proclamation of financial emergency – the only way out of this nationwide crisis

let’s talk real. majority of citizens are struggling with their finances. factories, offices, shops are shut. since there is no way for anybody, save those employed with various governments and government bodies, to make money, the onus lies on governments to provide relief. agreed, a few big corporates will pay salaries during the lockdown period from their reserves and some bosses driven by ethics and morality will also do so. but india is a big, big country. nearly 90 percent of total workforce is employed in the informal sector and most of the employers will find it impossible to pay their workers due to nil cash flows and unavailability of reserves earmarked for such situations. amid all this, the governments are charging for electricity and other supplies. they are doing so since the employees of the state and state-owned enterprises will be paid their salaries in full. but is this justified? at a time when companies are laying off workers

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good governance in the times of covid-19

at the time of writing this, a few more than 27,000 samples have been tested in india, a country of more than 1.3 billion. of these, more than 800 have returned as positive for coronavirus. but this may not be the only concern. we are short on testing kits and test centres and the government’s and other authorities’ response to the crisis is worrisome. let’s start with the announcement that the prime minister will address the nation at 8pm on 19 March, 2020. this announcement came in advance and gave enough fodder to rumour mills. the pm has a history of causing panic at 8, one can recall the demonetization episode. an advance announcement of pm address triggered panic buying and people stockpiled. in fact, the pm and his team of advisors failed to realise this would happen. then came the declaration of a ‘janta curfew’ on sunday. will this be a curfew, a lockdown or something else, nobody knew.

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how to read 2019 lok sabha poll results

there are three major players in 2019 lok sabha elections- the ruling bjp, main opposition party congress and a vague third front, which can comprise of various regional parties led by leaders including Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati, Naveen Patnaik and others. There can be a number of outcomes. One can be either the bjp or congress attaining absolute majority in the house and forming the new government with ease. however, chances of this are extremely slim. In the second scenario, a pre-poll alliance, nda or upa, may attain majority. However, if any of the factions, nda or upa, falls short of majority, it will be comparatively easier for upa to muster support from those who may play the kingmaker. Last scenario is of the undeclared third front hitting the majority mark with combined seats from all parties in this faction. This can lead to a probable fight over the office of prime minister and key ministerial berths. having noticed what may

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here’s what and why it will happen in 2019 lok sabha elections

poll analysts, immediately after the declaration of results of 2019 lok sabha polls, will come out with their versions of why the winner won and why the loser lost. it’s easy. the tricky part is to analyse the situation beforehand and wisely and assertively predict the outcome. we are doing this part here with what will happen and why will that happen. let’s start with why. it’s 2019 and after 60 months in office, the modi-led bjp has only limited success to showcase. this limited success is nothing but the work-as-usual of the government and bureaucracy machinery, for example, increased accessibility to lpg, road construction and government-sponsored loans. in 2014, the bjp won the mandate on the promise of radically transforming the socio-economic landscape of india. 5 years on, virtually nothing has changed. bjp’s claim of multiple schemes for unprivileged and vulnerable groups also falls flat. take a case of mudra loan. although the government claims lakhs of crores of

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indo-pak hysteria will cost bjp 2019 polls

almost every political analyst and even those common men discussing politics at tea stalls and their office spaces in indian cities are arguing that the recent india-pakistan standoff will indeed up bjp’s and modi’s chances in 2019 polls. this seems true when one switches on the television set that is filled with patriotism and praise for the ruling dispensation. this also appears true when we turn to tier-1 and tier-2 cities of india where more or less every whatsapp and facebook user has some work that keeps their household afloat. but the truth is that these aforementioned facts do not decide electoral outcomes in a country where almost half the population still works in farm sector and the formidable dalit constituency is still aspiring for socio-economic equality, which has been long-promised, however, remains a distant dream to day. india’s politics does not run on how well we are faring in the global scene or on the strides we make in

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rahaf al-qunun’s saudi escape has lessons for indians

qunun, a saudi woman, who fled her country to find refuge in a more liberal and welcoming society, grabbed international attention recently. her transit at a thailand airport, her barricading herself in the hotel room to prevent authorities from forcibly handing her back to her family, subsequent support from human rights activists, expeditious processing of her application by the unhcr and canada finally granting her asylum, isn’t just a plain news story. having reached canada, qunun breathed a sigh of relief and expressed joy over new prospects in a new country where she could pursue education, have a job and live according to her will. almost at the same time here in india we come across reports of violence against a woman who entered the sabrimala temple, escaping the eye of vigilantes. almost no mainstream political party would come out in the defence of this woman whose only ‘sin’ is that she abided by the ruling of the supreme court

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is india becoming a regressive theocracy under bjp?

aitzaz hasan bangash was a pakistani boy whose story not many in india know. he was killed in 2014 while preventing a suicide bomber from attacking his school that was being attended by 2000 students. there is another name, bibi aisha, an afghan woman. she was given to a talibani fighter by her family when she was 12 and a few years later she was found with her nose and ears cut off. but why cite these incidents when talking about india which is the world’s largest democracy and has a thriving economy? it is because the aforementioned cases can be juxtaposed with many recent happenings in india, although one can term this as extrapolation. mobs all across the country have inhumanly killed members of a minority faith on suspicion of cow slaughter. not only this, members from the backward caste were brutally thrashed when performing their job of skinning dead cows. and in yet another incident in uttar pradesh’s

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the idea of reservation to economically weak is flawed

reserving seats in government jobs and educational institutions for the economically weak classes within the hitherto unreserved category of households is a severely flawed idea. even if this plan overcomes all legislative and judicial hurdles, still it is as bad an idea as was the stripping the 500 and 1000 currency notes of their legal tender status (popularly called demonetisation). any policy or legislation cannot bring a positive change unless the implementation is perfect, or at least near-perfect. in the case of 10 percent quota for the general category, the implementation part is so tricky that the fairy-tale idea will lose all its relevance without delivering even a small slice of intended benefits. one of the parameters as suggested by the government to recognize the economically backward families is to consider the annual income of the household. should that be less than 8 lakh rupees, the members shall stand eligible for benefits under quota. but wait. in a highly informal

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from modi-wave to ‘modism’

politics is an unethical job. one may be completely honest towards his office, but political compulsions, more so in a democracy where one fears a defeat in subsequent polls, rarely allow politicians to abide by the virtuous code of conduct. in india, a leader has to manage different quarters with dissimilar demands and yet must make sure that all these conflicting interests are taken care of. so, even if we disapprove of these facts, the reality would not change- a strictly uncompromising leader still remains a distant dream. but when it comes to compromises, there are legitimate boundaries that shall never be breached. in the past 4 years, the modi-led bjp government not only breached these boundaries but they treaded so violently into unethical zones that the once seemingly invincible modi now stands vulnerable to electoral defeats. but where did he go so wrong? politicians in a country like india, where much of the population still faces various socio-economic impediments

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here’s what’s wrong with bjp and modi

more than 4years have passed since the country witnessed a watershed moment where a single party won electoral majority after decades of fractured mandates. narendra modi became country’s prime minister, and let us tell you why almost every second voter was thrilled- they saw the rise of a ‘chai-wallah’ from being a boy with no political patronage to occupying nation’s most powerful office. modi’s bjp could win the imagination of the electorate because one, the public found the only other alternative, congress, as a party of the powerful and corrupt; and two, modi was projected as the only savior of the poor, middle-class and corporates. another underpinning was the hindu-supremacy narrative that was propagated superbly through social media platforms by depicting the majority faith as reeling under appeasement politics of non-nda parties. modi has achieved some goals, for example, financial inclusion, increased pace of electrification and paving of new roads, a new indirect tax regime and a seemingly effective law

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