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Sunday, March 07, 2021

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.

India’s new digital rules are bad news for democracy
Thu, Mar 04, 2021

The new rules expand the government’s already considerable control over digital entities and will likely affect freedom of expression and privacy.

Other countries’ view of India is influenced by calculations and hopes that it can help counter Chinese expansionism in Asia
Sat, Feb 20, 2021

Today, the international media echo indices of democracy and freedom of expression prepared by institutions like Varieties of Democracy, Freedom House, and Reporters without Borders which are often comparing the evolution of India’s regime to the Emergency.

Rise of Hindutva has enabled a counter-revolution against Mandal’s gains
Wed, Feb 10, 2021

The BJP's rise to power may, therefore, result in the promotion of some upper-caste orthopraxy and ethos via state vigilantism.

Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 needs to be debated thoroughly
Thu, Jan 07, 2021

It provides an opportunity for India to forge an agenda that will act as a standard-setter in national data protection legislation.

If India has to meet climate change mitigation targets, it needs to take decisive action now
Sat, Dec 19, 2020

This is the time for India to take bold action if it wants to meet its objectives by 2047 or before. India must plan a green recovery from the current COVID-19 crisis to ensure a just and sustainable growth for its population. Doing this will take an incredible amount of resources and political will.

Why should Indian agriculture be liberalised when in most countries governments subsidise it?
Thu, Dec 03, 2020

Without some support from the state, the smallest of Indian peasants would be even more vulnerable.

On ‘love jihad’, BJP picks up baton from vigilante groups. Police, judicial apparatus have aided this move
Thu, Nov 26, 2020

This process is bound to transform India officially into an ethnic democracy, like Israel — where mixed marriages are practically impossible.

Chinese dam projects on Brahmaputra are a threat to lives and livelihoods downstream
Mon, Nov 23, 2020

Building a decentralised network of check dams, rain-capturing lakes and using traditional means of water capture have shown effective results in restoring the ecological balance while supporting the populations of the regions in a sustainable manner.

Lower castes in Bihar have got political power, not economic progress
Thu, Nov 05, 2020

The post-Mandal rise of the Yadavs was confined to the electoral domain; it did not have much impact on their socio-economic status

Arrests in Bhima Koregaon case frame a transformation in India’s polity and police force
Thu, Oct 29, 2020

The current usage of the expression "urban Naxal" owes much to Bollywood film director Vivek Agnihotri, who defines an “urban Naxal as an intellectual, influencer or activist who is an invisible enemy of India”. The idea of such a conspiracy was propagated, however, by the Sangh Parivar.

Under Modi government, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have ceased to be key places for debate
Thu, Oct 15, 2020

For the moment, Parliament is not heeded to, though it has not been replaced by experts at the expense of democracy. The decline of Parliament is for everyone to see. But does anyone care?

Government is promoting a culture of secrecy, undermining legislation such as RTI
Thu, Sep 24, 2020

Transparency is not only necessary for maintaining a democratic polity, it is also necessary for making the economy work

Supreme Court’s apparent reluctance to question government on consequential issues affects its moral authority
Mon, Sep 07, 2020

Almost immediately after assuming office, in 2014, the Narendra Modi government blocked the elevation of Gopal Subramanium as a judge of the apex court.

What’s left of the ‘Mandal moment’, politically and socially, now?
Sat, Aug 22, 2020

Rise of Hindutva politics and contradictions within OBC spectrum have exhausted the silent political revolution. Unfulfilled promise of job quotas may lead to a revival.

Centre’s reliance on indirect tax revenue, pro-rich policy, has deprived govt of resources during COVID crisis
Tue, Aug 11, 2020

COVID-19 may be a blessing in disguise if it allows India to reform its tax system in order to make it work towards inclusive growth and sustainable development rather than targeting only investment-led economic growth. After all, India’s tax-GDP ratio was only 10.9 per cent in 2019, as against the OECD average of 34 per cent.

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
Sun, Nov 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.