Politics

Politics

Issue Articles

West Bengal's Verdict in 2021

The BJP’s failure to wrest West Bengal is a vote against the centre, as well as a sign the TMC’s welfare programmes gained the incumbent support from sections that had earlier moved over to the challenger. But unless the Left revives, the BJP is here to stay.

The Politics of Language in Assam

Language has been at the heart of political debate in Assam since the formation of the British colonial province of Assam in 1874, then through the turbulent decades leading to Independence, the separation of Sylhet during Partition, and into our times.

The Fault Lines in Tamil Nadu that the DMK Now Has to Confront

The DMK faces new challenges in expanding social justice alongside economic modernisation: internal fault lines have emerged in the form of cracks in the Dravidian coalition of lower castes and there are external ones such as reduced autonomy for states.

The Implications of the Left Victory in Kerala

The LDF’s return to power in Kerala was on the back of its creditable response to emergencies and its quality of governance. The unprecedented second term signals the emergence of a new kind of electorate, with implications for both the Left and its rivals.

Vulnerabilities in the EVM-VVPAT Process

The Potential Threat to the Integrity of Elections
The 'jugaad'-like manner in which the VVPAT-machine has been inserted into India's electronic voting process has endangered security; the process safeguards that were earlier designed to protect EVMs are now of little value.

Jats into Kisans

The Unmaking and Remaking of the Farmer Identity in Western UP
The decline of farmer identity from the 1990s brought a generation of upwardly mobile Jats close to the BJP. The waning of urban economic opportunities has reminded youth of the security from ties to the land, spurring the resistance to the farm laws.

Historical Roots of the Rise of Hindutva in West Bengal

For a century, Hindu organisations have worked amongst Dalits in Bengal to incorporate them into the religious community, while the Left excised the question of caste from its discourse. These legacies have come to the fore as the BJP rises in the state.

Brand India and the Making of a New Citizenry

Branding projects to make India appear open for global business has entailed the production of an exclusionary image of the nation and a rewriting of the contract between citizens and state.

Jat Power and the Spread of the Farm Protests in Northern India

The combination of caste & farmer identity amongst the Jats in western UP uniquely strengthens the resistance to the farm laws, but also creates barriers to creating lasting solidarities with marginalised groups that the farm movement is trying to incorporate.

Designed to Paralyse

India’s New Rules for Digital News Publications
A government that does not see value in independent media has brought in rules for digital news publications, which, in the garb of introducing self-regulation, are designed to stifle vibrant and critical voices, and open the door to government interference.

‘One Nation’, New India and the Hollowing Out of the Federal Idea

Since 2014, the BJP government has been steadily delegitimising federalism. It has been using soft & hard measures to realise its political & cultural vision of ‘One Nation, One India’, where diversity is discounted & the states’ interests are seen as hurdles.

The Promise of India: Recalling Dadabhai Naoroji

A new biography brings to the fore Dadabhai Naoroji’s activities in India and England for self-rule and his early socialist and anti-racist thought. It places the ‘Father of Indian Nationalism’ among the leading non-European thinkers and reformers of the time.

Elections, Populism and the ‘Supreme Leader’

The Rise of Authoritarian Democracies
The structure of a democracy has elements that can enable the rise of a strong political executive. We are now witnessing many elected leaders across the world draw upon ‘people’s will’ & aspirations to transform their states into authoritarian democracies.

Reading the Local Elections in Kashmir

The J&K polls have not gone according to plan. Politics has been re-energised, the BJP had a mixed outcome in Jammu & the voters of Kashmir have shown their anger. But will the DDC model now be extended to all of India in order to undermine state governments?

India 2020

A collection
A curated set of 35+ articles published in ‘The India Forum’ during a year which began with the demonstrations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, ended with the farmer protests against the new farm laws, but was the year of Covid-19.

Has the US Dodged the Rise of Far-Right Politics?

Lessons from the 2020 Presidential Elections
Despite Donald Trump’s defeat, the politics of the far-right maintains its presence in the US polity; but the results of the 2020 election also underscore the potential power of a multiracial working class politics to counter the rise of such politics.

Why I’m Losing Hope in India

A socialist, secular, democratic reflection
It is not the economy that makes one worried for India. It is the flattening of diversity, the undermining of education that gave mobility to so many, and the entire 'banality of evil' around us that makes me lose hope. A young Indian responds to another.

The American Empire Across the Globe

An impressive comparative study of the British Empire & the United States makes it clear that America should properly be seen as an empire. Its hegemonic ambitions have frustrated the developing world’s aspirations for autonomous political & economic futures.

India's Gift to the Struggle against Apartheid

ES Reddy – whose ideals were forged in India’s fight for freedom – went beyond the confines of nationalism to embrace the anti-apartheid struggle. His commitment to solidarity & justice across borders is a lesson at a time when societies are turning insular.

Muslim politics and the 2020 Bihar Election

The story of the Muslim vote in Bihar is not the triumph of the AIMIM, but the strong desire of the Muslim voter in both majority and minority areas across the state to express herself against the BJP and its allies.

The Three Farm Bills

Is This the Market Reform Indian Agriculture Needs?
The rules of the game in markets have changed dramatically. But there are problems with the fundamental premise of the approach, there are doubts about the future of state intervention & there are major lacunae in the bills, all making the outcome uncertain.

A Memoir of ‘Chalak’ Om

Detective Chalak Om has decided to retire since there are no mysteries any more around, only scandals. His friend and Boswell chronicles the last mystery he solved—The Case of the Missing Tiger Cub, or why the tiger is no longer the national animal.

Ten Preliminary Lessons from the American Election

Joe Biden’s victory was not narrow but comprehensive, to achieve which the tireless work of women of colour was crucial. Yet, this win is just a punctuation mark in a long & continuing struggle to realise the universalist set of foundational ideals of the US.
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