Verbatim
Mohandas Pai - I've been upset for a few days but the last straw came with Italy disrespecting the Indian Prime Minister and our Supreme Court by not letting its marines face trial for murder as it had promised earlier. This is an insult to bilateral partnership. Wharton treated Narendra Modi shabbily, our Prime Minister and Supreme Court are treated badly by the Italian government, Pakistan is making comments on Afzal Guru's hanging, Lanka is treating our fishermen as illegal immigrants. Now, I don't feel good about attending the Wharton event.
Narendra Modi - Every young person is using a mouse on a computer. Our youth have changed the image of India globally. Till 15 years ago we were considered a land of black-magic and snake charmers. We have now become mouse-charmers, the youth of this country can rule the world with their fingers and with a mouse.
Harish Khare - Intellectuals have connived with a culture of intolerance, accusation and controversy-stoking that creates hysteria as an extreme form of conformity. Every night with metronomic regularity our discourse-overlords slap people with parking tickets. And a controversy itself becomes a rationale for political response. Let us recall how L.K. Advani was hounded out of the BJP leadership portals because a “controversy” was created over his Jinnah speech. And, that “controversy” was manufactured even before the text of the former deputy prime minister’s Karachi remarks were available in India.
Ravi Shankar Etteth - Kerala, once considered one of the safest places for women, has become a Mecca for faith fiends. It is plagued by religious honeytraps called love jihad, also known as Romeo jihad: young men who feign love and seduce girls in order to convert them to Islam. Figures presented by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the Assembly tell a chilling story: since 2009, 2,195 young Hindu women and 492 young Christian women were converted to Islam, with only 79 accepting Christianity and two converting to Hinduism.
Rahul Pandita - Hundreds and thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave the land on one single night and thousands people assembled in different mosques all across the Kashmir and shouted these anti-India slogans and anti-Pandit slogans. I mean what happened in 1990 was very unfortunate and I think the bigger betrayal is insulting our collective memory by saying that nothing happened in January 1990. I found that very insulting and my book is a response to that denial and the manipulation of the truth.
Timothy Garton Ash - To make freedom in diversity work, you need a powerful uniting narrative. The United States has that, as we saw again in the inauguration of president Barack Obama. (Yes, it's a myth, but national myths move mountains.) Europe had such a narrative after 1945, but has lost it, and India too had it in the first decades after independence – but, like Europe, has now lost the plot. Instead there are multiple competing stories in a political and media free-for-all. Unfortunately, if unsurprisingly, many of these are sectarian, regional, petty-chauvinist narratives, dividing rather than uniting.
Rasheeda Bhagat - Let us be honest. Can we deny the absolute truth of what Ashis Nandy is saying? Does the list of our illustrious netas caught in the net of corruption charges not include the likes of “tall leaders” of the socially-disadvantaged such as Mayawati, Lalu Prasad, Mulayam Singh, JMM chief Shibu Soren, former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda and, more recently, the Dalit face of the DMK, A Raja? Unfortuantely, Tamil Nadu’s Muslims and Nandy’s detractors are only reinforcing stereotypes… that Muslims are absolutely intolerant and the other group wants the licence of doing anything under the “socially oppressed” label.
MJ Akbar - Rahul Gandhi has always had as much power as he wanted to exercise. The difference after Jaipur is that the Regent, Sonia Gandhi, will start to fade from decision-making. Sonia has not withdrawn fully only because she is still uncertain about her son’s ability, as if it was a puberty transition rather than an adult transfer of power. But there is no confusion over who will be Congress candidate for prime minister in the next general elections, and indeed in the elections after that, irrespective of victory or defeat. Merit, or its absence, is never an issue when you have been anointed with a divine right to rule.
Vinod Mehta - As the general election approaches, I see nothing but more problems for the UPA Government. I don’t see them being able to salvage the situation. I can’t see a set of circumstances that would bring them back to power. I think it would be a miracle after all they’ve done, given their record in the past five years, or even the past three years. And things will become worse. By the time 2014 comes, the country will be ripe for a strong leader.
Madhu Trehan - It is a lot different from the Emergency now, more clever and in a different form. But there are similarities. There is some censorship and more opposition leaders are being thrown into jail, in preparation for (the general elections) 2014. I am not a fan of these Opposition leaders but it worries me that we are beginning to resemble Pakistan, where opposition leaders are routinely sent to jail. But there is subterfuge in the manner it is being done now and is perhaps more insidious than what happened then.
Balbir Punj - There is no doubt that Shinde is batting for Pakistan, going by his irresponsible statement at the Congress conclave in Jaipur about the RSS and BJP running so called terrorist training camps. When the Home Minister was asked whether his statement was based on the findings of intelligence agencies, he said that it is based on the stories published by the media. This is disgraceful for a Minister and it raises question on his constitution accountability.
Ila Patnaik - We have two successful privatisations of PSU financial firms before us: HDFC and ICICI. Both were once controlled by the government and both are now dispersed shareholding companies. They were not sold off to some family, they became modern corporations. This roadmap — building dispersed shareholding private companies that are controlled by no family — should be followed for all PSU banks.
Washington Post, Editorial - A decade of war is now ending, President Obama pronounced in his address. That would come as news to the Afghan soldiers still dying at Taliban hands; to the families of more than 60,000 people killed in Syria in the past two years; to French soldiers who have taken on, in Mali, al-Qaeda affiliates who are as much enemies of the United States as of France; to the families of American hostages just slain in a terrorist attack in Algeria. America’s adversaries are not in retreat; they will be watching Mr. Obama in his second term to see if the same can be said of the United States.
Hafeez Saeed founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba - Shinde has spoken truth finally, we consider this a help from allah for Pakistan which is always alleged by India for terrorism. World should take notice and declare India a State that is supporting terror on its soil, as its Home Minister Shinde candidly confesses.
Vinod Rai, CAG, India - Our role is not merely to audit the expenditure of government. Our mandate is not merely to prepare Audit Report and place them in Parliament. Our mandate is to hold the government financially accountable to the legislature. We cannot don the role of cheerleaders.
Shahnawaz Hussain - There is nothing big in it. Rahul Gandhi was always number two after Sonia Gandhi. The elevation of Rahul Gandhi to number two will not change anything. Only a member of Nehru-Gandhi family can be number two. He does not pose a challenge to the BJP even if he becomes President of Congress. Congress has no future.
Sadanand Dhume - Rather than urging restraint on India after every fresh outrage, the international community should lean on Pakistan to accept retaliation as the logical price of misadventure. Both India and Pakistan have an interest in pursuing peace. But in the long term expecting only one side to exercise restraint in order to achieve it is not viable.
MJ Akbar - Singh, backed firmly by Sonia Gandhi, bends in the hope that one more storm will pass over. But between Pakistan’s intransigence over terrorism, his own capitulation at Sharm el Sheikh within nine months of Mumbai, a succession of Pakistan officials who taunt India on Indian soil, and the mutilation of two Indian soldiers this week along the Rampur-Haji Ali sector, Dr Singh seems to have bent so far that he looks prostrate.
Ron Somers, President, US-India Business Council - In 2001, the CM began his innings, and in 2013, the progress of Gujarat is stunning. It has set a new benchmark not only in India but across other countries. Narendra Modi has shown progress trumps politics. Gujarat has achieved double-digit growth because of stability and sustainability.
Sushma Swaraj - Unfortunately, we have a very weak government in the country. And weak governments are incapable of taking tough decisions. It is a matter of honour for the country. It is question of the morale of our armed forces. The government has to act. And the government has to act tough.
Shiv Visvanathan - Rahul Gandhi is one of the strangest phenomena of Indian political life. He is neither being nor becoming, even if he does act, nothing seems to happen. He is expected to be the legendary hero, the millennial leader of Congress and yet seems to play bit roles which lack even a cameo quality. Instead of being thrown into action, instead by being bloodied by fire, Rahul Gandhi became that infinitely extendable position, the student, the perpetual learner.One is afraid he might become a politically interesting young man of 60.
The Buzz, Hindustan Times - The government may be incensed over his criticism of its record on growth, inflation and the federal structure, but Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's presentation at the National Development Council meeting clearly impressed Planning Commission deputy chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia. In an internal meeting following the NDC meeting, Ahluwalia even wondered at the possibility of hiring the person for the Commission's work.
Percy Mistry - The problem is that 70% of our banking system is state-owned, inefficient, un-inclusive, and provides the means by which too cosy a nexus between the government and the wrong kind of private industrialists. The state-owned banks ( SOBs) and insurance companies ( SOIs) together provide the institutional mechanism to foster a dangerous and damaging type of crony capitalism regime in India as well as to indulge in electorally driven loan melas and loan write-offs. . That unfortunate nexus is decidedly kleptocratic in nature when it comes to looting the nation’s natural resources (whether spectrum or mineral or land) through the kind of public-private partnership that India does not need.
Patrick B. Pexton - One of the problems of American journalism broadly is that stories about government have retreated while stories on politics and personality have skyrocketed. Washington coverage increasingly means just the White House, Congress and all politics all the time: the polls, the gaffes, who’s up, who’s down, who’s raising the most money. This coverage increases the banality of U.S. politics, where issues are never discussed beyond sound bites.What politicians promise and say in election campaigns is important, but more important is what they do once they get in office. Covering the departments of government shows the effects of their decisions, which serves readers and the cause of democracy.
Anurag Kashyap - People need to understand that there is diversity, intellectual as well as moral. This diversity makes up society and every society has its share of the tragic and the unfair. If you want to change something, become that change yourself. Begin at home. Stop buying the content that offends you. But you can’t stop others from making that content. We live in a world where all kinds of pornographic material is freely available on the internet. The internet even teaches you how to make a bomb! How much will you ban?
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