Maha Hosain Aziz is a professor, author and cartoonist specializing in global risk and prediction in the MA International Relations Program at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, New York
In the death of former chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit, the media has lost a good friend. Though she was unwell for a while, her end came rather soon. Just a day before her death, she was battling it out with the central leadership on how to revive the Congress party after the numbing loss in the 2019 elections. Dikshit contested the Lok Sabha elections and seemed like a winner, but she suffered the same fate as that of other Congress candidates when she lost by a big margin.
According to reliable sources, China has reportedly issued a possible demarche to the Indian government. The report is however unconfirmed. China has allegedly expressed its deep resentment over the manner in which Chinese telecom giant Huawei is being excluded from the upcoming 5G trials. Indians, Chinese believe, seem to be acquiescing to US pressure to stay away from their telecom giant. If India obliges President Donald Trump, then it could be saddled with delay in the 5G rollout and then get saddled with an expensive system that will have fewer takers in the world.
Sanjay Kapoor New Delhi
On April 30, first time in five years, the Islamic State (IS) released a video of their Khalifa, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Greyed and portly, Baghdadi was defiant and angry after the loss of their stronghold of Bagouz in Syria. He was trying to shore up the morale of his supporters that he was physically healthy and leading the struggle of the Islamic State even after the loss of Syria and Iraq.
In early April, I traveled to Deoband in western UP, famous for its Islamic seminary, to attend the first joint ‘Mahagathbandan’ rally. The road to the venue, where the three parties decided to come together to show unity and solidarity, was marked by small jathas carrying party flags, joyfully and energetically trudging to hear their leaders. This was no rent-a-crowd.
At the time of writing this analysis, three rounds of the staggered seven-phase general election have been completed. However, much of what was feared from the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) seems to be playing out in different voting booths in diverse parts of the country. Hundreds of thousands of voters have found their names deleted, EVMs have malfunctioned, and the Voter Verified Paper Trail (VVPAT), meant to preserve the EVM’s integrity, has not just stumbled, but also fallen short on its promised seven-second display after the casting of vote.
Hardnews is covering the fourth general elections since it started publishing in 2003-2004. It got all the election results right, even the tricky ones like the 2004 general elections where the buzz in Delhi suggested one outcome and the ground reality told a different story. Predicting 2009 and 2014 polls were relatively easy to read, but the 2019 election presents a different challenge all together. The threat of violence from an intrusive Surveillance State is cramping the freedom with which the ordinary voters shared their views on politics and the government.
Right-wing leaderships do not want to relinquish power. They are now using the Surveillance State to manipulate the voters. India is a test case in the on-going parliamentary polls
The staggered election schedule shows that EC has made light of the harm fake news can do to the electoral outcome
The burst of fake news after air strikes into Pakistan and Pulwama suicide attack raises fears of a similar occurrence during the coming parliament elections that could undermine the electoral process. Can the Election Commission fight this challenge?
In 1999, a caretaker Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee led India to war at Kargil against Pakistani intruders. BJP led coalition won handsomely in those polls. Will that template be repeated after Pulwama?