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The novice Indian politician’s guide to drubbings, snubbings and shruggings
David Lalmalsawma
OCT 21, 2012 04:58 UTC
ARVIND KEJRIWAL | BJP | CONGRESS | DIGVIJAY | GADKARI | IAC
It was only a matter of time before activist Arvind Kejriwal and his anti-corruption movement got back some of what they gave.
After Kejriwal’s flurry of allegations of wrongdoing by politicians and accusing the entire political class of working together as a “family” in looting the country, the family is striking back.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh has accused Kejriwal of being a “self-serving ambitious megalomaniac”​, and plenty of others have openly questioned his intentions. An RTI activist has accused one of Kejriwal’s aide of playing a dubious role in a Mumbai land deal, while another faces questions over farmland that she bought.
Kejriwal, whose hard knocks mostly have come through hunger strikes and being arrested during protests, is learning newer, more interesting forms of roughhousing. For him and other people thinking of changing the country through politics, here is a guide to political pushing that will help you recognize it when it’s happening to you. Once your skin develops some resistance, you can start practicing it on other people – all while saving the country, of course.
The silent treatment: A simple but effective response against any allegation, the silent treatment relies on the short attention span of the 24-hour news cycle and the public. Once the novelty of the accusation wears off, it’s on to more breaking news. Sample this wisdom from Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav: “Ignore them (Kejriwal and aides) for some time. They will get tired of repeating the same thing again and again and will eventually go silent.”
Counter-allegations: Turning the tables on your accusers is a great way try to force them to lose focus and poise. Anyone who saw on television how Kejriwal’s aides indignantly shouted and rambled on about not being cowed by allegations against them can see that they have started to lose their cool.
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Starbucks arrives in India, gains spice, loses flavour
Robert MacMillan
OCT 19, 2012 15:50 UTC
BARISTA | CAFE COFFEE DAY | INDIA | MUMBAI | STARBUCKS
(Warning: there’s barely a lick of reporting in this blog post. Opinions are the author’s only, and almost certainly are wrong.)
Take a look at the items on the menu at the new Starbucks coffee shops in Mumbai, which opened this week in a joint venture with India’s Tata Global Beverages Ltd. As Megha Bahree and Margherita Stancati show you at The Wall Street Journal’s India blog, they include a series of curious “fusion” items:
murg tikka sandwich
tandoori chicken sandwich
tamarind peanut chicken calzone
the Konkani twist (it’s a long puff, Bahree and Stancati report)
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Arvind Kejriwal: when lightning doesn’t strike thrice
Vipin Das M.
OCT 18, 2012 21:44 UTC
ANTI-CORRUPTION | ARVIND KEJRIWAL | NITIN GADKARI | ROBERT VADRA
(The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and represent his points of view only.)
Arvind Kejriwal’s dud of an expose on Bharatiya Janata Party chief Nitin Gadkari has caused some people to wonder why the social activist made his allegations in the first place. Is he trying to clean up politics? Or is he trying to clean up votes?
I like Kejriwal. He is a true activist. He gave up a comfortable government job to dive into the world of rallies and RTIs. He even won a Magsaysay award for it.
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Photo gallery: from Dussehra melas to Durga Puja pandals
Ankush Arora
OCT 18, 2012 18:24 UTC
DELHI | DURGA PUJA | DUSSEHRA | INDIA | MELAS | PANDAL | PHOTOGRAPHY
I don’t know if the smartphone-toting Indian of the shopping malls still frequents festival melas. As for me, I can’t help but feel drawn to these vibrant mass gatherings during festivals.
Here, a spinning wheel juts out of a busy crossing in west Delhi. I spent a lot of time shooting it and finally settled on this image:
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Rahul Gandhi can change Congress’ image with cabinet entry
Ankush Arora
OCT 17, 2012 13:46 UTC
CONGRESS | MANMOHAN SINGH | RAHUL GANDHI | RAILWAY MINISTER | SONIA GANDHI | UPA
India is asking the same old question after news reports said Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday before a possible cabinet reshuffle later this month: will Gandhi be one of the cards in his deck?
Gandhi’s entry into the government would be the only opportunity for him to prove that he has what it takes to one day rule India. He’s seen as the prime-minister-in-waiting, and a cabinet post would better equip him to deal with the hurly-burly of Indian politics.
Several cabinet posts are vacant, and some cabinet ministers hold additional portfolios. And even after passing market-moving reform measures, Congress’ task of boosting its public image is incomplete.
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Selling your spouse: when is it legal?
Robert MacMillan
OCT 16, 2012 20:12 UTC
INDIA | TIMES OF INDIA
Don’t ever think that I ask only smart questions.
Here’s a story that I found in the Times of India today: a man sold his wife to a broker for Rs. 6,000 (about US$114). This was the money that he needed to keep himself in liquor, the Times reported.
The accused, Medula Rajender, 42, of Malyala village in Chandurthi mandal sold his wife Medula Ammayi, 36, to the broker on October 13 to meet his liquor expenses. Daily wager Rajender found it hard to buy liquor and struck a deal with the broker to sell his wife.
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From AlertNet: Water scarcity compounds India’s food insecurity
Great Debate India
OCT 16, 2012 17:03 UTC
ALERTNET | INDIA | MALNUTRITION | SOUTH ASIA | WATER SHORTAGE
These are the personal views of Siddharth Chatterjee  and do not reflect those of his employer, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Follow him on Twitter: @sidchat1
 
Since India’s independence, the mammoth task of feeding its hundreds of millions, most of whom are extremely poor, has been a major challenge to policymakers. In the coming decades, the issue of food insecurity is likely to affect almost all Indians. However, for the poorest amongst us, it could be catastrophic. India ranks 65 of 79 countries in the Global Hunger Index. This is extremely alarming.
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FROM PHOTOGRAPHERS BLOG:
Farewell old lady of Mumbai
Vivek Prakash
OCT 16, 2012 08:48 UTC
INDIA | MUMBAI | PHOTOGRAPHY | TAXIS
By Vivek Prakash
Many things are uncertain in Mumbai - the weather, the possibility of an appointment actually happening on time, the chance of getting through the city without hitting some obstacle or other…
But one thing is perfectly certain: you’re wanted at the traffic jam, they're saving you a seat.
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Photo gallery: Preparing for Durga Puja in Noida
Sankalp Phartiyal
OCT 14, 2012 02:28 UTC
DURGA PUJA | INDIA | MAHISHASURA | NEW DELHI | NOIDA | PANDAL | PHOTOGRAPHY
There is a workshop near my home in Noida, east of Delhi, where sculptors mould clay into idols of Hindu gods and goddess all through the year for festivals. These occasions mean brisk business for the craftsmen, who work in a makeshift hut covered by tin sheets. The idols sell for 500 to 700 rupees, depending on the size.
The idols of the goddess Durga and other characters in her story are being built because the Durga Puja is only a week away. I asked the people in the workshop if I could shoot, and they gave in after a bit of persuasion. The pictures that follow are of these craftsmen painting the idols of Durga.
The annual Durga Puja is a five-day festival commemorating the death of the buffalo demon Mahishasura at the hands of Hindu goddess Durga. Traditionally a festival celebrated in eastern India — it is the biggest festival in the state of West Bengal — Durga Puja is now celebrated in north India with much gusto and fanfare.
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Photo gallery: On World Sight Day, photography by ‘Blind With Camera’
Ankush Arora
OCT 13, 2012 16:36 UTC
ALIANCE FRANCAISE | BLIND PHOTOGRAPHY | BLIND WITH CAMERA | DELHI | INDIA | NEW DELHI | PHOTOGRAPHY
Photographers say you need to have an eye to take pictures. These children, who lack some or all of their vision, have applied the same maxim to their photography. The pictures that you see below are images that I took of an exhibition by the Mumbai-based project ‘Blind With Camera’. The show is on display at the Alliance Francaise in New Delhi until Oct. 18th, and I shot these images on the World Health Organization’s World Sight Day.
“…Tactile, audio clues, visual memories of sight, warmth of light and cognitive skills are used by the visually impaired photographers to create the mental image before they judge to take a picture,” said Partho Bhowmick, a member of the project.
The first picture was taken at Dadar Kabutarkhana in Mumbai during a workshop in 2010. The photographer, Bhavesh Patel, who was born blind, according to the exhibition brochure, said he followed the direction of the sound of pigeons flying and took the picture based on the audio clue.
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