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Sunday, March 07, 2021

Vandita Mishra


Vandita is The Indian Express National Opinion Editor

Farmers protests: BJP sees plot, others lend weight but socially distanced
Fri, Dec 25, 2020

As the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP, of course, is on the other side of the fence. With the Shiromani Akali Dal exiting the NDA over the farm laws, the BJP is on its own again in a state that resisted the Modi sweep in 2014 and again in 2019.

Farmer-mother with 3 kids to Arhtiya Boss: a growing coalition of fears and anxieties
Thu, Dec 24, 2020

Concerns about the three farm laws, grounded in what they see and hear, and drawing from their own struggles and experience, are expressed most insistently by the smaller farmers.

Chorus on ground: Dhakka from Delhi won’t work, protest now has life of its own
Wed, Dec 23, 2020

The Indian Express found in a week-long journey through villages and cities across Punjab’s three regions that the image of the un-seeing Centre is compounded by the spate of name-calling.

Despite crowds, an absence: Why Tejashwi’s Caste-Plus remained his work in progress
Wed, Nov 11, 2020

Despite a last-minute attempt by Team Tejashwi to package him anew — or perhaps because of the last-minuteness of it — RJD’s new chief ministerial candidate was carrying into this election neither a narrative nor a clean slate.

Tejashwi challenge: Voters look for ‘Kejriwal-type’ clean slate
Thu, Nov 05, 2020

Tejashwi, the candidate with a past, will need to overcome the hesitations of this voter to talk to him, and listen to him, outside of the RJD’s Muslim-Yadav base.

Bihar elections: With ex-BJP, Brahmin faces, RJD tries to go beyond M-Y in bid to look ‘like A to Z’
Sun, Nov 01, 2020

As discontents with 15 years of Nitish raj rise to the fore, and a desire for bringing in the new makes itself heard in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD faces a difficult predicament in this election: It is new — but it is also old.

Bihar elections: His base shrinking, Nitish hopes voter cheering Modi will carry him along
Sat, Oct 31, 2020

For the first time in 15 years in Bihar, Nitish is at the receiving end of, not in the driving seat of, the desire for change.

Nitish diminished, Tejashwi banks on Caste-plus refresh
Wed, Oct 28, 2020

The three-term Chief Minister looks alone with the people’s anger points to a formless opponent, and an ally receding from the stage.

Notebandi to Article 370 to Mandir: People must begin all over again, PM Modi will write their destinies afresh
Wed, Aug 12, 2020

For all the chants and invocations of a past glory, culture and civilisation, the spectacle in Ayodhya was about the leader, here and now: Modi, wearing longer hair and a mask, framed solo, no props or supporting cast, enacting a by-now familiar script of Fall and Rise.

NRC fears don’t cross the divide: among poor Hindus, a confidence, assured sense of place
Tue, Feb 11, 2020

From Dalit basti in Gaya to village near Dhanbad, refrain: humein kaun hatayega (who will turn us out?)

Bangla border to Lucknow via Gaya: CAA protests aren’t just about CAA
Mon, Feb 10, 2020

As Shaheen Bagh took centrestage in the high-octane campaign in the Capital, The Indian Express travelled from West Bengal, Ground Zero of the NRC debate, to UP, which saw the most deaths in the crackdown. To find out how Shaheen Bagh plays out, how the protests unite — and divide

Express Adda with Nirmala Sitharaman: ‘Difficulty is not in taking a call on reforms, it’s in moving forward’
Thu, Nov 14, 2019

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was the guest at the recent Express Adda held in Mumbai. She spoke to The Indian Express on India’s decision to not join the RCEP, boosting investment and ushering in reforms

In Haryana, it’s advantage BJP — but on the ground, some faultlines are blurred
Wed, Oct 23, 2019

In this political landscape, the BJP has risen in the last couple of elections, not because it presented an alternative to Haryana’s fluid power politics but because it harnessed it to its own advantage, most visibly through the politics of defections

Akhilesh Yadav interview: ‘I had said even if I have to walk two steps behind (BSP), I will do it. This is a gathbandhan for the future’
Fri, May 17, 2019

Akhilesh Yadav interview: "There is nothing special about the BJP. They have only cheated the country. When the BJP came to power, the country was under a debt of Rs 35 lakh crore. In the last five years, it has gone up to Rs 70 lakh crore. Where did this Rs 35 lakh crore go?"

At sangam of faiths & cultures, divide runs deep: Yeh sheher kiska hai?
Sat, May 11, 2019

Today, the candidates from Allahabad have become relatively non-descript, but the political divisions are far sharper — and that question in the Coffee House has acquired a never-before edge.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Arid Chitrakoot fertile for ‘Superman, Saviour’
Tue, May 07, 2019

Chitrakoot, denuded of political norms and institutions that can be found at least in bare form, if not in substance, elsewhere, seems to provide the perfect setting for the politics of the Saviour and the Superhero that lies at the heart of the well-endowed Narendra Modi campaign.

RJD base intact but Modi message pushes Lalu legacy to margins
Thu, May 02, 2019

If the BJP-led NDA has Narendra Modi, the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan is anchored by Lalu Yadav in the state.

In chai ki dukan, charcha lament for past, wish for future
Wed, May 01, 2019

Tea was what you had with “charcha (conversation)”. Now, “charcha is hardly there. We have distanced ourselves from our own problems, we are scattered,” says a retired teacher, a regular from the old days, who sits silently on the bench inside and refuses to give his name.

PM Modi looms over new Bihar faultlines as an old one travels from Bollywood to Darbhanga
Fri, Apr 26, 2019

The “Son of Mallah”, who claims to speak for the larger community of fishermen, represents 'social justice' as spectacle, with its terribly shortened journeys: In a little over four years, Mukesh Sahani has travelled to electoral politics from a Bollywood film set.

Rajasthan: In election time, where MeToo sits uneasy with Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
Mon, Dec 03, 2018

The sense of little changing, despite the change, and of political leaders and their election campaigns bypassing the woman in Rajasthan is irrefutable, most of all, in the home of Bhanwari Devi.

Hurt by Congress silence, Muslims say choice between kuan, khai
Sun, Dec 02, 2018

In Mohalla Chopdaran, in the heart of the tiny town of Jhunjhunu, a group of young Muslim men talk of an increase in “bhed bhaav (discrimination)” and intolerance.

Rajasthan Assembly elections: Where Congress sets no poll agenda, counts on disenchantment with Vasundhara
Sat, Dec 01, 2018

If the Congress seems to be the missing middle of the Opposition on bijli-sadak-paani, it is even more elusive and evasive on another set of issues.

Rajasthan elections: Winds blowing against Vasundhara Raje govt — but Modi manages to rise above
Fri, Nov 30, 2018

On the ground, RSS workers also grumble about “Madam”. They accuse her administration of being non-responsive to their agitations — against the demolition and relocation of temples because of Metro work in Jaipur, or against “love jihad” in districts across the state.

Opposition still licks wounds, BJP has cracks within
Sat, Nov 25, 2017

The New Lucknow, Part 4: In the eight months of the Yogi government, SP is tongue-tied, the whir of BSP's formidable party machine, which prepares for polls so meticulously, is barely noticeable among the people, on issues of governance.

Aadhaar to NCERT: Madrasas and the new normal
Sat, Nov 25, 2017

The New Lucknow, Part 3: For long, cover of secularism was used as an excuse for neglecting madrasas, now govt harsh light casts a shadow