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Democracy and the Act of Voting

The Algebra of Warfare-Welfare: A Long View of India’s 2014 Election edited by Irfan Ahmad and Pralay Kanungo, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019; pp xxiv + 385, 1,195.

 

The general elections in India in 2014 were a major breakthrough in the Indian political system. For the first time in the Indian political history, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) (of the National Democratic Alliance [NDA] government) had a landslide victory and jolted the Congress party that had maintained its dominance since independence. It was during the 2014 elections that the BJP was provided a major facelift, which proved to be electorally popular.

It was during the 2014 elections that the BJP outdid itself not only in terms of its agenda, electoral campaign and performance, but also in many other factors. Herein lies the merit of this volume that tries to offer a holistic understanding of the elections, where the act of voting works in a configuration of social, cultural and political landscapes. Also, a comprehensive study of electoral processes cannot just be an analysis of numbers, voters, statistics, censuses, and so on. And, for the same reason, this book does not limit itself to just enumeration as a political activity, but involves much more, whereby anthropology (Irfan Ahmad’s discipline) and political science (Pralay Kanungo’s discipline) together have given a nuanced understanding of the 2014 elections. Together, they analysed how far one can treat a periodic election as a parameter to understand the essence of democracy.

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Updated On : 2nd Mar, 2020

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