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

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The Demand for Division of Uttar Pradesh and Its Implications

Significant interregional development disparities plaguing Uttar Pradesh today are often attributed to its large and unwieldy size. There is a strong prima facie case for the division of the state into smaller units to improve governance and development. But the demand for the state’s division, raised from time to time by all major parties except the Samajwadi Party, has presently receded into the background in the absence of mass support for it from any region. In the political discourse surrounding the 2017 UP assembly elections, it appears unlikely that restructuring of the state into manageable units will emerge as a significant issue.

Identity Equations and Electoral Politics

The changes in landownership pattern, educational mobility, and occupational diversification among socio-religious groups in Uttar Pradesh provide crucial insights into the contemporary nature of political mobilisation in UP. Based on a survey of over 7,000 households, representing all socio-religious groups in 14 districts of the state, the article assesses these changes and points to the disparities between the various groups and, more importantly, to the intra-group inequalities that exist within each group. To effectively mobilise support, political parties will have to look beyond the numbers and recognise the acute differences existing within castes.

The Time of Youth

Drawing on long-term multisite ethnographic fieldwork in Allahabad and Meerut, this article examines how educated unemployed young men, from different socio-economic backgrounds, struggle for employment and engage with politics and religion in the age of neo-liberalism.

Facts and Fiction about How Muslims Vote in India

There is a widely held belief that Muslims in India vote en bloc and strategically to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. This misconception has given rise to several wild theories about how Muslims participate in electoral arena—that they vote in large numbers, their decision of whom to vote for is influenced by clerics, they are more concerned about religious issues while voting, and are less supportive of India’s political institutions. This article presents a body of evidence using public opinion and election returns data from Uttar Pradesh to show that the political and electoral behaviour of Muslims is no different from that of any other major community in the state.

RSS, BJP and Communal Polarisation in Uttar Pradesh Polls

Ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and its allied organisations are making concerted efforts to achieve better coordination on the ground to consolidate the Hindu votes and crack the complex caste arithmetic of the state. With the Hindutva card unlikely to cut much ice with the backward castes and Dalits, it is crucial for the BJP, to calibrate its campaign strategy to offer these less empowered communities more political representation to reap electoral dividends in the impending polls.

Third Democratic Upsurge in Uttar Pradesh

The upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh point to an electoral battle between the incumbent Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With a decline of identity politics in the state, the major political parties are trying to outdo each other in engineering alliances, reaching out to hitherto neglected, marginalised groups, under the garb of inclusive politics. Sensing an opportunity, these backward groups are turning away from their identity-based political anchors and being drawn towards parties that promise political and economic empowerment, signalling the beginning of the “third democratic upsurge” in UP.

Deciphering Growth and Development

Uttar Pradesh’s growth and development is increasingly becoming part of the political discourse as the 2017 state elections approach. The Akhilesh Yadav government has showcased its strategies and achievements through public advertisements. Given that all major parties in the fray have been in power in the state at some time or another, this article examines UP’s record of growth and development over the long run, and over specific sub-periods linked to various political regimes. It specifically examines how growth strategies, focused on industrial and infrastructure growth, have evolved since the early 1990s, poor governance has influenced the general development scenario as well as the impact of “social justice” oriented governments on socially inclusive development.

Derailing Right to Education in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh has one of the lowest enrolment rates for economically weaker section and disadvantaged category children under the 25 percent reservation clause in the RTE Act. Yet the state government has issued multiple regressive notifications that inhibit these children from seeking admission under this clause. These notifications not only fail to satisfy the equality principle under the Indian Constitution but are also beyond the jurisdiction of the parent statute.

Uttar Pradesh, circa 2017

On 21 November 2016, Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and father of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, inaugurated the 326 kilometre (km) Agra–Lucknow Expressway, completed in a record time of 22 months. The official inauguration was also marked by a touchdown...

Heroes, Histories and Booklets

The new emergence of the educated and politically conscious middle class of dalit-bahujan origin in UP and Bihar active in writing, propagating and publishing literature, with a view to creating awareness among the backward classes coincides with the rise of bahujan politics through the early 1980s. The emergence of new heroes in literature and hitherto neglected and ignored traditions is related to the need to acquire self-respect and social acceptance. But in its search for identity, dalit-bahujan literature, by propping itself up as counter-literature, also seeks realisation by a negation of brahminic literature.

By-Election Results : Warning Bells

With only a few months to go for the assembly elections in UP, the results of the by-elections in two Lok Sabha and nine assembly constituencies across seven states could not have come at a more inconvenient time for the BJP. For the Congress, on the other hand, there were signs, already visible in the May assembly elections, of some revival of fortunes. The party has won four of the assembly seats at stake.

Uttar Pradesh : Election Games

Ever since he became chief minister in October last year, Rajnath Singh has viewed himself as BJP’s man of destiny in UP. The move to bring him back to UP was an attempt by the party to shore up its sagging fortunes in the state that had reached their nadir in the 1999 Lok Sabha elections, with the BJP winning just 29 of the 85 seats. Since then, his every move has been anxiously watched by the party high command, as he has set about charting his path for the assembly elections generally expected in March next year.

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