A New Gandhi Steps in to Try to Save Congress

A New Gandhi Steps in to Try to Save CongressThe quality of India’s general election campaigning, which ends on Saturday, has deteriorated into a slanging match between rival politicians. It began weeks ago as a relatively constructive debate between the growth policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, and the sops and entitlement approach of the Congress Party espoused by Rahul…

Endgame for the Gandhis?

Endgame for the Gandhis?India may well be looking at the end of the Gandhi dynasty. Countrywide opinion polls suggest that the 129-year-old Congress Party, India’s oldest, headed by the country’s most entrenched dynasty – will suffer devastating losses in the ongoing general elections when results are declared May 16. The waning appeal of the Gandhi family members –…

The Dangerous Mr Modi

The Dangerous Mr ModiRambabu is a dalit activist working for the empowerment of a marginalized section of the population in India’s rural Hardoi. He feels for the first time in many elections that people are being divided on communal lines. His religious identity is in conflict with his caste identity and is beginning to create pressure on him…

Can Modi Govern India?

Can Modi Govern India?Set aside the debate about Narendra Modi and his accountability for the 2002 Godhra riots and focus on the more immediate issue of whether he is capable of being a competent prime minister. Could he rebuild an effective government machine and deliver economic growth, or is he too autocratic and abrasive to be the politically…

Indian Tycoon Bucks Congress’s Image

Indian Tycoon Bucks Congress’s ImageAs the Congress Party stumbles towards what looks like a massive general election defeat, one candidate is performing with the conviction of a potential winner who believes he can help implement change in the way that India works. Nandan Nilekani, the Congress Party candidate in Bangalore South, is well aware that he has only a…

India’s State of Denial

India’s State of DenialIndia has been in a state of denial for years. It is rightly proud of its vibrant and chaotic democracy which is on show in the current general election and has survived and been accepted almost without question since Independence. But it is in denial because it has not been prepared to recognize that the…

India’s Aam Aadmi Party May Still be a Force in National Polls

India’s Aam Aadmi Party May Still be a Force in National PollsIndian voters have three basic choices in the coming general election. The bravest would be to vote for the Aam Aadmi (common man) Party led by Arvind Kejriwal in order to create the disruption that the operations of India’s political system and government machine desperately needs. Most voters of course will not do that. It…

India Polls Set for April 7

India Polls Set for April 7A few days after May 16, India’s Congress Party and the Gandhi family that head it will have been swept from power and a new government headed quite probably by Narendra Modi, the Hindu-nationalist driven and feared Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister of Gujarat will take office. This will, if the BJP has a sufficiently…

Opinion: India’s AAP: Best Hope for Governance

Opinion: India’s AAP: Best Hope for GovernanceIn a short period of time India’s Aam Aadmi Party has shaken up the political landscape by offering an honest alternative to the mainstream national parties, specifically the Congress and the BJP. What is the AAP’s credibility on certain crucial dimensions – the integrity of senior leadership, their policy agenda for the underprivileged sections of…

India’s Parliament Descends to Chaos

India’s Parliament Descends to ChaosUnprecedented chaos and violence that closed India’s Lok Sabha parliamentary proceedings yesterday graphically demonstrates how respect for India’s most revered institutions is crumbling as greed and raw politics disrupt the functioning of government and the running of the country. The protests were not even about the political issue being debated – a bill was being…