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

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Genealogies of Nagaland’s ‘Tribal Democracy’

Compared to the bulky literature on caste and democracy, we still know little about the form and functioning of democratic politics amongst tribes. This is a serious lacuna, one which, at the level of sociology, impedes the kind of careful comparison that has long proven fruitful to capture the inner logic and intricacies of social life. If caste is deemed central to any understanding of contemporary Indian politics, what about those states and constituencies in which tribes preponderate numerically?

Changing Contours of the Political Regions of Karnataka

Media reports of the recent Karnataka assembly elections tended to see the state as made up of distinct regions and marked their boundaries to accord with the political–administrative territories prior to their unification in 1956. While a residual presence of regional identity still persists overdetermining class, caste and community relations, linguistic and speech practices, religious and cultural sensibilities, politically, the region has come to mean very different things in the electoral battlegrounds of the state. In recent years, equations across castes and communities have been recast precipitating intense social churning and political realignments within and across regions of yore.

Can the BJP Achieve a Congress-mukt Meghalaya?

In the months leading up to the February 2018 Meghalaya state legislative elections, the Mukul Sangma-led Congress government has been plagued by a mass exodus of its legislators to the National People’s Party and Bharatiya Janata Party. This article chronicles these defections and conflicts within the party, and the political advantage they afford the BJP in its push for a Congress-mukt Meghalaya.

NOTA and the Indian Voter

This article looks at the use of the “none of the above” option in elections in India from 2013 to 2016 using data from the Election Commission of India to reveal certain patterns of NOTA votes. These patterns signal that Indian voters seem to use NOTA not just to show their disapproval of the candidates in the fray but to express their disenchantment with the existing political system.

Party with a Difference?

From adopting winnability as the core principle of nominating candidates to removing political appointees of the previous government, and in dealing with governments of opposition parties, the behaviour of the Bharatiya Janata Party has been so much like the Congress that the latter would rejoice in the assurance that there is no mukti from its ways and manners. The crucial difference between the BJP and other parties is that it is able to instil a sense of destiny not just among its rank and file but also the general public and convince it that the party is doing desh seva while others have been doing only politics.

Uttar Pradesh Elections 2017

This article examines the electoral alliance between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress in the recently held Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in the context of India’s complex polity at the national and state levels.

India’s Second Dominant Party System

The conflation between nationalism and Hindutva has been the backbone of the new hegemony. That is why the Bharatiya Janata Party has been so happy with intellectuals trying to problematise the nation. That particular intellectual initiative simultaneously places the BJP in a position of immense advantage and ensures that “anti-BJP” would necessarily be equated with the anti-national! Independently, both ideas—Hindutva and development—are potent political discourses. By weaving them together with nationalism, Narendra Modi has bound them into an arsenal of his political offensive.

Messages, Mathematics and Silences in BJP’s UP Win

The Bharatiya Janata Party consolidated the support of the “leftover” castes such as the Gujjar, Tyagi, Brahmin, Saini and Kashyap who are not counted in the typical matrix fashioned for years on the basis of the “dominant” groupings like the Jats, Muslims and Dalits. Accompanying the mathematics were a slew of ideas about Muslims and Yadavs as oppressors, and a strategic silence so as to not polarise all Muslim votes to benefit the BSP.

India’s Second Dominant Party System

The conflation between nationalism and Hindutva has been the backbone of the new hegemony. That is why the BJP has been so happy with intellectuals trying to problematise the nation. That particular intellectual initiative simultaneously places the BJP in a position of immense advantage and ensures that “anti-BJP” would necessarily be equated with the anti-national! Independently, both ideas—Hindutva and development—are potent political discourses. By weaving them together with nationalism Narendra Modi has bound them into an arsenal of his political offensive. Therefore, the coming times would be less about electoral victories and more about the onward march of this hegemony in the realm of popular imagination; about how democracy shapes up in Modi’s new India.

Aam Aadmi Party as Third Player in Punjab Politics

Despite huge organisational and political blunders, the Aam Aadmi Party is still a substantial player in Punjab's electoral politics. It does not have the organisational network that the Akali Dal has nor a popular leader such as the Congress' Amarinder Singh. However, its emergence in the state has brought to the fore the issue of regional versus Delhi-centric control of party decisions and politics

Punjab Politics

Punjab's political dynamics is characterised by a spectrum within which there is a movement from contesting identities resulting in confrontations to these identities, through mutual accommodations and forging coalitions. It is not a linear process; it also faces reversals back to confrontations, and then moves forward again to coalitions. The identities of religion, nation, language, class and caste have been particularly at play in this dynamic arena of Punjab politics.

West Bengal Elections

There is no end to mining into the depths of the Bengali psyche to uncover a vast underbelly of popular prejudices, political naiveté , ab surd hopes, selfish interests, blind vengeance that were cunningly manipulated by Mamata Banerjee to shift the electoral verdict in her favour. Her promise of extension of freebies to all sections of society had seduced the voters to elect her, in a trade-off between their self-interest on the one hand, and democratic rights on the other. They are willing to sacrifice the latter, and remain mute spectators to the suppression of political opposition and dissent.

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