Reflex Action

Author: 
Ashis Biswas

In a closely contested election it is not often that both winners and the runners-up end up celebrating the results. Curiously, that is precisely what happened in the recently concluded Assam panchayat elections. Leaders of both BJP and Congress had their reasons to cheer as the results were announced a few days ago.

Author: 
Rob Miller

On January 1 2019, the Cuban people celebrated the 60th anniversary of their revolution. Following years of struggle Cubans finally defeated the forces of the brutal dictator Fulgencia Batista and his backers in the United States. Yet as Fidel Castro famously predicted the United States would never cease in its efforts to destroy the revolution.

Author: 
Barun Das Gupta

China has suffered two major diplomatic setbacks in Asia within the span of one month. The first was its failure to get its protégé Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed as Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. The second was the defeat of its friend Abdulla Yameen in the presidential election of Maldives at the hands of Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a close friend of India.

It may appear to be odd that India’s nearly 150-million 60-plus-year old population, generally politically active though not always quite vocal, is among the country’s most neglected by the society and the government. There is no worthwhile social security for the aged. A small section lives on their income from savings, a large part of which is routinely spent on doctors and medicines that come under no insurance cover. A still smaller section tries to live on their pensions. They are mostly retired public servants and teachers.

Author: 
Conn Hallinan

In what seems a replay of recent German and Italian elections, an openly authoritarian and racist party made major electoral gains in Spain’s most populous province, Andalusia, helping to dethrone the Socialist Party that had dominated the southern region for 36 years. Vox (Voice)—a party that stands for “Spain First,” restrictions on women’s rights, ending abortion, stopping immigration, and dismantling the country’s regional governments—won almost 11 percent of the vote.

Author: 
B. Sivaraman

In an unusual gesture, Prime Minister Modi chose to personally announce an increase in honorarium for scheme workers like anganwadi workers and accredited social health activists (ASHAs) on 21 September 2018. He even called it a “landmark increase in remuneration”. However, the increase turned out to be quite paltry in absolute terms.

Author: 
Nitya Chakraborty

Now that the Congress has won convincingly in the state assembly elections in Chhattisgarh and formed the Government after fifteen years of rule by the BJP headed by Dr. Raman Singh, the time has come for the Congress leadership at both state and central level to take up real dialogue with the Naxalites and make sincere efforts to go into the root of the problem of violence in the affected districts.

Author: 
Donald Donato

According to the narrative repeated by most news sources, the “Gilets Jaunes” (Yellow Vests) uprising began ‘spontaneously’ on Saturday, November 17, when approximately 300,000 activists, incensed by a heavy regressive tax on fuel, began a series of roadblocks and protests which snowballed across France.

Author: 
Nitya Chakraborty

The results of the assembly elections in the three states-Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have underlined the need for total unity of the opposition parties including the Congress, BSP and the Samajwadi Party. The Congress has done exceedingly well in Chhattisgarh on its own but in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Party could have been in far more comfortable position if there had been a total alliance of the anti-BJP parties including the BSP and the SP.

Author: 
Gyan Pathak

Election results of the five state Assemblies point to the shrinking support base of the BJP and the rising support for Congress, especially in the states where the two national parties were engaged in a direct fight. With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the situation is worrisome for the BJP. However, Congress also needs to tread more carefully because wherever they are in direct fight with the state parties, Congress candidates tend to get defeated.

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