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
The ritual halwa has been consumed in the cavernous basement of the Ministry of Finance and the budget printing team consigned incommunicado for the next ten days in a Byzantine tactic to maintain budget secrecy. Nothing illustrates the continuing “duality” of India than the fact that meanwhile the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley remains deeply engaged […]Read More Interim Budget 2019 – style and substance
Four decades ago on January 16, 1979, Iran’s last “Persian” ruler Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi fled his palace near Tehran never to return, thus ending a divisive rule of nearly four decades. The fallout, which occasioned his political demise, was a mass outpouring of anger against entitled westernised elites; State led dilution of traditional cultures and lifestyles; […]Read More A Shah is born in India
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