ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Not So Hung After All

GPD ELECTORAL games our people play: that could be a nice title of a nice quickie on Indian elections. The games are, of course, expensive. And getting more expensive, every passing day. The 'biggest democracy' title does not come free. It is also the 'biggest expensive democracy', if one calculated the per capita expense as a proportion of per capita income. The Election Commission has reduced the noise level going with the elections but hardly anything else. But then it could not have. That the Commission organises this show at all, with increasing frequency at that, is impressive indeed. With all the confirmed and unconfirmed stories of violence and rigging notwithstanding, it is a successful and fairly impartial operation. Even 'rigging' seems to give different results every 18 months. That might mean that you can'rig' only with the general mood and rarely against it. At any rate it is not easy to see how in a situation of money and muscle power ruling the roost, as it is quite often alleged, governments do change. The big fellows do lose elections. The 'yuti' (BJP-Shiv Sena combine in Maharashtra) sweeps the polls in one election and is practically wiped out in the next. Of course, there are reasons for it. But those reasons, if they are valid at all, presume relatively free and fair elections. The game is expensive but it is played according to rules.

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