ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Making Sense of the Manipur Assembly Election Results

It is argued that it would be naïve to explain the Bharatiya Janata Party’s success as a wholehearted endorsement of its Hindutva agenda as there are substantial local reservations on this. Unlike Uttar Pradesh or other parts of North India where it aggressively pushed its Hindutva agenda, the BJP knows the limitation of this agenda and has instead used a combination of strategies like the promise of development and peaceful settlement of armed conflicts. These electoral strategies intersect with and are driven by a set of factors that, in turn, determine the BJP’s success: first, the increasing electoral insignificance of the Congress, and second, the continuing salience of complex and cross-cutting social cleavages.

In Search of a Strong Opposition

Dreamscapes that provide an alternative to right-wing politics cannot be imagined but need to be realised.

Political and Electoral Dynamics in Punjab

Given the political churning taking place in Punjab, the electoral scene may remain quite fl uid until the votes are counted and perhaps even after the results are declared. Nevertheless, the current elections refl ect a clear decline of the earlier hegemonies, particularly of the landed aristocracy of the region, which has controlled state politics over the past fi ve decades or so.

Political Churning in Punjab before the Elections

The assembly elections are going to be held in Punjab in February 2022. All political parties are gearing up for it. The Congress party is facing internal conflicts, whereas the Akalis are making a new alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party after breaking their alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party due to the farmers’ agitation. The incumbent Congress government has failed to deliver in terms of its promises and development. Both the Akalis and the Congress will be heavily relying on their mass base. However, a big challenge has emerged in the form of the farmers’ agitation. The Aam Aadmi Party is still struggling with its agenda and organisational basis despite being the main opposition party. The standard parameters of prediction of an election result seem to be non-functional at this moment.

The Transition to Big Data in India

Lives of Data: Essays on Computational Cultures from India edited by Sandeep Mertia and foreword by Ravi Sundaram, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2020; pp 160, price not indicated.

Professionalising Election Campaigns

The 2014 and 2019 general elections in India were referred to as “WhatsApp elections,” which had IT cells, bots, and political consultants strategically using data mining tools to build resonant narratives to tell voters what they wanted to hear. By the 2014 national election, the industry was reported to be worth $40–$47 million. Between 2014 and 2018, industry specialists approximated that the number of firms in this market had at least doubled. These unprecedented tools of technological campaigning come with new forms of identifying, targeting, and defining issues of political importance. This article suggests that such developments are turning electoral politics into a thriving business being data-driven, technologically oriented, and having far-reaching implications for democratic processes.

AAP has Decimated a Historic Mandate for Alternative Politics

The AAP stung by its recent series of electoral losses is politically pulverised and in a state of total denial that it decimated a historical mandate for alternative politics and lost a golden opportunity to position itself as the principal opposition to the BJP. AAP’s confrontational encounters and politics of antithesis have eroded their electoral base.

Shudra Identity and Struggle

The Shudras: Vision for a New Path edited by Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd and Karthik Raja Karuppusamy, New Delhi: Vintage (Penguin Random House), 2021; pp 272, ₹ 699 .

Assam Evictions: A Travesty of Justice and Human Rights

Systemic discrimination and prejudice against a community has led to dehumanising violence.

The Making of Punjab’s Dalit Chief Minister

To dismiss the elevation of Charanjit Singh Channi as a mere political gimmick would be wrong.

Engineering Flexibility without Accountability

Changing chief ministers reflects a deep damage to substantive accountability in a democracy.

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