India’s Election: Farmers, Suicide, Protest, and Hate Speech

Sonora Jha calls attention to the protest by India’s formerly “most placid voter bloc: its farmers” during the current general election. In an op-ed published by the New York Times she writes:

The protest is inflamed by rising attention to the shocking suicide rate on India’s hardscrabble farms. Since 1995, more than 290,000 farmers have killed themselves. Though that figure, compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau, is sketchy at best, perceptions are what counts in politics. And that perception, along with the reality that most of these suicides are borne of desperation wrought by decades of official corruption, crushing debt and cruel neglect, is being coupled with a revolutionary change in election law. For the first time, angry farmers can reject all the politicians clamoring for the vote and mark their ballots “None of the Above.”

Jha wrote a upcoming novel on the issue – Foreign.

In an article for Index on Censorship, Mahima Kaul calls the general election the “greatest show on earth” and details how India is struggling with hate speech in the campaign season, especially against Muslims in rural areas.

Exit Polled Want to Exit Healthcare.

 I just don’t get why so many people want to abolish the Affordable Healthcare Act – Obamacare – according to exit polls just reported on CNN. I’ve tried, but I just don’t understand it. I think the reform of healthcare – especially getting rid of problems like the preexisting conditions opt-out for insurances – is one of the best and most important, literally lifesaving pieces of legislature introduced in the last, I don’t know, 40 years. And I think that it is a issue that should be approved on a bi-partisan level; it’s good for everybody and make perfect (economic, moral, social..) sense. It’s not socialism, the basic structure is still market-driven.

The possible repeal  one of the aspects that make this election so personal for me, even though I’m not American. I do plan to live/work in the States again at some point in the near future, and my mental health issues might be a preexisting condition and something I need (expensive) care for, even when I’m feeling good/have it under control. 

Path to the White House

Buzzfeed has a pretty nifty guide to who wins how and when. The New York Times chart is a bit more complicated

I’ll leave these tabs open til.. Obama wins Ohio, I guess hope? That way I might actually get some sleep. 

Like 4 years ago, I can only recommend Talking Points Memo for thoughtful (liberal-leaning) coverage. 

My favorite podcast/ progressive political commentary show – This Week in Blackness Radio – will also be covering the election night, from 8 pm EST on.