Most people will tell you that this has been a week of mixed fortunes for the Congress. On the one hand, the party won an impressive victory in Karnataka, crushing the BJP. And on the other, it was forced to sack two central ministers. So, the pundits will say, there has been good news and bad news and the signals are far from clear.

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Okay. Now that we have a little bit of distance from the events surrounding Afzal Guru’s hanging, what lessons have we learnt from the episode? Read more

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It is tempting to draw parallels between the Salman Rushdie case and the current uproar over an anti-Islamic internet video. But despite a co-incidence of timing – the protests coincided with the publication of Joseph Anton, Rushdie’s memoir of his years in hiding – the differences between the two cases far outweigh the parallels. Read more

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I don’t know if you have seen the Ides of March, George Clooney’s movie about an American primary campaign. But if you have any interest in politics, you should do yourself a favour and either see it in the cinema or get hold of the DVD. Read more

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There is an unwritten rule of cinema and TV direction. It goes something like this: if you are making a period picture or TV series then you must settle on a tone. Read more

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If you look hard enough at the newspapers, you might be able to make some sense of the debate over FDI in retail. But if you are stuck with the mainstream news channels, then the issues may not seem much clearer. Read more

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I don’t know if you’ve seen the  movie Man Of The Year, staring Robin Williams, Christopher  Walken, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Linney. It came out at least a couple of years ago and was about a Jon Stewart-type talk show host who becomes President of the US thanks to a computer error. Read more

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You will have heard all the usual stuff about television and the election. You will have been told that TV focuses on superficialities, that it does not reach the masses, that TV debates are an irrelevance etc etc.

I don’t want to get into all of that. But there’s one way in which TV has changed the rules of electioneering. And I find that it does not get enough credit for that. Read more

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I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this but politicians seem to have adopted a new strategy when it comes to dealing with journos during the election campaign.

In the old days, the top politicians seemed remote and inaccessible, only meeting top editors at their residences. Read more

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Think about it. A very popular cricket tournament runs into trouble when the government decides it cannot offer security. The tournament’s organizers decide to take it abroad. The BJP attacks the government. It says that the message this sends out is that India is not safe. No foreign teams will come here now.

 A while later, after the tournament has been shifted to South Africa, Australia declares that it will not come to India to play its Davis Cup matches.  India, it says, is unsafe. Read more

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