Short thread: One very intellectually dishonest argument being advanced, that too by some academics, that multi-phase election in Bengal, as opposed to Tamil Nadu, is only to suit the BJP. At least there should be intellectual integrity to acknowledge the facts....(1/n)
1. Bengal elections have always had way more phases than Tamil Nadu including 8 phases (7, with 6th phase called 6A and 6B) last election when BJP was a non-entity, and that was the case for 2 decades now 2. The reason for that is simple - Bengal has violence in politics...(2/n)
...and we can literally see that the day of the results with visuals of BJP offices and workers homes being attacked and burnt - a common feature in that state which is why Mamta herself had sought multiple phases when she was in Opposition and Communist gundagardi....(3/n) to pretend as if there is no case here and not even mentioning this fact is just dishonest. 3. Panchayat elections in Bengal were rigged and there was intimidation by the TMC and this has been acknowledged by everyone (barring TMC) (4/n)
So make the argument that 8 phases was not needed. But not by not even having the intellectual integrity to acknowledge these facts and arguments and pretending otherwise. Bad commentary; and even worse when it comes from academics in political science (5/5).

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More from @akshayalladi

5 Dec 20
General musings in this thread: The Rajni Kothari approach of influencing policies and ideas/ ideology with movements and an ecosystem linked to factions *within* political parties is highly underrated. (1/n)
India is not non-ideological. But India does have a different ideology space (well described in the book Ideology and Identity by Chibber and @rahul_tverma )- with the classic left- right, liberal- conservative kind of binaries being inapplicable. (2/n)
Also, both ideology AND identity matter (as they do in most heterogenous societies). So the key point is - for most ideologies (other than those defined by India’s unique ideological axes), the fact is people are neither in favour, nor opposed - they are just ...indifferent.(3/n)
Read 11 tweets
4 Dec 20
Which of these reforms involving using political capital is the most *impactful* for the Union government to do:

Note- Privatisation here includes asset monetisation as well, such as selling prime land used by PSUs, armed forces etc.
For the same set, which of these reforms is the most *feasible* to do- that is the political capital consumed will not be very high.
Given your view on both poll 1 and 2, what is a pragmatic course of action you would recommend for the govt. - where they can do the highest impact, but also feasible reforms
Read 4 tweets
2 Dec 20
Thread: The argument on the merits of the farm reform bill are anyway compelling, and validated by experts. Self described “Pro-reform” people in commentariat have hence latched on to the high minded principle - laws should be with consultations. Excellent. Let’s Google...
Read this report of Standing Committee of Parliament submitted in 2019. See what are the reforms called for in APMC. The standing committee by the way has 31 MPs across parties, only 13 of whom were from the BJP
Read this news story about a committee of CMs. See what their terms of reference was.…
Read 7 tweets
18 Oct 20
100% agree. This is a fundamental issue of sovereignty, not an FoE issue.
This point is worth elaborating. It is wrong to frame this issue as some debate about what are the responsibilities and limits of free speech. Reasonable people can differ on that question. But this issue is NOT about that.
The nation-state of France has been created to advance the interests of the French people- that is the nation. A state has a legitimate *monopoly* of power - that is to create laws, and enforce them, with violent force if required.
Read 13 tweets
20 Aug 20
Thread: Interesting debate online on UCC. Will blog my views when I find the time, but the headlines- I am in favour 1. Cultural diversity doesn’t always need different family laws for different groups. 2. The liberal argument is clear- the state should frame laws for individuals
BUT even if one doesn’t accept the liberal argument, Indian conservatives have rightly embraced one aspect of modernity which is nationalism. Nationalism argues that the nation is a corporate body that seeks its sovereign state to advance its goals.
Different systems of law altogether (as opposed to mere provisions for disadvantaged groups as an exception) detract from that principle of a unified corporation. As a “strong society, weak state” (to use the Daren Acemoglu framing) India has been outside the “narrow corridor”..
Read 7 tweets
6 Jun 20
Long thread: Poorly argued column on why Modi doesn’t feature in a list of India’s reformist PMs. Since some version of this argument is used by many, counters in this thread, with an argument of what I think is the fundamental misdiagnosis by most (lazy) analyses
First the headlines: 1. Modi IS a reformist PM 2. As a reformer he clearly ranks below PVNR, it is arguable if he is tied with ABV or not; including MMS in the list of reformist PMs is 🙄 3. However Modi’s economic mgmt. has been poor; econ. management is NOT = reforms
So on q1- is he a reformist PM? Just tot up a list- IBC; inflation targeting; GST; RERA; infra financing through InVITS, TOTs and REITs; corporate tax changes. This is before current round where every sector in the Indian economy is opened up for private sector ...
Read 20 tweets

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