Goof-ups of the Year: Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi
Its RaGa versus NaMo in battleground 2014,and as the barbs fly,so do the gaffes. Soon after being made Congress vice-president,Rahul Gandhi observed,with devastating candour,that he headed a funny party,where nobody knows the rules. Not long ago,he mystified audiences by promising to change the Congress party in ways you cannot even imagine. It was in the same imaginative vein,no doubt,that he pronounced poverty to be a state of mind. Narendra Modi showed his fanciful side too. In the NaMo history of India,Chandragupta Maurya belongs to the Gupta dynasty,Alexander the Great reached the banks of the Ganges before he was defeated by a Bihari army,Takshashila is in Bihar,not Pakistan,and Syama Prasad Mookerjee,founder of the Jan Sangh,died in London in 1930. In a refreshingly frank moment on Twitter,Modi urged people to vote for the Louts and give BJP a chance.
Fight of the Year:
Amartya Sen vs Jagdish Bhagwati
Mark My Words
For many years now,economists Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati have held contrasting views on the Indian growth story. This year,as both launched new books,their disagreements turned into a full-blown spat. Arguably,Bhagwati,who is a free-market proponent,started it,shooting off a letter to The Economist,which had reviewed Sen and Jean Drezes An Uncertain Glory,and accusing Sen of belatedly learn[ing to give lip service to growth. Sen wrote back,pointing out that Bhagwati had misdescribed him as an opponent of the post-1991 reforms. That exchange fed into the heated arguments within India about the fiscal sense of the Right to Food Act. Sens critical comments about Modi,and Bhagwati’s holding up of the Gujarat model,added a political colour to the debate.
Sulk of the Year: LK Advani
It wasnt quite the autumn of the patriarch in the BJP,much to LK Advanis dismay. Despite his open reservations,the BJP named Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as its PM candidate in September this year. Thereafter,Advani,who shot off a letter of resignation to BJP president Rajnath Singh,spoke darkly of lost ideals of the party. But then senior leaders got into action,convinced Advani to withdraw his resignation,and all seemed well. Not quite. In an obvious attempt to bury the hatchet,RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently urged Advani to stay,so that the village does not burn. Though mollified,Advani made it a point to observe,whether one is old or young is not determined by ones age.
Patch-up of the Year: Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan
The Karan-Arjun act
after the much-talked about fight between Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan in 2008,it was interesting to see how the two stars meticulously avoided each other at major film events all these years. So when the visuals of the two hugging each other at an iftaar party were released earlier this year,the media and fans went berserk. While for some,it invoked memories of Karan-Arjun (their biggest on-screen appearance together),others saw it as a mature,civil step by the two. Recently,Salman gave some perspective to the relationship in a chat show,We both know that we can’t be friends,but as old colleagues,we share basic love and respect.
Break-up of the Year: Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Khan
They had a fairytale romance going for them. And the separation of Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Khan was definitely not the best ending their story could have had. The couple got married soon after Hrithiks debut in Kaho Na Pyaar Hai in 2000. The first cracks appeared 10 years later,when Hrithik was rumoured to be having an affair with his Kites co-star Barbara Mori. Then came rumours of Sussannes closeness with family friend Arjun Rampal. Her conspicuous absence from major family events,and her moving out of the family apartment in Juhu said it all.
Compiled by Nidhi Sinha,Anil Sasi and Sankhayan Ghosh