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Praful Bidwai

April 30, 2015
Why the Parivar wants Dr Ambedkar
'The Parivar's ideology and politics was and remains the very opposite of what Dr Ambedkar stood for.'
February 23, 2015
Rahul follows a weird political calculus
'He is anything but astute or charismatic. He believes the Congress can win elections without alliances in the Hindi heartland.'
October 30, 2014
Modi Magic won Maharashtra and Haryana? Naah!
'Anti-incumbency, especially in Maharashtra; the BJP's success in creating a new social coalition; and the sheer force of the party's campaign which overwhelmed its opponents,' argues Praful Bidwai, brought the BJP victory in Haryana and Maharashtra, not the Modi effect.
September 05, 2014
Why is the PM silent on the Sangh Parivar's 'love jihad' campaign?
'If the BJP wants to build a minimally inclusive and secure society, in which vulnerable groups and religious minorities don't feel persecuted, then the Sangh Parivar, the party and its government must change their ways. Or else, they risk dividing India further -- violently and irreparably -- for narrow political ends,' argues Praful Bidwai.
September 01, 2014
Modi's BJP is not invincible
'The BJP suddenly seems vulnerable. This is not entirely surprising. In the past too, governments and leaders who won a thumping Lok Sabha majority lost popularity in a matter of months... The by-polls results shows that a degree of disenchantment with the Modi government is setting in,' says Praful Bidwai.
August 22, 2014
Modi's two big mistakes
'Both reflect prejudice and short-sightedness peculiar to Mr Modi's way of thinking.'
August 11, 2014
Why Natwar Singh's 'disclosures' sound hollow
Natwar Singh's book is un-illuminating, largely self-justificatory, often contradictory, and at times tendentious. He is too preoccupied with depicting himself as a victim of the Congress party's machinations, says Praful Bidwai.
June 20, 2014
How the government is smothering dissident NGOs
Muzzling NGOs is unbecoming of a democracy. Self-confident democracies encourage, indeed applaud, the involvement of citizens' associations, including NGOs, in social and political decision-making and development planning. Instead, our paranoid government bullies and terrorises them, says Praful Bidwai.
May 30, 2014
Modi's ministry bears indelible impress of a single person
Narendra Modi's victory does not represent a victory of 'the Indian nation', but only an elite-driven polarising phenomenon. The sooner we -- and the BJP -- recognise this, the better, says Praful Bidwai.
May 08, 2014
How the media whitewashes Narendra Modi
Modi today needs BJP CMs and non-party regional leaders to win votes and build alliances, but he will over-rule them and treat them like dirt once they have served their electoral purpose. Make no mistake: Modi is incurably authoritarian and will brook no dissent -- so long as the RSS is on board, says Praful Bidwai.
April 24, 2014
Not fielding Priyanka against Modi is a blunder
As Narendra Modi files his nomination in Varanasi, Praful Bidwai believes 'a straight contest against Priyanka would have put Modi on the defensive and forced him to concentrate on Varanasi.'
March 26, 2014
Why Kejriwal can dent Modi's campaign
'AAP's real value must be measured not by the number of Lok Sabha seats it wins in the election -- which may not exceed 10 or 15 -- and not even by the number of votes it takes from the BJP, but by its ability to deflate Modi's superhuman '56-inch chest' image and the charisma so assiduously manufactured around him by the corporate-controlled media.'
March 18, 2014
Can AAP stop Modi?
Even a 6 percent vote-share would make AAP an important player on the national scene. The key lies in strategically concentrating AAP's vote, especially in the cities, so that it can break Narendra Modi's momentum, besides defeating an already weak Congress, says Praful Bidwai.
February 10, 2014
The last legal word on Modi's culpability has not been pronounced
One hopes the higher courts take the extraordinary steps needed to secure justice for the victims. The Gujarat carnage demands nothing less because of its unique nature and sponsorship by the State, argues Praful Bidwai.
February 05, 2014
The crude dramatics of Arvind Kejriwal
'Arvind Kejriwal displayed crass male chauvinism and gender illiteracy in saying that "rape tendencies arise out of sex, prostitution and drug rackets." This shows a failure to grasp that rape has little to with sex, and even less with drugs. Such remarks are far worse than the deplorable comments of policemen and politicians who attribute rapes to women's "provocative" attire or their outdoor presence at night!' says Praful Bidwai.
January 16, 2014
Congress out, BJP down, where does AAP stand?
The AAP has adopted policies in an ad hoc manner, without thinking them through or deriving them from a broader framework. This must change if the AAP is to become a credible alternative, says Praful Bidwai.
January 06, 2014
Will Kejriwal wreck Modi's dream?
The Bharatiya Janata Party's forward march has slowed down. Can Arvind Kejriwal eclipse Narendra Modi in the upcoming general election? Modi, feels Praful Bidwai, may have peaked too soon and Arvind Kajriwal's politics may find new takers.
December 27, 2013
How the AAP can take advantage of India's changing political equations
If the AAP wins 20 to 40 Lok Sabha seats, which is conceivable unless it botches up on governance in Delhi, it will become a significant bloc comparable in influence to or even bigger than several major regional parties, feels Praful Bidwai.
December 23, 2013
How the AAP can end up helping Modi and the BJP
'The AAP is likely to take root in some metropolises -- although it won't be easy to replicate the small-scale Delhi model with equal intensity or cadre-strength in a large state,' says Praful Bidwai.
December 13, 2013
Why the Congress needs to sack this man for survival
'The Congress can't return to power unless it reins in prices, lowers interest rates, taxes the rich,' says Praful Bidwai. 'If this means sacking those most responsible for the UPA's pro-big business policies including Finance Minister Chidambaram, so be it!'
November 19, 2013
India's Mars mission isn't about science, but spectacle
The Mars mission is overwhelmingly irrelevant to space science and won't advance the frontiers of knowledge. It will divert attention from the real technological challenges facing the Indian space programme, and will further distort our science and technology priorities, says Praful Bidwai.
October 08, 2013
The Vietnamese general who tamed the US war machine
Praful Bidwai pays tribute to General Vo Nguyen Giap who was a legend in his lifetime and hailed as one of the greatest military leaders of the 20th century.
September 06, 2013
Why we must support the Food Security Bill
Only three percent of Indians pay income tax; our tax-GDP ratio is among the lowest in the world. This must change. Our elites must realise that India's poverty has damaging consequences for them, and that they can help decrease it. The food security bill, with all its limitations, will hopefully contribute to generating such awareness, says Praful Bidwai.
September 02, 2013
Opposing superstition is right tribute to Dabholkar
Reason must triumph over blind faith, says Praful Bidwai in this tribute to murdered rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
August 16, 2013
The Communists need to rethink or perish!
'The Left's decline is now a reality, both nationally and in West Bengal.'Behind it lie: Ideological rigidity and confusion, outdated party programmes... a socially conservative upper-caste leadership,' says Praful Bidwai.
August 12, 2013
Why India needs more well-managed and viable states
India's fear of small states derives from memories of Partition and the paranoid view that it will break up under 'too many' states. It's time to shed such fears and bite the 'states' reorganisation' bullet. India won't crumble under a few more Telanganas, Vidarbhas or Gorkhalands, says Praful Bidwai.
July 19, 2013
Starting Kudankulam: When deception triumphs
India's nuclear establishment is continuing its march of folly at the expense of safety in the false belief that atomic power is the energy of the future. It's not. Nuclear power is in relentless global decline, says Praful Bidwai.
July 05, 2013
Congress on the backfoot, BJP isolated
The political situation in the country is fluid and could change significantly. But as things stand, India could be headed for an unstable minority government dependent on uncertain "outside" support, says Praful Bidwai.
June 07, 2013
Beneath the deceptive calm, despair, anger brew in Kashmir
For the Kashmiri people, the gun remains India's main face, and coercion or deception by New Delhi dominates their consciousness, says Praful Bidwai after a recent visit to the valley.
May 30, 2013
How the government suppresses dissent
The mother of intolerance is the Union home ministry, run by ultra-conservative bureaucrats who are inclined to take a hard line on matters ranging from fighting insurgencies to putting citizens under surveillance to outlawing dissident groups, says Praful Bidwai.
May 04, 2013
What the Saradha scam reveals
More details will doubtless pour out about Sudipto Sen's rackets as investigations proceed. But one thing is certain. The vast majority of Saradha's victims will only get a pittance from the Rs 5 billion compensation fund set up by the Mamata Banerjee government, to be part financed by an additional levy on cigarettes, of all things. But the investors' stake is estimated at Rs 170 billion, if not more, says Praful Bidwai.
March 29, 2013
As allies stake out rival claims, UPA on shaky ground
Even if the SP doesn't immediately withdraw support, the UPA government will remain helplessly dependent on the SP and the BSP. Withdrawal of support by either could destroy the UPA's paper-thin majority. It will have to do a balancing act between these two rivals on a day-to-day basis, says Praful Bidwai.
March 22, 2013
Invest in the poor, tax the rich
Most rich and upper-middle class Indians are greatly under-taxed. Worse, the government annually writes off over Rs 5 lakh crores through exemptions. This practice must be ended if the growth-development disconnect is to be abolished, says Praful Bidwai.
March 16, 2013
Finishing Hugo Chavez's unfinished task in Venezuela
Sustaining the Bolivarian revolution after Hugo Chavez won't be easy. But we must all celebrate its considerable achievements and wish it well, says Praful Bidwai.
March 02, 2013
Why India's regional influence is fading
India's regional policy has fallen between the two stools of pragmatism and principle. It's time India revisited and rectified its approach. Relations with neighbours deserve nothing less, says Praful Bidwai.
January 29, 2013
Why Rahul's strategy will fail
The Congress could have regained some lost ground had it returned to welfare and a pro-poor platform. Instead, it has moved in the opposite direction. Rahul Gandhi's upper middle class-based political mobilisation strategy is likely to fail badly, says Praful Bidwai.
January 16, 2013
Indo-Pak border: The guns must fall silent
India and Pakistan, says Praful Bidwai, have to get out of the deeply ingrained habit of regarding their Hot-Cold War as something normal and inevitable, and move towards demilitarising their borders.
January 29, 2013
View: Why Rahul's strategy will fail
The Congress could have regained some lost ground had it returned to welfare and a pro-poor platform. Instead, it has moved in the opposite direction. Rahul Gandhi's upper middle class-based political mobilisation strategy is likely to fail badly, says Praful Bidwai.
December 28, 2012
It won't be easy for Modi to be the BJP's nominee for PM
'No BJP leader trusts him. His bid for the position will sharpen inner-party rivalries. The RSS is wary of him because he is too much of an individualistic autocrat and has destroyed the Sangh in Gujarat,' says Praful Bidwai.
June 01, 2012
Why Modi must be stopped in his tracks
'With Narendra Modi set to take over as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, a combination of big capital and Hindutva could prove the undoing of the rule of law and Indian democracy.'
November 08, 2011
Neither sport nor entertainment: The fraud called Formula One
A major antagonism is visible the world over between capitalism and democracy. But the Indian elite and the media continue to glorify capitalism, with all its sleaze. Their celebration of F1 is part of this, says Praful Bidwai.
October 03, 2011
Playing dirty politics with the poor
'Second-generation neoliberal policies, coupled with multiple failures on the food front, could do to the UPA what India Shining did to the NDA in 2004.'
September 05, 2011
Anna's problematic agenda: End of a grave crisis
Team Anna must show some humility instead of imposing its will on society. It doesn't hold a monopoly on understanding how to make governance more inclusive, clean and people-responsive. It must recognise that finally, it is Parliament that prevailed on the Lokpal legislative process, and that's how things should be, says Praful Bidwai.
May 20, 2011
Praful Bidwai: Poll results- Tectonic shift in Indian politics
The Congress's 3-to-2 score in the five states might appear respectable, but must be seen in perspective. Its Assam win came entirely because of local leaders. The corruption issue hit the Congress in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. And it lost the people's pulse in Puducherry, says Praful Bidwai.
April 15, 2011
Gandhi doesn't need this defence
Banning books shows insecurity of the political class, says Praful Bidwai.
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