Manifestos don’t count for much if elections are won on the popularity of a single leader — Narendra Modi. Oddly, the Congress chose to follow a similar strategy last week, with Rahul Gandhi as its key protagonist, presenting a David versus Goliath choice. We are far from junking top down, paternalistic, big man rule. Regional […]Read More BJP’s Sankalp Patra – spans realism and fantasy
Most of the major political parties in India, other than the Communist parties, do not align their electoral rhetoric within a broad, directional, policy agenda. Why should they when the outcomes from ideological monogamy have been so very poor? The demise of ideology During the 2014 general election, the share of valid votes of both […]Read More Voters dilemma – should the heart rule or the head?
Rahul Gandhi’s electoral silver bullet to numb the BJP into relative disarray is a mega welfare scheme to transfer Rs 72,000 to each of the 50 million or 20 per cent of the poorest households. It costs Rs 3.6 trillion or 1.8 per cent of GDP. Mine versus yours The motivation is political – to […]Read More Nyay (Justice) yes! But at what cost?
India is a hyper-cauldron of politics and political parties. There are seven national parties, 24 regional parties and over 2,000 registered parties. Hypothesis One – Footloose voters turn to regional parties Churn is the new mantra. Voters are moving away from the national parties to regional parties even for the Lok Sabha elections. The vote […]Read More Holi special: 2019 elections voternama
The notion that a strident anti-Islam national sentiment can co-exist with India’s geopolitical ambitions is laughable. Strident Hinduism has no future. This should be self-evident. Just look at our geography. For 4,000 km to the west, till Sub-Saharan Africa; to the northwest till Eastern Europe and to the southeast of India through Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia […]Read More Indian election – Democratic Nationalism vs Communalism
International league tables come with their own limitations. To be sure they— of which the Ease of Doing Business Index is the best known — have their uses. Countries get incentivised to trim a lot of accumulated fat by updating processes, reforming unsupportive structures and improving poor outcomes. But the one big flaw of such […]Read More Indian democracy “best fit” or flawed?
The galvanising energy – one new scheme a week – which characterised the Modi years is ironically, also the cause of an uncertain victory this year. Too many reform steps pancaked Three simultaneous, mega reform initiatives stand out – reducing the fiscal deficit; implementing the Goods and Services Tax and cleaning out bank balance sheets. […]Read More Triple whammy spoils BJP fiscal end game
The BJP is known for three tactical approaches. First, taking “bold” decisions as per its brand image — witness the swift rollout of the Goods and Services Tax by 2017. Second, it takes risks big time — consider the sudden November 2016 move on demonetisation, which has paid off only partially. Third, it under-informs the […]Read More Piyush Goyal, opening batsman FY2020
Not so well-off upper caste Hindus, Muslims and Christians, who have so far not benefited from “reservations” or quotas, woke up last week to a pleasant surprise — they had all been included! Quota politics The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019, came into force from Monday. It provides for a 10 per cent additional reservation […]Read More Including the excluded class
In the most recent state assembly elections, the BJP lost. But given the centralised governance architecture of the BJP, so did Narendra Modi. The jury is out on the extent to which election losers heed advice directed gratuitously at them by opinion writers. But Mr Modi is credited to be a voracious internet fiend so […]Read More From assembly to the 2019 general election