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News on BSP-SP joint press conference

To understand UP’s U-turn from Bahujans to Brahmins, last 3 elections are key

The ongoing clamour in Uttar Pradesh to become the voice of the Brahmins shows the diminishing returns of focusing solely on Bahujan politics.
Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint

Uttar Pradesh is India’s broken heartland, break it into 4 or 5 states

Uttar Pradesh, our largest state by population and most powerful, is also the worst governed. A state with 1-in-6 Indians has no hope because of its size.
File photo of BSP chief Mayawat

BSP’s ‘Sarvajan’ slogan has been usurped by BJP. Mayawati should worry

BSP discarded its Bahujan slogan for Sarvajan. Now, neither the upper castes nor the Dalits have much to do with Mayawati’s party.
BJP supporters a public meeting in Himatnagar in Gujarat. | ANI Photo

BJP’s politics summed up in three social binaries

Scratch the surface of BJP’s every move, look beneath the lofty claims of ‘integral humanism’, and at least three distinct binaries emerge.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi performs 'Ganga Arti' at Dashashwamedh Ghat after his mega roadshow in Varanasi | PTI Photo | Manvender Vashis

Varanasi, 2014: Why I’d said, before the secular dip, hold your nose

When a thug wanted for murder joins the fight against communalism, a firebrand secular isn’t pleased they threw eggs at his rudraksh.
File photo of Congress president Rahul Gandhi (C), Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia (L) with Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath (R) | PTI

Congress has never been a party of OBCs, but something’s changing now

At the level of ideas, ideology and leadership, the Congress has been a party of social elites since its inception.
File image of PM Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah

The BJP’s caste arithmetic is collapsing under its own weight

Demonetisation was at the heart of destabilising the BJP's carefully constructed caste coalition. The rise of the BJP - since the Ram Mandir movement generally, and in the Modi era particularly - has come on the back of meticulously crafted caste coalitions. These may differ from state to state, but there's one big pattern. They have married their Brahmin-Bania upper caste core base with the lower OBCs who have felt marginalised by dominant OBC communities such as Yadavs, Jats or Marathas. Even with the Modi wave the BJP would not have won 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh if it hadn't brought back Lodh leader Kalyan Singh in the party, and hadn't allied with Kurmi party Apna Dal, which won another two seats for the NDA in the state. Yet the Modi wave also helped the party win votes despite the hurdle of caste. Narendra Modi's 2014 campaign, which projected a prime ministerial...
Voters in India | PTI

An individual voter is insignificant in our democracy, but a caste vote bank is invaluable

Identity politics can’t be brought to an end through legislation or actions of the election commission, but by endowing the individual with a strong voice.
A graphic showing Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi should stick to Pidi’s coochie coo identity. It is safe and abstract.

To claim Indianness, Rahul Gandhi must be a Hindu. And being Hindu is more than religious construct, it is a barometer of Indian-ness.

On Camera

Why French President Macron’s clash of civilisations with Islam is misguided

Macron seems oblivious to a deepening problem at home: The old French model, which claimed to be superior to all social systems, is unsuited to an increasingly multi-ethnic society.

Revival in demand & business activity push Indian economy’s animal spirits up in September

Economists attributed the recovery to pent-up demand after a strict lockdown imposed in March hit the consumption of goods and services.

Defence

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing the biannual Army Commanders Conference in New Delhi Wednesday | Indian Army

China lacks ‘honest intent’, be prepared for any eventuality, Rajnath Singh tells Army

Speaking in Delhi, the Defence Minister told military commanders that the government will strongly back reforms in the armed forces including setting up of theatre commands.
Illustration: Soham Sen/ThePrint

Trump or Biden? Doesn’t matter to India-US ties as they’re in a full, strategic embrace

Pompeo & Esper’s visit to India for the 2+2 talks is proof that old hypocrisies are history, and supreme national interest has again driven a strategic choice.