EKUSHE: Bengali Language Martyr’s Day by Sanjukta Ghosh

By Sunil Pun|February 26, 2020|Bangladesh, General|0 comments

SSAI Artistic Director, Sanjukta Ghosh delivered a statement on the occasion of UNESCO International Mother Language Day 2020 upon invitation by H.E. Saida Muna Tasneem, Bangladesh High Commissioner, at the commemoration of the ‘Bengali Language Martyrs Day’ on Friday, 21 February. Mother Language Day is part of a broader initiative “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world” as adopted by the UN General Assembly on May

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On The Frontline: Indian and Australia: Votes For Crony Capitalism by Navtej Purewal

By Sunil Pun|September 3, 2019|General|0 comments

The article was originally published on DiscoverSociety.org on 7 August, 2019.  The results of the 2019 Australian and Indian general elections, announced within days of one another on May 18th and 23rd respectively, were each in their own way a vote for crony capitalism and ‘development’ over environmental, sustainability and social justice concerns. The victory of the BJP in India and the Conservative Party in Australia lay bare how global capital

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Bengal’s Election as the Nation’s Frontline Critic by Sanjukta Ghosh

By Sunil Pun|May 21, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 The 17th Lok Sabha elections have aroused ‘the never before’ spate of analyses among academics and the media, by taking stock of limitless flow of data, fake news and visuals as distorting factors in free and fair elections. But most importantly, these also serve as triggers of a sweeping anti-incumbency vote. Bengal is the hotbed of such analyses given the

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Bengal’s historic contradictions surface in contemporary politics by Pallavi Roy

By Sunil Pun|May 15, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 The 2019 general elections are being described as one of the most significant along with the ones held after independence in 1951 and after the ‘Emergency’ in 1977. These elections are being seen as almost a referendum for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) aggressively populist, exclusionary and right-wing Hindutva politics. There is a lot at stake for the party

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Elections in India: A snapshot of West Bengal by Somnath Batabyal

By Sunil Pun|May 1, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 In the summer of 2000, I was posted in West Bengal as a Correspondent for NDTV. Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya, member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was the Chief Minister and he had just brought his party back to power after the resignation of Jyoti Basu, who, it seems had ruled West Bengal for decades. I knew Mr Bhattacharya

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909,917,469 electors vote for a new India: World’s largest democracy at work by Himanshu Shekhar Mishra

By Sunil Pun|May 1, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 The world’s largest-ever electoral exercise got underway on 11th April 2019 when millions of Indian voters turned out to cast their votes in the first phase of general elections. Polls are being held in seven phases spread over 39 days between April 11th and May 19th, 2019. This week, India enters the fourth phase of the polls. The body of

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Voter apathy in Mumbai? Not in the BDD Chawls. by Jonathan Galton

By Sunil Pun|April 30, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 Mumbai is often derided as a city uninterested in politics. “Maximum City, Minimum Voting” sneers a recent Economic Times analysis, pointing out that even Mumbai’s uncharacteristically high voter turnout in 2014 lagged behind Delhi’s by nearly 15%. Hard statistics notwithstanding, voter apathy is scarcely in evidence in Mumbai’s chawls, cramped tenement blocks constructed to house the city’s army of migrant

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Meghalaya: National Politics in a Small, Tribal, North-East State by Philippe Cullet

By Sunil Pun|April 23, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 Meghalaya is one of the small states of the North-East. It is also one of a handful of tribal-majority states. In this sense, it reflects particularly well the multiplicity of peoples, languages, religions and customs that make up the diverse country that is India. This is particularly important in the context of national elections marked at the national level by

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Muslim Minorities and the Consolidation of Trinamool in West Bengal By Maidul Islam

By Sunil Pun|April 17, 2019|General|0 comments

SOAS South Asia Institute Scholars on the Indian Elections 2019 West Bengal has a substantial Muslim population: 27.1% according to the 2011 Census of India. Three primary issues are relevant for Muslim minorities in India: (1) Identity (Freedom to practice religion, religious cultural festivals, management of minority institutions etc.), (2) Security (immunity from communal conflicts), and (3) Equity (income, education, employment, health, access to public goods etc.). In November 2006,

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India’s Single-Issue Election? An International-Security Perspective  By Matthew J. Nelson

By Sunil Pun|April 9, 2019|General|0 comments

Matthew Nelson is a Reader in Politics at SOAS. His research focuses on the comparative and international politics of South Asia, with an emphasis on non-elite politics, comparative political thought, the politics of Islamic institutions, and democracy. Leading up to U.S. presidential elections, international observers tend to watch the polls. Of course, their attention is misplaced. They should focus on the finer details of America’s Electoral College—the body that actually

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