News and Views

News and Views Podcast

From in-depth interviews and carefully curated opinions to hard-hitting political analysis and even the latest movie reviews, check out News and Views!

769: Let's Talk About Insecurities
In this one, we talk about insecurities and how they follow us everywhere like a shadow. They impact various aspect of our lives —  work, relationships, mental health. They hold us back, instil fear in us and also get in the way of self-love. You can follow Vatsala Singh at @singhvatsala Host: Vatsala Singh Producer: Vatsala Singh https://www.thequint.com/podcast...

767: Movie Review: ‘Kabir Singh’ Reinforces Toxic, Dangerous Ideas About Love
Sandeep Vanga’s Arjun Reddy, which released in 2017 was a hugely popular but equally polarising.  A story about an ill-tempered alcoholic surgeon’s downward spiral when the love of his life gets married to someone else, Arjun’s sense of entitlement, the complete lack of agency granted to Preeti and the implicit support that our hero gets in the film obviously prove to be very problematic. Now releasing in Hindi with Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani in the lead and directed by Sandeep Vanga himself, Kabir Sing...


766: Nana Patekar has Enough Money to Squash Any Case: Tanushree Dutta
Recently, the Mumbai police has submitted a B Summary report in the Tanushree Dutta sexual harassment case against Nana Pateker, citing lack of evidence as the reason for the closure of their inquiry. The report also stated that Tanushree’s complaint seemed “malicious and fake”, and could have been filed to seek revenge. In an interview to The Quint, Tanushree opens up on why she thinks the investigation in her case has been compromised and alleges that Nana Patekar earns “crores of rupees” through Naam Fou...

The Many Missteps of Mamata Banerjee in the Ongoing Doctors Crisis
Mamata Banerjee’s handling of the ongoing doctors’ protest across West Bengal has been inefficient to say the least, no matter which way you look at it. With less than two years to go before the Assembly polls in 2021, and closely on the heels of BJP’s massive gains in the Lok Sabha polls in Bengal, the chief minister’s actions regarding the medical crisis since Monday have not only been self-defeating but a recipe for disaster as well....



Patriotic Businessman: Ex-Colleague Subroto Bagchi on Azim Premji
After 50 years at the helm of Wipro Limited, Azim Premji will be stepping down as the chairperson next month, and will be replaced by son Rishad. Premji will continue to serve on its board as non-executive director for the next five years. Over time, Premji’s reputation as a philanthropist has eclipsed his work as a business leader. By reportedly (https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/wipro-chairman-premji-raises-philanthropic-contribution-to-21-billion-119031400064_1.html) earmarking all econ...

762: Why Private Schools Can’t Keep Bailing Out Failed Government Ones
The new Karnataka HC ruling has shaken the roots of the RTE Act, which was meant to provide quality education to all students, but eventually boiled down to the controversy over the 25% allocation of seats in private schools. The Karnataka HC has clearly stated that this quota, taken over from private schools, is a supplement to government school capacity, not a substitute. This is a game changer, because it puts the pressure for performance back on government schools instead of outsourcing quality to the p...


761: England Cricket Team’s Gyan For Congress: No Ditching The Captain
With both the cricket World Cup and the recent elections on my mind – and on most Indians’ minds – it struck me how one domain could offer lessons for the other. No, I’m not referring to the storm in a teacup over Dhoni’s wicket-keeping gloves with the Army insignia; I firmly believe he should follow the ICC rules and not make a fuss about it. I am thinking, instead, about the trough the Congress party now finds itself in, and how reminiscent that is of the English cricket team four years ago, when defeat b...

760: Neighbourhood First: Modi 2.0’s Top Foreign Policy Priority
There’s one thing to be said about Prime Minister Narendra Modi — he does exactly as he says. He and his close advisors have been stressing the primacy of the neighbourhood, and the recent flypasts of the prime minister and his erudite foreign minister to Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan gives more substance to a policy that has been pretty much continuous since 2014. There’s no more taking these countries for granted as Delhi’s ‘backyard’. That’s all changed. A look at the Joint Statement with Maldives indic...



755: Bharat - Movie Reviews With RJ Stutee
Salman Khan can do whatever he wants to do, and we need to suspend our disbelief and simply go with it - This is the clear message that Bharat director Ali Abbas Zafar sends, and that too beautifully, through the 167 minute duration of the movie. Salman Khan plays, surprise surprise, Bharat in the creatively titled Bharat, a man born before partition. Bharat witnesses a lot of emotional upheaval, drama and conflict in his own life, a clear symbolic reference to the fortunes of India. India’s pain is Salman’...


SBI Sold Over Rs 5851 Crore Worth of Electoral Bonds in 10 Months
In response to an RTI filed by Pune-based activist Vihar Durve, the State Bank of India has revealed that over Rs 822 crore (Rs 8,22,25,79,000) worth of electoral bonds were sold in the month of May alone, during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Quint has published a series of articles showing why electoral bonds are dangerous in a democracy, highlighting the opacity of the scheme. The RTI filed by Durve also gives a city-wise break down of the origins of the bonds sold in May. The maximum amount of bonds,...

753: Can ‘Kerala Model’ Help Congress Revive at the National Stage?
Kerala is one of the rare success stories for the Congress party in the last two Lok Sabha elections. In 2014, Kerala was the only state in which the United Progressive Alliance could reach double figures - the Congress won 8 seats, Indian Union Muslim League won two and one seat each went to Kerala Congress (Mani) and NK Premachandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party. This time, Kerala was the only state where the Congress’ individual tally was in double figures. The party won 15 seats, including Congr...


EVM Vote Count Mismatch In 370+ Seats and EC Refuses to Explain
The data you’re about to read defies logic and calculation. The Quint has deep-dived into two sets of data shared by the Election Commission of India (EC); first, the voter turnout/votes polled data on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and second, the votes counted data on EVMs in the Lok Sabha Elections 2019. We have found serious discrepancies in the two sets of data in 373 constituencies which went to polls in the first four phases of the election....


749: PM Modi’s New Cabinet Sworn In - Who's On It & Who's Not?
PM Narendra Modi was sworn in for second term late 30 May 2019. His new cabinet of ministers includes many familiar names, some new ones, and drops a few key people from the list. Who made the cut, who didn’t? Listen to the podcast for the complete analysis:...

748: PM Modi’s Swearing-In: BIMSTEC Invitation Is A Snub To Pakistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done it again. Leaving the pundits speechless, he has led his party, the BJP, to its second consecutive victory, with a thumping majority in the Lok Sabha. As he readies to take the oath of office for the second time, he is reiterating an unequivocal message on the foreign policy front – neighbourhood first – but with a caveat. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our Podcasts (https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....


747: No More Gathbandhan: Where Does Akhilesh Yadav Go From Here?
The 2019 parliamentary elections saw several Opposition parties bite the dust. Each of them must now introspect and rebuild, not only in self-interest but also in the interest of something larger, the country’s democratic project. This is going to be tough given the scale of the rebuke the electorate has delivered them, and internal conflicts that are likely to emerge as they chart the way forward. One suspects that the Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav is going to find this more challenging than m...

College Admissions Unfairly Punish Students From Some State Boards
The disparity between the marking schemes of CBSE and certain state boards is so high that it creates an unfair playing field for undergraduate college admissions. Even the toppers of some state boards do not have the percentages required to secure admission in the top colleges of, say, Delhi University, which solely consider Class 12 board marks while granting admission....

746: Why Did A Few States Completely Miss the Narendra Modi Wave?
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections was even more remarkable than the 2014 win as it covered an even larger expanse across the country. The Narendra Modi wave swept not just the Hindi heartland and BJP strongholds like Gujarat and Maharashtra, but also Karnataka, Assam and Tripura. The BJP also expanded in West Bengal, Odisha and even parts of Telangana. However, there are a handful of states and union territories – accounting for close to 100 seats – that seem to h...


745: Ghar Wapsi, Ban On Worship Of Non-Hindu Gods: The ‘Adivasi Life’
The arrest of tribal theatre activist Jeetrai Hansda in Jharkhand over a 2017 Facebook post, has exposed the fault lines over tribal identity and culture all over again. In the post, Hansda had asserted that for Santhals and other tribals, beef-eating was intrinsic to their culture. “There should be no law that forces us to accept Hindu customs and rituals,” he had said, drawing the ire of the RSS and the police, in a state where the eating or selling of beef is banned. Hindu right-wing organisations as wel...

744: BJP’s Rise In Bengal: Mamata Banerjee Can Blame No One But Herself
The BJP has swept north Bengal and the western parts of the state, which is predominantly the tribal belt, and also border areas like Bongaon, where infiltration from neighbouring Bangladesh is an emotive issue. The saffronisation of Bengal, which was a bastion of Left ideology for more than 30 years before Mamata Banerjee roared into power in 2011, is well and truly underway. Leading in just one seat, the Congress is less than irrelevant, and the Left, which has not been able to make its presence felt in a...


741: BJP Consolidated Upper Castes, OBCs & STs, But Not Dalits: Survey
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance’s spectacular victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was propelled by a near complete sweep in the Hindi heartland. The BJP and its allies won 203 out of 225 seats in Hindi-speaking states, the United Progressive Alliance won just seven seats and the Mahagathbandhan won 15 seats. This was particularly surprising as the party had lost three key Hindi heartland states to the Congress in the Assembly elections just six months ago. Many have argued th...

740: Will Modi 2.0 Have ‘Courage to Change Himself’ As He Once Claimed?
As a critic of Narendra Modi’s polarising politics, let me begin by heartily congratulating him on his stupendous victory. The outcome of the election to the 17th Lok Sabha was, first of all, a victory for India’s democracy, as it has always been since the first general elections in 1952. Irrespective of which party wins or loses, it is always the people’s verdict that has triumphed. Never has a people’s mandate been annulled in India, nor has our country ever seen a bloody transition of power, or capture o...


739: 2019 Elections Are Done, What Should We ‘Brace’ Against? Not Hope
The messages doing the rounds just before the election results were announced on 23 May were on the lines of “What can India expect if…?” “What should we brace for?” Those who had braced themselves for a BJP-led NDA victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, were well aware of what they needed to brace themselves for. The last few years have offered some indication. There is the assumption that ‘bracing’ will help. It is unlikely. Bracing helps to break a fall, either in a crash landing or in a somewhat evenl...

738: Budgam Crash: Should Officers Be Tried for ‘Culpable Homicide’?
The Budgam helicopter crash incident of 27 February 2019 in which we lost precious lives of air force personnel, is in the news again. There were reports in the media that the chopper came down on account of ‘friendly fire’, and that the Air Force was contemplating trying the officers responsible for the incident, for culpable homicide. I even saw reports and comments on social media that the pension and other benefits of the families of the fallen would be determined as per the conclusions reached in the i...


737: Modi’s 303 Mandate: Voters Want Restoration of India’s Lost Glory
The mandate for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 was a vote of hope – hope that he would provide jobs, provide solutions to age-old problems, and improve the quality of life. In contrast, the mandate of 2019 is a vote of confidence, but faith in Modi for the wrong reasons. There is no longer faith in elusive jobs, nor the belief that Modi will fix agrarian issues which have caused huge distress to small and marginal farmers. There is also no confidence that ‘achhe din’ will be ushered in. For more podca...

736: Gujarat Congress Needs Fresh Blood to Stay Relevant in 2022
The new Congress cadre need to be educated about Gandhian and Nehruvian ideologies, because they are not aware about their legacy.  The road ahead is bleak for the grand old party, who need to revitalise its cadres, if the party hopes to make an impression in the 2022 Gujarat Assembly Elections....


735: BJP 2019, Congress 1984: A Similar Wave & Pockets of Resistance
A country's elections often tell a similar story. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has secured a historic mandate, securing 303 seats on its own and its alliance, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) securing 353 seats. It's a saffron sweep, with the BJP taking entire states like Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. But it's not an unprecedented sweep. Listen to the full story here!...

733: How Congress Lost 2019 Elections: 4 Charts Give the Full Picture
The Congress Working Committee on Saturday rejected party president Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign, taking responsibility for the defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. The party won just 52 seats, still less than the tally required to get the Leader of Opposition’s post in the Lok Sabha. Irrespective of whether Rahul Gandhi remains at the helm or not, the party has an enormous task ahead of it if it has to put up even a semblance of a challenge in front of the BJP in the years to come. To quote BJP president A...


732: Can We Ever Use Android Phone Without Google Apps?
The recent trade ban affecting relations between Google and Huawei, and the former’s decision to cut Android support for Huawei phones has brought up the subject of Google’s overpowering domination with its services in the world....


729: Movie Review: PM Narendra Modi - The Movie
Is there anything like too much of Modi? Not really! Not now at least. The mood is buoyant. Mr Modi has won a humongous mandate and emerged victorious (https://www.thequint.com/elections/pm-narendra-modi-amit-shah-address-media-election-results-2019) in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Who would have thought that Omung Kumar’s film would actually get the perfect release date. Just as Modi readies himself for a second term, his biopic is sure to bring out his cheering squad to the theatres. The thing about biop...

728: EVM ‘Tampering’ Claims: Why EC Should’ve Allowed VVPAT Counting
Most non-NDA regional parties along with the Congress party have raised grave allegations and doubts over EVM manipulation. While this is not the first time that doubts over the EVM mechanism have been raised, the sheer fact that there seems to be a United Opposition questioning it, demands serious introspection and response from the Election Commission. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our Podcasts (https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....

727: BJP-Shiv Sena Don’t Need ‘Modi Magic’ To Win Maharashtra This Time
With 48 Lok Sabha seats, Maharashtra holds high stakes in the results tally for both the major parties, the ruling BJP, and the Opposition, Congress. Also, the performance of their allies – the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party respectively – lend an additional factor in the election. Most exit polls give the BJP-Sena alliance between 34 and 42 seats, and project 13 to 16 seats for the Congress-NCP. Despite the lack of overt ‘Modi magic’ this time, the BJP-Sena alliance seems to have held its own...


726: What If BJP Punishes Us For Not Voting For Them: A UP Dalit Fears
If you are shell-shocked by the largely one-sided projections of the exit polls, then this might calm your nerves. The average of all exit polls, or the Poll-of-Polls, has predicted that Uttar Pradesh may end up sending 49 BJP MPs to Parliament. The SP-BSP alliance, that looked like a daunting force on paper, may do far less damage than expected. But here’s what many of us may not have taken into account: the pulse of the people on ground. Deadline-driven journalists who have little time to spare, may have ...

725: In Mamata’s Bengal, BJP May Change the Meaning of ‘Poriborton’
In 2011, when Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) knocked over a 34-year-old Left Front government in West Bengal, the key slogan was ‘poriborton’ – positive change. Eight years later, in the Lok Sabha elections, the people of Bengal (crucially, not just Bengalis) are making choices that will mould, in all probability, a new version of Bengal. Mamata may have coined ‘poriborton’ for 2011, but the term will probably apply far better to 2019, when the elections are done and dusted. The bald fact is thi...

724: 4 Big Trends from 2 Exit Polls That May Come True on Results Day
Only two polls have prominently displayed state-wise vote share figures: CVoter’s exit poll and Lokniti-CSDS’ post-poll survey. Most of the other polls haven’t cared to make their vote share predictions public. So purely from a methodological point of view, these polls need to be taken more seriously than others, irrespective of how close they are to the final results. Let’s take a look at the state-wise vote share by CSDS and CVoter. The differences and similarities in the two polls are both important....


723: 7 TV Shows to Look Forward to After ‘Game of Thrones’
Game of Thrones is over, and loyal fans of the show are already experiencing withdrawal symptoms. But good thing for fans of big ticket fantasy, science fiction and drama genres is that there are many fan-favourite shows returning to the screen after a hiatus in the coming months. And they are all set to cash in on the void left behind by the gigantic finale of GoT. From Stranger Things to The Crown - here are our top picks for the upcoming season of online streaming that could make you feel like there is ...

722: 22 Parties Unite Over EVMs: Can This Be a Coalition After Results?
Exit polls may have shown the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance returning to power, but the Opposition hasn’t given up the fight. This is clear in how they are holding the Election Commission to account on Electronic Voting Machines. As many as 22 Opposition parties have given a memorandum to the Election Commission, putting forward two key demands:...

721: Chunav Tracker | K’taka in Disarray, BJP Meets NDA Allies & More
Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are likely preparing to host a dinner for the NDA allies as we inch closer to counting day, but the Opposition have been kept busy with EVMs. Various leaders of Opposition parties are meeting the Election Commission to discuss the tallying of the VVPATs with the EVM alleging that the EVMs have been “compromised”. Meanwhile, the stock market fell again right after the big rise that came after exit polls. And it’s not just the stock market, it seems Karnataka government is also on...


720: Can Indian Armed Forces Finally Learn to Stay United?
On May 14, the Government announced the raising of the Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD) with Major General AK Dhingra as its first head. The AFSOD, with elements drawn from the Indian Army's Parachute Regiments (Special Forces), Indian Navy’s Marine Commandos (MARCOS), and the Garud Commandos of the Indian Air Force, will function under the HQ of the tri-services Integrated Defence Staff. Starting with 3000 soldiers, the AFSOD will reportedly have its own dedicated helicopters, transport pla...

719: Exit Polls: Southern Parties May Have to Build Bridges With Modi
It is best not to believe an exit poll, or even a range of exit polls, entirely. The results in the last three parliamentary elections have shown that exit pollsters, predominantly, have got the numbers wrong. In 2009 and 2014, they managed to get the direction right, but were largely far from the numbers and did not predict a simple majority for the BJP in 2014 (except Chankya in 2014). Having declared that red herring, IF the 2019 exit poll results were to hold on 23 May, then, at a national level, it wi...

718: For a ‘Weaker’ Modi, BJP Must Win, But With Less Than 2014 Tally
An assortment of exit poll data, including grossly unscientific ‘mean’ figures in the so-called ‘poll of polls’, has been put on the table. Till actual counting on 23 May – people will, depending on their political orientation and which pollster they decide to go with – rejoice or grieve. As per CVoter, the Congress-led UPA is projected to get 128 seats, while the BJP-led NDA could bring in a total of 287\. The Congress by itself is projected to get 80 seats, while BJP alone is projected to win 236 seats. ...


716: Dad Called Me Khan Market Gang: Being Anti-Modi In A Bhakt Family
The Modi wave hasn’t just swept the nation. It has also birthed awkward silences among colleagues, broken friendships and caused heated arguments in family get-togethers. According to many people – especially from Hindu families – who oppose the divisive and communal rule of the BJP, it has become impossible to have conversations with family members who are staunch supporters of the BJP government, and Narendra Modi in particular. **Listen to the full story here!**...

715: Chunav Tracker | Have 2019 Exit Polls Got It Wrong?
Almost all exit polls have predicted a BJP-led NDA sweep of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But, each poll predicts a different number, and by a fairly wide margin. On this edition of Chunav Tracker, Sanjay Pugalia explains why the landslide victory predictions for the NDA might need a closer look. On 23 May, the day of reckoning, who will form the next government? Listen to the podcast for the whole analysis....


714: Modi’s ‘Overexposure’ & Choice of CM Adityanath, May Cost the BJP
The incumbent BJP-led NDA is facing a tougher-than-expected contest in the ongoing parliamentary elections. While this has rightly been traced to its overall disappointing performance in power, particularly on the economic front, it would also appear that at least two political calls made early in its tenure – both by the BJP – have now come back to haunt the NDA. The first was the BJP’s decision to go into almost every assembly election post-2014 with Narendra Modi as its mascot. Local issues and leaders...

713: J&K, Manipur Still Need AFSPA: A Review, However, Will Do No Harm
It is learnt that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is likely to be withdrawn from all districts of Assam in the near future or as early as Aug 2019\. The whole of Assam was declared disturbed on 27 Nov 1990 at the peak of the ULFA movement. Last year, the central government had specifically empowered the state of Assam to recommend the continuation or revocation of the ‘disturbed areas’ status which enables AFSPA to be valid in a state, district or tehsil. For more podcasts from The Quint, chec...

712: Can Bibi Khalra & PDA Break SAD-Congress Stranglehold Over Punjab?
The constituency that symbolises this battle against the Akalis, Congress and BJP is Khadoor Sahib. Interestingly, Khadoor Sahib is the only Lok Sabha seat that covers all the three regions in Punjab: six of its assembly segments are in the Majha region, two in Doaba and one in Malwa. Challenging the Congress and the Akalis here is Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra of the Punjabi Ekta Party. Khalra has extensively worked with families whose members were killed or forcibly abducted by the police during the 1980s ...


711: Five Reasons Why India Won’t See Many Electric Cars Until 2025
A recent Bloomberg NEF report states that only about 6.6 percent of the total vehicles sold in the country would be electric by 2030\. That's a far cry from the planned 100 percent electrification by 2030 that the Indian government wanted. In fact, by 2025, while two-wheelers and three-wheelers may see more electrification, cars will still be few and far between....

710: PM Modi’s ‘Press Conference’ That Wasn’t
One must hand it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is a leader who knows how to do things ‘differently’ — and leave the people of the country gob-smacked by his startling moves. On Friday, 17 May, Mr Modi came out with one more zinger. He did a press conference without actually doing one. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....

709: US & Iran May Not Go To War But India Still Has Reason to Worry
Will President Donald Trump’s campaign of ‘maximum pressure’ against Iran, stumble into war by accident, miscalculation, or misreading of signals? The similarities to the 2003 build-up against Iraq, which led to the most unnecessary and destructive war, are eerie. And at least one key actor – US National Security Adviser John Bolton – is a common factor. Bolton, who also worked in the George W Bush administration, has long advocated regime change in Iran. Then, as now, US ‘Intelligence’ – Iranian missiles ...


708: In Bihar CM Nitish’s Constituency, Dalit Weavers Upset With Modi
“Dinosaurs became extinct because they refused to change with the times. And that’s what has happened to the Communist Party of India (CPI) in (Bihar’s) Jehanabad and Nalanda. They (CPI) were ruling these districts in the 1980s and early 1990s but were dogmatic and refused to accept new social realities,” says comrade Ambika, the district secretary of Jehanabad’s CPI. Another comrade adds, “If Begusarai is Leningrad, then by that logic, Jehanabad is Moscow”. In a manner of speaking, they are right. Unlike ...

706: De De Pyaar De’ Owes a Lot to Ajay Devgn & Tabu’s Chemistry - Movie Reviews With RJ Stutee
It’s routine for some of our 50-plus superstars to romance women half their age on screen. We had to accept this fact grudgingly. With time and some criticism, even if the male hero’s abdicated the “college lover boy” image, the machismo and star aura still ensured that while they kept getting older the women opposite them kept getting younger. So when De De Pyaar De trailer came out, where Ajay Devgn’s character is shown trying to juggle life between his “mature” ex-wife and a 20-something chirpy girlfrie...


704: Indigo Braces for Turbulence As Bosses Differ on Airline Expansion
According to The Economic Times, “serious differences” have emerged between Indigo promoters Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal, over the expansion and long-term strategy of the country’s largest airline. Consequently, the two parties have engaged law firms to resolve the differences in the shareholders clause....

703: Exclusive: Rahul Gandhi in Conversation With The Quint
The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are coming to a close, and with that one of the most hard-fought political battles in recent memory. How will India’s future look like after 23 May? Rahul Gandhi, President of the Indian National Congress, speaks to Raghav Bahl, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Quint and Sanjay Pugalia, Editorial Director of The Quint. Gandhi speaks about Congress’ failure to establish a coalition in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, the party’s flagship NYAY scheme, Gandhi’s strategy on a fractured ...


702: Bengal’s Shadow Over Modi Will Loom Large, Long After Polls End
The BJP may well have shot itself in the foot in Bengal, courtesy a pliant Election Commission. The EC played into Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s hands with its openly partisan decision to curtail the campaign for the final phase in the state by a day, but only after Narendra Modi completes his scheduled rallies. Mamata has been on a roll since. She’s invoked Bengali pride. She’s lashed out at Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the strongest possible language, getting downright personal with both. And she’s ...

701: No Modi, No Captain: Data Reveals An Election of Anger in Punjab
Anti-incumbency is a mild word to describe the public sentiment in Punjab as it goes to vote in the Lok Sabha elections on 19 May. There is resentment against the political class at every level – from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to local leaders across party lines. Candidates from almost every party have been heckled during the campaign – Union Minister Harsimrat Badal, her opponents Amarinder Singh Raja Warring of the Congress and Sukhpal Khaira of the Punjab De...

700: Early End to Campaigning in West Bengal & More Updates From 16 May
* In a first, the Election Commission invoked article 324 and announced that campaigning for the last 9 seats in West Bengal will end on 16 May, 10 pm, a day before the scheduled deadline. The state is set to go to polls on 19 May, the seventh and last phase of elections. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee called the decision “unethical” and accused the EC of working for Modi. She said the timing of the ban allows PM Modi to deliver his two scheduled election rallies in Bengal on 16 May. * The decision came...


699: Godse’s Killing of Gandhi Is Not Just Terrorism – It’s Much Worse
“Hinduism has an infinite capacity, almost incredible capacity, to survive and endure the outrages committed on it by its followers… Hinduism has always been an admixture of foreign goodness and indigenous debasement.” This quote by Nirad C Chaudhury, one of the most irreverent yet incisive critics of all things Indian, is very apt and useful if you want to understand the current outrage over actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s recent statement, that Nathuram Godse was the ‘first Hindu terrorist’ in Ind...

698: Chunav Tracker | West Bengal Clashes to Benefit TMC or BJP?
With just one phase of voting left, nine seats in West Bengal will vote on 19 May. But before this can happen, violence has gripped the last days of campaigning in the state. Tensions peaked after unknown elements defaced a statue of Bengali writer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar on 14 May. The TMC and BJP have blamed each other for the incident. Meanwhile, tensions are at an all-time high in the state. What does this mean for the 2019 elections? How will West Bengal's elections play out? Sanjay Pugalia explai...

697: Modi vs Mamata: Surveys Show BJP in Single Digits in West Bengal
West Bengal is emerging as the main battlefield in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The vandalism of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue, allegedly by BJP cadres taking part in party president Amit Shah’s roadshow on Tuesday, has given West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee exactly what she wanted: an opportunity to hit the streets and invoke Bengali nationalism against the BJP....


694: WHY IT'S TOUGH TO BE IN KANGANA FAN CLUB NOW
Kangana Ranaut was the harbinger of the much-needed change in Bollywood; the feminist icon that the industry had been looking for. But something’s changed in the last year or so. It seems like our icon has clay feet....


693: Why Are Indians Not Buying Enough Cars?
The new financial year has gotten off to a dismal start, with overall passenger car sales declining 19.93 percent in April 2019 compared to the same month a year ago, according to data from SIAM....

691: How Will Regional Parties Sway the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections?
If the 2019 Lok Sabha elections result in a hung parliament, what is going to be the role of the Ms and the Ns? Sanjay Pugalia analyzes the signals MK Stalin, Mamata, Mayawati and Nitish Kumar are sending across, on today's episode of the Chunav Tracker podcast. Listen to the podcast for the complete analysis....



686: Why Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s Philosophy Fits A Presidential System
The BJP once seriously considered changing the country’s system of government. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was very interested in the presidential form of government. In a speech in 1998 he declared that “we should discuss the merits of the presidential system.” He said, “I often wonder whether the British Westminster model has been defeated by the Indian reality.” His home minister, LK Advani, had also made a series of speeches and wrote articles pushing for a presidential system. He went so far a...

686: Will Dalit Anger Cost BJP the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections?
A Dalit man beaten to death in Uttarakhand’s Tehri Garhwal; a 18-year-old Dalit girl gang-raped in Thanaghazi in Rajasthan’s Alwar district; stones hurled at a Dalit wedding procession in Gujarat’s Aravalli district - these are some of the crimes that have taken place in the past few weeks, even as the country was in middle of, as the cliche goes, the ‘festival of democracy’. These aren’t isolated incidents. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, crimes against Dalits have increased by 25 percent ...


685: Ramadan vs Ramazan Debate: ‘Creeping Wahhabism’ Is a False Alarm
Every year, there is an odd debate on the “correct” spelling of Ramadan/Ramazan. It is a curious thing, tinged with concerns about radicalisation, a xenophobic nativist unease about “Arabisation”, and generally divorced from any idea of history or an understanding of India’s place in the world. Much of it reflects concerns with the Sunni violence perpetrated against the Shia populace of Pakistan, without acknowledging the large differences between the Muslim communities in India and Pakistan, and the impac...

684: Chunav Tracker Podcast | Voter Turnout, Silent Voters and More!
One more phase down and the last one left. While in some places the voter turnout slipped down, it some places it shot up. What do these numbers indicate about the elections? With the only phase left, we are also witnessing the final efforts by the political parties to impress the voters. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in the mood to give interviews to journalists. But why is he talking about cloud covers and digital cameras? These elections have also brought some of the important regional players b...


682: Islamophobia and Communalism: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Muslims are always unknown, an ever receding community from the eyes of popular perception. Islamophobia is much more normalised and rationalised than non-Muslim thinkers usually conceptualise. Communal riot erupts when the already present flame of Islamophobic sentiments is stoked. The two reinforces one another. One is overt, another covert. One is head, another tail. But two sides of the same coin. Listen to the podcast for the full story....

680: Review: 'GoT' S8 Ep5 Destroys Everything as Queen of Ashes Rises
Let's first address the elephant in the room: the Mad Queen plot-line, which many fans hoped would turn out to be a red-herring after the last episode, turned out to be true, and it played out like a nightmare in the penultimate episode (episode 5), titled The Bells, of the Game of Thrones season 8.  To see the biggest fall from grace of one of the most powerful characters you rooted for through 7 seasons, can be a very hard thing. But definitely a raging madness cannot be put past Daenerys Targaryen's ...


679: Podcast | Student of The Year 2 is KJo’s Campaign for Star Kids
When will Tiger Shroff stop getting “launched” ? His first film came out in 2014\. 5 years on he remains the favourite star kid still being featured in show reels! Don’t get me wrong. Few can fight as convincingly as Shroff Jr does and he has a likeable presence but his treatment in every movie has been of a “product” being “launched” and now it’s getting a bit much! The only way to describe Student Of The Year 2 is that it is Karan Johar’s right and “dharma” to campaign for star kids and display to the wo...

678: Endgame Or GOT Season 8? The Only Time Being A ‘Bhakt’ Is Okay
Fandom is almost like being part of a cult, a commune of acolytes. Certain writers have said that it is like fanaticism, but to a cultural ideology – your commitment is as intense and involved as a right-winger or a left-winger, but because it is to pop culture, it seems trivial. In other words, fandom is about being a pop culture bhakt!...


676: The Malayali Man And His Elephant: A Manufactured Love Story
Kerala, often lauded by others – and Malayalis themselves – for its highly-educated population, has gotten entangled in two public debates which have shaken the foundation of this status of the community. The first one was in the form of the huge protests taken out by a section of the community against the Supreme Court verdict allowing women to enter the Sabarimala shrine. The second one is the more recent debate against the forest officials‘ refusal to allow one ageing elephant with low eye-sight from pa...

675: The Psychology of Students Committing Suicide in India
14 year old Prerna took her own life after she failed two subjects in her Class VIII half-yearly exams. She is one of thousands of Indian students who commit suicide in India every year. A 2014 study from the government of India reported that over 32,000 Indians in the 15-29 age group took their own lives that year. And this number has only grown over the past 20 years. On this podcast, we’re looking at India’s student suicide crisis. Exam-related pressure was the largest cause of suicide in India’s yout...

674: In Yogi’s Gorakhpur, Ghosts of ‘Hindu Vahini’ Past Haunt the UP CM
Saurabh Vishwakarma, 34, is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator from ward number 63 in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur. His ward, with nearly three thousand voters, abuts the Gorakhnath Math headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Vishwakarma was 15 when he joined the Hindu Yuva Vahini, Adityanath’s vigilante group or private army. He is a three-time BJP corporator and was re-elected in 2017, on a BJP ticket, even after he had a bitter falling out with Adityanath, who had declared a bounty of Rs 25,000 o...


673: Rajiv Gandhi Said He ‘Looked Forward To Seeing Me’ In Lakshadweep
In a letter on 4 August 1987, as I left the PMO to take up an assignment in Lakshadweep, classified by the MHA as a ‘punishment posting’, Rajiv Gandhi wrote: “Thank you also for your hard work and cheerful assistance over the last five years; first with my mother, and then with me. We shall miss you, especially in our forays into the countryside. You are going to an important assignment. I look forward to seeing you in Lakshadweep at the winter meeting of the Island Development Authority.” A paradise set i...

672: We Muslims Must Introspect and Bring Back Islam’s Golden Age
In light of the horrific bombing in Sri Lanka in April, it is vital that Muslims across the world unite against violence being perpetuated in the name of Islam. In fact, a few hours before this article was published on 8 May 2019, at least eight people were killed in a blast, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, outside a major Sufi Muslim shrine in Lahore, Pakistan. There are episodes in recent history which clearly indicate the malice and hostility of those committing acts of terror and mass violence in the...

671: Mamata’s ‘Barrackpore Coup’ May Ruin Modi-Shah’s Mission 22 Plan
Everyone loves a good fight. In Bengal, the high-octane verbal spat between Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee this election season, is a huge source of entertainment and amusement. It’s being watched with rapt attention, and is getting more eyeballs than TV soaps. Unlike most fights, however, there’s no suspense about the outcome of this one. “Didi will win. No-one can defeat her in Bengal,’’ says an iron merchant in north Kolkata’s Shyam Bazaar, where Mamata’s former right-hand man, Sudip Bandyopadhyay – ...


670: Modi May Win 2019 But Rahul Gandhi, Too, Has Come of Age As A Neta
How do you respond when someone calls your father names? Do you punch him in the nose, launch a counter-attack on his family, or do you send him love and a hug to boot? Incredibly, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who is undoubtedly the main challenger to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this long and gruelling general elections, has opted to do the latter. When Modi called his father Rajiv Gandhi, a former Prime Minister who was assassinated 28 years ago, "Bhrashtachari No 1", Rahul responded with a tweet ...

A Whopping Rs 2,256 Cr Donated Via Electoral Bonds In 10 Days
In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha Election, one issue that has been discussed and argued over a lot in the Supreme Court is that of electoral bonds scheme. But why so? Because of the alleged opacity of the scheme. In an RTI reply to Vihar Durv, the State Bank of India has revealed that Rs 2,256,37,12,000 crore (over Rs 2,256 crore) worth of electoral bonds were sold by the Bank in the month of April 2019 alone, and that too in just 10 days....

669: Which Way Will KCR Tilt After 23 May? Here’s His Game Plan
Many parts of India are yet to vote but parties have already started preparing their strategy for result day – 23 May. Strangely, the first initiative hasn’t been taken by the BJP or the Congress but by the two Deccan satraps: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. While Naidu’s strategy has been clear from the beginning – uniting all anti-BJP forces – it is KCR, whose moves are most interesting....


668: Why Congress Has Reason to be Optimistic in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh was tipped to be one of the states where the BJP was hoping to use Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “popularity” to bounce back from its loss in the Assembly elections last year. But data and inputs from the ground indicate that Madhya Pradesh isn’t heading for a BJP sweep like the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in which the party won 27 out of 29 seats with only senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia surviving the wave. This time, the Congress seems all set to improve its tall...

666: AAP vs Gautam Gambhir, Modi Slams Pitroda Over Riots Remark & More From 10 May
* The temperature and Indian politics is heating up as the country gears up for the sixth phase of elections on 12 May. Hey guys, I’m Sonal and you’re listening to the My Vote 2019 Podcast, your one stop shop for daily election related developments.  * As you know, AAP held a press conference over the distribution of pamphlets with extremely derogatory and casteist language against its East Delhi candidate Atishi Marlena allegedly circulated by the BJP candidate Gautam Gabhir. And now our elections...


664: Nehru on INS Delhi ‘Fits Under Protocol’: Ex-MoD Official
Following PM Modi's claim that late PM Rajiv Gandhi had used INS Viraat as his 'personal taxi' for a vacation in the Lakshadweep islands, another claim on similar lines has emerged, this time targetting Rajiv Gandhi's grandfather and India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Listen in!...

663: If India Loses Bangladesh’s Friendship, Blame ‘Hindutva’ Brigade
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently alleged at a poll rally in West Bengal, that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had not come out in support of the UN declaration of Masood Azhar as a ‘global terrorist’. “Why Didi, because this will upset your vote banks,” Modi had thundered with a mischievous smile. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....


662: Did Rajiv Gandhi Use INS Viraat as a ‘Personal Taxi’ as PM Claims?
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off a controversy on Wednesday, 8 May, claiming that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi used INS Viraat a ‘personal taxi’ in 1988, several senior naval officers and experts, who were in the know at the time, have weighed in and are divided on the matter. Listen in!...

660: EC’s Clean Chits to Modi Unbecoming Of Supreme Election Authority
Former Chair of the Election Commission of India (ECI), SY Quraishi, writing in The Hindu on 7 May 2019, cited a 1977 Supreme Court ruling, in which it was observed: “Where these (the existing laws) are absent, and yet a situation has to be tackled, the Chief Election Commissioner has not to fold his hands and pray to God... to enable him... to perform his duties, or to look to any external authority for the grant of powers to deal with the situation. He must lawfully exercise his power independently, in al...


659: Imran Khan, How Will You Convert Spirituality Into Super Science?
Dear Mr Khan, On 5 May 2019, you laid the foundation stone of Al-Qadir University in Sohawa near Jhelum in the Punjab province. You emphatically, albeit with some difficulty, announced that “we will convert spirituality into a super science”. The government of Pakistan’s Twitter account wrote, “Al-Qadir University would provide both Islamic and scientific education to the students and help them become morally, intellectually and spiritually accomplished persons”. For more podcasts from The Quint, check ou...

657: Lira Lessons for Democracies: Respect Institutions or Else
Turkish currency Lira fell nearly 40 percent in 2018\. The currency has been in free fall yet again, following the announcement of results of municipal elections in Turkey last month. But why should a country’s sovereign currency fall because of municipal election results? What has happened in Turkey - both in its municipal elections and how its 'supreme leader' Recep Erdogan has controlled institutions - has many lessons for here in India....


656: US Sanctions on Iran: How India Can Cushion Blow to its Economy
The US suddenly made an announcement on 22 April 2019, that it will end all Iran sanction waivers after 2 May 2019\. These waivers were granted to eight countries for an initial period of 180 days, after the US had imposed sanctions against Iran’s oil export on 5 November 2018. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....

655: Chhole, Saambar ‘Unaffordable’ Once, Not Anymore: What Changed?
Just four years ago, high prices had put pulses beyond the reach of the poor, and the middle-classes were skimping on it. In mid-2015, at the height of the price shock in pulses, I accosted people at Delhi’s Khari Baoli spice market, for a TV programme on the issue. Ira Shukla, a former school teacher had said, “Instead of twice a day, we are eating watery dal once a day, because rates have almost doubled. Poor people cannot eat it; middle-classes like us manage somehow.” For more podcasts from The Quint, ...

654: ‘Surgical Strike’ A Misnomer, Trans-LoC Raids Took Place Under UPA
With the BJP leadership tom-tomming their hawkish national security credentials by repeatedly invoking the 28/29 September 2016 ‘surgical strike’, former Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in an interview on 2 May to Hindustan Times, asserted that “multiple surgical strikes took place during our tenure too. For us, military operations were meant for strategic deterrence, and giving a befitting reply to anti-India forces, than to be used for vote garnering exercises.” For more podcasts from The Quint, check...


653: After SL Blasts, Why Do Sirisena & Wickremesinghe Still Have Jobs?
After the mammoth security and intelligence blunder that led to the Easter Sunday massacre, both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe have been backed into a corner. They were forced to say they ‘failed’, and that too with reluctance. Sri Lankan politicians are almost all liars, corrupt, thieves and rogues, some are even accused of murder and assault. These politicians are reluctant to admit their mistakes, faults and wrongdoings. You'd be hard-pressed to find them saying 'sorry' or 'thank ...

652: Is the ECI Scared of Doing Its Job or Is It in Cahoots with Modi?
Is the Election Commission of India scared of doing its job? On the evidence of its orders refusing to take action against Narendra Modi for flagrant and wilful breaches of the Model Code of Conduct, it is either that or it is in cahoots with him. The alternate theory, that they lack the most basic comprehension skills, can be safely ruled out because they had no difficulty in reading and understanding what other candidates who engaged in similar speeches had to say before banning them from election campai...

651: ‘Ramzan Saved My Life’: Pak Journo Gul Bukhari On Her Kidnapping
Ever since my brief abduction on 5 June 2018, I have been dogged by questions like, ‘why were you abducted’, ‘why were you released’ and ‘why were you let go so quickly’. To be honest, only my abductors would have the definitive answers to these questions. But while everyone seems to know who my abductors were, they don’t shoot these questions at them. But they keep asking me, as if I ought to know all the answers. I find it all quite funny, and also quite sad – that no one dares question the criminals. F...


650: Why I’m Rooting for ‘Handsome’ Raghav & ‘Smart’ Atishi: Gul Panag
As I hit the campaign trail to support Raghav Chadha and Atishi of the Aam Aadmi Party, I can’t help but wonder, how in this day and age, candidates are still seeking votes for providing basics. I would also like to use this opportunity to exact revenge for the objectification I faced during my own campaign, by objectifying Raghav (albeit in jest!) – when I spoke of him being honest, upright, hardworking – and handsome! For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/new...

649: SC Verdict on Rahul Gandhi & Tej Bahadur & More Election Updates From 9 May 2019
* The Supreme Court dismissed a petition that sought to debar Congress President Rahul Gandhi from the elections over allegations that he holds dual citizenship. CJI Gogoi stated that "there was no merit to these claims. " * While Rahul got a clean chit, former BSF jawan and Samajwadi Party candidate Tej Bahadur Yadav’s petition to contest elections was dismissed by the Supreme Court. If you remember, the poll panel had rejected Yadav’s nomination from Varanasi due to discrepancies in the information he...

649: Why A 7-0 BJP Sweep in Delhi Isn’t A Forgone Conclusion
The seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi will vote in the sixth phase of polling on 12 May. Most pre-poll surveys predicted that if the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress fail to form an alliance, the state could witness a repeat of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in which the BJP won all seven seats with huge margins. While that may very well be the end result, a 7-0 sweep isn’t as much of a foregone conclusion as it was five years ago. Here’s why....


647: Probing CJI ‘Conspiracy’, Not Harassment Claim: Justice Patnaik
“I will begin the probe into the affidavit filed by lawyer Utsav Bains in the Supreme Court (SC). My probe will be limited to his affidavit only. It will be totally independent of the sexual harassment complaint [against the CJI],” said former SC Justice (Retd) AK Patnaik to The Quint. The Supreme Court on 25 April 2019 constituted a one-man panel with former apex court judge, Justice (Retd) AK Patnaik, to hold an inquiry into the allegations raised by Bains of a “larger conspiracy” to frame the Chief Just...

646: Chunav Tracker | Stock Market Bracing for a Coalition Govt?
Lok Sabha election results have always weighed on the share market. Like previous general elections, the anticipation of the outcome of this years’ elections is also affecting the stock prices. Over the last few days, the stock markets have been falling . The benchmark BSE Sensex extended its losing streak by falling over 250 points in early trade on Wednesday. Why is the stock market getting anxious? Is it revising its numbers in the expectation of a coalition government? Among other news, the Oppositio...


644: ‘I Feel Hopeless,’ Says SRFTI Student Alleging Sexual Harassment
A 28-year-old female student at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) has accused a member of the non-teaching staff of sexually harassing her, more than once. The accused continues to work on campus. “I access the admin building almost everyday, so I have to see him all the time. It makes me very uncomfortable. Sometimes, I feel really hopeless," she tells The Quint....

Exclusive: CBSE Cheats Students by Tampering Class 12 Marks, Again
On 24 April 2017, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced that 32 school education boards, including the CBSE, had taken a decision to stop the practice of unfairly increasing students’ marks in order to show higher-scoring results. Yet, just like in 2018, a data-driven investigation by The Quint shows how the CBSE has once again betrayed that promise made to all the other boards and indeed students across the country, by unfairly and unequally tampering marks of students who appeared for the CB...


642: Need Assurance That We Won¹t Be Sued Again: Gujarat Potato Farmers
After PepsiCo decided to withdraw cases filed against potato farmers in Gujarat, one would assume that dust has settled on the matter once and for all. Instead, potato farmers are still fuming because the state government did not consult them or the cultivators before meeting PepsiCo, to arrive at an amicable statement. A joint statement issued by the farmers rights group on Saturday, 4 May said, “The Gujarat government, after making itself a mediator in this controversy, has not consulted the farmers sue...

641: Your ‘Muslim Sisters’ Won’t Forget BJP’s Hateful Reign, PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Bhadohi called out to his ‘Muslim sisters.’ He said, “I would like to tell the Muslim sisters of Bhadohi and across the nation, several countries don't have the provision for Triple Talaq. We want to give the same rights to our Muslim sisters which have been provided to the sisters in Muslim countries.” The remark leads to a series of questions and demands for answers from our prime minister. On what basis are you asking ‘Muslim siste...


640: Return of Hoodas: Father-Son Duo Lead Congress’ Revival in Haryana
Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s roadshow in support of Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda on Tuesday, 7 May, is a clear indication that this is one of the seats the party hopes to win in Haryana. It is also an acknowledgement on the part of the Congress leadership that the Hoodas are the party’s best bet in the state....

639: Yours Truly movie review
In a city like Mumbai, where life hangs by local trains and the din tires the soul, Yours Truly is the calm that needs to be felt....

638: VVPAT Checks, Modi's 'Bhrashtachari' Remarks & More From 7 May 2019
* The Supreme Court rejected a review plea filed by 21 opposition parties seeking an increase in random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs in the ongoing elections. The Court had directed the Election Commission to increase random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs from one to five polling booths per assembly segment, previously also on 8th April . * Over 200 teachers from Delhi University issued a signed statement condemning remarks Prime Minister Modi made about late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Modi, i...


637: Punjab Is India’s Only ‘Modi-Mukt’ State: These 5 Charts Show Why
Punjab has been a bit of an enigma in Indian politics. It went against the Modi wave in 2014 as well as the Congress surge in 2009\. Politics here is localised. And given that a handful of families - Badals, Kairons, Majithias, Brars and the Patiala royal family - wield disproportionate clout, there is a deep clamour for change in the state. But a common trend in Punjab’s politics, is the people’s distrust of authoritarian leaders. This is as true today as it was centuries ago. Be it Alexander or Aurangzeb...

636: Modi’s Politics All About Dead Men: Twitter On PM’s Rajiv Remark
In another low for Indian politics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday 5 May, while addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh, attacked former PM Rajiv Gandhi in a statement. He said, “Your (Rahul) father was termed ‘Mr Clean’ by his courtiers, but his life ended as ‘Bhrastachari No 1’.” Many Opposition leaders condemned the statement and called it ‘shameful’ and ‘unfortunate’. Listen to the podcast now!...

635: Chunav Tracker Podcast | Is the Mood of The Nation a Coalition?
51 constituencies has gone to polls on 6 May in the fifth phase of the elections. But a lot of new developments are taking place on the side and coalition seems to be the keyword of it all. In a recent interview to Bloomberg, the General Secretary of the BJP, Ram Madhav said that the BJP might need help of the allies to form the next government. Is the mood of the nation a coalition government be it the UPA or the NDA? Political tiffs seem to be extending outside campaigns as well. While on one hand, Pr...


634: LS Elections for Phase 5, Grenade in Pulwana Polling Booth & More
* We are in the fifth phase of the elections now. 51 constituencies across 7 states went to polling on 6 May. Several political bigwigs like Mayawati, Jayant Sinha, Rajnath Singh and Yashwant Sinha came out to vote.  * The seats to watch out for in this phase are the traditional strongholds of Congress, Rae Bareli and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Minister Smriti Irani are also in the fray. This is also the first election in Ladakh division following its split from the K...

633: ‘Ex-Jawan Tej Bahadur Was a Poor Choice of Candidate Against Modi’
I am no admirer of Mr Modi, but I think that former BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav was not the ideal opponent to the prime minister, notwithstanding the media going ballistic over the rejection of his (Yadav’s) nomination papers. Yadav, in a surprise move, was made a joint candidate of the Mahagathbandhan, to fight the PM from Varanasi. Allotted the symbol of the Samajwadi Party, the fight is unlikely to happen, unless the Supreme Court – which Yadav has threatened to approach, alleging bias – overturns the d...

632: If Modi Is So Sure of Winning Bengal, Then Why ‘Threaten’ Mamata?
If Narendra Modi has largely usurped the centre-stage of India's parliamentary election this summer, his bitter battle with West Bengal's chief minister Mamata Banerjee has hogged the limelight, with every passing round in this long seven-phase election. After it emerged that a seemingly formidable Priyanka Gandhi wasn’t going to contest from Varanasi, BJP cried ‘cowardly retreat’. The real ‘Jhansi ki Rani’ now seems to be Mamata Banerjee, who is leading a do-or-die charge against a far more formidable adv...


631: Mayawati-Akhilesh’s ‘Alliance Driven By People’ Could Harm BJP
After four phases of polling in Uttar Pradesh, BSP supremo Mayawati’s bold move to accept a pre-poll alliance with arch rival Samajwadi Party (SP), appears to be working smoothly. Reports from the ground suggest that the BSP’s core support base of Jatavs has collaborated surprisingly well with the SP’s Yadavs, who were not so long ago seen as oppressors. Supported in Western UP by a sizeable section of Jats – another previous oppressor of Jatavs – and backed by a consolidated bloc of Muslim voters – this e...

630: US Sanctions on Iranian Oil: the Reasons and Challenges Explained
The United States has announced that it will no longer waive sanctions for nations buying crude oil from Iran. The waivers are due to expire in May. The announcement has elicited knee-jerk reactions from the nations affected, not least India, which imports more than 80% of its oil needs. Why is the US trying to cut off Iran’s oil revenue? What are the reasons behind this move and what is India planning to do? Listen to the podcast for the full story....

629: Why BJP’s Uttar Pradesh Disaster May Become Worse in Last 3 Phases
Nearly half of Uttar Pradesh - 39 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats to be precise - has already voted. In 2014, the BJP won 35 of these seats and Samajwadi Party won four. Both the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress failed to win even one of these 39 constituencies. According to conservative estimates, this time the BJP could be down by around 15 seats in the first four phases alone. However, many other analysts say that the party could lose over 20 of the 35 seats that it had won from the first four phases. Th...


628: Our Exams Neither Test Knowledge Nor Prepare Kids For College
Our students continue to amaze us in their examination results, with so many of them scoring close to perfect marks in their board exams. These are the same cohorts of students that have been declared largely unemployable. Still, not just the highest scores continue to soar, but also the pass rates continue to rise. There is clearly something happening here that enables such incredible marks. Interestingly, the toppers this year are not from the big city famous schools, they are from from little known scho...

627: I was Denied Admission to College for Wearing a Hijab to Class
I’m Fathima Fazeela, I am 16-year-old and a student of St. Agnes PU College (in Mangaluru). This year, when I went to the college for my second year (II PU) admission, I was denied admission because I wear a headscarf in the class. They denied my admission without providing me with any official letter. I asked for it several times, I even went three days to the college for that letter but they never gave me the letter. In fact, they said they would issue a Transfer Certificate instead and not the official ...

Citing ‘Spike’ After 5 pm, Cong Alleges Booth Capture in Telangana
The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC), a state unit of the Congress party, wrote to the Election Commission on Wednesday, 1 May, raising concern over the percentage of votes polled during the Lok Sabha elections after 5 pm. The letter, written by TPCC chairperson Marri Shashidhar Reddy, says there was an “unusual increase in the percentage of polling after 5 pm” on 11 April 2019, polling day, in 17 parliamentary constituencies in Telangana. Three significant observations are made in the letter: ...


626: Meet, Greet, Delete: How’s India’s ‘Hookup’ Culture Faring?
For many, the heart doesn't get ripped out of the chest anymore when you don't see them again. “Sex is cool, but have you ever heard of not making a big deal about it?” smirks 28-year-old Sneha* from Delhi. Sex has been afforded the choice of letting go of emotional reserves, she explains to me with a tinge of relief in her voice. “Dispensability is now a way of life, you know? Everyone can be done without, unless you're sure you’re investing right,” she says. “Wham-bam-thank-you- ma’am works for me... for...

I Did the Right Thing: Harsh Mander on SC Deportation Case Drama
The Quint spoke to Harsh Mander about why he asked CJI Ranjan Gogoi to recuse himself in the Assam deportation case, and whether he thinks he made the right decision. “I would do it again,” he said, adding “I can act only according to my conscience and judgement.”...


624: ‘Cried as I Ate’: Shanti Verma on Breaking Fast Against Harassment
Shanti Verma's is one of 17 sexual harassment cases that are currently pending action from AIR. In October 2018 – post the resurgence of the #MeToo movement in India – the AIRCACU sent a letter to the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) and to the National Commission for Women (NCW), to probe a series of sexual harassment complaints that had come in from AIR stations all across the country....

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623: TN Bypolls: 4 Constituencies, 3-Way Fight – What’s at Stake?
Elections in Tamil Nadu have always been a single phase affair. This year, the Assembly elections, and the bypolls to 18 (out of 22) constituencies were held on the same day, in Phase 2, on 18 April. The remaining four constituencies will go to polls on 19 May. Here are the names. Full marks if you can pronounce them in one go –Thiruparankundram, Sulur, Aravakurichi and Ottapidaram. The battle is between three parties: DMK, AIADMK and AMMK. Read on for some dope on the contestants and the issues plaguing t...

622: Super Cyclones Like Fani Aren’t Rare: How Ready Are We?
Cyclone ‘Fani’, which had developed south-east of Sri Lanka, has been categorised as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), at 05:30 hrs, on 2 May, ‘Fani’ was about 450 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha), 230 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), and 650 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) – and is expected to make landfall around Puri on the afternoon of 3 May, with average wind speed of 170-180 km per hour (kph) and gusts of up ...


621: Why We Need to Think About the Gurugram Moral Policing Viral Video
Language is anything but neutral. ‘Rape’, as the recent Gurugram moral policing incident shows, is a loaded word that cannot be used to mete out punishment as one sees fit. However, as we assess the incident — the woman’s alleged “you should be raped” comment, the recording of the video, how the six women approached the situation, the social media support and outrage, and finally the media coverage of it all — we must pay some attention to our own words. What we seem to have not noticed is that the word...

620: I Don’t Wear Niqab But Oppose the Move: MES Student on Veil Ban
The Muslim Educational Society in Kerala has issued a circular banning niqab (veil covering the face) in all its educational institutions. The MES is one of the largest minority educational organisations with over 100 institutions to its name.  In the circular released by the organisation, president of the institution PA Fazal Gafoor says, “MES aims at the social and cultural progress of the Muslim community insists that the students, even while maintaining high standards in curricular and extra-curricula...

619: What is Doxxing, Why is it Bad And How Do You Avoid It?
Doxxing involves looking up the details of people’s lives, usually by digging through their social media profiles, publicly available data, government records and even comments across old and defunct message boards. While snippets of this information might be irrelevant individually, put together,they can cause real harm....


618: On World Press Freedom Day, Nothing ‘Fake’ About Rising Dangers
It’s been seven months since Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and dissident, was brutally murdered inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul. His dismembered body has still not been found. The Saudi Royal Family remains the chief suspect. Yet, for globetrotting capitalists in search of opportunity in Riyadh, it’s back to business as usual. 'For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our Podcasts section.' Copy paste the line and hyperlink the word [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) to...

618: Chunav Tracker | Masood Azhar, Mahagathbandhan & More
Masood Azhar was been blacklisted by the UNSC as a global terrorist, on 1 May. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for the BJP which is campaigning for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s re-election before the remaining phases which has some crucial constituencies in the Hindi heartland go to polls. On the other hand, there seem to be glaring differences among the parties in opposition about the Congress cutting into the Mahagathbandan’s vote share in certain constituencies. BSP chief Mayawati, on ...

617: Elections 2019: Why All is Not Well For Modi in Gujarat
The Indian electorate loves to throw up surprises in almost every election – whether in terms of throwing hung verdicts or giving decisive mandates. Something similar seems to be brewing in the politically significant state of Gujarat. During the 2014 elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party smashed all opposition and rode to victory by sweeping Gujarat’s 26 parliamentary seats. The euphoria of seeing a fellow Gujarati becoming the PM, discarded both local dynamics as well as candidate considerations. For mo...


616: Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram to Get Updates - What Will Change?
There’s an 85% chance you’re listening to this podcast on a mobile phone. Listen up because this is for you. If you own a mobile phone or a computer, you’re likely to be one of the 2.3 billion who use Facebook or the 1.5 billion who use WhatsApp. Both Facebook and WhatsApp are going to go through a LOT of changes soon. So, to avoid any sudden, rude surprises, today we’ll tell you all the BIG changes that you’ll see on your two most used apps. Facebook held its annual F8 Keynote Conference. The conference ...

615: Modi’s Masood Azhar ‘Coup’ With China’s Help: A Political Bargain?
The most important question that comes to mind after China has lifted its hold on Masood Azhar’s designation as a terrorist under UN rules is: Why now? Why plumb in the middle of the general elections? The simple answer would be: to oblige Narendra Modi, whose government has assiduously campaigned to have this done. But that would be too simplistic. This is a political bargain, plain and simple....

614: पूर्वी यूपी में बाहुबली नेताओं का दबदबा, बिगाड़ सकते हैं समीकरण
पूर्वी यूपी की बात करें तो यहां कुछ ऐसे चेहरे भी हैं, जो स्टार तो नहीं लेकिन अपने इलाके में काफी दबदबा रखते हैं. ऐसे नेताओं को बाहुबली नेता कहा जाता है. आपराधिक छवि के बावजूद ये नेता लोगों में काफी पॉपुलर हैं...


Things That Do Not Deserve Rape
The recent viral video of the lady saying that short dresses invite rape leads us to this:  Nothing. Absolutely nothing ‘deserves rape’. Because rape is not something one ‘earns’ on a karma scoreboard. One’s actions have no bearing, under any conceivable circumstances, on the act of rape. It is a heinous, blood-curdling crime punishable under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code....

613: May Day Under Modi: A Distress Call From India’s 40 Crore Workers
What has ‘Modinomics’ done for workers? If they were dreaming of achhe din, they’ve got a nightmare. The Modi government has not only failed on its promise to create more jobs, it has actually ended up reducing them. The government’s own leaked report, held back on grounds of being unsound, says that unemployment is at a 45-year high. Data from India’s most respected private economic intelligence agency, CMIE, says employment has dropped from about 40.7 crore in 2016-17 to 40.1 crore in March 2019\. That’s...

612: David Warner Is More Dangerous Since His Comeback: Sandeep Patil
David Warner of Sunrisers Hyderabad proved everybody wrong over the last five weeks of the 2019 Indian Premier League feels Sandeep Patil.  Warner's innings hasn't been only about power-hitting. It has been well-planned and a very well-executed batting display....


611: BJP, Don’t Use Fahadh & Mammootty to ‘Divide & Conquer’ Kerala
What do Malayalam actors Fahadh Faasil and Mammootty have in common (apart from good looks and acting prowess)? Well, in a recent bizarre incident, both of them were asked to take a stand on Islamic terror, out of the blue, by one of BJP’s candidates in Kerala. Alappuzha’s BJP candidate KS Radhakrishnan, while condemning the terror attack on the church in Sri Lanka, asked actors Fahadh Fasil and Mammootty to respond to it. Listen to the podcast now!...

609: Hey PepsiCo, Enforcing IPR Is Fine, But Suing Farmers Isn’t Okay
PepsiCo, the US-based food and beverages multinational, has sued nine farmers of Gujarat, some of them for Rs 1 crore each, for allegedly violating its intellectual property rights (IPR) in a registered potato variety. A court has given an injunction after finding that the samples were indeed PepsiCo’s variety, but the company might find it difficult to prove that the farmers obtained the seed illegally. India has two laws for protecting agricultural IPRs. Genetically-modified (GM) traits like bollworm res...

608: MHA Asks Rahul Gandhi To Prove Nationality & Other Election Updates From 30 April
* The Ministry of Home Affairs issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi asking him to clarify his nationality after BJP MP Subramanian Swamy alleged that Gandhi is a British national. The letter said that Gandhi had declared his nationality as British in an annual returns statement filed by a British company named Backops Ltd. The MHA has given Gandhi 14 days to file a response. * And the trouble for the Congress President doesn’t seem at an end. Rahul Gandhi issued an apology to the court, for wrongly stating t...


608: Learning to Ride Off-Road With the Pros: Skills, Drills & Basics
The month of June is crucial for me as the TVS Media Racer Championship kicks off during the same time. Every second of track time I get plays a critical role in how I perform on race day. The 15 racers who qualified were invited to an off-road training program in Bengaluru as a part of the same programme....

607: Gautam Gambhir’s Mounting Legal Troubles May Nullify His Election
Gautam Gambhir first dabbled in electoral politics back in 2014, when he campaigned for BJP’s long-time strategist and first-time Lok Sabha candidate from Amritsar, Arun Jaitley. Painted as a ‘parachute candidate’ by his rival Captain Amarinder Singh, Jaitley was unable to shake the image of an outsider despite being a seasoned politician and eventually lost. In 2019, Gautam Gambhir finds himself campaigning for yet another ‘parachute candidate’ fielded by the BJP in East Delhi: Gautam Gambhir. For more ...

606: Imran Khan at Beijing Forum: Is CPEC’s Sparkle Starting to Fade?
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was one of the 40 or so heads of state and government present at the 2nd Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in Beijing last week. In his speeches and remarks, he strongly batted for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its star project, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Responding to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the opening ceremony of the BRF, Khan said that the BRI was “a model of collaboration, partnership, connectivity and shared prosperity” in a world...


605: EC Mute While BJP Has Violated Silence Period in Every Phase with Facebook Ads
The Bharatiya Janata Party is said to have violated the mandatory 48-hour silence period leading to and during each of the four phases of polling thus far in the Lok Sabha Elections. The BJP, identical to its behaviour in the third phase, had 600 active Facebook ads running even as polling was underway in phase 4 on 29 April. All the ads were targeted at one or, in most cases, multiple states -- like West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan -- which went to polls on Monday. The consistently bra...

604: In Chambal, 6 Seats Across 3 States Show 1 Trend: No-Wave Election
“Chambal paar kartay hi Modi lehar khatm ho jaati hai," Manish Kumar, a barber in Madhya Pradesh's Morena says dramatically. The Chambal river marks the border between the south eastern districts of Rajasthan such as Dholpur, Karauli and Sawai Madhopur on one hand and the northern districts of Madhya Pradesh such as Morena and Sheopur on the other. The 28-kilometer journey between Dholpur and Morena passes through the Chambal river and its famous ravines. But along with the terrain, the political landsca...


602: My Vote 2019: Phase 4 Polls, Violence in West Bengal & More
* The election season is in full swing as we move on to the fourth phase. Hey guys, I’m Sonal and you’re listening to the My Vote 2019 Podcast, your one stop shop for daily election related developments. * A total of 72 constituencies spread over nine states voted today in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. One of the most interesting battles of this phase is in Begusarai, where Union Minister Giriraj Singh, former JNU Student Union President and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar are at loggerheads. ...

601: Chunav Tracker | Next Phases of Polls Critical for BJP
Every upcoming phase of the 2019 elections is CRITICAL for the BJP. What does voter turnout from phase 4 reveal? Find out on another episode of the Chunav Tracker podcast. Among other news, Rahul Gandhi has run into legal trouble once more. A Bihar court has summoned the Congress president to appear on 20 May. Why? Well listen in to found out. Meanwhile, 72 seats across 9 states voted on 29 April, Monday. All this and more on this episode of Chunav Tracker....

601: Raj Thackeray’s Rise Reflects Utter Failure of Mainstream Media
There are no permanent winners or losers in politics, to tweak a famous cliché. On the list of permanent losers seemed to be Raj Thackeray, with no role to play in state or even Mumbai politics. His Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, now 13 years of age, began with a bang seizing 13 seats in the state Assembly in 2009, and in subsequent years, went on to score handsomely in some of the municipal corporations in state. In the next Assembly elections – in 2014 – its tally had come down to one, and that sole MLA to...


600: Why PM Modi Should Listen to these Dissenting Voices from Varanasi
In 2014, a phenomenal political performance by the then candidate Narendra Modi clinched Varanasi as his ‘karmabhoomi’. Expectations soared to unimaginable heights as to how he would transform Kashi to Kyoto. Since then, PM Modi has tried to deliver, by flooding the 2,500-year-old sacred city with projects worth thousands of crores. Almost every government department did their bit for the prime minister’s constituency. Most admit that the push to clean Kashi and make it a smart city, was also unprecedented...

599: In Seychelles, A Herculean Task Awaits Ex-Army Chief DS Suhag
On 25 April, the Ministry of External Affairs announced the appointment of former Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag as the next High Commissioner to Seychelles. This appointment is aimed at deepening India-Seychelles military ties, as the latter is a country of strategic importance to India. Although Seychelles – with a fair sized population of Indian descent – has longstanding ties with India, the growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has obligated India to take substantial steps t...

598: ISIS Is Here, And the Threat Is Real. Let’s Stop Being Ostriches
The revelations continue to trickle in about the Sri Lanka terror attacks. One report indicates that among the suspects who perpetrated the bombings are two women, one of them seeming absurdly young. At least two were from very affluent families. Another brings out a damaging admission by Sri Lankan authorities, that the planning for the attack had been going on for months, a revelation that is likely to lead to considerable political repercussions. And finally, the most recent news is of ongoing investig...


597: Game of Thrones S8E4: All Who Died All in the Battle of Winterfell
Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 was one of the darkest episodes to date, and quite literally so. The last episode of Game of Thrones set us up emotionally for the bloody Battle of Winterfell in episode 3, which as expected claimed many lives.  We saw the end of some of our beloved characters from the HBO show. From Knight King to Jorah Mormont, here’s looking at all those who died and the significance of their deaths.  'Listen to the podcast for the full story'...

Odisha Oddity: BJP Banking on Cong Fans to Dent Naveen’s Dominance
One of the peculiar aspects of this election in Odisha is that the BJP, which hopes to have stamped itself as the BJD’s primary rival come 23 May 2019, needs the votes of erstwhile Congress voters more than anyone else, in order to dent the dominance of Naveen Patnaik and his party. But does Patnaik’s BJD face a stiff challenge from either the BJP or the Congress? Have 19 years of uninterrupted rule gathered enough anti-incumbency to push the BJD out of power and Naveen Patnaik out of his chief ministershi...

596: Imagined Homelands | Migration Coming in the Way of Voting?
India, today, is not only the world’s largest democracy but also its most mobile. There’s a constant movement from rural to urban, from city to city and guess how many migrants there are in the country roughly? 400 millions! That makes India has both the largest migrating population and the largest voting population. And chances a good percentage of those who are listening to the podcast are migrants, working or studying in a city or state you were not born in! But for a lot of people being a migrant mea...


Land Disputes & Lack of Industry: Can Odisha Jobs Crisis Hurt BJD?
As per the leaked National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report on jobs data in 2017-18, unemployment in Odisha was at a peak of 7.1 percent, one whole percentage point higher than the national average. Biju Janata Dal’s Naveen Patnaik, who has held on to the chief minister’s chair for the last 19 years, has been unable to resolve the state’s employment divide, with thousands of youngsters continuing to migrate to neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh in the search for jobs. The state government’s high-pr...

595: Avengers: Endgame Review
Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 22nd offering has arrived at our cinemas to put an end to the collective misery. It’s a tentpole to beat all tentpoles, brimming with special effects, and a breathless count of heroes. Director duo Anthony and Joe Russo take 181-minutes to navigate the grief-induced adventure. Listen to the audio read for full story!...

593: 2 Uttar Pradesh Predictions: BJP Retaining 40 Or Going Below 25?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “interaction” with the media in Varanasi on Friday, 26 April, turned out to be little more than a short bite. But even in that short statement, he gave a politically significant hint. He said, “Some people are creating the impression that Modi is winning so there’s no point of voting. Please don’t listen to such people. Come out and vote for a stronger India.” This statement does indicate a certain anxiety on his part that the enthusiasm among BJP voters is falling which may...


590: Avengers Endgame is Underwhelming | Movie Reviews With RJ Stutee
Let’s admit it. You aren’t looking for a review of Avengers Endgame. Because if you are, then this film isn’t for you anyway. Our love affair with the Marvel cinematic universe started in 2008 with Iron Man! Eleven years later, it all comes down to this fantastic finale – a closure we loyalists of the Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) need and deserve. Listen on without fear as this review contains no spoilers....

588: Chunav Tracker Podcast | Grander BJP Campaigns for Hindi Heartland?
On 26 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi filed his nomination from his home turf in Varanasi and the real campaigning for the BJP, in a sense has only begun. Three phases down and 242 seats left in the remaining four phases mostly in the Hindi heartland states which favoured the BJP in 2014. In the last general election, the BJP won 190 out of these 242 seats, is the BJP doubling its campaigning efforts for the remaining half of the election to maintain its grasp on these seats? Join us on another episo...


587: AAP Manifesto: Delhi Will Get the Moon – But Only After Statehood
Arvind Kejriwal would make Delhi an El Dorado if the capital were to get full statehood. That was the main thrust of the Aam Aadmi Party’s election manifesto which was launched on Thursday, 25 April. The 35-page document made an array of promises — and the subtext of almost every promise was that it would come to pass only after Delhi attained full statehood, which the AAP would fight for if voters elected its candidates from all of Delhi’s seven Lok Sabha seats. The chief minister and his party have long ...

A Banker's Guide To Winning Elections ft. TMC's Mahua Moitra
Mahua Moitra is the Trinamool Congress' candidate from the Krishnanagar constituency in West Bengal. Mahua's journey from the Vice President of JP Morgan in London to the spokesperson, MLA and now MP-candidate from the Trinamool has written  As has been her Louis Vuitton bag, being anointed as the “Most Charming Woman in Kolkata” by a magazine many years ago, her sarees, her over-sized sunglasses and her “mem-saheb” image. For this interview, though, we decided to skip the last bit. Listen to the podcast ...

Hang Me If You Can Prove My Relation With Kin of CJI: Utsav Bains
The name Utsav Bains has triggered chatter in Supreme Court corridors ever since he claimed that he was “offered bribe to help frame CJI (Chief Justice of India) in the sexual harassment case”. In his affidavit to the SC, he said that he was offered Rs 50 lakh as legal fees to take up the sexual harassment case against the CJI by a former SC staff. But when he refused to defend the victim, he says, he was offered Rs 1.5 crore. The Quint learnt from a few lawyers that Bains is a friend/acquaintance of the...


586: No Priyanka Gandhi From Varanasi: Final Call or Is There A Twist?
By announcing Ajay Rai as its candidate from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress has almost ended speculation that party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this high-profile seat. But the last date for filing nominations in Varanasi, which votes in the last phase of polling, is on 29 April and there could still be a twist in the tale. A Congress leader, who has been closely involved with the party’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh, disclosed that the iss...

585: Why Do China & Pakistan Want Modi Back in Power?
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has suggested his country was preparing for ‘another Wuhan’, a high level summit once again between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Obviously this cannot happen before the Indian parliamentary elections are over – but the Chinese foreign minister seems to be suggesting that Modi will be back in power anyway. The Chinese, for all their other strengths, are not known for their understanding of complex elections – and for obvious reasons. But though they...

584: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Diet Is A Conspiracy Against Us Foodies
Jack Dorsey, the man who gave us Twitter, a digital conspiracy to keep us distracted from achieving greatness, eats as much in a week as I do in 24 hours. One square meal a day for five days, followed by wild weekends spent OD’ing on water. It’s crazy how much his lifestyle mimics that of a poor farmer, minus his bathing routine, that is more complicated than Cleopatra’s. Jack Dorsey alternates between a mini sauna and an ice bath every few minutes, till the Bay area runs out of water. For more podcasts f...


583: BRI’s ‘Colonialism’: Will China Use 2nd Forum To Rebuild Image?
Well into the sixth year of President Xi Jinping’s signature initiative, Beijing is vigorously preparing to host the second Belt and Road (BRI) Forum on 25-27 April 2019\. The biennial jamboree is likely to attract 37 heads of states / governments, and representatives of around 150 nations, as per Foreign Minister Wang Yi. For the first time, Italy, a G7 country, will be participating as a beneficiary. Most leaders from South Asia, barring India and Bhutan, will also be present. But the celebratory mood is...

581: Who Gains From Record Turnout in Gujarat: BJP or Congress?
Gujarat recorded an all-time high voter turnout in 52 years on 23 April, with 64.11 per cent voting registered across 26 seats. On Tuesday, Gujarat overtook its 1967 voter turnout of 63.77 per cent and the 2014 voter turnout of 63.5 per cent. The tribal belts led the charge followed by rural voters. Although the urban voters came out in large numbers, the turnout in four out of the six Lok Sabha seats was less than the the 2014 election turnout. Incidentally, both the BJP and the Congress are over the moo...


580: चुनाव 2019: इन लोकसभा सीटों पर टिकी होंगी नजरें, दिलचस्प मुकाबला
लोकसभा चुनाव की आधी सीटों पर मतदान हो चुका है. अब बाकी बची सीटों के लिए लड़ाई बाकी है. लेकिन इस लोकसभा चुनाव में कुछ सीटें ऐसी हैं, जहां मुकाबला काफी दिलचस्प हो चुका है...

579: Unmasking Terrorism in Sri Lanka - In Seven Slides
On 21st April, a series of 7-8 suicide bombers targeted churches and star hotels around Batticaloa, Colombo and Negombo in Sri Lanka, killing 320 and injuring over 500\. On the one hand, the Sri Lankan government admits to a security / intelligence lapse. On the other, the serial blasts are also seen as one of the most meticulously planned, precision terrorist attacks in recent years, next only to 9/11\. The Sri Lankan government has named the National Thowheed Jamath as the organisation behind the attack,...

578: Bad News for Mehbooba Mufti As South Kashmir Polls See Low Turnout
In sharp contrast to 2014, the voter turnout in the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) traditional stronghold in South Kashmir has been marginal, in phase-I of the Lok Sabha elections – and could be worse in the next two phases. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....


575: Varanasi Without Priyanka, AAP Manifesto & More
All speculations on whether or not Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be contesting this election came to an end when the Congress on Thursday, fielded Ajay Rai from Varanasi to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ending speculation on a possible blockbuster electoral duel between Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and the PM in the temple town of Uttar Pradesh. But why did Congress not end the suspense right away? And speaking of Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has filed his nomination from this constituency and held...


573: Dear Mr Modi, We’re Interested in More than Your Love for Mangoes
India is a richer nation today for knowing that its Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a mango lover. Indians, or those who watched his carefully constructed and faux casual conversation with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, also know whether the prime minister prefers to use a fork for his mangoes or draws out the juicy flesh with his hands and mouth. Whoever thought that such edifying information would be necessary for us Indians, in the middle of sweltering heat and a scorching general election, added more i...

572: CJI Sexual Harassment Case: How Fragile Is Judicial Independence?
Since the infamous Saturday morning emergency hearing in the Supreme Court on an “issue of great public importance”, several legal and political commentators have raised noteworthy concerns over the apparent absence of due process, and the possiblity of abuse of the office of the Chief Justice of India. Another aspect of the Court’s approach that is disturbing is that, in its attempt to discredit the complainant, the Court and the law officers representing the Central Government, dressed the issue in the c...


571: Modi Isn’t the Only ‘Chowkidar’, He Can Learn from Hooda Report
The release on Sunday, 21 April, of a national security strategy document by the Congress party was, perhaps, inevitable – given the BJP’s decision to make national security its key re-election plan. A key element of the 44-page document entitled ‘India’s National Security Strategy’ (INSS) is the view that India must be prepared for unilateral, limited military actions against terror groups in Pakistan, as it can be assured of peace only if it demonstrates its capability to defend national interests throug...

570: Everything You Need to Know Before Watching ‘Avengers: Endgame’
Avengers: Endgame releases on 26 April and for Marvel fans, it’s the end of an era. The film marks the end of phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and brings to a close a saga that was spread over 11 years and 22 films. So before the film hits theatres, here’s a quick recap of what has happened up till Avengers: Infinity War plus some interesting theories on what can we look forward to in Avengers: Endgame....

569: Akshay Kumar-PM Modi Interview: The Questions He Should Have Asked
Akshay Kumar interviewed Prime Minister Modi. No wait, let me rephrase that. Akshay Kumar had an “informal chat” with Prime Minister Modi. An informal chat that lasted an hour and nine minutes, which was carried on nearly every news channel in the country. An “apolitical” conversation that comes bang in the middle of elections.  Today we’re looking at the “informal chat” that PM Modi had with Akshay Kumar, and we've got better alternative questions that he SHOULD have asked, instead of the ones he did ask....


567: Sri Lanka Attacks: A Stable & Alert Govt Could’ve Averted Disaster
The last series of suicide attacks that occurred in Sri Lanka were by six Sea Tiger suicide boats across the Nandikadal lagoon on 17 May 2009\. Two days later, the Sri Lankan Army’s 53 Infantry Division killed in the last single operation of the war, the LTTE’s dreaded and ‘invincible’ leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran. With his end, Sri Lanka went delirious, celebrating through singing, dancing and feasting on traditional milk-rice (kiri bhath), the termination of three decades of terrorism.  In his book, R...

566: Why ‘230’ is the Magic Number This Election Season
Though there has been some waffling about it lately, most pollsters have predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will end up with around 230 parliamentary seats on 23 May. This is also pretty much what most armchair psephologists have been predicting for the party. It may not be the poll winds alone that have led to this prediction. For, some had predicted a similar number for the BJP before the 2014 polls, a poll in which the electoral mood was clearly far more in favour of the party than it is no...


565: Telangana Election EVM and VVPAT Vote Count Did Not Match
The Election Commission of India (EC) is using Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in polling booths to counter the controversy over the tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). On the Supreme Court’s order, the EC has been randomly verifying 5 VVPATs per constituency in the Lok Sabha elections. This was being done to restore voter confidence, but the petitions filed in the Telangana High Court have raised further concerns. The petitions say that during the Telangana Assembly elections in Dece...

564: Imran & Rouhani: Does Pak Really Want to Be Friends With Iran?
Sitting beside Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a joint press conference in Tehran on 22 April, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan admitted that “Iran has suffered from terrorism, from groups operating within Pakistan”. He was on his first official visit to Iran and his primary publicly-stated objective was to address the issue of terrorism which was, he confessed, becoming a “divisive” factor in Iran-Pakistan bilateral ties. Significantly, Khan specifically mentioned that Pakistan’s security chief was...

563: Chunav Tracker Ep 6 | Phase 3 of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Rahul’s Rafale Remarks in SC & More
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 23 April, issued a notice to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in a contempt plea filed by Meenakshi Lekhi, against his “chowkidar chor hai” remarks on the Supreme Court's interim order on the Rafale deal. The apex court has decided to hear the Rafale review petition and the contempt petition filed by Lekhi together on Tuesday, 30 April. Meanwhile, as this happens, 117 seats across 14 states and two union territory voted in phase 3 of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, on 23 April,...


SC to Examine Lawyer’s Claim of ‘Conspiracy’ to Frame CJI Gogoi
The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to advocate Utsav Bains, who has filed an affidavit in the court claiming that the sexual harassment allegations against Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi are part of an attempt to frame the CJI, asking him to appear before the court on Wednesday morning with material to back up certain claims made by him....

562: Can Mamata Banerjee Emerge As Both Kingmaker & King?
This election season is witnessing an interesting paradox. This is primarily because there are two distinct narratives that are emerging from the public domain. It's however, not the regular Congress vs BJP or Modi vs Rahul narrative. So what are we talking about? The stark contrast between credible ground reportage versus the opinion polls that are doing the rounds on TV news. While the opinion polls are by and large giving a clear edge to the BJP, ground reports suggest otherwise. From Western UP to Vidh...

562: Phase 3 On But BJP Still Targeting Voters with 600 Facebook Ads
On Tuesday, as over 18 crore Indians go to polls in over 2 lakh booths across 117 constituencies spread over 14 states and Union territories in phase 3 of Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has been running 600 ads on Facebook targeted at those voting today. This not only amounts to a direct violation of the mandatory 48-hour ‘silence period’according to section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, but also illustrates the toothless nature of the “Code of Ethics” that social media platforms like Facebook...


561: Allegations Against CJI Must Not be Given an Unceremonious Burial
A special hearing was convened by the Supreme Court on Saturday, 20 April, over safeguarding the independence of the judiciary following a complaint of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice of India (CJI). Undoubtedly, the matter required urgent attention but the court hereon has to be cautious not to proceed with the presumption that the complaint is false. It is not whether the allegations are true or false, but the impartiality with which the court proceeds will cement the faith of the people in t...

560: CJI Gogoi’s Misuse of SC as a Platform Sets Back #MeToo Movement
In case you missed it, a woman came forward with sexual harassment allegations against a powerful man, which included testimony about having dealt with intimidation tactics and criminal charges for months. Would you like to venture a guess as to who got vilified in the Supreme Court of India today? Who out of the two was publicly decried for threatening the sanctity of the institution? For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....

559: Why Indian Academia Shouldn’t Ignore Mental Health of PhD Scholars
A common, yet the most hushed-up aspect in the life of a PhD student in India, is the amount of intense stress, burn out, depression, insomnia and suicidal tendencies that a scholar undergoes. However, this is very much an open secret among both junior and senior academics in Indian research circles. This subject is usually brushed under the carpet for fear of backlash from academic guides, research supervisors and higher management in the academic fraternity. However, as the number of Indian research inst...


558: SC Order on VVPAT Verification: Door for Greater Scrutiny Opened
First the prophesy: it's a matter of time, before clamour to return to the paper ballot system becomes forceful again. An equally strong lobby however, citing multiple reasons – investments already made for 10.35 lakh EVMs, to how ridiculous India would look globally, for marching backwards on the highway of technological progress, etc. – will object to turning the clock back. After all, it is a decade and half since paper ballots were stopped completely in the Lok Sabha and assembly elections since 2004. ...

557: Election Commission’s Snub to TDP’s EVM Expert Reveals Its Biases
The EVM debate will go on forever, unless the Election Commission makes these black boxes transparent, and actually allows someone – including its sharpest critics – to tear them apart. Any machine can be prone to malfunction and error, and if these are being pointed out to the Election Commission, it should address them. Instead, the Election Commission has chosen to ignore legitimate concerns raised by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), by refusing an audience to EVM ‘expert’ Hari Prasad Vemuru, who has been ...

556: Chunav Tracker Ep 5 | Phase 3 Polls, Rahul Gandhi on Rafale & More
116 constituencies across 14 States and a Union Territory prepare to vote on 23 April, Tuesday. With phase 3, India will have voted for 302 seats in the Lok Sabha, well across the halfway mark. Overall voter turnout in Phase 1 and 2 of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has seen little change from the 2014 elections. What does this mean for the BJP government at the Centre? While the election fever continues, we also examine Rahul Gandhi’s statement where he said that he regrets what he said about the Rafale de...


555: Is Kalank Worth a Watch? - Movie Reviews With RJ Stutee
The clothes are distractingly good . And the jewellery well that’s tantalisingly beautiful. As for all the radiance on screen thanks to the excessive gorgeousness brought on my Alia Bhat, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Varun Dhawan - it only gets better . Abhishek Varman’s Kalank is beautiful ! It’s visually stunning but devastatingly boring! One could easily mistake the setting to be in contemporary fantasy land than a period drama it claims to be. It’s only thanks to the occasional “angrez ja rahe hain” and “mulk...

554: Chunav Tracker Ep 4 | All the Developments Before Phase 2 Polling
Campaigning for the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections is officially over as 97 constituencies across 12 States and a Union Territory prepare to vote on 18 April, Thursday. The campaigning in Tamil Nadu ended on a bitter note with IT raids being conducted at residences of members of opposition parties. Coordinated raids have also been conducted by the IT department at premises owned by people allegedly linked to JD(S) in certain districts of Bangalore. Is this a case of the Opposition being targeted? ...

553: Can Poll Campaigns Be Clean & Sans Enmity? Yes, Says Gul Panag
Five years ago, almost to the date, I fought my first election. It was a life changing experience. And I’d gladly go back and do it again, even if the outcome remained the same. It was an impulsive decision, to be honest. The idea of AAP as ‘anti status quo-ists’ was something I believed in – and I had set aside time to campaign for some of their candidates like HS Phoolka, someone I’ve long admired. When Chandigarh’s AAP candidate withdrew, I reached out to Arvind Kejriwal and threw in my hat. For more p...


552: Why Should Urmila’s Religion Matter If Hema Malini’s Doesn’t?
Urmila Matondkar, the Rangeela (1995) star who blazed across Bollywood through the ‘90s and after, is contesting as a Congress candidate from a difficult seat in Mumbai – Mumbai North. The area comprises a mixed population of linguistic and religious communities, uber luxe towers and swathes of slums, old East Indian gaonthans and suburbs, which have witnessed an exponential growth in the last decade and a half. When Matondkar was negotiating Bollywood, BJP stalwart and present Uttar Pradesh governor Ram N...

551: Chunav Tracker Ep 3 | EC Always a Little Slow in Taking Action?
Leaders are campaigning in full swing as we prepare for the next phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. And in some cases, the josh has tended to lean towards hate speech. So what is preventing the EC from taking timely action? There’s a lot going on still, other than hate speech — like, whether or not the EC will change its decision about stalling Modi’s biopic until elections are over. Tune in to The Quint's election special vodcast series Chunav Tracker, with Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia to keep t...

550: Did Ambedkar Confuse Responsibility With Parliamentary Democracy?
A grateful nation bows each year on BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary (on 14 April) to pay tribute to his tremendous contributions in the making of our Constitution. His advocacy inside India’s Constituent Assembly for the parliamentary form of government was brilliant, and is still considered legendary. But in view of how poorly our Parliament has performed, we as a nation might do well to reconsider his arguments, so as to understand what is going wrong now. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our...


549: Psychology of Sacrifice: Why Voters Still Wait for ‘Acche Din’
Opinion polls show that the Modi mania is back, especially among the youth. Gone are the memories of demonetisation, GST, rising prices, and mob lynchings. People want Modi back for another round. Is this because we are fickle? Aren’t we lacking in jobs, social security, labour reforms? Are we a populace full of masochists? Modi, if anything, should be booted for causing immense social and economic havoc. Then why, despite all the pain he has put the country through, do we still want him back? For more pod...

548: Why Indian ‘Tax Payers’ Must Stop Cribbing About Welfare Schemes
When the election season of 2019 is written about in history books, one thing will stand out: the competitive welfarism that parties across the board have promised to voters. The reason perhaps, is that we are going into the polls at a time of deep economic distress, especially for the poor. There have been unprecedented job-losses, the real income of farmers has gone down, and rural wages have collapsed. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) sec...

547: Imagined Homelands | Is India Any Better Than Myanmar for Rohingyas?
Imagined Homelands is a collaboration between The Quint and India Migration Now. This podcast series aims to look at the lives of migrants and problems of immigration. For the first episode of this podcast, we spoke to Rohingya refugees settled in West Delhi’s Bodela locality. Is India providing a safe environment for them? What are their employment opportunities? And who are the most affected members of this persecuted community? We met Abu Taher and Nizamuddin - both of whom fled from Myanmar and came t...


546: Chunav Tracker Ep 2 | A Lowdown on the Day After Phase 1 of Polls
We have officially stepped into the election season and there are a lot of developments to track! From Union Minister Smriti Irani's degree to a letter to President Kovind written by 150 ex-servicemen against the politicisation of armed forces in the election campaigns — here’s what transpired after the phase one of polls. Tune in to The Quint's election special vodcast series – Chunav Tracker, with Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia to keep track of all the developments....

545: Black Hole Image: India’s Contribution in This Feat Will Wow You
Some hours ago astrophysicists brought us the real look of a far away black hole for the first time in history. Numerous science fiction writers, artists, and thinkers have dreamt and visualised the image of a black hole before. But, this is the first time we see a real image of a black hole using powerful (wo)man-made telescopes. The target was a supermassive black hole located at the centre of the Messier 87 (M87) galaxy about 500 million trillion km away from Earth. It measures 40 billion km across, rou...

544: Slamming Kanhaiya Kumar For His Caste Is Misguided and Narrow
Mainland liberals and progressives were more than okay with former JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar as long as he was sloganeering with JNU students, getting beaten up by lawyers, and facing jail time as an “anti-national”. But their favour eroded quickly as they witnessed his soaring rise to becoming the CPI candidate from Begusarai in Bihar, and how people were gladly putting their money on him. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....


543: Mamata Banerjee Was ‘Haunted’ By ‘Bhobishyoter Bhoot’ – Here’s Why
A film that was mysteriously pulled out of Bengal theatres after release had become a flashpoint for debate over artistic freedom in West Bengal. Bhobishyoter Bhoot, directed by Anik Dutta, pegged as a political satire, was unofficially ‘banned’ from the screens on 15 February, as buzz swirled about orders received from ‘higher ups’ about a possible ‘law and order’ threat that the film presented. At one point it seemed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her government, that had been officially ‘silent’ on ...


540: The Tea Tribes of Assam: Who Will they Vote For?
The tea tribes were Congress supporters but in the 2014 general elections, it shocked the Congress, by choosing two BJP MPs from the tea belt. One of the main reasons for this switch was the long-standing demand of Scheduled Tribe Status....

538: Cong, BJP Manifestos on National Security: Pacifism vs Jingoism
With elections drawing close, political parties have released their manifestos, projecting for the nation their promises in the years to come. How many promises will would be kept, how many ignored, remains a moot question. The Congress Manifesto, titled ‘Hum Nibhayenge’, was released on 2 April, while the BJP Manifesto, titled ‘Sankalp Patra’, was released on 8 April. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....


537: Will Jagan Reddy Gain Minority Votes in Andhra By Forgiving Cong?
Politics can be unforgiving, but forgiveness has fit into YS Jaganmohan Reddy’s electoral calculus. The leader of the YSR Congress party and chief ministerial aspirant in Andhra Pradesh, has suddenly decided to “forgive” the Congress party and has said so in public. Interestingly, he has chosen the last few days of campaigning in Andhra Pradesh, which goes to polls on 11 April, to invoke forgiveness. Why? For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) sec...

536: Are BJP & Congress’ Election Manifestos ‘Green’ Enough?
Are environmental concerns ever top of the agenda as far as elections in India are concerned? Well, the good news is that (unlike previous elections), both leading national parties, namely, the Congress and the BJP, have separate sections related to issues such as forest, tribal rights and clean air, in their respective manifestos. A cursory glance at their manifestos shows that while the national parties finally appear to allude to the green cause, the devil lies in the detail. For more podcasts from The...

535: Chunav Tracker Ep 1 | Everything You Need to Know From Day 1 of Polling
The first phase of what is going to be a really long election season, has begun with 91 seats, across 20 states going on polls, on 11 April. From voter turn out to an alleged sniper threat to Congress President Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Amethi — what are the highlights of the first day of polling? Tune in The Quint's election special vodcast series – Chunav Tracker with The Quint’s Editorial Director, Sanjay Pugalia to make sense of all the developments....


533: Movie Review | RAW is a Spy Movie Without Any Suspense
There is a point in the film when one of the characters utters “it’s all too obvious” and it seems like the fourth wall broke and we were being addressed directly! It’s all too obvious indeed and the lumbering manner in which the tale is told doesn’t help matters either. Written and directed by Robbie Grewal, RAW is set in the 1970s leading up to the events that created Bangladesh. Frenzied camera work hints at the uncertainty that such a highly charged atmosphere warrants. A closer look however would reve...


531: What is NOTA?
Do you feel that in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, no candidate from your constituency is worth voting for? Have you lost hope in all of them and think they are corrupt? are you eager to vote, yet want to send a stern warning to political parties? If these pre-poll questions are bothering you as a voter, then in this episode of Sadda Haq, we will explain how NOTA can come to your rescue....

529: What Do the Youth of Pulwama Think About Lok Sabha Elections?
Being dubbed as 'the place of terror' in various national media after the dastardly suicide attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans, Pulwama is battling with the 'terror' tag, and so is its youth. The Quint reaches this district of South Kashmir to find out who will vote, who will not, and why?...


528: Despite Loan Waiver Why Are Banks Torturing Us, Ask Nagpur Farmers
It’s been two years since loan waivers had been announced by the Maharashtra government. A huge number of farmers have still not been able to get benefits from the government. Farmers are discontented as there is constant pressure from the banks. In the year 2017, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Krishi Samman Yojna. Under the scheme, farm loans upto Rs 1.5 lakh rupees were promised to be waived off. To check how successful the government has been ...

527: The Centre Should Talk to Us About Our Problems: Kashmiri Youth
We usually hear about Baramulla when the stories of encounters between militants and the army occupy the national news headlines. In the light of the upcoming elections, The Quint decided to reach this side of the valley to ask its youth what impacts them as a Kashmiri voter and what are their issues?...

526: Election Chaupal: Students of Assam Say No to Communal Politics
Assam votes in the first phase of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on 11 April. Two more phases will follow on 18 and 28 April. So, what are the big election issues in Assam? To find out, The Quint reached Assam. Through our My Vote Chaupal, we have been giving a voice to the Indian voter. Because we truly believe that elections are not about the politicians but about the voters who choose them by making an informed choice. In this edition of My Vote Chaupal, we spoke to a few students of University Law College, ...


525: Can Strategic ‘Space’ Help BJP’s Nationalist Cause in Elections?
On Wednesday, 27 March morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a buzz in newsrooms across the country when he put out a tweet saying he would be addressing the nation later with an “important message”. The tweet predictably brought back memories of his last address in 2016, when he had announced the demonetisation of high-value currency notes. There was all-around anticipation about a similar big-bang announcement once again. Coming ahead of next month’s crucial Lok Sabha election, it was a given th...

524: Rahul Gandhi’s NYAY Is Not Only Feasible, It Is Absolutely Crucial
Rahul Gandhi has pulled off an ‘Indira Gandhi’. His grandmother nationalised banks, abolished the privy purse and fought the 1971 elections on the Garibi Hatao platform. Rahul is fighting 2019 on the idea of a Minimum Income Guarantee aka NYAY. He has promised five crore poor families a minimum income of Rs 12,000 per month. That will work out to an average ‘top-up’ of Rs 6,000 per month or Rs 72,000 per year. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast)...

523: Manohar Parrikar: The Genial ‘Sanghi’ Whose Smile Hid the Saffron
Manohar Parrikar, who passed away on Sunday evening after a valiant battle against cancer for a year, was unlike many of his colleagues in Bharatiya Janata Party. He was not the archetypal Sanghi who spouted Hindu nationalism by the hour or wore saffron on his sleeve, yet Parrikar’s devotion to the ideals and agenda of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was second to none. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....


522: Sadda Haq | Why Every Voter Must Read the Model Code of Conduct
What is the Model Code of Conduct? and how can it be an empowering tool in the hands of voters? In this episode of Sadda Haq, we’ll explain how you can ensure that candidates play by the book, based on a series of guidelines set by the Election Commission....

521: SC Refuses Ban on Road Shows During Polls & More Election Updates From 25 March
1. The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by a former DGP of Uttar Pradesh seeking an order to the Election Commission of India to ban roadshows and bike rallies during polls. Singh, a former Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, said in his petition that roadshows and bike rallies violate EC's instructions and cause damage to the environment. The bench said that they wouldn’t entertain the plea. 2. The BJP has released its list of candidates for two parliamentary constituencies and ni...

520: Sharad Yadav to Contest from RJD Seat & More Election Updates From 22 March
* Sharad Yadav will contest on a RJD symbol in Bihar, the RJD confirmed. * On the question of seat sharing, RJD leader Manoj Jha said that the RJD would contest on 20 seats, Congress on 9, HAM on 3, RLSP on 5, VIP on 3, and CPI-1 in the RJD quota. * Bahujan Samaj Party released its list of 11 candidates for the Lok Sabha Elections on 22 March. * The Shiv Sena also released its first list of 21 candidates for the Lok Sabha Elections. * Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao's dau...


519: Kesari - Movie Reviews With RJ Stutee
Kesari plays out as a cinematic tribute to the valour and sacrifice of 21 men who preferred to die on the battlefield showing exemplary courage in the face of overwhelming odds. We are first introduced to Havaldar Ishar Singh (Akshay Kumar), an upright soldier in the British Indian Army who routinely gets into trouble with his seniors for his headstrong opinion on justice and service. Upset with him for not following orders, Ishar Singh is sent to Saragarhi Fort to take charge.  Apart from its strategic ...

518: PM Modi's Address to Chowkidars, Mayawati Big News and More
* As a part of his 'Man Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, PM Narendra Modi addressed over 25 lakhs chowkidar across the country through a conference. He told them, “Chowkidars have been called chor, that is unfortunate...We have to be vigilant and do our duties.” * Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hopped on the last boat on the last lap of her three-day election boat-rally. She got back at Modi for his jibes on dynastic politics. She said BJP has been “systematically attacking every institution in the last ...

517: BJP Ruled Delhi & Mumbai, Forgot Vidarbha: Nagpur on 2019 Polls
“The 'mahagathbandhan' is a baseless, senseless, and visionless alliance,” said Vishlesh Godhani, an engineering student from Nagpur. Many others echoed Godhani’s thoughts as The Quint’s chaupal reached Nagpur to speak to the citizens ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections....


516: We Are in Distress, Say Mathura Farmers But ‘Will Vote For Modi’
What are the problems faced by farmers? Do they get a fair price for crops? Who will they vote for in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019? Bearing these questions in mind, The Quint spoke to farmers in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, in order to get a sense of the pulse among the country’s agrarian warriors....

515: What do Bhiwandi’s Power Loom Owners Want From 2019 Polls?
Once buzzing with the sound of spinning yarns, the power looms in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi have now fallen mostly silent. First, dealing with demonetisation that forced an entire sector that had been heavily cash driven to go digital overnight and then came GST that struck a double whammy. Bhiwandi’s power loom sector no longer yields the robust business it did till about five years ago....

514: Farmers in Bharuch to Vote for Nota or Local Candidate but Not BJP
In 2014, Gujarat unanimously voted for their Chief Minister Narendra Modi during the General Elections helping the saffron party clinch all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state. However, in 2019, although Modi is the Prime Minister of the country, Gujaratis are visibly miffed especially in South Gujarat. South Gujarat is not only a fertile strip of land with a bi-annual yield, it’s also one of the most heavily industrialised regions in the country. Now, three major infrastructure projects of national significan...


513: ‘Pray to God Modi Govt Doesn’t Return to Power’: Vidarbha Farmers
‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ was a slogan given by Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1965\. Almost 55 years after that slogan and 70 years after Independence, the farmers of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha are still taking their own lives. Year after year after year, successive governments have failed to address the farmer crisis. The Quint spoke to farmers from the Akola district of the Vidarbha region, where the farmers give a report card of the Modi government....

512: ‘First, Treat Us as Humans’: Dalit Women Speak on 2019 LS Polls
Why do Dalit women have to be a part of the 2019 elections for a better tomorrow? Why are they important? What do they want? On 18 February, over 60 Dalit women gathered in Chennai, to discuss ‘Dalit Women in Politics: Past, Present and Future,’ organised by The Blue Club and All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch. The Quint, in its Chaupal series, spoke to a few of the prominent Dalit activists and leaders to understand their expectations from the 2019 elections. We discussed not just gender, but political...


510: The Unpublished Khushwant Singh Interview - I Fear Being Dependent
Khushwant Singh donned many a cap over the course of his life. After beginning his career as a lawyer in Lahore, Singh would go on to become a journalist, a diplomat, and even a politician. While his death came at the ripe old age of 98, Singh’s acidic wit, caustic humour and skillful way with words left an impact on people that will stay beyond his time. This is a previously unpublished interview with Khushwant Singh that was recorded in 2009 by Dr. Kiran Bala, just after Singh turned 94. Producer: Vish...

509: 'The Women are Re-Victimized' - Chinmayi on Pollachi Assault
Chinmayi, the woman who fronted the MeToo movement in Kollywood and the rest of South India speaks exclusively to The Quint, on what issues the Pollachi sexual assault case underlines in our society; and her concerns about shaming and slandering the victims, while the perps are given a clean chit....

508: Congress Leader Tom Vadakkan Joins BJP & More Election Updates From 14 March
* Congress leader Tom Vadakkan joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on 14 March, in the presence of Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Vadakkan was always believed to be a close aide of Sonia Gandhi. In fact, Vadakkan was once the national spokesperson of Congress and even a former secretary of the AICC. * In Uttar Pradesh, SP-BSP will have joint election rallies during the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, said former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav * Next, the NCP announced a list of their candidates for the 201...


507: BJP Tells EC to Declare WB as 'Super-Sensitive' & Other Election Updates
* Priyanka Gandhi kept us on the hook for a while and chose to stay in the shadow even after formally joining the Congress. In fact, she delivered her first speech as an official member of the party only yesterday but it is not clear if she'll be contesting in this year's General Election at all. * This update came from NDTV who quoting sources said that "Priyanka would play an active role and helping her mother and brother in their constituencies as well as help other congress candidates in the state"....

506: Why J&K State Polls Deferment Is Due to Logistics, Not Politics
With the obvious exception of the ruling BJP at the Centre, most of the regional and national political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are critical of the Election Commission of India’s decision to not hold the Assembly elections concurrently with the general Lok Sabha elections. After withdrawal of support from Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP coalition in June 2018, the Assembly was placed under suspended animation and Governor’s Rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. After the political parties’ failure to form...

505: Priyanka Gandhi's Maiden Speech & Other Election Updates
Too many news updates since we’ve officially stepped into the election season! Tune in to the My Vote 2019 podcast - your one stop for the daily election-related developments. * Such a long wait for Priyanka Gandhi's first speech after she joined Congress and finally it's been delivered in Ahmedabad, in PM Modi's home state Gujarat.  * She was there to attend the Congress working committee which took place in Gujarat after 58 years. The meeting was held to give a final shape to its strategy for the 201...


503: Why Antarctica is of Strategic Significance to the ‘Great Powers’
The Antarctic Treaty, first signed in 1959, now has 53 signatories who have agreed to suspend territorial claims and disputes, to forgo all military and mining activity, to protect the Antarctic environment and to preserve the continent as “a natural reserve, devoted to peace and to science”. Soon after it was signed, under the pretext of conducting scientific research, nations began to eclipse each other in building bases on various parts of the continent, establishing a toehold that would allow them to e...

502: India’s OIC Moment Wasn’t a Triumph But It Wasn’t a Failure Either
How are we to judge the invitation to be the guest of honour at the recent plenary of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) summit, held in Abu Dhabi on 1-2 March? What the OIC says and does, matters little. But in today’s information age, its positions shape perceptions, which, in turn, influence policy. So, we got an invite that we have thirsted for since we were ignominiously from the OIC’s Rabat Summit in 1969, there were no critical references to India in the...


501: QPodcast: आज गुजरात में CWC की बैठक, प्लेन क्रैश के बाद सतर्क DGCA
पढ़ें आज की बड़ी खबरें- -आज गुजरात से कांग्रेस का चुनावी अभियान शुरू,सेना को तोहफा -दिल्ली में कांग्रेस-आप गठबंधन के कयासों पर पूर्णविराम -DRDO का नया इजाद 'कॉम्बैट कैजुअलटी ड्रग' -बोइंग 737 मैक्स-8 विमानों को उड़ाने के नए नियम -तेजस्वी यादव की विपक्षी नेताओं से अपील...

500: Movie Review: ‘Badla’ is a Powerful Watch With Some Delightful Suspense
Now the best thing about a thriller is that it should keep you guessing till the end. Engage you! Challenge you ! Pull the rug from under your feet right when you think you have it all sorted. Badla has all these elements thanks to Sujoy Ghosh’s efficient direction and adapted screenplay from the Spanish original The Invisible Guest. But The Invisible Guest is on Netflix and if you have already seen it then Badla will offer a very different viewing experience with not many surprises to boast about. Listen ...

499: Pakistan, Like N Korea, Has Aced ‘Crazy Fearsome Cripple Gambit’
Prime Minister Imran Khan is the winner today. His decision to ‘return’ the IAF pilot anoints him as an indisputable monarch of magnanimity, a prophet of peace. No matter what India does, diplomatically or militarily, it can never deliver comeuppance to Pakistan. Pakistan will never lose this game of one-upmanship, for it has mastered the strategy, once employed by North Korea: Crazy Fearsome Cripple Gambit. When a nation chooses to fashion itself as crippled and fearsome, and crazy, it gets its way around...


498: IAF Air Strikes in Pak: Has Modi Won Half the Election Battle?
In his acceptance speech for the Seoul Peace Prize on 22 February, Prime Minister Narendra Modi quoted the popular Korean saying Shichagi Bhanida, meaning, “A good beginning is half the battle”. Although he referred to this in the context of the peace process in the Korean Peninsula, his security establishment would be restating this in a completely different context. But more importantly, as the news of strikes by the Indian Air Force spread across India on Tuesday, 26 February, his domestic admirers too w...

497: Importance of Balakot & Why India Was Strategic In Targeting It
A pre-dawn strike by the Indian Air Force on Tuesday, 26 February, against terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), has resulted in a propaganda war on both sides. While India caught Pakistan unawares 12 days after the Pulwama suicide bombing that killed over 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir, Islamabad, in embarrassment, pledged retaliation at a place and time of their choosing. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....

496: China’s Careful Response to IAF Air Strikes Signals a New Stance
The Chinese know a thing or two about face. Therefore they clearly understood the message put out by India in the aftermath of the air strike on Balakot in Pakistan on Tuesday, 26 February. This was aimed at making it easy for Islamabad to walk away from confrontation. The official statement put out by South Block invoked the doctrine of self-defence, enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. It described its strikes on one of the “biggest training camps of JeM in Balakot” as “non-military pre-emptive act...


495: IAF Pilot Abhinandan Returns: Let’s Consider ‘Badlaav’ Not ‘Badla’
India has served Pakistan the proverbial dish of ‘badla’ (revenge) – how cold it was, and how accurately aimed, are still being debated. Pakistan also took its ‘badla’ by retaliating. But where do we go from here? After the savage terror attack by a suicide bomber belonging to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed on a CRPF convoy at Pulwama in Kashmir on 14 February, in which 40 jawans were martyred, the one word most heard on Indian TV channels was ‘badla’ (revenge).  Some eminent Indian commentators made the...

494: Pulwama Attack: It’s Time Pak Understood Anguish & Anger in India
In the face of a gravely provocative and hostile act of aggression – such as the terrorist attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, 14 February, – a mature nation should display five qualities. Unity. Fearlessness. A steely resolve to punish the aggressors. A complete lack of hatred, revengefulness and triumphalism. And readiness to understand and address the root cause of the problem. India has shown some of these qualities – to be precise, the first three in the list. That’s h...

493: Surya Kiran Crash at Aero 2019: Should the Show Go On?
The IAF’s recent run of ill luck hit a new low on 19 February 2019, when two Hawk AJTs from the Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team (SKAT) crashed at Yelahanka after a mid-air collision during rehearsal. It’s blue skies (RIP) for one of the pilots while two other pilots ejected safely, albeit with injuries. A Mirage 2000 crash on 1 February at neighbouring HAL Airport claimed two young test pilots from ASTE. Soon after, a MiG 27 crashed on 12 February near Jaisalmer (pilot ejected safely). Now this fatal accident ...


492: Luka Chuppi - Movie Reviews With RJ Stutee
The phrase ‘mindless comedy’ is bandied around a lot these days. It’s a convenient term to defend a lot of films where the collective IQ of its characters is at times as low as room temperature. Leave your brains at home! Don’t go looking for sense everywhere! Why can’t you just have a good time? These are some remarks that greet those of us who rarely manage even a chuckle or two while watching such films. So to describe Luka Chuppi, ‘mindless comedy’ is the phrase I’m going to borrow but in the nicest w...

491: Sonchiraiya: Movie Reviews With RJ Stutee
From Sholay and Bandit Queen to the more recent Pan Singh Tomar , dacoits and their daredevilry have found a haloed space in Bollywood. In Sonchiriya, director Abhishek Chaubey and writer Sudip Sharma, at the outset, seem to be conjuring up another familiar universe about outlaws and their collision with authority. But a few minutes into the film one knows that there’s more than meets the eye that demands a closer look. Listen as we tell you whether Sonchiriya is worth a watch!...

490: Received No Special Treatment as a Prisoner of War: Former Air Marshal KC Cariappa
Pakistani Field Marshal Ayub Khan had offered General KM Cariappa the release of his son, Air Marshal KC Cariappa, a downed pilot in the 1965 Indo-Pak war, within a day, but that General Cariappa refused saying he didn't want a special favour. The Quint spoke to Former Air Marshal KC Cariappa about his time as a prisoner of war(POW) to find out if this was true.  Listen in....


489: What Are India’s Options, With China Still Vague on Masood Azhar?
The suicide bomb attack that killed around 40 CRPF jawans in Pulwama is easily one of the most serious attacks the security forces have faced in Jammu & Kashmir since the beginning of insurgency in 1990. Comparisons are being made with the J&K Legislative Assembly attack in 2001 that led to the killing of 38 people. Both attacks seem to have used the same modus operandi – having a suicide bomber ram an SUV loaded with explosives on to the target. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](...

488: Covering Pulwama Attack: Has the Indian Media Acted Responsibly?
The media has given saturated coverage to the Pulwama terrorist attack. This is not unnatural because it was the deadliest single action against the security forces in almost three decades of Pakistani sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.  But the way the media is running the terrorist action once again raises the question of how such grievous actions should be covered. Are there golden rules that should ideally be observed while reporting such events and in commentaries, including talk shows? And are...

487: What Does the Return of IED Attacks in Kashmir Mean for the Army?
Till last week it was the sniping war at the LoC which was live, with casualties on both the sides. Even as we were discussing the new Indian Army sniper rifles under induction, it was certain that a change in character of the proxy war in Kashmir would take place sooner than later. Pakistan’s deep state masterminding the actions of terrorists in the Valley had already experimented with targeting of local policemen and soldiers on leave. For long, analysts were anticipating the return of one of the most ef...


486: Gully Boy - Movie Reviews With RJ Stutee
Gully Boy is here and RJ Stutee has the beans on the movie! So, stop waiting and listen to Stutee’s review. Gully Boy from its onset gets us into the mood. We unthinkingly nod our heads and tap our feet in a synchronised fashion. The infectious tempo slowly grows on us as Zoya Akhter and Reema Kagti’s screenplay plunges headlong into the lives of Murad (Ranveer Singh) and Safeena (Alia Bhatt). Listen to the podcast for the full review!...

484: Trump’s SOTU Address: Where Was India, Where Was Foreign Policy?
For a speech that US President Donald J Trump told supporters was likely to contain as much as “40 to 50 percent” foreign policy, the actual State of the Union address gave foreign policy short shrift. As Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer noted, the foreign policy part of the speech comprised around sixteen minutes of the nearly ninety-minute address. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Podcasts](https://www.thequint.com/news/podcast) section....


483: ED Summons Robert Vadra: Attempt to Ruin Opposition’s Credibility?
Around the time of the Emergency, the then Congress Chief Minister of Haryana, Bansi Lal, was asked why hundreds of acres of government land near Delhi were allotted to a young, untested man, who wanted to build a car factory. The Congress symbol in those days was the cow and the calf. The young man was Sanjay Gandhi, son of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. For more podcasts from The Quint, check out our [Pod