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8 May 2013, Gateway House

Today’s Badi Soch

This daily column includes Gateway House’s Badi soch – big thought – of the day’s foreign policy events. Today’s focus is on the election process, viewed through the Karnataka election in India, and the general elections in Pakistan and Iceland.

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Civil society activists in Bangalore should view the Congress party’s victory in Karnataka’s polls as a platform to renew their demand for making Bangalore India’s primary first-world city.

Next door in Pakistan, Imran Khan, the leader of the Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, will clearly ride the sympathy wave after his fall from a forklift while campaigning in Lahore yesterday. This may upstage Nawaz Sharif’s almost-certain electoral victory ahead of the May 11 general elections, especially with Khan’s valiant hospital bedside speech which is on a tear on YouTube and made ‘Imran Khan’ a trending topic on Twitter.

And far away in Nordic Europe, Icelanders have mysteriously brought back the centre-right Independence Party and the Progressive Party to power in the April 2013 general elections – the very party responsible for the country’s 2008 financial crisis. Clearly, austerity in developed countries works only up to a point – else it results in the kind of resentment that Iceland’s incumbent Social Democratic/Left Green coalition for their tough measures meant to stabilise the economy after bailouts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and fellow Nordic countries.

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