The Grand Circus
With its pageantry, Indian elections next year may still look like a grand circus despite the use of new technology.
Posters, banners and music; flags, festoons and graffiti have been the usual stock in trade at election time in India.
or a mega carnival, given the pageantry associated with the election campaign.
Entry into the Lok Sabha is the biggest prize in Indian politics. Each constituency has an average of one million voters whom candidates must persuade in order to win the prize. The rigor of the exercise a candidate has to go through has been chronicled in a book by Mavendra diversity. And the mammoth, multipurpose poll is held in phases that last about a month.
Next year (2014), India will hold its 16th general elections since independence. Candidates have already begun their groundwork. But, the entire country will be electrified once the election schedule is announced. Actions of candidates will lend it the look of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ aka the Barnum and Bailey Circus of the Unites States, Singh who campaigned and lost in the 2009 election.
The first step is to win the nomination of one’s party; then “to canvass for weeks and months in cities, towns, villages and hamlets; working out voter expectations and deploy scarce funds, track the campaigns of rivals, make calculations from hard data but also follow one’s hunches, give dozens of speeches a day in an essentially oral and visual political culture, and finally, to sift truth from