Tavleen Singh, a leading Columnist associated with The Indian Express. Find all Columns from Tavleen Singh here.
Instead of competing to distance themselves from big business our political leaders should explain to the people of India why a company that produced 40 per cent of our copper was forcibly closed by the Tamil Nadu government.
Three years after the murder of Mohammad Akhlaq, there is no remorse in his village. There is a sense of menace.
The essence of the new narrative is that Modi has ‘destroyed’ the institutions of democracy and that if he gets a second term he will make sure elections are never held again.
The embodiment of Leftist economic policies is MGNREGA. It supposedly guarantees jobs but is in fact just dole. It may ‘alleviate’ poverty but can never help poor people rise out of poverty. Modi seemed to know this when he first became Prime Minister.
If it can be argued that Modi’s chances remain very strong because Rahul is a goof, we must also acknowledge that Rahul has become a serious challenger today entirely because the BJP has taken this goof very, very seriously.
"After the Babri Masjid was demolished I asked him why he did not leave the BJP if he was so unhappy with what had happened. He replied in the words of that famous song, ‘Jaayein, to jaayein kahaan (Where should I go)’."
The least abusive epithet used for me is that I am a ‘Lootyens’ journalist.
In recent weeks I have heard of tax raids in which there has been open extortion and in which upright citizens have been publicly humiliated.
Narendra Modi’s hand of friendship has been as firmly slapped away by the military men next door as Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s was when he famously travelled across the Wagah border in that gilded bus in the winter of 1999.
The most powerful vote bank has always been the Muslims and this does not belong to the BJP, so in the past four years they have been punished.
If the BJP does manage to win a second term, the Prime Minister would do well to ask himself why we have violent Hindutva instead of a Hindu renaissance that could make Indians truly proud, writes Tavleen Singh.
For those Indians who gave Modi a full majority it was because the words ‘parivartan’ and ‘vikas’ came as music to their ears.
So can Modi do anything in the next few months that would restore the lustre that once made him seem undefeatable? There are those who wander about these days predicting that he will do something melodramatic and irreparable like prohibition.
If not Modi then who could be India’s next prime minister? Is it time to start asking this question? I think it could be because Indian voters are today more impatient than they were 10 years ago, and they are much more aspirational.
The United Nations released its first ever report on human rights violations in the Kashmir Valley. It recommends a commission of inquiry into the ‘excessive use of force’ by Indian security forces.
Modi has made mistakes in the past four years. He has failed to take India in a new economic direction. He wasted time on demonetisation and wasted money on huge, useless Congress welfare schemes like MNREGA. And, he failed to change our ‘socialist’ political culture.
If Narendra Modi does not start paying attention to the message that voters in Uttar Pradesh have been trying to send him for months, he may as well give up all hopes of becoming prime minister again in 2019.
If only when Rahul Gandhi taunted Modi for running a ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’, he had said that his dream was to ensure that even the poorest Indian some day had enough money to buy suits and boots.
This sickness in our democracy did not begin after Narendra Modi became prime minister. But, it is this storyline that has been sought to be disseminated by secular, leftist political commentators in order to disguise their loyalties to the Congress party.
If this election has seen the rise of Rahul Gandhi and the return of his Mummy, the Prime Minister has only himself to blame. Instead of taking India in a new direction, as he promised, he has strayed hardly at all from the Congress path.