Sidharth Bhatia


The writer is a senior journalist and commentator on current affairs based in Mumbai

Innuendos Inc.

In a different, pre-live television time, this writer had occasion to cover many an election rally. Then, as much as now, the public meeting was the best way for a candidate to reach out to the masses, except that in contemporary times parties can also use television and social media to spread the message wider.

Mr Kejriwal’s shoot and scoot style

No sooner did Arvind Kejriwal’s statement about how the media was corrupt and if his party came to power it would jail journalists hit the airwaves, the following things happened — the social media (which reacts promptly, even before the facts can be ascertained) burst into its 140 character per tweet discussion, television channels went into their usual “Breaking News” mode and journos began chasing down Aam Aadmi Party spokespersons for their reactions.

Killing the messenger

Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde is an interesting politician. He presents the picture of an amiable, avuncular kind of fellow, always smiling and ready to be friends with most people.

Pulp wisdom

Walk into any bookstore in India and you will find copies of Mein Kampf freely available. The two-volume autobiography of Adolf Hitler has a strange fascination for Indians.

No takers for NCP’s Pawar play

The Nationalist Congress Party, led by the redoubtable Sharad Pawar, is a unique kind of organisation. It is a rump of the Congress, created because Mr Pawar did not want to work under Sonia Gandhi and yet it is in an alliance with the same party he left.

Pandering to the lowest common denominator

No sooner did Arvind Kejriwal come out of a meeting with the lieutenant-governor of Delhi and announced that he was calling off his one-and-a-half day-old dharna in the middle of Delhi that the electr

The ladies who hold the key

The nation’s, or more accurately, the media’s attention over the last few months has been on Narendra Modi. Every statement, speech aside, and jibe of his got front-page news and live coverage and analysis on television.

AAP: Past perfect, future tense

The spectacular electoral performance of the Aam Aadmi Party in the elections to the Delhi legislature came as a surprise to not just other political parties but also the pundits, who had not taken it seriously at all.

Crime has no caste, creed

The story about the Indian diplomat in New York, now inevitably called “Khobra-gate” (the gate suffix being almost obligatory for all kinds of scams and scandals) has all the elements of a potboiler — fraud, an alleged woman criminal, a crusading attorney and now, even possible espionage.

In politics, it’s a season of friend requests

Along with holding public rallies all over the country to up his profile and take his message of throwing out the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Narendra Modi has also been working to get friends

Of late, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been thoughtlessly and in a hurry jumping into every available situation, without verifying basic facts, to criticise the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Madhu Kishwar, as the editor of Manushi, set the feminism agenda for many Indian women decades ago. Madhu Kishwar as chief media admirer of prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi is another story completely. The first Kishwar has been declared missing, never to be found.