Keyword : Politics

Dream of principled politics is now a nightmare, says Bhushan’s letter to Kejriwal

The war of words in Aam Aadmi Party is refusing to ebb down. AAP leader Prashant Bhushan has written a letter to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal that accuses him of turning AAP a "high co

Lalu opens his cards

Lalu Yadav never ceases to surprise his opponents, supporters, alliance partners and political analysts with his maverick political actions. When everyone took him for granted as a partner in Janat

IIT group’s episode raises question about TN students’ politics

Last week there was a major controversy at Indian Institute of Technology – Madras (IIT-M) after it banned the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC), a student group, following an anonymous co

Not a game of gentlemen

In one of his critical essays on the crime stories of the early 19th century, George Orwell was fascinated by a character. AJ Raffles, a gentleman thief, featured in a collection of short stories t

How Kejriwal plans to wipe out Punjab’s drug menace

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has a plan up his sleeves to tackle the grave problem of the open sale of narcotic drugs and rampant addiction among the youth in Punjab. “We will be able

Bengal polls phase 1: Every fifth candidate has criminal record

Some 20 percent of the candidates in the fray for the phases 1(a) and 1(b) of West Bengal assembly elections have declared their criminal record, an analysis by West Bengal Election Watch and Assoc

Three ‘red alert’ constituencies in Assam phase 1 polls

As Assam goes to polls on April 4 (phase 1), all eyes should be on three constituencies where three or more candidates have declared criminal background in their self-sworn affidavits, an analysis

“My methods may be unconventional, but my intentions are good!”

A girl studying in the prestigious Presidency University was thrashed in south Kolkata by a group of people owing allegiance to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on April 15,

What Chennai voter wants: above all, the odd-even scheme!

When people of Chennai go out to vote for the next state government on May 16, what will be the issues top most in their minds? Curiously, they will be thinking less about jobs, ‘good governa

Background check: every third new MLA faces criminal cases

As many as 36 percent Thursday’s winners – that is, 294 fresh MLAs across five states from the 812 whose affidavits were analyses – have self-declared criminal cases pending again

Political parties collected Rs 2,355 crores in LS polls in 2004, ’09, ‘14

National and regional parties collected a staggering Rs 5323.41 cr during the election period of 1,535 days between 2004 and 2015, shows an analysis of funds collected and expenditure incurred by p

The origins of Rajan exit: the speech that ruffled feathers

Just when did Dr Raghuram Rajan’s equations with the new government start going downhill? In hindsight, there will be many remarks and decisions that will fit the bill. A speech at IIT Delhi

Swamy spin on Modi narrative: ‘Core eco sectors are not performing’

With friends like this, Narendra Modi does not need enemies. Subramanian Swamy has tasted success and he is continuing his nation-building mission with all the more zeal.

Prohibition, Amma’s new-term resolution, is facing diminishing will power

As the new government in Tamil Nadu completes its first month, it has taken a first step towards fulfilling one of its key election promises: prohibition. But the way it is moving forward, activist

Is Modi`s `snub` to Swamy too late, now that damage is done?

Is Modi`s `snub` to Swamy too late, now t

Pay panel: what it means for bureaucrats, economy and industry

With the union cabinet having accorded its approval to the recommendations of the 7th Pay Co

Should those with criminal cases be allowed to be ministers?

Should those with criminal cases be allo

In Anandiben’s Gujarat, dalits are lining up to die

 At least a dozen youngsters from scheduled caste (SC) communities have attempted suicide this week in various small towns in Saurashtra region of Gujarat, protesting against the state governm

Gandhi very much relevant for change, says Ramachandra Guha

Is Gandhi still relevant today? Or, is it still a relevant question today? Ramachandra Guha, renowned public intellectual with a biography of Gandhi to his credit, says his political experiments ar

Seven in ten Indians say they are likely to take political action: Pew

A large majority of Indians report having voted in an election, either in the past year or in the more distant past. Far fewer Indians have engaged in other forms of political participation and onl

Rahul Gandhi and the art of waiting

 As reports suggest that Rahul Gandhi may indeed come to head the grand old party, we republish this analysis of the Congress vice president by a prominent social scientist, first publishe

Bangaru Laxman was ahead of times, he preferred dollars

Harshad Mehta The superhero stock-broker dropped a bomb in July 1993, when he told a press conference that he had paid prime minister PV Narasimha Rao a bribe of Rs

“This loss hurts, but…” Hillary’s heartfelt, personalized mail to supporters

Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton has sent out a personalized email to all her supporters, thanking them, congratulating Donald Trump, and highlighting in particular that, “This loss hurts.

Black money debate in black and white, with a touch of saffron

“It’s a war; it’s a mahayajnya. You have to decide on whose side you are.” -- M Venkaiah Naidu, in parliament on November 17   In

What foreign media says about Modi and demonetisation

While the nation struggles to adapt to changes since demonetisation, foreign media has been widely covering the Narendra Modi government’s move and the public’s response.

The Sitaram speech: Big crocodiles have survived and small fish have died

What Sitaram Yechury of CPM said during the demonetisation debate in the Rajya Sabha on November 16 (mildly edited and truncated for clarity):  [...] If you don’t

Survey: What do *you* think of the currency ban?

You have read (or heard or seen) countless analyses, points-counterpoints, theories-conspiracy theories and allegations-counter-allegations on the historic move to ban high-denomination currency no

MMS calls currency chaos organized loot, Jaitley delivers stinging retort

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Arun Jaitley sparred over demonetization in parliament on Thursday. Manmohan spoke of the “monumental management failure” in im

If you (really) want to fight black money, won’t Lokpal make more sense?

Remember the Lokpal? The one-point panacea for all corruption and black money. It is a law, on the statute book. And while the government has launched a surgical strike against black money that has

BJP’s a/c declaration is utterly non sequitur

Prime minister Narendra Modi has asked all MPs and MLAs of his party to come clean, and declare their bank transaction details to the party chief. Somewhat like demonetisation itself, it is pointle

We had lawyers and media coverage, adivasis have nothing: Nandini Sundar

 Sociologists usually don’t make news, but Nandini Sundar has received a fair amount of media coverage in recent weeks for two reasons: just as her book, ‘The Burning Forest - Indi

The word and the world: Post-truth, xenophobia and fascism

It was Oxford Dictionary that started the trend last month, declaring ‘post-truth’ as the word of the year. Then came dictionary.com

The political anatomy of Modi’s surgical strike

Concerned about the abuse of power, French sociologist David Émile Durkheim in 1912 wrote that there could be no society which, at regular intervals, did not feel the need to uphold and reaf

Elections 2017 D-day: March 11 is the counting day

The election commission has announced the schedule of the biggest electoral bout of the year, in five states.    Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand

Elections 2017: What’s new this time

The elections 2017 – to five states – promise to be the biggest political bout during the Modi government, and will impact the nation like no other political event. Here are the sever

Will Modi go UP or down? Here’s why all eyes are on Uttar Pradesh polls

The dangal is on. The election commission has announced dates to the assembly elections to five states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, and Manipur.  Chief election c

Elections 2017: Key faces to watch out for Uttar Pradesh polls

Here are the few candidates who can make or break the the political fortunes of the BJP in the upcoming UP elections.  Akhilesh Yadav There is feud in the fami

Never mind Anil Vij and KVIC, Obama still finds inspiration from Gandhi

Haryana minister Anil Vij believes Gandhi is a not an impressive brand (Modi is), and

The Trump Phenomenon

Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the 2016 presidential elections has unleashed a great deal of soul searching among America’s liberal elite. His victory has been attributed to anger

“Interesting times” for US-UN diplomacy under Trump raj

The inevitable has happened albeit a tad sooner than expected. US president-elect Donald Trump has clashed with the UN even before he has assumed office promising that “things will be differe

What makes Manish Sisodia the man in charge of Delhi

"Mai hoon Manish Sisodia aapke saath, aur ye hai Zero Hour show..." With these words, the present deputy chief minister of Delhi had burst upon the airwaves on his signature All India Rad

Why any fight against black money is pointless unless it targets political parties

As much as 69 percent of the income of six national political parties and 51 regional parties has come from unknown sources, according to a long-term data analysis carried out by the Association fo

Party funds: A step forward or a leap backward into the era of secrecy?

While presenting the budget in the Lok Sabha, the finance minister made some announcements about the manner in which he sought to make donations to political parties more transparent. If the propos

Raincoat, bathroom, and the un-washable spots…

There’s a lot of mud-slinging going on after prime minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on his predecessor Manmohan Singh: “Only Dr Sahab knows the art of taking bath in the bathr

A Tetrapack of juicy nothings

The latest buzz on social media is about whether or not Rahul Gandhi, while campaigning in Manipur, said he would be happy to see ‘coconut juice’ from the state being sold in London wit

"Establishing people’s power in the place of oligarchic rule…"

On March 7, a court in Maharashtra sentenced Prof GN Saibaba to life imprisonment for involvement with the banned Maoists. In the inaugural issue of Governance Now in January 2010, Saibaba had

Modi`s magic intact; BJP can now take 2019 for granted

Bharatiya Janata Party’s spectacular show in the elections 2017 – especially, the victory in Uttar Pradesh, has put a stamp of invincibility on prime minister Narendra Modi’s pers

Trust deficit of EVMs? Blame it on BJP

The elections are over, votes are counted, victors are being sworn in – ok, in a couple of places the runners-up are being sworn in. And losers are blaming it on electronic voting mac

VVPAT units to be used in next general elections

The next general election will see the debut of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail Units (VVPAT). The move comes amid the criticism of electronic voting machines by BSP leader Mayawat

PM on VIP culture: Will red beacon disappear from the mindset?

“Generally speaking, in our country there exists an atmosphere of disdain towards the VIP culture. But that it runs so very deep, I just experienced, when the government recently decided that

India’s labour problems: better education and laws can be the answer

Ever since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1439 and paved the way for the Industrial Revolution, two new classes of society emerged – the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat. Th

Unaffordable sacredness of our cattle

A lot of debate that we witness in the media on the cattle question these days suffer from the disease of speculative utopian imagination of a ‘cow-nation’ and relentless abuses for t

What Kovind’s rise tells us about Modi’s leadership

Ram Nath Kovind is widely tipped to get elected as the 14th president of India. His elevation will not be without surprise. Prior to his nomination as the NDA’s candidate, few in the politi

How to manufacture slur: The case of Gopalkrishna Gandhi

Gopalkrishna Gandhi, many believe, is one of the last few examples of probity in public life, with a spotless career as administrator and governor. But, even for him, it would be too much to expe

‘What does a saint have to do with politics?’

Vinay Shankar Tiwari, one among handful of Brahmin MLAs from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the only non-BJP MLA in the nine constituencies of Gorakhpur, shared with Governance Now his idea

“Young dalit leaders have age, situation on their side”

How do you see the rise of the Bhim Army in Uttar Pradesh?   During the last assembly elections in UP, it was a common consensus among many [dalit leader

To understand Modi saga, look at the Vaghela story

Back in the early 1990s, Shankarsinh Vaghela was (or at least perceived to be) more popular of the two people running the BJP show in Gujarat. Today, the other man is the prime minister, and Vagh

Business houses donated Rs 956.77 crore to political parties in 4 years

Business houses loosened their purse strings while making donations to political parties, showed an analysis carried out by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).  

AIADMK merger will be good for TN, says political analyst

The political scenario in Tamil Nadu has once again changed following the merger of the two AIADMK factions. City-based observers think that isolating TTV Dinakaran and Sasikala faction is good n

Political parties support triple talaq verdict

The BJP as well as the Congress welcomed the supreme court judgment that bars instant triple talaq for a period of six months and also seeks a legislation on it.   BJ

“The talaq verdict is just a beginning…”

The supreme court has held the practice of triple talaq as unconstitutional. This takes us back to the Shah Bano case and the question of reforming the Muslim personal law. Had it not been

How KJ Alphons became the demolition man of Delhi

The year was 1994. “Aaj kahan (Where today),” I asked a source in the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) who told me to reach a certain place. And even before you reached the spot, you

Over 77% of total income of BJP, INC from ‘unknown sources’ in 2015-16

An analysis of the income and expenditure of the BJP and Congress in 2015-16 has been prepared by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).    Following are

NSUI’s big win in DUSU elections

The Congress party’s student wing, the National Students Union of India (NSUI), has made a stunning comeback in the Delhi University Students’ Union election, walking away with two top

Women who fought it out

Instant triple talaq – which the supreme court banned recently, while asking the government to legislate against the decadent practice – is something Muslim women had no doubt wanted to

Facebook`s Ten Commandments to fights fake news

Social media giant Facebook has offered “tips for spotting false news” as part of its campaign to combat spread of misinformation. In a full-page advertisement in section

BJP stands to benefit with Purohit as TN governor: Experts

The appointment of senior BJP leader Banwari Lal Purohit as governor of Tamil Nadu is being seen by experts as a BJP strategy to retain an edge in the state politics. The state, which has

Gujarat polls in two stages

Gujarat will have two-stage elections for the next assembly, on December 9 and December 14, and the results will be out on December 14, the election commission announced on Tuesday. The fir

Forgotten riot victims of Ahmedabad are indifferent to polls

In Ahmedabad, any mention of this locality elicits quite a reaction. “There’s no point in going there. It’s been 15 years now. It’s all developed!” And I’d be te

Gujarat polls phase 1: 15% candidates have criminal cases

As Gujarat goes to assembly elections this month, at least 137 of the 977 candidates in the fray for the first phase have declared criminal cases against themselves.   Th

Ayodhya imbroglio could be heading for a resolution now

Former UP chief minister ND Tiwari had an interesting anecdote about the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri mosque issue. In 1989 when he was at the helm in Lucknow, the dispute peaked following the posturing a

Gujarat Elections: How disasters have redrawn the state’s political fault lines

A calamity in the times of intense politics, particularly just ahead of elections, is the worst reckoner of history. Luckily, the Cyclone Ockhi that hit the southern coast of Gujarat earlier this w

Gujarat Elections: Is BJP putting a new electoral strategy to test?

As the first phase of the Gujarat elections is on, one question that political pundits and common people alike are asking is: who is likely to win? Indeed, these elections are vital for the BJP, no

Gujarat polls: The news lows in politics

From ‘neech’ to ‘dadhi-topi’, the run-up to Gujarat assembly elections have seen politicians stooping to a new low to score brownie points over their adversaries.

Gujarat Elections: For BJP, voters show both pride and prejudice

Familiarity, it is said, breeds contempt. But a two-decade-long association of a political party with the electorate is bound to unleash demons of contempt, jealousy and disaffection. 

Gujarat decides

People queued up since early morning to cast their ballot to decide the political fate of 851 candidates in the second and final phase of the bitterly fought Gujarat assembly elections.

BJP does well in Gujarat, show exit polls

BJP is all set to retain Gujarat, indicated one exit poll. Another exit poll, however, showed a tough fight in at least one region. Aaj Tak exit poll showed that BJP will win 99 &nda

BJP takes early lead in Gujarat, Himachal

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) surged ahead in the first hour of vote count in both Gujarat as well as Himachal Pradesh.   The initial trends on Monday indicate that th

In Gujarat, all eyes on Ahmedabad

All eyes are on Gujarat as the vote count is on, but in the state all eyes might be on Ahmedabad. The chief city, and the early capital before the planned township of Gandhinagar cam

LIVE: Whatever the result, blame it on EVMs

9:13 am: Like failed political analysts, parties also look for an excuse to explain away their failures. Right from the word go, the opposition in Gujarat began with a bravado but

Rahul Gandhi’s rise comes at the right moment

In future, the Gujarat elections might as well be remembered for the arrival of Rahul Gandhi.   Going by the leads, the Congress is certainly not going to win, and few ha

Twitter erupts in laughter with #GujaratVerdict

Going by the leads, the BJP is set to establish its stronghold in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Confident of his party’s victory, prime minister Narendra Modi even flashed a victory sign whil

For a Gujarati, BJP is what CPM was for a Bengali (with a rider)

The BJP is set to form the sixth government in Gujarat. Not counting a bump in 1996-98 thanks to its own rebel Shankarsinh Vaghela, the party has been in power since 1995, and shows no signs of ant

Changing Gujarat CM now would make no sense

Speculation is over, as senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley announced in Gandhinagar Friday that Vijay Rupani will continue as chief minister of Gujarat, along with Nitin Patel as his deputy. The specul

Crime in Politics: The nexus

Prof Jagdeep Chhokar of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) points out a stark irony of crime in Indian politics. “There are more than 3.5 lakh undertrials languishing in Indian pris

Crime in Politics: The dirty game

Criminalisation of politics is the focus of public debate when discussion on electoral reforms takes place. This issue gets amplified when data highlights an increasing number of candidates with

Budget: How Modi is shifting BJP’s social base

Political parties rarely survive on static social bases in a democracy. The BJP has been experimenting with shifting its social bases and coalescing them in a formidable vote bank in every round of

A third of chief ministers have criminal cases: ADR

A staggering 35 percent out of all 31 chief ministers analysed from state assemblies and union territories 11 chief ministers have declared criminal cases against themselves, said Association for D

Exclusive Interview with Gujarat CM Rupani: `Modi magic is intact`

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani asserts that he is sure his party, BJP, will repeat the performance of 2014 Lok Sabha election in the 2019 national elections as the “Modi magic” is

Thugs of Hindustan

This story may sound apocryphal but it was recounted by LK Advani in one of his casual conversations. Talking about Morarji Desai, he said that despite his idiosyncrasies, he was a man of impeccabl

‘Cheek-y’ remarks in the age of internet

Lalu Prasad Yadav, former chief minister of Bihar, once infamously made a cheek-y remark about Indian film actress Hema Malini. Yadav, during election campaign, had promised he would make “th

BJP suffers from by-poll jinx ahead of 2019

It seems that the road ahead to 2019 elections is not going to be a smooth one for the BJP. In the past six months, the party has conclusively lost in every by-poll to Lok Sabha. Wednesday’s

Jo Jita Wohi Sikandar, yes, but the victor is PM, not BJP

More often, a colloquial proverb sums up a complex political situation more aptly than scholarly formulations. If one looks at the Gujarat verdict, nothing summarises it more perfectly than the ada

Can Shiv Sena provide a new template for regional parties?

The bickering between the BJP and the Shiv Sena has now become a regular feature. The Sena is seen to be progressively distancing from the BJP following its announcement that it will not contest th

Expect Karnataka to thrash predictable political punditry

If political punditry is to be believed, the predictable outcome of the Karnataka election will invariably be a hung house. And this punditry is based on sound logic which is quite convincing for a

Some Sholay dialogues can help make sense of Karnataka polls

While driving down from Bengaluru to Mysuru, you come across a patch of hillocks near Ram Nagar, a place that provided the backdrop for the all-time hit Bollywood movie, Sholay. This was where vill

A campaign sans vision and road map

The just-concluded assembly election in the southern state of Karnataka has demonstrated the power, reach, and influence of social media. Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter are proving to be effective

Voter, voter everywhere, but not a drop for them to drink…

One of the three big elections before the grand final next year is over. Predictably, there was mud-slinging and allegations, caste equations and mutt visits, histories and histrionics: With a pinc

Raag Darbari : Fifty years of the song of court

Idealism of youth often meets with an anti-climax. And when that happens one surely gains perspective. In 2003, when I first read Raag Darbari by Shrilal Shukla, which was part of self-education cu

Karat then, Yechury now; Left leadership remains clueless

Much before Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury got marginalised within the party’s central committee last week over the possibility of an alliance with the C

When two plus two need not be four

The recent victory of the opposition in the Uttar Pradesh by-elections after their complete decimation in the 2014 general elections and the 2017 assembly elections has been interpreted differently

Rahul’s messianic words don’t match dirty deeds of politics

Self-deception is an essential trait of a revolutionary, particularly of the Marxist variety. Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president seems too eager to internalise this trait in his politics.

RaGa puts a Cheshire cat on Rajiv’s big tree

You needn’t be thoroughly familiar with Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to know about the Cheshire cat. Characters like Humpty Dumpty, the Red Queen and

Interview: Yogi Adityanath on how he’s changing the perception of UP

As my vehicle drove through the gates of Bungalow no 5 on Kalidas Marg, the official residence of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, I could discern a marked difference. Austerity wa

BJP receives staggering high donations in 2017-18

The total donations (above Rs 20,000) declared by the national parties was Rs 469.89 crore, from 4,201 donations, revealed a report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The report gives the

Budget and Modi’s ‘neo middle class’ strategy for elections

Those who have gained the most from the latest budget are the ones who are going to have the most crucial impact on the Lok Sabha election results. Who are they? They are hiding in plain sight. The

The chronicles of a gradual fadeout

Few know that LK Advani was often accused by Sangh Parivar apparatchiks of exercising ‘unilateralism’. In the history of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its earlier incarnation, th

Digital threat to democracy: activists call for more vigilance

The general elections 2019 are taking place at a time when democracies around the world are facing an increased threat of distortions from a variety of digital platforms. A group of activists and

“I have a bigger reason and motivation to join politics”

Urmila Matondkar joined the Congress party and within just two months into politics, the actor is already surrounded by controversies – from being accused of making anti-Hindu comments to

Trafficking survivors’ votes don’t count

While the entire nation is agog with political grapevine, political parties are weighing on all options to lure voters by touching upon issues that impact their lives. Several parties, inc

The role celebrities play in politics

In a 1992 Lok Sabha by-poll, voters of New Delhi – the power hub of the capital – were faced with an enviable choice: Rajesh Khanna of the Congress versus rising-star Shatrughan Sinha o

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