General elections: India 2009

Elections in India and the USA: Spotting the difference!

There may not be much in common between USA and India but there is one big thing in common which eclipses umpteen dissimilarities that separate the two. The big thing I have in mind is democracy and all the good things that go with it. Not long ago, in India too there were two party systems as they have in America (that is, the ‘Indian National Congress’ and the rest that existed here and there under various names).

 

In the US it continues to be so, but in India it has given way to a multi-party system, which will result in a coalition government in the center with the common minimum program. Whatever it may be, elections in both the countries are exciting and similar to some extent—similar in the sense that the rivals deviate from the main issue quite often and tarnish the image of the opponent.

 

Close on the heels of the US presidential election in November 2008, comes the Indian general election. As far as the people of the US are concerned their attention remain focused on the presidential candidates who emerge after a prolonged and agonizing see-saw games in the primaries. The importance of November 2008 election in the US lay in the possibility of a non-white or a female candidate making it to the top for the first time in the country’s long history. And as we all know, Mr. Obama made history. This was inspiration enough for some less known Indian leaders hailing from less privileged communities to set their eye on the Prime minister’s chair prompting them to be part of the third front.

 

As of now, things are getting murkier and murkier though every front claims it is in a position to capture power.

Author: P U Krishnan

First things first. I am one of those retired chaps who are young at heart. I watch cricket matches and jump for joy when Tendulkar scores yet another century. I read newspapers and books too, though I am not crazy about them. I think I have a mind free from hatred and I owe it to the wonders of nature and music. I scribble something now and then and call myself a writer! Though I have settled in Ooty, a lovely hill station in Tamil Nadu—I must emphasize the fact that I was born and brought up in Tellicherry in North Kerala and studied in the good old Government Brennen College. Of and on, my mind goes back to my ancestral house at Tiruvangad in Tellicherry in front of an ancient Sri Ram temple. I am indebted to this wonderful place which inculcated in me a love for cricket and literature. But all said and done, I am an Indian first.

One Commnet on “Elections in India and the USA: Spotting the difference!

  1. I would like to point out two more similarities between the Indian and US elections… Pre election mudslinging and post election witch-hunting… As for the differences, I think India is way ahead of the rest of the democratic world when it comes to accepting women and minorities in top political roles… We have seen men and women, social elites and social backwards, those from dominant religions and religious minorities, semi-literates and doctors, taking up the top offices in India. Although, some of these categories could come from the same family 😉 Like, if an African-American-Muslim-Woman takes up the president’s office in the US, she is three minorities bundled into one.

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