sanjay.kumar

Sanjay Kumar

The author is a New Delhi based journalist covering South Asian and international politics.

Voting for Modi again? 6 questions every Indian should ask

With India now fully in election mode, only one question reigns supreme in the minds of the people of India as well as the world: should Narendra Modi become the Indian prime minister again? Has he ushered in the “ache din” (good days) he promised five years ago? This question is polarising India. It is, however, a valid question. This is a man who came to power in 2014 with a promise to usher in a new era of development, coined a popular new slogan “sabka saath, sabka vikas” (collective effort, development for all), assured the nation he would address the ...

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Muslims in India today are revisiting the same fears as they did in 1947

The strength of a democracy is measured by the way it protects its weak, marginalised and minorities. After Partition in 1947, one big challenge before India was how to assuage the fears of the Muslim minority about their well-being in India. Bridging religious faultlines was part of the nation-building process. The government, civil society, film industry, media, and even on an individual level, a large section of the society created an ecosystem where secularism and liberalism were promoted unabashedly. This ecosystem and way of life have been largely sustaining India for the last seven decades. Three generations later, Muslims in India are ...

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A militarised media and the dangers it poses to India’s ‘democracy’

Media is the new military in India today. TV stations are barracks and war rooms, where the discussions are not based on news but give pointers on how to wage war and defeat the enemy nation. Narendra Modi-ruled India is run by a militarised media that broadcasts not news but only jingoism and war hysteria. This has become the language of a large chunk of Indian media that had never demonstrated such blatant anti-minority, anti-Kashmiri, anti-secular and liberal bias. A systematic demonisation of Muslims, Kashmiris and sane voices in India has started after the Pulwama terror attack that claimed more than ...

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Modi was all set to win the upcoming elections. Enters Priyanka Gandhi

Politics is the prisoner of context and timing. The entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into mainstream politics in India comes at a time when Indian politics senses a new opportunity that is beyond the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the main opposition Congress winning three important regional elections recently, the party sees a beginning of a new momentum which has been missing ever since its worst ever performance in the last General Elections in 2014. The victory in the regional elections consolidates the positions of the party president, Rahul Gandhi, and also heralds him as a prominent face of the ...

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After Trump’s Cambridge Analytica, Modi brings India’s first ‘WhatsApp Election’

What happens when those responsible for spreading propaganda and lies end up becoming the rulers? The lies become institutionalised. Modern India has never witnessed a propaganda onslaught of the sort that it is experiencing just before the general elections that are scheduled to take place between April and May of this year. We have moved far beyond old school newspapers and other such forms of print media. We now resort to electronic media and online platforms to wage war against our political opponents. This war has now even started invading our private spaces. The commonly-used WhatsApp messenger has become the latest ...

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By not supporting women trying to enter Sabarimala, the BJP proved their ‘gender justice’ stance is a lie

Historically speaking, faith has always been a victim of politics. However, the protests that are currently being held regarding the entry of women in the Sabarimala temple in the South Indian state of Kerala don’t particularly have to do with faith; they have more to do with politics. For centuries, devotees believed that the presiding deity of the ancient temple, Lord Ayyappa, is celibate, and the entry of ‘fertile’ women would violate the Lord’s celibacy. Young women were therefore denied entry into the temple, while only women above the age of 50 could visit. As far as men are concerned, a ...

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India has spoken: The beginning of Modi’s end

On Tuesday, India made a new tryst with democracy by defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the three heartland states. The margin of the Congress party’s victory might be narrow but the magnitude of the BJP defeat goes beyond regional elections. We accept the people’s mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. The BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 11, 2018 Never before has an electoral result given such relief to the masses who have been living ...

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India has never looked as divided, as communally vulnerable, as broken as it does now

Narendra Modi, a serial communalist, assumed the mask of an inclusive figure just before the 2014 Elections to make him more acceptable to the masses. The myth he came to weave around himself five years ago made him seem like a man of development – the only mission in his life being to usher in a new era of economic reform in India. It is now 2018, and the mask and the myth are both in tatters. The one and only colour Modi has is called saffron – the colour of the majoritarian Hindu. It’s now known to one and ...

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Power to the people: The Kartarpur corridor has done what 71 years of dialogue could not

The symbolism is too significant to be missed. When India was observing the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks on Monday, Indian leaders were cutting across party lines and laying the foundation for the Kartarpur road corridor in Gurdaspur, Punjab. This is perhaps the first time after Partition that both India and Pakistan are working together to complete one project: a corridor that connects both sides of the border and leads to the shrine of Guru Nanak Saheb. The corridor does not only have religious symbolism, it carries a lot of political weight that has the potential to rewrite the geo-political ...

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When the pot met the kettle: How Modi made India a lackey to the US

Finally, the pot and the kettle met, shook hands and hugged each other. Analysts world over are still debating possible gains and losses of a meeting between two unique characters of world politics today – Donald Trump and Narendra Modi. They represent two very vibrant democracies of the world but they are not recognised as the real faces of their multi-cultural nations. They are treated more as aberrations of history, a mistake of time rather than a true face of the era and people they got their mandate from. They both defy the norms of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy. Their past sins and acts are not holding them back from achieving ...

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