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Behind bloodshed in Bengal: restive Muslims moving from TMC to BJP

On Wednesday, two days after three people were killed in a clash between TMC and BJP workers in Birbhum, two separate corners in the district’s Makra village told two different stories. On one side, the relatives of 16-year-old Tausif Sheikh were waiting for his body to arrive from the morgue; on the other, a group of people were waiting to begin Mozammel Sheikh’s funeral. Together, the two stories point to a larger narrative...
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1984: When a big tree fell

Today marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most infamous dates in modern Indian history, the day the Republic turned its back on an entire section of its people, abandoning them to genocidal mobs for four days of mass killing, rape, arson and loot. The massacre of around 5,000 Indians of Sikh faith in the nights and days that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31, 1984 was not just a tragedy for Sikhs, a deep wound that may in the fullness of time close but will always cause them pain.
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Nehruvians discredited modern India's builder

The Narendra Modi Government’s decision to observe October 31, the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) and to mount a nationwide campaign to acquaint the country’s 1.3 billion citizens of the extraordinary  achievements of this great son of India, will be hailed by all patriotic citizens. This is the first major step taken by a Union Government over the last six decades to accord Sardar Patel, who was instrumental in securing the accession of 554 princely States...
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Sticking to our desks at all cost

Shramev Jayate. Maybe in heaven. Here in India, ‘shrama’ usually comes last. Friends who are employers complain about the difficulty of finding people for service sector jobs that require running around or cleaning up after others. Everyone apparently wants a proper desk-job, not just one that allows you to be seated — not, for example, call centre jobs, which require...
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Saving the political class

One of the less discussed points of the 'Narendra Modi' phenomenon is how he has restored the credibility of the Indian political class. Two years ago, at the peak of the Anna Hazare movement, politicians were lampooned as an arrogant, corrupt elite. Modi changed all that. Modi has set high standards for himself. The craze for entitlements finds no place in Modi's scheme. For him being in public life is amission. This has restored people's faith in the political class.
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The second referendum on Modi propels reforms

The state elections of Maharashtra and Haryana, which together account for 378 assembly seats, were touted as an acid test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vote- catching ability and his enduring appeal as a leader who breaks caste barriers and takes apart the stomping grounds of political dynasties. Pundits were in a hurry to give a verdict whether the Modi magic, on full display during the General Election of April-May, had waned since then. They were curious to see whether he could still generate a cascade...
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Modi’s critics must find a new stick to beat him with

In many ways the aftermath of the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana was a case of the dog that didn’t bark. Imagine, for the sake of argument, that the assembly elections in the two states had been held at the beginning of the year, before the general elections. The favourable outcome for the Bharatiya Janata Party would have witnessed a frenetic round of breast-beating. Concerned notables would have been eloquent in expressing their dismay at the communalization of Indian politics and the consequent marginalization of the so-called secular parties.
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Lead Story
Run for Unity: Modi's masterstroke pushes Indira Gandhi to irrelevance - Sanjeev Singh, FirstPost
Behind bloodshed in Bengal: restive Muslims moving from TMC to BJP - Madhuparna Das, Indian Express
Force behind MIM - Zeeshan Shaikh, Indian Express
Ending the impasse in Delhi - Hindu
Modern-day Fadnavis - Pioneer
SC to examine misuse of criminal defamation to muzzle free speech - Dhananjay Mahapatra, Times of India
It may all be over between Shiv Sena & BJP; Uddhav Thackeray, team to skip CM's oath ceremony - Ambarish Mishra, Times of India
BJP launches drive to stengthen presence in Assam, Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala - Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi, Economic Times
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar seeks status report on Rs 17,000 crore collected by Hooda government - Raghav Ohri, Economic Times
Tough talk as tactic - Hindu
Leadership power struggle dampens CPI(M)'s revival plans - Soudhriti Bhabani, Mail Today
Jaitley warns CAG not to hype its 2G and Coalgate findings for media attention - Mail Today
Rising losses weakening Congress's Rajya Sabha strength - Subodh Ghildiyal, Times of India
BJP prepares for life after Sena, but keeps door open - Ambarish Mishra & Mohua Chatterjee, Times of India
The Congress and the Left have not realized the role they need to play - Mint
Dawood's ISI protection shield is tighter than ever - Rana Banerji, Mail Today
J&K: Rising above partisan politics - Hari Om, Pioneer
CPI(M)’s factionalism comes to the forefront - Pioneer
Sheila, retired hurt? - Pioneer
Will follow Modi model: Fadnavis - Shubhangi Khapre, Indian Express
The Neighbourhood/World

The logical salesman , Amit Agarwal, Amazon India  - Mint

The Empress’s long-term legacies , Indira Gandhi  - Hindu

Have proved our ability to collaborate with any country on equal footing , K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Isro  - Indian Express

If there is voting for majority in Maharashtra, we will abstain , Sharad Pawar, NCP chief  - Economic Times

‘All parties come to me, all get same blessings' , Dera Sacha Sauda’s Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh  - Indian Express

Farmers must get compensation, but development can't stop for want of land , Arun Jaitley, Finance minister  - Times of India

MP will also forge ahead like Gujarat, says CM , Shivraj Singh Chouhan  - Open

The man behind Raje's reforms to bat for Jaitley , Rajiv Mehrishi  - Economic Times

A policy guru who 'speaks his mind' , Arvind Subramanian, Chief economic advisor to PM  - Economic Times

From illiterate grandparents to Booker prize , Richard Flanagan  - Times of India



For the past four years at least, Bangladesh has been expressing concern over Bangladeshi radical Islamists crossing the porous India-Bangladesh border and setting up base in West Bengal, apparently with local political patronage. Their movement to safe havens in West Bengal was a direct consequence of the Awami League government’s crackdown on organisations that had a history of “collaboration” with the Pakistan state during the Liberation War of 1971. If some of the disclosures in the media of the investigations into the Saradha chit fund collapse are to be believed, the sanctuary in West Bengal wasn’t entirely governed by misplaced humanitarianism. There are now suggestions that the masterminds of the ponzi scheme despatched gunny sacks of Indian currency to Bangladesh for hawala transactions to a third country. The allegation that Islamist political outfits in Bangladesh were the facilitators of hawala is serious. It would suggest that there are politicians in West Bengal and, perhaps, even linked to the governing establishment who are entirely at ease compromising national security for the proverbial 30 pieces of silver.
Swapan Dasgupta

Lens Blogs

Modi's victory: One man who achieved the impossible -AS THE NATION awaits the prime minister-designate Narendra Modi to take over the reins of office at the Centre, it is instructive to understand the meaning of the 2014 verdict... more ››

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Most Read

Government's positive changes to foodgrain policy , Business Standard
BJP launches drive to stengthen presence in Assam, Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala - Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi, Economic Times
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar seeks status report on Rs 17,000 crore collected by Hooda government - Raghav Ohri, Economic Times
Rising losses weakening Congress's Rajya Sabha strength - Subodh Ghildiyal, Times of India
Congress throws in the towel - Krishna Kumar, Economic Times
LensOnNews, Opinion

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Soft News

From Railway Mutton curry to Bedmi-aloo

What is your earliest memory of (good) train food? Mine is the hot thali that would be served to First Class passengers from the pantry, which you could visit to get warm milk, water or boil egg any time of the journey and often be rewarded with something scrumptious that the cooks (who were khandani bawarchi by the way) may have invented for the next meal.
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The kebab khandan fights back

What's in a name? Crores of rupees, actually. Especially if the name instantly unleashes hunger pangs. Which is why Indian eateries — that for decades have followed an imitate-and-let-imitate philosophy — are suddenly becoming possessive about nomenclature and inheritance. At the moment, two prominent restaurant chains —Tunday Kebabi and Lucknow Wale Tunday Kebabi...
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For the love of Capsaicin and Caution

Desiree Schneider, a young researcher and project leader, has undertaken the “hottest project” at the University of Fulda in Germany to assess the effectiveness of various remedies to combat the hot rush the capsaicin in chilli causes when it is consumed. Schneider’s team of volunteers including herself were the guinea pigs who subjected their taste buds to a series...
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Radio nights

Many other changes Narendra Modi may bring about as prime minister, but for the moment, we oldies past the biblical allocation of three-score-and-ten owe a debt of gratitude to him for reviving everyone's interest in that taken-for-granted chambermaid of the communication age, the radio. Back in the Jurassic Age of the 1950s and 1960s, when we were growing up, it was our sole window to the world. 
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