Friday, April 24, 2009

Jana Gana Mana Vs Vande Mataram Controversy

I wrote an article on this, which was posted as a guest post on Shantanu's blog on April 24, 2009.

It is available here with comments !

Monday, April 20, 2009

Comparison of Party Manifestoes

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Six Myths About Indian Elections

Do women in India vote according to the wishes of their husbands? Do Muslims vote as a community? Political scientist Yogendra Yadav examines six myths surrounding the Indian elections.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Legal Reform in India

It seems legal profession in India is highly nepotistic. Lots of patronage-client relationships.
Will a jury system help ?

This may be true of some other professions - like CA, Doctors - as well ?
How to bring in more professionalism into these fields ?

What are the trends in general ? Are there ways of hastening things up ?

How to make the justice system in India fairer and faster ?

Hindutva, Secularism and the importance of 'framing' in general

In some interpretations of Hindutva - as I discovered - it means the same as secularism.

The problem is that most people - both Hindutva supporters, and opposers - this meaning is not clear. If for example, RSS organises a rally to promote secular principle or religious harmony etc, not many people may join.

Organisations, and political parties are too clever not to recognise this confusion. They seem to be exploiting it infact. If they are really serious about the all embracing and secular values of Hinduism, the need to proactively and explicitly frame things right. The use of 'Hindutva' for secularism is not going to work unfortunately, as it is too close to a particular religion, and very widely misunderstood now. For example, imagining the word for secularism in 'urdu' India wide ... I am sure it will not be as welcome and 'neutral' as the english word 'secularism'.

Framing is important. Both to create confusion. And to dispell it.

Laws vs People/Parties

A 1.5 hr discussion with Rahul Mehta from Ahmedabad brought out an interesting thought :
It is perhaps easy to gather support for a law or legislation, rather than a party or a person. Because law is (supposedly) neutral, and people can (theoretically) judge for themselves whether it makes sense. Different parties and people can support the law, and people can promote the law in their party of group of choice.

Rahul has clearly done lot of thinking on the 'root causes' and solutions to India's problems today. And has come up with some 'master-key laws' to solve these problems.
eg. 1. Right for citizens to have their complaints displayed on PMs website
2. Right for citizens to recall/dismiss local officials/bureaucrats if they are not performing

Checkout precisely at :

Rahul also been advocating this for many years now. Has also launched a political party in Ahmedabad recetly around this it seems.

What is positive about India, Asia ?

There are different levels of optimism about our past and future among different sets of people. Common people are generally more balanced and relatively on the positive side, academics tend to be more negative and focussed on failures.

Kishore Mahbubani is a rare academic/diplomat bringing about the positives, and therefore important rare truths and perspectives about Asia.

The longer audio interview is more comprehensive and better :

Very interesting !

A more balanced view:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Know your constituency, state

1. Click on
2. Select your state, constituency
3. Select language
4. Generate code and Add this code on your *website/blogs.*

eg. For Jabalpur and MP, see tables below :

It seems 13 candidates are contesting this time from Jabalpur. Tradionally, the key battle is between BJP (Candidate this time : Mr Rakesh Singh) and Congress (Candidate this time : Mr Rameshwar Neekhra). Ref :

Also see:

Uma Bharti -