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March 11th, 2019

And we’re off!

India is officially in election mode.

The general elections were announced yesterday, and so now, let the clichés roll 😛

“The world’s largest democracy” is the obvious one. To be fair, that’s not actually a cliché but a statement of fact, but there it was in every report I read in the papers this morning!

To be fair, the statistics are pretty mind-boggling.

“The number of eligible voters is almost 4 times the number of voters in the next largest democracy, the United States, and it is also more than the entire population of Europe. About 84.3 million people – more than the entire population of Germany – have joined the electoral rolls since the 2014 general election, and 15million are between the ages of 18 and 19…”

(Hindustan Times)

As I said, pretty darn mind-boggling.

Add to this the size of the country, as well as the terrain (think of isolated villages high in the Himalayas or the remote Nicobar Islands), and it is small wonder that voting in the elections will take place over 5 weeks.

The nation will vote in 7 phases, Delhi’s date being May 12th, in Phase 6.

A state like UP (Uttar Pradesh) is so huge that it votes over 3 different phases.

One immediate side effect of the elections being called, is that my morning paper is back to its regular slim self. The last few weeks have been beyond ridiculous, with political adds padding out the paper, and never mind the colossal waste of the tax payer’s moment paying for these full colour ads day after day after day.

I wanted to share with you a video I’d made about the ads, as I leafed through the morning papers over the weekend, but there were SO many that the video is too big to be uploaded in this blog post.

I kid you not!

So, there we are.

Elections 2019 are underway.

I can’t vote, since you have to be Indian to vote.

Paying your taxes and living here permanently count for naught…

Actually don’t get me started on “no taxation without representation”, or I’ll lose my cool.

I have the worst of both worlds.

Pay taxes.

Can’t vote.

Anyway, I’ve got that off my chest on Day One & I’ll try not to bang too much over the coming weeks about my lack of franchise.

All that remains for me to say, is that I wish my adopted country well, trusting that the electoral process will be fair and peaceful.

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