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India in the age of bread and circus - Siddharth Singh, Mint
It is the age of powerlessness at the Centre. For all practical purposes, a lame duck Manmohan Singh is presiding over a system where chief ministers call the shots. Nearly a dozen chief ministers, led by Mamata Banerjee, may have just ensured the freezing of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). And if any proof of the Union government’s weakness was required, the Prime Minister provided it himself. Read Full Article››
Inclusive development: Gujarat's agrarian miracle stands out - Ashok Gulati, Times of India
As temperatures rise this political season every party is beating its breast about being more inclusive, whether in terms of caste, class or community. There is also an interesting debate on development models with the Gujarat model under intense scrutiny. Rahul Gandhi has named it a 'toffee model' (or a crony capitalist model) while others have compared it with Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Bihar, and even lately, Uttar Pradesh.
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This grand Marxian thesis is all fluff - Clive Crook, Bloomberg
It's hard to think of another book on economics published in the past several decades that's been praised as lavishly as Thomas Piketty's "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." The adulation tells you something, though not mainly about the book's qualities. Its defects, in my view, are greater than its strengths -- but the rapturous reception proves that the book, one way or another, meets a need.
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The missed handshake of ’71 - SK Sinha, Asian Age
For centuries, India’s defence policy was managed exclusively by her rulers and Indians were nowhere in the loop. There was no tradition of strategic thinking in our country. In 1947 we assumed responsibility for India’s defence. Neither our political nor military leadership had knowledge or experience of managing national strategy. Our military leadership was ill-equipped to do so. For a year-and-a-half after Independence we had British army chiefs, first General Lockhart and then General Bucher.
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Modi and the media - Koenraad Elst
The international media are predictably on an anti-Modi crusade. They blame him for killing more than 700 Muslims in 2002 (not for the death of over 200 Hindus in the same riots, nor for the death of 58 Hindus in the Muslim attack triggering the riots), shortly after his accession to power in Gujarat. They hardly report the fact that he won all his judicial trials and was twice cleared by a Supreme Court investigation. And if they do, they try to overrule these telling facts, by citing anti-Modi “sources” and “Indian observers”. So, they accuse Modi of complicity in mass murder, even in...
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Ready to work with Congress; on FDI, policy continuity top priority - DP Bhattacharya & Partha Ghosh, Economic Times
In a wide-ranging interview to ET that focussed on election prospects as well as economic policy challenges, Narendra Modi predicted a NDA win and a Congress rout, but said he's ready to work with Congress post-poll. Significantly, Modi had words of praise for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh even while he strongly critiqued Congress' economic policy. Equally significantly, while answering questions on FDI policy and retail FDI, BJP's PM candidate said protecting...
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Is India about to elect its Reagan? - David Cohen, Hindu
I recently offered my perspective on India’s elections to an American audience. Writing in The Daily Caller (, a popular online newspaper run by conservative television journalist Tucker Carlson, I compared Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Through the magic of social media, my piece quickly made its way throughout the Indian diaspora and all the way back to India. It has clearly struck a nerve: Indian readers were amazed to see a western media...
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Sea change in Asia - Ian Morris, Business Standard
This is the latest in a series of insightful books, like The Revenge of Geography and The Coming Anarchy, in which Robert D Kaplan, the chief geopolitical analyst at the global intelligence company Stratfor, tries to explain how geography determines destiny - and what we should be doing about it. Asia's Cauldron is a short book with a powerful thesis, and it stands out for its clarity and good sense from the great mass of Western writing on what Chinese politicians have taken to calling their "peaceful development".
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How BJP planned mission UP and why it is confident - Man Mohan Rai & Rohini Singh, Economic Times
About halfway through the general election, BJP's key strategists in Uttar Pradesh are confident of a 50-plus seats performance in the crucial 80-seat Uttar Pradesh. Party leaders who have worked on the UP strategy for months told ET, over the course of lengthy interactions, that contrary to pundits' criticism about wrong ticket distribution and faulty caste arithmetic, the election front-runner is privately satisfied that its plans are working.
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VIP candidates: High-profile constituencies perform poorly on a wide range of indicators - Pramit Bhattacharya & Sumit Mishra, Mint
Campaigning against Narendra Modi in Varanasi, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal said last week that it was unlikely the prime ministerial nominee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will develop Varanasi. “Which PM has improved his constituency?” Kejriwal asked. “Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru used to contest from Phulpur; it has not improved.
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For a potent and creative National Development Council - Manish Sabharwal, Indian Express
Frustrated with a minister who didn’t get anything done but kept appointing committees, writing reports and talking about problems, Margaret Thatcher turned to him in a cabinet meeting and said “John, you know what your problem is? Your brain is not attached to your backbone”. Echoing Thatcher, the lazy explanation for the gap between knowing what India needs to do and getting it done is the absence of political courage.
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