articles by Ajaz Ashraf

India

Indian obsession with Kashmir in times of devastating floods shows how State deflects attention from failure of development model

The flawed priority order of Indian state in keeping Kashmir above devastation from floods shows how dominant groups in the nation prioritise the problems for the state to solve

India

Pehlu Khan murder: Acquittal of accused shocks Muslims, threatens to weaken community's faith in judiciary

Unlike political parties, the judiciary is not susceptible to the game of numbers; its powers do not flow from winning elections.

India

Sakshi Mishra is real-life equivalent of Article 15's hero and a model for Ambedkar's ideas on inter-caste marriage

Sakshi, the 23-year-old daughter of BJP MLA Rajesh Mishra, used social media as a weapon to neutralise the superior might of her father, who was allegedly opposed to her marrying Ajitesh, a Dalit.

Politics

Rahul Gandhi's resignation as Congress chief a conscious exercise of power, grudging acceptance that organisation needs to be rebuilt

One thing the resignation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president will not do to him is to reduce his status to even that of primus inter pares or first among equals. He will continue to tower over other party leaders. It is to him they will turn for settling factional disputes, build consensus on contentious policy issues, and campaign for them during elections.

Politics

44th anniversary of Emergency: How love letters between Madhu and Pramila Dandavate in jail defied odds of authoritarian rule

The letters of the Dandavates are both a celebration of their love as well as defiance of the authoritarian rule, their refusal to bend and submit to it during the 1975 Emergency.

Politics

Understanding politics of violence in West Bengal: Shaped by fault lines in social structures, politicians play zero-sum game to maintain dominance

Social scientists have called West Bengal's model of rural society post-1977 as 'party-society', which signifies a blurring of the line between the society and the party.

Politics

Disquiet and fury in Dalit middle class over Mayawati's decision to break mahagathbandhan

The mahagathbandhan, stitched up in January, promised to squeeze out the bitterness from the Dalit-Yadav relationship and reconfigure their ties to their mutual benefit.

Politics

Widespread use of NOTA in Bihar should compel EC to tweak rules, improve option's efficacy

Bihar's romance with NOTA in the Lok Sabha elections should persuade the Election Commission to alter the rules to turn it into a more lethal political weapon.

Politics

After Congress' poor show in Lok Sabha election, Rahul Gandhi must find a new way for party and self to connect with people

The disastrous performance of the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha election will prompt many to deride party president Rahul Gandhi, who fought hard to pull his party out of the existential crisis in which it has been permanently trapped

Politics

Akhilesh Yadav is the politician to look out for no matter the magnitude of his success in Lok Sabha elections 2019

It is to Akhilesh’s credit that he has succeeded in assuaging Mayawati’s doubts. No doubt, the compulsion of survival prompted them to sweep aside the bitterness of the past, including the murderous attack that the SP MLAs mounted on Mayawati on 2 June, 1995.

Politics

Rahul Gandhi's political adaptation of Buddhist philosophy of loving-kindness is just not cutting ice

It is possible his reading and practising of Buddhism has transformed him, but Rahul Gandhi is still a long way away from turning loving-kindness into a political weapon against the BJP-RSS.

Politics

Hypocrisy of Delhi liberals: Afraid they'll split anti-BJP votes, the lot is obsessed with gauging if AAP or Congress is best

The desperation that Uttar Pradesh's Muslims once felt is now that of the Delhi liberals largely because of the Congress' failure to ally with AAP.

long-reads

For Indian Muslims, elections bring caste divide among Ashrafs, Pasmandas to the fore

The caste system constitutes the reality of Indian Muslims, as it does of Hindus. The Muslims are broadly divided into the elite upper castes, or the Ashrafs, and the subaltern lower castes, or the Pasmandas. The differences between these two broad categories of castes come to the fore before every election.

Politics

Lok Sabha Election 2019: Kanhaiya Kumar can do in Begusarai what AAP did in Delhi in 2013; here's why

Delhi dramatically broke away from old patterns of political behaviour in 2013. It is now Begusarai's turn to dare. Kanhaiya Kumar has every reason to hope he could do in Begusarai what AAP did in Delhi in 2013.

Politics

Lok Sabha polls: Polarisation, NaMo TV twin features of BJP's strategy to fan anxiety, anger and fear among public

NaMo TV is akin to evangelical TV channels offering a panacea to a distraught people: Vote for BJP and Modi to feel secure about the future.

Politics

LK Advani uses statesmanship as mere political tool; his moral position shifts in tandem with his political graph

Long before he spearheaded the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, Advani sought to carve out a Hindu vote-bank and undermine India’s composite culture.

India

Welfarism is the primary weapon of the Congress

The Congress has always been Hindu in its personality, signifying elite upper-caste interests but pulling in lower castes because of its policy of patronage

Politics

Battle for Muzaffarnagar reflects Opposition's use of caste to trump Hindutva in LS polls; secularism not on ballot

The Opposition has offered the public the option of choosing between caste and Hindutva.

Politics

Modi's Mission Shakti speech: BJP appears nervous, celebrating missile could be PM assailing his fears

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation announcing the successful testing of the anti-satellite missile on Wednesday encapsulates the essence of his political style

India

'Mediation' unlikely to solve complicated Ayodhya dispute, but Supreme Court's decision won't affect Lok Sabha elections

The only salutary aspect of Supreme Court's decision to appoint a three-member panel to mediate in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, or the Ayodhya dispute, is that its forbidding shadow will not fall on the forthcoming Lok Sabha election