Box Populi
  • 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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  • 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

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