1 NARENDRA MODI, 71
PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
MASTER OF ALL HE SURVEYS
BECAUSE he continues to be the supreme commander of the government and the ruling BJP. Despite the many crises such as the pandemic, economic distress, and farmers’ protests, he remains way ahead in the popularity stakes, as a range of opinion polls show
BECAUSE his personal stamp is evident everywhere, be it the Union cabinet reshuffle or the change of chief ministers in BJP-ruled states. The nationwide celebration of his birthday and completion of 20 years in public office was almost an official acceptance of his cult status, an unprecedented phenomenon in the Sangh Parivar
BECAUSE he rarely blinks under pressure, be it on the farm laws or a caste census. And despite some flipflops, under him, India has anchored the world’s largest vaccination drive
CATCH’EM YOUNG After the 2019 win, PM Modi had asked J.P. Nadda and B.L. Santhosh to keep an eye out for younger leaders, especially women and those from the backward classes. Their recommendations have come through as candidates for MLCs, the BJP organization team, and also in the recent cabinet reshuffle
2 AMIT SHAH, 56
Union Minister for Home Affairs
THE ULTIMATE ENFORCER
BECAUSE he is PM Modi’s right-hand man and handles all critical assignments, including being interlocutor with warring RSS affiliates over the government’s policies
BECAUSE even though he is no longer party president, he is still the chief architect of the BJP’s poll campaigns, and his opinion counts in everything, be it organizational work or policy decisions
BECAUSE as home minister, he is responsible for India’s internal security and the challenges the country faces on many fronts—cross-border terrorism, homegrown insurgents, drug smuggling, etc. He also monitors peace talks with several insurgent groups in the Northeast and is de facto J&K administrator
HOMEBOUND The Union home minister loves homemade gajar ka parantha for breakfast. No matter where he is, he always checks in with family—wife Sonal, son Jay, daughter in-law Rishita, and four-year-old granddaughter Rudri
3 MOHAN BHAGWAT, 71
THE INVISIBLE LONG TERM
3 DATTATREYA HOSABALE, 66
General Secretary, RSS
BECAUSE the opinion and vision of the top two heads of the RSS matter in the policy directives of the BJP-ruled Union government and the 18 states the party rules (12 alone and six with allies). The RSS’s influence is evident in some of the key developments of the past few years—construction of the Ram Mandir, abrogation of Article 370, criminalization of religious conversion for marriage. The Centre is also taking forward the RSS’s economic agenda of swadeshi or self-reliance
BECAUSE the RSS is now no longer just the ideological fountainhead of the BJP, it is also helping the government ensure the implementation of certain schemes and projects as well, such as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and ‘Sewa hi Sangathan’
BECAUSE RSS pracharaks, who play crucial roles in the BJP’s electoral machinery, directly report to the duo, and they, in turn, advise the BJP and its brass on corrective measures, whenever required
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS Despite pursuing a Hindutva agenda, Bhagwat strongly believes that ‘liberal Muslims’ can be political allies of the RSS. He regularly has private as well as public meetings with the community’s leaders
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Having coached the likes of Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu, Pullela Gopichand uses his autobiography, Shuttler’s Flick: Making Every Match Count, to share his recipes for success
THE BEST STATES OF INDIA
In a year ravaged by the pandemic, the competitive spirit helped some states overcome adversity better than others. Presenting india today’s annual State of the States survey and rankings
A NEW CHAPTER IN THE KCR PLAYBOOK
On November 18, Telangana chief minister and Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) sat on a dharna and gave the Union government two days, until the afternoon of November 20, to procure at least 90 per cent of the paddy produced in the state, like in Punjab, and fix a Minimum Support Price (MSP).
THE BATTLE FOR BUNDELKHAND
UTTAR PRADESH ELECTION
CRYPTO GETS THE JITTERS
NOW, THE WAR OVER MSP
It’s back to square one, it seems. The Union cabinet, on November 24, approved the repeal of the three contentious central farm laws that provoked thousands of farmers into a seemingly interminable agitation— marked by a year-long dharna on the borders of the national capital—besides threatening the BJP’s prospects in the upcoming Punjab and Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.
WHAT THE PAYTM CRASH FORETELLS
It had been billed as India’s biggest IPO (initial public offering), but when digital payments firm Paytm’s Rs 18,300 crore share offer closed on November 10, the results were notably underwhelming.
THE CUP RUNNETH OVER
Raising a toast to the soaring spirits of the beverage industry in India.
“YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO BEND MY ARM TO GO TO INDIA FOR A PROMOTIONAL TOUR” - RYAN REYNOLDS, ACTOR
ACTOR RYAN REYNOLDS ON HIS MOST RECENT NETFLIX OUTING, RED NOTICE, PANDEMIC ANXIETY AND HIS AFFINITY FOR BUTTER CHICKEN AND NAAN.
India Election Body Struggles With Scale Of Fake Information
When India’s Election Commission announced last month that its code of conduct would have to be followed by social media companies as well as political parties, some analysts scoffed, saying it lacked the capacity and speed required to check the spread of fake news ahead of a multi-phase general election that begins April 11.
India At A Crossroads
India is known as the land of contradictions, and recent events do little to undermine that reputation.
Four elected unopposed, election only for Nagpur
As the saying goes, politics is an art of the possible.
At BJP meet, leaders told to get ready for 2023 polls
BJP national leadership is chalking out a plan for the state unit to capture power in 2023 assembly elections.
REPEAL AND REPAIR
Withdrawing the farm laws alone will not douse the ire against the BJP
Modi & Yogi toast infra, roast oppn
UP CM Yogi Adityanath felicitates PM Narendra Modi during the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Noida International Airpor, in Jewar on Thursday
Violence mars Tripura civic elections
Oppn Accuses BJP Of Rigging, Seeks Repoll
Devendra Fadnavis faces downsizing as his rivals get a leg-up in Maharashtra BJP unit
A SERIES of decisions by the Bharatiya Janata Party central leadership in recent days has left former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis looking isolated and weakened in a party that once projected him as Maharashtra's fresh-face, savvy, Gen Next Hindutva leader, with potential for elevation to the national stage.
‘BJP sensitive towards farmers, can never fire bullets on them'
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh here on Thursday said the Centre withdrew its agriculture laws as the BJP is sensitive towards farmers. He also attacked the opposition Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP), saying his party can never fire bullets on farmers and Ram bhakts.
Back to work in 2 days, MSRTC warns its staff
BJP Takes Credit For Pay Hike, But Union Says Never Asked For That