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Religion and the Indian electionReligion and the Indian election

first_imgIndia is choosing a new government. Many pundits predict that the country’s 814 million voters will make Narendra Modi, head of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the next prime minister of the world’s largest democracy.Religion is a big factor in the six-week election, which ends on May 12 (the winner will be announced May 16). The (U.K.) Telegraph writes that Modi has exploited religious tensions to grab power, promising to build a Hindu temple on the site of a historic mosque. The New York Times reports that “the ascent of Modi and his Hindu nationalist party has raised concerns that members of minority religious groups would face discrimination if the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power.” The Financial Express cites the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s concerns about “BJP’s and Narendra Modi’s close association with Hindu nationalist organisations” and with the “ideology of Hindutva, which holds non-Hindus as foreign to India.”HDS turned to Kalpana Jain, a master of theological studies degree candidate and a former editor at the Times of India, for her perspective on the elections and the role of religion in Indian politics.HDS: What role has religion played in the BJP’s rise to power?JAIN: It’s an example of how political parties can exploit religious sentiments and create divisions for political gains. Look at how BJP acquired a base after it launched a campaign for constructing a Ram temple at the Babri masjid [mosque] site, which was destroyed in religious violence in 1992. In the Lok Sabha [India’s lower house of parliament] elections of 1984, the BJP got only two seats. By 1989, following the campaign, the BJP won 85 seats.It then continued to increase its political base. In 1991, it got 119 seats and in 1998, 182 seats. It retained 182 seats in 1999. Following the Gujarat pogrom of 2002, though, the BJP lost seats. This was an indication that secular Hindus had rejected the BJP for what had happened in Gujarat.HDS: What’s the significance — both to Hindus and Muslims — of the BJP’s pledge to build a temple to the god Lord Ram on the site of the Babri mosque?JAIN: There are strong sentiments on both sides. There is a section of Hindus for whom the construction of a temple is part of their Hindu identity, and so is keeping the Babri masjid site intact for Muslims. While the BJP may make election promises for a section of the electorate, it is not likely to carry it out, as it would result in large-scale communal violence.They will also be rejected by large parts of the electorate. Hindus and Muslims in India have lived together for centuries. Often times, religious sentiments are exploited, either as a way of diverting attention from more pressing issues or as a way of finding a “vote bank.”HDS: What would the BJP’s election say about the role of religion in Indian politics and society?JAIN: It would be inaccurate to ascribe BJP’s election to religion. While there are indications that BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, is enjoying majority support, there are two main reasons for it.First, there is an anti-incumbency factor. The Congress Party has been in power for the past 10 years. The last five years in particular were riddled with corruption and the electorate saw the prime minister to be largely ineffective. So, in that sense, it will be a vote against congress.Second, people feel an absence of strong leadership, and Modi has managed to convince people about Gujarat’s growth, the state where he has been chief minister for four consecutive terms. At this point, people are desperately looking for effective governance, and Modi’s campaign is speaking to that. So, I don’t think this will be a vote for Hindu nationalism. But, yes, caste-based politics dominates Indian elections — and not just in BJP, as inferred in the Western media. All political parties, despite claiming to be secular, play the caste card in the selection of candidates.HDS: What impact would the election of the BJP would have? Should Muslims be as concerned as the media seems to indicate?JAIN: At the national level of governance, political parties have to accommodate diverse groups and cater to the plurality of India. Political parties in India cannot depend entirely on the “Hindu” vote, which cannot be seen, in any case, as one cohesive religious group due to different belief systems. India has the second-largest Muslim population of the world, after Indonesia. In some parts of India, the Muslim population is close to 50 percent.In none of his speeches has Modi played up the religion issue. His emphasis has been on development, women’s safety, and providing strong leadership — issues that are prominent in the minds of people. The BJP has also worked hard at strengthening its grassroots workers’ base, which has also enabled it to mobilize a large voter turnout. None of this is based on their appeal as a Hindu nationalist party. While caste and religion play a role at the local level and in the selection of candidates, it would not work at the national level, purely because of India’s diversity.The Western media often focuses on a narrow view around New Delhi, whereas there is a wide diversity across India. For instance, the states of Kerala in the south and West Bengal in the east have been traditionally ruled by leftist parties. I do not think that the BJP will do anything that may fan communal tensions, as that would be devastating for India, as well as for their political future. I would be more concerned about more subtle, yet more insidious changes, such as the rewriting of school history text books, which starts to impact minds at a very young age.HDS: Does Hindutva actually have roots in Hindu teaching and tradition?JAIN: Hindutva is a political ideology. It is associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu nationalist group. Over the years, with the gradual rise of the BJP in Indian politics, this ideology has gained momentum through the BJP, which is the political offshoot of the RSS. The word itself was coined in 1924 by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who fought for India’s freedom from the British but also advocated Hindu nationalism.In my opinion, Hindutva does not reflect the larger Hindu philosophy, which emphasizes that all paths eventually lead one to the ultimate truth. It also does not reflect the wider diversity within what has come to be known as Hinduism.There are various schools of thought and multiple beliefs within Hinduism. In my experience of religion in India, I experienced an openness in the practice of religion, which HDS Professor Diana Eck describes so poignantly in her book “Encountering God,” as finding her understanding of faith in God’s manyness, while during her work in India. And that is what Hinduism means to me, and I believe, to a majority of Hindus as well.last_img read more

Samsung flags near-60% operating profit jump after Huawei boostSamsung flags near-60% operating profit jump after Huawei boost

first_imgSamsung Electronics is crucial to South Korea’s economic health. It is the flagship subsidiary of the giant Samsung group, by far the largest of the family-controlled conglomerates known as chaebols that dominate business in the world’s 12th-largest economy.Its overall turnover is equivalent to a fifth of the country’s gross domestic product.James Kang, senior analyst at Euromonitor International Korea, said Samsung’s rollout of its latest premium handset devices – the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Z Fold 2 – in August, coupled with strong sales of mid-range phones, led the firm’s third-quarter performance.A Washington ban on foreign companies providing Huawei with US-origin technology, that came into effect on September 15 – cutting off essential supplies of semiconductors and software needed for making smartphones and 5G equipment – also provided a boost. Samsung Electronics flagged a leap of nearly 60 percent in third-quarter operating profits Thursday, as its mobile and chip business were boosted by United States sanctions against its Chinese rival Huawei.The South Korean tech giant said in an earnings estimate that it expected operating profit to reach 12.3 trillion won (US$10.6 billion) for July to September, up from 7.8 trillion won in the same period last year.The prediction would represent the firm’s biggest operating profit of any quarter for two years and was also ahead of analyst forecasts. Kang Min-soo, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, said US sanctions against Huawei were becoming “a big factor” affecting the global smartphone market.”For Samsung, it will be a good opportunity to increase market share in Europe, where it has been competing with Huawei in various price bands,” he added.The firm’s memory business also benefited from the feud after Huawei rushed to stock up on Samsung-made semiconductors before the US restrictions kicked in.”Huawei has stocked about six months’ worth of extra inventory before the US ban took effect on September 15,” MS Hwang, an analyst at Samsung Securities, told Bloomberg News.”Huawei’s purchases are offsetting weakness in server-use demand and are devouring market inventory, which should affect prices down the road.”‘News lows’But looking forward, analysts said falling chip prices could put a damper on Samsung’s performance in the final quarter of the year.Samsung is the world’s biggest manufacturer of memory chips and led the DRAM market with 43.5-percent share in the April-to-June period, according to market researcher TrendForce.Server DRAM chips enjoyed a boost as the pandemic prompted working from home and online classes – but were now experiencing “significant oversupply”, it said in a report.”Therefore, contract prices of server DRAM products continue to descend to new lows,” it went on, forecasting a 13- to 18-percent drop in the fourth quarter.Adding to Samsung’s challenges, vice-chairman and de facto leader Lee Jae-yong is being retried over a sprawling corruption scandal that could see him return to prison. He is not being held in custody during the proceedings, but a guilty verdict could deprive the firm of its top decision-maker.Despite the optimistic forecast, Samsung Electronics shares were down 0.5 percent in morning trade Thursday.Samsung withholds net profit and sector-by-sector business performance data until it releases its final earnings report, expected later this month.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Angels reliever Ty Buttrey searches for cause of recent strugglesAngels reliever Ty Buttrey searches for cause of recent struggles

first_imgThe Angels claimed left-hander Adalberto Mejia on waivers, bringing back the pitcher they designated for assignment after he pitched three innings in the 16-inning loss to the Orioles. Mejia is expected to join the 25-man roster in the next day or two. …The Angels released catcher José Briceño to create a spot for Mejia on the 40-man roster. Briceño is out with a season-ending shoulder problem. …Griffin Canning played catch for the second time since going on the injured list with elbow inflammation. Ausmus said Canning is close to being ready to throw a bullpen session. …Terry Smith felt ill before Thursday’s game, so he turned over radio play-by-play duties to José Mota. Smith is expected to return Friday.UP NEXTAngels (RHP Jaime Barría, 4-5, 6.36) at Red Sox (RHP Brian Johnson, 1-1, 6.88), 4:10 p.m., Fox Sports West Buttrey has said the issue wasn’t fatigue, and there was no drop in velocity that would suggest he was tired. Buttrey thinks he just started “focusing on other parts of the game instead of attacking the strike zone” and it cost him.He brought the new mindset into a series at the ballpark he once hoped would be his home. The Boston Red Sox drafted Buttrey and kept him in their farm system for six years before trading him to the Angels in the Ian Kinsler deal just before the deadline last July.When he stepped on the field Friday at Fenway Park, he said it was the first time he’d been on the field since he signed.Although he figured he would have been here wearing a Red Sox uniform, he also expressed no hard feelings.“I would have liked to have been called up,” he said, “but (the trade) opened doors to a completely unbelievable opportunity, something I don’t think I’d have had the chance to do if I’d stayed with Boston.”ALSOAndrew Heaney, who is on the injured list because of shoulder inflammation, has been cleared to return to the rotation Saturday. …Related Articles BOSTON — A string of rough outings sent Ty Buttrey into the video room, and he emerged with some answers.“Sometimes this game catches you from left field,” Buttrey said before Thursday’s game. “I think sometimes you get on these rolls and you don’t realize the bad habits you are creating.”Buttrey said he realized he had changed his hand position recently. One of the reasons was he was trying to avoid tipping his pitches. He ended up holding his hands in an uncomfortable way, which threw off his timing.Although he still allowed a run in his last outing, he said the previous two have felt much better than the previous stretch. Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter center_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone “I pride myself on getting on the mound, attacking the zone, getting ahead of guys, and finishing them off,” said Buttrey, who has a 3.59 ERA in 51 games. “I didn’t feel like I was doing that. One minute this game is easy, and the next you are scratching your head and ‘what just happened?’”Buttrey’s season went sideways at a bad time.The Angels had won four in a row and had a two-run lead in the eighth against the Baltimore Orioles, when he gave up two runs in a game the Angels would lose in 16 bullpen-burning innings.He would allow seven runs over a span of three games, all of them losses in a season-turning 2-5 homestand against the Orioles and Detroit Tigers.“It was kind of an eye-opening experience and a wakeup call for me,” Buttrey said. “It doesn’t matter if a team is 32-70. These guys are big-league hitters. If you take one little ounce of attention and focus off, they’ll capitalize on it.” Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more