Although the intricacies of the upcoming race—such as the selection of candidates and the rhetoric of campaigns—remain unknown one year out, underlying structural conditions suggest far rockier terrain may lie ahead.
Successive governments in New Delhi since the end of the Cold War have managed to construct and nurture a measure of foreign policy consensus and nudge India along a pragmatic international trajectory.
Karnataka offers an alternative model state based not only on growth, but also on the closing of social and religious gaps, in contrast to the socio-economic, caste, and communal polarization which prevail in western and northern India.
The recent contestation of Rahul Gandhi’s religious identity highlights the challenge in India today to recover the secularism of Nehru and Gandhi, for whom the assertion of one’s Hindu identity did not imply an anti-Muslim or anti-Christian attitude.
In an era when the Congress and the BJP can agree on next to nothing, they will gladly join hands to save their own skin—in this case, by changing a law that no longer exists.
After decades of reservation policy, dalits are getting some education and a new awareness of their rights, enabling them to counter dominant castes’ antagonistic attitudes and the rise of Hindutva forces.
Billed as a victory for transparency in political funding, electoral bonds are guaranteed to garner positive headlines. Upon closer inspection, however, the bonds appear to legitimize opacity in political finance rather than combat it.
The tight competition in Gujarat and the behavior of the BJP leadership during the campaign suggest that the BJP’s dominance may be more vulnerable than previously realized.
Despite efforts to criticize the BJP’s handling of identity politics and the economy, the Congress party has not yet addressed its need for strong leadership and a clear vision for the future.
Unable to campaign on the economic growth it had expected, the BJP is crafting an alternative narrative for 2019 emphasizing economic stability, efforts to curb black money, and the absence of high-level corruption.