Top positive review
Best read for Indian Election Festival of 2019
22 March 2019
Prannoy Roy has been a source of Political Education for Indians watching election for decades now. Indian elections are a festival - it is the biggest such exercise anywhere in the world with 900M eligible voters. This is a country with a multitude of the diversity of castes, languages, religions, parties & issues - all of it makes Indian elections complex yet fascinating subject.
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.