When mp3 Saved The Day



Last weekend, I did something that is totally at odds with what Download Central is supposed to do. Instead of sitting at my computer and scouring the Internet for downloads or streams of new music, I actually went out and watched a rock band performing live. The gig was at Delhi’s kitschy Hard Rock Café (but then aren’t all HRCs meant to be kitschy?) and the band was Hurricane Bells who hail from Brooklyn, New York.

SOUND CHECK New York-based band Hurricane Bells played at The Hard Rock Cafe in Delhi last week

SOUND CHECK New York-based band Hurricane Bells played at The Hard Rock Cafe in Delhi last week

It was a big mistake going for the show. No, I don’t mean the band play bad music. They don’t. In fact, they’re quite good. Before going I’d heard five tracks from their only album, Tonight Is The Ghost, and had particularly liked a couple of them, notably, The Cold Has Killed Us, and was looking forward to seeing them. As it happened, the band played several songs, including The Cold Has Killed Us, which frontman Steve Schiltz even said was one of his favourites.

Then why did I regret going for the show? It was because the acoustics at the venue were abysmal. I don’t know who did the sound but standing there with a gaggle of people, the music sounded unsharp and muddy. Schiltz plays a mean guitar and switches quickly back and forth between songs from his electric one to an amped-up acoustic; the band’s drummer is obviously talented; and so is the bassist. Yet, their sound came through as blurred and underwhelming.

I left the concert and heard Tonight Is the Ghost on my iPod. The mp3s sounded many times better than the live sound at the Hard Rock Café. Pity, because Hurricane Bells are a band that’s fun. It’s actually a new project from Steve Schiltz, frontman, guitarist and singer of the indie rock band, Longwave, a heavy guitar-based outfit that has been around for more than a decade.

SCREAMING GUITARS Indie rock band Longwave deliver an enticing brand of no-nonsense rock

SCREAMING GUITARS Indie rock band Longwave deliver an enticing brand of no-nonsense rock

Hurricane Bells have a much mellower, moody sound and remind me of albums by The National. Schiltz’s guitar on the album is more muted but live at the HRC, despite the disastrous acoustics, you could get a sense of his screaming potential.

The Hurricane Bells also played at another venue in Delhi. I’m not sure how it went there as I couldn’t risk wasting another night listening to good music slaughtered by bad audio arrangement. Instead, I spent that evening listening to Longwave’s 2008 album, Secrets Are Sinister. I’d read mixed reviews for this album. PopMatters had praised their robust sound but the ultra hip Pitchfork had called it a lame album, virtually saying that it aped super-rockers, U2, and gave it a miserly 4.8 (on 10). After listening to the album, I have my own take on Longwave. I think they deliver an enticing brand of no-nonsense rock with solid bass-lines, screaming guitars and nice vocals. You can check them out at their website. Sure, the guitars are mixed a bit high and you can hear a bit of U2, a bit of The Killers and some other familiar influences, but what’s bad about that?

I do like experimenting with new music (if you happen to have read this column before that is no secret!) but sometimes you need familiar stuff to ease you through certain activities such as exercising. Unlike many other fortunate people, I cannot run without listening to music and, I’ve noticed, my run is as good as the music I’m listening to is. So getting the ideal playlist is often the key to a good run.

FAMILIAR TERRAIN Morrissey’s albums never fail to keep me going

FAMILIAR TERRAIN Morrissey’s albums never fail to keep me going

I’ve tried using the shuffle function on my iPod so that songs are delivered in random order while you run but it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve had Pearl Jam followed by Cat Power followed by The Divine Comedy and my run has gone all awry. I mean I have nothing against any of these musicians but Eddie Vedder’s Gonna See My Friend, followed by Cat Power’s brilliant but (‘Satisfaction’-less) rendition of the Rolling Stones’ classic, closely pursued by The Divine Comedy’s Generation Sex can be great to listen to while doing nothing much more than sitting back and relaxing with a drink or three but running? Sorry, it doesn’t work.

So I’ve discovered a three-band formula for my running playlist: any album by The Kings of Leon, any album by The Hold Steady and/or anything by Morrissey or The Smiths. It never fails to keep me going. Does anyone else have favourite running playlists? I’d be glad to hear about them.

THREE TO TANGO

  1. Talking Heads Live, 1983: You may or may not love them but this is a great full-length concert from the band at its peak.
  2. Which One of You Jerks Drank My Arnold Palmer: by Blockhead, a NYC hip-hop producer from his latest album. Try it.
  3. Nummer 3: Truth be told, I liked this song because of the name of the band: Kiss The Anus of A Black Cat. Folk music with a twist.?

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  • Musiqsoul

    Hey, try Dashboard confessional & the Good Luck Joes. Just 2 of the relatively unknown ones. All of there songs seem to clear your head my favorites include much too young by The Good Luck Joes & stolen by Dashboard Confessional.

    [Reply]

    Sanjoy Narayan Reply:

    Thanks. Shall try them both.

    [Reply]

  • Vinod Advani

    Been reading you for yonks. Good stuff. Pat on the back and all that.
    I have been hosting the english music only shows on mOnday mornings on FM 107.10 since 1996 in Bombay. Its my hobby and passion. Used to be music writer for Times Of india till 2002. Now i write about wine and travel.

    Am fan of Morrissey. Met him in London in the 80s at a gay friends dinner. On my loop this month is New Order’s Get Ready , Massive Attack’s 100 Window , DMB’s Big Whiskey which i absolutely love, Adam Lambert ( LOL), Collective Soul’s new album . Kings Of Leon overrated as is U2s last album- No TUNE on the horizon.

    Please keep writing your column. Its good to knwo there are people like you out there.
    Sante ,Warm wishes, Vinod

    [Reply]

    madinindia Reply:

    Hi!

    Here’s my playlist:
    Kings of Leon
    She & Him
    The Postal Service
    The Wallflowers
    The Cure.

    Cheers,
    ~madinindia

    PS: Are you on Twitter? Please share your handle.

    [Reply]

    Sanjoy Narayan Reply:

    Hi Vinod,
    I do remember your shows from the time I used to live in Bombay. Thanks for your comment and your playlist.
    Cheers

    [Reply]

    Sanjoy Narayan Reply:

    Hey, good list. Can visualise a long loping run! argus48 is my handle on t.

    [Reply]

  • Shubham Singh

    Do you ever listen to movie soundtracks, the likes of Clint Mansell?

    [Reply]

  • Ishi92

    Nice article!
    Here’s my playlist.

    1.Muse
    2.Coldplay
    3.Mika (yes I prefer listening to him once in a while)
    4.Tokio Hotel
    5.Kings of Leon
    6.Owl City

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  • http://none rajesh shirali

    dear sanjoy

    your articles in ht brunch make my sunday! thought i’d ask you to check out an amazing compilation:christmas candy from the netherlands. it’s a collection of christmas linked songs by dutch indie bands. and as far away from “last christmas-i gaave you my heart”as one can imagine.
    got hooked onto a new band called pondertone on that one. listen to their cover of “silent night”. i wonder if you have heard a cover like that before. won’t comment on it- pl do listen.

    i got in touch with that band later on email-to understand how they hit upon it.

    [Reply]

    Sanjoy Narayan Reply:

    Thank you, rajesh.shall certainly explore them.

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  • Guest

    One wonders how the AAP will raise funds to fight the election. Its opponents have deep pockets.

    [Reply]

    Anurag Reply:

    Well AAP has asked their supporters for donation, and trust me ppl are donating. I am no political supporter of AAP, but my donation is against Congress. I dont know whether AAP, if selected will be able to deliver but atleast it will be a alarm for bigger parties :)

    [Reply]

    Tuhinanshu Reply:

    Through donations of true Indians who want a change for the good – http://www.aamaadmiparty.org/page/aap-donations-visualizing-the-change

    [Reply]

    Prakash Pandey Reply:

    I am a financial analyst from Bombay and I donate a thousand every month to them. There are more people like me too :)

    [Reply]

    harsh Reply:

    stop wondering,,, go to their website.. lot of people are donating money.. u should too if u want to free india from corruption mafia

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  • http://myneta.info/ KB100

    Congress has become a symbol of corruption. BJP has presided over Delhi MCD. What shining examples of good governance can they claim? None of the established political parties or their leadership can claim moral high ground.

    BJP is targeting AAP and Arvind Kejriwal because they are scared out of their minds. Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister of Delhi will bring forth an era of governance that will leave Narendra Modi’s economic achievements in the dust.

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  • aj

    Only anti-nati0nalist will vote for c0rrupt party of India

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  • Anonymous

    now this is called a fair and impartial editorial.
    I am sick and tired of reading the one sided articles over and over again.
    Media has a very important role to play in making public’s opinion. The articles should just state the facts and let the people decide instead of throwing one sided facts at us.

    Reading this article makes me feel that good journalism is still very much alive in India. Hats off to Mr. Pankaj Vohra. I will read your future articles with great interest too. sir.

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  • goldie

    AAM Admi Party
    Jat Aadmi Party
    Gujjar AAdmi Party
    Brahmin Bania Aadmi Party
    (Niether here nor there) aadmi party
    Self flagellation aadmi party.
    Haara Kiri Aadmi Party.
    Khapti Aadmi party.

    But unfortunately there is no:

    Wise AAdmi Party.

    all are bloodjy jokers..

    [Reply]

    Common Man Reply:

    Today, biggest joker is Shahazade Pappu !! apne hi party ki laga raha hai aur zara si sharam bhi nahi.

    God save India from Congress and BJP !!
    I hope voter of Delhi will make right choice this time.

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  • Guest

    AAP has the conviction to bring in a change and that is the advantage it has over its opponents who have deep pockets.

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  • corrupt congress party

    the only party who would sweep the delhi polls is THE B.J.P PARTY who has shown india by example that where ever b,j,p ruled the sucesss followed and the progress happened and the people felt secure and enthusiastic all around , just let modi deliver few of his lectires and the delhi wallas would follow him like a leader ,a true leader that he is .

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  • corrupt congress party

    the only party that would sweep the delhi elections with the biggest majority is going to be the b.j.p party

    [Reply]

  • Guest

    I am a citizen of Delhi working in a Software Company. I have contributed 10,000 from my salary. Clean politics needs clean money. Donate to AAP! Volunteer for AAP!

    [Reply]

  • Mohit

    What if Congress get most votes (not majority) and Shiela Looses to Arvind!!
    Hmm Interesting!!

    [Reply]

  • HARIHARAN

    AAP is bent on playing a spoilsport when the nation is on the threshold of a change, kejriwal is playing in the hands of someone,your guess is as good as mine
    All this for a noise called fame,and a dross called money

    [Reply]

  • HARIHARAN

    AAP is bent on playing a spoilsport when the nation is on the threshold of a change, kejriwal is playing in the hands of someone,your guess is as good as mine
    All this for a noise called fame,and a dross called money

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    Aam Aadmi Reply:

    You are all wrong !!! BJP is even bigger chor then congress.
    Gadkari talking on eradicating Corruption !! what a Joke.

    All the votes that AAP will get are all positive votes where people are voting with a hope and I sure they will win this election.

    This will be the deterrent for BJP and Congress which will initiate the process of cleanup.

    [Reply]

  • Happy

    Jagan mohan reddy is the best leader. That is the power of people. People loves this young leader.

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  • Raju

    Now situation is very critical in andhra pradehs. There is no point to blame anyone in politics now… all are making money.. show me one person who is honest in politics can lead the party with faith and credibility ? no one…. but here you need to observe one thing… alreay Congress is lookng to make Rahul gandhi is PM and for that they need to survive in andhra pradesh surely.. Even TDP chandrababu also is in the allegations of scams in the recent past.. Everyone knows that Jagan went to jail on the decision of congress high command + CBI…. Nothing new is gng to happen with any party in lead government in andhra pradesh like Congress or TDP or YSRCP even though CPM CPI .. So why can’t we support Jagan in this time ??? give him a chance … lets see what will happen bad in the next 5 years…. whatever the bad happens.. it’s already done by Congress and TDP… my decision is .. giving a chance to Jagan is better .. atleast the projects which YSR started will be move on without fail.. and somehow ppl will survive….

    [Reply]

  • Prasad

    This article seems one sided and the national media is misreading the situation. People of AP already realized the nexus between Congress and YSRCP, through which Jagan suddenly got bail with CBI hurriedly in a span of 5 days giving Jagan a clean chit in 8 cases, though 10 charge sheets are already on. There is a silent majority of middle class especially in Coastal Andhra region, that is burning with anger about the corruption by Jagan and Congress at the Centre, and if Naidu plays his cards right and aligns with BJP, both Naidu and BJP can benefit tremendously by bringing the middle class to step out and vote, which they never do. Some of the gullible poor Dalits (mostly xtians) bought out by the promise of freebies – free paid-engineering-seats by govt, free power for poor, free food for poor may vote for YSRCP instead of Congress this time, but the silent majority of middle class will definitely vote for Modi and CBN.

    YSRCP has no cadre in many villages of Andhra and Rayalaseema and zero in almost all regions of Telangana. In the recently concluded Panchayat elections, YSRCP stood a poor third after TDP and Congress. People of AP are not fools, they know that even though TDP claims it supports bifurcation, TDP really wants United AndhraPradesh, while YSRCP parrots United Andhra, the YSRCP having lost all base in Telangana really wants a separate state to even survive.

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  • lookman

    AT the best AAP will help Khan-grace increase four or five seats to it’s tally while scoring ZERO for itself. NOTHING MORE. This may well turn out to be it’s first and last election.

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  • Bystander

    Care to elaborate please ?
    Care to elaborate on what exactly is the conflict.
    Don’t bring in Kashmir. Despite all its issues – Kashmir is not a Indo-Pak problem.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    As I am in USA, could see kanpur speech of Modi, now.
    Can somebody or anybody compare him with Rahul?? if yes, then, shame on you.
    what a mesmarizing speech. Got a goosepimple effect.
    Now, Congress ke Chaatukaron se kaho, ki sharm se doob marain.

    [Reply]

    Ni2 Reply:

    Every German in the 1930s got goose pimples when they heard Hitler Speak. Hitler was a much better orator than Modi can ever dream of being.

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Neetu,
    You are not a congress chatukar?? Or are you??
    I am comparing Rahul with Modi. where does Hitler come in. BTW, have you heard Hitler’s speech? I have not. But I am hearing Modi speaking. And they are even better than that of Bajpayee. I csan not understand that whenever Modi is mentined, people start talking of Hitler. is there a relatinship between these two or it is in your febrile imagination only.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    Why I come to this site? Because, it is here that I started writing as a blogger. I have no political stakes. I am not even, Indian. But, what I see here that Loads of – Nalayaks- posing as secularists and blah, blah and blah. These are real Mir kasim and Jaychands.. My wet dream is to meet Diggy and reduce him to pulp.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    Ni2;
    It is civility, which is hall mark of good upbringing. We are just exchanging views. Nothing personal here.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    If only that Banyan tree let others grow.

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  • pankaj#1

    This Blog is my Alma mater.
    Would like to do duel with people who are anti Modi.
    All in civil language but with facts. No rhetorics.
    Is there any one out there to defend psuedos?? including present congress, BSP, SP, JD(U) sitaram and blah, blah and blah.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    Dear Dr. Anand, I can reply for so called historical errors. Give me a chance. These morons have history knowledge, imparted by Guha.

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  • pankaj#1

    Whenever I see Diggy in post, : meri Laar tapak ne lagti hai:. is pe Joote maarne ki tabiat poori hoti hai.

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  • pankaj#1

    All;
    CBI has been held unconstitutional. No more has power to investigate and prosecute.
    is it a good news? yes and No.
    Yes: No longer Amit shah will be hounded, who even otherwise, would have come out unscathed but this would have taken sometime, off from his useful time in preparing UP for poll. Modi was beyond CBI.
    So who will benefit most by this decision. Ofcourse, congress. No more Coalgate, G2 and other many scams, from which, it was not possible to come out untainted.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    Vinay;
    thanks for coming bak to me. Monologue is no substitute for dialogue.
    No modi can not change India like gujrat in next 10 years, that is for sure. But if he can stop the rot, which has set in, inidan politics, that will be a great achievement. yes, he will succeed in stopping this leaking of money, he can also check, mega scams, he can check, kid glove treatment of terrorists and will instill a sense of hope and confidence in people.
    No other political person of present India has that vision and capacity.
    About Sardar statue, no immediate benefit will accrue but I do not hold any grudge against this. Patel was denied his due place by congress, no doubt about it. This dynasty has belittled even mahatma and all around it is dynasty, which has been imposed on Indian nation and its psyche, by force/ favor and subterfuge.

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  • Sumit Bose

    Unbridled loot of the economy ( and some droplets of that comes directly into his expense account ) does not concern this dalal.
    Every institution of the country, viz defense forces, courts, infrastructure, government function, health, education etc etc etc, all bled and enfeebled and this does not bother this dalal.
    Price rise that has snatched decent food from even the middle class, leave alone teh poor and the poorest of the poor, and that does not register in this dalal’s radar.
    He reminds me of the English teacher, who on reading his daughter’s “good-bye” note on eloping from the house, is furious at the spelling and grammatical errors in her letter.

    [Reply]

    pankaj#1 Reply:

    Sumit;
    It is not only vinod but as they say in colloquial,- Awan Ka Awan hi Kharab ho gaya hai- meaning that very klin has gone wrong and how you expect good pottery(people) out of it. This klin is congress and bad products are congressmen of present.
    I was not expecting to see this deterioration in one life time, this has happened even faster than that.

    [Reply]

  • Deepak Jain

    Err where did you hear NaMo saying Nehru didn’t attend Patel’s rally? In the newspaper which withdrew the story, isn’t it? So what’s your point?

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    Debating history? berating history??, What about creating history.
    for the first time in may be centuries, world is taking India/ Modi seriously.
    Nazar hai:
    Envoys posted in India rate Narendra Modi highly

    Ronald Reagan. Deng Xiaoping. Vladimir Putin. Barack Obama. Mohammed Mahathir. These are the names that Narendra Modi is being associated with by resident foreign diplomats since the Gujarat strongman’s spectacular rise over the past year.
    They proclaim that he will make India a different order. On the day he is elected prime minister, China and Pakistan will cease their provocations.
    Following Modi’s massively successful public rally in North West Delhi on Sunday, 29 September, most of the foreign missions called in their translation staff early to work on Monday. Modi’s speech was translated in real-time and its contents examined with forensic intensity, analyzed and transmitted to the world capitals with record promptitude.
    The crowds at the rally numbering in excess of 1.5 lac with a majority in the age group of 18-28 with who the Gujarat chief minister magically connects out rightly bedazzled the diplomatic corps.

    [Reply]

  • pankaj#1

    All;
    Waited full one day. No body is coming to this site any longer. Why? We do not agree with Vinod but this is a convenient site to exchange views.
    This, fraudulent- GOI- which goes by name UPA-II, can not influence, election in -MALDIVE-. I am tempted to use ABUSE- and they claim that they are governing India. Shame on them. Extirepate them from polity of India, if Indians want to live with some semblance of dignity.

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  • Abu Ahmed

    Dhyan Chand’s heroics boosted the morale of enslaved Indians – Sachin’s virtuosity brought about the same effect but to a free and independent people. However, Dhyan Chand had never had the backing of corporates nor had he ever appeared in advertisements (as far as my limited knowledge goes) – so an award to Sachin brings into limelight the corporates whose brand he promotes. Bharat Ratna for Sachin = win-win for brands and businesses. And I don’t see anything wrong in that – after all Sachin did made us all happy for so many years.

    [Reply]

  • Sujoy

    With time you need to change. There was the time, when Hockey was most popular and with time and changes, hockey failed to update itself…I am talking about Indian Hockey. Same is true for every sports or initiatives. This is time for cricket and cricket administrator across world are able to change the rules of the game according to need of the audience and it survived. It is the lack of government and administrator’s will power to keep hockey alive. Offering Bharat Ratna will not help Indian hockey to survive. There are many who should have been given this highest civilian award but not given. Even we failed to give it to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose because of some silly mistake while offering the award. Oratory can not be taken as a bar to give Bharat Ratna. There are many others who are doing TV shows. Now under pressure if you want to link Vajpayee with Nehru while offering the award, that is also understandable. While giving Bharat Ratna to Sachin, govt should have been look in to the history to find out who are left.

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  • (Dr.) B.N. Anand

    Sharma Saheb, you have a point but what Modi asked for a debate has more national significance. As for as women rights are concerned after they marry someone outside the state, besides the cases you referred, you must have watched last night’s interview ( NDTV) of Mrs. Tharoor, a Kashmiri who while being highly diplomatic in her comments did have the courage to say that woman’s rights in the state after marriage to an outsider have to be debated as there is so much discrimination. She also said her comments will not please her Husband, Mr. Shashi Tharoor, but even at the risk of annoying him, she said what the real facts are on the ground. Moreover what Mr. Modi wants a national debate on 370 because even Pt. Nehru had hoped that this act will die its own death with time. It has not even after 66 years. So is it not the time to introspect and debate the merits of going along with this act. May be the debate also result in the status quo conclusion, but what is the harm in talking about it. The women’s rights issue will also be covered in this debate.
    After all for once, Mr. Modi has raised a point which , though very complicated, still merits being considered seriously for discussion rather than to be rejected as such only because Modi has said it.
    Thanks

    [Reply]

  • Rac43

    But there does exist a difference between the inheritance rights of the children of women who marry outside the state vis-a-vis children of men who do the same. Don’t gloss over harsh realities to target Modi.

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  • dimple

    I think the Congress should look at Scindia instead of Rahul for leadership. He seems to eb the only cong guy able to get a crowd.

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    vijay ! Reply:

    hi Dimple!

    Yes Scindia can create a flutter in his speeches unlike Sonia ji and Rahul ji

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  • Dr. B.N. Anand

    Sir, check ur facts. This time, what he said merits attention and debate. Do not simply judge with a close mind.

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  • RAMESH AGARWAL

    JAI SHRI RAM Vinodji you are great hatred towards bjp/modi so not surprised with your comments.i watched many comments of yours in tv and find that you are pro congressman inspite of all scams, non performance.modi said that 370 should be discussed to know whether it is in the interest of people of state of jk which is dominated by anti nationals and anti hindus.wife of Shashi Sunandra had explained her sufferings.people like you never condemned expulsion of hindus from valley, 100 riots in up, appeasent policy of muslims by son called secularists.modi has been nominated best cm for 6th year in succession but you always see him as a vilianit is nothing but misuse of journalism and great disservice to nation.

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  • usha hegde

    If we allow ourselves to be fooled by politicians who preach hatred, we all will end up in such tents.
    Shame on these politicians. Their cruelty is unparalleled.

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  • Alok Saxena

    I fully agree with you that Rahul is not a power hungry politician or Man, but how will he come out from his cotorie of retired useless, close men. Long term vision needs some short term drastic actions which Rahul Gandhi has failed to take. Rahul should be bold enough to throw out i repeat throw out some of his old congress men who are useless and are a burden on Indian National Congress. as well as on Country too.

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  • Anonymous

    Exactly…!
    Hats off to the humbleness of Rahulji who dares to accept his flaws and also avows to learn from the victory of AAP…Hahaha…I just saw NaMo’s tete a tete interview with the eminent Karan Thapar ji!
    I mean…both are prospective PM candidates and such a huge difference in their way of expressions!
    Mr. Modi….You being in the state of germination, should take some inspiration from this scion so as to increase your chances of flowering well and just not fascinate people just by your fake bright colours!

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