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Question

Virji, Even though our coastline is ranked in top 20 in the world by length, I feel we are poor in 'non-fish sea food' culture (oysters, mussels, scallops, crabs, lobsters..including plants like seaweed and kelp etc..). This is not just about present but historically too you see very little reference to these. Why is that?

Posted By: cheetos  |  Posted On: 25 Aug 2014  |  City: DC

Answer

 Good point. I am not sure. But you do see lots of shellfish in the diets of most coastal communities. As for seaweed, I find it hard to think of any cuisine outside of China and Japan that makes extensive use of it.

Question

Honestly torn about this and would like your opinion. Back in the day would have agreed with every one of your Modi-bashing columns. He has a dreadful past to answer for. But after becoming PM he seems to have genuinely tried to be a successful leader for all Indians, although not specifically allaying minority fears.

There are those media and political Modi-bashers attacking him 24*7 and hoping he fails somehow. Thing is, I now don't want him to fail if he's trying to be a good PM. I want him to succeed now because I want India to succeed. What's the right way to think about this?

Posted By: Indian  |  Posted On: 25 Aug 2014  |  City: Delhi

Answer

 Wow! You've summed it up beautifully. Whatever all of us may think of Modi's record, the reality is that India cannot afford to have a Prime Minister who fails us as disastrously as Manmohan Singh did. So, as long as Modi steers clear of a hard Hindutva agenda and ignores the medieval priorities of the Sangh, all of us should hope that he succeeds. Not for his own sake, but for India's.

Question

Vir-I see a lot of outrage by the media when it comes to international junkets by our netas and about how they are sqandering the tax payers money. But there is absolute silence on the advertisement revenue (again tax payers money) from birthday/anniversary etc they get from the govt? Isn't that double standards or am I missing something?

Posted By: Amrut  |  Posted On: 22 Aug 2014  |  City: Pune

Answer

 With great respect, I suspect you are missing something. There have been many angry articles about such ads placed by government departments.

Question

We missed you on the Headlines Today panel discussion on it's opinion poll MOTN. It's most important finding in my view; It gave BJP 40% vote share on it's own. To me this indicates that the BJP will remain in power for atleast three times if not more. Your thoughts?

Posted By: Manish Sharma  |  Posted On: 21 Aug 2014  |  City: Mumbai

Answer

 I have a simple rule. All logical predictions about Indian politics always fail, because there is no logic to Indian politics.

Question

One subject you haven't done a piece on is Watches. How can we not have one from you? Request you to please do one.

Posted By: Manish Sharma  |  Posted On: 20 Aug 2014  |  City: Mumbai

Answer

 The honest answer is that I am neither particularly knowledgeable on the subject nor do I have any great interest in watches. And, oh yes, I can't afford the really good ones anyway!
 

Question

Who do you rate as 2nd and 3rd best PMs of India ever? I know your first choice is Mr Vajpayee.

Posted By: Nitin  |  Posted On: 20 Aug 2014  |  City: Pune

Answer

 No, my first choice is Jawaharlal Nehru.

Question

Vir, can you please list down some of the most intriguing great Indian mysteries you are planning to work on with NewsX? I would love to research about them!

Posted By: Faguni   |  Posted On: 20 Aug 2014  |  City: Chandigarh

Answer

 The list is still being compiled. Do you have any suggestions? If you do, please send them to me.

Question

Vir - I have read some articles which give an impression that pro-Israel rally in Kolkata is a clear indication of gradual but steady fascination in India for Israel. Do you think so ? Do you feel we have a decent Israel Policy ? We seem to be having fairly decent defence collaboration though

Posted By: YK  |  Posted On: 19 Aug 2014  |  City: Gurgaon

Answer

 I don't know if you saw the foreign policy episodes of Can India Recover. I've dealt with this issue in detail there. You can find the link on the site in the video section.
 

Question

Dear Vir: Saw your comment here on Obama and agree fully, but would like your reasons. My own are:

1. Man's simply not a natural politician. Distant, professorial, only capable of the poetic speeches that won him 2008.

2. No interest in the hurly-burly of politics to get things done: the opposite, say, of Lyndon Johnson, who was constantly "working" Senators and Congressmen from all sides to push his agenda.

3. Status quoist on many things he promised to "change" and worse on some: war, civil liberties, government transparency...

4. At present, with two full years left, seems almost to have retired, making no effective interventions at all.

Posted By: Chinmay  |  Posted On: 18 Aug 2014  |  City: Pune

Answer

 I think you've said it all. I would add his massive foreign policy failures to the list. He is an isolationist who does not know what to do when his misbegotten policies lead to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle-East.
 
I think we are all agreed that Hosni Mubarak was no democrat. But is Egypt better off under the army? What about the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood? And ISIS has become a monster on Obama's watch. 
 
His sole foreign policy achievement remains the execution of a successful hit on Osama Bin Laden.

Question

(1.)How good a restaurant is Orient Express at Taj Palace in Delhi? Its on top of my list for my next Delhi visit. Does it live up to the theme? Since most thematic restaurants are hits or flops.
(2.) Did you ever try the Bill Clinton platter at Bukhara? If you did your take on it.
(2.1) Who are the best and worst(American) Presidents?

Posted By: Shahid Azad  |  Posted On: 15 Aug 2014  |  City: Bombay

Answer

 Wow! That's quite a list. The best American President was Abraham Lincoln. As for the worst, there are too many contenders but Obama is edging close to the top of that list.
 
The Orient Express lives up to its reputation. Never tried the Bill Clinton platter but I am betting that it is pretty huge if Bill likes it. You can't generalise about thematic restaurants. Some are good. Others are not.

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Watch Vir Sanghvi's Can India Recover on Friday 10 pm. Repeats on Saturday 11 am and Sunday 6 pm.

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