Beware the rise of new phenomenons and phantoms. Emergent social and religious groupings like Yadav-Dalit-Muslim and Dalit-Muslim are going to undercut the rise of ultra Hindu nationalism. Ethno centrism will battle cultural relativism in the collective mind space of the people. The stage is set. The prophets of doom are back, the ground beneath us is shifting, social matrix and calculus undergoing a deep hued metamorphosis. Soothsayers and naysayers are predicting an impending change, studying by-poll results and their internal dynamics.
The death of a dalit Christian in Kerala, Kevin, in Kottayam District on the night of May 27 took the state by storm. The murder, by “quotation,” (meaning, hired killers) was so shocking, that television watchers, in the safety of their homes stay glued for three days to their screen. The young 21-year-old student bride, transformed later in the day, into a widow, appeared on screen, accompanied by her father-in-law. Repeatedly, she stated tearfully that her husband had disappeared, the police were not registering a case, and were not searching for him.
After years of somnolence, ensconced deep in the arms of Morpheus as the central government was on Kashmir, one sees frenetic activity over the last 48 hours. Now, I am just wondering whether it is the Sochi/Wuhan effect. PM Modi recently conducted one on one informal deliberations with Xi Jingping and Vladamir Putin. The agenda of these talks was not specified. The fact that the government has moved with great alacrity on Kashmir since suggests a linkage and connection even if it is tenuous at this stage. This is a clear volte face by the BJP and that is what makes it monotypical.
Are both the BJP and Congress reading the tea leaves wrong for the battle of 2019? In their visceral hatred for one another, they continue to obsess about each other and perhaps this will allow both to be blindsided by the ragtag bobtail army of federal chieftains who are waiting to bushwhack them. Lying as they are in wait to ambuscade them, driven into the ground due the BJP’s heft of majoritarianism over the last four years.
The developmental efforts initiated by Indian government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are a welcome measure for the state as well as for the country. These have been preceded by controversial measures of amnesty to stone pelters, and declaration of ‘Non Initiation of Combat Operations’.
HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony at Bengaluru was expected to be a watershed moment in millennial politics of India for two reasons. One, for the first time, constituents of the much discussed “United Opposition” showed up on political stage. Two, despite being the major alliance partner, by acquiescing to JD(S) and settling for a deputy chief minister, the Indian National Congress (Congress) has politically ceded to regional forces across the length and breadth of India.
The recent extradition hearings in the UK of alleged bookie Sanjeev Chawla and liquor baron Vijay Mallya have highlighted the violence and overcrowding in Indian prisons. These, being directly linked with the abysmal prison conditions and violation of prisoners’ rights, had prompted one of the defendant’s counsels to remark that “the conditions in Indian jails are far from satisfactory.”
The Mulaperiyar controversy, so often reported in the papers is about the height of the dam, which is a colonial dispensation between the Travancore Raja and the British administration. Kerala’s plea has been that Tamil Nadu should perceive the danger that it presents to its inhabitants, as it is a 19th century construction, and the land leased to Tamil Nadu is now problematised by both climate change, and the fear factor of something imposed by colonial law.
Secure in the belief that under Westphalian sovereignty rules, or state sovereignty, which is the principle of international law articulating that each nation-state has exclusive sovereignty over its territory and that external powers should not interfere in another country's domestic affairs; the BJP government is ring fencing its policy of drift in Jammu & Kashmir. The principle underlies the modern international system of sovereign states.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast bullish GDP growth for India at 7.4 per cent in 2018 as against 6.7 per cent in the previous year. It forecast a better 7.8 per cent GDP growth for 2019, making India the fastest growing economy again overtaking China, which is expected to slow down to 6.6 per cent GDP in 2018 and 6.4 per cent in 2019. Of course India and China growth figures are not comparable in absolute term. India is a mere $2.5 trillion economy while China is a huge $11 trillion economy.