Back to a coalition government in 2019?

The whispers have started: “If not Narendra Modi, then who?” Columnists have started warning us that if we fail to elect Narendra Modi back to power with an absolute majority, we could be in for a spell of “unsettled politics”. Should this alarm us? Not quite. On the contrary, if the Narendra Modi government is …

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Budget 2018 is a clear indication of the road to 2019

It is almost a truism that governments over-promise and under-deliver. Political expediency demands they do so. After all, voters, the stock markets and rating agencies are all swayed by ‘sentiments’ and ‘perceptions’. They often discount performance at the altar of rhetoric. For instance, the Union Budget 2017 proposed that they would complete one crore houses …

2018 will be the year to fight harder

This column first appeared on The Wire *** Recent events, precipitated almost entirely by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), have revived a debate over the fundamental characteristics of India. The fault-lines in society grew deeper in 2017. The national flag, the cow, a temple, historical fiction, and ‘love-jihad’ – …

Can Rahul Gandhi make us look forward to the Congress party’s future?

As Rahul Gandhi gets ready to take over as the Congress party president, everyone agrees that he faces a formidable challenge. He has to establish his authority within the party, revive the party organisation, and weave an alternate narrative to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The last couple of months have gone reasonably well for the …

The ‘middle class’ is a fair-weather friend: lessons from AAP’s journey

Arvind Kejriwal’s is a remarkable story. When the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won the Delhi assembly elections in 2015, expectations were sky-high. The thumping majority was unprecedented. Kejriwal, with his promise of change, and of taking on any rival, no matter how big, was, and continues to be both an exciting and exasperating politician to …