Firstpost Editor's picks: BJP overusing 'dynast' narrative; AAP's rollercoaster ride; living and loving queer India; today's must-read stories

BJP's dynast narrative against Priyanka Gandhi reeks of laziness, gives her easy way out

BJP’s attacking of Priyanka Gandhi on dynasty makes little sense. This weapon has been blunted by overuse. If voters can accept dynast Rahul Gandhi — as Congress may argue on the back of recent electoral success — there is no reason why they won’t accept another dynast. There is a case to be made against Priyanka on how her elevation concentrates power in the hands of one family, but this case cannot be made by repeating the ‘dynast’ charge alone. It must be accompanied by a substantive debate on how nepotism and elitism — which Priyanka’s ascension elucidates — is bad for the country. BJP is making lazy charges against Priyanka instead give her an easy way out.

From Congress alternative to seeking alliance: the roller-coaster ride of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal

What has panned out for Aam Aadmi Party — whose majority government is currently serving the national capital — in the seven years since its inception, is nothing short of a roller coaster ride. The party has not only seen more faces leave the party than join it, but it's also looking to form an alliance with Congress, the same party it opposed during its entry. The AAP now appears to be not just opportunistic but a shell of its lofty vision.

Living and loving queer India: Aarti Singh, Jake Naughton look on both sides of the veil

The courts may have decriminalised homosexuality, but they have not wiped out the stigma surrounding it. Flicking a switch in the night gives you light, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is still dark. Getting rid of the stigma surrounding the issue will take time, and can perhaps only be done by engaging with it. The project and exhibition 'Both sides of the Veil: Living and Loving in Queer India' at the India Habitat Centre offers that opportunity.

Ranji Trophy 2018-19: It's not Cheteshwar Pujara’s fault that BCCI does not have enough quality umpires

The standard of umpiring in Indian domestic cricket has been poor for many seasons now. This season alone has been a logistical stretch with 37 teams involved for the first time. There are a total of 2017 matches across age-group and gender, and BCCI was forced to reschedule a few games due to lack of umpires. Nothing has been done yet to address the issue for next season. The onus is obviously on BCCI to work as fast as possible towards improving the country’s umpiring standards. Or else there will be more chants of “cheater...cheater” and it is completely unfair for the players to be burdened with someone else’s shortcomings.

Interview: Simon Sebag Montefiore on need for accessible scholarly work, the question of accuracy in historical TV shows, films

"Anyone can write incomprehensible and over-complicated history, but the art and challenge is to research it properly and handle sophisticated and complex ideas but presents them with beautiful writing accessible to all readers. Of course, I try to do this, but it is not easy," says historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, who is known largely for his writing on Stalin and Russia, and whose recent book on the history of Jerusalem was a page-turner.


Updated Date: Jan 28, 2019 20:08:53 IST