Verbatim
Sevanti Ninan - Andhra Pradesh’s media landscape has become such a chequerboard of affiliations that the politically aligned mediascape in neighbouring Tamil Nadu pales in comparison. There is the Kamma media which supports the Telugu Desam Party and a united Andhra Pradesh; Reddy media which supports the Congress and YSR Congress and the continuance of a united Andhra Pradesh; and Velama media, which includes one group that is from Andhra and pro-Andhra and another that is from Telangana and neutral. Even village folk are befuddled by these affiliations: a carpenter in a village in Adilabad district told me plaintively, “Overall we do not know what to believe because each person gives their own news."
LK Advani - My colleague Narendra Modi, who has been named as the party's PM candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, has done impressive work in Gujarat. Today, if he has been entrusted with the responsibility of the country by my party BJP, then all the good tasks undertaken by our governments in various states would be carried out all over the country.
Times of India, Editorial - Narendra Modi must spearhead a BJP plan for reviving the economy. Gujarat's record lends him great credibility on this front. The state's power sector was crippled when Modi first became CM, but now runs into a surplus, offering close to 24x7 electricity even to farmers. Freebies have been in short supply but rural roads and irrigation have improved dramatically. So Modi should campaign across India with the promise of galvanising power generation and agricultural growth. And he should boldly go where the political class fears to tread: push economic reforms instead of embracing the stagflationary status quo. Deliver these fixes, and you deliver prosperity to India.
TN Ninan - Rahul Gandhi revisited this week a theme that he had dwelt on briefly at the Confederation of Indian Industry - that it wasn't his choice to be where he was, but now that he had been put there, he would do what it took. The retake: he was willing to crush his own dreams in order to realise those of his audience. It may well be true, but someone should tell him that the image of a self-sacrificing leader who is not in charge of his own life sits poorly on a 43-year-old, fifth-generation inheritor.
Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association resolution - It has now become a matter of practice and convenience to recommend the names of those advocates who are the sons, daughters, relatives and juniors of former judges and chief justices. It really matters little to the collegium whether the sons, daughters, relatives and juniors of the judges whose names are being recommended are intelligent, laborious and specialised in any branch of law. Nepotism and favouritism is writ large. We all need to rise to the occasion and oppose such recommendation.
Tavleen Singh - In your newspapers recently, if you had paid attention, you would have seen the picture of a famous political leader and his family on a pilgrimage. If you looked carefully, you would have noticed that the ladies carried Chanel handbags that cost a minimum of Rs 2 lakh. And, how do our 'socialist' leaders get so rich so suddenly? Well, what can I tell you that you do not know except to say that the ways to make money out of even a short career in Indian politics are limitless.
Bharat Karnad - Narendra Modi’s outlining his “India First” philosophy predicated on economic growth and less government, less corruption but more efficient and effective administration to deliver good governance can be juxtaposed against Rahul Gandhi’s “celebrating” the “victory” offered by the land acquisitions bill to Odisha tribals opposing bauxite and iron ore mining. The contrast between Modi’s and Rahul’s visions, between prosperity spurred by opening up opportunities for economic growth, and meagre returns to a benighted people from a calculated policy of  handouts to keep them dependent on mai-baap sarkar cannot be starker. Indians confront the clearest electoral choice since Independence.
Madhu Kishwar - As of now, whatever evidence I have examined convinces me that no man in recent history has been so maligned and hounded so mercilessly for doing all the right things as Narendra Modi. But the issue is not Narendra Modi. He doesn’t need me to defend him. The issue is subversion of democracy in India by systematic manipulation of the media, letting loose a divisive hate campaign designed to create mistrust and fear among Hindus, Muslims and Christians, manipulating agencies of the state—including the judiciary, CBI, IB, police and much else—all to serve the partisan ends of the Congress party’s ruling Dynasty.
Tavleen Singh - This dream of prosperity is what Sonia has killed in the decade that she has been India's de facto prime minister. She has killed it by changing our economic direction and taking us back to the times when Indira Gandhi sold us a more diminished dream—'Garibi hatao'. With the passage of the food security and land Bills in the Lok Sabha last week, Sonia has made it clear that this is all she wants for India. Not prosperity but just the removal of poverty. She seems uninterested in India becoming a rich and prosperous country with fine, modern cities and a growing middle class. Could it be because such things threaten dynastic democracy?
Chidanand Rajghatta - By one count, the United States has fought some 70 wars since its birth 234 years ago; at least 10 of them major conflicts. "We like war... we are good at it!" the great, insightful comedian George Carlin said some two decades ago, during the first Gulf War. "We are not good at anything else anymore... can't build a decent car or a television, can't give good education to the kids or health care to the old, but we can bomb the shit of out any country..."
Rajnath Singh - If people from any community - whether Hindu, Muslim or Christians - want to conduct a religious event, and if the government thinks it will cause disturbance or public disorder, then it's the moral responsibility of the government to provide proper security for the programme's success. Instead of deploying these security forces for the parikrama, the SP government used them to stop it because of vote-bank politics.
Tavleen Singh - I have for at least two decades now campaigned to take Lutyens Delhi back from our babus and netas. Other than 65 private houses, the new city that Edwin Lutyens built is occupied by politicians, high officials and memorials to dead leaders. Our 'socialist' elected representatives live in homes whose market price today can be more than Rs 400 crore. We subsidise their domestic gas, their electricity and drinking water, their telephone calls and travel. No democratic country allows this kind of thing but the practice continues in India because across party lines our political leaders collude to keep this cocooned enclave cocooned forever. One reason why nearly every politician wants a son or daughter to inherit his Lok Sabha seat is because he does not want to give up his house. 
Abdul Rasheed Ansari, National President, BJP Minority Morcha - The Congress wants to make it a communal election. They think if they can polarise the voters, they will have a chance — but it is not going to happen. Muslims today are more intelligent than they think. There have been 13,000 riots in India in the past 60 years — why aren't the Congress and its allies talking about riots that took place under their rule? Why are there separate parameters for the Congress and the BJP?
Narendra Modi - I do not know the meaning of secularism. Earlier it meant religious harmony. Slowly it changed colour. Secularism (now) means lip sympathy to minorities. Then appeasement to minorities. Then focus on Muslims. Then hate Hindu(s). For me secularism means India first. If I speak against terrorism, is it communal? If I have to pay the price for this, I will pay the price.
Kamlendra Kanwar - Manmohan Singh will be remembered by posterity for the manner in which a brilliant economist allowed himself to be manipulated to shed all fiscal prudence to dole out huge subsidies culminating in a food security bill that brought an already-tottering economy to its knees for electoral considerations. It was small wonder then that Narendra Modi was able to tear into Manmohan Singh, taking on his address to the nation in a manner in which nobody until now has done with a prime minister’s I-Day address. Here is a prime minister who has let the country down like no other not because he was not well-endowed to understand that he was the epitome of bad governance but because he showed lack of spine and was unwilling to stake power for the good of the country.
Kanchan Gupta - India Today ran a poll: ‘Independence Day speech: Manmohan vs Modi — Who do you think gave a better speech?’ In all fairness, India Today listed the points made by each of them, and in some detail too. It then asked readers to vote for either Manmohan Singh or Narendra Modi. On Saturday evening, the results were: Narendra Modi 92 per cent; Manmohan Singh eight per cent. Well, I did say, as a contest, it was a non-starter. Yet the significance of these numbers can be minimised by the Congress and its apologists only at their own expense.
Surjit Bhalla - The seeds of the destruction of the economy during UPA-II were laid during the UPA-I tenure. The farm loan waiver, the MNREGA, the Pay Commission, the fertiliser and fuel subsidy were acts of profligacy. It is a fair question to ask whether Manmohan Singh is responsible for the sorry state of the economy. Yes, he is. There are political pressures from the Congress party. If he felt that the decisions he was being asked to were not right, then he should have resisted it. If he could not convince the party, he should have resigned. He had the option. But he chose to stay on. Then he has to take responsibility for what has gone wrong with the economy. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give him a negative rating.
Yashwant Sinha - The situation is grim. The markets are only reflecting the loss of mood in the India story. We should not prolong the agony of the economy because the government seems to have lost control. The prime minister must resign and call for fresh polls. It is in the best interest of the country that polls happen at the earliest and this government goes at the earliest.
Justice BS Chauhan, Supreme Court - Our entire (judicial) time is wasted by senior advocates engaged by influential accused, who think the Supreme Court is their safe haven. I can say on oath that ordinary citizens get little of our time. It is a sorry state of affairs. We are dealing with pleas for anticipatory bails and appeals against cognizance of chargesheet and issuance of summons. These have reduced the Supreme Court to the trial court level.
Arun Jaitley - Jammu and Kashmir is not the personal property of one family. They don’t have the right to bar anyone from the state and indefinitely at that. What is this a banana republic? This is not a issue of communal disharmony in Kishtwar. Flags of the neighbouring nation are not displayed during a communal clash in India, posters of death row terrorists are not displayed during a skirmish between two religious communities in India. This is an issue of the country’s sovereignty.
Narendra Modi - Only a Congress-mukt Desh will be the fitting tribute to late NTR, and TDP which has inherited NTR’s legacy has the responsibility towards this. Whether anyone walks with the BJP today or not, some will walk tomorrow. Congress-mukt Bharat atmosphere has already been created and people have already seen this dream and whatever needs to be done for making India Congress-free, should be done.
Swapan Dasgupta - Pakistan’s strategic doctrine rests on the belief that a weakened and (hopefully) fragmented India is in its national interest. This conviction was born after General A A K Niazi’s humiliating surrender in Dhaka in 1971, was reinforced following the Kargil war of 1999, the collapse of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2002 and the global hype over India’s economic achievements. The time has come for India to ask a question that goes beyond Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s overdue visit to his ancestral village in Pakistan. Is a united Pakistan any longer in India’s larger national interest? The answer will suggest long-term strategies.
Kumar Chellappan - Some family insiders say that Mr Karunanidhi has found a new strategy to sort out the differences between his warring sons, and may demand the bifurcation of Tamil Nadu. The State which has a population of 72.14 million could be halved with Mr Stalin assuming control of the northern region and Mr Alagiri given the southern part, where he is referred to as the uncrowned ‘King of Madurai', whenever the DMK is in power at Chennai. Mr Karunanidhi may also plead for the creation of another State with Madurai as the capital.
Ajay Shah - We have reversed financial development, we have messed up the operating procedure of monetary policy, we have created chaos in the short end of the bond market, we have impeded Indian households taking refuge from high inflation by purchasing gold, we have resurrected gold smuggling, we have raised the possibility of reversing trade reforms. In return, for what? Governors Reddy and Subbarao both wrecked their stint at the RBI by fighting against the floating exchange rate.
James V DeLong - The interest-group capture and despoliation of Detroit has evil implications for the viability of American democracy as a whole. People learn that they can vote themselves benefits, paid for by some vague "they." Majorities seize on the language of democratic legitimacy to justify looting minorities. The polity is torn apart by factions bent on seizing control and turning government to their own ends. The situation can easily turn into rule by a mob or into a contest among competing mobs. The citizens are busy with their daily lives and so power must be delegated to a political class, which will tend to become corrupt. The more the government does, the greater the loot to be gained by the corruption, and thus the greater the temptation to undertake even more so as to increase the haul.
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