From ‘Church attacks’ to ‘Muslims lynched’ – how the narrative plays part in politics

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Indian National Congress, the grand old party of India, suffered its worst ever electoral defeat in May 2014. Reduced to 44 seats, it was staring at a risk of being pushed to the margins if immediate corrective steps were not taken.

The reasons for its defeat were pretty obvious – corruption charges, anti-incumbency, lackadaisical leadership of Rahul Gandhi, and ‘Modi Wave’.

However, if you think like a pragmatic and seasoned politician, especially one belonging to the Congress party, these reasons don’t warrant any “corrective” steps. They are transient in nature. Continue reading

Did polarization of Hindu votes take place in Uttar Pradesh?

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I was invited to Zee News for discussing assembly election results and there I had the opportunity to talk to Arif Mohammad Khan, who once was a state minister and an active politician, famous for being the Muslim face who quit Congress when Rajiv Gandhi, then enjoying a mammoth majority in Lok Sabha, took steps to overturn the Shah Bano judgment to please Muslim fundamentalists.

As trends appeared to settle down and it looked like BJP was all set to win Uttar Pradesh (and it has swept the elections like the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as I write), some people started talking about kabristan-shamshan and “polarization”. Continue reading