- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Books (14 March 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670092266
- ISBN-13: 978-0670092260
- Package Dimensions: 24.2 x 12.1 x 3.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Verdict: Decoding India's Elections Hardcover – 14 Mar 2019
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About the Author
Since 1980, Prannoy Roy has been synonymous with elections in India. He is renowned for pioneering opinion polls in their present form, which forecast results and analyse the Indian voter-politician love-hate connection. He introduced the country to psephology by explaining on television how numbers blend with politics to predict the winner. Roy is the default setting for decoding who a state, or the country, is voting for.
Roy and his wife and journalist, Radhika Roy, are founders of NDTV, awarded for several years as India's most trusted media brand. He has a PhD in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, is a qualified chartered accountant (England and Wales) and has been economic advisor with the Ministry of Finance.
Dorab R. Sopariwala has been editorial adviser with NDTV and senior consultant with Edelman India for around two decades. Earlier, he worked with market research companies in England (Metra Consulting Group) and India (first with IMRB and then with MARG, where he was the Founder-Managing Director). He has a deep and abiding interest in opinion polling, which spans four decades. He was educated at the London School of Economics and the Imperial College of Science and Technology and is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.
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The book is condensed wisdom of evolution of Indian elections, psephology along with sociology and psychology of Indian electorate. Much of the book tells you exactly what you would expect from a book on elections - evolving electorate and the art of charisma of candidates to the math of alliances and opposition unity.
But what made me love the book were issues which one knows but doesn't ponder overmuch. What I learnt was - all votes are no longer equal in their power as the population of constituencies have started to differ a lot. Similarly, migrants & dalits for whom elections are the most powerful tools to effect a change, face challenges while casting their votes. Missing women voters is another issue. Love the way these issues are explained and discussed.
The basic question also is - is first past the post system fair? Are not small political parties getting pushed to sidelines in our democracy? This book tries to look at these issues but falls somewhat short at exploring alternatives and solutions.
This makes this book a must-read for the current Indian Election Season.