Christophe Jaffrelot

Christophe Jaffrelot is senior research fellow at CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS, Paris, professor of Indian Politics and Sociology at King’s India Institute, London, and non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  He offers valuable insights on South Asian politics, particularly the methods and motivations of the Hindu right in India.

Articles By Christophe Jaffrelot

The problem of skilling India

India’s employment crisis calls for more government expenditure in education, adequate training.

Caste politics is being reinvigorated by actors who traditionally opposed it

The BJP is implementing it at the time of candidate selection and in expanding caste-based reservations. The judiciary is making it easier by relaxing aspects of past jurisprudence.

Current paradigm shift in J&K is in tune with the steady centralisation of the state since 2014

The two trends — obliteration of cultural differences and state centralisation — that are well illustrated by the way J&K has been dealt with, may impact policies vis-à-vis other states and other domains. For instance, Hindi may be promoted at the expense of linguistic diversity more decisively.

Delhi to Tehran via US

India’s gameplan in Iran-Afghanistan has been damaged because of the Trump administration’s strategy

Terms of estrangement

India-US tensions are fuelled by rise of national-populism in both, Delhi’s policy of multi-alignment

One man show

In long run, BJP’s dependence on PM Modi can hurt the party, contribute to erosion of federalism

Madhya Pradesh: In bettering 2014 showing, BJP kept out ‘dynasts’, leveraged central schemes

For the Congress, an immediate challenge is to ensure the stability of its government in the state. Its huge Lok Sabha majority and clear hegemonic aspirations could lead the BJP to try to get the support of additional MLAs to pull down Kamal Nath’s government.

Months after Vasundhara Raje ceded Assembly, how BJP swept all LS seats again

Rajasthan, however, presents a curious case. In the December 2018 Vidhan Sabha (VS) elections, the Congress made a strong comeback, and formed the government in the state with the help of the BSP’s two seats.

Breaking down the Gujarat verdict: How regional pride, nationalism made Modi-Shah even stronger on home turf

Post-Pulwama air strikes and the pride of having a Gujarati PM and his trusted aide Shah in Parliament, coupled with nationalistic sentiments mattered more in this election than local concerns over drinking and irrigation water, as well as job crisis.

Explained: Why so many MPs are dynasts

A record 30% of the new Lok Sabha MPs belong to political families. Among states, Punjab and Bihar have the highest proportions of dynastic MPs. Among parties, Congress remains the most dynastic but BJP is catching up, while CPM is the least dynastic. Two political scientists examine the trends and reasons

Explained: In Hindi heartland, upper castes dominate new Lok Sabha

Election results decoded: The last decade has seen the return of the upper castes and the erosion of OBC representation.

Election results invite questions for liberals. Worldwide, they lack their rivals’ discipline

Liberals are facing similar problems elsewhere: they lack the discipline of their rivals and before they realise that they should close ranks, the populists have changed the rules of the game for good – or for the span of time during which the strongman is in command.

BJP’s move to field Pragya Thakur in Bhopal underlines an ominous political paradigm shift

How do we explain the shift in democratic politics when those arrested on charges of terrorism and out on bail are now beginning to contest elections? What sort of a moral force are they able to wield?

Rhetoric in the name of poor has assumed Orwellian proportions this poll season

To describe these kinds of speeches, George Orwell had coined a useful word: Newspeak. The most famous instances of Newspeak in 1984 is, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” But there is another citation from Orwell that needs to be quoted too: “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought”.

Kapu agitation in Andhra Pradesh is for political dominance and economic mobility

The pertinent question in this election season is whether Pawan Kalyan can satisfy the Kapu elite’s desire for political dominance as well as address the concerns of youth who flock to his rallies.

Disinformation campaigns shrink the possibilities of genuine debate ahead of polls

Five years ago, a famous line was “The Nation Wants to Know”. Today, it seems that, even if it wanted to know, it cannot.

In Uttar Pradesh, law is misused to target minorities

An everyday communalism has settled down. The sense of impunity was reinforced by Yogi Adityanath’s decision to withdraw all the complaints that the state had filed against him and his associates since the 1990s.

Beyond optics, Congress has begun flirting with some of BJP’s favourite campaign themes

The acid test for measuring the degree of Congress secularism today has less to do with symbolic gestures (like temple visits) and the representation of Muslims in assemblies than with concrete public policy.

Quota, old plus new

There are substantial inequalities even within Dalits. In addition to the 15 per cent quota, the community should also have reservation based on socioeconomic criteria.

The regional great game

Crystallisation of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia and India-Iran axes will set off ripples in the region