India’s Election Gearing up

By Samir Shukla

India's national election is just around the corner. The numbers are mind boggling. There are nearly 900 million eligible voters. Think about that. It is an exercise in democracy unprecedented in human history. The closest cousin in numbers is of course the United States.

India's Election Commission has announced the elections will be held in seven phases, between April 11 and May 19, 2019. The results will be declared on May 23.

The big battle is set. Narendra Modi is running for reelection while Rahul Gandhi challenges him for the seat of Prime Minister.

Social media played a large part in Modi's rise in 2014. Now, five years later, social media, especially WhatsApp, will have a huge effect on the elections.

There's no way to conduct India's election in a single day. India's Parliamentary system has myriad political parties that must form coalitions to win and survive. United States' two-party system is not going anywhere for a while.

The world's biggest democracy and the world's most powerful democracy are brothers in arms and natural economic partners, not to mention the most diverse countries in the world.

If America's upcoming presidential election is a rumbling road race, India's national elections are a double-barreled locomotive, fully-loaded and brimming with people hanging on to every corner, compartment, doorway and rooftop, while careening toward the horizon. The awaiting future.

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Samir Shukla is the editor of Saathee magazine. Contact - Samir@saathee.com