ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Third Democratic Upsurge in Uttar Pradesh

The upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh point to an electoral battle between the incumbent Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With a decline of identity politics in the state, the major political parties are trying to outdo each other in engineering alliances, reaching out to hitherto neglected, marginalised groups, under the garb of inclusive politics. Sensing an opportunity, these backward groups are turning away from their identity-based political anchors and being drawn towards parties that promise political and economic empowerment, signalling the beginning of the “third democratic upsurge” in UP.

Development and Governance Trump Caste Identities in Uttar Pradesh

The landslide victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha elections surprised not only its rivals and political observers, but even its own leaders. While the 71 seats won in UP significantly contributed to the BJP securing a majority in the Lok Sabha on its own, it is significant that the party made electoral gains across all castes and communities and across all regions in the state. This victory signalled a paradigm shift in voter behaviour, with a preference for good governance and development pushing out the identity politics of caste and community.

Uttar Pradesh - Communal Polarisation vs Caste Calculus

After a long time, the focus of the electorate in Uttar Pradesh is on the two national parties much to the discomfiture of regional ones. Whether Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party stand to gain from the changing caste dynamics in the state or the Congress from the increased communal polarisation post-Muzzafarnagar riots, is difficult to say.

Tribal 'Annihilation' and 'Upsurge' in Uttar Pradesh

Issues of identity, inclusion, social justice, political representation and empowerment form the backdrop of this enquiry that highlights the sufferings of tribals in Uttar Pradesh and points to a historical wrong that failed to recognise tribes in the state as scheduled tribes. This paper argues that contrary to conventional knowledge, UP has a substantial population of tribes who were "excluded" from constitutional and administrative category of scheduled tribes and wrongly placed in the "lower/lowest categories" of the Hindu social hierarchy. From a zero population of the scheduled tribes until 1970 to a population of one lakh in 2001 to an estimated 26 lakh plus in the 2011 Census is a bizarre story of tribal "annihilation" and upsurge in the state that warrants revisiting tribal issues. This will help to give them their due in political representation and socio-economic life as per their actual share in population.

Muslim Resurgence in Urban Local Bodies of Uttar Pradesh

The recent elections to urban local governments in Uttar Pradesh showed an astonishing increase in Muslim representation. In a state where they constitute 18% of the total population, Muslim candidates were elected to almost a third of the urban local body seats. What is even more surprising is that this trend is present in all regions of the state.

Charan Singh's Early Politics

An Indian Political Life: Charan Singh and Congress Politics, 1937-1961 by Paul R Brass (New Delhi: Sage), 2011; p xxx + 575, Rs 895.

Why Did Mayawati Lose?

The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party suffered a defeat in the Uttar Pradesh elections because of the losses in its dalit vote base. Voters seem to have favoured parties on the basis of expectations of better governance and "returns" rather than on the basis of identity alone.

Farmers' Suicides and Statehood Demand in Bundelkhand

Farmers' suicides in Bundelkhand are a result of several years of neglect of the agricultural sector and industrial backwardness. Neither the Uttar Pradesh nor the Madhya Pradesh government has made efforts to address the basic issues of ecological degradation, agricultural modernisation and rural indebtedness. The demand for a separate state only serves to satisfy political ends and is no solution for the multiple problems of Bundelkhand's farmers.

Subalterns in Uttar Pradesh: A New Trajectory

The subalterns in Uttar Pradesh - dalit bahujans - are not a homogenised social denomination. They themselves are a highly differentiated and hierarchical social bloc facing intra-caste discrimination. The elites amongst the dalit bahujans are taking advantage of their numbers to claim continuance of reservation benefits and affirmative action programmes without showing any inclination to pass them on to the marginalised.

Bahujan Samaj Party: Beyond Uttar Pradesh

The Bahujan Samaj Party's performance in the November-December 2008 assembly elections reveals an increase in the party's growth on the road to becoming a national party. However, its performance in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will not necessarily follow the pattern of its Uttar Pradesh "model".

Fourth Delimitation of Constituencies: An Appraisal

The Fourth Delimitation Commission has by and large done a reasonable job - given the mandate it was provided. This major exercise of redrawing the political map of India - changing the distribution of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies - was yet riddled with major shortcomings that violated the basic principles of representative democracy. Parliament shares the larger responsibility for the deficits in the exercise.

Relecting before Teaching

Are we preparing a dehumanised genera- Reflecting before Teaching tion or do we have to reap the harvest of a brotherhood society which can integrate with the global culture and yet maintain A K Verma its identity? And finally, how can educa- Unless we take a holistic view of education and infuse it with the right values, we cannot hope to reap the harvest of a humane society that can integrate with global culture and yet maintain its own identity.


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