Election Blog

This blog showcases some of the work done by Ashoka students and scholars affiliated with TCPD during this election season. They are meant to provide impressions from the campaign as well as insights from fieldwork. Views are personal.

Exit polls: It’s not about right or wrong

There is quite a bit of discussion on whether the exit polls are right or wrong (see here, here, here and here). What I try to do here is to show that it is not about right or

Vanishing Playgrounds, Emergent Votes

Pubsara, Sonipat, April 10: For those families who consider a monthly drive to their sprawling farmhouses as a ‘perfect weekend getaway’, village life is romanticized to resemble RK Narayan’s Malgudi. Set amidst endless fields of green and shady

The Absent Electorate

Saharanpur: Hordes of men are cramped into a small room inside a kothi in Nangal village of Saharanpur. The rest spill out into a courtyard, eating pakoras and aloo puri with greater enthusiasm than they display in sloganeering

Riding With the Rehmans

“Aapne kabhi cheating nahi ki kya?”, asks Saleem Rehman with a chuckle after he asked to pass off his answers as those of his brother, BSP candidate for Saharanpur Haji Fazlur Rehman. Though said in jest, it seemed

Gurugram: The Twin existence of Millennium City

Travelling from Gurgaon to Mewat, it is impossible to ignore the drastic changes in the landscape. From Gurgaon’s posh residential localities and glass buildings of multinational corporations, the highway enters the arid fields of the semi-urban district  Mewat.

Aurangabad Up In Arms

On 26 February, as twelve Mirage 2000H jets of the Indian Air Force crossed the Line of Control to conduct ‘military airstrikes’ against a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot, Pakistan, in Maharashtra a different scene was unfolding. That

In A Politics of The Past, India’s Youth Remains Unheard

On Sunday morning, the mood in the streets of Malviya Nagar is mellow. The fruit vendors are walking with their stalls, dukandaars are setting up shop, but nobody is in a hurry. Mr. Anand Prakash, a 90-year-old retired

Death of a Timeless City

“Benares sukh ka bhuka nahi, samadhan ka bhuka hai”, said Amitabh Bhattacharya, a 68 year old resident of Varanasi who has been a journalist at the Northern Indian Patrika—one of the country’s oldest newspapers—for more than four decades.

What Do We Vote For?

SONIPAT, FEBRUARY 5: ​ Sixty year old M.L Sharma sits at his desk hidden behind sheets of newsprint. His Malviya Nagar news and magazine shop sells papers meant for all kinds of audiences: from the middle class Hindi

Why do People Vote?

Sunita Dahiya sits in her small notary office in Rai, Haryana, signing documents and talking to the locals of the area. In terms of elections, she is well aware of the current political climate; she knows the member