Box Populi
  • Slap Kejriwal, because you can

    Try that with Modi, Lalu or Mayawati, if you can.


    There is no lasting hope in violence, only temporary relief from hopelessness - Kingman Brewster, Jr
     
    India had a double facepalm moment when on Thursday Samajwadi Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav nonchalantly opposed capital punishment for rape, saying "ladke, ladke hain...galti ho jati hai [boys will be boys...they commit mistakes]."
     
    "Boys and girls befriend each other. When they fall out, a rape complaint is lodged. We will change this law and will make a provision for penalizing people who misuse the law by filing frivolous complaints," said Mulayam. "If boys and girls have difference, and the girl goes and gives a statement that I have been raped, then the poor fellows are punished."
     
    The statement predictably triggered an outpouring of outrage - on social media, where the Aam Aadmi Party operates, but that space hardly matters to 'mass leaders' like Mr Yadav or Abu Azmi, who went a step further saying "rape is punishable by hanging in Islam.

    Read More »from Slap Kejriwal, because you can
  • 30 smart ideas from BJP’s manifesto 2014

    Sunny Narang, a New Delhi based entrepreneur-mentor who is invested in sporting talent, craft and design culls out what he calls some ‘smart ideas’ from the BJP manifesto. His core assessment is that they have left no sector or interest group untouched.

     

    30 smart ideas from BJP’s manifesto 2014

     

    Why a manifesto makes sense

    Everyone is promising a utopian future on paper, in a text document which can be copy-pasted from anywhere in the world. Many now believe it is anachronistic to talk of manifestos in the digital age. But it still makes sense to get an idea of what is the general and detailed drift of a political party.

    What is its top-line thinking on policy concerning various issues and on sections of the republic? It is also essential now to hold each party to the spirit and letter of its promises nationally, regionally and locally.

    My basis for choosing these 30 ideas as smart

    The manufacturing output declined 0.2 per cent in 2013/2014 compared with 1.1 per cent growth the previous year, dragging down the overall economy. There is a huge youth population that needs employment. There are falling water tables, polluted rivers, land issues, stagnant agriculture, vanishing craftspeople, and loss of cultural diversity.

    Reading through the BJP manifesto actually surprised me

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  • Why Narendra Modi should not be PM

    Do we want a prime minister against whom there are multiple allegations of violation of human rights, of actively sanctioning a religious massacre? Do we want someone as PM whose antipathy towards a certain community has been documented widely.

    They say 'change' is the only constant. And 'change' is precisely what happened to Narendra Modi.
     
    Ten years back, it would have been unimaginable to even suggest Narendra Modi's name as a prime ministerial candidate. Now, thanks to an image makeover that he owes to a seemingly vibrant Gujarat and a corrupt central government, Modi is the foremost candidate to lead the country.
     
    No other politician in independent India has been demonised as much as Modi, but one has to concede that his resilience – stubbornness, if you will - is what has helped him tide over the massive criticism that he invoked after the Godhra carnage. The genocide remains a blemish that threatens to cast a pall of gloom over his campaign.
     
    In a way, it has not been so much a change as it has been a reversal of polarity. Modi was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the immediate aftermath of the Gujarat riots. Ten years hence, he remains in the limelight - a hugely popular, engaging, irritating figure on

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  • Would I trust my money with this candidate?

    Dr. Trilochan Sastry looks at the link between you, your government and this election.

    Dr. Trilochan Sastry, chairman and founder of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), blogs for Yahoo on Elections 2014. ADR’s work in strengthening democracy includes pioneering legal cases that made it mandatory for all election candidates to file affidavits and make public their earnings.

    This is the first of a series of blogs that will continue through April. Dr Sastry’s blogs will look at everything from one prism – the link between you, your government and this election.

    Today, take a look at the link between your hard-earned cash and these elections.


    How the new government will affect your family life

    The government plans to spend Rs 17,63,000 crore of our money in 2014-15 per the budget tabled by the Finance Minister in Parliament. Most of us can’t even imagine what this amount of money is. It translates into a little over Rs 14,500 per person each year, or nearly Rs 75,000 per family per year. If a government lasts five years, this translates into nearly Rs 3.75 lakh per

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  • Once heralded as a party with a difference, the Bharatiya Janata Party continues to disappoint as it continues its journey to become just another ordinary force in Indian politics.

    Being a good opposition is the basic tenet and the founding stone of a successful democracy, but the BJP today is neither a good opposition nor does it have a grasp on national politics.

    BJP like the Left Front has shown signs of sticking to their age old agendas which the voters have rejected, a fact that is evident from their poor show in recent assembly polls; where the BJP has not won more than 10 seats in the five states that went to poll this year and the Left lost power in West Bengal and Kerala.

    To top it up the BJP had dubious distinction of opposing issues for the sake of destabilising the government.

    Doing a flip-flop comes easy to the BJP. How can one forget the Wikileaks expose? The party's opposition to the India-US nuclear deal and its criticism of the US in public were to score 'easy

    Read More »from FDI in retail: BJP’s latest flip-flop act
  • Secrets from an editor’s life

    Vinod Mehta's book Lucknow Boy, releasing on November 9, reveals interesting details not just about the celebrated editor but also about recent Indian history.

    The Hindustan Times has published excerpts from the book, and one bit reveals that former prime minister A B Vajpayee lived it up, and was not shy about his friendships with women. Mehta writes of the BJP's top leader: "Vajpayee was no saint. He liked to drink moderately and eat non-vegetarian food less moderately. Being a bachelor and a political star (Henry Kissinger: power is the ultimate aphrodisiac), he was never short of female company. "

    The editor of the Outlook group, who also worked with Debonair, Sunday Observer, and for a brief while with the Times of India, is outspoken about his colleagues Arun Shourie and Dileep Padgaonkar, and records why he can't respect them.

    The book records how the Radia tapes scandal broke. Mehta writes: "The first thing that struck all of us was the crystal-clear quality of the

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