• Friday, October 24, 2014

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Indian Elections

PRAFUL BIDWAI COLUMN

Hindutva-capitalism takes power

INDIA'S election has produced the worst possible outcome: a majority for the BJP under a man widely believed to have been complicit in mass killings of Muslims, and not yet exonerated by the legal system despite its vulnerability to manipulation. Make no mistake. Despite a limited (31%) vote, Narendra Modi's victory represents a Rightward social shift, and the triumph of Hindutva plus neoliberalism. It's an ugly scar on the face of democracy, produced by long-festering pathologies, including communal prejudice, belligerent nationalism,...

Modi gets hero's welcome

Modi gets hero's welcome

Hundreds of Indians thronged the leafy streets of New Delhi on Saturday to greet Narendra Modi's triumphant march into the capital after he decimated the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and the ruling Congress party in the biggest election victory the country has seen in 30 years. Modi leaned far out of his car, waving a victory...

Between The Lines

Modi lacks knowledge of Kashmir

I was happy when Kashmir was not the election issue till two-thirds of the country had gone to the polls. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) did say in its election manifesto that it would delete Article 370 which gave a special status to the state. But this was nothing new. The BJP had been articulating the demand for many years. It never got any attention. Bihar BJP leader Giriraj Singh's outburst that those who did not vote for Narendra Modi...

Praful Bidwai Column

Bigotry and big money drive Indian polls

TWO weeks ago, public-spirited Indians complimented the Election Commission (EC) for banning campaigning by the Bharatiya Janata Party's Uttar Pradesh election manager Amit Shah, and the Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan, who had spoken provocatively for/against religious groups. This was seen as even-handed and exemplary in punishing/deterring communal propaganda. Six days later, the EC lifted the prohibition on Shah -- because he claimed his call for “revenge” against Muslims wasn't intended to “violate the [election] code of conduct,” and vaguely promised...

BETWEEN THE LINES

Test of democratic values

I get many telephone calls almost every day from Pakistan and a few from Bangladesh to inquire about the polling in the Lok Sabha elections. Their fear is that Narendra Modi might be India's next prime minister and destroy the democratic polity which they envy. I hope Modi does not head the next government. True, most opinion polls give the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the BJP and Modi, a clear majority. But their tally is unreliable because there...

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