A truly far-sighted BJP government would have designed a special welcome for a Canadian Prime Minister with four Indian-origin ministers. It would have used this trip as a marker, an opportunity to build a new narrative that rights some of the historical wrongs committed by past governments.
This Budget feels like a step much further back than expected. Every aspect of Indira Gandhi-era economics was on the agenda this time: Garibi Hatao; import substitution; protectionism; unstinted borrowing; questionable fiscal numbers; tax the rich; pages of tinkering with tax rates; dark warnings about chasing black money.
Davos, to its critics, is the ultimate festival of bombast and empty sloganeering. Prior to this year's meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort, the more cynical bits of Twitter were awash with mockery of the quotes that have marked previous iterations of the conference: such as "Goals are only wishes if you have a plan" (Melind...
This single-minded focus on development and lordly unconcern for the activities of the hapless Gandhi scion demonstrates that the BJP is quite unworried about the results of the forthcoming Gujarat polls.
The real question has never been whether Rahul Gandhi will take over the post of President of his party. It is whether he will try to be Prime Minister -- and, if not, who the Gandhi Congress' choice will be.
For the Gandhi Congress, this energy is not I think a battle for revival, it is a battle for survival. They are not looking to win, they are simply trying to look like a credible opposition. For even along that limited axis, they seemed to have been failing earlier.
It was a typically impressive Modi performance, mingling mythological references (Karna's gloomy charioteer in the Mahabharata) with robust defences of his record in office, repositioning of himself as an "outsider", and, of course, the usual trenchant attacks on the Congress.
Now that growth has naturally slowed, as was inevitable, given the policy choices that Modi made, how will he balance these narratives? Can he afford to lose those middle-class voters who might actually conclude that he has done a bad job with the economy?
It's a constant puzzle to me that so many of the critics of the Narendra Modi government - including, in fact led by, the Congress party - want to blame it for some of the few things it does right on the economy. The current attack on the government's pricing policy for petroleum products such as petrol is Exhibit A here as far as I'm concerned.