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Like the proverbial ‘half-full or half-empty’ glass, you can look at the much-discussed India Today Group graphic showing the comparative swathes of saffron on the political map of India between 2017 and now. At first look, the graphic tells you that the BJP’s reign over Indian states has declined to 40 per cent from 71 per cent in these two years. Just when you thought the party had reached the peak of its popularity and unassailable domination under Narendra Modi.

This, however, is the ‘half-empty’ perspective. The ‘half-full’ view is: Draw a similar map with Lok Sabha results from last May. What it would show is the dominant political reality: That in all of the north, the Hindi heartland, most of the coastal west and large parts of the east/Northeast, the BJP reigns unchallenged. A fresh general election may not have an outcome very different from May 2019. So, what are Modi’s critics celebrating?

Political reality, however, is complex, multi-layered and comes in many shades of saffron. Let’s try lifting these layers:

• Narendra Modi, although a colossus in his own right, is no Indira Gandhi. Or, the other way of seeing it: The Indian voter has matured from the Indira era. She makes a clear distinction between voting choices for the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha.

Just like Indira Gandhi, therefore, Modi can still swing a ‘lamp-post’ election (where a leader can get people to vote for even a lamp-post on his ticket), but only for the Lok Sabha, when seeking votes for himself. Unlike Indira, he cannot repeat the same magic for state assemblies. Maharashtra is a slightly complicated case, and we will return to it. Think Haryana. Within five months of the Lok Sabha elections, the party’s vote fell by a neat 22 percentage points, to 36 per cent from 58, leaving it well short of a majority instead of the widely predicted near-clean sweep. This, in a state with a deep military and nationalist tradition, insignificant minority vote, and 11 weeks after the action on Article 370.

Now, check the data backwards. Even after the sweep of 2014, Modi wasn’t often able to sweep a state, Uttar Pradesh in 2017 and smaller states such as Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal and Assam being notable exceptions. But there also was the debacle of Delhi in 2015 first, and Punjab subsequently. Gujarat (2017), which he should have won en passant, became a near-thing and stretched him fully. In Karnataka, despite anti-incumbency against the Congress and the embarrassing compromises it made with the Ballari Brothers, the BJP finished well short. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh were lost later.

Now, flip these numbers. In each one of the states (barring Punjab) that the BJP lost or failed to decisively win, it swept the Lok Sabha polls. Even in Delhi, Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, where it had just lost to the AAP and the Congress. Let’s see what follows.

• The most important takeaway is that, unlike in the Indira era, when one-party domination was accepted as a given, India has evolved into a much more federal nation. If the voter makes a clear distinction between choices made for the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha, it emboldens those who can hold their own, even if they aren’t too hostile to the BJP, like Naveen Patnaik, K. Chandrashekar Rao, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, and going ahead, probably the DMK.

It gives its adversaries, like Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee, heart. Her three bye-election victories this week, including two by landslide margins six months after she struggled in the Lok Sabha elections, underline the same voter discretion.

The third type of regional leader who’d smile is the BJP’s own partner. On top of this list is Nitish Kumar — remember, Bihar goes to the polls next year. But even Prafulla Kumar Mahanta in Assam might revive his opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, and Dushyant Chautala can aspire to punch at a level above his ‘weight’ category.


Also read: Ayodhya verdict made one thing clear. This is the problem with Indian secularism today


• Here is why even the count of 17 states currently under the BJP, as the graphic shows, is a half-truth. Some of these, notably Bihar and Haryana, are in partnership with allies who might have a radically different ideological view and vested interests. Some, like Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur, are essentially the political equivalent of leveraged buyouts. So, they aren’t particularly BJP states. Sikkim and Mizoram are part of the NDA, but not the BJP’s. The other, even less convenient unstated half of this truth is that today the BJP owns only three major states: Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka. The last one is fragile.

• Since the rise of the Modi-Shah paradigm, the BJP has followed a simple formula. Sweep the Hindi heartland, the two big western states, and you can rule India with a majority by just adding some little bits on the platter from here and there.

If this cannot be replicated in the states, you are stuck with federalism. It means having to negotiate with chief ministers, accepting some give-and-take, living with the reality that hostile states will control their own police, law and order, and may even (like Mamata), refuse to carry forward your grand plans, even good ones like Ayushman Bharat. They can no longer be ordered around. You have to treat them with respect and deference, sometimes as equals. This requires a radical change in method and style. Because the ‘cooperative federalism’ that the prime minister often talks about is no longer a mere mantra, but an imperative.

• Take a close look at Maharashtra. Why the NCP and Congress went with the Shiv Sena has a simpler explanation: They were fighting for survival, and power, if undeserved. But why did the Shiv Sena break away? It was because it saw in the relentless expansion of the BJP in its state a rapid erosion of its own ideological space. Its rebellion is a straightforward immune reaction to single-party domination, even if it is like-minded.


Also read: Shiv Sena was hated by Indian liberals as extremist Hindutva party. Now, it’s their darling


• The Centre-state equation is more likely to return closer to the 25-year epoch of 1989-2014 now. The noises from Maharashtra are disconcerting: Opposition to bullet train, silly threats on the metro. Andhra has already delivered a nasty blow to India’s FDI-friendly claims by peremptorily throwing out Amaravati and reputed foreign partners, from Singapore to the UAE’s LuLu Group. The prime minister will have to reach out and hug these chief ministers too, as he does his foreign counterparts.

• And the biggest issue of them all: The National Register of Citizens or NRC. Mamata Banerjee might have been the first to reject it formally, but it is unlikely that most of the non-BJP governments would now fall in line with an idea so divisive, so dangerous, and loaded against them.

The smaller Northeastern states have to deal with their own public opinion, which is hostile to the Citizenship Amendment Bill. In terms of implementability, the NRC is therefore dead on arrival. It may (and likely will) continue as a communally polarising concept for electoral reasons, a bit like the Ram temple might have been in the past three decades. But it won’t happen, definitely not as an NRC-CAB combo.

• And finally, in case you think I am only counting the downsides for the BJP, see that graphic again, with shrinking swathes of saffron. That is a limited electoral reality. Check out the ideological/philosophical picture. In all of India, you do not find one chief minister who, forget opposing, doesn’t instead welcome the blunting of Article 370 and the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya.

Over the past decades, these were the favourite BJP/RSS issues that polarised Indian politics. Now, a consensus similar to Kashmir and the Ram temple is building even on Uniform Civil Code. Even the Left Front government in Kerala wouldn’t dare implement the Supreme Court order on Sabarimala. Rahul Gandhi flaunts his janeu, temple visits and high Brahmin gotra.

Whatever the political shades on the map of India, it is now dyed-in-saffron as far as the key RSS/BJP ideas are concerned. The RSS, if not the BJP, could easily declare victory now. Hedgewar, Golwalkar and Savarkar will agree.


Also read: Public opinion in Kashmir has now been pushed away from India


 

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53 Comments Share Your Views

53 COMMENTS

  1. In a bad economy, poor worry about food for the night than worry about some Mandir built here. Majority of Indians are poor. and it is hard to believe they care for idealogy. Nagpur is not a Mecca.

  2. The way the BJP has spread lies and hatred is amazing. Now they are spreading the economy down the tube well so good luck in future elections!

  3. A well articulated article. Lucid and sharp to the point. 70 years of pseudo secularism, pseudo Religion and Pseudo Science and Pseudo socialism practised ,promoted and propagated is subtly brought out.

  4. Stock market and politics are driven by people’s sentiments. Small ups and downs are part of natural process for both. The trend line is clearly in favour of BJP. It shouldn’t take more than a year for BJP’s come back in Maharashtra. BJP will also come back in MP and Rajasthan on the next opportunity.

    • Modi-magic has worn out, Dev babu. From now on the graph of the BJP will piggy ride the graph of India’s economy, which is going down and down and down…
      I know that Narendra Modi knows a way out – – WAR !!!!! Balakot etc are passé. Modi and Shah will never let go of power, and the only answer is a FULL FLEDGED WAR. Dev babu, darr toh nahin lag-raha?!

    • I think BJP failed in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand because in these states it failed to garner the votes of dominant caste of these states. Thus although Maratha- Kunbi, Jats and tribals solidly back Narendra Modi in general election , for assembly election they back party which are controlled by leader from this group. In Maharashtra NCP, in Haryana JJP and in Jharkhand JMM improve their fortune. If BJP selected its CM candidates from these groups, it could win these assembly elections.

  5. Very Excellent article, The ideology of AS & NM is not RSS or Hinduism, or they don’t have any Socioeconomic agenda which clear in last Six year but only agenda is power between the two. The have shattered all the agendas only power .

  6. Notwithstanding your sarcasm, this frees the country from persisting problems which are frequent cause of unrest and embarrassment internationally. Now, the government can focus on domestic issues that matter, than spend time washing the garbage accumulated by the previous regime.

  7. THE RSS AND THEIR POLITICAL PROGENY( THE JANASANGH/THE BJP) HAVE BEEN SOWING SEEDS OF HINDUTVA( ACTUALLY MEAN HATRED FOR MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS) FOR NEARLY A HUNDRED YEARS CULMINATING IN THE IRREPARABLE CLEAVAGE IN THE SOCIETY BY THEIR DEMOLITION OF THE BABRI MOSQUE . THE RSS SEEMS TO HAVE SUCCEEDED IN ITS CENTURY OLD CAMPAIGN OF “OTHERING” MINORITIES IN ITS OBJECTIVE(LUST?) OF CAPTURING POLITICAL POWER . THIS CAMPAIGN HAD BEEN LAUNCHED UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE INDIAN SOCIETY , HAVING NOT RAISED ITS VOICE FOR A LONG TIME DESPITE DEPREDATIONS BY THE BRITISH, ROSE IN REBELLION OVER THE BRITISH INTERFERING IN INDIAN CUSTOMS LIKE SATI, AND OTHER PERNICIOUS & SUPERSTITIOUS PRACTICES OF THE INDIAN SOCIETY . MODI CAME TO POWER PROMISING UTOPIA AND WHILE HIS PERFORMANCE HAS BEEN PALLID , THE SALVE OFFERED IS HINDUTVA ,BALAKOT, AYODHYA ETC AS IT CAPTURES THE IMAGINATION OF THE (MAJORITY) IGNORAMUS VOTERS. TILL NOW NO VOICE HAS QUESTIONED MODI GOVERNMENT AS TO HOW PULWAMA AND SEVERAL OTHER TERROR ATTACKS TOOK PLACE UNDER ITS WATCH .THERE LIES THE ANSWER : PANACEA FOR INDIA’S ILLS IS HINDUTVA AND ALL ILLS ARE DUE TO MINORITIES AND IN PARTICULAR MUSLIMS . PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UP ON THIS PABULUM FOR NEARLY A CENTURY AND HAVE STARTED BELIEVING THIS . PEOPLE HAVE ALSO BEEN LED TO THE BELIEF THAT THE CENTRIST PARTIES( READ THE CONGRESS) HAVE BEEN PROMOTING THE INTERESTS OF MINORITIES OVER THAT OF THE HINDUS , WHILE THE TRUTH IS VERY OPPOSITE . TALL LEADERS BEFORE INDIRA GANDHI , EXCEPT RAJENDRA PRASAD, WERE NEVER SEEN VISITING IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF SECULAR CHARACTER, INDIRA GANDHI BRAZENLY SEEMED TO BE CAVORTING WITH HINDU SANYASIS OF EVEN QUESTIONABLE CHARACTER, WHILE RAJEEV GANDHI ALLOWED LOCKS OF THE AYODHYA THEN IN LIMBO TO BE OPENED TO THE DETRIMENT OF HIS OWN PARTY AND THE SOCIETY . IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CENTRIST FORCES TO FIGHT THE INSIDIOUS ANS PERFIDIOUS CAMPAIGN OF THE RSS AND RESTORE SANITY IN THE SOCIETY AND PLUG THE FISSURES CREATED( SUBTLY BY MODI’S PREDECESSORS AND BRAZENLY BY MODI) IN THE SOCIETY BY THE RSS AND THE BJP AND MAKE INDIA INTO A MODERN TRULY SECULAR DEVELOPED STATE WHERE PEOPLE LIVE IN HARMONY AND COHESION WITH NO DOMINATION BASED ON ONE’S FAITH AND RELIGIOUS DENOMINATION . OTHERWISE , TIME MAY NOT BE FAR OFF WHEN INDIA WILL WITNESS CIVIL WARS AND BALKANIZE THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE THE BRITISH CAME

  8. INDIRA GANDHI, FOR ALL YOUR APOLOGETIC DEFENCE, WAS A VERY INCOMPETENT PRIME MINISTER, WHO COMMITTED A SERIES OF BLUNDERS. SHE CLAIMS VICTORY OVER PAKISTAN, WHEN FIELD MARSHAL MANEKSHAW IS ACTUALLY THE SUPREME ARCHITECT OF THE RESOUNDING VICTORY IN 1971. I AM NO FAN OF MODI, WHO IS JUST ABOUT STRANGLING THE INTERESTS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS, BUT MODI IS UNDOUBTEDLY OUTCLASSES INDIRA GANDHI IN EVERY WAY, WHO STARTED HER INNINGS AS GOONGI GUDIYA.

  9. Art 370 abrogation & Ayodhya will have a far reaching impact and any association of it with BJP losing polls in states will be a fallacy.
    Internationally,Islamophobia was on rise & Indian Electorate rightly identified a man who could set the things right.Pak indulged in misadventures in J&K on daily basis & prompted this man to bring Art 370 issue on top of the agenda.Voila!!!And it was a success.
    BJP’s choice of Yogi 🚩 in UP & pursuing proper litigation from Govt side paved way for the awaited judgement on Ayodhya which was only possible in the regime of BJP.
    Pak🇵🇰 helped a lot in digging the grave of so called Secular Parties in India.Mumbai 26/11 and inaction by the then regime did it all.As soon as Modi pushed back Advani,the public made up it’s mind.
    BJP’s approach is in unison with US,France, Australia and surprisingly even with China when it comes to deal with radicalization.Nation first.Voila !
    Keeping the reigns in hands of inexperienced Rahul Gandhi,INC exposed itself.Dynasty first.
    The more the JNU’s gangs,Bengal’s and Kerala’s minority politics will surface,the more strengthening of BJP will be witnessed in the time to come.🇮🇳
    Intermittent rules of 3rd Front & Parties like SP, AAP , TNC, NCP disappointed the majority community of India ,more then INC.Rest is history.Clear mandate in 2014 & 2019 after a few decades.
    🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳

  10. Those who fancy themselves as great political thinkers in part sponsored by the gangs such as “Lutyens” & “Khan Market”, Pakistan Promotion Agencies and Foreign intelligence outfits ; are so pissed off with Narendra Modi and his success in awakening of the pride that a large majority of Indians feel and thus implicitly rejecting the imposed value systems of colonial masters and faithfully carried out by the ruling elites for over half century after independence.
    In order to find every straw to beat Narendra Modi and implicitly BJP, they celebrate the opportunistic alliance of Congress and NCP headed by ‘most saffron’ Sena, as long as it hurts even indirectly Mr Modi .
    The ‘Fear’ factor , The Chief Eunuch of the Khangress is talking about stems from observing Mr Chidambram’s fate and the nightmares of similar future for remaining loyalists and their Patrons!

    • What successes has Modi had? The economy is down the tubes, hatred is higher than ever, women are not safe, the CBI, IT will attack anyone that disagrees with the BJP, farmers are starving, middle class is disappearing, the education system cannot educate or feed the children. The only thing Modi is good at is traveling around the world!

  11. Glad Ashok is gracious enough to take back his Holocaust analogy – this and “fascist” terminology we so carelessly throw around in India little realising what they actually mean.

    Short elaboration on my earlier comment: we as a nation have great power delusions….economic, regional superpower, 5 trillion dollar economy, Chandrayaan, etc but when it comes to poverty and individual deprivation it is terribly shameful that even after 70 years the country abounds in poverty and our children are malnourished and stunted with a pretence of basic education.

    We can debate the “idea of India” till kingdom come, but if after about 3 quarters of a century we are not able to provide the basics and half our countrymen eke out bare animal existence, the constant debate on liberal, secular, rightists, leftists, casteist and what not is so meaningless — and cruel.

    Had it not been for Norman Borlaug and to an extent MS Swaminathan, the dire predictions of Malthus would have come true.

    Maybe the elitist thinking (e.g. how Nehru and everyone after neglected universal education, healthcare) has some Brahminical connection…..education not a public good, only for a select few? Just thinking why no govt thinks of delivering quality education for all….are they afraid the teeming hordes, the great unwashed will get a gatepass to the privileges they enjoy?

    And, no govt will EVER introduce truly game changing reforms — unless pushed to a hard corner, like on 1991, or if it can fetch votes (note bandi…if we can call that a reform).

    And without reforms which are needed to usher in “miracle” growth as we saw in Japan, Korea, SE Asia, and China we can keep debating THE IDEA OF INDIA!!

    Sorry to dishearten fellow citizens….but the ‘problem’ is intrinsic. We can have instances of individual brilliance, and many of this tiny minority will do very well here and abroad, but as a nation we will plod on….neither will we have economic prosperity or safety and security or access to speedy justice.

    That’s what I meant by “we are like that only”….only potential….and we will continue our totally undisciplined, argumentative ways. We will relish debate, debate snd more debate. Not realising while other people countries do, we only talk.

    And the “functioning anarchy” that is India, our beloved Bharat mata, will continue to grapple with its myriad problems, without solving any.

    • You’ve written with a lot of feeling. And correctly.

      At the end the government reflects the people. So the problem are the people themselves.

      Some very simple questions:
      1) Ask around how much are servants paid in Indian homes?
      2) How many countries have manual scavenging?
      3) How is the chore of cleaning treated in Indian homes? Jhaduwali will do it?
      4) How are children taught physical cleaning? In Japan school children clean toilets. Better than Swacch Bharat, right?

      The list is long. Let us not only ask what the government can do.

      At the end change comes through small things.

      • Now do you understand what we actually fear about western culture ? Slave wages, caste privileges are very dear to us. Gender and human equality is anathema to our feudal thinking. Don’t like democracy because it inevitably brings concessions like reservations.

        • Both Islam and Christianity brought the idea of equality to India. That’s why they are so much hated by the Hindutva brigade.

          Wait. It is actually older. Buddhism arrived there even before. That’s why they were hounded out of India.

    • Now do you understand what we actually fear about western culture ? Slave wages, caste privileges are very dear to us. Gender and human equality is anathema to our feudal thinking. Don’t like democracy because it inevitably brings concessions like reservations.

  12. BJP is winning. India is losing.

    What kind of ideology does the BJP have? Taking us back 1000 years? Buddha fought against this ideology and lost.

    Instead of going forward, we are looking backwards. This includes the Congress.

  13. Only Shekhar Gupta can think up such self-contradictory titles. What does it mean? That, more and more people are getting attracted to BJP’s ideology but lesser and lesser of them are voting for it? Well, I hope that trend becomes stronger. That would mean that people are getting to see how radical the present BJP’s ideology is, and how dangerous it is for our country.
    Time is so very opportune for Udhhav Thakray that he may not even realize it. It’s time for him to revive his father’s slogan : GARV SE KAHO HUM HUNDOO HAIN. Underline the self respect and self confidence this slogan automatically suggests, and the tolerance and magnanimity that automatically go with those two feelings. It is very difficult to find a man who is self respecting and self confident AND IS ALSO PETTY!!!!
    Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have stoked the pettiness in we the Hindus. Let this be a passing phase, and these two gentlemen the passing shadows (on their way back to Gujarat or some beautiful island abroad).
    If Shekhar Gupta’s confusing title suggests that that has started happening, then what are we waiting for? Let’s say, hurray!

  14. The Muslims in India have been very selfish. They ruled this country for 600 years and after the British left took away 2-large parts of this country. Then half of them stayed back and repeatedly voted for 70 years favouring the Congress for ulterior motives. The community will have to mature before getting into the mainstream.

  15. It is unfortunate that even decades after independence we are languishing in poverty and self doubt. I would believe that our political system needs to be overhauled to become more effective in improving our lot. Politicians need to be subordinated to the people and accountable for their actions.

  16. Shekhar is probably the handful of people who are seeing it. That the ruling party & the opposition pledging legions to Hindutva. Only when all parties agree on Hindutva will the Hindutva project really win. BJP may win on loose, but the RSS aim of changing the society is well and truly succeeding. We are not far away from becoming an ethnic democracy a al Israel.

  17. You have omitted a very important development. Despite losses due to the FPTP system, vote share for the BJP has been constantly moving up. This heartens the Saffronists who play for the long term anyway.

  18. Socialism with hindutva is bjp ideology
    Capitalism with cultural liberalism is lok satta party
    Socialism with Islamism all other parties

  19. After such a decisive, unthinkable and momentous decision as relating to Art 370 and Court settlement of Ram Mandir issue in a satisfactory manner along with Triple Talaq legislation, the major so called Hindutva issues have indeed been settled. UCC is a minor issue which will happen soon. So with this, the RSS and BJP are on the front foot and their members are in charge of all the Constitutional posts. Thus the mainstreaming of so called Hindutva ideology is now complete. Even the Dussera speeches of RSS Sar Sangh Chalak are now routinely shown live without any audible murmur of dissent by anyone. Hence, now onward, the politics will come to normal and will revolve round good governance, economic issues, local issues etc rather than ideology, as ideology is well accepted openly or indirectly. In this background, while Modi would rule strong at Centre, the states can have many combinations. However, only issue is that BJP should have a majority in Rajya Sabha or near majority at least so that major bills can pass through without any obstacles. Whether one hugs a CM or cajoles him or her into a accepting a certain scheme or a policy is matter of optics ( and Modi can do it better than anybody else) but that is irrelevant overall.

  20. One will not get into ideology, although my heart tells me most Indians are more secular than communal. However, what has been haunting me for the last couple of days are images of eighty children scrabbling to share one litre of milk, generously diluted with water. The same state where rotis / rice were being served to them with salt. If this is all Lord Ram can give us, will happily turn an atheist. Not even the most craven, compromised commentators can any longer deny the Holocaust on the economy. Six years in, Indians should wake up from their trance and be asking some really, really tough questions. All foreign interlocutors already are.

    • This holocaust even going by your horrible hyperbole happened only last 5 years , before that we had Ram Rajya….land of plenty — mere desh ke dharti ugle sona , hira, moti.

      Look around Asia….East Asia, SE Asia,. India has been a miserable and pathetic failure —and will always be a perpetual under-achiever. We are like that only.

      • I apologise for using such a harsh word, it should have been phrased more elegantly. However, it is a fact that countless Indians lost their jobs, small businesses shut down, the extent of economic deprivation and the time for which it has lasted make it the most consequential economic decision since 1947. Some would say, the economy has still not recovered from demonetisation.

      • Absolutely correct. The question to ask is why are we like that only? Tough questions should be asked irrespective of the party in power. There should be a demand for PM question hour. Also, it is not the Hindu ideology (moderate or extreme) but the lack of vision, feudal lust for power and collusion driven politics (full of unscrupulous participants) over many decades that have brought us to this juncture. ‘Mere desh ki dharti sona ugle’ by ultra patriotic Manoj Kumar pleased Indira’s eats as much as ‘Achche Din’ pleases Modi’s. Indian democracy is work-in-progress.

      • Sorry,RamuJi,
        Even in 2013 India ranked 2nd in Agri products,exported $38 billion worth of Agri products in 2013,making its 7th largest exporter world wide.Processed foods exported more than 120 countries,primarily to Japan,SAARC, South East Asia, EU,US. For articulate research of ICAR leads to Green Revolution in 1970.
        In IT sector only in 1999,Wipro a vegetable oil manufacturer listed on Nasdaq for IT.
        In 1998 GDP growth begins with 1.2% now 4.5%.
        Dept of telecommunications in 2001 switched from licensing raj to revenue sharing regime in for VSAT installation.
        The capabilities of Satellite to deliver to distance education has moved by quantum leaps in 2007.
        INCOSPER grow and became ISRO in 1975 and first satellite Aryabhatta launched fromy Soviet Union in 1975.

        • How many years did Japan take to become a developed nation after WWII? And what were the factors behind Singapore’s success?

          That’s precisely what Ramu is saying. We cannot decide which way we want to go as we are a chaotic democracy without the rule of law. We want low inflation but will resist any lowering of interest rates; we want per capita, but will resist controlling our population; we want foreign type cleanliness, but will protest against fines; we want Silicon Valley type innovation, but will demand reservations. The list is long. The pockets of success are like islands scattered in a vast ocean.

        • My linkage between low inflation and low interest rate is not strictly technical. It looks at the broad picture of encouraging fair competition across sectors to facilitate supplies for the benefit of the consumers.

    • Sorry, the answers to your questions and the blame for the sorry state of affairs lay with Nehru and Indira, and more broadly the Congress Communist ecosystem that has dominated India. What we are facing now is the direct consequence of socialist and whole-sale anti-industry policies of those two pea brained leaders. If your heart bleeds for those 80 children, your blood should boil about the course Nehru and Indira set our country on. Having built powerful constituencies for the status quo, change is not easy. It will take a couple of decades of Modi to come out of the morass we are in. What India needs now are politically difficult reforms to promote industrial investment, such as labour law reforms, easier land acquisition laws, judicial reforms for speedy delivery of justice and freeing agriculture from State control. Unfortunately, bleeding hearts stop at lamenting about the state of human misery, but usually do not have any real solutions.

      • Many people think throwing disadvantaged to the wolves will solve the problems in economy. Foreign capital is fine but when there is whole sale flight of that capital because of opportunities elsewhere what happens?

  21. Shekhar Gupta is anti BJP Mullah/ jihadist who sacrifices logic and reasoning at the altar of his blind hatred. Why doesn’t he mention that Maharashtra coalition is a matter of shame for coalition partners who despite their 180 degrees opposite ideologies buried them, and a symbol of pride for BJP to compel other parties, particularly Congress, in diminishing their stature drastically.

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