24 July, 2021

The Pass Percentage

Modi’s campaign collapsed the gap between contesting and winning

The Pass Percentage
“Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!”

—Barack Obama
Democratic National Convention, 2004

These words of the leader of the world’s oldest democracy best describe, a decade later, the newly crowned leader of the world’s largest democracy. An audacious act that has never been performed successfully in over 40 years—this sums up BJP leader Narendra Modi’s outstanding performance in the 2014 election, winning 337 out of the 543 seats for his National Democratic Alliance (at the time of writing). The enormity of Modi’s electoral achievement is simply unfathomable. Statis­tically, it’s even bigger than India’s shock victory, as a total underdog, in the ’83 cricket world cup.

In order to fully comprehend the magnitude of the BJP’s victory in the 2014 elections, it is important to delve a bit into the electoral history of India. There have...

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