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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››
Behind bloodshed in Bengal: restive Muslims moving from TMC to BJP - Madhuparna Das, Indian Express
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 - Siddharth Varadarajan, Times of India
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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Pakistan,1971 - Khaled Ahmed, Indian Express
Every year,December 16 is observed in Pakistan as a moment of morose stocktaking,in which India is held responsible for the break-up of Pakistan in 1971. However,over the years,the Pakistani media has taken to mixing the message. It now balances the short-term culpability of India with the long-term culpability of Pakistan. This year,the familiar pattern was disturbed by the hanging of a Jamaat-e-Islami (Bangladesh)...
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Why Modi’s changed approach to Pakistan is more likely to yield détente - Baijayant 'Jay' Panda, Times of India
Is India compromising its own national interest by retaliating against Pakistan’s firing across the Line of Control, and putting on hold the dialogue process? Several Indian foreign policy commentators think so, and have been writing cogently on the topic. On the other hand, Indian public opinion seems to be strongly in favour of robust tit for tat. Should that be dismissed as plain old fashioned mob mentality or is there a ‘wisdom of crowds’...
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Nehruvians discredited modern India's builder - A Surya Prakash, Pioneer
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 - Abhijit Banerjee, Hindustan Times
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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Making Bengal the den of jihadi terror - Balbir Punj, Pioneer
As the Government of West Bengal is seen compromising security, the question for Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh is: How far will he tolerate the alarmingly rising threat to security in the entire region? The trail of Burdwan blast looks like enveloping the Trinamool Congress like a python’s grip and squeezing the ruling coterie in West Bengal. Three  weeks ago, a house owned by the West Bengal ruling party leader was rocked by a blast of a bomb in the making.
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Saving the political class - R Balashankar, Economic Times
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 - PR Ramesh & Ullekh NP, Open
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 - Swapan Dasgupta, Telegraph India
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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