The Indian Elections are in full swing, the worlds biggest democracy is selecting it’s leadership for the next 5 years. If your politics is of the right then your party is supposedly the BJP [Bharata Janta Party] and the Congress Party if your politics is of the left. However what most people aren’t aware of is how the Indian Democracy works.
First there are only two major national parties. However there are a total of 370 in 2014 across India. These are much smaller from the local to the bigger regional parties.
Second in order for one of the national parties to win it first much clear the 272 congressional seats marker. To achieve this one of the bigger parties must build coalitions regionally and locally.
Nothing like the two party duopoly of the United States or the coalition government of the UK. The current form of democracy in India isn’t really truly democracy there are more variables than meet the eye however to win you must first decide who is friend and who is foe. This is where the trouble begins, the more people you can bring under your banner the more leverage you have, so hypothetically a group fighting for the rights of LGBT community could team up with other groups to form a vote bank and sway the election depending on who gives them what they want. Either way you never get a 100% from the candidate or party you voted for.
Most Hindus around me are in the camp of Narendra Modi the chief minister of Gujarat despite the mud slinging on both sides he has firm grip on the election - it’s his to lose. The congress party despite the mud slinging is going through the changing of the guards phase so what looks like on the surface of a hasty retreat and confusion in the ranks is really just a reshuffling of the deck. The BJP is effectively pushing at an open door much like the Conservative Party did in the UK elections three terms of one party has become just too much.
Let me declare my position in all of this before someone else does it for me. I don’t like either, however if it were my vote I would vote for Narendra Modi not that I’ve seen any substance in the BJP manifesto or policies. His track record at the regional level seems to be pretty sound in context of economic development largely thanks to the low tax zones for foreign investments and money raised and spent on developing infrastructure.
It’s the lesser of two evils, However I'm still left with Evil. - in the words of Michael Moore.
Let me also make it clear that I don’t think that Narendra Modi is "evil" and for those who are thinking What about the 2002 riots?, let me say this the riots were and always will be a tragedy and a blot on the reputation of India and Indians. However in 1984 20-30,000 Sikhs were massacred in the streets of India in a highly organised and sadistic manner under the leadership of a Congress government, I have yet to see the same level of fervor advocating justice for the Sikhs who are still suffering from that Injustice.
For me there will always only be one Indian Politician whom I admire, respect and if I could vote for. It would be Lal Bahadur Shastri. India’s 2nd Prime Minister. To give you an Insight into the genius and great soul man he was and in my humble opinion no current Indian politician compares to this great man and world leader.
Extract Taken From: Guha, Ramachandra (2008). India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy.
In a public meeting held at the Ram Lila grounds in Delhi, a few days after the ceasefire [with Pakistan], he complained against a BBC report which claimed that Shastri's identity as a Hindu meant that he was ready for a war with Pakistan. He stated:
"While I am a Hindu, Mir Mushtaq who is presiding over this meeting is a Muslim. Mr. Frank Anthony who has addressed you is a Christian. There are also Sikhs and Parsis here. The unique thing about our country is that we have Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and people of all other religions. We have temples and mosques, gurdwaras and churches. But we do not bring all this into politics. This is the difference between India and Pakistan. Whereas Pakistan proclaims herself to be an Islamic State and uses religion as a political factor, we Indians have the freedom to follow whatever religion we may choose, and worship in any way we please. So far as politics is concerned, each of us is as much an Indian as the other."
Amazing isn't he, wait till you get to know him. You'll wish your leaders were like him too.
- Pavan Choudary and Anil Shastri. Lal Bahadur Shastri: Lessons in Leadership.