Perhaps it will be politically premature to read by-poll reverses as a comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance, but it will certainly have a bearing on the upcoming assembly polls in the country. For the simple reason because elections in democratic India is as much a battle of perception as of poll management.
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I recently read two news reports that came as a big relief to someone who has gradually, over the years, fallen in love with UP, my adopted state. Read more

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi”s Independence day speech has triggered a debate in the urban circles of the country on whether the country’s premier should speak on mundane issues like hygiene, toilets and mothers putting a check on their errant sons. The overwhelming majority has reacted with why not?
In fact, many feel that Narendra Modi should have shown the guts to even touch the most serious issue of country’s growing population which no political party has dared  to touch after the rejection of  Sanjay Gandhi forced sterilisation in the country.
And now when he is planning to address students on Teacher’s Day, the same critics are questioning his ‘inclusive’ step. Jawaharlal Nehru had many political enemies bu they found nothing unusual when he related with children so well. Take President APJ Abdul Kalam who has a huge fan following amongst students.
It’s not Narendra Modi’s fault that many of his predecessors did not interact with the students. And if he wants to address them, then why oppose it – only because he is from a rival political party. Some school principals are finding the four pm time as impractical and that’s understandable too. Perhaps the PMO should have thought of pre- lunch or the morning assembly timings that would have suited the schools better.
The fact is as long as the prime minister is pursuing inclusiveness, there is no reason to be critical of his each and every move. The students should not only know the name of the country’s prime ministers but should have heard them also. The students can play a crucial role in achieving hygiene while understanding their social responsibilities.
Perhaps not many know that by constructing toilets you not only save women from every day humiliation but also from sexual assaults and stave off diseases by maintaining hygiene levels.
To me it is immaterial whether we call September 5 as Teacher’s Day or Guru Utsav.
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The by-polls in states held after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections have sent two clear messages.
First one is to the Bhartiya Janata Party. The by-polls results, beginning with Uttarakhand, have punctured the euphoria created by the party’s landslide victory across the country. Read more

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People across the country are keenly watching the coming together of old political rivals Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar in Bihar. Despite the hugs and the handshakes in public, I really doubt if the rivalry is finally over. They have, more likely than not, simply come together for their very survival in the state’s politics after BJP blizzard left them struggling for some space. Read more

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UP’s rumour mills have been in an overdrive ever since Amar Singh shared dais with Mulayam Singh Yadav at the inaugural ceremony of Janeshwar Mishra Park, the dream project of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, in the state capital. Read more

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What is wrong with the Aam Admi Party? The party, which was so charged up till their leader Arvind Kejriwal was contesting from Varanasi, has suddenly gone all quiet; at least one doesn’t hear the many noises it made almost daily on every burning issue. Is this how they are going to take forward their battle against corruption? Read more

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The day the CBI took over the investigations into Badaun rape cum murder case that made headlines across the globe because of the hanging of the victims from a tree, some confidence of the people was restored. Those who were crying for justice and had little faith in the state machinery were convinced that at least the investigations would be fair and reach a logical end. But that was not to be. Read more

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Perhaps Shankaracharya Swaroopanand knows best why faith can’t be questioned. Then why has he started this unwarranted debate over ‘Sai’ who never claimed he was God? Read more

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I have not been a Narendra Modi fan but I was completely floored by him the day he spoke about ‘Clean India.’ Perhaps, he is the first prime minister or minister in recent years to highlight something as mundane as hygiene, an issue that has been troubling people like me who have to travel by all modes of transport – air, road and rail. Read more

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