Thursday, September 18, 2008

Elections (USA) and Elections (Indian)

A friend commiserates with me today over the way that the Indian elite is now totally preoccupied with the global economic meltdown and the US elections.

Not that we should avoid paying attention to these matters. B

ut that we should be paying at least equal attention to the future of the country in terms of the next national elections in India - which can, if I understand aright, in the normal course of affairs, take place any time after April 2009 (which is only a few months away, specially if one discounts December/ January due to Christmas/ New Year).

It seems to me that this election could be decisive.

India is now locked in a struggle between the sort of secularism that was established by Gandhiji et al before/ after Independence (which may be on its last legs), and a double challenge from the Naxalites (who now control 10% of India's disticts, according to Government figures), and from Hindutva forces which are already on the rampage in six Indian states as a prelude to the elections (presumably, the rampage will move to other states as well).

If my analysis has any merit, then we have to consider the roots of INDIAN secularism (which is/ was very different from secularism in the West), as well as of Hindutva and Naxalism.

We should look also at the opportunity/challenge that is represented by the BSP and associated parties that claim to represent the OBCs and SCs (in principle 65% of India); they can either renew Indian secularism or take us in the direction of Zimbabwe....

But there is little if any debate taking place about all this... Sphere: Related Content

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