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Firstpost Editors' Picks: BJP manifesto's path to growth, digital rights as election agenda, film on Punjab's Dalit farmers; today's must-read stories

BJP takes contrasting path to growth, poverty alleviation, pits top-down aspirations against Congress' bottom-up handouts

The catch lies in how we translate the word "sankalp" (pledge) in BJP's description of the manifesto as a "sankalp patra" as against the "ghoshna" (announcement) patra of other parties. BJP's 2019 manifesto, like the one five years ago, is full of generalities that have an eel-like slipperiness in terms of how to measure the new goals. No doubt, the BJP ended some of the UPA era mess on coal, spectrum and banking, but they seem be a hazy past as elections loom.

How coastal Karnataka was saffronised; part 7: Hindu groups rally behind love jihad; anti-Muslim sentiments seep into local consciousness

Starting from 2005, the stories around how Muslims were indulging in love jihad to lure Hindu girls became a topic of conversation at almost every meeting of the Sangh in Dakshin Kannada. These activities were further fuelled when BJP came to power in 2008. There are no registered cases of forced marriage or conversion in Dakshin Karnataka though, Asha Jagadeesh of the Matra Mandali alleges. Love jihad, according to Asha, is when "Hindu women are brainwashed by Muslim men to convert and marry them. These women are then used either to produce many babies or for some anti-national activities."

Digital rights of citizens in 2019 election manifestos: Inclusion in poll agenda signals key shift in discourse on policy making, governance

A key point to understand is that the inclusion of ‘digital’ rights and the wide net it casts on individual autonomy, identity, privacy, surveillance and cyber security signals a key shift in the Indian discourse on policy making and governance at a fundamental level. It therefore makes it an imperative for citizens and institutions to critically engage with these political ideologies, because irrespective of which party forms the government, the combined political ecosystem and the opposition will continue to shape public discourse on civil liberties in this digital age.

Indian track and field stars’ decision to train at home instead of international stints suggests they are giving up global dreams

It is important for all of India’s track and field athletes to develop an attitude that can enable them to aim higher. And that can happen if such thinking is instilled in them at a very early stage of their lives. For, they find it hard to adapt to a new mindset that requires them to be away from familiar environment. They seem okay to be training in national camps, but fight shy of being overseas. Only when such a transformation comes along can India call itself an athletics nation.

Landless: A film on Punjab's Dalit farmers gives the community a voice that statisticians often fail to

It is ironical that something so ubiquitous, so endless as land, can be the cause of someone’s oppression. But so has been the history of India’s royalty, its landlords and merchants, even its colonial takeover — land is more than just land, it is privilege. Consequently, the ones who do not own any are the poorest and therefore, the weakest. Maddoke’s documentary gives the landless Dalits of Punjab a voice that statisticians and data collectors often fail to.

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Updated Date: Apr 08, 2019 19:58:50 IST

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