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Articles by Bhabani Sen GuptaSubscribe to Bhabani Sen Gupta

Trapped in the Sinking Titan

Trapped in the Sinking Titan Bhabani Sen Gupta The defeat of Rajiv Gandhi at the hands of the entrenched power structure in Bihar will now have a series of repercussions all over the Congress(I) domain.

End of the TINA Factor

With the Lok Sabha polls drawing nearer ana an electoral breeze already blowing over the country, political attention is focused on whether or not there is a TINA factor. Will the voters march to the polling booths with the image of an alternative in their minds?

Decline and Fall

Decline and Fall?
Bhabani Sen Gupta The bleeding wound inflicted on the body of the Congress(I) by its rout in Tamil Nadu will not heal in the months between now and the Lok Sabha poll. An increasingly ugly struggle for power will rage at the state level which will be most intense in the Hindi belt. The struggle has already begun in Bihar.

Home and the World

too realises the worth of the lobbyists as organisers of vote banks. Rewards follow quickly--cash flows, a lucrative contract, allotment of a constituency for contesting the state assembly or Lok Sabha election, perhaps, if the gods are willing, a ministership.

The Fourth Year

freedom of speech and expression, and, therefore, necessarily, of ideas ? Legal experts will argue it out, and interpret what is or is not a reasonable restriction on the right to freedom of ideas. Meanwhile, there is little reason however to skimp on celebrations. It should be good for the nation's soul if the hypocrisies, on which it has been made to subsist, are gradually shown, one after another, in their true light. Official scriptwriters have traversed the ultimate frontiers of banality to stress the deep spiritualism which informs the persona of an average Indian; the grotesqueness of the claim is exposed by the manner the government of the country begs every day for morsels of external aid from all and sundry; the hollowness of the claim is also evidenced in the shopping marts of foreign lands, where our compatriots buy up regularly and indiscriminately whatever goods their eyes fancy, never mind how they arrange for the requisite foreign currency. Since we produced Gautama Buddha, and, more recently, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the constituents of this nation are assumed to be apostles of non-violence; it is the stuff of magnificent hypocrisy, given our record of ceaseless communal violence, the daily fare of grim happenings in Punjab, and, should not one add, the performance of our 'peace-keeping' force in Sri Lanka over the past eighteen months. The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill contributes to the mythology and demolishes it at the same time, so why not render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and compliment the bill for its forthrightness?

From Bofors to Boforitis

From Bofors to Boforitis The prime minister no longer denies that kickbacks have been paid, but not, he contends, to any Indian. Only he cannot offer proof. V P Singh's allegations about payments to the 'Lotus' account remain unsubstantiated. Why then the political passion over an issue that cannot be brought to a logical conclusion?

A Different Script

A Different Script Bhabani Sen Gupta In northern India, especially in the Hindi belt, a great number of people do seem to fear the passing of political power at the centre after the next polls to 'inferior' elements of Indian society.


They Say It's Bush! Bhabani Sen Gupta The US presidential election campaign has been a theatre of masks. Bush has been hiding his east coast Republican softness behind a mask of aggressive Reaganism and Dukakis will not come out as a true liberal, for, after eight years of Reagan's America, that is thought to be a dirty word.

Tides in American Politics

urban areas of sums up to five times the amounts that have been injected by special inner city programmes.
REGIONAL INEQUALITY Meanwhile the government has been assiduously supporting further regional inequality. Its biggest influence on the location of employment actually comes through its huge defence spending pro/ gramme: this is directed almost exclusively to firms in the south-east, particularly west of London; inevitably, the rest of high technology industry has followed. The government has helped further by relaxing housing controls in the 'Green Belt' around the capital. Most recently, it has abandoned automatic investment grants for firms locating in depressed regions. Its recent overhaul of the welfare system has left millions of the poorest inner city residents worse off. Taken overall, it looks suspiciously as if the government has been assisting, not arresting, the decline of the inner cities.

Eyeless in Delhi

about that and praises Gorbachev's decision to rehabilitate these people. Yet when one asks the question if this would lead to rehabilitation of Trotsky the answers are neither forthcoming nor clear. That is why one fears that perestroika or glasnost is a liberal version of socialism in one country. It is almost 'perestroika in one country'. People are talking but they are talking in unison as much as they did under Brezhnev. The subject of the talk is inevitably perestroika and glasnost. What is interesting is that there is hardly a soul who thinks that Yegov Ligachev has a point. One would get the impression that from an average intelligent Soviet citizen's point of view Ligachev is a dirty name. One is familiar with this phenomenon, isn't one?

Crumbling, but Not Collapsing

heavy instruments on their head in front of Hotel Russia. There are better means available (in a European state) for transport of packages and goods. This is an eye-witness account that we picked up in Moscow. They were made to do this with the remark that these people are used to such labour anyway. Fortunately, as the remark must have been in Hindi or Gujarati or English, the local Russians might not have understood it. But they saw the spectacle all right. Europeans do not treat their artists and authors in this manner. It would be a worthwhile exercise to talk to various artists and art- activists and gather their impressions of the treatment meted out to them. It would be an educative exercise.

Election Wars, Mini, Midi, Maxi

Election Wars, Mini, Midi, Maxi In all probability the opposition will not capture power in 1989. But it can and must snatch away at least two Hindi belt states from the loosening jaws of the ruling party while defending its existing domains at the state level. The mini election war of June 16 will show if there is a mood of refusal abroad in the country with respect to the ruling party.


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