Stakes for Elections 2014: Secularism or Democracy

By Mazher Hussain,

Finally we seem to have succeeded in dividing India, a country of a billion plus, into just two groups. Both groups claim to be secular. The only difference is that while one group accuses the other of being communal, the other brands the first group of being pseudo secular.

Mulayam no hero for Mainpuri's young

By Puja Awasthi,

Mainpuri (Uttar Pradesh): Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is no longer a hero for the young in Mainpuri, the constituency which sent him to parliament thrice.

Naziya Parveen, 25, a primary school teacher in Bhongaon, told IANS: "Mulayam is definitely not a hero for us."

Ironically, Yadav's falling reputation among the young stems from acts aimed at helping them.

In 1991, the state's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had pushed through a law that made cheating a non-bailable offence.

Resurrecting Sanjay Gandhi and his politics of hooliganism

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat,

As media reaches the conclusion about the outcome of the general elections the Sangh Parivar and its excited ‘chhutbhaiyyas’ are competing each other in speak loud and threatening the opponents. One important thing the modern day politics teach us is that those who ride on the chariot of hype are dumped mercilessly by the same forces who are responsible for their rise. The example of Arvind Kejriwal is a pointer as how he was created by media as an alternative and how he has been dumped by the same media because at the moment media magnets and their ‘loudspeakers’ are anointing Narendra Modi as the future of India.

Modi should make his stand clear on Togadia

By S. Aziz Haider, Real News International,

Not long ago, a famous actor from Mumbai, belonging to the Minority community, stated that it was difficult for a Muslim in Mumbai to get a house on rent. Nobody complained against him. But the police took suo-motto action for disturbing communal harmony and lodged an FIR against the actor.

Governance over democracy?

By Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam

Whatever the result of this Lok Sabha election, this much is sure that the country has finally reached a watershed where established democratic procedures are openly being rejected in favour of a business administration model of governance, which is not in evidence anywhere else in the democratic world.

Why China may go for a larger stimulus package

By Vatsal Srivastava,

The market was relieved on April 15 when China’s first quarter GDP reading came in as expected at 7.4 percent year-over-year. However, these headline readings have far from bottomed out and economists expect a further slippage in GDP readings to about 6.8-7 percent in the medium-term.


Opinions aren't dangerous in a democracy

By Amit Kapoor,

A democracy's very resilience stems from the fact that you can celebrate opinions you don’t agree with. This clearly highlights the value of diversity - to be willing to accept ideas that one doesn’t necessarily agree with.

What must be emphasized is that the real value of opinion is the absolute right to be wrong and be wrong without fear and where there is no vindictiveness or its threat doesn’t exist.


She's royal but has no qualms bowing before commoners

By Vishal Gulati ,

Naggar (Himachal Pradesh): She comes from a royal family but sheds her royalty when it comes to wooing voters. Two-time Congress parliamentarian Pratibha Singh, wife of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, has no qualms about folding her hands and bowing her head before commoners.

Pratibha Singh belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Keonthal state, while Virbhadra Singh, popularly known as 'Raja Saab', was born in the former princely state of Bushahr. The 80-year-old six-time chief minister is 23 years older to his wife.

Will Modi change equations in Tamil Nadu politics?

By R. Rajagopalan,

The war of words between AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and BJP's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi may impact national politics, but the more immediate effect will be on Tamil Nadu if the two don't make up.

Modi met superstar Rajinikant in Chennai, which was not liked by Jayalalithaa. She also disapproved of Modi forging an alliance with actor-politician Vijayakanth, who is leader of opposition in Tamil Nadu. And she has been unable to accept that Modi is getting huge crowds at every rally in the zstate.

This near and yet so far: India/Pakistan travelogues by Indians/Pakistanis

By Vikas Datta,

A colleague recently visited Lahore to cover a fashion show. She enjoyed her sojourn but experienced a poignant episode when returning which she immortalised on Facebook. "An incident that made me feel bad about the existence of a border between India and Pakistan...There was a 60-year-old man who touched Indian soil and started crying the moment he crossed the border today. Reason - he was not given a visa for the past 28 years to meet his son in Kolkata and today he got that... Are government policies more important than human emotions?"