BJP president Amit Shah is technically correct to say that Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, one of the accused in the September 2008 Malegaon (Maharashtra) bomb blast case, who is on bail, has a right, under our liberal electoral laws, to contest the elections. It hardly matters that she voluntarily claimed being part of the Hindutava forces […]Read More The Sadhvi as a symbol of New India
One wo(man) one vote” is the nominal cornerstone of our democracy. But in practice the elective power of a vote varies significantly across states. On the surface, we are very democratic — elections are held regularly and voter enthusiasm has not waned unlike elsewhere. Participative Indians Voter turnout — the proportion of those on the […]Read More How much is your vote worth?
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
The recent statistical dogfight around job creation, using data as ammunition was between NITI Aayog, intent on proving that there is no slow-down in job creation or more accurately productive work and the CMIE convinced that there has been a net job loss during the Modi years, with no give on either side. Empowered elites […]Read More The common sense on jobs
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 Pulwama massacre illustrates how porous our security architecture remains to domestic and external threats. We live in a tough neighbourhood. The geo-politics of containing the enemy through a simmering, low-level, proxy war of attrition is a fine art in South Asia and its near abroad. More boots are no substitute for hi-tech surveillance and […]Read More Unlock India’s growth potential & make us more secure