Three leaders well into their eighties are at the helm of affairs of their respective parties. L K Advani (b 1927), M Karunanidhi (b 1924) and A B Bardhan (b 1926) are not likely to be active in the next elections.
In DMK, succession of leadership is a family affair. It will be sorted between the sons and daughters of Karunanidhi as and when the occasion arises. CPI, a small cadre party, has lined up S Sudhakar Reddy to take over from Bardhan as general secretary. Read more
During elections until early 1990s, the election commission of India (ECI) used to be a helpless spectator to large-scale malpractices, violence and misuse of official machinery by ruling parties. Starting with T N Seshan, the ECI began to assert and expand its powers.
Now, the ECI is a metagovernment, all pervasive and omnipresent. Read more
The genocide of Sikhs in 1984, in which more than 3000 people were killed, remains a big blot on India’s secular character. So does the Gujarat progrom against Muslims in 2002.
Congress was in power in 1984 in Delhi and BJP was in power in Gujarat in 2002. In a rather strange twist of logic, 1984 is often cited to deflect the outrage over Gujarat riots. Criticism of 2002 is often countered with the argument that 1984 was worse and Congress is no better than the BJP. Read more
A handful of unusual contestants participating in elections have already occupied a large amount of our mind space in the last few days. Meera Sanyal, country head of ABN-Amro Bank and Captain Gopinath, the founder of Air Deccan, are two prominent ones, but there are many more. Read more