Prashant Jha

Prashant Jha

As an associate editor with Hindustan Times, Prashant Jha covers national politics and Indian foreign policy. He is the author of Battles of The New Republic:A Contemporary History of Nepal. He is particularly interested in India’s neighbourhood, and politics in the Gangetic plains.

Articles by Prashant Jha
With the SC order, Nepal has possibly averted a crisis which would have torn apart its nascent democratic system, shaken the constitutional structure, pushed the country towards prolonged political instability and led to the entrenched authoritarianism of KP Oli (REUTERS)
With the SC order, Nepal has possibly averted a crisis which would have torn apart its nascent democratic system, shaken the constitutional structure, pushed the country towards prolonged political instability and led to the entrenched authoritarianism of KP Oli (REUTERS)

Where Nepali and Indian interests meet

UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 07:12 PM IST
With the judiciary standing up to Oli, the room is open for an alternative. India must revise its approach
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Shaibal Gupta also made a pioneering contribution in explaining the historical roots and the evolution of Bihar’s politics, which have today become the staple of everyday political analysis. (FACEBOOK)
Shaibal Gupta also made a pioneering contribution in explaining the historical roots and the evolution of Bihar’s politics, which have today become the staple of everyday political analysis. (FACEBOOK)

The life and times of a Patna intellectual

UPDATED ON JAN 31, 2021 06:20 AM IST
Shaibal Gupta was rooted and cosmopolitan; idealistic and pragmatic; and an insider and outsider — all at the same time. Patna’s public life will not the same without him.
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The year that will be: The political battles of 2021

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 05, 2021 06:10 AM IST
This year’s electoral fights will give a glimpse into the nature of identity-based politics and their message will last till 2024.
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The government had a genuine dilemma — enable people to return home and risk the spread of the infection, or seek to confine people to wherever they were at the time of the onset of the lockdown.(HT photo)
The government had a genuine dilemma — enable people to return home and risk the spread of the infection, or seek to confine people to wherever they were at the time of the onset of the lockdown.(HT photo)

How India was governed in 2020

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 28, 2020 05:14 AM IST
2020 was the year when it became clear that the governance structure in India was integral to everyday life in ways that citizens had perhaps never experienced before.
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Senior leader of the Indian National Congress party Ahmed Patel.(Hindustan Times)
Senior leader of the Indian National Congress party Ahmed Patel.(Hindustan Times)

The centrality of Ahmed Patel in Indian politics

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 26, 2020 03:21 AM IST
Ahmed Patel’s loss is the most significant setback to India’s Grand Old Party in recent times.
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Ahmed Patel.(PTI File)
Ahmed Patel.(PTI File)

The centrality of Ahmed Patel in Indian politics

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON NOV 25, 2020 02:03 PM IST
If there was one Congress leader who had an almost instinctive understanding of how to manage these various sources and sites of power, it was Ahmed Patel
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addresses a gathering during an election meeting, for Bihar Assembly elections, in Katihar.(PTI)
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addresses a gathering during an election meeting, for Bihar Assembly elections, in Katihar.(PTI)

BJP gives Bihar to Nitish Kumar

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 11, 2020 06:03 AM IST
Chief minister set for another term as ruling NDA prevails in a tight contest, riding on Modi’s popularity and its social coalition.
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Supporters of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hold their party symbols and flags as they gather to celebrate after learning of the initial poll results of the Bihar state assembly election and by-elections in Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh states, in Gandhinagar.(REUTERS)
Supporters of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hold their party symbols and flags as they gather to celebrate after learning of the initial poll results of the Bihar state assembly election and by-elections in Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh states, in Gandhinagar.(REUTERS)

Bihar Assembly Election 2020: How the BJP got itself in driver’s seat in Bihar poll

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 11, 2020 09:30 AM IST
Though the BJP did not want to risk going it alone in Bihar, it wanted to expand its footprint in the state; the gamble paid off, making it the senior partner in the alliance.
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Take the US first. It is clear that the contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is not just of personalities; both represent contrasting visions of how the US is to be governed.(AFP file photo)
Take the US first. It is clear that the contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is not just of personalities; both represent contrasting visions of how the US is to be governed.(AFP file photo)

US Presidential Election 2020: Who will it be, America?

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 02, 2020 04:44 AM IST
The US presidential election on November 3 will not only decide America’s fate, but also the nature of geo-political relations globally and the future of liberal democracy.
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My life has been about reconciling contradictions: NK Singh

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2020 08:38 AM IST
In an interview with HT, Singh examines his early socialisation in Bihar, the economic doctrines that governed India in the 1960s and 1970s and its subsequent evolution, the current political moment, and the structural challenges faced by India.
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The then minister for railways, Ram Vilas Paswan, hangs outside a coach at the inauguration of the Railway Pavilion at Pragati Maidan on June 4, 1997.(HT Archive)
The then minister for railways, Ram Vilas Paswan, hangs outside a coach at the inauguration of the Railway Pavilion at Pragati Maidan on June 4, 1997.(HT Archive)

Ram Vilas Paswan: Socialist icon, consummate politician

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 09, 2020 06:41 AM IST
In 1969, a tall and lanky Dalit political activist, in his early 20s, entered the Bihar legislative assembly as a legislator of the Samyukta Socialist Party.
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A photograph of MK Gandhi taken by Margaret Bourke-White in 1946 for Life magazine.(National Gandhi Museum)
A photograph of MK Gandhi taken by Margaret Bourke-White in 1946 for Life magazine.(National Gandhi Museum)

Becoming a Gandhian

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 02, 2020 06:35 AM IST
As we remember the Mahatma this year, it is time to return to the core ideas which made him what he was. To rediscover these, Hindustan Times returns to a set of sparkling essays published last year as a part of a series titled Gandhi: 150 Years On.
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Given India’s deprivation, the overwhelming poverty, the inequalities that permeated every sphere, Independence had to mean socioeconomic justice.(ARVIND YADAV/HT PHOTO)
Given India’s deprivation, the overwhelming poverty, the inequalities that permeated every sphere, Independence had to mean socioeconomic justice.(ARVIND YADAV/HT PHOTO)

India an unprecedented story of success, but challenges remain

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 14, 2020 11:37 PM IST
Foreign observers were sceptical about India’s ability to remain free and united, especially given its diversity and internal lack of political and administrative coherence.
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Policemen run near road blockades set up by protesters in Srinagar on October 29, 2019.(Waseem Andrabi/ht)
Policemen run near road blockades set up by protesters in Srinagar on October 29, 2019.(Waseem Andrabi/ht)

Decoding the J&K puzzle

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 05, 2020 03:37 AM IST
There had been anger on the Indian street against what was widely perceived as the special treatment meted out to Kashmir; resentment against mainstream Kashmiri leaders for playing to both galleries and speaking a language of radicalism in Srinagar and of moderation in Delhi; hurt at the lives of soldiers lost and innocents killed due to terrorism.
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A million Indians have been infected by Covid-19 and over 25,000 are dead due to the disease.
A million Indians have been infected by Covid-19 and over 25,000 are dead due to the disease.

Coronavirus crisis: A million that changed India in countless ways

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 18, 2020 09:46 AM IST
As patterns shift across sectors, a new post-pandemic nation is taking root, but the old hasn’t gone away.
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The world was in flux before the coronavirus pandemic. Central tenets of the international order that were institutionalised after the Second World War in 1945 and reinforced — with greater gusto — after the end of the Cold War in 1991, were up for question.(ILLUSTRATION: JAYACHANDRAN)
The world was in flux before the coronavirus pandemic. Central tenets of the international order that were institutionalised after the Second World War in 1945 and reinforced — with greater gusto — after the end of the Cold War in 1991, were up for question.(ILLUSTRATION: JAYACHANDRAN)

Covid-19 pandemic prompts a changed world order

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 28, 2020 05:53 AM IST
The United States took an unprecedented inward turn with the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016, retreating from the very institutions, economic principles and military outreach that helped it become a superpower and sustain its power.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on the extension of lockdown on April 14.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation on the extension of lockdown on April 14.(PTI)

100 days of Covid-19: Pandemic presents a new political paradigm

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 17, 2020 06:55 AM IST
Covid has claimed about 12,000 lives in India, with cases and fatalities rising in recent weeks. HT EXPLORES HOW THE PANDEMIC has shaped national issues since march 2, seen as the beginning of the infection’s first wave in India, and changed personal lives and habits. The outbreak pushed to the fore the urgency of health care, plight of migrant workers, and economic hardships. It also put to test federalism and made political parties innovate.
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As Trump visits India this week, there is both continuity and rupture. Larger forces still drive the relationship, particularly the strategic imperative of countering China(AP)
As Trump visits India this week, there is both continuity and rupture. Larger forces still drive the relationship, particularly the strategic imperative of countering China(AP)

How individuals tilt the balance in diplomacy | Opinion

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2020 08:53 PM IST
India’s aim with the visit is essentially a way to manage the individual — which is why an excessive focus on outcomes is mistaken — even as Delhi hopes that larger forces, national interests and events will continue to bind the two countries together
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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Others bite the dust as AAP sweeps Delhi again

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2020 01:31 AM IST
Kejriwal’s victory sparked celebrations among non-BJP regional parties, many of which are competing with the BJP in their own states.
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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur(ANI)
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur(ANI)

What the budget means for India story, BJP’s fortunes

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 02, 2020 05:34 AM IST
Growth has slipped, jeopardising both macro economic stability. Inflation has spiked, potentially leading to citizen discontent.
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PM Narendra Modi and current Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, in New Delhi on May 23, 2019, celebrating the BJP’s victory in the 2019 general elections.(Money Sharma/AFP)
PM Narendra Modi and current Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, in New Delhi on May 23, 2019, celebrating the BJP’s victory in the 2019 general elections.(Money Sharma/AFP)

Review: 2019: How Modi Won India by Rajdeep Sardesai

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 31, 2020 08:05 PM IST
Rajdeep Sardesai examines the election machine, resources, welfare, nationalism, Hindutva mobilisation, the use of the media and the mobile, and the persona of Narendra Modi himself to explain why the BJP did as well as it did in the 2019 election
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There is a risk of citizens losing faith in the State, and State’s own authority getting undermined(Amal KS/HTPHOTO)
There is a risk of citizens losing faith in the State, and State’s own authority getting undermined(Amal KS/HTPHOTO)

The Indian State’s flawed use of force

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON JAN 14, 2020 05:27 PM IST
It has a monopoly over force. But Kashmir, UP, Jamia, JNU throw up disturbing questions
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DPT truly emerged as a public figure when he came to Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 1973, became a part of the Students Federation of India (SFI), and eventually the president of the JNU Students Union(PTI)
DPT truly emerged as a public figure when he came to Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in 1973, became a part of the Students Federation of India (SFI), and eventually the president of the JNU Students Union(PTI)

DPT: the original student hero, a true democrat

PUBLISHED ON JAN 04, 2020 04:16 PM IST
He was a rare politician, a remarkably warm and generous human being, a leader with empathy and a committed democrat and constitutionalist
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Senior NCP leader and former MP, DP Tripathi passed away on Thursday.(PTI File Photo)
Senior NCP leader and former MP, DP Tripathi passed away on Thursday.(PTI File Photo)

DP Tripathi, JNU’s original student leader and anti-Emergency crusader, dies

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2020 02:41 PM IST
As DPT passes away, thousands of people whose lives he touched — in his home state of Uttar Pradesh, in JNU and across universities, in Maharashtra where his party just returned to power, across Indian political theatre where he had close friends, and in Nepal — would be grieving.
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2019 saw a paradox. A strong, stable government was in power in New Delhi, armed with an overwhelming majority, a strong and popular leader, risk-taking appetite, the inclination to take radical decisions, and a weak opposition.(ILLUSTRATION: MOHIT SUNEJA)
2019 saw a paradox. A strong, stable government was in power in New Delhi, armed with an overwhelming majority, a strong and popular leader, risk-taking appetite, the inclination to take radical decisions, and a weak opposition.(ILLUSTRATION: MOHIT SUNEJA)

The India story and choices that will define it

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 01, 2020 06:09 AM IST
This is the year when India has to revive its story, both domestically and globally. It has to politically show to critics at home and the world outside that its democracy is functional and vibrant, and that it remains committed to its constitutional values.
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The overwhelming consensus, thus, was that Modi may return to power, but with depleted numbers. (Photo @BJP4India)
The overwhelming consensus, thus, was that Modi may return to power, but with depleted numbers. (Photo @BJP4India)

The return of BJP in a big election year

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 14, 2020 07:00 PM IST
BJP will be satisfied at redefining the rules to access power yet again in Delhi. It has exhibited its ability to leverage opportunities. But Maharashtra and Jharkhand made sure it was not all sunshine for the party.
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Narendra Modi’s rise symbolised all that had changed in India. His rise was also a precursor to all that would change through the rest of the decade. And that was because Modi was not just an individual figure — but represented the redefinition of the idea and conception of political power in India.(Photo: AP)
Narendra Modi’s rise symbolised all that had changed in India. His rise was also a precursor to all that would change through the rest of the decade. And that was because Modi was not just an individual figure — but represented the redefinition of the idea and conception of political power in India.(Photo: AP)

The BJP effect and the remaking of India

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 28, 2019 10:49 AM IST
The previous decade was an era of coalitions and whichever party was able to get its caste matrix and alliances right would prevail. Just two elections later, chemistry has trumped arithmetic as elections have become truly presidential.
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US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands.(Reuters file photo)
US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands.(Reuters file photo)

How the US’ retreat and China’s rise changed the world in this decade

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 27, 2019 10:53 AM IST
The decade was marked by the US retreat from its traditional commitments; the rise of economic protectionism, nationalism, illiberalism; and the emergence of China as the other pole in the global order
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JMM emerged as the single largest party with 30 seats; its key ally, the Congress, bagged 16(PTI)
JMM emerged as the single largest party with 30 seats; its key ally, the Congress, bagged 16(PTI)

Jharkhand jolt for BJP, Hemant Soren’s JMM-led alliance soars

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, Ranchi
UPDATED ON DEC 24, 2019 12:53 AM IST
BJP’s defeat has been ascribed largely to local factors, though the outcome also reflects an emerging pattern in which the party is increasingly unable to defend power at the state-level.
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People celebrate the Ayodhya case verdict, outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi on Saturday.(PTI Photo)
People celebrate the Ayodhya case verdict, outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi on Saturday.(PTI Photo)

136 years on, what the Ayodhya verdict means for India

By Prashant Jha | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 20, 2020 09:14 PM IST
As the Supreme Court delivered one of the most consequential judgements in India’s judicial history on Saturday, enabling the construction of a temple on the disputed site in Ayodhya, history would have weighed heavily on the five judges.
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