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This presidential election may end up having great implications for both the Republican and Democratic parties. The rise of Trump and Sanders’s protracted battle for nomination suggest that vast segments of voters across constituencies are highly disillusioned. They see hope in leaders who fashion themselves as anti-establishment and exhibit a willingness to support their long ignored concerns.
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In the aftermath of Brexit and the ensuing uncertainty regarding Britain’s relationship with the EU and the world at large, I was most discomfited by how many people denounced globalization as a wanton malady laying waste nations and societies. A couple of decades ago, such arguments would have been trashed as a tribal atavism, dismissed as misguided wistfulness for a past that was better abandoned.
A Barkha Dutt vs. Anupam Kher is one thing, and it is perfectly acceptable and desirable for there to be diverse opinions and debates in a healthy democracy, but when occurrences like the Dadri lynching and the Latehar murders easily incite communal passions and when the popular media is conspicuously partisan in reporting such issues, it is then evidently clear that the nation is treading on a sectarian minefield.
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In today's world patriotism comes quite cheap. The opportunities are plentiful and the consequences negligible. The game is simple, addictive: vent your anger on any issue, preferably something contentious, use strong language, pepper liberally with cuss words. Once you're done, the chain reaction ensues: those who agree sing eulogies in your name and those who don't press their 'launch tirade' button.
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Something has gone very wrong in the process of the superficial industrialisation of Jharkhand and other mineral-rich states. The socialists would harangue for some sort of "wealth redistribution" as an elixir. Others would vociferously vouch for the "eternal" benefits of laissez-faire policy (trickle- down effect). Almost seven decades post independence, it's safe to assume that both of these possible alternatives have returned miserably.
After nearly seven decades of an onerous struggle, India as a nation knows well that you pay dearly for being a perennial laggard; on the other hand, the incentives of integrating with a globalised world are immense, and one need only look at the rise of the Asian tigers to confirm this undeniable fact. Unfortunately, the Muslims of India are stuck with an anachronistic world view, still unable to overcome the stranglehold orthodoxy.