Political Line newsletter by Varghese K George

Political Line | Welfare combat in U.P.; Biden’s call for more nationalism 

Who will reap the benefits? 

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is hoping to reap the benefits of a raft of welfare schemes its government implemented in Uttar Pradesh in the elections. Welfare schemes work for parties. The Samajwadi Party is trying to match the BJP’s welfare politics. Its leader Akhilesh Yadav has promised free ration for the poor for five years, which include one litre mustard oil and one kg ghee a month. Two free LPG cylinders a year to the poor is also part of the promise. Among the new schemes that the BJP is offering is a ₹1 lakh wedding gift to girls from poor families. 

Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav | Photo Credit: PTI

How does welfare work in electoral politics? What is the give and take? I try to explain.

State of India-U.S. union 

Commentators who berate the Narendra Modi government for its protectionist economic policy and emphasis on self-reliance, an original tenet of India’s anti-imperial nationalism, often overlook the global trends that are similar. It was Donald Trump who coined the slogan ‘Make American Great Again,’ by reclaiming its manufacturing base, among other things. The exit of Mr. Trump does not invalidate his politics, which could continue under a Biden Presidency, I had argued.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden | Photo Credit: AP

Mr. Biden’s first State of the Union address was a call for more nationalism in the U.S. Correctly and appropriately, Prime Minister Modi cited the speech to underscore the point that India was not doing anything out of line in promoting its manufacturing base. 

Federalism Tract

The release of Tamil Nadu CM M. K. Stalin’s autobiography was an occasion to revisit the debate on federalism

Meanwhile, Mr. Modi said every citizen should be proud that the world’s oldest language, Tamil, is in India.

The plight of Indian medical students fleeing from Ukraine brought to the fore the debate on NEET - the national entrance exam for medical education - that many States oppose as an encroachment on their administrative powers.    

Conflicts over language and culture can wreak havoc, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war also sheds some light on the issue. Of course, the understanding of a situation can be different for different people, as this article points out

The Political Line will return next Friday.

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Printable version | Jun 8, 2022 8:29:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/political-line-newsletter-march-4-2022/article65191243.ece