The Straight Dope FAQ on Indian Elections 2009

Or what newspapers and media will not tell you about the 2009 Indian Parliamentary Election.

Will the new government go in for reform?

  • Absolutely! Though there may be a slight difference between what everyone understands by reform and what the government means by reform. From the government’s perspective reform means re-forming the government. The party in power has to make sure that at the end of its term, it is in a position to re-form the government.

Why did the Congress win a sweeping majority?

  • Because none of the other parties did. Seriously. Theories and political pundits aside, no one really knows. Anyone who pretends to, is just making money out of pretending.

What does the Congress stand for?

  • The Congress stands for secularism.

What is meant by secularism?

  • Secularism means securing your political future among as many religions and castes as possible. In order to achieve this, you need to appear impartial, which you accomplish by not doing anything for anyone. It also means letting right wing zealots from different religions torture, rape, and blast each other and each other’s religious structures (mosques, churches, temples), while you remain impartial and do nothing.

Why did the BJP lose?

  • Apparently, there were different reasons in different states. Since the BJP is as confused after the elections as it was before, there is no clear insight into why it lost. The only definitive, plausible reason is that the BJP is a confused party, and does not own any sizeable vote bank in the electorate.

What about the urban middle class that was said to be the strongest BJP supporter?

  • The urban middle class is an insignificant, almost non-existent vote bank. Contrary to popular perception, the Congress’ vote share actually increases as you move from villages to towns to cities.

Really? How did the Congress win a majority of the urban vote share?

  • Urban in the western context has an entirely different meaning than it does in India. In India, urban dwellings are slums. Majority of those who live in apartments and high-rises do not go out to vote in the scorching tropical heat. Almost all the urban votes in India are from slums, which are controlled by gangsters, who are cozy with the Congress.

What does the BJP stand for?

  • The BJP is a right-wing political party that stands for Hindutva.

What is meant by Hindutva?

  • Hindutva is a flexible concept that can mean different things depending on the time and place. For example, before elections, it meant women should not go to pubs. After elections, it means overall economic development.

What will the BJP do now?

  • The BJP is like a horse with a blind left eye. When it reaches a dead-end like it did in this election, it can only seek further ways to go right. When it can no longer do so, it does a U-Turn, meaning it sits in the opposition and opposes everything the government does.

Why did the Left parties lose?

  • The Left parties controlled every civil institution in their geographical stronghold, like schools, hospitals, police, etc. After over 30 years of being abused in every imaginable way by the Left parties, the people realized that the Left’s stronghold was a stranglehold.

What will the Left do now?

  • Introspect.

What conclusions will the Left reach after introspection?

  • They will conclude that the Left parties were right, and the people of India made a grave mistake. The people of India were not able to fully understand the nationalist vision of truly independent India that the Left stands for.

Was there a youth wave in this election?

  • Absolutely! There are millions of unemployed youths in India who have nothing better to do than attend political rallies and vote. The employed youth, who were an insignificant minority, were desperately busy working to avoid losing their jobs.

21 thoughts on “The Straight Dope FAQ on Indian Elections 2009

  1. hehehe, not to forget many employed youth were usually in a different town (or even country) and there is no postal voting system yet.
    Your observations on all parties is brutal and real, I like Left’s debacle the most – very ‘Animal Farm’ish. 🙂

  2. cynical, but very very interesting. though i am hopeful Congress will do a lot in spite of the ‘impartial’ and so the often the inert streak it is blamed for, i agree with what u have said for BJP and applaud the biting predicting about the left. 😀 yes, they are introspecting alright and will come back with a diktat to go back to the start, to appease the masses and fool them back in the fold.

  3. come now, not all can be this bad 🙂 well written post though. We have such such long ways to go..we serioulsy have people who think women should not go to pubs (or whereever else they think is ‘corrupting’)

  4. I am hopeful too; just let out my satirical and cynical side in the post! Sometimes, I worry about being hopeful and then getting disappointed, so being cynical is a defense mechanism I guess.

  5. 🙂 Thanks.

    Sometimes, I think no, these folks don’t really think that women should not go to pubs. It’s just a clever mechanism to get political publicity. And by all the pink-chaddi campaigns, outrage, tv debates, and so on, we all are simply playing into their hands and giving them what they wanted – publicity.

  6. Mahendra: One of the films – I remembered in the context of your ‘publicity’ comment – that I often tell people to watch is Skokie. It was my non-fiction S film in the meme.

  7. rotfl – loved that bit aobut a horse blind in the left eye 🙂
    on the beating up women or north indians on whoever- i put it down to a political rite of passage 🙂 beat up someone – preferably in front of the cameras – to get into national news.

  8. This should be on the wp frontpage
    wonderfully written!

    it sits in the opposition and opposes everything the government does.
    // doesnt every party in india do that?

  9. Yes, that’s what I think it’s all about. Publicity to go from regional to national level – who had heard of Muthalik before the Mangalore events?

  10. it sits in the opposition and opposes everything the government does.

    Prax, except for the issue of annual pay raise for members of the Parliament/legislators – on that one issue, there’s no opposition and it gets unanimous approval. 😉

  11. well amit – tell me who will bell the cat ? 🙂
    ps i dont understand why they are allowed to fix their own pay when there is such a blatant conflict of interest …?
    first they should consolidate all the expenses that mps mlas mlcs etc incur and peg it to a slab rate
    maybe it should be linked to inflation rate .. could be the WPI which the govt fixes routinely – because the cpi is always high or better still withe income tax slab rates
    ok enough dreams time to wake up !

  12. ps the communists and opportunists one upped the bjp last time
    one could not figure out if they supported or opposed the govt while being a part of it

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