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Ashis Nandy in the Times of India:
Jinnah demanded a looser, federal polity built around powerful provinces as a way out of partitioning the country. The Indian National Congress first accepted the idea and then ditched it. Paradoxically, the power that Jinnah demanded for the provinces was in many ways less than the power the chief ministers of some Indian states have exercised in recent years.
This background explains why, 60 years after the event, partition and the roles in it of individual leaders haunt our political culture. We are still debating in our hearts our birth trauma. We cannot accept that our midwives, too, were children of their times and spoke from within the colonial world in which they lived. We use them as archetypes to battle our fears, anxieties and self-doubts. We are what we are, we suspect, because of their choices, not ours.
Read the full piece where he says he looks "at the future with apprehension and fear that we may have already lost a part of our selfhood" at the Times of India
Ashis Nandy in Tehelka:
Diverse configurations in diverse places determined the fate of different candidates and parties. Different regions had different logic even within a given state. Still, underlying the diversity there were some common themes.
...First, I think people were looking for ways to lower the temperature of politics...
...The second underlying theme is that people were searching for a sort of minimum decency. Negative campaigns, excessively personal attacks, hostile slogans — all of this seemed to upset the voter...
(I asked a waiter at the India International Centre in Delhi what he felt about the election results. “It’s been very good,” he said. Was he a Congress supporter, I asked him. “It’s not that, sahib,” he replied. “That Sardarji is a good man. He is educated, he is not a thief, and he is a newcomer to politics. Still, they got after him, calling him weak and scared. Who can enjoy watching that? I am just happy that this election result has shown there is a god watching above.” I quote the waiter verbatim because I think the idea of “a god above” might have been a consideration with many other people as well.)
...THE THIRD and interlinked theme this election was the voter’s desire to bring down the arrogant.
Read the full article at Tehelka: The Hour Of The Untamed Cosmopolitan
Ashok Desai, writing in the Telegraph, while reminding us that "Narendra Modi may have done devilish deeds, but he is still a human," goes on to say:
But he too must have been a toddler once, making sweet googoo sounds and crawling between the feet of his parents. He too must have climbed mango trees and eaten green mangoes. He too must have been a bridegroom in a turban smiling shyly at guests....
But, but, you are going to sputter, Modi's a bachelor. Exactly my reaction, till I realised Ashok Desai's mischievous sense of humour... He goes on to describe Modi's background, to come to the substantive part of his piece where he points out that the "unreflective, practical, personality-oriented style is behind Modi’s subsequent success" and that:
Modi has done two things. He has reduced the leakage of government revenue that goes all over India into enrichment of politicians and bureaucrats, and diverted it to building up Gujarat’s infrastructure. And out of his own necessity, he has publicized Gujarat’s good administration. Modi’s success is more due to Gujarat than the other way round. But he is an autocrat, and has used his autocratic powers to give Gujarat a considerable competitive advantage over other states. His intellectual equipment is limited, but he has concentrated it in a remarkable manner to rebrand Gujarat, to his own collateral benefit.
Read the full article here: The education of Modi