Posted by: Vikram | May 18, 2009

India, dont congratulate yourself too soon ….

Just the fact that 47 people died so that the general elections could be held speaks volumes about the state of democracy in parts of India.

Only 44.47 % of the electorate voted in Bihar as compared to 58.02 % in 2004.

Only 46.45 % of the electorate voted in UP as compared to 48.16 % in 2004.

Is the heartland losing its faith in democracy ?

If the day of elections is also a day of curfew in Srinagar, what does it tell you about democracy there ?

Instead of celebrating a vote for stability, should’nt we think about why every opinion poll/ every analyst on our English media was so wrong ? What does that tell you about how out of touch our chattering classes are from the masses ?


  1. Does it show people do not always reveal who they have voted for ? They know their minds and they know it’s their right and privilege to choose.

    They are the real King Makers.

    • Well, it could also be the fact these opinion polls are totally biased and unprofessionally conducted.

  2. Instead of celebrating a vote for stability, should’nt we think about why every opinion poll/ every analyst on our English media was so wrong ? What does that tell you about how out of touch our chattering classes are from the masses ?

    we should cheer for sure if not celebrate like it s a festival ..afterall stability was close to becoming an obsolete word in Indian politics 😀

    but yes the question needs to be asked…our media has always been out of touch with the pulse of the masses..or it has seemed that way to me for a long time…Congress BJP or any other

    • Yes, I think this is a very important Indians must ask of their media. It is more unrepresentative than anything else.

  3. I think that India is far too diverse for the exit polls to work. If their sample size improves so will the results! And as for the elections, yes the low turnouts are a cause for worry, but I think alls well that ends well! That is what one blogger (compulsive writer) mentioned in her post.

  4. here is some more pollpurri

    • Thanks for the link Reema.

  5. Vikram,few deaths here and there don’t matter when it comes to fighting for power.Electorate have proved for sure that they can n ot be taken for granted.They are too intelligent for the present day netas.
    More so,this election was fought in the TV studios.No exit poll of the media came close to what was shown and discussed on all the channels.I took it as another entetainment programme.

    • Chowlaji, at some level it is indeed an entertainment program. It is like real life drama. But with very real consequences.

  6. Vikram, you don’t mention the reasons why those 47 died. Were they trying to disrupt elections, by any chance? Were they killed because they initiated the attack?

    And why is this transfer of power through peaceful means (well, in this case, there’s no transfer to a different party) not to be applauded, given that people in other countries still engage in bloodbath to gain access to power? While I understand that our propensity is to look at ‘glass half-empty’ and try to fill it up (nothing wrong with that – we all strive to better ourselves), let’s also *acknowledge* the ‘half-full glass’ and look at the positives.

    Perfection only exists in our minds, not in the real world, which goes on, uncaring of our ideas of perfection about it.

    • Amit, most of the 47 were security forces killed in attacks by Maoists.

      I understand what you are trying to say, and I am not trying to be cynical. I just wanted to

      a) Make people realize that some are ready to risk their lives so democracy can be exercised

      b) Bring up the low voter turnout in the heartland. I wanted to know why people thought that had happened.

  7. I think we will have arrived as a mature democracy when we can conduct an election without anyone being killed. This is important and I wouldn’t underrate it; pretty much every election sees some level of lethal violence anywhere and it isn’t acceptable. Everyone needs to respect the vote and the mandate it confers.

  8. Here the voting was way higher. Much unusual than before. So you win some you lose some. India is not about UP and Bihar after all 🙂

    • I just wanted to point out the low voting numbers. No Hindi imperialism !

  9. my comment is not there?

    • Sorry, I forgot to approve it. My fault.

  10. The English language media is very problematic. It is certainly unrepresentative of the majority of Indians. So, to a lesser extent, is the local language media, I guess, but at least those inside India can have access to both. The major problem seems to be that non-Indians outside India can only form an opinion of what matters in India from the English language media.

  11. […] Here is the original post: India, dont congratulate yourself too soon …. […]

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