117 Replies to “Indian Elections 2019 Thread”

    1. HAHAHA Jai Shri Ram! Hindus are finally becoming assertive. Hindus waking up and Modi arriving at the same time is a civilizational lifeline… a signal from Mahadeva himself.

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  1. BJP may well have soloed it…again. This could be an unprecedented day.

    But I am most pleased with my homeland of Uttar Pradesh. I can now dare to dream that we are breaking through the patrimonial, caste-based duopoly that has tyrannized us for so long.

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  2. Some thoughts:

    1) Bigger BJP / NDA landslide than I expected tbh.

    (2014 could be explained by anti-corruption, and incumbency. 2019 is a vote on Modi government’s performance, so I thought they would get a lot fewer votes this time around)

    2) Smriti Irani currently in slight lead over Rahul Gandhi in congress stronghold Amethi. wtf.

    3) Less violence, more orderly than previous elections.

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  3. The BJP’s victory is unprecedented in many, many ways. This is a pro incumbency election which in itself is something we have not seen probably since 1971.
    This election marks a new phase for India, a phase of Hindu/Indic assertion, and an assertion of the lower middle classes, of the middle and lower castes, and an expression of an aspirational India.
    Where this takes India is to be seen, but India will not be the same any more. This is a watershed.

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    1. Yep. Hindu cross-caste consolidation is a wondrous thing to behold. This election may be the harbinger of India slowly entering a modern political mode.

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  4. Just realised that PoK is represented by the Ladakh constituency. At it went to BJP ;).

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  5. By definition, this is probably a very happy day for many Indians. I’m personally not so pleased, but political persuasions aside, I think we can all agree that a strong and robust opposition is crucial for the health of any democracy (unless you want to go full Benthamite and argue that the Chinese way is the best way — wouldn’t hold it against you).

    Right now, the opposition in India is a caricature of itself. This is something that should concern all.

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    1. Probably important for India to have a majority government in order to push reforms forward. Otherwise political squabbling takes up too much energy.

      BJP is still losing ground in state assembly elections.

      I think a lot of people just saw this as a Modi vs Rahul vs Mamta/Mayawati contest, rather than a contest of the local representatives.

      Delhi-ites for eg. seem to want BJP at the federal level, and AAP at the state level. Mainly because people like Modi.

      YSRCP’s incredible showing in Andhra proves that democracy is still functional.

      Overall I am not worried at all about India becoming Nazi Germany. Just because the BJP got 2 majority governments at the centre in a row.

      The Indian opposition needs to come together and create a compelling vision for the country that isn’t based on caste and creed divides.

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      1. But the BJP inroads into W Bengal is a huge milestone for them. Kind of unthinkable not too long ago.

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    2. The problem with Indian opposition is that they thought they could get out of the hole they dug by following the same strategies that had got them there in the first place.

      They can’t accuse Modi of being hands-off when they are themselves no better.

      I hope more opposition politicians start podcasts, actually meet their constituents, take questions, provide alternate policies, and attack the anti-defection laws. This might not guarantee victory in the next election or the one after that but will be good for the polity. This kind of open-ness and long-term orientation has been missing.

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  6. “But I am most pleased with my homeland of Uttar Pradesh.”

    We know no king but the King in the North, whose name is Modi 😛

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          1. Qawwali is a South Asian form. Very few qawwalis are actually in Arabic.

            Qureshi is a renowned ethnomusicologist who is the expert in this field. Her book is based on extensive fieldwork at the Nizamuddin dargah.

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  7. When a terrorism-accused like Sadhvi Pragya becomes a member of Parliament, it is a very dark day for India. Minorities (not just Muslims) are now going to live in fear for the next five years. What this election shows is that Hindu nationalism and strikes against Pakistan get votes regardless of the lackluster economic situation and other issues.

    It is of course the right of Indians to decide the direction their country goes in. But it is disturbing that they would choose a direction that is regressive and majoritarian rather than one which is progressive. One would think you would have learned from the experience of your neighbor to the west. Hate may sell in the short term but in the long run it destroys a country from within.

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    1. “When a terrorism-accused like Sadhvi Pragya becomes a member of Parliament”

      Dude you focus way too much on Pragya. Nobody cares about her, nobody is even treating this like a parliamentary election. If you were to tell a BJP supporter “you are technically voting for members of parliament, who will meet and collectively decide the prime minister,” they will say “vo theek hai. I want Modi to be the pradhan mantri.”

      There can be no doubt anymore, 2014 was not a fluke, and Modi has emerged as a towering, civilizational figure of India.

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      1. I don’t think I am wrong in focusing on Sadhvi Pragya. The fact that someone like her can be chosen (not despite but because of her record) and then elected is very telling about the direction the country is headed in. And this is when her opponent also ran a soft Hindutva campaign, rallying sadhus to his side.

        2014 was not a fluke. But at that time Modi at least pretended not to be running on Hindutva but on “sab ka saath, sab ka vikaas” (not that I bought this even at that time). This time he made no bones about what his agenda is.

        You are free to be celebrate the result but perhaps if you were a minority you would feel differently.

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      2. Its ok, selective bias is something that needs to dealt with and will be whenever it comes across. If required a million times, so be it. Its a tough task to debate against casual generic comments which are plucked out of thin air. But we do it. All part of the game.

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    2. “Minorities (not just Muslims) are now going to live in fear for the next five years. What this election shows is that Hindu nationalism and strikes against Pakistan get votes regardless of the lackluster economic situation and other issues.” – Casual comment without depth. But, I don’t blame you, thats been the media outside india narrative.

      “It is of course the right of Indians to decide the direction their country goes in. ” – Thats correct. Agreed. I don’t have any opinion if a terrorist gets elected into the Pakistan parliament.

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      1. If Hafiz Sayeed got elected to the Pakistani parliament a lot of Indians would be up in arms (so would a lot of Pakistanis). If India wants to be regarded as a secular state it must be held to a higher standard than a religiously-defined state like Pakistan.

        Are you really defending a person who praised Nathuram Godse and whose comments were so vile that even Modi called them “unforgiveable” (not that I believe his sincerity)?

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      2. As an American, I don’t have any vote in India at all! But I do care about my country of origin, and especially my home of Uttar Pradesh, which has seen no glory since the 8th century Vardhanas.

        I have no proof for this, but I think Modi/Shah/Yogi slaughtering the MGB, which had been forecast to win big, is a harbinger of something greater ahead for the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

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          1. Seriously? You can clearly see this logical linear relationship. Eh?

            I hate this knee-jerk sophistry about all Americans being racist and sexists for electing Trump or all Indians being Nazis for electing Modi. Neither of them are true but even if they are, it doesn’t tell you much about why those voters turned out to be so. Did all the good people of previous years suddenly die or something?

            And if all the people were always like this, isn’t it stupid to expect anything but hindi, patriarchy, demolition of every single mosque long before now? So, what gives?

            Do you expect people to change? Then, why did they change in this direction? Do you expect people not to change? Then, why expect anything else than their continued love of in-group? (Just like yourself and your forgetfulness about beauty being in the eyes of the beholder and insisting that others find beauty only in things you consider as beautiful).

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          2. @Zach

            Don’t confuse voices from the cow belt for the majority of Indians. In the last election 70% of the electorate did not vote for the BJP. 60% voted for parties that were not part of the NDA.

            India is big, diverse, and is the definition of multitudes. For all the glee that’s being expressed on these threads, in five years the BJP could very well be in the opposition again.

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          3. “With respect comments like this make me realise that QeA was far more prescient in pushing for Pakistan”

            Perhaps more than anything, this election affirms that QeA was correct.

            I just hope Pakistan is prepared to accept more Indian Muslims in the near future.

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        1. It is ironic that someone who is a minority in the US (as am I) is supporting the worst kind of majoritarianism back in the country of origin. But OK.

          This is like if I vote Democrat in the US and then turn around and enthusiastically support Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan.

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          1. I vote straight GOP in America (though I did not vote for Trump in 2016, I plan to vote for him in 2020.)

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          2. Well, at least you’re consistent in supporting majoritarianism. Interesting that you support the Republicans despite their not really having any love lost for non-white people.

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          3. Lefties are too doctrinaire and polemical. Need to be cut down to size. Gotta strike against the leviathan by any means necessary.

            Once we live in a saner world, then I can go back to adopting better political positions (including opposing the BJP in favor of better things.)

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          4. I couldn’t support a party that doesn’t at least claim to care for the less fortunate and for minorities. The Republican party makes no secret out of not liking anyone who is not a straight white man. They even want to restrict women’s rights (though white women don’t seem too bothered). The Democratic party on the other hand is interested in more rights for women, racial and sexual minorities. All citizens should be treated equally.
            I can’t really argue with someone who thinks four more years of Trump is a good idea.

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    3. Although i myself is angry about her win but here is the reason why it happens –

      https://www.ips-journal.eu/interviews/article/show/deliberative-democracy-makes-citizens-happy-3470/

      Q 3 – But that could also just be a sign of a healthy democracy if voters do change parties more frequently.

      Ans.
      It may be that voters change parties more in line with their political affinities, but the whole idea of rational voting behaviour turns out to be empirically a very, very different one. Very few people know who’s minister of what, very few people know who’s in government, and very few people remember the party that they voted for five years ago.

      I mean, the whole theory is beautiful. People have needs, people know their needs, people find politicians that respond to their needs, they vote them into power, they monitor them during their tenure, and then at the end, they are sanctioned negatively or positively. That’s the whole idea of representative democracy.

      But in practice, do they rationally choose politicians and filter their own needs? Why did poor people vote for Donald Trump then? In systems with many parties, do they always effectively remember whom they vote for and do they keep track of what people are doing?

      All these are assumptions from political theory, which just do not hold empirically.

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    4. @Kabir
      “When a terrorism-accused like Sadhvi Pragya becomes a member of Parliament, it is a very dark day for India.”

      @Sumit
      “I think a lot of people just saw this as a Modi vs Rahul vs Mamta/Mayawati contest, rather than a contest of the local representatives.”

      India has what is called the anti-defection laws, which do not allow MPs to vote against their parties in the Parliament (at the risk of disqualification). This would seem baffling to any sane human but it is what it is. Rajiv Gandhi’s ugliest political legacy.

      As such, individual MPs have very little sway in making laws. A mid to senior bureaucrat in Central government would have much more power than them.

      Neither do they have much in terms of executive powers, as long as they are not made ministers.

      People understand this intuitively. So voting for Sadhvi Pragya or not voting for Atishi doesn’t have a lot to do with their individual merit. They know the vote is for the PM candidate/party leader.

      This also explains to some extent why Praveen Chakravarty’s (Congress’s data analysis guy) thesis that assembly constituencies will map to Lok Sabha performance is flawed.

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      1. “Rajiv Gandhi’s ugliest political legacy.”

        You say that because you have no idea of what pre defection law India was, where the whole state legislatures used to regularly defect to the ruling power in Delhi. Pulling down a State Govt was extremely easy as you needed only a few legislatures. Look at the history of Haryana.

        Praveen Chakravarty’s (Congress’s data analysis guy)

        “Congress” “data analysis” -Oxymoron

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      2. “Pulling down a State Govt was extremely easy as you needed only a few legislatures.”

        If your representatives are so fickle and you still select them then you deserve them. I feel over time, as literacy etc would have improved, such a system would have had a higher self-correcting tendency.
        It is much easier to get rid of an MP/MLA than to get rid of a PM if you don’t like him/her.

        But even as a solution to this ‘problem’, RG senior swung too hard the other way. You could restrict voting compulsions to only confidence motions but no, he wanted the high command to control every law.

        In any case, this is a major reason you don’t get Atishi and you get Sadhvi Pragya. There’s no point lamenting about bigotry when there are bigger systemic issues.

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    1. Calling Mamta Banerjee “Bano” in order to make her sound Muslim is cute. Very telling about your mentality.

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        1. So what? She’s a politician. If she decided that this is going to appeal to minorities, what is your problem?

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  8. Modi has leveraged Hindutva to increase the Asabiya for a large chunk of India. Now comes the big test on both social and economic fronts. Can he control the genie of bigotry while advancing the economic agenda? For the sake of India, I wish Modi success.

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  9. DM – Same thing applies again.

    Many of these MLAs and MPs have some sort of criminal records. Again, its that forced crown of a perfect democracy that is being thrust on us. Its not. Outliers will be there, but it works. There is no civil war here. There is more to India apart from the North.
    Under true democratic fashion – rapped by Modi.

    + Why a perceived and fictional construct of Muslim fear be held as only standard for critiquing the choice of 600 million people, compared to other pressing economic and societal concerns in a rapidly modernizing world? Muslims fear, so don’t vote for modi. How silly this sounds. There is no hatred. Indians realize that they need to catch up with their aspirations. Its a society which has become ambitious.

    All sections have to tag along and adapt accordingly as we move forward. As an example, I see so many muslims in IT companies compared to what I saw 10 yrs back. Muslim girls too. All of them there due to merit. The landscape is changing on the societal front.

    BJP won again cause they delivered to certain sections of society. The last mile delivery was evident.

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  10. There are many things that concern me about another 5 years of Modi sarkar, but let me just focus on the driest one: the increasing dysfunctionality in governance that comes from trying to run a country the size of India like a mafia.

    Modi/ Shah do not delegate. Important ministries have been given to pliant ministers and given much reduced roles (defence, external affairs). At one point Jaitley ran the ministries of defence and finance. Each is more than a full time job unto itself, but apparently Chanakyan scheming trumps the needs of the nation. 5 years of Modi sarkar and the army is in an even sorrier state than it was at the beginning.

    Yes there are good, competent BJP ministers, but not nearly enough. Also, I am not one to deal in false dichotomies — the current govt has done some amazing things, like trying to end open defecation. This is huge, but also overstated in its success. It has NOT single highhandedly electrified India as one commentator recently tried to pass off. Most of that work was done under UPA. You shouldn’t get brownie points for just doing your job — you’re in charge of a vast country with huge resources and potential. Lots of good things happening on your watch should be the default bar by which we judge governments, not a cause for gloating.

    Instead of placing competent technocrats in key administrative positions, the current BJP is stuffing them with incompetent boobs:

    S. Gurumurthy as RBI governor. Are you fucking kidding me?! This man is a joke. Does anyone here think demonetization was a good idea? If you do, you must completely disconnected from the realities of the informal sector (and an idiot).

    Before Javadekar, Smriti “Yale” Irani was minister of HRD. To put bonehead like her in charge of education in India is borderline negligence.

    And does anyone here really believe the lipstick on a pig doctored stats about how great Modi sarkar has been for the economy? Once celebrated for the reliability of its official statistcs, we’re reached almost China or Argentina levels of dubiousness with our official stats.

    Also, the annual Indian Science Congress has become the laughing stock of the world under this government. Multiple centers of excellence have had their autonomy and governance interfered with by the center. The current director of the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research had his appointment blocked by this govt because they wanted someone they picked themselves instead. They relented eventually, but proceeded to tinker around with its running to the point that in February, researchers at the TIFR failed to receive their paychecks. Are you fucking serious?! This is India, not Greece or Venezuela.

    I could go on, but I’ve made my point — to all you unqualified BJP supporters, I don’t understand how you can sweep this under the rug.

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    1. Modi seems like he’s doing an alright job on the economy to me, at least superior to the alternatives.

      But in any case, I would support him even if he was slightly worse on the economy than INC. Defense matters, and I wouldn’t trust INC to defend a goldfish, let alone India. Modi has at least proven he has an intention to do so, and now we have a precedent to hold INC’s feet to the fire so they can’t just derp around doing nothing and pretend it is “strategic restraint,” ala Singh.

      Also it is very important to have a proud, strident Hindu in India’s highest office, at a time when there are strong efforts from the Left to outright delegitimize and destroy Hinduism. For example, how many articles on Diwali pollution have you read? Now, how many articles in those same publications do you see people extolling the joy that Diwali brings them? I *favor* regulations on the pollution matter, but it is very obvious to me that the Left is using it as a trojan horse for a generalized assault on our faith. Indeed, The Hindu (an ironically named socialist journal) just attacked Puri Rath Yatra because trees are cut down to make the chariots. Give me a break.

      For me to consider supporting INC, the Left has to at least cease its assault on Hinduism and actually give a sh*t about the defense of India. Until that happens, I’m backing BJP to kingdom come.

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      1. “Modi seems like he’s doing an alright job on the economy to me, at least superior to the alternatives.”

        Based on what, exactly? We can have a fact based discussion on this if you like, but I’ll let you first make the case that the economy has performed better under the NDA than the UPA.

        “Also it is very important to have a proud, strident Hindu in India’s highest office, at a time when there are strong efforts from the Left to outright delegitimize and destroy Hinduism. ”

        Nailed it. I was rhetorically egging with my points above, and your response illustrates the dynamic that was operative with many voters, and was hoping to elicit — this was an emotional choice based on cultural considerations rather than a rational one based on governance, job creation and the economy. It could also be viewed as a fuck you to the anglophone elites by the masses, the sorts of which we’ve seen in other countries recently.

        For the record — I’m no fan of the INC myself. But I’d take a government that delegates and rests on the backs of competent technocrats (even if it’s not the best choice) over one that doesn’t delegate and is demonstrably full of buffoons.

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        1. I don’t think any Indian voter cares about the important stuff like water tables, gender ratios, infrastructure, etc. Voters aren’t rational.

          For what it’s worth, I would say I’m very rationally recognizing that if a head of state proudly practices a religion, that raises the esteem of that religion. That’s something I think is good, because I think our Hindu heritage is worth celebrating.

          Of course, there’s nothing rational per se about prioritizing Hinduism above other things. But I’m not a homo economicus. And neither are most Indians (or humans.)

          —-
          And tbh the Anglophone elites do deserve to be bashed (I say this as someone who can’t speak any Indian language.)

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          1. “I don’t think any Indian voter cares about the important stuff like water tables, gender ratios, infrastructure, etc. Voters aren’t rational.”

            Absolutely. The Indian voter in particular, is much more transactional than most. It’s just clear that by now, many decades of effort by the Sangh have elevated Hinduisim as among the primary axes people vote along. Whether this is a good thing of a bad thing depends on your priors. For you, clearly it is. For me, although I’m fiercely proud of my cultural Hinduness (though I’m nastik), I think what the BJP is trying to instill is alien to Indian civilization and is playing with fire.

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        2. Regarding the economy, I’m not really up for a debate, neither of our minds will change, and tbh (as I told Dr. Ali) I consider UPA and NDA much more similar than different as far as economic matters go, so economy-wise the stakes are small…Modi is no miracle worker that’s for sure.

          I did however, like his admin being hawkish on inflation, and he did also score solid reforms at a faster rate than a counterfactual UPA-3 would have (this is speculative, I know, but Singh doesn’t inspire confidence on that front.)

          Srinivas Thiruvadanthai is more sanguine on Modi and (much more) knowledgeable on economics than I am, I would refer you to him for further discussion on econ stuff.

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          1. It’s alright. It’s nice to be able to vent over the course of a discussion conducted in good faith.

            Got nowhere else to go for this — most of the Indians I converse with regularly are Southerners who tend to agree with my takes, and my own family who (expect my folks) tend to vote Sena/BJP, but when challenged, admit that it’s as much a protest vote against the INC as it is a vote for the BJP. Given a charismatic, competent leader that is not a Nehru-Gandhi at the helm of the INC and with less of the cynical minority pandering, they wouldn’t hesitate in voting for the INC. This is the opposition India needs and lacks.

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          2. “most of the Indians I converse with regularly are Southerners ”

            Meaning you dont really talk to Indians 😛

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      2. For example, how many articles on Diwali pollution have you read?

        Dude, Diwali pollution is a big F****ing deal. Actually, all pollution is in Indian cities, but it rises to a different level at Diwali time.

        This may not seem a big thing to you, but you are fortunate to live in a country where running outside for 5 mins won’t make you wheeze like an asthmatic. I lived in the States for a decade myself, and when I moved back (to Delhi, for a job), it was a daily torment. I never really got used to it, and moved cities mainly to avoid Delhi pollution.

        This has nothing to do with Hinduism, as far as I am concerned.

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  11. Yeah, I can understand the “BJP is not as useless as every other party out there” argument, but I can’t really fathom a positive preference for the party (or Modi.) For many of the reasons you mention above.

    Our people have such low standards, expect so little from their government, and are satisfied with so little. Sigh!

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    1. Have to agree with this. I dislike BJP, but want India to do well? what alternatives are there exactly?

      INC has proven themselves to be completely incompetent, even at basic politics, BJP completely controlled the narrative. It doesnt help when you refuse to let go of dynastic politics and insist on keeping negru-Gandhi parivar at the helm.

      The worst case scenario would have been some ragtag coalition of regional and small parties. With manta, mayawati at the helm.

      I don’t like modi, saffron, majoritarianism etc. But the alternatives are range from bad to nightmarish.

      I would love to see a competent,national, opposition party emerge in India. Till then Modi is probably the best.

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      1. @Sumit — a manifesto for a party I would vote for without reservation would look something like this:

        Acknowledging the dharmic basis of Indian civilization and the values that should inform its solutions going forwards. Nationalist, but in an Indic (and not Westphalian) sense — a sense of nationhood founded not on monolithic axes of identity, but plurality, which is the Indian default. This means that all minorities are to be treated on equal footing (so common civil code, etc), and respected as equal citizens. No buts. An ideology that doesn’t base it’s impulses on anger and perceived historical slights, but one that views other civilizational spheres (including the west) as peers in the long arc of history, and has no issues with being held to the highest standards of its own civilizational values. Able to pick and choose what economic and social solutions work at what point along the developmental arc rather than falling into lazy tropes about left/ right based thinking that don’t project very well onto the ground realities of the Indian condition. One that invests massively in infrastructure, education and health care, so that two generations from now, every Indian has the chance to achieve their full human potential without the need for reservations. This, with only the minimal necessary regulatory framework to transition to a social market democracy (which count among some of the richest, most productive economies around today).

        Is this asking for too much? It’s not like I’m advocating for unicorns — one just has to figure out how to scale up tried and tested systems to the Indian scale, with Indic characteristics. The inherent federalism of Indians means we actually have a shot at the scaling problem. It may not happen for decades, but you have to start somewhere.

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  12. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that this electoral map is from 5 years ago?

    Clues:

    BJP lost in Ladakh this time round.

    BJP won in Kashmir Valley (Anantnag) for the first time.

    BJP won nearly half of West Bengal (and most of the North East).

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  13. This is so scary, i have someone say today that Modi is the Kalki avatar ( conveniently forgetting WHAT happens when that dude shows up).

    I would have been mildly ok had that conversation been on some chai-shop in my home state in India. The issue is this conversation happened near the lift in USA.

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  14. I caught a little of the NDTV streaming of live results. The discussion at that time was focussing on Nationalism issue. Panelists seem to all agree that Indian voters are voting for economy and everyday issues at state level but national identity at the national level. They agreed that Balakot was a big turning point. One saying particularly caught my attention. A NDTV journalist said that moving around election rallies in Odisha, he found that general people saying Modi at the top, Naveen (the local non-BJP leader) at the ground.

    IT seemed to me that Indian voters, from the highly educated to the general masses, intuitively grasp that we are now in a orderless world filled with wolves of different sizes. In this world, the sensible thing to do is to make the biggest, baaddest wolf that you can find to be your guard dog.

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    1. ” A NDTV journalist said that moving around election rallies in Odisha, he found that general people saying Modi at the top, Naveen (the local non-BJP leader) at the ground”

      I did my studies in that state, that guy is an enigma. He will break the record (of Jyoti Basu , Bengal) of the longest rule as CM (in India) by the end of his term. Oriya folks are more self centered and dont harbor delusions like “Saving India”/”Making India” unlike some other ethnicities in India

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      1. I think the Oriya story might be different had there been more Muslims there 🙂

        Btw Naveen Pattnaik is on the last leg of his life and there is no clear successor. There’s going to be a lot of interesting development there post-2024.

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        1. I have said earlier its perhaps the most “North” Indian state wrt to lot of things outside of N-India. It has hardly any sub nationalism based on language/ethnicity . No hindi hatred. It relates more to N-Indian type of nationalism , rather than its Southern/Bengal counterparts.

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    2. “IT seemed to me that Indian voters, from the highly educated to the general masses, intuitively grasp that we are now in a orderless world filled with wolves of different sizes. In this world, the sensible thing to do is to make the biggest, baaddest wolf that you can find to be your guard dog.”

      If Balakot is anything to go by, this dog is all bark and no bite.

      1+
  15. My family has always voted for BJP(NDA) in parliamentary elections and state parties for assembly elections. We’re around telangana and it’s been the general consensus there.
    This election is a tight slap to the left reminding them to STOP identity politics, if left resorts to identify politics they should know that the right can do it even better. Time for the left to re think the strategies. At the end of the day a society needs both wings to fly. It’s quite funny how INC turned around from being seen as not so Muslim friendly during the British era to today’s pro Muslim party. Just like Republicans transforming from party of Lincoln to the party of Trump.

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    1. “It’s quite funny how INC turned around from being seen as not so Muslim friendly during the British era to today’s pro Muslim party. Just like Republicans transforming from party of Lincoln to the party of Trump.”

      It’s also funny that Sanghis turned around from being seen as not so helpful in securing independence to today’s jingoistic nationalism. Just like Republicans transforming from party of Lincoln to the party of Trump.

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  16. One thing which has surprised me this time around , is how much India’ s famous “night-angle sisters” Lata Magenskar and Asha Bhosle were right wing.

    They have survived (and thrived) in a industry (Bollywood) which is heavily liberal in a state which is heavily Congress dominated (till recently) . Its similar to how Razib talks about how few conservative scientist are there, who feel it’s better to be politically silent for their career.

    They are perhaps the only close comparison to Client Eastwood in India, where the sisters have been always vocally right wing.

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    1. “Donald Trump Congratulates PM Modi For “BIG” Election Win”

      Half expected he will use “BIG-LY” to describe the win

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  17. – Did not expect such a large landslide in favor of the BJP.

    – Disappointing to see Pragya Thakur win her seat.

    – Proud of Tamil Nadu and Kerala standing strong against Hindutva.

    – I used to think India was different from Pakistan. That India is more tolerant and secular. That while Pakistan jumped at the chance to become an Islamic Republic, India stood by secularism even though many did not expect it to after partition. That has changed now. India is as much a Hindu republic as Pakistan is an Islamic republic.

    – I wonder if the next step in this process is for India to become more of a monolingual Hindi country. The BJP and its predecessor have always been pro-Hindi. Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan mentality.

    – You get what you vote for. Many of these MPs are illiterate divisive goons. Democracy is only as good as its electorate. And this electorate is small-minded.

    – I think this means that the BJP will be the ‘natural ruling party’ of India for decades, in the same way that INC was the ‘natural ruling party’ for several decades after independence.

    – Sad to see the world in general continue to tailspin toward right-wing nationalism and authoritarianism.

    5+
    1. ” India is as much a Hindu republic as Pakistan is an Islamic republic.”

      Will electing INC in the next election turn India back into a secular country?

      4+
      1. Hahaha, there was never a secular “Idea of India.” There were 20 dudes in a circle-jerk on Lodhi Road who believed in the idea while everyone else voted SP because it was good for Yadavs and didn’t +couldn’t give a sh*t about secularism because they were semiliterate anyways.

        5+
      2. “Will electing INC in the next election turn India back into a secular country?”

        I don’t think a one-off election would change much. The reality is that India is increasingly becoming a Hindu Pakistan. These things tend to be gradual processes. If INC secures multiple consecutive terms in a row while maintaining a platform espousing secularism and acts on that platform? Sure. If BJP becomes tolerant of non-Hindu communities existing in India? Sure.

        It’s not merely discrete election results, but the zeitgeist of the society. Multiple consistent discrete election results can help us understand what that zeitgeist is, but one-offs or other circumstances can easily throw that off.

        1+
    2. “Proud of Tamil Nadu and Kerala standing strong against Hindutva.”

      Proud of the whole Mallu and Dravidian veto in the Indian election end.

      5 more years of bungling state govt problems being thrown on the Center’s steps characterized as supposedly N-Indian (cow belt ) apathy towards glorious Dravida-land

      2+
      1. Tamil Nadu and Kerala rank highly among Indian states in most meaningful indicators. The Gujarat model of pogroms and flyovers while students remain illiterate and hateful is not for everyone. I won’t even get into the pathetic condition of the BIMARU states.

        1+
        1. Oh scratch the surface of our glorious tamizh culture and the racism comes out. LOL

          Will enjoy this a lot next five years

          1+
          1. are you from Dravida nadu? Can you pronounce ‘th’, ‘dh’, ‘kh’ and please don’t mess up Mahesh to Magesh, and stop confusing us Northies by writing Jayalalitha when you when Jayalalita.

            நன்றி

            2+
          2. It’sa not about glorious culture or Tamil chauvinism. It’s simply a fact that Tamil Nadu and Kerala are miles ahead in developmental goals when compared to the BIMARU states. You can have your cow vigilantes and anti Romeo squads and ghar wapsi.

            0
          3. You don’t even need to scratch the surface of BIMARU states to understand its utterly pathetic condition.

            0
        2. Actually Gujarat (by Indian standards) has a surprisingly well-developed industrial sector and low unemployment numbers. It’s grown rapidly and done well for itself. You just get a bunch of lefties bashing it because they hate Modi, but they generate more heat than light.

          3+
          1. From 2000 (when Modi took office) to 2018, its ranked 15th out of 29 major Indian-states in terms of increase in HDI (Human Development Index). So not bad but not good either.

            2+
    1. More of BJP+ win. Its nigh impossible for any Centre Govt to increase its numbers irrespective of its work. It happened only once in the last 30 years in 2009 .

      Congress+ strategy was to drag BJP down to numbers where BJP at least needs a coalition to govern

      1+
  18. The Chinese talk incessantly about a century of humiliation at the hands of the West. Modi and the BJP have tapped into that aspect of the Hindu psyche that deep down nurses a resentment against being ruled by “foreigners” for 500-900 years depending on the location in the subcontinent. The resentment is primarily directed to Islamic incursions, because Islam was the basis for partition.

    Even the most liberal of Hindus carries an element of this resentment and will voice it when pressed on the matter.

    This election proves that Indian and Hindu nationalism is not limited to the cow belt. The South and the East not immune to it. What Modi needs to do is to direct this resentment into addressing the myriad problems faced by India on so many fronts. If this resentment is not guided and directed, we are in for a rough ride.

    3+
    1. Let’s be realistic. This cow-belt led resentment will manifest itself in the form of cow vigilantes, anti-Romeo squads, fear mongering about love jihad, more conflicts with Pakistan, the imposition of Hindi, and ghar wapsi (reconversions).

      3+
    2. But I think we are different from China in a major way. There, everyone is on board with the “Century of Humiliation” thing. Here, we have a dominant faction of academia dead set on portraying an Islamic empire (the Mughals) as a proto-secular state, and are ideologically opposed to Hinduism having *any* salience in a historical narrative, even where appropriate.

      The same faction, surprisingly, makes a number of very bombastic claims about how deleterious British colonialism was (there was a negative impact, but it was quite minor.)

      7+
      1. “Academics say Mughals were proto-secular”

        Not one academic says this.

        “Hinduism not having historical salience”

        It did just not in the way modern Hindus are comfortable with.

        “British colonialism had a minor negative impact”

        Oh boy. Perhaps the British were correct and Hindus are naturally pliant people, as they still seem to be faithfully reciting the mantra of their former colonial masters, that were devised to make India easier to rule. “Indian-Muslims are the real enemy, British weren’t that bad, etc”.

        2+
        1. I think a lot of this thinking is conditioned by the growth and prosperity elite Indians experience in Anglo countries, especially America, today.

          India’s interaction with the US has been quite fruitful for both parties over the last few decades, and this does tend to temper feelings towards the Anglo world. Also, there is the simple reality that most Indian elites are Anglophone. Many more today have read Enid Blyton than Premchand.

          1+
        2. “Not one academic says this.”

          You are clearly unfamiliar with Amartya Sen and “The Argumentative Indian.” He and his ilk are themselves drawing from Thapar types who (if pressed) would not say what I said, but that’s basically the subtext behind their work, and that’s the way their work gets operationalized in the popular sphere.

          “It did just not in the way modern Hindus are comfortable with.”

          I’m not sure what you mean.

          “Oh boy.”

          Oh come on, don’t tell me you’ve never seen the infamous GDP comparison chart (India’s % of world GDP vs time) that is incredibly misleading, yet depressingly popular among Indians on both Left and Right.

          1+
          1. Regarding the Mughals, I think there is nuance being missed on your part. Just because academics point out that Muslim rule in India wasn’t an oppressive theocracy (as claimed by the Hindu-right), doesn’t mean they are implying it was secular.

            Regarding the British, their rule in India (like most European colonial empires) was quite destructive. There is really no disagreement on this point, except from old white Brits hankering after Britania’s glory days, and their faithful sidekicks (the Hindu-right), who apparently still have this colonial hangover nearly 70 years after gaining independence.

            1+
          2. but that’s basically the subtext behind their work, and that’s the way their work gets operationalized in the popular sphere.

            yeah, this seems right. the mughals were complex…but the two camps emphasize the two different real aspects of them (the islamic believers vs. the cosmopolitan rulers).

            0
      2. I would like to posit an alternative view favorable to secularism.

        I concede that Muslim rule in the subcontinent was utterly brutal for Hindu subjects, and that Hindus were persecuted on account of their religion in their native land for centuries.

        Secularism in India was never and has not been a reality. Hindus and Muslims have for the most part been deeply religious and have distrusted and disliked one another.

        I think secularism is an aspiration rather than a reality. A hope that the Two Nation Theory is wrong. A hope that Hindus and Muslims can live together harmoniously, even if Hindus are in the majority. And that hope is dead. India is nothing more than a Hindu Pakistan.

        1+
  19. muslims never shut the fuck up about granada/spain. even my parents and their pakistani/bangladeshi friends talk about the reconquest.

    #history

    3+
  20. “are you from Dravida nadu? Can you pronounce ‘th’, ‘dh’, ‘kh’ and please don’t mess up Mahesh to Magesh, and stop confusing us Northies by writing Jayalalitha when you when Jayalalita.”

    Don’t worry, a few more terms with Sanghis in power and we’ll all be forced to speak Shuddh Hindi.

    3+
    1. My comment was in response to a Dravida brother asking Saurav if he could pronounce the zh in Tamizh.
      I am all for linguistic diversity, and hope and wish that we can preserve all Indian languages including the dying Marwari, Maithili, Bhojpuri etc.. The southern languages are quite safe and secure and hope they continue to flourish indefinitely.
      I would like to reduce the primacy of English in India but that is difficult due to English’s innate stature and the multilingual nature of India. Again on this front, Bangladesh as a mono lingual/ethnic country could lead the way in South Asia (and I do think they use Bangla more for semi official and prestige purposes than India/Hindi or Pakistan/Urdu. )

      0
      1. “I am all for linguistic diversity”

        “Again on this front, Bangladesh as a mono lingual/ethnic country could lead the way in South Asia”

        Pick one.

        And why would you like to reduce the primacy of English in India?

        0
  21. “From 2000 (when Modi took office) to 2018, its ranked 15th out of 29 major Indian-states in terms of increase in HDI (Human Development Index). So not bad but not good either.”

    Facts don’t affect Sanghis. A few flashy flyovers and a couple of billionaires is enough for them to start imposing their holy Gujarat model.

    3+
    1. Baap re, do you hate the gujratis that much? In all these years i always felt the Bengalis were like the top haters, but good to know they have company from Dravida-land

      1+
      1. I don’t hate any group, but the transformation of India into a Hindu republic is a tragedy for all those who hoped for a pluralistic India. It will only get worse because of the outrageous TFR in the cow belt, which will continue unabated in part because of the terrorists and religious zealots that they elect to govern themselves.

        2+
  22. Pankaj Bhaiyya has spoken…
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/23/opinion/modi-india-election.html

    “Mr. Modi did indeed benefit electorally this time from his garishly advertised schemes to provide toilets, bank accounts, cheap loans, housing, electricity and cooking-gas cylinders to some of the poorest Indians”
    Why would you focus on toilets when you can roll out a scheme from the metropole to randomly pick one out of every five for cash transfers.

    No tropes missing- Ressentiment, Donald Trump similes, post-truth- all check

    How dare the provincial Indian get online and network on their cheap smartphones without waiting for the local elites to mediate a curated secular internet for them?

    5+
  23. One of my close friends is refusing to talk to me because I make fun of liberals and I do not think this election means the end of democracy, victory of bigotry etc.

    (even though I am an avowed AAP supporter and not that big on Modi)

    Folks who’ve been in such situations please provide tips on how to deal 😛

    2+
  24. My take is that Indians are basically sentimental fools. They choose neeyat (intentions) over qabiliyat (competence). This is what exactly worked. More than the victory of Hindu nationalism, it is really the victory of Modi’s personal credibility. For better of worse, Modi was able to convince the country that his intentions are genuine, and he is sincerely trying to fix India’s problem. That’s why Indians forgave him for unmitigated disasters like demonetization. People think that whatever be the outcome of demonetization, at least Modi’s intentions were good and he was genuinely trying to curb black money. So even if it didn’t work, they gave him a pass.

    Contrast this election with 2009 general election, which BJP turned into a pseudo-presidential contest between Advani and Manmohan Singh. Despite Advani being a Hindu hardliner, and his opponent being a congressman, and a non-Hindu to boot, Advani lost badly. The reasons were same. In 2009 Manmohan Singh was still seen as sincere, genuine and well intentioned person. In contrast Advani’s came across highly conceited due to his self aggrandizement of himself as an “Iron-Man”.

    So those mourning the permanent demise of “secular” India and beginning of a suffocating Hindu dark age can take heart. It is really just the personal triumph of Modi.

    2+
  25. “Advani’s came across highly conceited due to his self aggrandizement of himself as an “Iron-Man”.”

    More like Iron-Uncle. I mean i dont know how he convinced the people in the 90s that he was a hindu hardliner.

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