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Chanakya

History has an uncanny way of intruding into contemporary life and shaping our public conversation. A new controversy emerged recently over the relationship between Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose.

Articles by Chanakya

On election eve, a tale of two BJPs 20 years apart

Not since the Congress in its heyday in the 1960s has one party dominated the national political landscape the way the BJP has.

India�s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) waves to his supporters from atop a vehicle during a road show as part of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) election campaign ahead of national elections in Hyderabad on March 15, 2024. (Photo by Noah SEELAM / AFP)(AFP)
Published on Mar 16, 2024 11:34 PM IST

Revival of the NDA, on terms set by BJP

The party has been stitching up alliances to make sure that its goals — 370 seats for the BJP and 400 seats for the NDA — are realised

BJP supporters at a rally in Varanasi. (HT Photo)
Published on Mar 10, 2024 01:47 AM IST

The many promises and challenges of new India

Prime Minister Modi’s speeches in Parliament encapsulated the short, medium, and long term challenges for the country

New Delhi, Feb 7 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President's address in the Rajya Sabha during the Interim Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI Photo/SansadTV)(ANI)
Published on Feb 10, 2024 10:00 PM IST

What the temple says about the new India

Ram Mandir may have been a tipping point in a process of religious awakening that has been going on since the arrival of Narendra Modi on the national stage.

A grand Ram Temple was inaugurated in Ayodhya on January 22. (HT photo)
Published on Feb 03, 2024 10:17 PM IST

Twin transitions in the Bharatiya Janata Party

In three states, the BJP has shown remarkable political creativity in effecting a personnel shift and expanding its social coalition.

BJP workers celebrate party's victory in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. (HT Photo)
Published on Dec 16, 2023 10:15 PM IST

When Mandal 2.0 gets to confront Hindutva

Indian politics have changed for the Mandal-Kamandal binary to play out as it did in the past. The fault line today is unequal economic growth

The implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations was among the most polarising moments in post-independent India. (HT)
Published on Oct 07, 2023 10:00 PM IST

How inflation may play out in the 2024 elections

Whether the BJP in 2024 retains its overwhelming majority may well depend on how it tackles the issues of inflation and associated household distress

The government has been battling high retail inflation and vegetable prices in the country rose by a whopping 37.34% in July. (PTI)
Published on Aug 26, 2023 10:21 PM IST

India’s economy can scale new highs. Here’s a plan

India must keep its GDP growth high, generate mass employment, overhaul education, focus on environmental sustainability, and safeguard its social fabric

India will need to generate mass employment that guarantees a base minimum income.(HT Archive)
Published on Jul 29, 2023 08:54 PM IST

BJP moves to rebuild NDA ahead of 2024

The ruling party’s recent moves in Maharashtra, Bihar, UP and Karnataka show it is looking to broaden its tent.

In the past week, the BJP engineered a split in Maharashtra’s largest regional party, the Nationalist Congress Party,(ANI)
Published on Jul 09, 2023 09:54 AM IST

India-US relationship takes a leap of trust

A clear political direction by leaders who could not be more different yet found common ground led to a leap in bilateral ties during PM’s visit

Biden, who got elected to the US Senate in the early 1970s in his late 20s, and Modi, who joined a political-cultural movement in the 1960s in his teens, trusted their experience and instincts. (President Biden Twitter)
Published on Jun 24, 2023 08:24 PM IST

Signals from the south for next round of polls

Karnataka gave the Congress and the Opposition contours of a successful vision. Its challenge is to now tweak and scale up this model

Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar along with Leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly and former state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah holds hands during their visit to Sri Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysuru, (ANI)
Updated on May 20, 2023 07:45 PM IST

The myth and reality of the SCO grouping

India recognises the group’s limitations, uses it for limited purposes and intends to work more closely with its real partners

Chinese defence minister Li Shangfu, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Zhang Ming, defence minister Rajnath Singh and Russain defence minister Sergei Shoigu before the start of the SCO meet in New Delhi,(REUTERS)
Published on Apr 29, 2023 08:40 PM IST

How the Karnataka elections may play out

The contours of the polls are clear. BJP will want to protect its Lingayat citadel, the Congress capitalise on corruption and the JDS retain its local dominance

The state of 61 million people, born by piecing together four distinct British-era provinces, encapsulates a bouquet of drastic shifts in political equations in each of its six regions, granular caste-based voting patterns, and diverse language and faith dynamics. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo/Representative Image)
Published on Apr 09, 2023 03:36 PM IST

Can a regional front put up a credible challenge to BJP?

With a year to go for the 2024 general election, regional parties are trying to forge a common platform. But internal contradictions, the Congress’s weaknesses and the BJP’s formidable machinery remain hurdles

For electoral success, it may be more prudent to look beyond the fog of Opposition unity to the head-to-head contests between the BJP and the Congress. Unless there is a perceptible shift in the dynamics of those seats, 2024 will be a tough battle for India’s Opposition. (HT Photo)
Published on Mar 25, 2023 07:22 PM IST

Decoding India’s economy and its impact on politics

The economy faces 3 headwinds — the dissipation of pent-up demand; the slow-down in exports; and the possibility of another spring heatwave.

At a time when government food stocks are running low, wheat inflation is trending above 20% and rural demand is going to be a key pillar of support for the economy, a sub-par crop will hurt. Then there is the threat of the 2023 monsoon being weak because of El Nino conditions. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)
Published on Mar 04, 2023 06:53 PM IST

A year later, the Ukraine war changes the world

Even as there were tectonic shifts in geopolitics and India faced enormous pressure, New Delhi secured its interests, remained friends with both the West and Russia, and emerged as a champion of the Global South

Spy Balloons In Ukraine: A Ukrainian national flag flutters near the buildings destroyed by Russian military strike, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in the town of Borodianka, in Kyiv.(Reuters)
Published on Feb 18, 2023 06:04 PM IST

The election of an Opposition in Gujarat

It is not the BJP voter, but the voter who wishes to see the BJP face questions and an effective Opposition, who holds the key in Gujarat 2022

For the BJP, this dilemma of the Opposition voter has three possible political implications. In the immediate context, it can split votes and add to the BJP’s strength, though the AAP’s ability to also take away a segment of the traditional BJP votes is a matter of a concern for the party. In the medium-term, it throws up a viable state-level alternative to voters. And in the larger national theatre, it can reinforce the AAP and Kejriwal as a potential national challenger (AP)
Updated on Dec 03, 2022 09:02 PM IST

In the Gujarat of 2022, a triangular electoral battle

The BJP, which has been in power since 1998, enters the race with an edge, the AAP enters as an aspirational force; and the Congress, with an attempt to repeat its 2017 showing. And as is with Indian politics, it’s not over until it’s over

The BJP enters the race as the favourite. It has excellent ties with large community groups in the state, a stable government and a record of bringing big-ticket industrial projects to the state. (PTI/Representative Image)
Published on Nov 06, 2022 02:20 PM IST

The road ahead for the next Congress president

The new chief will have to grapple with three challenges — the upcoming assembly elections in the short term, expanding its organisational base in the medium term, and telling the public what the Congress stands for in the long term

The Congress planned this election as a showcase of its robust internal democracy as part of its initiative to simultaneously revamp both its organisation and grassroots connect in a bid to rejuvenate its cadre, dispirited after a string of brutal electoral reverses. 
Published on Oct 15, 2022 08:07 PM IST

Halfway through 2022-23, the economy’s report card

India’s economy is likely to expand due to policies set in place to cushion the blow. However, while remaining relatively unscathed, India has to work on obstinate, if not systemic, internal challenges and the risk regarding energy security

If food security has worked to India’s advantage, then energy insecurity could work to its disadvantage, throwing budgetary math out of gear, and reviving inflationary fears. (Keshav Singh/HT Photo)
Published on Sep 17, 2022 08:05 PM IST

Behind the exodus from India’s Grand Old Party

Azad’s exit isn’t the problem. It is a symptom of a deeper problem. A party with a 140-year-old legacy is today bereft of vision, leadership, and organisation, leaving Indian democracy poorer

In two national elections now, the Indian electorate has decisively rejected Gandhi.  (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Published on Aug 27, 2022 08:06 PM IST

Five questions which we must answer on freebies

Comments by the PM and the SC have pushed the issue of freebies back into the headlines. But questions remain about State capacity, the state of fiscal federalism, and the political incentive to prioritise fiscal health over electoral considerations

State governments, especially ones ruled by non-BJP parties are increasingly finding it difficult to counter the BJP’s narrative of “double-engine” growth, which seeks to usurp the Opposition’s voter base by evoking the welfare programmes of the Centre. (HT Photo)
Published on Jul 30, 2022 07:55 PM IST

From Colombo, some lessons for South Asia

Nepotism and corruption bring ruin. Closed political systems produce bad policy choices. China’s economic engagement is predatory. Reckless economics will have consequences. And power is fragile

Sri Lanka has entered a new phase. If the war ended in 2009, the post-war phase has ended in 2022. What comes next is unclear, but economics, not ethnicity will define its future. Colombo must convert the crisis into an opportunity. And the world must help (AP)
Updated on Jul 16, 2022 07:53 PM IST

The genesis of the electoral and ideological crisis in the Sena

The party Bal Thackeray founded is fighting for its survival after a rebellion against the chief minister. The outcome will have a profound impact on state and national politics, and change the face of Mumbai forever

Despite the fluidity in the political situation now, it is certain that Sena’s attrition will transform Maharashtra’s politics. The benefactor is the BJP, which has not only avenged its humiliation post the 2019 polls but has emerged as the de-facto Hindutva mainstay in the state(PTI)
Updated on Jun 25, 2022 09:00 PM IST

What Rajya Sabha polls tell us about Indian politics

Politically, existing trends have got reinforced and the national hegemon reasserted its dominance. Institutionally, whether the Rajya Sabha can act as either a Council of Elders or Council of States remains in doubt

With 57 members either newly elected or returning to the House, the Rajya Sabha may wish to reflect on how to make the institution more effective in meeting the original constitutional vision. (HT Photo)
Published on Jun 11, 2022 08:29 PM IST

In a charged UP, why 2022 may be different from 1992

Three religious petitions have dredged up decades-old communal tensions. But there are key differences that will determine how the movement evolves — the most critical being the BJP’s increased stature

Though the new disputes may not be as important to the BJP, they keep the pot boiling and give the more extreme elements of its coalition an ideological goal at a time of increasing economic distress. (PTI)
Updated on May 14, 2022 06:24 PM IST

Centre-state ties: A new federal compact is key

Both politics and economics have forced Indian federalism into unchartered territory. The Centre and states need to work out a model that doesn’t let political competition lead to economic recklessness

When it comes to the issue of fuel price rise, which is politically contentious with huge inflationary consequences, non-BJP ruled states believe they have little room to cut duties while the Centre believes it has done its bit and would like states to act. (HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 30, 2022 06:22 PM IST

The next steps in the India-US partnership

Delhi needs to have an honest conversation about what Washington brings to the table, and continue its structural shift westwards

The US must continue to show the maturity it displayed last week. It must rein in voices that believe threatening India with consequences can change Indian behaviour. And it must show India how it can help meet Indian interests more effectively. (PTI)
Published on Apr 16, 2022 07:50 PM IST

In Uttar Pradesh, a new political chapter

For the BJP, the political goal is 2024. Its governance goal should be bridging divisions, improving health and education, and boosting incomes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yogi Adityanath during his oath-taking ceremony as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh for the second consecutive term, Lucknow, March 25, 2022 (ANI)
Updated on Mar 26, 2022 10:55 PM IST

What March 2022 says about May 2024

The PM is right. The BJP is in pole position to return to power for a third term

What does this history tell us about the significance of the 2022 elections? (ANI)
Published on Mar 12, 2022 06:41 PM IST
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