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<February 2019>
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 Principles of Politics
Political iconography: Significance of Sardar Patel in India Today
Published on : Sunday, November 3, 2013
Why does Narendra Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, and prime ministerial candidate of the BJP in the upcoming general election in 2014, need to lay a claim over political legacy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, independent India's first home minister, who died in 1950. Is it an attempt to saffronise Patel, the nationalist icon who was opposed to religious and communal politics? Or is it a sign of desaffronisation of Modi, in his attempt to shed his own communal image? Barun Mitra explores the political significance of Sardar Patel in India today
Role of Businessmen Takes Center Stage in the US Presidential Race Ads
Published on : Monday, July 23, 2012
“Americans deserve a president who will say: ‘If you’ve got a business that you built, then you’ve earned it—as you’ve earned my thanks,' says Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. Brook was critical of President Obama's statement that ‘If you’ve got a business—you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,’ implying that businesses owed a debt to society.
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.
Cheer-up, America! The Case for American Optimism
Published on : Monday, October 24, 2011
Brad Lips says, "Don't let this moment of maximum pessimism cloud your vision of the path ahead". Building the case for American optimism, he says, politics today are at the healthiest state, as more Americans are awakening to the notion that there is a battle of ideas to be won and are focused on issues of Constitutional principle than ever before. Lips asserts, If we stay committed at the grassroots and keep developing the sector of civil society, that's dedicated to limited government principles, the political victories and a return to the American success story - certainly will follow. Cheer up, America!
Gandhism redux? Wanna be Gandhis and the original Gandhi
Published on : Saturday, August 20, 2011
Many of today’s anti-corruption protestors believe that they are participating in the second freedom struggle from misrule. Ambedkar had warned against extra-constitutional means of protests. But today, in the name of Gandhi, many believe that constitutional processes are expendable. It is good that Gandhi is back in the public memory. If this provides an opportunity to try and understand him, it will be even better. While the tumultuous protests we are witnessing today seem to cluster under the umbrella of Gandhism, but how Gandhian is the Anna Hazare led movement, asks Barun Mitra.
Political Poribartan in West Bengal: A blueprint for ushering in real change
Published on : Saturday, June 4, 2011
It has been a few weeks, since Mamata Banerjee and her newly elected team of ministers took the oath of office. True to her style, the new Chief Minister of West Bengal has set a frantic pace for herself, holding innumerable meetings and making surprise visits to hospitals and other public spots, firing off instant orders, cajoling the government staff to serve the people better. Barun Mitra looks at some of the policy options before the new government, if it is to live up to the promise of ushering in real change in the state.
The Hazare movement: Floating mass sans ballast
Published on : Monday, May 2, 2011
Hazare and his followers do not spell out a political philosophy; it is a movement guided only by good intentions. The only thing one comes across are unexceptional statements like corruption should come to an end. Typically, Hazare and his ilk avoid getting into the nitty-gritty: how to stop or check graft? Should the role of state be minimized, as libertarians assert? Or should state agencies be given even more draconian powers to curb corruption? Should the recovered black money be used to retire public debt, as fiscal prudence demands? Or should it be used to remove poverty, as populism screams? Ravi Shanker Kapoor asks some fundamental questions.
India’s own politics of denial
Published on : Friday, January 21, 2011
It is a scandal that after two decades of high growth, India still does not make adequate nutrition available to large sections of the population. The debate is largely a futile exercise. Strangely, we are not even shocked by the failure in ensuring food security. The government has had its head in the sand over inflation too for a long time. The planning commission chairman’s reported claim that inflation has to do with rising wages was, in the context, a bit like blaming the victim. If he had blamed the Commonwealth Games for inflation, it would have been more plausible, writes Pratap Bhanu Mehta in The Indian Express.
Please don't be silent, Prime Minister
Published on : Sunday, January 2, 2011
What price are we willing to pay for worldly success? Is it possible to be both successful and good? Why high status cannot be conferred on a person who is honest and kind? Our Prime Minister's silence in the 2G scandal has been deeply disturbing. India's corruption begins when one is born —you have to bribe someone to get a birth certificate. It ends when one dies, when you are forced to 'buy' a death certificate. Reforming is never easy, writes Gurcharan Das in Times Of India.
Prospect of liberal politics in India today
Published on : Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The verdict, in the recent assembly election in the state of Bihar, has attracted a lot of interest across India. The ruling coalition of JD(U) and BJP won a record 206 seats in a house of 243. Did this huge margin of victory, signify a major shift in Indian politics? What does this election really tell us about the future political direction in India? In this the second half, the aim is to identify the various strands that dominated Indian politics over the past six decades - language, region, religion, caste, poverty. Is there a diminising political dividend from identity politics, could political ideology find a legitimate space in India, asks Barun Mitra

April 15-16: Implementing the Forest Rights Act 2006, Patnagarh, Orissa
Diminishing electoral dividend for the political dynasties
28-29 March 2014 : Assessing the Implementation, Institutions and Impact of Forest Rights, Dediapada taluk in Gujarat
February 15-17 : Forest Rights Act Training Workshop, Sheopur, Madhya Pradesh
24th to 25th January 2014 : Workshop on Forest Rights Act Training at CASA Resources Center, Jharsuguda, Odisha
January 24th-25th : Forest Right Act Training Workshop, CASA Resources Center, Jharsuguda, Odisha
12th January 2014 : Assessing the implementation of Forest Rights Act, Sagai Village, Narmada, Gujarat
The rise and decline of regional parties in the North East
Did the land use policy help Congress win in Mizoram
Mizoram Assembly Election 2013 : A Brief Profile

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