Two stories, one dangerous trend

A policeman is seen supposedly drunk. Someone shoots a video and uploads it. The Aam Aadmi Party, which has been arguing for control of the Delhi police, sees an opportunity and pushes the video hard. It goes viral. Police officials immediately suspend the supposedly errant cop.

It turns out the cop was suffering a stroke.

Elsewhere, a girl student goes to a national education center to do some research. She is stopped at the gates; the security guard declares her a traitor and says she comes from a den of anti-nationals, and refuses to let her in. She leaves in tears.

Spot the link between the two stories?




Shashi Tharoor on nationalism

In the ongoing JNU lecture series, the latest is Shashi Tharoor. Here is his speech:

And before Tharoor, Kanhaiya Kumar spoke as the opening act:


The news — and views — in briefs

#1. Read M Rajshekhar on the lucrative trade in Rajya Sabha seats:

According to the former Congress MP, the legislative arithmetic in these states creates a market for buying and selling Rajya Sabha seats. A third big party that has some seats but not enough to nominate its own members to the Rajya Sabha can capitalise on its numbers. This is likely, he says, if the small party has been out of power for long – and is cash-strapped.

#2. Boring, but very important: The BJP national executive that met in Delhi over the weekend passed a resolution that is worth reading in full, and remembering as the year ahead unfolds.

#4. Speaking at the executive meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his partymen to avoid controversies. The reported statement seems along the lines of the established right wing narrative — that there is a vast left-wing machinery lying in wait for any excuse to play ambush politics. This neatly shifts the narrative from the acts themselves, to the motives of those who question various acts — but let that lie. I’m hoping Modi’s partymen were listening — and will respect his views. We could do with a lessening of the political temperature in this country.

#4. For Holi week, a brief history of bhang.

#5. The best thing to have come out of the JNU fracas is the teach-in program featuring academics and others speaking on nationalism and related subjects (Several of which have been posted on this blog earlier). Here, the announcement for the next series (Follow Stand With JNU for updates):


The campus debate

The full video of a campus debate organised as part of the India Today conclave, that pits rival JNU factions, one led by Kanhaiya Kumar and the other by Saurabh Sharma of the ABVP. Watch:

Some passing amusement over how quickly student leaders pick up the tricks of seasoned politicians. See how often the panelists, asked a direct question, deflect it and answer the question they ask themselves.

PS: A no-blogging day tomorrow. Ramesh Srivats and I want to take the day and work on some fun stuff. Details soon.


Anupam Kher, redux

Yesterday, Anupam Kher spoke at JNU. The full speech is here for those who want to listen.

It is not the contents of the speech that struck me — there is nothing there that Kher has not said before, in other forums. What is noticeable is this:

Continue reading

Kanhaiya Kumar, tomorrow and yesterday

Tomorrow, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will hear a petition demanding that the bail given to the JNUSU president be revoked.

Yesterday he spoke, thus:

Also read, this “open letter” by Kiran Nagarkar to Kanhaiya Kumar.