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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

Congress-mukt Bharat to Congress-yukt BJP

The belief that the Gandhis are the only glue that holds the Congress together has been shaken by high-profile departures in the last decade

Rahul Gandhi’s yatras are a good exercise in re-building a lost mass connect, but episodic journeys can’t compensate for years of organisational neglect (ANI FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 22, 2024 08:37 PM IST

A Chandigarh window on Indian democracy

The mayoral polls hold a mirror to debasement of politics characterised by falling ethical standards and an ends-justify-means amoral credo

BJP mayoral candidate Manoj Sonkar won the Chandigarh mayoral elections. (HT photo)
Published on Feb 08, 2024 10:00 PM IST

The Mandir moment as the Modi moment

After Ayodhya, the Prime Minister has a legacy to build on. Delivering on promises made after the consecration ceremony can be a beginning

Ayodhya, Jan 22 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony in the sanctum sanctorum of the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, in Ayodhya on Monday. (ANI Photo)(ANI)
Published on Jan 25, 2024 09:08 PM IST

Navigating the fault line of Ram Mandir politics

The self-appointed guardians of secularism and those who claim to be protectors of Hindutva nationalism have fed off each other for decades

Ram Mandir is ready for “pran pratishtha” (consecration ceremony) of Ram Lalla (the child Ram) on January 22. (HT Photo)
Published on Jan 11, 2024 09:54 PM IST

Chronicles foretold of our exciting times

Lessons learned from the turbulence of 2023, to engage with a no less chaotic 2024

Towards an India where Neeraj Chopra's golden glory spawns many champions of the future(PTI)
Published on Dec 28, 2023 10:13 PM IST

With no level-playing field, elections are a mismatch

The elections are a mismatch, a bit like an India versus Bangladesh cricket game, where more often than not there will be only one winner.

The BJP has the clear advantage of the Modi factor in the last decade. (Arun Sharma/HT)
Published on Dec 14, 2023 10:00 PM IST

Cricket to politics, a nation in awe of idols

Unwillingness to accept defeat with poise is the direct consequence of an idolatry culture that celebrates heroes but doesn’t embrace the spirit of sport

India's Virat Kohli celebrates his 50th ODI century during the semi-final match against New Zealand in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.(RCB Twitter)
Published on Nov 30, 2023 10:34 PM IST

Reversal of roles for BJP, Congress in MP

If high command loomed large in the BJP campaign, state leadership was the focus of Congress outreach

 The BJP’s publicity material has Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi typically towering above all others. (ANI)
Published on Nov 16, 2023 10:54 PM IST

Maratha quota stir is a sign of a state in decline

Maharashtra is paying the price for a broken development model where a deepening agrarian crisis and brazen cash-and-carry politics have created frustration

Protesters during bandh for Maratha reservation. (HT PHOTO)
Published on Nov 02, 2023 10:35 PM IST

Avoid grandstanding on the war in Gaza

Propagandists may seek to create a black and white universe of villains and heroes but India’s approach to the Israel-Hamas war stems from a complicated history

Israel-Hamas War: A Palestinian boy sits on the rubble of the building destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Bureij refugee camp Gaza Strip.(AP)
Published on Oct 19, 2023 10:17 PM IST

How they took away the spirit of my game

For a genuine cricket romantic, the toxic atmosphere in an India-Pakistan match has robbed the sport of its purity

Ahmedabad: (L-R) Bangladesh's captain Shakib Al Hasan, Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka, South Africa's Tembba Bavuma, New Zealand's Kane Williamson, India's Rohit Sharma, Pakistan's Babar Azam, England's Jos Buttler, Australia's Pat Cummins, Afghanistan's Hashmatullah Shahidi, and Netherlands' Scott Edwards pose for photos with World Cup trophy during the Captains' Day event ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, in Ahmedabad, Wednesday.(PTI)
Published on Oct 05, 2023 09:56 PM IST

A post-dated Bill of rights ahead of polls

Nari shakti sloganeering across the political spectrum over the women’s quota is hollow posturing, and a cynical attempt to woo the woman voter

Will the carrot of women’s reservations transform a patriarchal political milieu?(HT Archive)
Published on Sep 21, 2023 10:23 PM IST

Why is govt backing simultaneous polls?

The idea can help paper over the BJP’s weakness in some state polls. But a genuine democratic ethos cannot be cultivated by a single fanciful idea

Simultaneous elections were the norm until 1967, but the premature dissolution of some state assemblies in 1968 and 1969 and advancement of parliamentary polls to 1971 in the wake of the split in the Congress, disturbed the harmony. (Representational photo)
Published on Sep 07, 2023 10:12 PM IST

Can BJP’s 3-pronged attack win in 2024?

PM Modi hinted dynastic politics, corruption and appeasement will be his 3 weapons for 2024. But after nine years, will they work as well as they did in 2014?

 In 2014, Modi was the archetypal outsider (ANI)
Published on Aug 24, 2023 09:33 PM IST

Ten lessons from no-confidence motion debate

The motion sounded the bugle for the 2024 general elections. It showed us that the Opposition needs to up its game to match the government’s narrative

 This no-confidence motion was never about the numbers but a more intangible perception war(ANI)
Updated on Aug 11, 2023 11:21 PM IST

End the whataboutery around Manipur crisis

A viral video has sparked a political war; parallels are being drawn with other states. But Manipur needs accountability instead

The Manipur Students’ Union at a protest against the ongoing violence, in Imphal. (ANI)
Published on Jul 27, 2023 09:54 PM IST

In Maharashtra battle, Pawar is down but not out, yet

The crisis faced by Pawar is a consequence of the larger political dynamics. The 2024 polls will offer one final opportunity to reclaim his position

For a while, his Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP’s) core dilemma has been — After Pawar, who?(ANI)
Published on Jul 14, 2023 09:39 PM IST

Manipur requires an urgent healing touch

The violence-hit state needs a genuine attempt at reconciling differences on the ground

Targeted violence, of the kind seen in Manipur, is not new in India ani(ANI)
Published on Jun 29, 2023 06:37 PM IST

Country above IPL: What BCCI must do to help Indian cricket

After the WTC loss, India need a long-term vision. And as guardians of the sport, BCCI needs to be accountable to the final stakeholder: the fans

Virat Kohli reacts after being dismissed by Australia's Scott Boland in the WTC Final(AP)
Published on Jun 16, 2023 11:42 AM IST

Break the silence on the wrestlers’ protest

Since 2010, India’s women athletes are shining across sports. But on-field triumphs demand greater respect off it

The protesting wrestlers need to be applauded and not demonised (Jitender Gupta)
Updated on Jun 01, 2023 07:00 PM IST

The K’taka verdict can worry the BJP

The results showed that a one-size-fits-all plan that doesn’t address local sensitivities is likely to flounder in states with robust cultural identities

PM Modi-led BJP remains a favourite to win in a national election but the aayega to Modi hi swagger may need dialling down (PTI)
Updated on May 18, 2023 09:42 PM IST

Will the double-engine rhetoric work in Karnataka?

BJP’s strategy will have to overcome allegations of corruption and anti-incumbency. The import of a double-engine promise will have ramifications

The Modi personality cult which is at the heart of the double-engine outreach is, in one sense, a double-edged sword. While it gives the BJP a clear edge in a presidential style national election, it also exposes the limitations of a political model which is focused on a single individual.
Published on May 04, 2023 07:36 PM IST

Decoding UP’s nexus of crime and politics

The killing of Atiq Ahmad and his brother Ashraf put the spotlight on the intersection of caste, community and politics in UP. Tackle the roots of the problem

While Atiq Ahmad’s killing may yield political dividends in UP’s communally surcharged milieu, it has dangerously short-circuited the criminal justice system. (File Photo)
Published on Apr 20, 2023 06:44 PM IST

Who will take on Modi in the 2024 elections?

Will the Opposition script a clear vision that counters the PM’s narrative? Or will a single leader emerge to take on BJP’s juggernaut?

So skewed is the balance of power in favour of the ruling party that a challenge to a larger-than-life figure such as PM Modi appears almost impossible. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 06, 2023 07:23 PM IST

The controversy roiling Parliament is contrived

The insistence of BJP leaders that Rahul Gandhi must apologise for questioning India on foreign soil brings back memories of Indira Gandhi’s ‘foreign hand’ conspiracy theory during the Emergency. This reflects poorly on India as it aims to be a vishwaguru

The controversy helps deflect attention from any embarrassment the Modi government may face and reopens cleavages within the Opposition because not all are enamoured with Rahul Gandhi’s whimsical leadership style. (PTI)
Published on Mar 23, 2023 08:00 PM IST

Indian cricket faces a moment of truth

The row over doctored pitches suggests an attempt to subvert the true spirit of the game by playing fast and loose with the conditions. And be it in cricket or politics, a lesson to learn is not to sacrifice the means at the altar of the ends

When a doctored pitch reduces a game of skill to a virtual lottery, then the essence of sport as an expression of finer human values is lost. (AP)
Updated on Mar 09, 2023 07:58 PM IST

Why the BJP is reaching out to Christians in the Northeast

Its strategy has been of stark dualism: Pursue hardline Hindutva in the heartland and adjust to local sensitivities in the periphery. Therefore, its Christian push in N-E hints that it hopes to be seen as an inclusive force.

Christians are a small community — around 28 million and 2.3% of the population as per the 2011 census — and, therefore, relatively politically insignificant and perceived as less of a threat to a dominant majority. (ANI)
Updated on Feb 23, 2023 07:01 PM IST

Adani row may have limited political impact

VP Singh successfully used the Bofors scam to corner Rajiv Gandhi. However, to topple Modi’s popularity, Rahul Gandhi can’t just throw a few punches. He will need a knockout blow

For a large section of the Indian middle-class, Adani’s ascent is a symbol of a new, aspirational India. Recall how, weeks ago, Adani’s emergence as the world’s third-richest person was greeted with a sense of euphoria. (AFP)
Updated on Feb 10, 2023 09:08 AM IST

A new war of narratives in India’s political arena

Narendra Modi is seen as an astute world figure and mass leader. Rahul Gandhi is projecting himself as an ascetic on a mission. This contrast may inject a new dimension in politics.

The vishwaguru storyline is likely to gather greater momentum ahead of the September heads of State G20 summit where Modi will occupy centre stage and the pomp and pageantry of the Indian State will be in full gaze (PTI)
Updated on Jan 27, 2023 12:52 AM IST

Governors must act as neutral umpires

The tussle between the L-G and the CM in Delhi is part of a pattern of confrontation between elected governments and Raj Bhavans. To fix this, respect the separation of powers as spelt out in the Constitution

The most recent example of the stand-off in Delhi between L-G VK Saxena and CM Arvind Kejriwal is the battle over a key mayoral election (Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jan 12, 2023 08:04 PM IST
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