ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Defecting from the Law

The impunity with which legislators in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have ignored the anti-defection law points to certain weaknesses in the processes and norms laid down in it. What is required to remedy this, however, is not just a minor tweak, but a complete overhaul of the way the law works to adequately address the problem of defections by sitting legislators before it overwhelms India’s democracy.

Remembering Emergency

June is the month to remember the “emergency” for lessons that we never learned. Of late, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been in the forefront of memorialising it while the Congress party usually feigns amnesia on this count.

A Disjointed Doctrine

The recently released joint doctrine of the armed forces outlines the manner in which they expect to fight the next war. Though the doctrine suggests “decisive victory” is possible, it bears reminding that the closer they get to this the closer would be the nuclear threshold. Since the doctrine does not dwell on the nuclear level, it cannot be said that the doctrine makes India any safer. However, the doctrine’s take on civil–military relations is far more interesting. 

The Crisis in the Judiciary

Having sentenced JusticeC S Karnan to imprisonment for criminal contempt of court, the Supreme Court cannot afford to drift back into complacency about the judiciary’s troubles. The systemic problems with judicial appointment and accountability become obvious when we examine other instances of misbehaviour by judges thathave wrecked damage to the judiciary’s credibility.

What Makes BJP Really Different

It is not very difficult to identify features that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shares with other parties. As actors in a common political environment and institutional set-up, parties evolve many similarities. However, it would be a mistake to overemphasise these similarities.

Public Bank Privatisationin a Post-truth World

The Narendra Modi government appears to have decided to privatise public sector banks (PSBs). Preparations are underway with arguments being marshalled that “there is no alternative” to privatisation.

End of the Dalit Chimera

The decisive electoral defeat of the Bahujan Samaj Party in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections certainly ends the chimera created by Kanshi Ram and later, Mayawati that Dalits can be the ruling class in India. The astute electoral games of the BSP worked for it in the short-run, but the logic of caste-arithmetic underlying the Bahujan category and Mayawati’s misdemeanours have cost the party dearly.

Are People Losing Faith inthe Courts?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no litigation explosion. The data from the courts themselves suggests that fewer civil cases are being filed while criminal cases have been steadily increasing. This suggests that litigants are approaching the courts in fewer numbers, and may be resortingto other methods to resolve disputes. It may also be possible that the increase in criminal litigation could be attributed to the use of criminal law to resolve civil disputes.

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