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The deserving loser

The smooth and peaceful retention of power – something that makes us all proud to be part of the Indian democracy, the world’s largest – is done and Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns to power even stronger than before. A stronger mandate, bigger numbers.

Swapnil Bharali | May 25, 2019 15:44 hrs

Fund shortage ULFA (I)?

So our so-called “respectable” morality and societal monitor, the biggest well-wisher of Axom desh, is at it again huh!

Swapnil Bharali | May 18, 2019 14:20 hrs

Stray ‘pets’

The recent incident of a mad stray dog turning ferocious enough to bite 50 people on the streets of Pan Bazar, Fancy Bazar and Lakhtokia and thereafter simply disappearing from the scene brings an uneasiness to the mind.

Swapnil Bharali | May 11, 2019 13:34 hrs

Memorable moments with Malka

I, along with many others, was privy to a great piece of lecture delivered as a keynote address by the Ambassador of Israel to India, Dr Ron Malka.

Swapnil Bharali | May 04, 2019 13:48 hrs

Indignant!

The elections in Assam are over and as we await the results while following the electoral activities in the rest of the country, we have nothing but indignation for at least three incidents with regard to the elections in Assam.

Swapnil Bharali | April 27, 2019 12:26 hrs

The final phase

Come 23rd April and Guwahati city will go to polls to elect its Member of Parliament. The first two phases of polls have seen an encouraging turnout with voting percentage touching 80% in some centres.

Swapnil Bharali | April 20, 2019 14:12 hrs

The CAB promise and its repercussions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a massive election rally in Bengali-dominated Silchar on Thursday, has once again reiterated his promise of bringing in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 if voted to power.

Swapnil Bharali | April 13, 2019 13:26 hrs

Dignity of politics

What was the need for Queen Ojha to do what she did! To “falsify” something as stark as your educational qualification, whether deliberately or by oversight, amounts to lying through your nose to your voters.

Swapnil Bharali | April 06, 2019 11:10 hrs

Fresh faces, old battles

It seems a long career in politics with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not the best of options for the party’s politicians.

Swapnil Bharali | March 30, 2019 15:39 hrs

Prolonging the suspense

The conversations in the coffee shops and clubs of Guwahati these days are invariably of the Gauhati Lok Sabha candidates; the suspense kept up by the various political parties in declaring the names of their respective candidates.

Swapnil Bharali | March 23, 2019 11:27 hrs

Spoilt for choice?

The current political scenario in the city is fraught with speculations like: Himanta Biswa Sarma is contesting from Tezpur. Oh no, he is Gauhati’s candidate.

Swapnil Bharali | March 16, 2019 13:45 hrs

Conrad and Assam

The new regional leader today with some great credence is undoubtedly Conrad Sangma. He championed the lapse of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the Rajya Sabha

Swapnil Bharali | March 10, 2019 11:11 hrs

India, Pakistan … some random thoughts

How seriously do I, along with the rest of the world, take certain recent utterances of US President Donald Trump? Utterances like “reasonably attractive news” coming from India and Pakistan and that it’s “coming to an end?”

Swapnil Bharali | March 02, 2019 11:02 hrs

Gauhati’s Nadal connection

With the extremely interesting political times ahead, let me be a bit speculative this time with no intention of rubbing anyone wrong. The thing is I am just armed with some rather chewy information which enables me to draw some potentially provocative conclusions.

Swapnil Bharali | February 23, 2019 11:19 hrs

State machinery collapsing?

Well, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill fracas seems to be momentarily over; one can safely assume that peace has returned to Assam.

Swapnil Bharali | February 16, 2019 12:48 hrs

Questions for the indigenous Assamese

“Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,” wrote William Shakespeare famously in The Tempest. The modern adaptation of the same is, “Politics makes strange bedfellows.”

Swapnil Bharali | February 09, 2019 12:24 hrs

No sympathy for Ms Daimary

Flashback 30th October, 2008! When the sunny morning turned dark from smoke billowing out of bombs that blast serially at the busiest localities of Guwahati…

Swapnil Bharali | February 02, 2019 10:38 hrs

Poor PR exercise

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) and its attempted enactment into a law seem to be coming across as a rather poor exercise in public relations by the government.

Swapnil Bharali | January 27, 2019 10:39 hrs

The ultimate CAB ride

Is the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 a permanent solution to the complex demographic issues of Assam? No, by a long margin, if we are to believe the words of its vociferous propagators. So what is a permanent solution?

Swapnil Bharali | January 25, 2019 11:32 hrs

‘3 states’ of Affairs

Two formidable rivers forming two expansive valleys, some magnificent hills, lakes, forests et al make for this wondrous land called Assam - a state of the Indian Union whose boundaries were carved out by the States Reorganization Commission in 1956 on linguistic lines as was any other state.

Swapnil Bharali | January 13, 2019 10:13 hrs

Watchdog!

At the outset of this first editorial of the New Year, let me wish you, all my dear readers on print and our digital channels a very happy 2019.

Swapnil Bharali | January 05, 2019 12:35 hrs

Procrastinating then, sulking now

Saraighat, Dhola-Sadiya and now Bogibeel! All these bridges bear testimony to the improving infrastructure of the state of Assam besides also improving the country’s defence assets in each case.

Swapnil Bharali | December 29, 2018 11:21 hrs

Rabble rousing outsiders

It’s a wonder how our Guwahati repeatedly gets violated by outsiders bringing the city to a standstill; the perpetrators (read instigators), in each instance, are none else but our politicians.

Swapnil Bharali | December 22, 2018 11:37 hrs

Please go to Jail

How cool is it to double park? On Guwahati’s narrow streets? Or specifically in Fancy Bazar’s congested Kamarpatty Road? Right under a “No Parking” signage? Not really cool I’d say;

Swapnil Bharali | December 15, 2018 12:28 hrs

Wet days in December

Well, it’s the wedding season and so, time for celebrations. All weddings in the city witness months of rigorous planning so that these significant milestones in any family remain as memorable events for both the hosts and the invited guests.

Swapnil Bharali | December 10, 2018 11:30 hrs

Disturbed, confused!

There was a disturbing video on a certain profile on Facebook yesterday. We at office managed to catch it and download it before it was swiftly removed.

Swapnil Bharali | December 01, 2018 16:38 hrs

Hollering opportunists

Hollering, shouting, yelling, “biting”… I checked the thesaurus: synonyms galore to describe the basic activity that the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) is indulging in right now.

Swapnil Bharali | November 24, 2018 14:10 hrs

HR challenges

Around a month ago, I got a call from a good friend of mine who happens to be the chief editor of a leading English news channel. The slight edge in his voice suggested that he was indeed desperate in trying to hire some quality copy-writers for his channel and he was seeking my recommendations for a few people who could meet his standards.

Swapnil Bharali | November 18, 2018 12:33 hrs

Flipside of the Gunotsav exercise

A follower of G Plus from Guwahati, who also happens to be a good friend of mine, had to visit the Kazaringa Circle Office for some work related to his plot of land that happens to be located within the jurisdiction of that Circle.

Swapnil Bharali | November 10, 2018 18:10 hrs

Not ULFA (I)? Then who?

The crazy piece of news that came in about 5 non-Assamese people being killed by militants in battle fatigues at Dhola near Tinsukia was reminiscent of those troubled times that Assam went through in the 1980s.

Swapnil Bharali | November 03, 2018 14:40 hrs

An impassioned plea

This is Volume 6 Issue 1 of G Plus that you are holding in your hands – a singular opportunity for me to thank each and every one of you, our readers, for allowing us to see this day when we have completed 5 years of publishing. Yes! And I thank you from the bottom f my heart.

Swapnil Bharali | October 28, 2018 11:58 hrs

A damp puja

Whether we want to admit it or not, Durga Puja this year was basically a damp squib and just did not stir the social bonding that Guwahatians are used to at this time of the year. The reasons are not far to seek actually.

Swapnil Bharali | October 24, 2018 11:21 hrs

Denying the digital journo

Himanta Biswa Sarma uses it. Sarbananda Sonowal uses it too. In fact, it was started by Narendra Modi in one sense. A national election was won based on its usage.

Swapnil Bharali | October 16, 2018 13:01 hrs

The Gau-Guwa confusion

The honourable Gauhati High Court (GHC) has asked a pertinent question and its confusion is justified given that its own nomenclature bearing the word “Gauhati” is in direct conflict with its location which is Guwahati.

Swapnil Bharali | October 08, 2018 13:09 hrs

Piggybacking on the star

The talking point in the city this week is of course Rima Das and her monumental cinematic work, Village Rockstars. As the media partner helping her to promote and market her product to the masses, the G Plus team went through a series of activities that included a press conference and finally the premiere show at Cinepolis, Central Mall – both on Thursday last.

Swapnil Bharali | October 01, 2018 18:28 hrs

Messy VC appointment

Whatever is happening at Gauhati University is not nice. Period! It has never happened before and the unprecedented nature of the occurrences is akin to a touch of indigestion – a feeling that someone somewhere is tinkering around and compromising the quality of education dispensation of the apex institution.

Swapnil Bharali | September 26, 2018 14:00 hrs

Something isn’t right…

Would you agree with me if I tell you that dear ol’ Guwahati is slowly effusing a sense of discomfort for its residents? Some situations make good examples.

Swapnil Bharali | September 18, 2018 11:46 hrs

Helmets (Y), Seatbelts (Y), Life Jackets (N)

That perilous river journey undertaken by hundreds, for work or otherwise, is one massive panga taken with the mighty Brahmaputra River on a daily basis - always ominous of a disaster waiting to happen.

Swapnil Bharali | September 10, 2018 15:51 hrs

Deciphering the MoHUA tweets

I am not really surprised at the recent tweets of the union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) classifying Guwahati, along with other NE regions, as unique in its geographical and demographic conditions. In fact, it could well have added the governmental and administrative uniqueness too.

Swapnil Bharali | September 01, 2018 18:20 hrs

Cr‘ease’s of Living

It seems in India, Pune is the best city to live in, while dear ol’ Guwahati is among the worst at a lowly 85th rank, according to the Ease of Living Index rankings published recently by the central government.

Swapnil Bharali | August 29, 2018 16:31 hrs

Selective rebukes

I hold the Supreme Court of India in reverence and awe. Actually, every Indian does. After all, it has been successfully putting the checks and balances on the corrupt elements of the Indian Executive...

Swapnil Bharali | August 11, 2018 19:32 hrs

An exercise in futility?

To all appearances, the mammoth NRC exercise seems done and dusted for the moment. Such was the scale and enormity of the task that at one point we wondered whether the Register...

Swapnil Bharali | August 04, 2018 16:10 hrs

Being NRC negative

A friend’s office caretaker is an “Assamese Nepali” – the same variety of people that the more famous Mani Kumar Subba is. Not too educated and without much societal clout as is expected from people...

Swapnil Bharali | July 28, 2018 16:11 hrs

A diamond forever

The last occasion when Assamese hearts swelled with pride was when singer Debojeet Saha, of Silchar, buoyed by the huge SMS support and the good wishes of AASU, won a singing...

Swapnil Bharali | July 21, 2018 18:26 hrs

Un’advise’able duo

Chief Minister (CM) Sarbananda Sonowal needs to be wary or at least start getting worried about the advice he is getting from his two trusted advisors – media advisor Hrishikesh Goswami and legal...

Swapnil Bharali | June 27, 2018 16:51 hrs

System update required

Mob mentality: something that is difficult to comprehend in that a large number of individuals come together to think alike and be destructive to the point of being murderous...

Swapnil Bharali | June 16, 2018 17:20 hrs

Point driven home?

The first thing I do on waking up is of course scan the newspapers. Yeah, I know that’s part of my job. But more so these days, the progress or rather hopefully, the lack of it, as far as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill...

Swapnil Bharali | June 02, 2018 19:30 hrs

Masking the Development

Remember how around this date two years ago, we Assamese had voted – for change? Poriborton was the basic operative word. What that change would be was never explicitly spelt out by the harbingers...

Swapnil Bharali | May 19, 2018 18:59 hrs

Poriborton = demographic change, mind it!

All this while, I had thought that the cry of “poriborton” from two years ago meant development and progress. I had not bargained for “poriborton” to mean drastic demographic change!

Swapnil Bharali | May 12, 2018 12:17 hrs

Irrelevant ULFA’s relevant issues

It is Rebati Phukan’s disappearance rather than his existence and efforts as a peace interlocutor that has made news, more so because of the interest that the chief minister himself has taken towards verifying his fate.

Swapnil Bharali | May 09, 2018 12:53 hrs

‘Congressizing’ the BJP

A gentleman I know loved to ride a Harley Davidson; unfortunately he was not a competent rider. The bike was too heavy for him and handling it was kinda cumbersome. But he loved the bike’s power...

Swapnil Bharali | April 28, 2018 16:22 hrs

GMC and GMDA: glorified scavengers 

If these civic bodies do not get their act together, this so called smart city is going to the dogs and they will come only with their last minute contingency plans and continue...

Swapnil Bharali | April 11, 2018 10:36 hrs

Justice delayed, justice delivered

Salman, as an inmate at Jodhpur Central Jail, will be in the company of rape accused godman Asaram, Rajsamand's hate-murder accused Shambhu Lal Raigar

Swapnil Bharali | April 11, 2018 10:33 hrs

‘Mentoring’ our ministers

An all women’s university, clearly established in haste, with a “Mentor” for a Vice Chancellor, a chief minister for a Chancellor, professors contracted and not appointed - on ad...

Swapnil Bharali | April 06, 2018 20:29 hrs

A ‘SORRY’ picture

Over time I have learnt that human intelligence has two variants. One is academic in nature where “intelligent” people excel in their academic pursuits but then turn out to be failures in...

Swapnil Bharali | March 27, 2018 19:13 hrs

Biscuit Blunder

Dogs demand attention, more so pet dogs. Pidi is no different. And I cannot at all blame him for choosing the wrong moment to seek his master Rahul Gandhi’s affection...

Swapnil Bharali | March 14, 2018 17:33 hrs

Modis Operandi

Three Modis, over time, have really taken us in Guwahati by storm – each in their own unique way. While Narendra has given us enough reason to discuss, debate and argue on how...

Swapnil Bharali | February 22, 2018 20:29 hrs

Mukeshbhai’s DODO, COCO & CODO 

Mukesh Ambani committed an investment of Rs 2,500 crores during his maiden visit to the state for the Advantage Assam summit. Brilliant! Retail outlets to...

Swapnil Bharali | February 10, 2018 17:53 hrs

Batting for 1951

To keep things logical, the cut-off year just has to be 1951 simply because 1971 does not have the requisite credentials to be so important. An accord signed as a culmination of a 6-year...

Swapnil Bharali | February 07, 2018 18:58 hrs

Road rage repercussions

Cases of this level of extreme road rage are rather uncommon in Guwahati and so, this comes as a real shocker.

Swapnil Bharali | January 23, 2018 18:32 hrs

Igniting the sporting spirit

A look back at the year brings to the mind the sheer variety of international sporting disciplines that the city hosted right from cricket and football (being the two most popular disciplines in India today) to other international events in badminton and boxing. 

Swapnil Bharali | January 02, 2018 17:00 hrs

A Requiem to Ajay Chetia

A peek through the usually open door of my cabin at my workplace had, so far, allowed me the wholesome sight of four young minds busy peering into their monitors, mouse in hand, at what we term as the creative/layout desk. It had become a habit with me and one of them missing from his chair would invariably make me raise questions about his whereabouts.

Swapnil Bharali | December 25, 2017 13:39 hrs

Deciphering the bizarre analogy

The anger against the health minister was massive and was mainly dissipated through social media. Cancer survivors especially felt that their health was mocked at and they responded by saying that they refuse to take such an abominable insult. “Shame on him!” was the war cry. 

Swapnil Bharali | November 27, 2017 18:52 hrs

Corruption no more fashionable

As a layman pondering, I kind of felt that Guwahati had seen a phase in time when it was fashionable to be corrupt. The more you flaunted your ill-gotten wealth, the more upfront respect you got from all and sundry. And you just had to develop that thick skin to ignore the backbiting.

Swapnil Bharali | November 22, 2017 15:48 hrs

Inglorious “rockstar”

My worst fears - from my last editorial – came true. No, it doesn’t make me feel at all like Nostradamus; I was not on any prediction spree.

Swapnil Bharali | October 15, 2017 17:02 hrs

Opinions

The CAB and being practical about it

In the last episode of In Conversation with Swapnil Bharali had a longish chat with Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma seeking some clarifications on the latest heartburn within the greater indigenous Assamese society with regard to the passage of the CAB in the Lok Sabha.

Swapnil Bharali | January 27, 2019 10:31 hrs

What it takes to be GTF

3 days, 4 plays! The G Plus Guwahati Theatre Festival (GTF) 2018 (the third edition of the festival) offered a unique mix of theatrical enactments to the extremely discerning audience of Guwahati.

Swapnil Bharali | November 24, 2018 14:19 hrs

OPINION | Swachhta is more than just toilet construction

After four years of a Mission as serious and massive as Swachh Bharat, launched under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister of India, if it is still about building awareness on cleanliness in Guwahati, I guess somewhere, something is going terribly wrong.

Swapnil Bharali | October 08, 2018 13:17 hrs

Fiction

The Mian-bhai

Seven excruciating days passed since his daughter disappeared … and in those seven days, Prabhakar began to notice that Mian-bhai had not come for work. His last memory of Mian-bhai was him consoling Niharika after his slap! An acrid air of debauchery wafted in! What the bloody hell had actually happened?

Swapnil Bharali | October 31, 2018 17:32 hrs