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WRITING ON THE WALL
Dismembering India
Urban Naxalism

POLITICS

18 July 2018 10:39

The Fallacy of the November Doctrine

Dr. Praveen Patil

Why holding early general elections in November is a potentially disastrous political move that is being floated among the Sangh-BJP circles.


SPORTS

13 July 2018 12:28

The glorious game at its endpoint?

Dr. Praveen Patil

As Europe wins the 4th Football World Cup in a row, has Latin American Football all but died?


POLITICS

13 May 2018 10:52

Does BJP still have an advantage in Karnataka?

Dr. Praveen Patil

BJP has underperformed on election day but still has more seats to defend.


POLITICS

12 May 2018 01:29

Karnataka is Heading in The Saffron Direction

Dr. Praveen Patil

BJP is now poised to win the south Indian state of Karnataka despite all the fake polls and false media coverage of "Edge to Congress"


POLITICS

09 May 2018 09:49

The Last Battle of the Dynasty: Part 3: South Karnataka

Dr. Praveen Patil

Modi has dramatically altered the electoral pitch in Karnataka and may have created a wave in a wave-less election!


POLITICS

04 May 2018 12:50

The Last Battle of The Dynasty: Part 2: Madhya Karnataka

Dr. Praveen Patil

BJP's march continues in central Karnataka but is not as strong in the Coastal belt.


POLITICS

01 May 2018 05:14

The Last Battle of the Dynasty: Part 1: North Karnataka

Dr. Praveen Patil

BJP is leading by a big margin in the 81 Assembly seats of North Karnataka. Will this lead to a UP like sweep in this Southern state?


SOCIETY

24 April 2018 07:22

Urban Naxalism: Dismembering India Through Manufactured Agitations

Sandeep Balakrishna

After four years, an important perspective from which to analyze Narendra Modi’s conquest of Delhi is couched precisely in one word: revelation. Whatever his other achievements or lack thereof, one thing is clear as sunshine: Narendra Modi as Prime Minister has stripped naked the entire Congress-legacy political system across the national landscape.


SOCIETY

24 April 2018 07:22

Recognizing Urban Naxalism as the Real-world Manifestation of Intellectual AIDS

Sandeep Balakrishna

At least five decades ago, one of the dazzling stars in the galaxy of Kannada literature, Kuvempu wrote the following in a different context: This is perhaps the most accurate diagnosis of the nature of what masquerades as “discourse” by the Leftists. Built into its innately nihilistic nature is an uncompromising repudiation of timeless, basic human values because it seeks to annihilate them:


POLITICS

06 March 2018 05:41

Congress Mukt Bharat is Still an Unfinished Business

Sandeep Balakrishna

When Congress is in power, it will use every dirty trick in the book to remain there. When not in power, it won’t allow you to even function!


GOVERNANCE

01 March 2018 13:48

2017: The Zero Death Year!

Dr. Praveen Patil

How the Modi government has finally achieved a "Zero-Death-Year" in its fight against Jihadi terrorism in contrast to the decade of darkness when more than 1 person lost a life or limb each single day throughout the Manmohan Singh-Sonia Gandhi regime!...



POLITICS

21 February 2018 09:08

Modi's Western Conundrum

Dr. Praveen Patil

How Modi faces an uphill task in the western hemisphere in the run-up to 2019.


CULTURE

03 February 2018 10:33

Are the BJP's State Leaders Wasting the Victories Narendra Modi got them?

Sandeep Balakrishna

BJP as a party has two functional segments - the top and the bottom. At the top Modi is truly transformational and at the bottom, the Karyakartas give their sweat and blood. But, it is the empty middle where the other leaders are actively squandering the people's mandate


CULTURE

26 January 2018 12:03

As Bharata Celebrates Ilaiyaraaja's Padma Vibhushan, Lutyens Media Goes Sniffing into his Caste

Sandeep Balakrishna

This headline that assaulted the sensibilities and offended the basic sense of decency of millions of Indians...


CULTURE

25 January 2018 08:50

The Indian Century is here: 10 Indian cities with GDP as large as a country

Dr. Praveen Patil

The story goes that a group of Jesuits came to Goa in 1556 and brought with them a printing press which was already being used for more than a 100 years in Europe. In order to impress Shahenshah Akbar who was then ruling India, the Jesuits printed a polyglot bible and presented it to the king. Akbar, it is said, was not impressed at all. Printing was not considered seriously by the Moghul aristocracy who patronized Muslim scribes and manuscript i...



CULTURE

18 January 2018 09:11

Women are in the driver

Dr. Praveen Patil

Women voters are not only the torchbearers of the post-caste electorate but also the core element of the USHV (United Spectrum of Hindu Votes) phenomenon.


CULTURE

15 January 2018 12:20

How to fix our bureaucracy? Commissar must become Yogi.

Sampath Iyengar

'I advise you consider your position carefully, perhaps adopting a more flexible posture, while keeping your ear to the ground, covering your retreat and always watching your backside.'


POLITICS

13 January 2018 03:28

Is BJP still headed for capturing 50% votes across India?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Almost 70% of the core BJP-RSS vote went to Congress this time, while a section of traditional Congress vote diverted to BJP", averred a local BJP Karyakarta a few days after the November 9th elections, "Pawan Kajal (of Congress) will surely capture the Kangra seat, he had won it as an independent candidate last time again......



CULTURE

13 January 2018 01:59

Amar Chitra Katha: A Quiet Cultural Revolution

Sandeep Balakrishna

If memory serves me right, the venue was Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bangalore, sometime in the mid-1980s. The 1300-capacity hall was home to a scene of the proverbial sea of humanity in the heat of summer holidays. In that non-air-conditioner era, cheap fans whirred loudly, tirelessly but were ineffectual in trying to keep...


POLITICS

09 March 2017 06:47

Can Uttar Pradesh annihilate the NaMo opposition for another decade?

Dr. Praveen Patil

“The values of Sangh flow like blood in my veins… the day I die, I want to be draped in the BJP flag” whispered an audibly emotional and teary eyed Kalyan Singh to a huge gathering of party workers in the Jhulelal Park of Lucknow on January 22nd 2013. It was the homecoming of the prodigal son who had redefined Hindutva of..


POLITICS

09 March 2017 06:36

The Punjab Exit Poll

Dr. Praveen Patil

“We have cleared all our dues to the banks by cash” said a self styled steel industrialist from Ludhiana, “our customers who buy steel from us have adjusted the money by depositing for future sales” he further explained. This was just days before Punjab went to polls and this is how the industrial hub of Ludhiana had coped with demonetization.


POLITICS

21 February 2017 01:14

At the midpoint of Uttar Pradesh elections: Can there be a Saffron wave?

Dr. Praveen Patil

On Saturday evening, the 11th of February, when the import of BJP’s underperformance in the Jatland of western UP which went to polls in the very first phase began to sink in, there was a sense of déjà vuabout Bihar 2015 where again the party had begun to possibly stare at defeat from the throes of victory....



CULTURE

17 February 2017 01:06

USHV fights back to keep the lotus afloat in Muslim dominated districts of Terai and Rohilkhand

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Save my honour” pleaded a teary eyed Savita Devi near the polling booth in the primary school of Murtazapur to all groups of men who were walking down the lane to cast their votes. Savita Devi is one of the scores of Jat women whose sons and husbands have been jailed for the Peda-Nayagaon riots of 2016...


POLITICS

13 February 2017 23:29

BJP is not overwhelming like 2014, but is still in pole position after phase 1

Dr. Praveen Patil

[Disclaimer: 5Forty3 is not reporting, analyzing or projecting any exit-polls and is only making ground assessments based on reports from different parts of Uttar Pradesh].There are 2 great recent examples of electoral battles virtually coming to an end on the very 1st phase of a long election season. The first of course is 2014 general elections when BJP was so overwhelming on day 1 of polling


POLITICS

09 February 2017 02:34

The NaMo wave 2.0 sweeps Uttar Pradesh

Dr. Praveen Patil

After the collapse of Babri Masjid on December 6th 1992, the central Congress government had arbitrarily dismissed all the 4 BJP ruled states of North India – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh – to impose president’s rule. A year later, when these states went to polls, BJP lost power in three of those which effectively put a pause to all the ‘perceived’ gains of the Hindu nationalist movem...



POLITICS

02 February 2017 02:18

Punjab at crossroads: a prosperous state in ‘invented’ turmoil

Dr. Praveen Patil

A group of Khalistani terrorists hijack a bus and communally segregate the passengers. 8 innocent Hindus are massacred mercilessly while the remaining Sikhs are left scot free. On that midnight hour when India was sleeping, Punjab had turned back the clock to bring old memories of a blood ridden partition to the fore again. This time, the war was not an external one with Muslims, but a battle within.


POLITICS

24 January 2017 05:13

2014 was not the NaMo electoral Mount Everest!

Dr. Praveen Patil

"Unka program hai Indira hatao, mera program hai garibi hatao" those were the exact words uttered by Mrs. Indira Gandhi in a pre-election rally in 1971 when she unleashed the "garibi hatao" slogan that captured India's imagination. Between 1967 and 1971, Congress party led by Indira Gandhi (along with ally CPI in 1971) managed to increase its vote-share from 41% to almost 49%. In absolute terms,...


POLITICS

23 November 2016 09:07

FIRST HINTS OF A NAMO TSUNAMI AFTER DEMONETIZATION

Dr. Praveen Patil

Five years ago, during the peak of Anna Hazare & Baba Ramdev led agitations against corruption, public anger across India was palpable. Literally millions of people in all cities and towns of India would throng local protest destinations with many of them joining in the evening after finishing their day jobs.


POLITICS

14 November 2016 07:59

A SURGICAL SAFFRON SURGE IN HINDI HEARTLAND

Dr. Praveen Patil

Ukraura Mela is one of the many events of the Hindu festive calendar in eastern Uttar Pradesh during the Dussehra-Diwali season and is often seen as the platform to showcase the political power of various Bahubalisof Azamgarh. This year, during that Mela, there was a massive gun battle that resulted in at least a dozen people being injured. It was a mini-war between two huge Bhandaras organized by cousins Vijay Yadav and Pramod Yadav....



POLITICS

08 November 2016 13:20

IS PUNJAB HEADING FOR A DIRECT TWO HORSE RACE?

Dr. Praveen Patil

We are suffering and the government is simply deaf to our woes” averred Surjeet Singh, a midsize farmer near the Bhagtawala grain market in Amritsar. He along with some 50 other farmers was sitting on an impromptu protest against the state government. A protest which had more than a 100 AAP activists and scores of journalists along with a few ward level Congress leaders.


POLITICS

02 November 2016 17:22

THE ACQUISITION OF PROJECT NATIONALISM BY THE USHV ENTERPRISE

Dr. Praveen Patil

“It is not so manly to resign oneself to one’s degraded position or to sit weeping in the house like women, but it is our duty to strive strenuously to remove the cause of our misfortune” was a screaming clarion call of Tilak in his Newspaper, Kesari, in 1905. That was an India deep in slumber, resigned to her Karma of slavery to foreign powers. An India that simply had no will or means to fight back....



CULTURE

25 July 2016 16:35

IN SEARCH OF A MISSING WAVE IN THE HEART OF A WOUNDED CIVILIZATION

Dr. Praveen Patil

Arre Naresh yaar ab tho bataa dey inko, ab tho main phas chuka hoon” (Naresh please tell them the truth at least now, now that I have been caught), a teary eyed Vijay Kumar is reported to have confronted Naresh Yadav in the Patiala police station on July the 5th. Vijay Kumar is the main accused here in the Quran sacrilege case of Malerkotla while Naresh Yadav is the Mehrauli MLA of AAP and also the “sah prabhari” of AAP’s Punjab affairs.


POLITICS

20 July 2016 17:14

A SAFFRON COUNTRY WITHIN A COUNTRY PART 2: LOTUS BLOOMS AFTER 14 YEARS OF VANVAS

Dr. Praveen Patil

[This is a 2 part series on Uttar Pradesh elections 2017 based on Team 5Forty3 Survey conducted between June 28th and July 14th.] In late May, BSP supremo, Mayawati had neatly divided the responsibilities of different castes among her lieutenants. Swami Prasad Maurya and R.S. Kushwaha where given the responsibility of bringing in Kushwaha, Maurya, Shakhya and Saini votes....



POLITICS

16 July 2016 17:03

A SAFFRON COUNTRY WITHIN A COUNTRY: PART 1 – THE RISE OF A YOGI

Dr. Praveen Patil

[This is part 1 of the two part Uttar Pradesh election analysis based on Team 5Forty3’s survey conducted between June 28th and July 14th] “Today I am an independent woman who can take care of her children” says Prema Devi, a young Dalit Jatav ‘social worker’ near Kanpur who then goes on to add, “Mayawati ji gave us self-respect no doubt, but that is not enough to sustain our day-to-day lives; ...



CULTURE

06 July 2016 16:46

1967 TO 2017: A BRIEF ELECTORAL BIOGRAPHY OF UTTAR PRADESH’S TRYST WITH HINDU NATIONALISM

Dr. Praveen Patil

Upjati chodo, Patel jodo” (forget the sub-caste and use Patel as the surname) That was the biggest clarion call on that day in Lucknow when more than 2 lakh people had attended the Kurmi Rajnitik Chetna rally of Lucknow in December 1994, just 1 year after the SP-BSP government had come to power.


POLITICS

20 June 2016 05:41

UDTA KEJRIWAL AND A NEW OPIUM FOR THE PUNJABIS

Dr. Praveen Patil

As Tommy ‘Gabru’ Singh is thrown into a prison cell full of young Punjabi addicts who start singing a chartbuster from one of his first Punjabi rock albums as an ode to their idol, he is told by another inmate that two of the singing lads had killed their own mother as she refused to pay for their drug. Gabru, with his widely dilated pupils looks into nowhere, unable to comprehend what he has unleashed,


POLITICS

12 April 2016 06:43

WHAT 2016 COULD MEAN TO 2019?

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Kanhaiya’s JNU movement becomes the harbinger of Communist revitalization in India” “The grand revival of the Left in Modi’s India” “Communist comeback is a direct response to the fringe Right becoming the new Centre of Indian Politics” These could be some of the potential headlines that the Lutyens editorial witchcraft practitioners could dream up this May, some 2 years after the historic rise o...



CULTURE

11 April 2016 16:55

UNITED SPECTRUM OF HINDU ASSAM!

Dr. Praveen Patil

Immediately after the 2009 general elections many of the Urdu newspapers of India carried out their routine post-election exercise of publishing the lists of Muslim MPs elected to the 15th Lok Sabha. Most of these lists varied between 28 to 30 names listing out luminaries like Assaduddin Owaisi and Badruddin Ajmal among others. Curiously every Urdu publication had missed one name from the list,


POLITICS

04 April 2016 08:20

THE BENGAL PUZZLE

Dr. Praveen Patil

“BJP is like a bride who has been getting ready with her bridal make-up for the last 2 years and we are still waiting to catch a glimpse of the bride’s face… I guess we won’t see her in 2016” avers Sudipto a 35-year-old techie from Kolkata who has been a life-long communist but had voted for Modi’s party in 2014. His words sum up the situation of BJP in Bengal as aptly as one could ever do. In fact, this is not just a one off anecdotal quote but a unique demographic-electoral reality


POLITICS

03 April 2016 05:03

THE NORTH-EASTERN SUNRISE OF HINDU POLITY

Dr. Praveen Patil

In March 1977 there were 560297 registered voters in Mangaldoi Lok Sabha constituency of Assam which was among the rare seats that the JP movement managed to wrest from Indira Gandhi’s Congress Party that had won 10 of the 14 LS seats in the state contrary to the JP wave breezing across India. Almost exactly a year later when Hari Lal Tiwary, the sitting Janata MP, passed away, Election Commission of India


ECONOMIC

27 February 2016 16:13

A BENGAL BLUEPRINT

Dr. Praveen Patil

This was the gist of the letter written by Maulana Muzaffar Shams Balkhi, a ‘Sufi’ saint in 1397 and it was addressed to Ghiyath al-Din Azam Shah, the third Sultan of the first Ilyas Shahi dynasty of Bengal. This letter also serves as a window to the prevailing demographic state of Bengal at the start of 15th century after 200 years of Islamic rule....



POLITICS

01 December 2015 16:20

THE LAST 72-HOUR SYNDROME

Dr. Praveen Patil

On the 10th of November, the accepted logic among the BJP circles of Gujarat was that the ruling party is facing some resistance but would still scrape through in almost all the city corporations barring probably Rajkot. Less than a fortnight later, on the actual polling day on 22nd November, the picture had completely changed as the saffron party was even struggling in its citadel of Ahmedabad.


POLITICS

05 November 2015 18:30

Has The BJP Diluted Brand NaMo?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Of the 1600 chairs put up by the organizers nearly a quarter had remained empty, so the desperate local BJP leaders had to rush to a nearby slum in order to somehow convince the people there to come and be a part of the “function”. Since most men in that slum were out for work, the women folk were the ones available for occupying the chairs. But the they demanded their pound of flesh; they wanted “Modi to grant legal status to their illegal slum”!


POLITICS

28 October 2015 18:30

Third Phase Of Bihar Polls: Can BJP Make A Comeback?

Dr. Praveen Patil

A wounded party president could be more dangerous than even the Prime Minister” averred a highly placed Gujarat BJP leader who is also closely monitoring the Bihar elections after the ‘not so impressive’ performance by the saffron alliance in the first two rounds of Bihar elections. Indeed, all the signs of a wounded lion striking with vengeance in Bihar have been there for the last week or so. What probably has ...



POLITICS

28 October 2015 18:30

The Rise And Fall Of 'Hindu Mafia' In Mumbai

Dr. Praveen Patil

Recently Aadesh Shrivastava, a Hindi playback singer and a music composer died at a very young age of 51 due to cancer. Bollywood, which is famous for its bonhomie and glamour quotient even in death and funeral processions was mostly missing throughout Shrivastava’s illness and death, so much so that his wife, yesteryear starlet Vijayata Pandit had to virtually beg for support for her husband’s very expensive treatment. Gossip columnists and bloggers were quick to point out that one of the reasons why the Mumbai film industry was lukewarm towards Aadesh was probably due to his past history of strong protestations against Pakistani artists plying their trade in Bollywood. Indeed, Aadesh’s was a rare voice in the Hindi film world that had raised ‘patriotic concerns’ about giving star status to singers and actors of a hostile state which has sponsored terror attacks on India.


POLITICS

26 October 2015 18:30

Constructing The Narrative Of An Intolerant India

Dr. Praveen Patil

On Tuesday, September 29th, a carcass of a pig was found on the terrace of Shahi Masjid of Lal Kothi in Bhagalpur, Bihar. By afternoon, a group of young Muslims came to the spot and simply removed the dead carcass while the local news reporters and mullahs warned the ‘minority community’ to maintain calm. Despite being in the midst of an election season, and despite of a strenuous history of the region, the situation in the town area remained calm as the local Muslim leadership was determined not to raise even a symbolic protestation against an attempted desecration of their religious place of worship.


POLITICS

18 October 2015 18:30

At The Pivot Of The Battle In Bihar

Dr. Praveen Patil

At the height of electioneering in 2004, while I was travelling across Pune and Marathwada divisions, I came across an interesting phenomenon in Sangli district. Here the ex-Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vasant Dada Patil’s son and incumbent MP, Prakashbapu was once again contesting on Congress ticket despite serious health issues that had forced him into almost total absence from campaigning. BJP had wisely given ticket to Deepak Shinde Mahisalkar, the son of a popular NCP leader and a post graduate engineer who was known for his very good organizational skills.


POLITICS

13 October 2015 18:30

The Bihar Pendulum Swings Again

Dr. Praveen Patil

Every election has a central story which usually gets twisted and tailored by narrative builders and news media as per the ideological sunglasses they wear. For instance, the 2004 national election was all about the severe drought that vast parts of India had faced over the preceding two years, but the media narrative was totally built around the “India Shining” campaign of Advani and how he failed to enthuse the voters. Similarly, 2009 was billed as the NREGA election under the tutelage of Rahul Gandhi as youth icon while in reality it was all a positive vote for the preceding 6-7 years of unprecedented growth due to Vajpayee era economic liberalization.


POLITICS

09 October 2015 18:30

Bihar: Anatomy Of A Momentum Election

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Nitish Kumar never misses an opportunity to tell his political friends how BJP’s then president Nitin Gadkari had apparently promised that Narendra Modi would never be the Prime Ministerial candidate of NDA, even if Kumar wished so” quips a local journalist in Patna. This story of how Nitish Kumar was led on a garden path by BJP only to finally surprise him in mid-2013 has now become almost folklorish in the political circles o...



POLITICS

08 October 2015 18:30

The Great Indian Drought Circus

Dr. Praveen Patil

Last week, scores of women belonging to various Kapilavastu villages of Siddhartha Nagar district of eastern Uttar Pradesh went into Aligarwa police station carrying buckets of water with them. They had an unusual request to make of the thana in charge, SHO Ranvijay Singh. They wanted to bathe the police inspector in public with buckets of water they were carrying!


POLITICS

04 October 2015 18:30

How Narasimha Rao Rescued India From Being A Nation Of Maid-Servants

Dr. Praveen Patil

This is the snapshot of P.V. Narasimha Rao’s interview given to Prabhu Chawla of the Indian Express on 8th July 1991. The then Prime Minister of India, in this interview, comes across as an extremely confident leader who was aware of his historic duty to liberalize Indian economy, especially when he emphatically states, “We mean business now”!


POLITICS

27 September 2015 18:30

21st Century: A Graveyard Of Futurology

Dr. Praveen Patil

“As a mid-level manager at an IT firm in Bengaluru, my take home was roughly 60,000 every month. Now I make almost 50% more by driving my own car at my own convenient timings” says young Rohan Gowda with a sense of satisfaction one rarely ever witnessed on a well-educated cabbie’s face before this. He is one among some thirty thousand odd cab drivers in Bengaluru who are now famously part of taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola.


POLITICS

06 September 2015 18:30

Swarajya-5Forty3 Pre-Poll Survey: Neck To Neck In Bihar

Dr. Praveen Patil

Barely 6 students are shouting slogans carrying the effigy of the Vice Chancellor while other youngsters hardly give them a second glance. After a few minutes of sloganeering under the banner of AIDSO (All India Democratic Students Organization, a communist trade union style students group that once attracted a lot of youth), finally they manage to burn the effigy before dispersing.


POLITICS

02 September 2015 18:30

Kalburgi And Caste Wars In Karnataka

Dr. Praveen Patil

Queen Suggala Devi, the wife of Jayasimha II, a Western Chalukya king, was said to be the most famous disciple of Devar Dasimayya of Mudnur village in northern Karnataka. Those were testing times for the Vedantic Hindu philosophical life in different parts of India. The Chalukyas in particular had vigorously introduced Jainism across vast swathes of south-western and central India.


POLITICS

28 August 2015 18:30

Crossroads For Patronage Politics Of Middle India?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Congress folklore has it that H.N. Bahuguna (former CM of Uttar Pradesh) while introducing a young Raja of Manda as a balancing factor to Raja Dinesh Singh of Kalakankar had apparently remarked to Mrs. Gandhi “do not underestimate him based on his physique, given a chance he would encounter even you”. Indira, a consummate politician that she was, never forgot that advice but her son Rajiv’s naiveté managed to unleash a monster of unprecedented political opportunism.


POLITICS

20 August 2015 18:30

Freedom From The Congress Dynasty: Sooner The Better For States

Dr. Praveen Patil

Despite Indira Gandhi’s popularity even in the early stages of her Prime Ministership, by the 1967 Jabalpur AICC session it was clear that there were 5 major factions within the Congress party.


POLITICS

13 August 2015 18:30

Bhagalpur: The Etymology Of A Forgotten Riot

Dr. Praveen Patil

Bhagalpur had all the elements required for fueling a communal riot – communal rivalries, political rivalries, and criminal rivalries… The Ram Janambhoomi controversy was the spark required to ignite the situation. On the eve of the Lok Sabha election in November (1989), anti-social elements were released from jail in order to use their muscle power… the Ram Shila procession was to be taken out on October 24, 1989 when verbal duel began; bombs were thrown on the procession… After that it was not only the evening darkness that fell on the town but also the darkness of hatred, murder and mayhem


POLITICS

11 August 2015 18:30

Dalit Sub-Nationalism And The Rise Of Modi–The Bihar Chapter

Dr. Praveen Patil

In 1971, the biggest impact of “Garibi Hatao” was on the Dalits who arguably comprised the poorest sections of Indian society. Congress party had been steadily losing base with each passing election and there was even a split in 1969 which should have logically eroded its base further. But Indira Gandhi managed to reverse the trend in 1971 by targeting the Dalit vote through her anti-poverty slogans.


POLITICS

08 August 2015 18:30

On The Campaign Trail In Bihar

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Most villagers are working in the fields” says Kumar Niraj defensively, trying to explain the lack of crowd around the Janbhagidari truck, “there is no promised film (video) either, so it is less of an attraction” he adds as an afterthought. Niraj is a part-time Shiksha Mitra, part of a special interest group working with the Bihar government in the border district of Supaul. His is a than...



POLITICS

05 August 2015 18:30

Reluctant Reformers And The Missing Revolutions

Dr. Praveen Patil

P.V. Narasimha Rao , the original economic reformist prime minister, often rejected the idea that he was the Margaret Thatcher of India. He strongly believed that he was in the mould of Willy Brandt, a social democrat to the core who argued that economic reforms were merely an apparatus to increase government revenues which, in turn, could lead to increased public spending and equitable wealth distribution. Contrary to general perceptions, Narasimha Rao summarily rejected the ‘trickle down’ economic philosophy and believed in greater social spending.


POLITICS

11 June 2015 08:55

Five Point Saffron Strategic Analysis of Bihar Polls

Dr. Praveen Patil

BJP must have a clear strategy to expose the blatant Muslim vote-bank politics of the opposition. A smart strategy for the saffron party would be to convert this election into a “development” v/s “return to jungle raj” election at the macro level while creating a Hindu v/s Muslim fight at the micro level by subtly campaigning for reverse polarizatio


ECONOMIC

08 June 2015 14:37

Maggi, Maruti, Mandal and Mandir: the dying 80

Dr. Praveen Patil

On a trip to Mexico in 1982, India’s then Information and Broadcasting minister, Vasant Sathe, discovered a communication strategy developed by Miguel Sabido of producing “telenovelas” (soap opera of the socialist world order) to promote social change and national development. Socialism of that era believed in these grand gestures of national magnitude that were supposed to alter societies through cultural manifestations and India’s “progressive thinkers” were no exception to such grandiosity. 


POLITICS

27 April 2015 17:00

ISLAM, POP CULTURE AND THE DEMOGRAPHIC DEMON

Dr. Praveen Patil

That was a magical evening. That was an evening of joyous songs. That was an evening of hopeless romantics discovering the love of their lives. As hundreds of thousands of people gathered at the Champs-Élysées amidst neon lights and honking horns, there was unprecedented merriment everywhere. It was the greatest party that Paris had hosted since liberation day in 1944.


POLITICS

27 April 2015 08:22

PROSELYTIZATION, AN UNNATURAL DISASTER

Dr. Praveen Patil

The ghastly sound of a strangely muffled drumbeat emanating from a sort of vacuum chamber just moments before the land shook coupled with the distant human cries of hopelessness arising from within the earth seemed real at times but more often felt like terrifying hallucinations. That was the nightmarish memory of the Killari Earthquake of 1993, when I was part of the small volunteer team from our town which had travelled under the aegis of the local Shakha of the RSS to


ECONOMIC

16 April 2015 16:11

JAMES BOND COMMISSIONER, SUPERMAN HOME MINISTER AND THE JILTED LOVE FOR HONESTY

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Forensic experts could not come to a conclusion on the possible reason for the death (of IAS officer, D.K. Ravi)” a police officer has stated (in newspapers today) after going through the preliminary autopsy report at Victoria hospital. Probably, Victoria hospital’s doctors, forensic experts and investigators are all incompetent because just by looking at the body our very own James Bond, M.N. Reddi, the Bengaluru police commissioner, 


ECONOMIC

16 April 2015 15:43

CAN MODI CONQUER THE DRAGON?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Ever since the sudden collapse of Soviet Union in the very early 90’s, there has been a large community of futurologists and political commentators who have tried with varying degrees of failure to predict the imminent breakdown of the only other remaining communist superpower, China. The inherent problem with such predictions is that no one can accurately time their assumptions about authoritarian regimes because of fundamental lack of political metrics 


ECONOMIC

16 April 2015 14:02

THE CASE FOR AN INDIAN RIGHT INTELLECTUAL ECOSYSTEM

Dr. Praveen Patil

From early morning, enormous crowds gathered to catch a last glimpse of their departed leader. People had started arriving in special trains from Poona and the entire area from Crawford market to Dhobi Talao was filled with a sea of sad humanity. All the mills and most of the markets were closed. It was as if the whole of Bombay had gathered together that day.


POLITICS

16 April 2015 08:02

MUNAAFAA - THE MISSING LINK OF BUSINESSES TODAY

Dr. Praveen Patil

Recently Rajshri Productions celebrated 20 years of ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun..!’, which is undoubtedly one of the landmark Hindi films to completely revolutionize the business of movie-making in India. The economics of this film was way ahead of its time as it was the first Indian movie to breach the 100 Cr mark some 14 years before it became an industry norm


POLITICS

15 April 2015 07:26

HOW THE INDIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM CONTINUES TO FAIL THE AARUSHI’S AND SUNANDA’S OF OUR COUNTRY

Dr. Praveen Patil

On a balmy May morning in 2008, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar woke up to find the brutally murdered body of their only daughter lying in her room. After discovering the body of the ‘prime suspect’, Hemraj, lying on the roof of the house a day later, the police were left scrambling to find the real culprits. Media reporters were seen sending live updates from the Talwar residence


POLITICS

23 March 2015 08:50

Daylight murder of honesty in Karnataka

Dr. Praveen Patil

Some 9 months ago, Kolar, the Goldmine city, was suffering a fate similar to her bigger neighbor and the state capital, Bangalore. Kolar was full of garbage everywhere despite a desperate hunt by the city administration for landfills as the surrounding villages steadfastly refused to budge in their determination to keep the


POLITICS

21 March 2015 08:12

THE 1989 ADVANI PARALLEL FOR MODI IN 2014

Dr. Praveen Patil

A major milestone of BJP’s history came about on September 25th 1989 when the party’s national executive met at the Shanmukhananda auditorium in Bombay. It was in the run-up to the 8th Lok Sabha elections that many opposition stalwarts and ideologues were trying to bring about an alliance between the BJP and the Janata Dal to oust the Bofors-tainted Rajiv Gandhi regime. The main stumbling block for such an alliance to fructify was V.P. Singh who had recently


POLITICS

19 March 2015 07:24

HOW MAFIA RULES KARNATAKA

Dr. Praveen Patil

“I have zero faith in the state Congress government investigations and only have faith in the central government”, this was a crying mother’s last hope, a mother who had given education to her son despite biting poverty, a mother whose son had made her proud by passing the country’s highest civil services exams and becoming an IAS officer, a mother who had lost her son


POLITICS

15 March 2015 08:48

BJP's 3rd List Analysis

Dr. Praveen Patil

Is there any correlation to the length of campaigning by candidates and the eventual result? The answer to that question is a bit complex, for if we take the few very recent examples of MP, Chhattisgarh Rajasthan and Delhi, then a definite pattern emerges – BJP had named its candidates well in advance in three of those


POLITICS

25 February 2015 18:30

A Sarkaari Rail Budget And The Perpetuity Of Indian Socialism

Dr. Praveen Patil

“But there is no dustbin here” said the young 6 year old boy whose tiny hands were clutching a host of multi-coloured wrappers of different variety, wrappers of chocolates and cookies and chips and all the goodies that he may have consumed over the last hour or so. “Ever since Modi uncle has started the Swachh Bharat campaign, Ani (Aniket, the 6 year old boy clutching the wrappers) never litters and waits to find a dustbin to relieve his waste” beamed his mother to fellow passengers.


POLITICS

09 February 2015 18:30

The Landslide Of Delhi

Dr. Praveen Patil

These days I get nightmares. Most of the nightmares are about that one awful day when I finally get up only to realize that all the taxi Apps have disappeared from my mobile phone. Yes, every single one, be it Ola or Taxi4Sure or Uber, imagine all of them suddenly disappearing from the scene and you no longer get those awfully discounted rides. Our commuting lives would then go back to square one. We would be at the mercy of ill-tempered old taxiwallahs and atrociously overcharging autowallahs. For somebody who commutes regularly in different cities of India using public transport this would be nothing short of a nightmare.


POLITICS

07 February 2015 18:30

The Mirage Of Delhi

Dr. Praveen Patil

Last year before the May 12th election I was stationed at Varanasi with team 5Forty3 to cover the last leg of a fascinating general election. The whole city was swarming with journalists and TV reporters of all hues and shapes and our hotel was no exception. During the morning breakfast we would invariably encounter these journo types and would be unwitting eavesdroppers to their unintelligent conversations....



POLITICS

04 February 2015 18:30

Photo Finish In Delhi?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Exactly 200 years ago, after Napoleon returned to power in March 1815, those who were opposed to him formed the seventh coalition and began to mobilize armies against him. Two such opposition forces under Wellington and Blücher assembled close to the north-eastern border of France which Napoleon had to then attack in what became famously known as the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon had always used conscription to swell the ranks of the French army throughout his rule, but crucially, for this 1815 campaign he did not conscript men and instead used veterans from previous campaigns. A decision that he may have had reason to regret according to history.


POLITICS

01 February 2015 18:30

Because Media Wants AAP To Win

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Free WiFi poll promise is a masterstroke by Kejriwal” writes Shekhar Gupta, one of India’s most well-known editors and columnists analyzing Delhi election scenario. “the AAP may be headed for a landslide victory in Delhi” is the title of another column by the redoubtable R Jagannathan last week. Switch on any of the television news channels and every second political commentator (or news anchor) is talking about how “BJP is jittery” and why “Kiran Bedi strategy has backfired”.


POLITICS

29 January 2015 18:30

Hawaizaada: A Flawed Masterpiece

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Ancient India had planes” screamed one headline on NDTV and then there followed laughter and ridicule. “Airplanes in Vedic age could fly between planets” was another headline in another newspaper and more ridicule and laughter followed. Over the last few weeks, ever since Anand Bodas, a pilot and Ameya Jadhav, an M.Tech graduate and a Sanskrit scholar presented a research paper on aviation in Vedic era during the 102nd Indian Science Congress, we have witnessed this constant mocking about what is often derided as “Hindu pseudo-science”.


POLITICS

23 January 2015 08:08

PART 3: DELHI, THE STATE OF BEING

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Main tho chaandi ki jooti maar kar vote loonga” (I will win by the sheer force of money power) was one of the favourite brags of Bawa Bachittar Singh a future mayor of Delhi in the run-up to the very first 1951 assembly elections to the city-state. Bawa Bachittar Singh was the official Congress candidate from Pahargunj area which was classified as Jhandewalan assembly


POLITICS

22 January 2015 18:30

Part 3: Delhi,The State Of Being

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Main tho chaandi ki jooti maar kar vote loonga” (I will win by the sheer force of money power) was one of the favourite brags of Bawa Bachittar Singh a future mayor of Delhi in the run-up to the very first 1951 assembly elections to the city-state.


POLITICS

22 January 2015 08:05

PART 2: AS DELHI VOTES TODAY

Dr. Praveen Patil

Abrupt political experiments that erupt out of nowhere are not new in India, although the media would want us to believe so. Electoral history has taught us that such neo-political experiments always begin with a sudden big bang that induces a temporary belief that politics has changed forever, but then end up fizzing out in a long whimper. 


POLITICS

21 January 2015 18:30

Part 2: As Delhi Votes Today

Dr. Praveen Patil

Abrupt political experiments that erupt out of nowhere are not new in India, although the media would want us to believe so. Electoral history has taught us that such neo-political experiments always begin with a sudden big bang that induces a temporary belief that politics has changed forever, but then end up fizzing out in a long whimper. There have been at least two major national experiments and three state-level experiments that fall into this category.


POLITICS

21 January 2015 08:04

PART 1: AS DELHI THINKS TODAY

Dr. Praveen Patil

On July 22nd 2008, the first UPA government faced its biggest challenge after the communists had withdrawn their support owing to the Indo-US nuclear deal and the opposition had moved a no-confidence motion. The situation was quite fluid then and many political pundits believed that the no-confidence motion could go to the wires like the Vajpayee trust vote of 1996 and 1999.


POLITICS

20 January 2015 18:30

Swarajya - 5Forty3 Survey: As Delhi Thinks Today

Dr. Praveen Patil

On July 22nd 2008, the first UPA government faced its biggest challenge after the Communists had withdrawn their support owing to the Indo-US nuclear deal and the Opposition had moved a no-confidence motion. The situation was quite fluid then and many political pundits believed that the no-confidence motion could go to the wires like the Vajpayee trust vote of 1996 and 1999.


POLITICS

12 January 2015 08:18

THE BATTLE OF NIHILITY IN NEW DELHI

Dr. Praveen Patil

yotsyamanan avekse ‘ham
ya ete ‘tra samagatah
dhartarastrasya durbuddher
yuddhe priya-cikirsavah
 – Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1, verse 23


POLITICS

07 January 2015 18:30

Right On Track While The Left Is Losing It

Dr. Praveen Patil

Karnataka and Bihar governments are examples of desperate divisive politics that the defeated parties are practising while Narendra Modi is institutionalising right wing as the mainstream. The media cannot figure out either that its views have been rejected by the people.


POLITICS

06 January 2015 07:50

TERROR BOAT SWAN SONG AND OTHER STORIES: AN UNDECLARED WAR ON MODI GOVERNMENT

Dr. Praveen Patil

Indian Express, one of India’s national English dailies, in a bid to prove the Indian government wrong has gone to the unprecedented lengths of apparently tracking down and speaking to Ayesha Bibi, the alleged mother of Yakboob Baloch who was supposedly the captain of the “terror boat” shot down off the Gujarat coast on January 1st. Obvious questions that spring to mind are who arranged these interviews and why should one believe some random


POLITICS

30 December 2014 02:57

VICTIM NUMBER 40176 AND THE ASSOCIATED ECONOMICS

Dr. Praveen Patil

Bengaluru suffered a terror attack this Sunday evening which took another helpless victim’s life (in this case a woman from Chennai, the 38-year-old homemaker, Bhavani Balan), who happens to be the 326th civilian victim to have died this year alone in India. As per data published by South Asian Terrorism Watchdog, there have been 40175 terror casualties in India since the new millennium began in 2000....



POLITICS

22 December 2014 08:45

A thesis on neo Islamic terrorism

Dr. Praveen Patil

Kafeel Ahmed, a PhD student working in the field of computational fluid dynamics, went ahead and tried to bomb the Glasgow International Airport in July 2007 and died due to burn injuries sustained in his failed terror attempt. Six years later, last week, Mehdi Masroor Biswas was arrested on various grave charges including section 


POLITICS

20 December 2014 07:50

J&K PHASE 5: END OF A HISTORIC ELECTION AND THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA

Dr. Praveen Patil

After India’s partition in 1947, among many refugees who migrated from Pakistan were a group of 5764 families of Hindu as well as Sikh ethnicity, mostly made up of Scheduled Castes who poured in from Sialkot district of Pakistan as refugees into India. Today their total number stands at close to 2 lakh people – however, the question arises


POLITICS

18 December 2014 04:20

THE THEATRE OF KASHMIR AND INDIA'S NEW STRATEGIC THINKING

Dr. Praveen Patil

A retired General from the Indian Army celebrates the wedding of his son by inviting as many of his ex-colleagues as he possibly can, creating an impromptu reunion of men from different divisions and different parts of the country. As the festivities wind down in the chilly November evening, the ex-army men gather around with their glasses of amber-coloured ambrosia, ...



POLITICS

16 December 2014 08:48

Can Kejriwal halt the Modi electoral Ashwamedha?

Dr. Praveen Patil

In recent memory, no political leader across the democratic world has enjoyed the kind of popularity and electoral success as the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Indeed, one can even argue that Mr. Modi has possibly received the greatest democratic mandate in the history of mankind in terms of the sheer number..


POLITICS

12 December 2014 02:52

THE SIX MONTH SURVEY REPORT CARD

Dr. Praveen Patil

We conducted a unique experimental survey to commemorate six months of the Modi government wherein we combined an online poll spread across 9 days and an offline CATI survey done in 12 top cities of India. This survey had a simple questionnaire template of grading a minister with either a positive (good) or a negative (bad) vote in both the surveys (we also gave special importance to “no vote” or a “skip” 


POLITICS

09 December 2014 07:45

J&K PHASE 3: THE BALLOT OF HOPE AFTER FIDAYEEN ATTACK

Dr. Praveen Patil

Zyada roozgaarmyaari taleembehtar sehat” (more jobs, quality education and better healthcare) – these are the three phrases you are likely to come across almost in a constant loop all over Baramulla town, once considered a separatist stronghold. Travel some 50-odd kilometers south-west to the Shahkoot, Pringal, Limber and Tathamulla areas of Uri assembly seat


POLITICS

04 December 2014 07:54

J&K POLLS PHASE 4: THE THREE SCENARIOS

Dr. Praveen Patil

“D.P”, as he was known among friends in the political and diplomatic circles, held the then most important diplomatic position in India’s foreign policy matrix. He was a two-time ambassador to the Soviet Union, first in 1969 and then again in 1975, when India was a staunch ally of the communist superpower in a bipolar world, and was also the one who negotiated


POLITICS

02 December 2014 07:47

J&K POLLS PHASE 2: A JOURNEY FROM VIOLENT SEPARATISM TOWARDS DEMOCRACY

Dr. Praveen Patil

We have bled and continue to bleed; but have the people of India shed a single tear for us? We have cried but nobody has listened to our voice. We would rather go to hell than stay with India“, a disillusioned Abdul Gani Lone had thundered in the year 2000. Always termed as a “moderate voice” of the Hurriyat, Abdul Gani Lone was also a four-time MLA 


POLITICS

01 December 2014 18:30

The Three Possible Trajectories Of The Indian Muslim Vote

Dr. Praveen Patil

In 1977, when all of India was in the throes of the JP movement, the southern state of Karnataka was a rare exception. Led by Devraj Urs’s immaculate coalition of backwards, Dalits and minorities, the Congress had managed to retain the state despite a hostile political environment across the country.


POLITICS

27 November 2014 04:38

The Six Month Survey

Dr. Praveen Patil

On May 26th this year for the first time after 30 years a government with a clear mandate took oath of office under the leadership of our new Prime Minister Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi. Six months later it is time to take a critical look at the Modi government’s performance in order to understand if it is living up to people’s expectations after that historic mandate this summer.


POLITICS

19 November 2014 18:30

Is Terrorism Really Dead?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Saif Ali Khan, the Bollywood superstar, had the courage to admit yesterday in an interview that “Islam is unpopular today.” What is more, he went a step further and actually said that for a “modernized Islam” to take root, and because the Quran is God’s word and cannot be challenged, “someone will have to say that God has spoken to them and these rules (of the Quran) no longer apply and it’s okay do certain things which were not allowed earlier.”


POLITICS

10 November 2014 18:30

Does Kashmir Have The Chutzpah To Dream Again?

Dr. Praveen Patil

These are probably the first elections in the midst of hope in the valley, a hope that is as yet a flickering candlelight and not a blooming sunrise, but hope nonetheless. This newfound hope is preceded by the worst deluge that the state faced in many decades in the midst of a stellar role played by the Indian army much to the chagrin of Islamic ideologues and separatists. This newfound hope is also an acknowledgement of a new no-nonsense India which can potentially walk that extra mile provided Kashmir too embraces the politics of development and shuns violence.


POLITICS

07 November 2014 18:30

Of Five Dimensional Worlds And Alternate Realities

Dr. Praveen Patil

This Diwali I decided to disambiguate myself for at least a week from the post-modern,technology interpreted world that we dwell in. A task that is herculean by all proportions for a creature of our times to achieve. It is almost as if we as human beings have managed to unlearn how to merely exist in a four dimensional world. Technology has so overwhelmed us corporally, temporally and infinitesimally that at no point in human history did we exist in such a devastatingly five dimensional world as we do today.


POLITICS

19 October 2014 18:30

Lessons From Haryana And Maharashtra

Dr. Praveen Patil

The year was 1977. Sanjay Gandhi, a poor public speaker at best, was addressing an election rally in Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh during the poll campaign when he suddenly stated that all those who supported JP (Jayaprakash Narayan) were traitors and anti-nationals. He then went on to ask dramatically, “how many of you here are anti-nationals and traitors, please raise your hands?”… Almost the entire audience raised its hands and the hands remained raised till the young Gandhi scion stomped out in anger.


POLITICS

14 October 2014 18:30

Swarajya-5Forty3 Haryana Survey: BJP In Pole Position

Dr. Praveen Patil

Sir Chhotu Ram (the first Stephanian to be knighted in 1937) was the original political visionary of Haryana when he built his almost unassailable social coalition of AJGAR – Ahirs, Jats, Gujjars, and Rajputs – which helped his unionist party to win the 1935 elections and form the provisional government of Lahore in an undivided Punjab that also included the yet to be crafted state of Haryana....



POLITICS

12 October 2014 18:30

BJP Banks On Modi Miracle In Maharashtra

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Every time we see an advert of Pradahan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana on business channels like CNBC Awaaz or ET NOW, we can’t help but laugh at the Modi government’s stupidity… tell me why would a guy without even a bank account be keeping tabs on the share bazaar?” asks a young man from Kolhapur in western Maharashtra.


POLITICS

01 October 2014 18:30

Munaafaa – The Missing Link Of Businesses Today

Dr. Praveen Patil

Recently Rajshri Productions celebrated 20 years of ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun..!‘, which is undoubtedly one of the landmark Hindi films to completely revolutionize the business of movie-making in India. The economics of this film was way ahead of its time as it was the first Indian movie to breach the 100 Cr mark some 14 years before it became an industry norm (Aamir Khan’s Gajini was the first post-modern film of the 21st century to enter the 100 Cr club in 2008). Made at a total cost of a paltry 4.5 Cr rupees, this film went on to collect 133 Cr rupees in India alone, which was further enhanced to about 150 Cr in the worldwide market. 


POLITICS

27 September 2014 18:30

Bangalore Litfest: A Report From The Trenches

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Now that you have successfully explored so many young love stories, don’t you think it is time for you to expand your horizons and write about more mature romances of older people who are aged 30 and 40, where there is so much more to negotiate as a writer?” a girl in the audience asked.


POLITICS

26 September 2014 18:30

The Mandalization Of Maharashtra

Dr. Praveen Patil

The BJP-Shiv Sena (SS) alliance which had been the only viable counter to Congress and Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra, which tasted power once in the 1990s, now stands dissolved. The breakdown of this 25-year-old alliance is baffling in many ways because the seemingly intelligent BJP strategists chose this “opportune” moment to seek divorce when the saffron surge is at such a crucial inflection point of history.


POLITICS

21 September 2014 18:30

Modi And The New Wave Cycle

Dr. Praveen Patil

Truth at times must be stripped of its cloak of commentary and be told in bare essentials, for plain truth at times is greater than the narrative surrounding it. Truth be told, Narendra Modi has got the greatest democratic mandate in the history of mankind, for no other leader or political party has got a bigger endorsement from voters in terms of raw numbers. A mindboggling 17 crore or 170 million people voted for Modi’s BJP in the summer of 2014, an unprecedented event in human civilization for its sheer magnitude.


POLITICS

14 July 2014 08:03

Second Coming: Genius v/s The Machine

Dr. Praveen Patil

[Second Coming is a regular column during the 2014 football world cup dedicated to my late brother] For 84 minutes of that match, El Diego was a marked man as the German number 8 was constantly shadowing him. The Argentine maestro had neither the space nor the freedom to make..


POLITICS

09 July 2014 08:09

Kaala Patthar and the story of a new Indian Empire

Dr. Praveen Patil

More than two millennia ago, Megasthenes, a Greek ethnographer, explorer and ambassador of king Seleucus to the then Mauryan Empire, made possibly the greatest single observation about India that has never really been accorded due credit by our own historians for many centuries now.


CULTURE

27 June 2014 08:28

Second Coming: Will football find a new emperor?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Cakravartin (Prakrit for Chakravarthy, the universal emperor) as a political idea in the Buddhist scriptures is a matter of considerable debate among historians, especially about its origins. While some historians argue that the concept of Cakravartin predates Asoka the great and therefore may have inspired him to imperial power, 


CULTURE

18 June 2014 07:51

Second Coming: Of FIFA World Cup, the Southern Century and Modi’s football diplomacy

Dr. Praveen Patil

Brazil had prepared 22 gold medals with the names of the Brazilian players printed on them. FIFA chief, Jules Rimet, had prepared a speech in Portuguese to deliver after the final match. All Brazil needed was a draw to win the world cup. As if on cue, Brazil took the lead through a Fracia goal immediately after the half time which...


POLITICS

14 June 2014 08:03

Second Coming: Tiki-taka is dead… long live tiki-taka!

Dr. Praveen Patil

For 90 minutes on Friday night, I tried to search for Xavi at the Arena Fonte stadium using a microscope, as he was invisible to the naked eye, but was unable to find him! That is the real story of the world champions in 2014. When the best central midfielder of the last decade hardlyFor 90 minutes on Friday night, I tried to search for Xavi at the Arena Fonte stadium using a microscope, as he was invisible to the naked eye, but was unable to find him! That is the real story of the world champions in 2014. When the best central midfielder of the last decade hardly....


POLITICS

12 June 2014 08:15

Second Coming: Rediscovering Samba soccer from the ghosts of 82

Dr. Praveen Patil

Romance died on planet earth somewhere in the 1980s and technology triumphed over such mundane human indulgences as romanticism. Today it is hard to imagine a world before the advent of mobile, internet and satellite television when life moved at a pace that was measurable through simple ....


CULTURE

09 June 2014 08:38

Second Coming: Argentina, the teardrop on a football pitch

Dr. Praveen Patil

At the fag end of an action filled first half, almost in injury time, Argentina, which is then trailing 1-2, gets a dangerous free-kick very close to the British goal at a difficult angle. Typically, this is David Beckham territory to deliver a angled free-kick into the goal, but unfortunately, At the fag end of an action filled first half, almost in injury time, Argentina, which is then trailing 1-2, gets a dangerous free-kick very close to...



POLITICS

16 May 2014 06:09

WELCOME TO THE MODI KINGDOM OF HINDUSTAN

Dr. Praveen Patil

Exactly 1350 years after the conquest of Multan by Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah of the Umayyad Caliphate which set in motion a millennium of Indian slavery, Hindustan has found its deliverance in 2014. Today is truly the liberation day of a people who had made subservience to Dilli Sultanate a virtue, by their inherent inability to unite. It has finally befallen upon a tea seller


POLITICS

17 April 2014 08:49

Constituency Watch on 17th April

Dr. Praveen Patil

Bangalore South (Karnataka): In this high profile battle of the Brahmins which has attracted all the eyeballs of India, Nandan Nilekani of Congress is taking on 5 time MP of BJP, Anant Kumar.


POLITICS

17 April 2014 07:39

IS NARENDRA BHAI HEADING TOWARDS A RAJIV GANDHI LIKE MANDATE OF 84?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Once in every three decades, India changes its course and discovers hope. This is a political cycle that has been the theme of change for long now. In the 1920s, Mahatma entered the collective Indian consciousness and gave ordinary Indians a tangible, quantifiable metric to participate in the freedom movement. 30 years later, independent India’s first democratic elections were held in 1952...



POLITICS

17 April 2014 04:40

11 AM Analysis with Dr. Praveen Patil

Dr. Praveen Patil

The second major day of polling in the 2014 calendar also happens to be the biggest day when 122 Parliamentary constituencies spread across 13 states and union territories will elect their MPs. Early voting trends are quite interesting to say the least.


POLITICS

16 April 2014 08:28

PROJECTIONS TILL 12TH APRIL POLLS

Dr. Praveen Patil

Northern and Vidharbha parts of this second largest state went to polls on the 10th of April and our survey had a sample size of 624 spread out in 11 assembly segments of 4 parliamentary constituencies. Our representative sampling was well spread out across the demographic profile of Vidharbha and included the following; We then extrapolated the sample data to our own social profile


POLITICS

15 April 2014 07:31

2014: THE ELECTION THAT CHALLENGED DILLI AND STILL EMERGED VICTORIOUS

Dr. Praveen Patil

A few years ago when a Lucknowi embroidery shop was being inaugurated in Godowlia, Varanasi, close to the Ganga Ghat, a bull forcefully entered the premises even before the red-ribbon could be ostensibly cut by a VIP. The owner of that establishment considers that as a good luck charm and allows that bull (the Nandi of Hindu beliefs) free access into his shop every day. As if on cue,


POLITICS

14 April 2014 04:32

The Heartland Analysis

Dr. Praveen Patil

10 seats went to polls on 10th April in this highly polarized region. We tracked almost 60% of those seats closely to get a sample size of a whopping 1893 responses. This was a totally random exercise wherein we did not target any particular caste/religion or economic background during data collection. We used our revolutionary..


POLITICS

12 April 2014 04:38

THE MOMENTUM STORY OF 2014

Dr. Praveen Patil

There is a strange myth among psephologists, electoral experts and even political analysts about the 2004 phenomenon which essentially involves a theory that BJP and Vajpayee were way ahead of Congress in the beginning of the election and then lost their way through the election campaign. Often the India Shining campaign is sighted as an example of how the momentum in an election shifts from one party to the other....



POLITICS

10 April 2014 08:11

THE 11 AM ANALYSIS WITH DR. PRAVEEN PATIL: BJP SURGING AHEAD IN RACE

Dr. Praveen Patil

In a staggered election schedule of 2014, the 10th of April is probably important for its sheer beginning as most battles are half-won by making a good beginning. The spread of the first major day of polling is also important because of its heavy concentration in the Northern India, especially the Jat belt of Haryana via Delhi and into Western Uttar Pradesh. The Jat vote could be a crucial differentiating factor of 2014 which is the reason why the Congress party has taken a last minute decision 


POLITICS

10 April 2014 07:25

3 factors of 3 PM on day 1

Dr. Praveen Patil

In Delhi AAP is now at the number two spot behind BJP. Although the overall lead of the BJP is huge (almost double that of AAP), AAP may still manage to salvage something so we will have to do a thorough constituency-wise analysis (which will be done as a part of our post-poll package within 48 hours after polling).


POLITICS

10 April 2014 07:19

Good Evening India: Is NaMo Tsunami a reality?

Dr. Praveen Patil

What does the first day of 2014 marathon portray? It looks like the Tsunami called NaMo has more-or-less uprooted everything on its way in the Heartland which include Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. In western Uttar Pradesh there is almost a sweep like situation for Modi’s “United spectrum of Hindu Vote”


POLITICS

07 April 2014 08:52

Day one of 2014: The Assam Drama

Dr. Praveen Patil

On the first day of India’s most important election, we at 5Forty3 are traveling to the North-Eastern state of Assam, a very difficult geography to cover for our young team even under ordinary circumstances let alone in these historic elections. We have created some fantastic initiatives on 5forty3 to give you a great election trend coverage..


POLITICS

04 April 2014 08:53

AAP – Electoral non-entity meets intellectual sophistry

Dr. Praveen Patil

At the very outset let me, as an election analyst, stick my neck out and make a simple, but serious prediction for 2014 – as things stand today, in the 16th Lok Sabha AAP is likely to have zero or near zero MPs! Why near zero? Because there is a possibility of a freak result here or there due to some local factors, but otherwise AAP as a viable electoral platform is dead on arrival for all practical purposes....


POLITICS

04 April 2014 08:47

India’s tryst with new destiny will be Live on 5Forty3!

Dr. Praveen Patil

On the 7th of April 2014, post-modern India’s tryst with destiny begins. Will we really see a historic change in a nation’s life or will the status-quoists maintain their upper hand? Will India finally be liberated from the clutches of Dilli Sultanate after almost a millennium or will we once again be held captive due to the historic nonchalance of the naïve natives? .......



POLITICS

04 April 2014 08:30

AAP – Electoral non-entity meets intellectual sophistry

Dr. Praveen Patil

At the very outset let me, as an election analyst, stick my neck out and make a simple, but serious prediction for 2014 – as things stand today, in the 16th Lok Sabha AAP is likely to have zero or near zero MPs! Why near zero? Because there is a possibility of a freak result here or there due to some local factors, but otherwise ..


POLITICS

04 April 2014 07:34

INDIA'S TRYST WITH NEW DESTINY WILL BE LIVE ON 5FORTY3!

Dr. Praveen Patil

On the 7th of April 2014, post-modern India’s tryst with destiny begins. Will we really see a historic change in a nation’s life or will the status-quoists maintain their upper hand? Will India finally be liberated from the clutches of Dilli Sultanate after almost a millennium or will we once again be held captive due to the historic nonchalance of the naïve natives?...



POLITICS

01 April 2014 02:43

Is Narendra Modi peaking too early?

Dr. Praveen Patil

One of the pet theories that is doing the rounds among the political pundits of Dilli is what is known as the ‘early peaking’ theory being applied to Narendra Modi and BJP. There is, many argue, a historic precedent of 2004 when BJP and NDA led by Vajpayee lost the plot during the campaign season....


POLITICS

31 March 2014 02:56

Frontrunner advantage and the importance of Western Uttar Pradesh

Dr. Praveen Patil

There is a strange commonality of stand taken by various political parties occupying the Left-secular space regarding a ban on opinion polls during elections this time. One of the reasons given by these parties is that poll surveys affect the voters, especially because all polls have a consensus about BJP being in command position....


POLITICS

21 March 2014 03:06

The 1989 Advani Parallel for Modi in 2014

Dr. Praveen Patil

A major milestone of BJP’s history came about on September 25th 1989 when the party’s national executive met at the Shanmukhananda auditorium in Bombay. It was in the run-up to the 8th Lok Sabha elections that many opposition stalwarts and ideologues were trying to bring about an alliance between the BJP and the Janata Dal to oust the Bofors-tainted Rajiv Gandhi regime.....


POLITICS

19 March 2014 08:37

Analysis of the 4th list of the BJP - Part 2: North India

Dr. Praveen Patil

he battle for 2014 will not be just about localized pulls and pressures of sub-regional satraps. Narendra Modi, by his aggressive 9 month campaign all over India, has ensured that a big part of the coming election will be about a national vote of governance where Modi is the central theme. Yet, one cannot fully wish away local factors in the..


POLITICS

19 March 2014 03:20

Analysis of the 4th list of the BJP – Part 2: North India

Dr. Praveen Patil

The battle for 2014 will not be just about localized pulls and pressures of sub-regional satraps. Narendra Modi, by his aggressive 9 month campaign all over India, has ensured that a big part of the coming election will be about a national vote of governance where Modi is the central theme. Yet, one cannot fully wish away local factors in the election of MPs....


POLITICS

18 March 2014 08:36

Analysis of the 4th list of BJP - Part 1: The UP 53

Dr. Praveen Patil

BJP came up with its 4th list of candidates for the LS polls over the weekend and it looks like finally the jigsaw is falling in its place. As would be the case with any political party, especially the frontrunner, there is some amount of heart burn among those who have been denied a ticket to fight elections, but overall BJP seems to have 


POLITICS

18 March 2014 03:35

Analysis of the 4th list of the BJP – Part 1: The UP 53

Dr. Praveen Patil

BJP came up with its 4th list of candidates for the LS polls over the weekend and it looks like finally the jigsaw is falling in its place. As would be the case with any political party, especially the frontrunner, there is some amount of heart burn among those who have been denied a ticket to fight elections, but overall BJP seems to have avoided any major mishaps....


POLITICS

09 March 2014 08:34

ANALYSIS OF BJP'S 2ND LIST

Dr. Praveen Patil

BJP released its third list of candidates for the 16th Lok Sabha election yesterday for two important states of Karnataka and Assam and 4 states where it can at best hope to simply put up a fight for second place in some of the seats – Odisha, West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala. The party is trying hard to avoid ticket distribution in the im..


POLITICS

09 March 2014 08:32

Analysis of BJP's 1st List

Dr. Praveen Patil

As the election juggernaut begins for possibly the most important election since 1977, BJP announced its first list of 54 names late yesterday evening. Indian elections will be essentially fought at the local level, so it is not just Modi that matters for BJP, but getting each ticket right in terms of local equations is of primary importance...


POLITICS

05 March 2014 07:46

SONIA GANDHI: THE AAKHRI MUGHAL OF CONGRESS

Dr. Praveen Patil

It was in October 2010 when a dozen MLAs belonging to the ruling BJP in Karnataka had rebelled against the leadership and were camping in a Goa resort that the local Congress leadership, whiffing the scent of power for the first time in many years, decided to explore the possibility of forming an alternative government with the support of the JDS. Siddramaiah had then emerged as the consensus candidate to head the Congress party delegation 


POLITICS

25 February 2014 07:42

JHARKHAND STORY PART 2: THE POLL SURVEY

Dr. Praveen Patil

Jharkhand elections are usually decided by three M’s – Money, Muscle and Maoists – now in 2014 a fourth M dimension has been added to that mix – Modi. Everywhere one travels, one finds the evidence of the fourth M which has transformed the LS elections in this rich tribal state. In the last few weeks a host of IAS officers and top cops have resigned their high profile jobs


POLITICS

12 February 2014 08:01

LOCAL BATTLE V/S NATIONAL WAR - THE NEXT STAGE OF ELECTORAL STRATEGY

Dr. Praveen Patil

Pawan Kumar Bansal, the corruption tainted former railway minister in UPA 2, is like a cat with nine lives, for he keeps getting a new lease of life every time he is on the verge of a collapse. Bansal’s political career should have ended long ago; in 1999 to be precise, when he had managed to get the Congress ticket from Chandigarh despite losing back-to-back elections in 1996 and 1998....



POLITICS

07 February 2014 07:43

JHARKHAND STORY PART ONE: THE PREAMBLE

Dr. Praveen Patil

In the summer of 2004, as I travelled all over northern India and happened to be in Hazaribagh at the peak of election campaign to be a witness to Lalu Prasad Yadav addressing an election rally, I was awestruck by the sheer anger against the central government and the amount of cheering from the crowd for an opposition leader. A consummate politician enthralling the voters


POLITICS

03 February 2014 08:13

THE 1996 WARNING TO 2014 AND THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ELECTORAL CYCLE

Dr. Praveen Patil

On a bright sunny evening 18 years ago, on May 7th 1996, when the solitary state owned Doordarshan was the only operating TV channel for all news, a nationwide exit poll was aired for the first time with much panache. The Congress government at the centre was hugely unpopular due to humungous corruption scandals of the previous years and BJP was the rising star of the 90s when it had two straight elections of tremendous growth – from 2 to 85 to 120 in 


POLITICS

29 January 2014 07:57

KARNATAKA: THE CONFUSION OF ALTER-NARRATIVE

Dr. Praveen Patil

“This is almost a government of Mysore state, we, the people of north Karnataka, have zero investment in this government” explains Madhav Rao, a retired school teacher and an eminent sociologist of Hubli, who is widely described as a ‘Kuruba by birth, a Kshatriya by vocation and a Brahmin by intellect’. “…Our vote for Congress was a reluctant one,


POLITICS

20 January 2014 08:43

Andhra Pradesh: A divided people in a divided polity

Dr. Praveen Patil

Nara Chandrababu Naidu holds an unenviable record in Andhra Pradesh politics, he is the longest serving leader of the opposition in the AP state assembly. This is at the heart of the problem for TDP today – a party that was set-up by thespian N.T. Rama Rao in March 1982 and won a historic mandate to rule the state..


POLITICS

15 January 2014 01:55

UTTAR PRADESH, THE DARLING OF 2014

Dr. Praveen Patil

There is a funny anecdote doing the rounds in the power corridors of Lucknow that has been regaled at various political meetings in the last few weeks. As recently as in the last month of 2013, a well-connected and well-known businessman apparently approached the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the young and ‘dynamic’ Akhilesh Yadav, for a large project clearance.


POLITICS

07 January 2014 03:43

BJP in Media and the anti-hero syndrome

Dr. Praveen Patil

“What do you think went wrong for the Congress party… this is after all a huge defeat?” asked a young, black-bearded, Prannoy Roy to his three eminent panelists. “This is a big defeat but will have no bearing on our government at the centre and we will take corrective measures” answered the then deputy chairman of planning commission,....


POLITICS

06 January 2014 08:16

THE 2014 ELECTORAL MAP OF INDIA PART 2: PROJECTIONS

Dr. Praveen Patil

In India, people are always found quoting anecdotes from their maids, taxi drivers, autowallahs et al. regarding the political wind blowing in the country. Often we are left wondering as to how such random anecdotes can hold any significance in a country of 1.25 billion people, for surely there should be an equal number of people who must be saying the exact opposite thing? Yet, there is innate wisdom in these random voices that we hear from time to time as this author has discovered


POLITICS

21 December 2013 08:14

THE 2014 ELECTORAL MAP OF INDIA PART 1

Dr. Praveen Patil

Twelve Crore voters, if they decide to vote similarly, would determine the fate of India in 2014. Yes, as low as less than 10% of India’s total population hold the key to the future of a nation of more than 1.25 billion people. Such is the mathematical construct of our Westminster system of first-past-the-post democracy that a political party can rule this country by just about managing to get 12 Cr votes. Yet every day we get to hear such banal intellectual discourse based around 


POLITICS

11 December 2013 06:16

WHAT 2013 MEANS TO 2014?

Dr. Praveen Patil

The four states that gave a verdict on Sunday could not have been clearer, but we can continue to obfuscate and try to mold the verdicts as per our own whims and fancies. For the media in Delhi and the intellectual elite it is the arrival of AAP that defines the victory which only goes on to show how shallow Delhi is, for it cannot see an India beyond the national capital. For the BJP supporters it is the ultimate wave in their favor,...



POLITICS

11 December 2013 02:13

THE HEARTLAND SECRETS: WHAT WOMEN WANT?

Dr. Praveen Patil

Indian elections are always measured in terms of different social coalitions and the relative percentages of voting by caste and religious groupings. For instance, minority voting (a euphemism for the Muslim vote) is possibly one of the most analyzed voting pattern in the history of Indian elections (so is possibly the Dalit vote). This slicing and dicing gives us a clearer measure to understand the electoral landscape, 


POLITICS

06 December 2013 08:53

Exit Poll analysis and the story of 30 swing seats of Delhi

Dr. Praveen Patil

Congress had 54753 more votes than BJP in the 30 swing seats of Delhi assembly. Of these 30 swing seats, Congress had won a whopping 21, BJP 8 and BSP 1 seat in the 2008 election. With the new additional voters in 2013, everything else being equal, BJP would have needed just 27 thousand more votes in these 30 assembly...


POLITICS

03 December 2013 07:59

PROJECTING A WAVE ELECTION: RAJASTHAN (POST-POLL ANALYSIS)

Dr. Praveen Patil

When a single dominant political trend attains near total predominance, wave elections ensue. Wave elections are possibly the easiest to predict once there is certainty, but could turn out to be a political analyst’s nightmare when wrongly judged. India’s biggest wave election was 1984, which was famously captured by Dr. Prannoy Roy (along with Dorab Soopariwala & Anil Lahiri) and it helped create one of India’s biggest news media organization.


POLITICS

30 November 2013 07:45

RAJASTHAN, THE HARBINGER OF POLITICAL CHANGE IN INDIA

Dr. Praveen Patil

Rajasthan is a unique, one of its kind, state in India which has always been difficult to classify or typecast into a particular geography or demography. For instance, when the rest of India was divided into different territories by the British – a classification still followed by the Bollywood film distribution business – Rajasthan could not be fit into any of the zones and an independent territory had to be carved out purely for Rajasthan.


POLITICS

16 November 2013 03:48

Congress Rule in Karnataka- An Assessment

Dr. Praveen Patil

Meet Krishnaveni, a widow and a migrant labour from Andhra Pradesh who has been living for the past five years with her mother, two children and a younger brother in Bidar, the border district of Karnataka and a bridge between AP and Maharashtra. Together this family of five have two BPL cards between them (mother and brother have shown themselves as a different family, even though they all live together) and are making roughly 500 rupees every month by selling government subsidized rice....


POLITICS

17 October 2013 03:59

The Bollywood political symphony

Dr. Praveen Patil

During his college days, he would be found rehearsing for his stage plays at the Bhulabhai Desai memorial institute on Warden Road, Bombay. In the same compound was the office of Harkirtan Kaur, known to the world as the famous Hindi film actress, Geeta Bali. Observing his rehearsals, one day, Geeta Bali apparently remarked, “You have tremendous acting potential,....


POLITICS

13 October 2013 03:54

The Big Surprise of 2014

Dr. Praveen Patil

When the Dalit Movement 2.0 was launched by a former sarkari babu of DRDO, these were some of the sample slogans that he bequeathed to the Dalits of early 80s India. The big shift from an Ambedkarite Dalit social psyche that Kanshi Ram envisaged had a core confrontationist constituency....


POLITICS

08 October 2013 05:01

India’s conquest of Dilli

Dr. Praveen Patil

“Indian Prime Minister has emulated those (arty) film makers who sell India’s poverty to the world to garner awards” NarendraModi commented at Delhi’s Japani Park last Sunday. It was just a small but sharp observation by the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in a hugely successful and widely applauded speech. This simple comment tells a story, a story of the battle between the elite and the ordinary, between the classes and the masses.....


POLITICS

10 September 2013 06:19

Muzaffarnagar – Where Riots Turned into Pathology From Anatomy

Dr. Praveen Patil

A dozen daily wage farm workers and simple village folk were travelling in a tractor as usual from Mod Khurd village to Munjhera in the hope that they could get a better deal for their labor next day. At the entrance to Munjhera is a mosque on the roadside which everyone has to pass through to enter the village...


POLITICS

21 August 2013 06:25

Populism v/s good economics, the real electoral debate

Dr. Praveen Patil

Ashok Gehlot is one of those leaders who is not blessed with a booming voice and neither does he have much passion to cover-up for such a falling, therefore his speeches are singularly unimpressive. When he addressed a gathering of a couple of thousand people informally at the circuit house, there was not even as much as a murmur of approval from the crowd....


POLITICS

16 August 2013 06:28

2014 and the pipedreams of BJP

Dr. Praveen Patil

While BJP’s election campaign committee chief was trying hard to win over Hyderabad, there were two interesting developments unfolding in the neighboring state’s capital, Bangalore, and the national capital of Delhi. In Bangalore a frustrated BSY, looking for greener pastures, was being wooed by D.K. Shivakumar of the Congress. In Delhi, almost the entire top BJP leadership of the state unit had rebelled against Vijay Goel at Nitin Gadkari’s ....


POLITICS

26 July 2013 06:34

The Road to Delhi goes via Delhi

Dr. Praveen Patil

“There is hardly any time to campaign, how will we even prepare for the elections?” questioned Moorarji Desai mournfully. George Fernandes even vociferously suggested that the opposition should boycott the elections as a mark of protest, for they had no chance of winning. Indira Gandhi, meanwhile was gathering mammoth crowds (sourced by sycophant local Congress leaders) wherever she went to address public rallies....


POLITICS

29 June 2013 06:43

Why Should The Indian Right Rejoice And Get Ready For The Battle At The Same Time

Dr. Praveen Patil

In the 1972 Francesco Rosi classic Il caso Mattei (The Mattei Affair), there are two interesting conversations; at one point in the movie one of the character proclaims “the Italian economic miracle (of the early sixties) is mostly due to the great Enrico Mattei”, while at another point in the movie, another character avers that had the “dangerous Enrico Mattei succeeded,....


POLITICS

19 May 2013 06:50

Modi in Chhattisgarh

Dr. Praveen Patil

A lesser known aspect of the communal riots in the immediate aftermath of the 1947 partition is the role of the Jesuits, Lutherans and myriad other Christian evangelists in the tribal heartland of India. Sensing a leadership vacuum due to the Hindu-Muslim conflict, many of the Christian missionaries working in the tribal regions had created an army of tribal Christians who were willing to take on their Hindu brethren....


POLITICS

25 March 2013 06:55

MADRA: FOOD FOR THE HINDU SOUL

Dr. Praveen Patil

Sheltered by its snow-clad mountain barriers, Chamba is one of the most beautiful regions of Himachal Pradesh. Chamba has also had the rare good fortune to escape the successive waves of Muhammadan invasion, which swept away all monuments of old Indian civilization on the plains. The neighbouring state of Kashmir was once a centre of Sanskrit learning, until one day the barbaric invaders raped this beautiful land and destroyed everything.......



POLITICS

28 February 2013 07:00

Maha Kumbh and the Spiritual Interventions On the Political Landscape of India

Dr. Praveen Patil

Just a day earlier she was elected the Prime Minister of India and today the relatively young (aged 48) woman leader of the world’s largest democracy had travelled in an Asthi (ashes) special train to the holy confluence of three rivers at the Sangam. It was indeed a spiritual irony of sorts, for the Ganga, (Ganges), the Yamuna and the (mythical) Saraswati, all named after female Hindu Goddesses were welcoming the first woman leader....


POLITICS

15 February 2013 07:14

Battleground India

Dr. Praveen Patil

Today there are basically three schools of thoughts in terms of analysing and understanding political currents. Even though each of these ideas might not be diametrically opposite to each other, they are definitely at variance with each other to some extent. The next electoral battleground of India will be shaped by an inter-play between these three schools of thoughts...


POLITICS

08 February 2013 07:20

There Is A Modi in Town And You Cannot Ignore Him Any More

Dr. Praveen Patil

“I have come from the land of Gujarat, the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel” he said quietly with some visible discomfiture. “When we glance at India’s freedom movement, (we can make out that) two streams had influenced the movement”, this time he almost fumbles, unsure of himself. He then goes on to explain to the audience about the two streams of Indian freedom movement and their roots in Gujarat.......



POLITICS

18 January 2013 07:26

Milk Economy of India

Dr. Praveen Patil

Those were the pre-historic times, roughly around 6th century BC, when the cattle count in the Gangetic belt of present day eastern UP and Bihar had gone down tremendously due to slaughter – Goyajna (cow-sacrifice) & Govikarta (cow-slaughter) had become the order of the day. The tipping point came when king Prasenajit of Koshala decided to perform a great Yajna which would require the sacrifice of 2000 animals....


POLITICS

07 January 2013 07:40

The Contrarian Political Currents of Karnataka

Dr. Praveen Patil

There is overwhelming electoral evidence to suggest that 21st Century Indian democracy is essentially about governance and development politics, rather than about caste or identity. Since the dawn of the new millennium there have been 77 electoral battles, both nationally as well as at the state level, and a whopping 71 of them have managed to produce a positive mandate of giving either a majority or near majority to one of the party or group.


POLITICS

26 December 2012 07:54

An Open Letter to Modiji

Dr. Praveen Patil

First of all sir, accept our heartiest congratulations on your stupendous victory in Gujarat elections and on taking oath for the 4th time successfully as the chief minister of Gujarat. It is indeed unprecedented in the recent democratic history of India to win close to 2/3rd assembly seats in an assembly election for the fifth consecutive term. To put that victory in perspective,.......



POLITICS

20 December 2012 08:03

The Gujarat Electoral Calculus -Downloadble PDF

Dr. Praveen Patil

Predicting electoral outcomes in India is almost an occult science that involves a lot of mysteries like imagined caste-vote tilts and representative sample sizes that try to fathom voter perceptions regarding government’s performance et al. For a nation of 1.2 billion people with a million castes/religions/languages/ethnic groups, even after 65 years of independence,....


POLITICS

17 December 2012 01:43

THE GUJARAT ELECTORAL CALCULUS

Dr. Praveen Patil

Modern day democratic process has a unique feature associated with it, that of psephological prophesising. Not only do we want voters to vote and elect their rulers/representatives but also we want to be able to predict the voter’s preference even before the vote is cast. In fact, many of the western democracies have such advanced psephological methodologies that at times it becomes difficult to distinguish between the actual votes and the exit-polls. India of course is still evolving its predictive techniques and still has a long way to go before achieving any degree of accuracy


POLITICS

03 December 2012 02:35

The Gujarat Electoral Calculus : Part 2

Dr. Praveen Patil

Most of the past electoral data became redundant in Indian politics from 2008 onwards because of an exercise known as delimitation. This is the one single factor that has forced political parties, contesting candidates, psephologists and pundits to completely alter their electoral thinking. So much so that stalwart leaders had to change their geographical locations in order to survive the machinations of delimitation. For instance, just last month, the ghost of delimitation forced 2 of the tallest leaders of Himachal Pradesh to change their pocket boroughs and shift to totally new constituencies. Both Virbhadra Singh (5 times CM from the Congress party) and Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal (incumbent CM from the BJP) had to shift from their respective assembly seats.


POLITICS

22 November 2012 02:48

The Gujarat Electoral Calculus

Dr. Praveen Patil

Predicting electoral outcomes in India is almost an occult science that involves a lot of mysteries like imagined caste-vote tilts and representative sample sizes that try to fathom voter perceptions regarding government’s performance et al. For a nation of 1.2 billion people with a million castes/religions/languages/ethnic groups, even after 65 years of independence, we are totally clueless about the percentage of population of different subgroups. In fact, for more than 50 years all electoral pundits have been quoting lefty-CSDS percentages for all sorts of population based permutations and combinations. What is even more heart-breaking is that most of the CSDS-type data is based on weighted representations of sample-sizes as low as interviewing 700 people in a state!


POLITICS

18 November 2012 09:04

The homecoming of an icon

Dr. Praveen Patil

After assuming the office of the CM on 24 June 1991, Kalyan Singh did not sit back idly twiddling his thumbs, he was of a different mould altogether.


POLITICS

08 November 2012 05:54

Advantage BJP In A Close Fight for Himachal Pradesh

Dr. Praveen Patil

As Himachal Pradesh has already voted last Sunday to decide the fate of Prof P. K. Dhumal led BJP government, it must be noted that this small hill state has never enjoyed such limelight in the national media in the past....


POLITICS

20 October 2012 06:09

Two States and Four Outcomes

Dr. Praveen Patil

The first war of Indian independence in 1857 was a watershed moment in the history of British lordship over India. The initial success after the siege of Cawnpore (Kanpur), Lucknow, Meerut & Delhi had motivated the natives and victory seemed imminent when Bahadur Shah Zafar was declared the emperor of India. When Indians gained the upper hand in central provinces,...


POLITICS

15 October 2012 06:14

The Festival of Democracy and the Temple of Vacuum

Dr. Praveen Patil

India’s tryst with democracy began in this small, beautiful, village of Chini in Himachal Pradesh, for this is where the first votes were cast in independent India’s 1st general elections on 25th October 1951. The first general elections were not just to elect parliamentarians to govern the republic of India but also to elect state assemblies. A total of 171747300 registered voters.......



POLITICS

14 September 2012 06:27

Obituary

Dr. Praveen Patil

Contrary to popular belief, the Indian National Congress was not founded to organize Indian independence struggle, far from it, the Congress was given birth to by the Theosophical society movement with the express objective of getting a share in the government for educated Indians. The radicalization of the Congress and its involvement with the mass movements for India’s freedom ....


POLITICS

17 August 2012 03:16

Can Four Dots Make A Square?

Dr. Praveen Patil

In the second week of August leading up to the completion of India’s 65th year of Independence, when the whole world was immersed in its quadrennial global orgy of sporting indulgences to crown the reigning super power of the world to its preeminent position in the global pecking order, there were 4 minor events in India, which when sewn together could potentially formulate the destiny of India’s right over the coming years. Independently, these four events were shapeless dots that could well be forgotten by the time the monsoon session of the parliament comes to an end, for they were nothing but minor blips on the political radar of any astute antenna that is tuned to the politics of the right in India. But then, observing the right of India’s political firmament has its own pleasures of piecing together a jigsaw that is almost always never what it seems at the outset and invariably takes a shape of its own that could never have been preordained. The jigsaw of Indian right is an abstract of the multi-linear karmic outflow of the Hindu philosophy; it is an experiment to understand the multiple outcomes of a single event at one level and the interactions of multiple events to produce a solitary outcome at another level – nothing short of a special (political) theory of relativity.  


POLITICS

10 August 2012 03:21

Internal Sabotage: The Ghettoization of India and Delimitation

Dr. Praveen Patil

If India is really our country, it should stand up for us now. It is not a problem of Bodo or Assamese people, but of the whole country.” – Member of Parliament from Kokrajhar, Assam, Mr S.K. Bwismuthiary making a fervent appeal to his fellow Indians just a day before the start of the monsoon session of the Parliament. Close to 4 Lakh people have been displaced from their homes and are living in more than 300 government camps, an overwhelming majority of them are indigenous Bodos. These government camps are mobile dens of contagious diseases like Malaria, Diarrhea, Scabies etc. The native Bodos & other Assamese have been displaced from their homes and have been made refugees in their own land by illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Let it be unequivocally stated that no other modern country on planet earth would have tolerated such a plight of its own people at the hands of foreigners, but for secular socialist democratic republic of India. For those Marxists & non-Marxists who had missed the repetitive farce of history, welcome to Assam, for here you shall get a second opportunity to see in slow-motion how the Pandits were systematically displaced from Kashmir – only difference being the Bodos/Assamese enacting the role of Pandits.


POLITICS

04 August 2012 03:05

The Anna Politics and Electoral Discourse

Dr. Praveen Patil

The anticorruption movements in India of the last two years have met with great success among the populace, especially amongst the urban middle-class. It has been a political awakening of sorts for a class of people who were otherwise perceived (rightfully) as being increasingly indifferent to the politics of India and more concerned with the economics of livelihood and aspirations. 


ECONOMIC

27 July 2012 14:34

Impact Of Drought On Electoral Politics Of India

Dr. Praveen Patil

Among all the elections held in democratic India, 2004 elections have been the most unique in nature for the stunning outcome that confounded everybody. It was unprecedented in India’s electoral history, for every pandit, political observer, psephologist got it wrong. Ever since, there have been myriad attempts to explain the results of 2004 by many schools of thought and a wide spectrum of opinions have sprung up among the intelligentsia and the internet warriors alike


POLITICS

21 July 2012 17:00

HOW SONIA GANDHI ROBBED SURJEET'S LANDS AND WHY GOURAMMA IS ANGRY WITH SHANTAPPA: THE MONKEY BUSINESS OF MNREGA

Dr. Praveen Patil

Near the Radha Soamy satsang, Parore, Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh: Surjeet Sharma, a Gaddi pandit belonging to the scheduled tribes of Himachal Pradesh, clearly remembers the year 2005, when he married a gaddan from Chamba. Year 2005 was momentous for the Sharma’s, not only because of the marriage of their only son but also because that year they had collectively made a decent profit in their fields and had brought their first automobile.


POLITICS

21 July 2012 03:38

The Monkey Business of MNREGS

Dr. Praveen Patil

Surjeet Sharma, a Gaddi pandit belonging to the scheduled tribes of Himachal Pradesh, clearly remembers the year 2005, when he married a gaddan from Chamba. Year 2005 was momentous for the Sharma’s, not only because of the marriage of their only son but also because that year they had collectively made a decent profit in their fields and had brought their first automobile. Usually in Himachal, land holdings are modest because only a small proportion of the land mass is flat in these terrains and cultivation in the slopes is quite difficult, yet average yield per square meter is a lot higher than other parts of India 


POLITICS

16 July 2012 03:24

Himachal Diary Part3: Evaluating Dhumal Government

Dr. Praveen Patil

A hymn from Rig Veda that refers to the forty year battle between the great Dasyu King Shambara – who supposedly had 99 fortresses across Himachal – and the Arya devatas led by Indra represented in the form of King Divodasa. Apart from the typical Deva-Asura battle that is portrayed here, what is of significance is that by the time this forty year war began, the Ahis (aborigines) and Danavas, variously referred to as Dasyus, Nishaads or Daasas ....


POLITICS

08 July 2012 03:34

HIMACHAL PRADESH ELECTION DIARY – PART 2

Dr. Praveen Patil

It was 14 months since the siege had begun; the impregnable fort was blockaded from all the sides, supplies had dried up a long time ago, the besieged were subsisting on boiled grass. The unconquerable Kangra fort which had never yielded to any Muslim sovereign in India; Mohammed Ghazni who had plundered every possible fort/temple/city of India had failed to capture the fort, the Lodhis and Tughlaqs....


POLITICS

03 July 2012 04:21

Himachal Pradesh Election Diary – Part 1

Dr. Praveen Patil

A young television journalist visits the make-shift tent of an army company which is regrouping after successfully capturing point 5140 at 17000 feet above sea level. She is typically looking for some good sound bites from a successful campaign....


POLITICS

27 June 2012 04:36

The Mass leadership Doctrine

Dr. Praveen Patil

Historical Siddhartha Gotama (Pali for Gautama), shorn of the burden of Karmic previous lives of Bodhisattvas and liberated from the moral code of the Jataka narrative, represents truly the first mass-leadership experiment of India. In actual philosophical/metaphysical/spiritual terms, Buddha did not propose anything that was not already propagated by the Vedanta.......



POLITICS

26 August 2011 04:41

Why the Indian Right should embrace Hazare Movement

Dr. Praveen Patil

The bastardization of the Anna Hazare movement has now been accomplished. Political parties were always weary of it, now intellectuals and commentators on both sides of the divide are discovering their love towards constitutional propriety & parliamentary supremacy. This is a stupendously successful mass movement that has unsettled everyone....


WEBCASTS / VIDEOS




AUTHORS

Dr.Praveen Patil

Is the founder and CEO of 5Forty3 Datalabs. He is India’s foremost psephologist and demographic scientist.


Sandeep Balakrishna

Is a passionate researcher and storyteller with a longtime focus on India’s Socio, Political and Economic journey.


Sampath Iyengar

Is a global business leader, entrepreneur and strategy specialist with over 25 years of leadership experience.

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