Sidharth Mishra

Vikas Licks Its Wounds As Hindu Takes Centrestage

A few weeks back in these very columns, at the height of debate on Vikas (development) agenda, your reporter had penned that it was only matter of time when the “Hindu issues” could come to take the centrestage. The tone and tenor of the election campaign in the past week has shown that characters like Aurangzeb and themes like sacred thread are dominating the script.

 While the attempt from the Congress is to stop polarisation of votes on communal lines, the BJP is finding the new avatar of the rival quite amusing.Development is something on which Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode to power at the Centre in 2014. Development is something about which he talked about at the beginning of both the 2007 and 2012 assembly poll campaigns in Gujarat. But subsequently, the narrative on both the occasions turned towards communal polarisation.
Communal divide helps BJP no-end, something which has been proven time and again. In the past few years, the poll strategists from the saffron camp have managed to win a crucial battle of perceptions. They have succeeded in getting the attempts of their rivals to woo minority votes painted as “anti-Hindu” agenda.



The Bolsheviks were a revolutionary party, committed to the ideas of Karl Marx.  They believed that workers will unite and liberate themselves from the economic and political control of the ruling classes.  A year after seizing power Vladimir Ilych Lenin changed the name from Bolshevism to Communism.  When we analyse the ideological evolution after hundred years of Bolshevik Revolution, we find that Communism gained momentum during 1914-60, and captured the hearts of idealists across the globe.  The two world wars and a Great Depression doomed capitalism and communism seemed to be the obvious alternative.

But, soon communism lost its charm because of mass oppression, starvation, mass murder, genocide and terror.  These incidents challenged the foundations of human mankind.  Moreover, the struggle in Soviet Union, Mao Zedong China, Mengistu Haile Mariam Ethiopia, Fidel Castro’s Cuba and Pol Pot’s Cambodia, were millions of human were killed by the agents of an oppressive totalitarian system aiming for total control and the elimination of the oppositions.  Many more deaths were due to communist generated mass famines in Stalin’s Great Famine in Ukraine, Mao’s China and modern day North Korea.Many more died in the last century fighting to keep their countries free from communism in places like Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, Greece, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Angola and Russia itself. 

Ashish Sood

How Rahul Gandhi Cannot Be a Practicing ‘Brahman’

The dispute about the religion of Congress scion Rahul Gandhi just before his anointment as the chief of Congress party has raised serious questions on the functioning of democracy in India. Before going deeper into the issue, I must make it clear that we respect the prohibitory guidelines of the Election Commission of India on seeking or casting votes on the name of religion and caste.However, concealing the religious identify by a LokSabha MP who is being anointed as chief of the second largest political party in the Parliament of India is definitely a matter of serious concern.  

The entry made about Rahul Gandhi and his party colleague Ahmed Patel as ‘Non-Hindu’ in the register of prestigious Somnath Temple of Gujarat by his media advisor has raised an alarm in the Indian political system. Above all the vague defense of Congress by calling itsscion as ‘JaneuDhari Hindu’ (sacred-thread wearing Hindu) only reveals the habitual divisive politics of the decaying Congress which always nourished, groomed and used the leftists to name and shame each and every tradition of janeudhari Hindus including the Janeu (sacred thread) itself.

Sidharth Mishra

Delhi Should Blame Itself For Its Ills

We living in the capital seldom try to look inwards and are always ready to find excuse for our follies. Last week newspaper headlines screamed putting the blame on West Asia for the hell that we have created for ourselves, which has in turn helped pharmaceutical companies see their sale graphs soar.

Delhi has been covered with smog, a layer of polluted air for a fortnight now and none seem to be worried about the way the whole city is turning sick. We have been going through our lives as usual at best the arguments now focus on which is best gas mask in the market.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has done what he does best, blamed the world for the smog in the city and has tried turning the misery into an opportunity to once again demand more powers for his government. One wonders if Ministers know only one way to get even with the problems of the capital -- by acting in an odd manner, thus the plea to bring in the odd-even car rationing scheme.

Professor Rajvir Sharma 130x160

Electoral Battle in Gujarat: A Preview

With the election schedule in place for the Gujarat Assembly polls in December 2017, the two mainstream parties, Congress and the BJP, have pulled up their sleeves to win the battle. Congress is fully engrossed in creating an anti incumbency environment through the social media apart from the print and the electronic one whereas the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to retain the confidence of the Gujarati voter and  ensure once again that the Congress is well knocked out.

Congress is looking at this election as defining its future political relevance in the national politics, more so in Gujarat. This election is also being seen as the last test of Rahul Gandhi’s efficacy as a political leader. Will he emerge as the natural heir of the Gandhi dynasty or will miss the train in the process is a question that might require to be settled on the basis of the electoral outcome of these elections.