Chandan Mitra (for Info only, not official)

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Chandan Mitra

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    ...Barring the defiant undertone of his “mere paas maa hai” dialogue, what else will our generation remember Shashi Kapoor for? He would be remembered primarily for daring to be different and retaining his identity without imitating others, spurning the rat race in favour of quality cinema at least in the latter part of his career. In an age when actors were crassly stereotyped, the youngest of Prithviraj Kapoor’s sons bucked the trend. In fact, he was quite the opposite of most prevailing labels that spelt success in the Hindi film industry in the 1960s and ’70s. For instance, he was no “He-Man”, his rare action sequences appearing rather unconvincing by contemporary standards. Arguably, he was a “romantic” actor, with his cheesecake looks and fetching smile, but a mere romantic hero was not considered saleable in that age. Thus, Shashi could never carry a film to box office success on his shoulders alone. His commercial triumphs came late in his career, particularly as a foil to Amitabh Bachchan. ...

    Indian Express on Dec. 7, 2017, 1 a.m.

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    ...Some decades ago, on the eve of the 1991 general election, posters came up in different parts of the country, reading: “40 saal banam chaar mahine — faisla aapke haath” (40 years versus four months: The verdict is in your hands). Issued by accidental Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar’s political outfit, it sought to compare his government’s non-existent achievements (barring the mortgaging of gold, if that can be called an achievement) with successive Congress governments. The comparison was laughable since the maverick pseudo-socialist had very little to show in the brief tenure bestowed upon him by Rajiv Gandhi, who cruelly used him purely to remove V.P. Singh from office. It is far too early to compare Congress governments of yore with Narendra Modi’s BJP regime. First, Modi has been in office for 31 months, although his clear majority in the Lok Sabha will ensure he completes his full five-year term. The time for comparison will come two years down the line. ...

    Indian Express on Dec. 27, 2016, 12:05 a.m.

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    ...In Gujarat, BJP swept the civic elections yet again winning 107 out of 123 councils. The results have obviously dampened the spirits of opposition parties in the two western States as they had hoped the travails of "note bandi" or cash crunch in the wake of the ban on Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes would antagonize voters against Mr Modi's party.Significantly, the BJP also scored big in by-elections in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. In the latter, it retained its seats albeit with a reduced majority in the Shahdol Lok Sabha constituency. ...

    NDTV on Dec. 2, 2016, midnight

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    ...In Gujarat, BJP swept the civic elections yet again winning 107 out of 123 councils. The results have obviously dampened the spirits of opposition parties in the two western States as they had hoped the travails of "note bandi" or cash crunch in the wake of the ban on Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes would antagonize voters against Mr Modi's party.Significantly, the BJP also scored big in by-elections in West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh. In the latter, it retained its seats albeit with a reduced majority in the Shahdol Lok Sabha constituency. ...

    NDTV on Dec. 2, 2016, midnight

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    ...Only the fat cat money bags will be left crying over their loss of power and pelf once the rest realize the benefits of demonetization far outweigh the temporary inconvenience.Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to wield a magic wand on the night of November 8 when he announced demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes from midnight. Initial reaction to this was uniformly positive as it seemed to be an effective surgical strike against black money stashed away by big traders and industrialists, apart from many politicians and some corrupt bureaucrats. The announcement was in keeping with Mr Modi's repeated assurance to crack down on undeclared incomes at home and abroad to force more resources to come into the mainstream of the national economy.However, the government may have underestimated the inconvenience this would cause to daily wage earners and the salaried middle class. ...

    NDTV on Nov. 12, 2016, midnight

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    ...It is not yet clear if his groveling stance will assuage the feelings of the naysayers. It is also a fact that on many occasions, such controversy is deliberately raked up by commercial rivals or even political groups with the aim of extortion. Ironically, pre-release controversy helps to generate heightened expectation about a film and thereby attracts more viewers at least in the initial weeks of a film's release.But the issue involved in ADHM is somewhat different. On the face of it, the "dispute" is a fall-out of tensions between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri outrage and the subsequent surgical strikes by India across the Line of Control. ...

    NDTV on Oct. 19, 2016, midnight

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    ...Now, merchant of murder, if said in English, would still be an unfortunate choice of phrase, but nowhere as repulsive as the filmy expression "Maut ka Saudagar". Similarly, a "broker of blood" would sound confusing but not cause the kind of revulsion that the word "dalali" in Hindi evokes. Rahul Gandhi's father, the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, courted controversy by using expressions like "Nani yaad dila doonga", roadside slang, in the context of Pakistan, apart from his more infamous sentence "Jab koyi bada pedh girta hai, dharti hilti hai" (when a big tree falls, the ground shakes) in an unsuccessful bid to justify the anti-Sikh riots in the wake of his mother's assassination in 1984. ...

    NDTV on Oct. 8, 2016, midnight

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    ...It is a measure of India's overwhelming clout in South Asia that withdrawals cascaded within 24 hours of New Delhi pulling out of the scheduled summit in protest against Uri and other acts of cross-border terror perpetrated by Pakistan. In getting this regional congregation scrapped, Prime Minister Narendra Modi can rightly claim a major diplomatic triumph. India's other neighbours too have been troubled by Pakistan's support of terrorist activities directed against India often from their soil. So it is not just India's anger, but the fact that Pakistan's infamous ISI keeps aiding and abetting terrorists, especially jihadi groups across South Asia, that must have resulted in the alacrity with which most other SAARC nations followed India's lead. ...

    NDTV on Sept. 28, 2016, midnight