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Showing posts from 2021

The Need for an Economic Recovery for India during and post-pandemic

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With the ongoing pandemic a few things are now becoming obvious on the economic front.  The much touted economic recovery plan Aatmanirbhar Bharat has been partly successful; however, with judicial interference now and anticipated in the future, one can see the reform roll out promised under the program failing to materialize before end of 2023. The Loan sanction vs disbursal ratio under the emergency credit loan guarantee scheme clearly did not pan out on desired lines for some crucial reasons I had highlighted earlier. Agricultural reforms remain in the cold storage for now.  Part success of course has been used because PLI schemes of certain sectors have received great response . Particular focus for applause should go on mining, pharmaceuticals and electronics, as well as medical devices which also hold great promise and can be indeed transformative along with textiles. However, in the other sectors it remains an expression of noble intentions like solar PV modules and electric bat

The Indian Middle Class' Disaffection with the Modi Government

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Courtesy: Times of India Yes, you read it right. There is disaffection in the Indian middle class right now with the Narendra Modi government. This is not about tier I wine sipping elite intellectuals. This is about the great Indian middle class that has suffered immensely due to the COVID lockdown. This is the great Indian middle class of tier II, tier III and tier IV, living across India, many of whose children were working in tier I cities but lost their jobs and came back to sit idle at home. This is the great Indian middle class that forms a significant skilled migrant set that is increasingly getting  frustrated at the lack of job opportunities in the job market. This is the great Indian middle class that pays taxes across all hues but does not count as a significant voter base any more for the BJP. There is this sentiment among several well wishers turned haters that the BJP rose on the backs of the Indian middle class only to trample its spine and move forward to ensure that it

Will 2024 Witness the Rise of the Urban India?

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One of the important takeaways that just does not seem to get registered from the West Bengal assembly elections is the middle class voters particularly the urban middle class literally deserting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It may seem a strange trend; however, it is not a one off incident. Rather, this seems to be a trend that no has been noticing for a while, especially in the assembly elections across various states. Over the years, the BJP actually shifted its vote base from the urban centres to the rural centres. What started in 2004 solidified into significant electoral successes in 2014 and 2019. However, there is a lot to worry about for a party that should be wiser to the change taking place. India’s middle class is not necessarily middle class by world standards . Let us make no mistake about it. Most of the middle class still makes what would be considered sub-par wages as per World Bank definitions. However, what differentiates them is the fact that purchasing power w

Has There Been Callousness in Managing COVID During Elections? Looking at the Numbers

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Courtesy: India TV There has been a lot of criticism about the Election Commission's handling of the COVID pandemic. One would imply that the cases have exploded as a result of the electioneering in India. There is no logic behind this argument for a simple reason - this logic flies in the face of the fact that states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Punjab should not have been facing any outbreaks of the kind that are reeling under, given there are no elections there. Even if one were to believe that logic, the numbers should have actually reflected the spike within a month's time. The reason behind the month's timeline is that the cases take at least a week to surface and another two to three weeks to be clear from the human system for the survivors and mildly affected people. Assuming that a person was affected within seven days of attending a rally or a roadshow, the numbers should start reflecting in the moving average.  When one takes up the data for t

Evolving Beyond the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Politics of Rahul Gandhi

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  Wayanad Member of Parliament (MP) and one of the most important faces of the Congress Party, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, has failed to create a dent on India’s political scene, despite much going for him. People continue to undermine his credibility despite three terms in Parliament now. While many outsiders have chosen to fish in troubled waters often, it is important for us to reflect and contemplate just why his politics fails to resonate with the people. Much of the answer unfortunately seems to resonate with a famous book called Alice in Wonderland, written nearly two centuries ago by the famed mathematician Lewis Caroll.   Terrible Politics over COVID, Talking in Echo Chambers Rahul Gandhi’s disconnect is unmistakable. His politics over COVID however has been marred by nothing less than chaos and bizarre behaviour. Continued contradictions seem to mark his approach – from asking for lockdown to asking for its quick reopening; from raising questions on PM-CARES to raising questions

The Myth of the Genocide of Hyderabadi Muslims

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India at the Time of Independence in 1947 A large number of left leaning academics have been perpetuating this nonsensical myth of the forceful takeover of Hyderabad for a while. I had responded earlier on a Twitter thread, and I am going to tell you that the claims of 200,000 Hyderabadi Muslims being slaughtered to death by the Indian forces are a ruse. This is essentially to cover up what the Razakars that resolved to uphold the Nizamiyat and make it a Khilafat did to the powerless majority of the princely state.  let us take a look at the 1951 census data and compare it with the data of the 1941 census. 1941 Census of Hyderabad tells us that there were 2.09 million Muslims. It can be seen here for those wishing to get references. In contrast, what do we see with the 1951 census? The Muslim population of the Hyderabad state was 2.2 million. That is right. 2.2 million. That is an increase of 0.11 million between ten years. i.e. a growth rate of 5.2% in the decade 1941-51 This clearl

Good Weaponization vs Bad Weaponization - the Deceit of India's Intelligentsia

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  The Kashi Nandi, Staring Towards Gyanvapi  It is with irony that I note the manner in which the ongoings in Kashi are seen as some sort of weaponization . The thing that I find extremely depressing about Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s weaponization of academia to target a manifestation of the expression of faith repeatedly tells me more about the intellectual dishonesty that has been perpetuated by his comity for the last seven decades. If reclaiming temple sites is weaponization, how is it that temple demolition by the Islamic invaders in the name of jihad gets the term 'recontextualization' ? I don’t even need to take Mr. Mehta to Kashi – this is the case given for the formation of Quwat-ul-Islam mosque, which was built by ‘reusing’ rubble from destroyed Jain temples alongside Hindu ones in Delhi. The answer evades us to this day, except when one sees the blunt truth behind it. Over the past seven decades, there has been a rather blitheful effort bordering dishonesty to justify act

Observations on Bengal in Assembly Polls 2021

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The 2021 Bengal assembly elections are going on, with the latest voting round witnessing deadly political violence in Cooch Behar. However, as an observer, and that too as Obangali or Bahiragata, there are broader meta narratives that have been emerging for a while. It is strange that most people have failed to notice a few trends. While the economic and development trends are well understood and have been discussed to the point of saturation, there is increased interest in the Hindu identity of Bengal, and open questioning of the shenanigans of the Kolkata bhodrolokis in the name of minority appeasement that has hung over the state of Bengal for decades on a stretch now.   Cultural Revivalism of the Subaltern Hindus What do I mean when I say cultural revivalism? Many people will actually not take my claim lightly, but let me give an example to highlight what has been going on. Irrespective of the Trinamool’s power control, the television industry of Bengal has seen a success fo

Chronicling the Loss of Civilization

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Katas Raj Temple Complex in Pakistan. There is None to Worship at This Pilgrim Site Today In 1923, a controversial book containing blasphemous content caused much chaos, and created much communal tension. What got forgotten in the process was an incident of 1924 which happened in a remote part of today’s North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan known as Kohat. Triggered by the inflamed passions, the overwhelmingly Muslim cantonment town witnessed an ethnic cleansing of its entire Hindu and Sikh population, barely constituting 3,500 . The non-Muslims were forced to flee to town, leaving their homes for good, just to save their lives, never to return. Even the local police, overwhelmingly Muslim, decided to stand by and watch. This was neither the first of its kind incident. Nor would it be the last across the Indian subcontinent. Recently, former Presidential candidate and American Congresswoman from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard talked about a resolution highlighting the 1971 massacre and the