Nation
90 percent of Hindi voters sealed Indira Gandhi's fate

The Congress party has never won in Tamil Nadu since. Ironically, a decade later, it was this “Hindi voter” that dealt the Congress party its first national defeat in parliamentary elections in 1977, after the emergency was lifted

 

 “If the majority rule were to apply, the crow should be our national bird, not the peacock”. A quote attributed to the Tamil leader C.N. Annadurai during a protest speech in 1962 against the imposition of Hindi as a national language, 13 years before the imposition of emergency by Indira Gandhi. Annadurai went on to become the chief minister of Madras in 1967, galvanising support through the anti-Hindi movement, defeating the Congress party in Tamil Nadu for the first time and forever.
 
The Congress party has never won in Tamil Nadu since. Ironically, a decade later, it was this “Hindi voter” that dealt the Congress party its first national defeat in parliamentary elections in 1977, after the emergency was lifted.
 
Twelve states accounted for 90 percent of all votes cast in the 1977 election. Using a loose definition of “Hindi” and “Non-Hindi” states, six “Hindi” states accounted for 65 percent of votes and the six “Non-Hindi” states, the remaining 35 percent. Our loose categorisation of Hindi states include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The non-Hindi states are Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal and Orissa.
 
One hundred and twenty million voters in these twelve states had a direct choice to express their anger against the emergency by voting against the Congress candidate on their ballot. Seventy million (63 percent) did. But 90 percent of all these angry voters were confined to the six “Hindi” states. Further, there were 376 constituencies in which there was a Congress candidate under Indira Gandhi’s leadership in both the 1971 and 1977 elections.
 
Fifty-two percent of these voted for the Congress candidate in the 1971 elections vs 38 percent only in the 1977 elections represented an absolute loss of 4.3 million voters for the Congress between 1971 and 1977. Incredulously however, 6.3 million incremental voters voted AGAINST the Congress in 1977 in the six “Hindi” states while 2 million voters incrementally voted FOR the Congress in the “non-Hindi” states.
 
Overall, in the “non-Hindi” states, roughly the same percentage of voters that voted for the Congress in 1971 did so in 1977. One state, Uttar Pradesh, accounted for 73 percent of all angry voters that treated the Congress with contempt while ironically, the voter in Tamil Nadu seemed nonchalant and even marginally happier with the Congress in 1977 vis-a-vis 1971. Ninety percent of all anger (vote share swing vis-a-vis 1971) was concentrated in three “Hindi” states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.
 
The Congress lost 167 seats across these twelve states in 1977 from the 1971 elections, of which 168 seats were lost in the six “Hindi” states and a gain of one seat in the six “non-Hindi” states. It is of telling significance that 40 million voters in the six “non-Hindi” states did not deem Indira Gandhi worthy of punishment for masterminding arguably independent India’s most heinous crime.
 
While one can nitpick over whether Maharashtra and Gujarat can truly be defined as “Hindi”, the larger point of this analysis is the massive diversion in reaction to what is generally considered a terrible action by any standards. To the ardent observer of Indian society and its history, this is rightly no big revelation or surprise. However, we still miss a scholarly narrative about why the “non-Hindi” citizen was not alarmed by the Emergency vis-a-vis her fellow “Hindi” citizen.
 
Was it the perceived positive impact of the 20-point programme? Was it the absence of a strong opposition in these “non-Hindi” states to galvanise support against the Emergency? Was it the lack of a credible alternative for people to vent their anger with? Was it the notion that local governance mattered much more than any suspension of civil liberties?
 
While Annadurai got his wish granted of Hindi not being imposed, has that inadvertently exacerbated and prolonged this chasm in voting behaviour between the “Hindi” states and “non Hindi” states, as was evident even in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections?
 

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Rajat Gupta's appeal in insider trading case rejected

Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff on Thursday rejected Gupta's appeal to have his 2012 conviction overturned, saying a recent appeals court decision did not affect tippers like him, the New York Post reported

 

Goldman Sachs' former India-born director Rajat Gupta failed to get his insider-trading conviction tossed on the ground that he did not benefit from the alleged tips after a judge ruled it was "too little, too late".
 
Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff on Thursday rejected Gupta's appeal to have his 2012 conviction overturned, saying a recent appeals court decision did not affect tippers like him, the New York Post reported.
 
Gupta and Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, to whom Gupta was accused of passing illegal tips about Goldman Sachs "were close business associates with a considerable history of exchanging financial favours", Rakoff noted.
 
He had appealed against his conviction after an appeals court threw out two insider-trading convictions because the government had not proved that the people who gave the tips had received a financial benefit.
 
Gupta is serving a two-year sentence at a prison in Massachusetts and is reportedly scheduled for a March 2016 release.
 
In 2008, Gupta had been named chairman of Galleon International, Rajaratnam's $1.1 billion hedge-fund firm, in which he had a 15 percent stake.
 
While a Goldman director, Gupta told Rajaratnam that Warren Buffett planned to invest $5 million in the bank during the financial crisis, then later leaked information that Goldman would post a fourth-quarter loss.
 
That information provided a "potential pecuniary benefit" to Gupta because of his investments in Galleon, Rakoff said, according to the Post.
 
Rajaratnam has also asked the court to throw out his conviction based on the same appeals court decision.
 

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Patients heave sigh of relief as Maharashtra doctors end strike

The development comes as a welcome relief to thousands of patients at the strike-hit 14 government medical colleges-cum-hospitals and three run by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation across Maharashtra

 

Resident doctors posted at state government and municipal hospitals across Maharashtra called off their two-day strike following an amicable settlement of a majority of their demands, a top leader of the doctors said here on Friday.
 
The development comes as a welcome relief to thousands of patients at the strike-hit 14 government medical colleges-cum-hospitals and three run by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation across Maharashtra.
 
Accordingly, around 4,500 resident doctors from these 17 medical colleges-cum-hospitals will resume duties from 8 p.m. on Friday.
 
Particularly affected for two days were medical services such as Outdoor Patients Departments, emergencies, surgeries and routine procedures, which were temporarily being manned by junior doctors and professors.
 
"We held fruitful negotiations with Medical Education Minister Vinod Tawde on our pending issues. The government has conceded nearly 90 percent of our demands and will give a written, time-bound commitment to implement them," Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) president Sagar Mundada said.
 
Mundada said among the major demands conceded were two-month paid leave for expectant women doctors and those contracting tuberculosis, posting of post-graduates specialising in a particular field in the same department during bond period service, and a long-term plan to rationalise working hours.
 
MARD members struck work on Thursday after discussions with Tawde in June resulted only in oral assurances and no action on their implementation.

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