13 April, 2021

Circus Sans Clowns

This will be a non-election because it has no cathartic value, no demons to bury

Sandeep Adhwaryu
Circus Sans Clowns
Elections in India are much more than democratic exercises. They are recurring national events, rich in entertainment and of cathartic value. Of course, this is not to underestimate the democratic quotient of elections. Our polls are undoubtedly the biggest democratic spectacle in the history of mankind. The scale is truly impressive, so is its significance. The second biggest nation in the world evicts or returns a government peacefully in a manner that usually has political pundits nodding their heads in admiration—even though the bulk of our voters are poor and illiterate and the terrains sometimes difficult and inaccessible. The merit of our elections, if measured on a scale of 10, would probably score 9, and may well be rated as among the best in the world. Previous poll rigging in Bihar or Haryana seem minor compared to the major Florida hijack of 2000. So with elections being alien in giant countries like China or electoral records being sullied in the US, India shines by contrast.

While the democratic worth of our elections is indeed paramount, there are other...

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