Tag Archives: Narendra Modi

2014 The Election That Changed India, by Rajdeep Sardesai

Book Review

Rating: 7/10

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Rajdeep Sardesai is one from the league of journalists who rose from the ranks of foot soldiers of pre-privatised news industry to the owner (almost) of a multi-million dollar news channel. But still he is a journalist who is just as appreciated as a stain on your shirt – you will notice it only when it’s there, and will forget the moment you switch your shirt. I said in one of my comments during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections of India, ‘Rajdeep Sardesai used to be as good as Pranoy Roy (NDTV), but thought it’s good to be loud & outspoken as Arnab Goswami, and ended up struggling in-between trying to find his ‘original’ style.’

However much do I dislike his style of journalism, I found his style of writing very intriguing in his debut book – 2014 The Election That Changed India. His first-hand account of what conspired and how it happened in one of the most challenging, yet innovative elections of the world’s biggest democracy, this book will definitely be used as a reference for contemporary political historians. In his book, Rajdeep has covered the entire landscape of Indian politics, from “Left” to “Right” and in-between, from UPA to NDA to Third (& Fourth) Front, from “Didi” to “Behenji” to “Amma” – he has it all.

One of the key changes that happened in the Indian politics in 2014 was that this was everybody’s election, and the level of polarisation was unprecedented. Parallels can be drawn with the Janata Party government formed after Emergency, but they will never be able to match the hype that the 2014 election created. This election saw the use of modern technology, analytics and social media in almost a maddening style by the cash-rich BJP. In this high-paced election campaigning and run-up to the highest post in India, media played a crucial role, and I believed that only someone from the media could ever chronicle the events accurately. And Rajdeep, in my opinion, has done that to a highly satisfactory level.

The book is not without its flaws, though. Rajdeep has, at numerous instances, tried to break himself free from some of the most embarrassing moments of his career – Modi interview during Vivekanand Yatra and Raj Thackrey interview. Very subtly, he tries to reassure the reader that all is well between him and these politicians, and that he can always give them a casual call even in the late hours. Only he or the politicians know how much water does that statement holds. Also, his obsession with comparing politics with cricket annoyed me a lot.

Overall, I believe the book is a very interesting account of one of the most ferociously fought elections of India. If you ever participated in those heated political discussions in early months of 2014, I will highly recommend you to read this book.

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P.S.: The pictures have been borrowed from internet with thanks to the owner of this picture.

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India versus Pakistan (Nobel War)

10/10/2014 is a very unique date in the history of both India and Pakistan, when the only two Noble Peace Prizes of the year have been awarded to Kailash Satyarthi (India) and Malala Yousafai (Pakistan). Congratulations to the people of both the countries for this feat! The celebrations have already begun in both the countries; social media and news channels is full with the congratulatory notes to both the winners.

Nobel Peace Prize

But the ironical part of this victory is that while the world might want to acknowledge these countries for peace, the Prime Ministers of both these countries have opened guns against each other. On one side of the border is PM Narendra Modi whose party is facing elections in two states and he has to prove his ability to meet his pre-poll promises of national security and integrity. And on the other side is PM Nawaz Shareif who is being blackmailed into getting off his post and has to prove his mettle to be prepared for an election, just in case. And what better way than to fight at the border.

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Source: http://tearsofmanomajra.weebly.com/historical-reference-pakistan-india-conflict.html

I watched a very nice movie – Haider – very recently and have been thinking ever since that in this constant fight of political forces, the ultimate sufferers are the people of Kashmir – Jammu & Kashmir in India (Indian Occupied Kashmir) and Azad Kashmir in Pakistan (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafai have something in common – both have fought for the rights of children in their own way. Isn’t that a responsibility of the governments and the armies of both these countries to help forward this cause? Isn’t it more sensible for both the countries to spend this money on child education, child welfare, healthcare and infrastructure development, rather than showing muscle to each other?

I would like to congratulate both Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafai on the great work that they have done in their own capacities. And it’s my urge to the people and politicians of both these countries to listen to these two great personalities and help them spread their message to the world.