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<February 2019>
Liberty In The News
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Facts & Figures
Diminishing electoral dividend for the political dynasties
Published on : Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Do political dynasties really matter in India's electoral lanscape? Dynasties may exist in politics, but democracy has the power to equalise the dynasts. The diminishing power of the political families in India bear testimony to the deep roots democracy has struck in the country, writes Barun Mitra.
The rise and decline of regional parties in the North East
Published on : Saturday, December 14, 2013
In an era of coalition politics, when the regional parties are gaining prominence in the political map of the country, surprisingly, in north eastern states, most of the regional parties which were the end product of long drawn movement or armed struggle are fast fading into oblivion.
Is Democracy about Majority Rule?
Published on : Monday, October 28, 2013
The popular depiction of democracy is always about majority rule. But is majority rule the defining feature of electoral democracy? With winning candidates in a seat typically receiving less than 20% of the total votes in a constituency, is Indian democracy really representative of the majority of the people? Democracy is not about majority rule, but about recognition of and respect for minority opinions. So that the minority view of today, may enjoy the freedom to peacefully persuade others, and could become a majority opinion of tomorrow. This is why democracy requires consent of the governed, so that the diverse minorities do not feel so aggrieved as to try and revolt or secede from the rest. These are some of the questions explored by Barun Mitra
India's Democratic Dividend: Lessons from UP Election
Published on : Tuesday, March 13, 2012
When political parties face intense electoral competition, they are forced to focus on growth and governance. Or they may continue to pander to identity politics, and risk becoming politically irrelevant. This is the lesson from the recent assembly election in Uttar Pradesh. The contours of Indian politics are beginning to change, as the significance of identity politics in India begins to diminish, writes Barun Mitra in the Asian Wall Street Journal.
More makes for merrier in politics
Published on : Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Intensely competitive coalitions have made politicians aware of the importance of growth for their survival, writes Barun Mitra in the Mint.
Democratic Dividend: Economic benefit from political competition
Published on : Monday, March 5, 2012
In 2012, developmental issues have firmly emerged at the top of the agenda of most major political parties. Yet, barely a decade ago, many believed that India was paying a “democracy tax”, that political pluralism was at the cost of economic well being. Today, increasing political competition has opened new opportunities for the voters not only to demand performance but drive the economic changes as their aspirations rise. This is forcing politicians to explore new ideas that might meet these demands, writes Barun Mitra.
Can one buy an election?
Published on : Thursday, February 2, 2012
Contrary to popular chatter, there is little or no correlation between the amount of money a party has and the likelihood of it returning to power. It is time we consider removing the limits on election expenditure, that has done little to restrain cost of elections. A law that can neither be obeyed nor enforced, is contributing to undermining the legitimacy of democracy, and of politics. Therefore an open election expense law, with no limit but complete disclosure, would be a better idea, writes Barun Mitra in the Financial Express.
Can bad politics make for good economics?
Published on : Saturday, January 28, 2012
It is generally believed that good economic policies do not necessarily lead to electoral victory, in India. There is a general agreement that economic competition improves the lot of the paying consumer. So, what might be the impact of political competition? While economic growth is not sufficient to help win an election, could increased political competition among major political formations help in adopting economic policies that perform, and contribute to marginal improvements in the lot of the citizens, asks Barun Mitra in Financial Express.
How politicians undermine democracy: Sanctimoniousness par excellence
Published on : Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Democracy is not just about periodic voting; it is also about being responsive to the people. It also about civilized and informed public discourse; it has a symbiotic relationship with tolerance in general. Our politicians are being sanctimonious when they accuse Anna Hazare of hurting democratic institutions. It is not Team Anna but politicians who have undermined democracy, writes Ravi Shanker Kapoor.
Cleaning up Corruption: An agenda for India
Published on : Monday, August 22, 2011
The current campaign against corruption provides a golden opportunity to Dr Manmohan Singh to lead from the front. There is an urgent need for speeding up the process of economic, administrative and judicial reforms, not only to push the economy to a higher growth path, but also to help reduce the scope for corruption. Being the Prime Minister of India, he must spell out the options before the country. Then it would be for the people to decide in a democracy, writes Barun Mitra.

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