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The word “Dalit” refers to castes stigmatised in the socio-economic, political and cultural discourse of Indian society. The “untouchables”, until the Constitution abolished untouchability. Gandhi glorified them as “Harijans”, the term Ambedkar vehemently denounced. It was the British government that categorised them as the “Scheduled Castes.” The same was done in the case of the Scheduled Tribes.

 

Indira Gandhi, an unbelievably powerful woman of 58, had got President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed to declare a state of national Emergency on June 25 night that year, on the ground of ‘internal disturbance’.

 

To be honest my suspicions are easily aroused. I rarely take things at face value. In fact, I would add this is a trait common to most journalists. Whilst commenting on a statement we always ask ‘I wonder why he made it?’

 

Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched in Delhi’s backyard in Dadri, on suspicion of storing beef in September 2015. Zahid Rasool Bhat, 16 years old, a student of Class 10, the first member of his family to go to high school

 

 

Enduring partners”, “shared values”, “trusted friends”: The words we will likely hear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets President Donald Trump next week will be familiar to us from past summits between leaders of India and the United States.

 

 

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP completing three years in office, there is growing chatter about 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

 

The prime minister loves surprising friends and foes alike. Demonetization - one of the less pleasant surprises sprung on the nation by Narendra Modi - and the decision to put Yogi Adityanath in charge of Uttar Pradesh bear evidence of the prime minister's fondness for stumping opponents.

 

From the time that the contest for president loomed large, the likelihood of the Opposition getting its own candidate into Rashtrapati Bhavan has seemed highly unlikely.

 

The crucial question is not who will be the next President of India but what sort of President the ruling combine would like sitting in the gilded 340-room Rashtrapati Bhavan perched on the crest of Raisina Hill. The answer lies in the pick it makes.

 

The symbolism of a Dalit becoming head of state is enormously powerful. Clearly, the BJP has chosen to send out a strong political message by nominating Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA’s candidate for the presidential office.

 


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