Swapan Dasgupta

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Swapan Dasgupta is a senior journalist

Burden of being Modi

It is a commentary on how the campaign for the Maharashtra election has shaped up that the Congress devoted its final message to charging the Bharatiya Janata Party with facilitating “paid news” by re

Modi & the networks

Last week I attended a very convivial literature festival organised at the Technology City, Bengaluru, by a group of young enthusiasts. Normally, as happens in such gatherings, there is a very thin separating “literature” from current affairs. I was therefore not very surprised to find myself — along with three other Delhi-based journalists — as a speaker on “Polls 2014 and their message.”

Bengal churns

The kindest thing that can be said of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s indifferent performance in the series of byelections since the general election last May is that they are a pointer to the significant role played by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in ensuring the decisive Lok Sabha outcome.

Our real friends

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been judged harshly by his contemporaries for his unending failures to protect the integrity of his office. In plain English, he was too often a pushover, succumbing to pressures from the dynastic owners of the Congress Party and their unpalatable representatives.

Talk straight, or don’t talk at all

Engaging-with-Pakistan has been one of Delhi’s big growth industries over the past 15 years. Apart from domestic investment (both from the public and private sectors), it has attracted generous quantities of foreign direct investment, despite not having much to show by way of tangible returns.

The Modi narrative

It is amusing to witness the alacrity with which many English-language publications in India are fast turning themselves into a dumping ground of term papers of American universities. From wide-eyed doctoral candidates to lesser-known expatriate academics, there is an unseemly rush to pronounce judgment on facets of Indian public life.

For West, Rajapaksa is Sri Lanka’s Modi

It is a measure of Sri Lanka’s return to “normal” democratic politics that conspiracy theories are once again resonating in Colombo.

Soporific speech, sensible Budget

If finance minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget speech was as crisp and focused as his post-Budget interview to Doordarshan, it is almost certain that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s many supporters and well-wishers would have had an extra bounce in their steps.

Inaccessible India!

Last week, around the time of the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s grand, if rather imperial, visit to Britain, there was a flurry of activity in Whitehall and in the business-support bodies of the United Kingdom over the falling number of tourists from China.

A week is a long time in politics

Success and failure often depend as much as what one side does right — both tactically and striking the right notes — as what the other side does wrong. In the three weeks since he was anointed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, a move that set the terms for the 2014 general election, Narendra Modi may, arguably, have faltered twice, and both times at his mega-rally in Delhi on September 29.

Foreign funding of NGOs is a topic that never seems to lose currency.

The recent comments of Justice Markandey Katju, a retired Supreme Court judge, in support of the uniform civil code on the ground that the Muslim personal law is “barbaric, backward and unjust” has ra