BJP is attributing the recent assembly elections victory to voters transcending the lines of caste and religion and voting for the agenda of development. But is it so simplistic? Can Indian voters ever rise above caste and religion? In the current scenario, it seems a bit far-fetched. Development is sure a catchy word these days and yes, a good perception has been created by the Modi government, even though work on the ground may not match the rhetoric.

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With the recent narrative of zero tolerance to terrorism, hyped nationalism and bashing of so called liberal thought in the country, I too tried to convince myself that the killing of the escaped terror suspects from Bhopal jail was justified. But I could not. Try as I did, I found it indefensible. Killing terrorists is OK, but killing unarmed ones in cold blood, when they could have been captured easily, is not correct. Neither law nor my conscience allows accepting this act as tolerable in a civilized society, let alone praiseworthy.

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Now that the dust of campaigning, voting, exit polls and actual counting has settled in Bihar, the analysis has begun. BJP, the new Congress, says their leadership will discuss and decide what went wrong. But the writing is very clear on the wall. Provided they care to look and read.

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The recent actions and utterances of our leaders have slowly brought forth the “hidden agenda” which people used to talk about not very long ago. The bare knuckles are now somewhat visible. The people and ideas once on the fringes are suddenly hogging the limelight. Vague, misty notions are grabbing centre stage.

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The cleavage issue of Deepika Padukone has brought to the forefront the debate on freedom to clothe and reveal. The inimitable Shobhaa De has joined the debate rightly arguing that Deepika’s cleavage is as important as Shah Rukh’s six-pack. The modern society has given the opportunity and courage to Deepika to slam the "objectionable" video posted by Times of India and flaunt her womanhood.

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A lot has been said and discussed about the intentions and capabilities of Narendra Modi before and after he became prime minister. The last three months have converted some fence sitters to his side, while the critics and skeptics continue to hold fort. However, we must give credit where it is due.

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As the country saw a mass movement during the Anna agitation over two years ago, it brought some hope for the masses reeling under a corrupt dispensation and struggling to survive in the face of many adversities. But team Anna was treated with disdain by the government, cosy in its majority, and with elections another 3 years away.

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Even in this age of falling standards, we do hold some institutions in high regard, e.g. the Supreme Court, the Armed Forces, and certain individuals who have become institutions, like Anna Hazare and some fearless journalists.

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The heinous events of September 11, 2001 in the US are widely known as 9/11 in true American fashion of giving acronyms or short names. Fortunately, there has been no significant terrorist strike in the US after 9/11, demonstrating the strict vigilance and strong intelligence of US security agencies.

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There are many dimensions to the issue of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh - political, infrastructural, cultural, social, bureaucratic, educational and also personal for many. While we have discussed the mostly political, educational and infrastructural dimensions in the first part, I will continue in this part to further elaborate on the same and also touch upon the other aspects.

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Life has come one and a half circles for the Telugu people. We read in history books about the sacrifice of Potti Sriramulu for the sake of a separate Telugu state. Andhra State was then formed in 1953 by separating the Telugu speaking areas (including the regions of Rayalaseema – the southern part bordering Tamil Nadu and Karnataka - and coastal Andhra) from the then Madras state.

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We, especially Indians, tend to dismiss a person lock stock and barrel, if there is any hint of personal misdemeanor or a rumour about his or her “wrong” behaviour in private life. We are quick to denounce them as immoral, unwanted, not worthy of any social interaction, leave alone fit for any responsible position.

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