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`Undeclared emergency`? Arun Jaitley`s answer recalls dark days

A New India: Selected Writings 2014-19 By Arun Jaitley, with a foreword by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Juggernaut Books, 384 pages, Rs 799 Arun Jaitley (28 December 1952 – 24 August 2019) was a senior advocate of the Supreme Court and one of the most important leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He was the union minister of finance from 2014

A history of identity: remembering forgotten heroes of 1857

The column may begin by recalling quotations from two illustrious sons of pre-Independence India who were under no obligation to make any ‘appeasing’ comment. Noted Urdu critic, Dr. Abdur Rahman Bijnauri, made the following opening remarks, exactly a hundred years ago in 1920, in his book on Ghalib’s poetry: “India has two revealed books – Ved Muqadd

How we won the right to fly the tricolour

Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, as one of the top lawyers at the Supreme Court, has helped shape the contemporary trends. In his latest work, ‘From the Trenches’ (co-authored with Satyajit Sarna, published by Juggernaut), he revisits eight defining cases of our times, and presents a view, as it were, from the trenches. Here is an excerpt from the book relating to one of them, Naveen J

On A Personal Note with Anees Bazmee, film writer, director and producer

Starting out as a child artist, in a career spanning more than three and half decades Anees Bazmee has written/directed more than 60 films in Hindi, Tamil and Marathi in a variety of genres. After writing films like ‘Hum Farishtey Nahin’, ‘Swarg’, and ‘Aankhen’, he directed commercially successful films like ‘Welcome’, ‘Ready’, &ls

On A Personal note with musician Apache Indian

Renowned British singer, songwriter and reggae DJ, Apache Indian (originally known as Steven Kapoor) shot to fame with his style of music which came to be known as bhangramuffin (also called bhangragga) – a mix of bhangra, reggaemuffin and traditional dance hall in the early 1990s. His style changed the way music was going to be created later. His cult track ‘Boom-Shaka-Lak’ i

On a Personal Note / Rajpal Yadav, Actor

Rajpal Yadav is acclaimed for playing multidimensional roles. An alumnus of the National School of Drama, he also attended the Bharatendu Academy of Dramatic Arts in Lucknow. He has worked in theatre, television, Bollywood and regional cinema besides working in a Hollywood production. In 2016 he launched his political outfit called Sarv Sambhav Party. If not an actor what

On a Personal note with actor Neeraj Kabi

Neeraj Kabi, a critically acclaimed self-taught actor, theatre director, and acting teacher, has worked in Odiya, Hindi and international cinema, theatre, television and web series. In 2014 he was honoured with the best actor award at the 4th Sakhalin International Film Festival for his role in the film ‘Ship of Theseus’ – his most memorable role for many viewers. His othe

On a personal note: DIVINE

An underground rapper who grew up on Mumbai streets, Divine spins his music around his environment and poverty. His breakout single, ‘Meri Gully Mein’, along with fellow rapper Naezy caught Bollywood’s attention. The Hindi film ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by their lives and grossed `237 crore globally. It is the second highest earning film of 2019 and the highest e

The role model for an IAS officer

Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book published this year.    Anil is not afraid to speak the truth an

The greatest challenge for any government

Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government desperately trying to bring them back by expensive and protracted litigation in foreign co

On a personal note: Rasika Dugal

A BSc in Mathematics and an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Rasika Dugal has acted in Hindi and Malayalam films, web series and television serials besides hosting shows. She is the recipient of the Best Actor Award at Rajasthan International Film Festival for her role in the film Hamid. She is best known for her role in the movies Kshay, Qissa and Manto.  &nbs

Making sense of India’s elections

With highly appropriate lyrics at the start of every chapter, combined with deep insights from rigorous analysis of data – Citizen Raj is an absolute delight to read.    In Citizen Raj, Surjit Bhalla, well known economist and commentator, looks at Indian elections from 1952 till 2019 and he does what he mentions to be his hobby which also happens to be his

The state of the Left

As we come to the close of this election season, what cannot escape even the indiscriminate eye is the decline of the organized left parties in India. Between 2004, when the Left Front had 59 MPs in the Lok Sabha, to 2014, when it had 11 MPs, the decline has been rapid and palpable. Both its national space and regional presence are shrinking.   

“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?

The real winner will be the FPTP system

The ongoing parliamentary elections are in the concluding phase/ stage. Eventually, the results will be out on May 23. A huge number of candidates are, as usual, in the fray. There are claims and counter-claims, declarations and bolder declarations, promises and astronomical promises, narratives and counter-narratives galore. Some will win - to be specific 543 - and all others will lose. Conseq

“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

Want to win elections?

In book publishing, one of the trends for the past couple of decades has been to pick out pearls of wisdom from well known sources – philosophers, sages, novelists, economists – and package them as easy reads. Thus, we have ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’ as well as ‘How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life’. In a series called ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern

Why supreme court should hold a fresh inquiry

Voices say now that three honourable judges have spoken against the charges levelled against the CJI; therefore, quietus be given to the whole affair and let the matter rest there. They say the report need not be disclosed to public in view of the judgement in the case of Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India & Anr. (2003), which said disclosure to public would do more harm than good to

The charge of the forward brigade

The family group on WhatsApp went into a buzzing frenzy. Thumbs-ups, happy emojis, congratulatory messages. All in response to a message that made it seem as if the BBC was reporting on a survey conducted by...hold your breath...the CIA and the ISI, predicting a victory for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Only a few wondered why the spy agencies of the US and Pakistan would conduct a s

“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

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