ahmedabad on March 4.    He paused before finally delivering this one-liner with an elan that conveyed that patience was exhausted. That he chose the civil hospital, where a bomb blast targeted

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



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