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Showing posts with the label Politics

Some Thoughts on the Peculiar Nature of Punjab’s Power Sector Problems

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Akali Dal-BSP 'Pankhi' Protest Against Power Cuts in Punjab (courtesy: The Tribune ) It is election season in Punjab, and as usual, the power cuts stretching for hours in a day are becoming a source of much-heated debate among political parties. From claims of most expensive power to faulty agreements signed by previous governments and some innovative methods of protest, everything is up for grabs. However, lost in the din are several peculiarities and problems of the state’s ailing power sector that are not being resolved in the right manner. Peculiar Demand Curve Punjab has an extremely varied demand curve through the year. Power demand of the state in the summers is exactly double the winter’s power demand. As Bhupinder Singh and Malkit Singh pointed out in 2017: One of the reasons for the low utilisation of state plants is the peculiar load curve of Punjab, which varies from 5000-6000 MW in the winter to 10000-11500 MW in the summer. The state plants come into operation on

Just Who are the Real Anti-Science People in India? The Government, or the Media?

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The Circus Called Indian Media (courtesy: Mint) The latest advisory of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on treating COVID-19 gains praise from a wide spectrum of the medical and scientific community for its evidence-based approach towards COVID management . Also, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on record to laud India’s scientific community for their invaluable contribution to the nation’s fight against the COVID pandemic. However, given the utterly deplorable and false propaganda of a section of India’s liberal community, it is time to ask a few tough questions of the eminent liberals of our country who think they know more than scientists. Modi Government’s Multiple Steps in Sync with Science That the oh so liberal liberati of India was bereft of any cranial abilities was well known. What has been on demonstration for more than a year and a half however account for nothing less than plagiarism. The word plagiarism is used because the model templates that their

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

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

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

Budget 2021 Has Dared to Mute Populism

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  It has been a very long time since a budget actually cut short on frills and embellishments and took head on some of India’s bigger challenges. Political messaging in India for long has been couched in the poverty driven, gareeb kalyan , redistributive mindset which while seemingly right has made politicians forsake growth as a political strategy. To that end, the Narendra Modi government’s Budget 2021 with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have displayed a rare step - a break from the voter driven politics of India and actually pushing for growth. For the longest time, India’s political class has been deriving the wrong messages from electoral politics. This misplaced belief that free goodies, subsidies and coverage for all will somehow be able to buy the voter’s support has caused much damage to the economy. What has often been forgotten is that you can only distribute what you earn, and distributing wealth instead of poverty is what the voters would rather prefer. It is rema

Blindsided by Fear Mongering on RSS, Punjab Hangs By the Cross

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  Sukhbir Singh Badal with Bishop Franko Mulakkal at an event in 2016 In the ongoing farmer agitation bringing attention on to Punjab, it is interesting to note the various social dynamics that have emerged over the past century first in the undivided state and post-partition, in the various mutations that eventually led to the present state of Punjab in India. An important phenomenon that has been obscured by the various tumultuous events over the years has been the rise and rise of Christianity in Punjab. Through this essay, an examination of this phenomenon is understood. From historical contexts, the role of the community in 1947 to the present state of affairs, an attempt has been made to bring all such details to light. What is also brought to light is the rather strange silence of certain groups who would rather respond to those looking to examine reasons for this conversion and exercise some kind of restraint on it.   The Moorings of Christianity in Punjab Christianity h