An opinion piece I wrote in the Hindustan Times, on Lalu Yadav’s unblemished, secular track record and his utility for the Congress on that count has evoked a mixed response. It’s evident that regardless of whether one likes or hates him, one cannot ignore the RJD leader’s ready wit and rustic charms that make him the best political communicator in business.

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So, it was the Political class that was divided, unsure and circumspect. The people of India were one in what they wanted out of Elections 2009. Little surprise then that even the Congress’s poll managers, from Sonia Gandhi downwards, received the outcome with disbelief. Read more

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Let’s talk this week about India and its awesome festival of democracy. For nearly  a  month  now, airwaves on the Attari side of  Indo-Pak border have been  clogged with averments, claims and individual assertions by a Party A or a Coalition B of being fairer than its rivals. The UPA told us as to why it  must  be  re-elected, the NDA dwelt on the imperative of change and the Left-inspired  Third  Front  drove  home  its  importance in a sudden death play-off.   Certain  pre-conditions  and  demands  on  which  some  bit—and better— players predicated their post-poll loyalties seemed outlandish. I read  between  the  lines  and squeezed some political meaning out of them. Here it goes… Read more

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Middle class Pakistanis have always been enamored of the scale and substance of Indian democracy. But the ongoing campaign hasn’t engaged their attention barring, of course, stock references to the plight of Muslims, Naxal violence and the shameful jooton-ki-barsaat.
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