Rajdeep Sardesai

Rajdeep Sardesai is senior journalist, author and TV news presenter. His book 2014: The election that changed India is a national best seller that has been translated into half a dozen languages. He tweets as @sardesairajdeep

Articles by Rajdeep Sardesai

The Congress must save itself, first

The Congress’s ad-hoc leadership style has left the party in a state of perpetual inertia. The Udaipur Declaration recognises the urgent need for a revamp. To achieve that, the party needs to make some tough calls
Can the Congress afford an incrementalist approach, especially when facing an existential crisis? Perhaps the most candid acknowledgement of the party’s dilemma came from Rahul Gandhi when he admitted that the party’s connection with the people was broken. (ANI)
Can the Congress afford an incrementalist approach, especially when facing an existential crisis? Perhaps the most candid acknowledgement of the party’s dilemma came from Rahul Gandhi when he admitted that the party’s connection with the people was broken. (ANI)
Updated on May 19, 2022 07:16 PM IST
Copy Link

The neta-police nexus must be dismantled

  • Every regime has seen police partisanship backed by executive overreach, with little regard for due process. Break this chain, now
Could an Opposition MLA such as Mevani have suddenly been picked up at midnight from Gujarat by the Assam Police and brought to Kokrajhar without the knowledge of the CM or law enforcement authorities? (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Could an Opposition MLA such as Mevani have suddenly been picked up at midnight from Gujarat by the Assam Police and brought to Kokrajhar without the knowledge of the CM or law enforcement authorities? (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Published on May 05, 2022 07:23 PM IST
Copy Link

What the communal flare-ups manifest

A deliberate attempt is being made to find polarising issues aimed at othering Muslims — hijab, halal meat, azaan, the list is growing
The aggressive celebrations of Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti are meant to send out an unambiguous message that Hindu cultural revivalism is now an unstoppable force (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
The aggressive celebrations of Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti are meant to send out an unambiguous message that Hindu cultural revivalism is now an unstoppable force (Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Apr 21, 2022 05:58 PM IST
Copy Link

Why two nations bowled out two prominent netas

  • While Khan and Sidhu are not too similar, what they share is the failure to recognise the limits of personality-driven politics replacing institutional cohesion in democratic set-ups
In a sense, both Khan and Sidhu are alumni of the Donald Trump school of disruptionist politics, larger-than-life figures whose commitment to the self is often greater than their loyalty to an organisation. 
In a sense, both Khan and Sidhu are alumni of the Donald Trump school of disruptionist politics, larger-than-life figures whose commitment to the self is often greater than their loyalty to an organisation. 
Published on Apr 07, 2022 07:54 PM IST
Copy Link

The Kashmir Files: A tragedy retold

While the film might be therapeutic for Pandits, it does not provide any perspective on critical issues such as Delhi-Srinagar intrigue, rigged polls, State brutalities, and demands for greater autonomy and azaadi
A man walks past a poster
A man walks past a poster "The Kashmir Files", Mumbai, March 16, 2022 (REUTERS)
Updated on Mar 24, 2022 07:22 PM IST
Copy Link

How the BJP rewrote the rules of politics in UP

The party expanded its social base, pushed welfarism, and targeted the SP’s and Congress’s dynastic culture. The BJP’s rise, however, would not have been as striking without the presence of Modi as messenger-in-chief
Despite a governance deficit, the BJP was able to create a ‘pro-incumbency’ momentum because the Modi factor often overrides all else. The emotional connect that the PM has fostered, especially in UP, transcends a ‘normal’ voter-neta equation (AFP)
Despite a governance deficit, the BJP was able to create a ‘pro-incumbency’ momentum because the Modi factor often overrides all else. The emotional connect that the PM has fostered, especially in UP, transcends a ‘normal’ voter-neta equation (AFP)
Updated on Mar 12, 2022 08:23 AM IST
Copy Link

In UP polls, the BJP has a clear edge

The lack of Opposition options, astute social engineering, welfare outreach, tight media management and the enduring appeal of Hindutva are likely to help the BJP in the crucial state
Bharatiya Janata Party supporters during a public meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kaushambi, February 23 (ANI)
Bharatiya Janata Party supporters during a public meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kaushambi, February 23 (ANI)
Updated on Feb 24, 2022 07:35 PM IST
Copy Link

What Lata-di meant to the subcontinent

No one has comforted and unified so many millions like the melodious voice of Lata Mangeshkar, cutting across barriers of caste, community, region, even nationality
Lata Mangeshkar’s genius was matched by a complete dedication to the craft. Not a word or a sur (melody) out of place, she is a reminder of the virtue of devotion to the arts as a life-long mission (Vijayanand gupta/ht photo)
Lata Mangeshkar’s genius was matched by a complete dedication to the craft. Not a word or a sur (melody) out of place, she is a reminder of the virtue of devotion to the arts as a life-long mission (Vijayanand gupta/ht photo)
Updated on Feb 10, 2022 05:55 PM IST
Copy Link

The AAP is still a work in progress

It is no more a moral project, but a hardnosed political party. And instead of targeting the BJP, the party is infringing upon the Congress’s customary footprint
A shrewd Kejriwal has strategically placed himself outside the pale of any ideological straitjacket, neither a Left-liberal cheerleader nor a Right-wing nationalist (Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)
A shrewd Kejriwal has strategically placed himself outside the pale of any ideological straitjacket, neither a Left-liberal cheerleader nor a Right-wing nationalist (Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 27, 2022 10:42 PM IST
Copy Link

2022 elections: It’s back to divisive politics

For leaders who have no answer to the real challenges — jobs, corruption, education, or public health — there is always heightened religious identity politics to fall back upon
Both these caste-based parties, one led by a Yadav and the other by a Jatav, viewed Muslims as their “natural allies”. The competitive courting of Muslim voters, often through local clerics and district strongmen with criminal records, made it easier for the BJP to prey on the fear and insecurities of Hindus. (ANI)
Both these caste-based parties, one led by a Yadav and the other by a Jatav, viewed Muslims as their “natural allies”. The competitive courting of Muslim voters, often through local clerics and district strongmen with criminal records, made it easier for the BJP to prey on the fear and insecurities of Hindus. (ANI)
Updated on Jan 13, 2022 08:44 PM IST
Copy Link

In 2022, a prayer for a better year for India

From politics to economy, from religious intolerance to health imbalances, every arm of the nation needs reform
Here is a prayer for an India where what we eat and drink, who we marry, how we pray must remain a matter of fierce individual choice (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Here is a prayer for an India where what we eat and drink, who we marry, how we pray must remain a matter of fierce individual choice (Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Dec 30, 2021 08:42 PM IST
Copy Link

In India, corruption is the great leveller

The nature of the corruption may vary, but the ‘deal-making’ is in-built into a well-entrenched system of localised political-bureaucratic networks
On a global bribery risk index, India made a big leap forward from rank 185 in 2014 to 77 in 2020. Digitisation and the use of technology in several government processes have reduced the scope for misuse of discretionary powers, be it in tax collection or public services (Shutterstock)
On a global bribery risk index, India made a big leap forward from rank 185 in 2014 to 77 in 2020. Digitisation and the use of technology in several government processes have reduced the scope for misuse of discretionary powers, be it in tax collection or public services (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 16, 2021 07:58 PM IST
Copy Link

The shift in PM Modi’s strategy

Beyond immediate polls, he is conscious of the need to come across as caring and benevolent when it comes to the poor and farmers
The repeal of the laws, therefore, isn’t about addressing the farmers’ anxieties, but rather because, in politics, there is always one inner voice that no leader can ignore: The sound of the election bugle (Bloomberg)
The repeal of the laws, therefore, isn’t about addressing the farmers’ anxieties, but rather because, in politics, there is always one inner voice that no leader can ignore: The sound of the election bugle (Bloomberg)
Updated on Dec 05, 2021 08:32 PM IST
Copy Link

The limits of the Gandhi-Khurshid strategy

Take on Hindutva — but remember that it will have clear electoral implications and give the BJP a tool to distract voters
If the Gandhi-Khurshid zero tolerance for religious hatred is to be pursued, then it must extend to any and every perpetrator of communal violence (PTI)
If the Gandhi-Khurshid zero tolerance for religious hatred is to be pursued, then it must extend to any and every perpetrator of communal violence (PTI)
Updated on Nov 18, 2021 06:26 PM IST
Copy Link

Mumbai’s police-politics-crime nexus

The Wankhede-Aryan-Malik story is one that blurs the lines between crime, policing, and politics. Mumbai’s worst kept secrets have come tumbling out
Wankhede has a reputation for taking on Mumbai’s rich and famous. Critics accuse him of harassing the glamour world as part of an extortion racket, and supporters credit him with putting the rule of law above VVIP status (PTI)
Wankhede has a reputation for taking on Mumbai’s rich and famous. Critics accuse him of harassing the glamour world as part of an extortion racket, and supporters credit him with putting the rule of law above VVIP status (PTI)
Updated on Nov 04, 2021 02:35 PM IST
Copy Link

The idea of political accountability

Indian politics doesn’t take the idea of conflict of interest seriously. This allows politicians to escape responsibility
By refusing to sack Mishra or even express concern over the Lakhimpur fallout, the government’s credibility and commitment to the rule of law has taken a hit (PTI)
By refusing to sack Mishra or even express concern over the Lakhimpur fallout, the government’s credibility and commitment to the rule of law has taken a hit (PTI)
Updated on Oct 22, 2021 05:32 PM IST
Copy Link

The Rahul versus Mamata versus Arvind battle

The Congress can’t be discounted, but its weaknesses have emboldened other parties to expand their national footprint
The crisis in the Congress has sparked off a race for pre-eminence in the Opposition ranks. While Mamata Banerjee is trying to expand her party’s presence in the Northeast and Goa, Kejriwal too is moving quickly into states where the Congress is seen as vulnerable (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
The crisis in the Congress has sparked off a race for pre-eminence in the Opposition ranks. While Mamata Banerjee is trying to expand her party’s presence in the Northeast and Goa, Kejriwal too is moving quickly into states where the Congress is seen as vulnerable (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 07, 2021 04:50 PM IST
Copy Link

In Indian politics, the challenge of transition

In the absence of inner-party democracy, arriving at a fine balance between gen-next aspirations and an ageing political leadership seems difficult. In politics, the premium placed on experience and stature makes it even more problematic to bring about any overnight change. But there is a way out
Timing your retirement right is never easy. In politics, there is neither a retirement age nor an institutionalised mechanism to facilitate a smooth transition to a new order (RAVI KUMAR/HT)
Timing your retirement right is never easy. In politics, there is neither a retirement age nor an institutionalised mechanism to facilitate a smooth transition to a new order (RAVI KUMAR/HT)
Updated on Sep 23, 2021 08:26 PM IST
Copy Link

Indian sport: The triumph, the challenge

The government has put in work to improve India’s performance. But governance structures need an overhaul
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interactis with Indian athletes' contingent bound for Tokyo Olympics in July. The PM can legitimately claim that his government has done more than others in building an Olympic medal momentum. But political control over sport federations must be tackled . (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interactis with Indian athletes' contingent bound for Tokyo Olympics in July. The PM can legitimately claim that his government has done more than others in building an Olympic medal momentum. But political control over sport federations must be tackled . (PTI)
Updated on Sep 09, 2021 06:16 PM IST
Copy Link

The agony of being a secular Indian Muslim

Islamists insist on religious solidarity. The Hindu Right insists on patriotism tests. Both are wrong
Taliban fighters patrol as two Traffic policemen stand, left, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. The Taliban celebrated Afghanistan's Independence Day on Thursday by declaring they beat the United States, but challenges to their rule ranging from running a country severely short on cash and bureaucrats to potentially facing an armed opposition began to emerge. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) (AP)
Taliban fighters patrol as two Traffic policemen stand, left, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021. The Taliban celebrated Afghanistan's Independence Day on Thursday by declaring they beat the United States, but challenges to their rule ranging from running a country severely short on cash and bureaucrats to potentially facing an armed opposition began to emerge. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul) (AP)
Updated on Aug 26, 2021 03:00 PM IST
Copy Link

A manifesto for India at 75

Let us create an India which is more equal, harmonious, democratic and just, an India where opaque governments do not try and hide Covid deaths, where data is not falsified to create a fake perception that “all is well”
Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police personnel during the dress rehearsal of Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort in New Delhi. (PTI)
Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police personnel during the dress rehearsal of Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort in New Delhi. (PTI)
Updated on Aug 12, 2021 05:15 PM IST
Copy Link

The politics and ethics of surveillance

There can be no rationalisation for hacking. But the government seems to believe it can ride out the storm
This studio photographic illustration shows a smartphone with the website of Israel's NSO Group which features Pegasus spyware, on display in Paris on July 21, 2021. (AFP)
This studio photographic illustration shows a smartphone with the website of Israel's NSO Group which features Pegasus spyware, on display in Paris on July 21, 2021. (AFP)
Updated on Jul 29, 2021 06:48 PM IST
Copy Link

Ten questions for the government

The monsoon session must be an occasion to hold the government accountable and seek answers about its Covid-19 strategy
A view of the Parliament House. (HT Archive)
A view of the Parliament House. (HT Archive)
Updated on Jul 19, 2021 06:56 AM IST
Copy Link

The Cabinet reshuffle marks a break from the past

The pandemic, politics, perception and the PM’s preferred working mode have shaped the composition of the new team
President Ram Nath Kovind, First Lady Savita Kovind, ice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in a group photograph with the newly sworn-in Council of Ministers, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (PTI)
President Ram Nath Kovind, First Lady Savita Kovind, ice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in a group photograph with the newly sworn-in Council of Ministers, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. (PTI)
Updated on Jul 08, 2021 03:52 PM IST
Copy Link

The possibilities, and limits, of a third front

Its architects will have to deal with internal contradictions, the role of Congress, and the question of leadership
Poll strategist and political consultant Prashant Kishor and Supriya Sule leave NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence after meeting him, in Mumbai early June. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Poll strategist and political consultant Prashant Kishor and Supriya Sule leave NCP chief Sharad Pawar's residence after meeting him, in Mumbai early June. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 01, 2021 04:01 PM IST
Copy Link

Rahul Gandhi must choose his political path

He can either form his own party, based on his own ideals, and wage a long struggle against the RSS-BJP — or he can engage in the ruthless pursuit of power
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)
Updated on Jun 17, 2021 02:50 PM IST
Copy Link

The frayed federal compact

The onus rests on the Centre to genuinely reach out to states, accept differences, and work with alternative power structures
A view of a flooded locality in Lakshadweep following Cyclone Ockhi in 2017. (PTI File)
A view of a flooded locality in Lakshadweep following Cyclone Ockhi in 2017. (PTI File)
Updated on Jun 03, 2021 04:28 PM IST
Copy Link

For PM Modi, the seven-year itch

Seven years into their terms as PM, Nehru, Indira and Manmohan Singh faced political setbacks. It is now Modi’s moment of truth
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Updated on May 25, 2021 12:14 PM IST
Copy Link

A political and policy blow to the Centre

The management of Covid-19 has generated questions about the PM’s governance. The Bengal defeat has weakened the home minister’s image as an election winner
Representational Image. (HT archive)
Representational Image. (HT archive)
Updated on May 06, 2021 06:06 PM IST
Copy Link

Covid-19: The buck stops at the top

If the Centre is quick to take credit for anything positive, then it must accept its share of blame for missteps and be held accountable
Supporters of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) participate in an election rally ahead of during the West Bengal assembly elections in Kolkata. (AP)
Supporters of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) participate in an election rally ahead of during the West Bengal assembly elections in Kolkata. (AP)
Updated on Apr 22, 2021 05:44 PM IST
Copy Link
SHARE
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • ...
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 25, 2022