ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Chilean Elections of 2021 and the Rise of Left Power

Politics in Latin America is in a state of fl ux, caught between the right and the left. In the presidential elections in Chile, the voting of Gabriel Boric—the youngest president in the history of the Chilean Republic (36 years old)—to power marked the end of the traditional alternation of power between the centre-right and centre-left since the return to democracy in the 1990s.

Political and Electoral Dynamics in Punjab

Given the political churning taking place in Punjab, the electoral scene may remain quite fl uid until the votes are counted and perhaps even after the results are declared. Nevertheless, the current elections refl ect a clear decline of the earlier hegemonies, particularly of the landed aristocracy of the region, which has controlled state politics over the past fi ve decades or so.

Political Churning in Punjab before the Elections

The assembly elections are going to be held in Punjab in February 2022. All political parties are gearing up for it. The Congress party is facing internal conflicts, whereas the Akalis are making a new alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party after breaking their alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party due to the farmers’ agitation. The incumbent Congress government has failed to deliver in terms of its promises and development. Both the Akalis and the Congress will be heavily relying on their mass base. However, a big challenge has emerged in the form of the farmers’ agitation. The Aam Aadmi Party is still struggling with its agenda and organisational basis despite being the main opposition party. The standard parameters of prediction of an election result seem to be non-functional at this moment.

 

Professionalising Election Campaigns

The 2014 and 2019 general elections in India were referred to as “WhatsApp elections,” which had IT cells, bots, and political consultants strategically using data mining tools to build resonant narratives to tell voters what they wanted to hear. By the 2014 national election, the industry was reported to be worth $40–$47 million. Between 2014 and 2018, industry specialists approximated that the number of firms in this market had at least doubled. These unprecedented tools of technological campaigning come with new forms of identifying, targeting, and defining issues of political importance. This article suggests that such developments are turning electoral politics into a thriving business being data-driven, technologically oriented, and having far-reaching implications for democratic processes.

 

The Making of Punjab’s Dalit Chief Minister

To dismiss the elevation of Charanjit Singh Channi as a mere political gimmick would be wrong.

 

Navigating through Democracy

Politics of the Poor: Negotiating Democracy in Contemporary India by Indrajit Roy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, New York, US, Melbourne, Australia; New Delhi and Singapore: 2018; pp xxi + 521, price not indicated.

Kerala Elections 2021

The victory of the Left Democratic Front in the elections to Kerala legislative assembly needs to be contextualised within certain key social and economic developments that the state witnessed in the last five years. While doing so, certain narratives that have emerged in the media about possible factors responsible for the LDF victory need to be critically engaged with.

 

Covid-19 and Oxygen Shortage in India

India needs decentralised oxygen plants to meet healthcare requirements in the future.

 

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