Swapan Dasgupta


Swapan Dasgupta is a senior journalist

Modi is BJP’s ticket to Delhi 2014...

If the results of the Gujarat Assembly elections come up to expectations, the Bharatiya Janata Party will have good reasons to celebrate.

Of debates, divisions and discretions

It is in the nature of contemporary politics that the more profound facets of political change are often subsumed by the clutter of immediate developments.

American analogies

American presidential elections, with all its accompanying media hype and razzmatazz, hold out a strange fascination for those who insist on celebrating the virtues of “evolved” democracies over fledgling ones.

Cabinet reshuffle & the big picture

There is something in the air of Lutyens’ Delhi that makes its inhabitants heady over any real or proposed reshuffle in the Union Council of Ministers. During his five years at the helm, Rajiv Gandhi pandered to this yearning for unending churning by changing his ministerial team every six months or so.

Red-flagging Kejriwal’s politics

There is little doubt that for the moment Arvind Kejriwal has created panic in the cosy world of politics. His well-publicised and seemingly relentless pursuit of big ticket corruption has unsettled the arrangement whereby electoral politics, while fiercely competitive, are also friendly matches.

BJP’s missed opportunity

It’s a bit like the dog that didn’t bark. Last week, the Bharatiya Janata Party, India’s principal Opposition to the Congress, held its quarterly national executive and annual national council meeting in Surajkund, a part of Haryana adjoining Delhi.

Burden of survival

Posterity tends to be excessively harsh on losers. In the coming months, after the present political storm has either subsided or transformed itself into a fierce cyclone, the Congress will no doubt reflect on the course of events that led to Mamata Banerjee withdrawing her Trinamul Congress from the UPA-2.

Media and the message

I was a student and not living in India during the horrible days of the Emergency. As such, I can’t speak with any measure of authority of the experiences of those brave souls who had to encounter the red pen of pig-headed censors. However, the 17 months of press censorship, between 1975 and 1977, did have a salutary effect on the Indian media: It made the Fourth Estate fiercely possessive about their democratic rights, enshrined in the Constitution.

The rise of modern Muslim leadership

The violence in Assam’s Kokrajhar district and its unsettling reverberations in the rest of India have ignited passions and triggered a return of identity politics. This shift and its ominous implications have already begun to be dissected in politics, the media and society.

Of Churchill, Lords & the art of retiring

In history, Sir Winston Churchill is remembered as the leader who stood up fearlessly to Hitler and rescued Great Britain from the brink of defeat. What is less remembered is that after his unexpected defeat in the general election of 1945, Churchill remained in active politics and led the Conservative Party to victory in the 1951 election.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.