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Saturday, August 08, 2020

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.

Hardik Patel’s appointment as Gujarat Congress working chief announces new form of old politics
Thu, Jul 30, 2020

The Congress has gradually realised that its old understanding of caste politics, which was devoid of caste-class interaction, would not take it far in a post-liberalisation environment.

State intervention is needed to make farming economically and ecologically viable
Tue, Jul 21, 2020

Instead of further liberalisation of agriculture, state intervention for better pricing, investments in water harvesting and an agroecological transition could ensure a more resilient system to weather shocks like the current one.

Reservation is being undermined by privatisation push and decline in political clout of backward castes
Wed, Jul 08, 2020

The judiciary has contributed to the erosion of the reservation system in different ways during the last two years.

Over-reliance on forex reserves is problematic, not using them a lost opportunity
Wed, Jul 01, 2020

If the government intends to use forex reserves as an emergency fund, it should ensure that they do not shrink just when they are most needed.

India needs to urgently step into the domain of healthcare
Tue, Jun 09, 2020

One of the obvious reasons why public healthcare has not been a priority for successive governments of India lies in the fact that India’s middle class did not need it.

Even if privatisation helps India financially, it may need to explore more avenues
Wed, May 20, 2020

Governments across the world resort to privatisation to fill budgetary gaps. But revenue from privatisation is a one-off benefit and generally, only profit-making units are sold at a good price.

Current crisis consolidates populist rapport between a leader and a fictional representation of people
Wed, Apr 29, 2020

While the 2016 demonetisation was about requesting sacrifices from citizens to eradicate the black money of the corrupt wealthy lot, the “people’s curfew”, “imposed by the people” — in Modi’s own words — was similar in scope, as it demanded “sacrifices” “in service of the nation.”

Muslim countries with which India had increasingly good relations have become less friendly
Wed, Apr 22, 2020

The new contrast between the support Pakistan has received on Kashmir from Turkey, Malaysia and even Iran and the very cautious attitude of Saudi Arabia and the UAE represents two coalitions of Muslim countries and their response to what they think is happening in India.

How lockdown may rewire class-caste issues for Indian politics
Tue, Apr 21, 2020

The impact of the lockdown may make social issues more prominent again in terms of class, at the expense of caste as well as religious identities and communal tendencies.

By revealing magnitude of migrant worker phenomenon, COVID-19 points to rural distress
Fri, Apr 10, 2020

According to the 2011 census, 3.5 million migrants who moved within the last one year stated economic reasons for migration. The corresponding numbers for the 2001 and 1991 census, were, respectively, 2.2 and 1.4 million.

Keeping poor safe in lockdown is state responsibility, not an act of charity
Mon, Mar 30, 2020

Leaving migrant workers to fend for themselves and forcing them to return to their villages will only enable the spread of coronavirus. In this regard, a clear distinction in the provision of aid for the urban and the rural poor must be made so that resources are better allocated amongst the poor.

US-Taliban deal puts the onus of ending the Afghanistan war on Asian forces
Fri, Mar 13, 2020

In the long run, if the Taliban are back in Kabul, India’s infrastructure investments in Afghanistan will be at the risk of being seized. Besides, New Delhi will lose a friendly government in Kabul. Worse, Islamabad’s close partners may be in office once again.

Violence in Delhi is intended to polarise as well as to teach a lesson
Sat, Feb 29, 2020

These ideas — of “revenge” and “lesson” — take us back to the killings of 1984 and 2002. The magnitude of Delhi riots may be different, but its impact in terms of ghettoisation will probably be equally strong.

During Mahinda Rajapaksa’s India visit, New Delhi likely to raise Sri Lankan Hindu Tamil’s issues
Fri, Feb 07, 2020

During Mahinda Rajapaksa’s India visit, New Delhi is likely to talk to Colombo on the Tamil issue and counterbalance Beijing’s influence in Indian Ocean

US-Iran crisis is pushing India to clarify its stand. But ambiguity may be a more comfortable position
Wed, Jan 15, 2020

It is very likely that India is now taking the side of the US against Iran, with the blessings of Israel and Saudi Arabia which is becoming an important partner and investor along with the UAE. In this context, Iran may turn to China more actively.

Ahimsa 2.0: Subcontinent is witnessing revival of non-violent movements, to protect constitutional values
Sat, Dec 28, 2019

The first challenge that a non-violent protest faces, always, is to remain non-violent in the face of repression and activities of agents provocateurs.

Citizenship law, proposed nation-wide NRC will revise conception of group rights in India
Thu, Dec 12, 2019

A nation-wide combination of the CAB and NRC will mark India as the natural habitat of Hindus while deriding some Muslims as “foreigners”. Indians will be called Indians not only on territorial grounds but also on ethno-racial and religious lines.

BJP has been effective in transmitting its version of Indian history to next generation of learners
Sat, Nov 16, 2019

Will the Congress government re-rewrite the history textbooks of Rajasthan, or is the Hindu nationalist version bound to prevail? And if one more version of India’s history is produced, in the context of the political narrative in India today, will it have any impact on the next generation of learners?

On socio-economic indicators, Muslim youth fare worse than SCs and OBCs
Fri, Nov 01, 2019

The percentage of youth who are currently enrolled in educational institutions is the lowest among Muslims. Only 39% of the community in the age group of 15-24 are enrolled against 44% for SCs, 51% for Hindu OBCs and 59% for Hindu upper castes.

There is a contradiction in trying to attract foreign investors before reforming labour, land acquisition laws
Thu, Oct 17, 2019

Why has Make in India failed to deliver? First, a large fraction of the Indian FDI is neither foreign nor direct but comes from Mauritius-based shell companies. Second, the productivity of Indian factories is low.

Bank mergers don’t address crux of crisis: The nexus between lenders, borrowers and election funding
Wed, Sep 25, 2019

To understand what is at stake in the NPA story, one needs first to understand why the public sector banks lent so much money to companies which are today unable to pay it back.

The problem of skilling India
Sat, Sep 07, 2019

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

Caste politics is being reinvigorated by actors who traditionally opposed it
Thu, Aug 22, 2019

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
Wed, Aug 07, 2019

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
Fri, Jul 12, 2019

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