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The language of anti-incumbency and its impact on elections. It highlights how the focus on......

The language of anti-incumbency and its impact on elections. It highlights how the focus on anti-incumbency shifts attention away from the key issues that matter to people.

  • Psephologists are using the term 'anti-incumbency' to explain events during the electoral season

  • This term is being used without fully understanding its meaning or implications

  • The focus on anti-incumbency shifts attention away from the important issues that matter to people

  • The language of anti-incumbency normalizes discontent and fails to address the underlying reasons for people's unhappiness with their governments

  • If the Congress had won in Rajasthan, the debate would have been about breaking the trend of anti-incumbency

  • The term 'pro-incumbency' could be argued based on the results in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

  • The article discusses the power of a certain political party in winning a large number of seats in Madhya Pradesh despite a not-so-good governance track record.

  • It questions why issues of mis-governance did not matter and how they were made to not matter.

  • The article suggests that the displacement of focus on social development contributes to what it calls 'electoral autocracy'.

  • The language of anti-incumbency is described as a technocratic one that simplifies complex processes for the media and digital images.

  • The article argues that policy preferences and differences between political parties have become marginal, leading to quantification as the only method to make sense of differences.

  • The concept of 'choicelessness' for the electorate is converted into a language of 'averages', 'patterns', and 'pro- and anti-incumbency'.

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as a powerful electoral machine.

  • The BJP is able to address issues through last minute mobilization and campaigning.

  • The party's strategy includes organization, money, and a high-decibel campaign.

  • The BJP's organizational power allows it to subvert social power dynamics and divide social groups.

  • The party normalizes discontent and criminalizes dissent.

  • These processes are later analyzed as either pro or anti-incumbency.

  • Electoral mobilisation has turned elections into a spectacle, overshadowing the impact on social ethics and collective trust.

  • Election analysts and psephologists expect last-minute magic from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tilt votes in BJP's favor, regardless of the party's governance performance.

  • In Karnataka, Modi tried to divert attention from the BJP's corruption and social apathy issues by misinterpreting a debate on Bajrang Bali as Bajrang Dal and claiming that Congress wanted to secede Karnataka from India.

  • In Gujarat, previous elections saw baseless discourse about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a former Vice-President taking 'supari' from across the border against Modi.

  • Such baseless discourse undermines trust necessary for a functional democracy and replaces deliberation with conspiracy, converting social issues into a discourse on securitisation.

  • Electoral battles have become like a war zone and a zero-sum game.

  • Last minute pressure and drama shift the focus from issues to entertainment.

  • Elections are now based on speed, scale, and organizational efficiency rather than issues.

  • Psephology and electoral analysis are used as techniques of power dynamics rather than reflection and deliberation.

  • Exit polls often go wrong, but the discussion focuses on anti-incumbency and averages.

  • Critical debate and reflection are ignored.

  • There has been a disappearance of issues that were once part of public discourse in India.

  • Issues such as poverty levels and the Below Poverty Line (BPL) have been replaced by discussions on GDP growth rates.

  • The working conditions of migrants in the informal sector became visible during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

  • Death itself became invisible during the pandemic.

  • Technocratic invisibilisation has led to hyper-nationalism and the idea of becoming a vishwaguru.

The increasing trend of Indians illegally entering the United States and the implications of this issue. It provides data on the number of illegal Indian migrants, the border-wise distribution, and the demographic breakdown.

  • U.S. officials encountered close to 1 lakh illegal Indian migrants this year

  • The trend of Indians trying to enter the U.S. illegally has been seen in the last four years

  • The number of Indian illegal migrants stopped by U.S. border authorities was little over 1,500 a decade ago

  • The number increased marginally in the following years but remained below 10,000 till 2019

  • Since 2020, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of Indians trying to cross the border illegally, with the figure touching 96,917 in 2023

  • The surge in illegal migrants gains prominence as the U.S. presidential elections are scheduled next year

  • Illegal border crossings is one of the top issues for U.S. voters

  • Donald Trump has blamed Joe Biden for reversing many of his immigration-related policies.

  • Most illegal border crossings in the US are reported from the southwest border with Mexico.

  • However, there has been an increase in the number of undocumented Indian migrants choosing to enter the US through the northern border with Canada.

  • The number of undocumented Indians entering through the northern border has increased from less than 100 in 2014 to over 30,000 in 2023.

  • This almost matches the number of Indians trying to enter from the southwest border.

  • Despite the increase, the share of Indians in the total number of illegal migrants is still nominal.

  • The majority of illegal migrants trying to enter the US are from Mexico.

  • However, the share of Mexican migrants has seen a drop in recent years.

  • India accounts for only 3% of all illegal migrants trying to cross the US border.

  • Trump-era policy led to the separation of over 5,000 children from their parents who tried to migrate illegally

  • Majority of Indians apprehended at the border are single adults

  • Spike in the number of minors from India trying to cross the border

  • Accompanied Indian minors increased from 9 in 2020 to 261 in 2023

  • Unaccompanied children from India attempting to cross increased from 219 in 2020 to 730 in 2023

  • Federal judge prohibited separation of minors from families for eight more years, calling it "simply cruel"

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