Now what, India? State assembly elections 10 Feb - 7 Ma
Anwesha Dutta (CMI), Kenneth Bo Nielsen (UiO) and Shrey Nishchal (HVL)
Covid, rising unemployment, a farmer uprising, and a stagnating economy has put the Indian government under fire. The overconfident response from the government has tarnished their image as a strong leadership. At the same time, the religious polarisation of India continues.
By 7 March, 242 million Indians will have cast their ballot in the ongoing state assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa. Many view the elections as a midterm evaluation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Our panel will discuss the most central themes of these elections. How has the economic mismanagement, the lacking adequate response to covid, and the highly controversial farm bills affected the election? How and why did the effects vary from state to state? And where does Modi and the BJP stand after this?
Panelists (onsite panel)
Anwesha Dutta is trained as a political ecologist. Dutta's research interests lie in the intersection of conflict, biodiversity conservation and resource governance. She is currently leading and is part of several research projects in the areas of socio ecological impacts of sand mining and protracted refugee settlements. Although geographically the bulk of her engagements have focused on India, more recently she has also diversified her sites to include Afghanistan, Kenya and Tanzania.
Kenneth Bo Nielsen is associate professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, and the leader of the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies. He works on the political economy of development in India, with a particular focus on social movements, land conflicts, and agrarian change. He is also interested in Indian politics more generally, from the village level to international relations.
Shrey Nishchal is assistant professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and has worked within the areas of anti-corruption, regulatory economics, government procurement, and business ethics. Previously, he was a PhD candidate at the Norwegian School of Economics. Through his PhD dissertation, he analysed the possibility of collusion between public officials and private firms. He also spent several months as a visiting PhD candidate at the Toulouse School of Economics. He has educational and work experience from India, Singapore, and Norway.