• In over a century of evolution, automobiles have transformed dramatically. As I drive the 2014 Ford Fiesta today, it’s quite amazing to see how technology has changed everything, except the Ford script logo, since the first mass-produced Ford Model T. While a swathe of once state-of-the-art technologies such as ABS and airbags are increasingly becoming part of standard safety package, in-dash user interface is the new battleground for carmakers.

    There is no question the 2014 Ford Fiesta is a head turner. But what makes the Fiesta unique is the in-car technology that earns it the well-deserved title of a “connected car.”


    The 2014 Ford Fiesta’s styling is not a huge departure from the outgoing model, but it gets a handful of changes that make the car more desirable. The large air dam that dominated the Fiesta’s nose has been traded for a more stylish hexagonal grille.  Five thin chrome bars on the grille along with the chrome accent around the air dam breathe new life upon the

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  • Very few product taglines really stick. Even fewer products stay true to the taglines. And the Nissan Sunny has certainly been one of them. Nissan called Sunny a “CAAAR” for its roomy interiors and it indeed offered the best cabin space in its segment.  Sunny managed good numbers and with the arrival of new rivals, it now gets a complete makeover to stay at the top of the game.

    New Design

    Nissan has brought in some clever design elements that made an already good-looking car even more aggressive. Large boomerang headlamps and wider grille now define the Sunny’s front. The new bumper is sportier and gets lavish chrome accents – I particularly liked the chrome lines around the fog lamps. While new alloy-wheels and side mirror turn indicators are the key changes in profile, a sportier antenna and large chrome strip emblazon the rear of the car. However, the biggest change here is the outstretched bumper that gives the car a stronger stance on road.

    Although the spacious cabin has been

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  • Not just dynasty, Congress also suffers from banality

    The Congress missed a trick by appointing the lesser-known Mallikarjun Kharge as the leader of opposition than promoting a younger talent like Jyotiraditya Scindia.

    (Photo credit: Associated Press)(Photo credit: Associated Press)

    Sonia Gandhi was applauded in 2004 when she famously refused to wear the prime ministerial crown despite many sycophantic Congress leaders imploring her to become the leader of the nation. That act was termed as a ‘sacrifice’ by her admirers. Fast forward to 2014 and Sonia has rejected the leader’s position again – but this time, the role of a leader of the opposition (LOP) in the parliament.

    Although it is gracious for a leader to decline a prominent position in politics, doing so at the time of crisis shows lack of leadership. If Congress ever needed Sonia’s leadership, it is today. In the current scenario for the Congress, it also projects banality. Handing over the responsibility of LOP to a lesser-known Mallikarjun Kharge is neither a sacrifice nor humility. It justifies the claim by Congress critics who have accused the party of its old style of functioning with a remote-control in the hands of Gandhi family.

    Kharge, the man who now will take on the BJP-led government in the

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  • What could still go wrong for the BJP

    The Congress might surprise itself by putting up a far better show than it is expected to. Even a couple of dozen extra seats in its kitty could queer the pitch for the BJP.

    While the Bharatiya Janata Party is fully justified in being euphoric, it would do well to just hold off the celebrations for a while and reflect on George Santayana’s words: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are destined to repeat it.’

    Although the exit polls overwhelmingly favour a BJP-led government at the Centre and predict a complete rout of the Congress, a bit of caution – and some humility – might be in order.

    The Times Now-ORG exit poll survey gives the BJP and its allies 249 seats on the lower end of the spectrum (going up to 265 seats on the upper end), just short of simple majority of 272 seats. It gives the UPA 148 seats and ‘Others’ 146.

    The CNN IBN-CSDS poll gives the NDA a comfortable 270-282 seats, while it says the UPA would get 91-102 and Others 159-181. India TV-C Voter poll too pegs BJP (and allies) way ahead at 289, followed by Others at 153, and the UPA at 101.

    The India Today-Cicero puts BJP+ at 261-283; UPA+ at 110-120, and Others at 150-162. ABP Nielsen exit poll

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  • Kejriwal has my sympathy, not my vote. Yet

    He seemed destined for greatness. But the price of greatness is responsibility. And it was here that Kejriwal stumbled.

    For a judicious homemaker who’s not aligned to any political ideology, my wife is quite well informed and aware of her democratic rights and duties.
    Acutely alert to issues that affect the common Indian, Anju has no-nonsense, down-to-earth solutions to many a complex problem that politicians brazenly avoid tackling.
    Her often-politically-incorrect opinion on matters of import is nothing short of astonishingly sagacious.
    She, like a million others, reserves unabashed contempt for most politicians. Thus, it was like a punch to the solar plexus, when one fine winter evening she suddenly declared she might join the new political kid on the block, the Aam Aadmi Party, and work to ‘cleanse the system’.
    When she sets her mind at doing something, it is imprudent to get in the way; thus, I decided to button my lip and nod wisely.
    Knowing she wouldn’t trust a politician, no matter how honest his cronies might profess him to be, until she is entirely persuaded by his argument and intentions, I

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  • The dummy’s guide to Congress's downfall

    Apart from allegations of corruption, perceived policy paralysis, inability to deal with price rise, and ten years of anti-incumbency, the continuing infatuation with the Gandhis could well be the start of a long winter for the Congress.

    This election season has been dirty: from name-calling to hate speeches, we have heard it all. But the one statement that takes the cake is a gem by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra where she says that the 'Congress will fight back against all those who have maligned the Gandhi family'.
    In a way these words sum up the dipping fortunes of the grand old party of India's politics and why it is in the doldrums.
    It's common knowledge that the Gandhis perceive the Congress to be their personal fiefdom and ruling the party comes as a right, as an inheritance. But such blatant use of this understanding is rarely seen.
    Priyanka's statement that the Congress will fight back against those who try to humiliate the Gandhi family stinks of pomposity and points to the already known fact that it is ‘family first’ in this party. But that begs the question why the Congress should do a 'Kill Bill' to avenge the slurs?
    Almost all Congress leaders have been viciously attacked by political rivals, but the family has

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  • Who will run this country anyway?

    Modi offers us an alternative, but our collective survival will depend on our silence.

    We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin - Andre Berthiaume

    When did you last hear of Ramdas Kadam, Giriraj Singh or Pravin Togadia? In the words of Faizal Khan (The character in Gangs of Wasseypur, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui] Yeh teri awaz ko kya ho gaya hai be...)

    The above trio - drawn from the Shiv Sena, VHP, RSS and other hard right groups - seem increasingly sure that Modi will be the next power at the center. And for them, this translates into an opportunity to push their organizations various agendas. Such as:

    Rape is not rape if you are improperly clad and therefore, "asked for it". And they decide what the proper dress is that you should wear. Also, no going out after late evening, definitely no going to pubs, no going to night clubs, no having fun of any sort, no wearing jeans to college, no no no...These moral police assume the right to tell all of us how to lead our lives - without of course assuming any

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  • By all means, Fluence was the perfect car to mark Renault’s entry into Indian market. Even though it didn’t sell in huge numbers, Fluence left an impression with its massive road presence and impeccable driving dynamics. As Fluence gets a second chance, the French marque’s roots have grown deep enough to make the car a comeback kid. Lets find out what’s new in the new Fluence.


    Always a graceful car, the Fluence now gets a new front-end treatment with the Renault family face integrated into it. New glossy black grille now houses a large Renault badge and headlamps get projectors and shiny black mask with chrome eyelashes. All-new front bumper is complete with daytime running lights, fog lamps and new air intakes. Body-coloured side cladding and new alloy wheels are a welcome change in profile.

    There are minor yet noticeable changes on the interior, too. A silver insert across the dual-tone dashboard looks elegant and upmarket. There are silver touches on the steering wheel, around

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Renault Fluence
  • Why Modi haters should stop ranting

    The constant under-the-microscope scrutiny of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate has given more publicity to his election campaign.

    Narendra Modi is impotent; will chop Modi into pieces; Modi is a puppy; Modi should be treated in a mental hospital; ‘tea-seller’ Modi can’t become India’s PM; Modi is fascist; Modi is a RSS goon; Modi’s Gujarat a ‘toffee model’; Modi is a dictator. If you follow Indian politics keenly, you will easily guess that all the above remarks were made by Modi’s political opponents in recent times as the election frenzy is gripping the nation.

    These remarks highlight not only the political rivalry, but the obsession towards one man, who, according to many opinion polls may become India’s next prime minister. This breast-beating over Modi is not limited to just politicians as everyone seems to be dissecting the ‘brand Modi’. Many Bollywood celebrities reportedly have signed a petition wherein they appeal to the people of the country to vote for a ‘secular government’. According to the film industry sources, the signatories to this petition mainly consist of Modi haters.

    Everyone in the country

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  • Stone-pelting, Twitter abuse: Why Indian cricket fans react violently?

    The latest to earn the wrath of the fans is Yuvraj Singh. He was not only vilified on Twitter but also his house was pelted with stones by the so-called ‘fans’ of the Indian team.

    Fans burn Indian players posters following the team's loss against Sri Lanka in 2007 World cup. (AFP)

    Do cricketers and their fans have an unsigned agreement between each other over performances on a field? Has the cricketer, by not performing up to fans expectations, caused any physical or psychological or traumatic harm to them? If the answer is no, then it is incomprehensible to see the superstars being targeted by fans when the Indian team loses. Stone-pelting, vandalising cricketer’s home, burning effigies and mocking a bad performance on social networking sites are the ways fans express their frustration and anger.

    The latest to earn the wrath of the fans is Yuvraj Singh. He was not only vilified on Twitter but also his house was pelted with stones by the so-called ‘fans’ of the Indian team.

    Renowned sports psychologist Dr. Chaitanya Sridhar explains the three basic reasons why the Indian fans love the game of cricket which will help in understanding their behaviour.

    1. Entertainment - Cricket is perceived to be a form of leisure. It provides a 'high' and is associated with positive

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