Assam, Jan 11 (ANI): BJP national president J.P. Nadda addresses the BJP supporters during a public meeting, at the Police parade ground in Silchar on Monday. (ANI)
Assam, Jan 11 (ANI): BJP national president J.P. Nadda addresses the BJP supporters during a public meeting, at the Police parade ground in Silchar on Monday. (ANI)

The BJP’s political pitch in Assam | HT Editorial

Even as it starts out as the favourite, the BJP must be careful in how it navigates the historical tensions on identity in the region
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 08:00 PM IST

Assam is important to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — not just because it is the biggest state in the Northeast but because it is seen as the gateway to the region. In the party’s worldview, Assam is a site of contestation between those seeking greater integration with the nation and those who have sought to retain a distinct, sub-national identity for Assam. It is also a state where the battle of demographics — between those who consider themselves indigenous and those who are seen as “outsiders”, primarily Muslims from Bangladesh — has been fought.

And that is why BJP president JP Nadda’s visit to the state to prepare for assembly polls is significant. The BJP promised to deport immigrants in the 2016 election. Under the Supreme Court’s order, the National Register of Citizens was updated — but this process was flawed, had tremendous humanitarian consequences, and left all sides unhappy. To offset the exclusion from the NRC process, the BJP was seen to have brought in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act — but this riled Assam even more because the resentment is targeted at all outsiders, irrespective of religion, while the BJP was accused of creating room for entry of outsiders who may share the majority religious faith.

But it speaks of how quickly politics evolves that while the issue of immigrants remains contentious, the BJP’s own campaign is focused on leadership, governance and alliances in sub-regions — the absence of a strong opposition helps. Even as it starts out as the favourite, the BJP must be careful in how it navigates the historical tensions on identity in the region.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The mega-project, with an initial outlay of $ 46 billion, envisages CPEC as a hub with Gwadar’s port, energy, transport infrastructure and industrial cooperation as its four main spokes.(REUTERS)
The mega-project, with an initial outlay of $ 46 billion, envisages CPEC as a hub with Gwadar’s port, energy, transport infrastructure and industrial cooperation as its four main spokes.(REUTERS)

CPEC: China’s designs, Pakistan’s ambivalence, and India’s opposition

By Sujan Chinoy
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:35 PM IST
Economic motivation apart, China seeks to use the CPEC to consolidate its presence in a disputed region. If internal instability overwhelms Pakistan in the future, the CPEC affords China an opportunity to claim Hunza on the basis of specious historical records.
Close
Women farmers during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, Ghazipur (Delhi-UP border), January 18, 2021 (Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)
Women farmers during the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, Ghazipur (Delhi-UP border), January 18, 2021 (Sakib Ali /Hindustan Times)

The political economy driving farm protests

By Neelanjan Sircar
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:30 PM IST
The concentration of political and economic power has made democratic contestation challenging. Citizens are finding other methods
Close
Given the fragile nature of social protection for these working women, all provision of maternity protection should be universally applicable to all working women regardless of the consistency or duration of work and independent of their current status of employment. ((SHUTTERSTOCK))
Given the fragile nature of social protection for these working women, all provision of maternity protection should be universally applicable to all working women regardless of the consistency or duration of work and independent of their current status of employment. ((SHUTTERSTOCK))

The government must universalise maternity benefits

By Dipa Sinha, Jashodhara Dasgupta
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:33 PM IST
Maternity benefits should be a right of all workers regardless of employment status, or the number of children
Close
Actions will need to address affordability of phones and computers, female digital literacy and its social context and inadequate technical content dedicated to women and girls (HT File Photo)
Actions will need to address affordability of phones and computers, female digital literacy and its social context and inadequate technical content dedicated to women and girls (HT File Photo)

Enhancing women’s employment is key to economic recovery

By Sanjay Kathuria
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:19 AM IST
Recovery efforts cannot be gender-blind, because, as the saying goes, “gender-blind is not gender-neutral.” There are four areas where government policy can help ameliorate long-standing issues.
Close
Relatively speaking, the number of people reporting side effects is a fraction of the total immunised (REUTERS)
Relatively speaking, the number of people reporting side effects is a fraction of the total immunised (REUTERS)

Have faith in the vaccines | HT Editorial

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:18 AM IST
India began its vaccination drive against Covid-19 on Saturday
Close
Two aspects of WhatsApp’s actions negate its claims — its ultimatum to users, including individual users, to allow sharing of data with Facebook or exit the app and that it is doing so in a discriminatory fashion (Shutterstock)
Two aspects of WhatsApp’s actions negate its claims — its ultimatum to users, including individual users, to allow sharing of data with Facebook or exit the app and that it is doing so in a discriminatory fashion (Shutterstock)

The government can, and must, stand for privacy

By NS Nappinai
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:19 AM IST
The clarion call for protection can provide succour not only against WhatsApp and its discriminatory data-sharing policy, but also against all digital platforms
Close
The decision to support Ghani shows that there are no endgames for India in Afghanistan. It would rather accept a setback in its pursuit of a balance between Kabul and Islamabad, instead of being seen as an opportunist (REUTERS)
The decision to support Ghani shows that there are no endgames for India in Afghanistan. It would rather accept a setback in its pursuit of a balance between Kabul and Islamabad, instead of being seen as an opportunist (REUTERS)

Decoding India’s move in Kabul

By Avinash Paliwal
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:19 AM IST
Its decision to support the Afghan government, at a time when Ashraf Ghani is weak, is intriguing. But there is a historical backdrop to it
Close
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a New Year's address in Beijing.(AP)
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a New Year's address in Beijing.(AP)

China is an economic winner, not an economic leader

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:46 AM IST
Even as Beijing posts impressive GDP figures, it’s a long way from setting the direction for global policy.
Close
It’s obvious now. The internet, once the promised land of free and open interactions for all, is now controlled by a few gigantic technology companies — often referred to as Big Tech. These companies include Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Paypal, and some others. (AP)
It’s obvious now. The internet, once the promised land of free and open interactions for all, is now controlled by a few gigantic technology companies — often referred to as Big Tech. These companies include Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Paypal, and some others. (AP)

India must lead in regulating Big Tech

By Jayant Sinha and Rajeev Chandrasekhar
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 07:00 PM IST
Big Tech firms have played a transformative role. But they enjoy power without accountability. Rein them in
Close
United States President-elect Joe Biden will begin his term on January 20, 2021, by signing executive orders to return the country to the Paris Climate Agreement (AFP)
United States President-elect Joe Biden will begin his term on January 20, 2021, by signing executive orders to return the country to the Paris Climate Agreement (AFP)

Washington’s return to the Paris climate accord is a significant step. Build on it

PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 06:59 PM IST
With Mr Biden in the saddle and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to the issue — India has done well on its Paris commitments — the US must support India on mitigation, capacity-building in renewable energy, financing, data-sharing, Indian Ocean monitoring, and phasing out hydrofluorocarbons.
Close
Farmers during their agitation over new farm reform laws, Singhu border, New Delhi, January 15, 2021 (PTI)
Farmers during their agitation over new farm reform laws, Singhu border, New Delhi, January 15, 2021 (PTI)

What the farm stir can learn from Gandhi

By Shashi Shekhar
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 06:58 PM IST
Every protest has a window of effectiveness. As the struggle gets prolonged, people’s goodwill decreases
Close
A medical worker inoculates a colleague with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, Mumbai, January 16, 2021 (AFP)
A medical worker inoculates a colleague with a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, Mumbai, January 16, 2021 (AFP)

Building a stronger scientific ecosystem to fight future crises

By Renu Swarup
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 06:54 PM IST
The year 2020 put a spotlight on the capability, resilience and adaptability of the Indian scientific ecosystem. In 2021, we are confident of having a much stronger science-based response to any challenge we may face in the future.
Close
There are bound to be glitches — a power breakdown that ruins some doses; delays in the vaccine reaching some remote corners of the country; at least, some jumping of queues. But this is an exercise that India will manage well. If all goes well, a month from now, the country could well have more people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine than any other country (AFP)
There are bound to be glitches — a power breakdown that ruins some doses; delays in the vaccine reaching some remote corners of the country; at least, some jumping of queues. But this is an exercise that India will manage well. If all goes well, a month from now, the country could well have more people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine than any other country (AFP)

In India, the story of Covid-19 vaccines

UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:39 PM IST
India has done well. The rollout of the vaccines, despite a set of concerns, is a scientific milestone. But the State must, now, plan ahead
Close
Since its inception, WhatsApp has claimed security and privacy as its core DNA. With its new “take-it-or-leave-it” policy, Whatsapp essentially threatened users of deleting their accounts, unless they accept the new terms before May (AFP)
Since its inception, WhatsApp has claimed security and privacy as its core DNA. With its new “take-it-or-leave-it” policy, Whatsapp essentially threatened users of deleting their accounts, unless they accept the new terms before May (AFP)

Making privacy a mainstream debate

By Prabhu Ram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 07:09 PM IST
While messages remain secure and encrypted, as Facebook seeks to build more tighter cross-platform integration across its ecosystem, the user data on WhatsApp could fall prey to it through data sharing or targeted and precise advertising
Close
When Sitharaman weighs up the short-term political consequences of following the advice she is receiving, I’m sure she will be aware of the longer-term political consequence of getting the arithmetic wrong (Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
When Sitharaman weighs up the short-term political consequences of following the advice she is receiving, I’m sure she will be aware of the longer-term political consequence of getting the arithmetic wrong (Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

Budget 2021: Balance economics with politics

By Mark Tully
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:50 PM IST
With the budget just over two weeks away, economist after economist is calling on finance minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman to spend, spend and spend
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP