Apr 08 2014

Indian Elections Commence: World’s Largest Democracy Faces Political and Logistical Challenges

A five week long election in the world’s largest democracy began yesterday with 814 million voters, 10 million election officials and 930,000 polling stations for 543 open seats. The numbers are staggering but behind these statistics is a vote which will determine the fate of over 1.2 billion people in India’s 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.

Three major parties vying for seats are The Congress Party, The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP and the Aam Admi Party or AAP. The Congress Party which has held power in India for the last eight years is led by Rahul Gandhi. The BJP is led by Narendra Modi who is their candidate for Prime Minister, and the AAP whose platform is one of anti-corruption and social justice is led by Arvind Kejriwal.

Pollsters are predicting a win for Modi. US business interests have fawned over Modi’s neoliberal policies, and the mainstream media has had very little mention about the 3 day pogrom he helped instigate in Gujarat to wipe out the Muslim minority. Over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in 2002 and Modi was denied entry to the US over the incident in 2005

GUEST: Vijay Prashad, the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College. Vijay Prashad is the author of eleven books including, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, and Arab Spring, Libyan Winter published by AK Press and LeftWord.

Click here to read Vijay Prashad’s article about India’s elections.

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