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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Abstract Approved, National Seminar at Brennen College 10 January 2014

The papers accepted for presentation in the impending One Day National Seminar organized by Dept. of Political Science at Govt. Brennen College 


Aleena Thomas
Research Scholar
Department of International Relations
Central University Kerala

Social media has become an increasingly significant part of daily lives; it has also become a growing aspect of political campaigns. The first notable use of social media to rally the voting community was during the 2008 Presidential election, when the Obama campaign took to the web to draw out the young vote. Since then, the number of individuals using social media has enhanced, and growing with it is the amount of people who use such venues to publicize their political views. From tweets and Face book updates to YouTube videos and petitions, social media has become a power tool not only for official campaign teams but also for supporters. A recent report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and IRIS Knowledge Foundation has revealed that of India’s 543 constituencies, 160 can be termed as ‘high impact’ — that is, they will most likely be influenced by social media in the next general elections. The BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP) has been the first national political party to have embraced technology to reach out to voters. India’s other big national political party, the Congress, and also the AamAdmi Party use this way for their campaign. During this time, to ensure decorum in online election campaigning, the Election Commission of India (ECI) will monitor the content that political parties and candidates post on the internet and social media websites for any violation of electoral laws and model code of conduct. The political communication is easier on this way but we must check it out due to huge money was being spent on using social media as the medium of campaign. So this paper tries to analyse how far the social media campaign effective in this new era political communication in India.

Key Words: social media, political communication


Assistant Professor,
Department of Political Science,
Govt. College Kattappana.

The rise of environmental politics in the ‘new politics’ of industrialized societies is an ongoing debate in contemporary political science.  The ‘old politics’ focused on stable political cleavages and differences based on class, religion or regional divisions, of which the left-right pattern of partisan alignment is pre-eminent (Lipset and Rokkan 1967). In such a system, political participation is comparatively low; for most people it extends no further than voting in elections. Those citizens who are more active generally join movements such as trade unions or political parties, which pursue economic and political rights that will enhance the interests of their class only. Since the late 1960’s, there was a fundamental change in the values and forms of political activity in these industrialized nations.  It is transforming the issues that dominate the political agenda and creating new political cleavages which are contributing to a realignment of long established party systems-the ‘new politics’ (Inglehart 1990, Dalton 2006). The three notable manifestations of the ‘new politics’, firstly the emergence of New Social Movements (NSMs) secondly, the emergence of a ‘new middle class’, of educated, professional service workers and finally a growing minority of citizens holds a set of post material values emphasizing equal rights, environmental quality and alternative lifestyles, which challenge the old materialist concerns of economic and physical security are directly or indirectly paved the way for ‘Green Politics’ and green parties formation. In short, a ‘new politics’ account would interpret environmentalism as one element of a wider structural and cultural transformation of contemporary politics.

The uneasy relationship between ecological concerns and democracy is a central issue in Green political theory. In India, the state has been a major actor in dispossessing the poor of their land through its own development projects, and in disrupting their livelihoods. At the same time, the state has been active in tilting the economy in favour of industry and modern intensive agriculture. The result is, state policies are turning ‘ecosystem people’ into ‘ecological refugees’. The liberalization of India’s economy since the mid 1980’s, accelerated these trends, and has promoted the rapid growth of the ‘new middle classes’. The result is both widening inequality and environmental degradation. The democratic state can’t and will not work in the interests of environmental justice, as it represents the interests of a powerful fraction of its population who are successfully passing on the costs of their environmentally degrading lifestyles to the poor, while gobbling up the material benefits of highly unequal growth. The situation therefore demands the necessity of emergence of an effective green politics and green party system in the country. The reasons for the conspicuous absence and challenges faced by the major political parties in India to accommodate the agenda of ‘new politics’ based on eco-political realities are central themes of this paper.

Keywords: New Politics, Green Politics, Environmental Justice, Green Party. 


Dr. Ved Pal Singh Deswal
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law
M. D. University Rohtak-124001 (Haryana) 

The media is the fourth estate of our nation. It is also called lifeline of a nation. It provides not only information on the issues which  may affect the normal human being in his day-to-day functioning, but also by other features that keep the citizens informed of developments at national and international level. India is the largest democracy in the world and media has been playing a key role in ensuring free and fair elections in India.   Media plays an important role in informing the people of qualities of the candidate who is there as a contestant candidate in election (whether in Panchyat, MLA or Member of Parliament). 
Though there are no specific laws or regulations governing media activities during elections especially during campaigning, the Election Commission of India has been issuing guidelines from time to time to prevent the media from influencing voters for the wrong reasons. Some of them are as follows

 There should be no coverage of any election speeches or other material that incites violence, against one religion, against one language, against one group etc.
  In any constituency, only one candidate should not be projected. All the candidates should be covered in any reports from a constituency.
  The following could be covered in a balanced and fair manner:-
  Campaigning and excerpts from campaign speeches.
  Symbols, banners, flags and other campaign materials of parties.
  Results of opinion polls by non-political, professional organisations with a proven track 
  Party manifestoes.
  Candidates and their views in different constituencies across the country.
  The positions taken by the main parties on different issues important to the electorate.
  Debates between major parties and candidates.
  Analysis of previous voting patterns, victory margins, swings etc.

In conclusion we can say that media is the image of the society. The media in India has a glorious tradition of safeguarding the democratic rights of the citizens by exposing all kinds of injustices and inequities by playing the role as a watchdog of democracy. We can also help the media by reporting the matters of social concern. During elections we should be more vigilant about the future of politics by selecting the candidate of good repute, educated and the spirit of social worker, then only we will be able to contribute in our democracy.

Key Words: Democracy, election, information, media and opinion.

NOTA and national parties in India: Comparing the positions of Congress, BJP and CPM

Anandakumar .S is a research student at Kerala University.

Despite being a vibrant democracy that is based on a well drafted constitution, the political sphere presents a dismal picture in many aspects. As citizens, many of our educated do not even vote, thereby do not fulfill the basic duty of exercising choice in a democracy to give legitimacy to the elected representatives. We have not learned to rise beyond caste, class, communal, regional and linguistic considerations to choose the deserving contestants to represent us. This reflects in the degradation of legislative debates, discussions, morals and ethics in politics. 

It is in this juncture, the concept of negative voting has emerged in the political and academic circles for discussion. Negative voting is any voting system that allows many voters to express formal displeasure simultaneously in a system where they all share some power unlike most voting systems, it requires that only negative measures or choices be presented to the voter. The negative voting is intended to put moral pressure on political parties not to put forward candidates with undesirable records ie criminals, corrupt elements and person with unsavory background. Now the concept has become a reality by way of a Supreme Court judgment. The judgment has led to mixed reactions. The national parties protested initially against the Supreme Court judgment without understanding the impact of NOTA.

This paper discusses the ideological position of major political parties, especially Congress, BJP and CPM and how their current approach towards NOTA affects their political space in the elections. Since negative voting is a new concept in India, especially in the coming assembly elections, the paper focuses in detail about negative voting, its long term impact on Indian politics with special reference to the coming assembly election. It also mentions about negative voting in other countries and what makes Indian negative voting a peculiar one. The value of negative voting differs from country to country. This is an attempt to find out the values which negative voting is going to bring in Indian electoral politics and how far it can prevent criminalization of politics and to what extend it help in the holistic view of electoral reforms.   


Stefy V Joseph
Phd student 
Center for South Asian Studies
UMISARC,Pondicherry university

India adopted a federal design to weave a nation out of its diversities and to combine democracy and regional diversity in a multicultural and multi religious society. In the early decades of independence, India’s federal system exhibited strong centralizing tendencies with a one party dominated rule by the Indian National Congress. In the recent decades, the shift from a one party dominant system to a multiparty system at the national level has had serious implications on the working of Indian federalism. The rise of regional parties and the resultant coalition governments at the centre has significantly changed the nature of Indian federalism.
With the emergence of regional parties at the cost of national parties, coalition government at the national level has become inevitable. Regional parties have become more assertive on government decisions regarding the states they represent. They can voice their concerns when they sense that the Union Government is out of sync with the regional realities. The increased influence of regional parties at the national level has considerably reduced the centralizing tendencies of Indian federal structure. 

When regional parties exploit various issues to attain their political goals, they deviate from the federal spirit of the country. Secessionist tendencies creep in when regional parties uphold parochial interests for electoral gains, which is a serious threat to the sustenance of India’s federal structure. It is high time that both the national and regional parties picked up from their experiences and worked together towards the unity and integrity of the nation.

Regional parties have even been influencing the foreign policy decision, which is considered to be a prerogative of the Union Government. The Teesta water sharing treaty between India and Bangladesh had to be shelved due to the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s opposition to the treaty. Similarly, Tamil Nadu based political parties’ aggressive stance on Srilanka has created disturbances in India Srilanka relations.

This paper attempts to analyze the increased influence of regional parties on Union government’s decisions and policies and its impact on the functioning of Indian federalism.

Keywords: Federalism, Coalition Politics, Regional Parties, Foreign policy, National interest.




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