The Great Debate (India)

Greatest democratic show on earth to begin


(C. Uday Bhaskar is a New Delhi-based strategic analyst. The views expressed in the column are his own.)

Uday BhaskarIf elections are the single most visible element of the democratic experience, the biggest show on earth is all set to unfold on Thursday when a large percentage of more than 700 million voters will participate in the first phase of the 15th Indian general elections to the Lok Sabha – the lower house of the Indian parliament.

It is expected that up to 400 million Indians will cast their votes and yes, many of them are among the poorest of the poor – afflicted by what is euphemistically referred to as the ‘DAD’ syndrome – those who earn a dollar a day.

But this in no way detracts from the excitement and enthusiasm with which the average Indian participates in the general election.