Rajdeep Sardesai

429 Articles Published | Follow:
Let’s Put Manipur on the Map

Boxing films have always enthralled me. As a teenager, the Rocky series was inspirational. Raging Bull, the story of Jake La Motta, is probably the gold standard for all sports films, with Robert de Niro at his histrionic best. Other boxing films like The Fighter and Million Dollar Baby have also been captivating.

Let The Journey Begin!

Welcome to my world of breaking views! This personal website is a space to share my journalism with you, to share my videos, blogs and columns. I belong to what I can best describe as a ‘penumbral’ generation of journalists: those who started in print, gradually moved to television, and are slowly coming to terms with the digital age.

Conundrum of modern political life: A leader’s two sides

Politicians are notoriously schizophrenic: I have met any number of netas who can be wonderfully warm and polite when they are off camera but turn into rabble-rousing venomous public figures the moment the camera is switched on. A Raj Thackeray, for example, is very generous with his hospitality when there is no camera in the vicinity. But the moment he is on air, he transforms into a different political animal: He can be rude and abusive, almost as if he is compelled to perform before a wider world. Mani Shankar Aiyar is another. He will make personal attacks in a television debate and then next morning, almost mysteriously, transform into a genteel man of the world.

Modi’s fine words must be followed by firm action

We live in an age where a Hindi film is declared a hit if it has a strong opening on its first weekend: The era of the silver jubilee is well and truly behind us.Politics too, is experiencing a similar compression in time. So, Narendra Modi’s first 100 days are already being seen as a verdict on his government. A 100 days is just over 14 weeks.

Shiv Sena needs to grow up

A few months ago, I went for lunch to the new Maharashtra Sadan in the national capital. The first look was impressive: marble flooring, bronze statuettes, spiral staircases, you could have been in the lobby of a five star hotel. This was no staid government accommodation and the extravagance seemed to confirm reports of how the local contractor had inflated the construction costs well beyond the original sanctioned budget.

Ruling the roost in Raj Bhavan: do we really need governors?

A former UPA minister relates a delightful story of an ex-judge who had been identified to head the contentious ‘Snoopgate’ probe. The judge declined the offer but had an alternative proposal in mind: “Why don’t you make me a governor instead!” suggested the venerable judge. The reason was obvious: As head of an inquiry commission that was politically controversial, the judge would be in the line of fire.

India high on interest, low on facilities as Fifa World Cup kicks off

Forget power cuts, ‘Ache din’ are here for the Indian sports fan. Over the next few weeks, the world will be tied into football fever. We will be dazzled by the artistry of a Messi and Ronaldo; fans in Kolkata will wear Brazilian shirts; pubs in Mumbai will have special screenings; and life in Goa and Kerala will revolve around a ball. We will celebrate the spirit of the beautiful game even as the national team won’t be playing it yet again.

Narendra Modi must shun adversarial politics

The new joke in the corridors of power is that if in the last five years the country suffered because it didn’t have a strong government, the next five years could be worrisome because we don’t have a strong Opposition.

The last time we had a majority government was in 1984 when Rajiv Gandhi was prime minister with a whopping 414 MPs in a 543-member House with the next highest being NT Rama Rao’s Telugu Desam Party with 30 seats. The BJP, in its new avatar, had got just two. Indian politics has changed dramatically in the intervening period, but the lessons of those five years may be useful for both the Narendra Modi government and for the Opposition.

Rahul to Akhilesh, Ajit Pawar to media: Modi needs to thank them

Barring a miracle, at some stage on Friday, Narendra Modi will be poised to fulfil his long-cherished ambition of being the next prime minister. Yes, exit polls have a spotty record in the country, but unless we have all got it horribly wrong, there is no reason to believe that there isn’t a Modi ‘wave’ in large parts of the country, if not a tsunami. When Modi writes his blog and thanks the Indian voter, here are a few more thank you cards he should send out.

Box office hit: How Modi managed media focus

In this open season against the media, the prime minister has chosen to weigh in…