May We Ask Just One Question About Modi’s Permanent Campaign?

By Shivam Vij

Governing with political approval requires a continuing political campaign, wrote a pollster for US President Jimmy Carter in 1976. This gave birth to the theory of permanent campaign.

Reliance on political patronage and the party organization gave way to pollsters, campaign strategists, data and technology. By the time the Bill Clinton era arrived, this had given way to the idea of the permanent election. The administration behaved as though an election was always round the corner.

Narendra Modi’s 2014 election campaign was never over. He’s always campaigning, always pitching, as if an election is always round the corner. An election is indeed always round the corner in India, and every state election is seen as a referendum on Modi.  Continue reading “May We Ask Just One Question About Modi’s Permanent Campaign?”

Why Janata 3.0 is doomed to failure

For Scroll.in, 12 November 2014

First they came together against Indira Gandhi’s Emergency in 1977. Then they came together to defeat Rajiv Gandhi in 1989. On those occasions it had taken support of the Bhartiya Janata Party (known as Jan Sangh in ’77) to oppose the Congress. Now, India’s hoary socialists want to come together once again to oppose the Bhartiya Janata Party. Continue reading “Why Janata 3.0 is doomed to failure”

The Congress needs only one strategy: focus on India’s poor

For Scroll.in, 20 October 2014

As Indian voters are turning away from the Congress in election after election, they are keeping their best interests in mind. Control of both centre and states alike is good for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bhartiya Janata Party. But it’s making India look increasingly like a one-party state. That, of course, is bad news for democracy since any healthy democracy needs a healthy opposition. Continue reading “The Congress needs only one strategy: focus on India’s poor”