Gilles Verniers, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ashoka University and co-director at its Trivedi Centre for Political Data, spoke to Open's Executive Editor Ullekh NP on dominant ideas in India's 2019 election campaign. How attractive do you think is national security as a slogan (like corruption, dictatorial tendencies, etc) in an Indian election? National … Continue reading ‘Pulwama Attack and India’s Response Not Indefinite Substitute for All Other Issues Voters Care About’
ON JANUARY 1ST, 2014, when Arvind Kejriwal took oath of office as Chief Minister of Delhi from a bursting-at-the-seams Ramlila Maidan instead of Raj Bhavan with all his typical dramatic flourish, it was a historic moment for Indian democracy. We had a chief minister who used public transport to work and even to his swearing-in, … Continue reading Why Congress Wants to Fight the Lok Sabha Polls Alone from Delhi Sans AAP
ON FEBRUARY 27TH, WHEN PAKISTAN used US-made, agile, new F-16 aircraft to unsuccessfully bomb Indian military facilities in Kashmir, American President Donald Trump was away in Hotel Metropole in Hanoi, Vietnam, to hold parleys with the recalcitrant North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, offering to make the East Asian country an “economic powerhouse” if it became … Continue reading The Fog of War: Amid Pre-Poll Sloganeering, Modi Takes On Pakistan
IN BALLIA, KNOWN for its links to India’s freedom struggle and various melas, a strange morning ritual along narrow village roads stuns you. Men are seen taking their pigs out for a walk, waving canes, as if herding sheep that need to graze or walking dogs that must attend their call of nature. Here in the … Continue reading Eastern Uttar Pradesh: Will It Make or Break BJP in the 2019 Election?
John J. Xenakis juggles multiple careers: that of a software engineer, historian, journalist, analyst and author. The American scholar, who has developed what he calls the “generational theory” to forecast the future of countries and people, is the author of World View: Iran’s struggle for Supremacy. As Iran celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1979 … Continue reading “The West Gets Constantly Surprised by Iran Because of Their Universal Stupidity”: American Scholar
FROM KERALA’S MUNAMBAM harbour in the north of Vypeen, a fishing island near Kochi, several families from Delhi’s poor neighbourhood of Madangir are believed to have embarked on a treacherous boat trip that covers some of the most turbulent sea routes in the world: to New Zealand, in search of jobs. Driven into extreme poverty … Continue reading Future of Jobs: Employment in India Is Set for an Overhaul
THE MOST STRIKING thing about Priyanka Vadra Gandhi is a cliché, but one that is true: that she resembles her much- revered, much-feared grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a politician who the late writer Gabriel García Márquez is said to have famously exclaimed about: “Madam Gandhi—what a combination of delicate femininity and sheer … Continue reading Enter Priyanka: Can She Save the Day for Rahul?
JENCY JACOB, MANAGING EDITOR, BOOM FACTCHECK, RECALLS THE DAY Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sharply attacked the opposition in the Lok Sabha for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “chor” (thief) over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal. Jacob and his colleagues at their fact-checking firm joked that a “clipped video” of Sitharaman would soon go … Continue reading How WhatsApp Is Changing Indian Politics
SENIOR DELHI-BASED LAWYER Indra Sawhney is amused that her name has become part of India’s legal lore and that a case she fought decades ago keeps coming up whenever there is any talk of affirmative action. “So long as there is a reservation system in the country, I am sure my name will keep surfacing,” … Continue reading BJP Hopes Reservations to Economically Weaker Sections Will Help Retain Its Core Vote Base
FOR THE SERIOUS academic historian that she is, Nayanjot Lahiri, author of works as stellar as Ashoka in Ancient India and Finding Forgotten Cities: How the Indus Civilization was Discovered, has reason to contend, perhaps with a slight sense of guilt, that her latest work is a “light-hearted” one. Or perhaps more than guilt, it could be her … Continue reading Nayanjot Lahiri: The Time Keeper