Shreekant Sambrani

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Giddy with gold

It has little utilitarian value as a commodity. It cannot be eaten or made into clothing to be worn (except as a freakish shirt someone recently made, weighing 3.5 kg at a cost of over `10 crore!) nor is it any material of construction. Yet it gets to everyone, without regard to gender, race, religion, nationality or economic status.

The election that isn’t

In the next 10 days, Gujarat will go to polls, ostensibly to elect a legislative Assembly, but in reality to put a stamp of approval on its chief minister for over a decade, Narendra Modi. The only suspense is whether it does so with absolute conviction, that is, with a clear majority of votes cast, or through a plurality.

If elections come, can conspiracy theories be far behind? With bypolls around the corner, Uttar Pradesh is abuzz with talk of a sinister plot of young Hindu women being tricked into marriage by Muslim men, and made to convert to Islam. Over the past week there has been a flood of reports about “love jihad”.

Peace is at the best of times a tenuous proposition in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even as the world hopes the new indefinite ceasefire that has brought 50 days of bloodshed to an end will last, the real causes of the conflict have been put to the side, rather than resolved.