Lok Sabha Elections


This is a piece of political satire. Readers are requested to bear the same in mind and proceed with caution.

Bearing in mind the democratic character of elections in our country, the government has launched special “hide-and-seek” training programmes to launch troops who will catch any suspicious spies at the ballot box, trying to endanger free and fair elections in 2024.

Greetings Everyone! Would you like to hear a story? I can’t assure you if it’s fact or fiction, or perhaps it might be switching between those lines. Nonetheless, let’s just recite the tale.

In December 2023, the National Informatics Centre Services Inc. (NICSI) released a tender for procuring surveillance equipment, including drones and facial recognition technologies (FRT), for monitoring the union and state elections of 2024 as a part of the special “hide-and-seek” training programs. These programmes intend to train and launch specialised troops who will catch any suspicious spies (dangerous voters), trying to threaten the democratic character of the 2024 elections.

Just like in every epic saga, there is a hero, the hero’s best friend, and obviously a villain. And of course, in this tale, our precious government happens to be the hero. Poor them! All they were trying to do was protect our beloved democracy. I mean, they just tried to eliminate those damn spies. How will we safeguard our title as “the world’s largest democracy” otherwise? And the NICSI, as the typical hero’s best friend, just tried to support their best friend in this noble endeavour.

The said tender laid out plans for live-webcasting the polls and counting processes during elections and drafted the setting up of a “centralised command and control centre” to monitor activities in real time in order to “prevent unfair practices and maintain law and order at polling stations.” NICSI intended to achieve this by installing field surveillance vehicles, drones, systems extracting data from FRT for voters, IP-based cameras, LED TVs for screening the live data, and web-based audio and video streaming software on polling stations and counting halls.

Such noble intentions indeed! But of course, tragedy had to strike, and the menacing villain had to foil this plan!

The Election Commission of India (ECI) ordered the cancellation of the said tender and sent a notice to NCISI after the digital rights body, the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), sent a letter to the ECI expressing concerns over breaches of citizens’ privacy and the potential misuse of voter data on January 17, 2024, and tweeted about it. The ECI spokesperson tweeted,

When the NICSI tender came to our attention, the Commission directed NICSI to immediately cancel it. The said tender was not floated with ECI approval. The Commission shall not allow invasion of citizens’ privacy in any manner during elections.

The wretched ECI, of course, could not sit still while the valorous hero pursued their noble initiative. Apologies for letting my emotions get the best of me; I mean, it’s just a story. But why does the ECI keep trying to frame the government with absurd allegations like “the proposed use of monitoring and surveillance technologies is antithetical to a free and fair election” or “the extensive deployment of video surveillance equipment will hurt individual fundamental rights, particularly the right to privacy and dignity” and how “citizens have a legitimate expectation that their voting choices remain confidential and free from unwarranted scrutiny” and “voter surveillance is voter intimidation and hampers the conduct of free and fair elections” and blah, blah, blah!

But, unfortunately, in this story, the villain won.

The National Informatics Centre Services Inc., on January 19, 2024, cancelled its tender seeking proposals from companies to provide surveillance equipment. According to IFF (the villain’s best friend), ECI’s decision to withdraw the tender is a positive step. They believe that there also needs to be an investigation to determine how and why a tender with such far-reaching implications for citizens’ ability to vote freely and without fear was released in the first place.

The villain may have won this time or might just keep winning every single time (hopes of every idealistic citizen in a democracy), but obviously the hero will keep trying and will come back stronger! (unfortunate reality).

Read also: Saffronisation Out in the Open, Finally!

Featured Image Credits: India Today

Gauri Garg
[email protected]

The current political scenario is a testimony to the necessity of understanding the ideology of those contesting. This piece aims to highlight, an analysis of the ideology of the three biggest contenders of the Delhi Assembly Elections.


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP):

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is contesting the Delhi Assembly Elections in alliance with Janata Dal United (JDU) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). The party has not yet officially passed its vision document but there is speculation among the people predicting that most of the party’s manifestos will revolve around water and electricity, owing to the subsidies granted by the ruling Government in these sectors. 

The same was confirmed in the speeches delivered by Manoj Tiwari, Member of Parliament. Tiwari, in his election campaigns and speeches, has promised of providing free 25,000 litres of good quality freshwater without the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) suffering any loss if the party comes into power. 

He has further assured that the party, if elected won’t discontinue the present subsidies and would rather increase them. With electricity, health, infrastructure, education, and water, being the key focus of development, as per the contesting BJP leaders, the party guarantees of working efficiently for the entire tenure of 5 years. 


 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP):


 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has released an official ‘guarantee card’ highlighting 10 promises that the Party will deliver if it gets elected again. The Party has a total of 8 women candidates which are contesting the elections from their respective constituencies.

 The Guarantee Card assures of free bus rides for students and deployment of Mohalla Marshals (District officers) for women’s security. The card entitled as ’10 guarantees of Kejriwal’, even mentions of the continuation of the scheme, free electricity up to 200 units, more than 11,000 buses, and an increment in the length of the Delhi Metro network to over 500 km, plantation of 2 crore saplings in the National Capital and free health care facilities along with a garbage-free, clean city. 

“I am giving 10 guarantees to the people of Delhi. This is not a manifesto. We will launch a comprehensive manifesto in 7-10 days. The manifesto will have more things specific for students, teachers, among others. This will be for everyone,” said Kejriwal. These guarantees even before the release of the manifesto document have gathered huge support for the party. 



Indian National Congress (INC):

 Alike to BJP, Congress also has promised sops in the sectors of water and electricity. The leaders of the Party declared that, if voted, will provide the people with free electricity up to 600 units along with the establishment of a power plant to generate electricity in the Capital. With a promise to revolutionise the water and electricity department, the Party is trying to revive its fortunes in the city which it ruled for 15 years. 

Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament (MP), organised a campaign on 3rd January 2020, titled “Samwaad Dilli ke Dil ki Baat, Congress ke Saath“(Conversation with Delhi residents for Delhi) to seek ideas of the public to design their manifestos. 

“Unlike the Kejriwal government, which has been using public money to benefit themselves, we will give relief to consumers up to 600 units. If Congress comes to power, we will transfer the subsidy directly into the bank accounts of consumers. This will be a major part of our manifesto in the upcoming elections,” said, Mukesh Sharma, Delhi Congress Spokesperson. 


It must be realised by each voter, that vision and intent, are the two prime qualities that should be judged in a politician. The piece aims to encourage all to understand both the factors and ensure their vote in the upcoming elections.
Feature image credits: Zee news

Kriti Gupta 

[email protected] 



The strong suit of Arvind Kerjiwal’s politics is education and it is allowing him to maintain strategic diplomacy amid the rising protest wave. Read our Editor’s breakdown of the same for the young voters.

It is a pivotal time to be a young person in India. One is, in all likelihood, emerging out of the cocoon of years of familial and social conditioning on politics, caste, and religion in India. For those with marginalised identities, it is a time to see hypocrisies and ‘apolitical’ apathy exposing before their eyes in the disguise of ‘liberal’ peers and acquaintances. For one and for all, this time of life in Delhi – the capital city of the democracy at crossroads with itself – is a time to find the most acceptable notions and ideals of politics.

The protest wave across the country has ensured that the policies of the current administration do not go unchallenged, unnoticed, and undemocratic. But what the upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections bank on is not the ideological fabric, with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Indian National Congress (INC), and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on different angles of an abstract, but the confidence of the electorate is being towed for using tangents that do not exist in the same plane. It is not a pro-immigration, anti-immigration stance of the US politics, for instance, that is being used by the parties with their hats in the ring, but if one is speaking of Issue A, the other two are not even using letters from the English alphabet.

In a discourse like this, the prospect of choosing in itself becomes daunting to young voters. Shaheen Bagh, Hauz Rani, Seelampur may be sloganeering to defend the Constitution from the fascism-echoing Central Government, but the fact of the matter remains that the Chief Minister (CM)-incumbent, AAP’s Kejriwal is not a messiah either. He has a flighty reputation that is hard to salvage in politics, but in choosing to pick performance as his pitch, Kejriwal seems to denounce the religious and communal sentiment that is the lifeblood of BJP’s politics. INC, running circles in its own stubbornness to move past monarchical party politics, only appears to have the support of 2.4% of the population of the Capital, as per the IANS-CVoter survey conducted on Republic Day.

Developing India’s middle-class finds itself concerned with the issues of practicality – education and healthcare. Religious politics in the Country may be a deeply entrenched institution that impacts the rest of its social and economic fabric, as asserted by Ambedkar in Caste in India, but it appears to be insufficient for winning over the electorate in 2020 Delhi. BJP’s model of growth under the leadership of Narendra Modi brought immense confidence in the economic strategy of the party, and despite the Hindu radicalism that paved a way for the 2002 Gujarat Riots (some argue that maybe, based on the Riots itself) the rise of the hero-like figure was inevitable. The different ways TIME magazine has presented Modi over the past decade (as researched and articulated by The Wire) shows the shift in the areas that the BJP hailed to gain its electorate’s confidence. With the latest tag of “Divider in Chief”, the religious grounds have become more explicit than ever.

What AAP then offers Delhi is not the promise of its cleanest show of politics, but AAP’s strategy to denounce the fight involving communal sentiments and the CAA-NPR-NRC debate is as diplomatic, and evidently efficient, as a move gets. Over 58% of the voting public expresses satisfaction with the work Kejriwal has engaged in for Delhi, and that renders BJP nearly bewildered. For INC, it had the whataboutism concerning the Kashmiri Pandits and the accusations of a Muslim-appeasing ideology to rope in its Savarna vote-bank on a national scale, but AAP refuses to take up this debate in its entirety. While the state-of-the-art infrastructure and conditions of government schools in AAP’s Delhi portray the development in the education sector with a chunk of the party’s budget focusing on the same, former BJP President and present Home Minister, Amit Shah, spews about how electing BJP would amount to the rightful (according to him) suppression of dissent at Shaheen Bagh – these different focal points leave no room for a civil political race that cuts close.

In a discussion on the elections with a former NDTV journalist, he called BJP “anti-knowledge” and that is the most suitable terminology for its attitude towards Delhi as well. In taking its religious politics too far, it is losing its façade of economic prosperity. In politics, you can’t piss off too many people at once and that is what the BJP’s overconfidence seems to have forgotten in Jharkhand, and now, apparently Delhi. Ambedkar’s refrain of “educate, organise, agitate” is echoing across the protest-sites, and in making education his playing field, Kejriwal appears to be organising a strategic agitation against the communalism-oriented BJP.


Anushree Joshi

[email protected]

Delhi’s Legislative Assembly Elections are around the corner and Manoj Tiwari seems like the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for the post of Chief Minister (if not Dr. Harshvardhan). 

Of course, this is some great news as the talented, mature, responsible, all-rounder called Manoj Tiwari. A Member of Parliament (MP) from North-east Delhi, he is the epitome of the leadership which this City demands.

Here are 5 reasons why you should cast your vote for Rinkiya’s daddy.


1) He’s versatile


Manoj Tiwari was primarily a singer of Bhojpuri songs. While his musical capacity can be judged, one can’t deny the fact that Tiwari brought a resurgence in Bhojpuri music making it more accessible and mainstream for audiences in the northern mainland.

And then, he did a bit of acting. He was clearly robbed from the Filmfare award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, with his role of “Kalia” in Deshdrohi (a movie directed, written, produced by, and starring the visionary KRK aka Kamal Rashid Khan). Tiwari gives a committed performance as an intimidating hitman with dialogues like “Mera naam Kalia hai aur Kalia ka matlab tumhari maut” (My name is Kalia, and Kalia means “your death’)

Then, he was even willing to put himself under house arrest, being detained at Bigg Boss’s house for a few months. And we all know, great leaders of the world have gone to prison at some time or the other.


2) He gets what he wants


Manoj Tiwari is a determined individual. If he wants something, he’ll go through heaven and hell and Dolly Bindra to get it. When he avoided the temptations of chicken tikkas on the table, he just wanted to make an “amlate” of two eggs.

But Dolly Bindra (who metaphorically represents the opposition party) was clearly bothered by this and attacked Manoj with the power of a 120-decibel voice. Manoj was unaverred by this and walked on to get his hand on some eggs. While he couldn’t make an omelette in the end, it’s still his effort of dissent which counts.

Good leaders, and primary school kids, they need to be stubborn. And in an age of annoying political ‘boomers’, Manoj Tiwari is the kid who needs our votes.


3) He knows how to party


Manoj Tiwari is no less of a Pitbull. Just take his songs. Each of them is a banger, giving us a glimpse of his mind. In Baby “Bear” Peeke Naache (that’s the actual spelling in the video), Manoj plays a creepy bartender who makes a girl drink some bizarre kind of beer, which makes her do some bizarre dance, and then eventually get close to Manoj to give him a bizarre kiss. 

He has had more such songs on spreading love and harmony to some fast-paced beats. Goriya Chand Ke Anjoriya and Upar Wali Ke Chakkar Mei are some other classic music videos by him that you need to check out right now.

Imagine him winning the elections, and embarking on a pan-NCR concert to celebrate it! Enough reason to vote for him.


4) He’s friends with Khali


Manoj’s networking includes several people, including his fellow Bigg Boss detainee, The Great Khali. By the way, you need to check out Khali’s Instagram for its wholesome, pure content. His Instagram is one thing which will unite this entire country apart from Manoj Tiwari’s songs. 

Coming back to the point, Khali made his friendship evident in a recent video where Manoj is driving his car. Manoj smiles at the camera and says “Hum dono dost hai” (We both are friends). Now, if something happens in our city, CM Tiwari can be the Nick Fury to Great Khali’s Hulk instructing him to beat up threats to our society like “student goons”.


5) His party has progressive plans for Delhi


While Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is just campaigning on the basis of education and healthcare, BJP campaigners seem to be going to various colonies of Delhi are shouting slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai and handling short-term problems like the traffic jam caused by the Shaheen Bagh protest. Obviously, the nation’s “honour” and “integrity” come first and then the city’s development. This means that probably Manoj Tiwari’s MLAs think they’re MPs. So that’s the final reason why we should vote for Mr Tiwari cause, of course, the entity called Bharat Mata needs to be taken care of first and then the citizens of this city.


Featured Image Credits- Big Brother (YouTube)


Shaurya Singh Thapa

[email protected]


The youth forming a dominant share of votes, is a major vote bank for the political parties. Despite this, the representation of youth in the Lok Sabha is a concern in our country.

India is a young country with a median age of 27.9 years. By 2020, youth will make up 34% of the country’s population. 45 million young people, having become eligible to vote as they turned 18, have been added to India’s electoral roll since 2014, according to 2018 data from the Election Commission of India. This has expanded the voter list by 5% since 2014.Thus, the youth forming a dominant share of the vote bank, certainly forms an important determining factor of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The irony here is the pride that India takes in being a young country but has the least representation and an ageist prejudice towards the representation of youth in the political arena. Only 2.2% of the members of Lok Sabha are below the age of 30. The gerontocracy problem of Indian political system makes politics inaccessible to the youth with their issues and representation not being addressed. Though we are set to exercise our vote on 12th May 2019,  670 million young Indians including many first time voters don’t have a fair representation of the youth demographic through young candidates fighting for Lok Sabha elections.

Ignorant, immature, impulsive, carefree are some of the adjectives associated with the youth in India. It is believed that youth can’t understand politics and stand for the issues of their community therefore, the age of candidacy to fight for the elections being 25.The youth with their strong will to be the change makers in their community find it difficult to navigate their way forward in the ageist prejudice existing in the Indian Political system. To solve the fundamental social evils of the society politics should be taken as a serious tool to bring about change and not just post retirement plan of people. Mobilization of the youth and their increased representation in the Lok Sabha will surely act as a lubricant for social change.

While we cast our vote on the 12th May, we need to be prudent while choosing our leader and take a step towards solving the gerontocracy problem of India.

Feature Image Credits: India Today


Sriya Rane

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Here’s a culmination of thoughts about what I have come to feel and believe in.

“Turning and Turning into the widening, The falcon cannot hear the falconer. Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, Mere anarchy is loosened upon the world.” – W.B. Yeats (The Second Coming)
In my three years of studying English Literature, I do not think I have come across lines that better define the times that we have become a part of, both partly willingly and partly reluctantly.
With the turn of the year and the ever-nearing elections, we are seeing the worst that this country has to offer. We had a near war-like situation with Pakistan, there have been various accounts of Muslim lynchings, the situation of Kashmir is continuously falling into an everlasting non-conclusionary void. We have become the community that loves cows more than the girl child while rapes are still growing more in number and less human in grit.
Netflix, seemingly the only hope of escape from the brutal reality, has started cancelling shows that we want to watch and I do not understand what this Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) system in the University of Delhi (DU) is, in which you can’t even get marks.

India, as a nation, has achieved a feat of having killed 30 million women, from unborn children, to honour killings. To put it in comparison, even Hitler killed six million Jews. We, however are the nation of the woke and the ancient dharma. These are the deeds of Indians and religious fanatics – both Hindus and Muslims alike. No Pakistanis, no Chinese, no West – we are stuck protecting the cows and calling ourselves chowkidars, forgetting the duty we hold for our girl children. When will this play – pretend end? Many men have started becoming a part of the equal rights movement, yet where are the mainstream movements against lewd advertisements and songs? When will we realise silence is supportive only for the oppressor?
Another thing that bothers me is the society’s ignorance at how men are the victims of patriarchy too. We need to let go of the stigma that toxic masculinity and patriarchy put us men at a pedestal that damages us as well. We need the equality, the normality, as much as women do. It isn’t men versus women; it’s us together versus this social construct of patriarchy.

As the elections draw closer, we are seeing everyone choosing sides on this mindless battle of two parties with people going like “I will vote for Modi ji” or “I will vote for Rahul Gandhi.”

Everyone has blatantly forgotten that these elections are to vote for the person standing and delivering in your area. Vote for them based on facts and accountability, not based on propaganda jingoism.There are many more gloomy things that could have been entailed in this rant. However, I believe I have done my bit to share my thoughts enough to make at least one man think of what is happening in this great, beautiful nation, that has merely become a playground where the rich kids have the toys and we are stuck eating sand.
“It is what it is,
The playground of the puppets,
The ‘woke’ with strings attached, Those asleep completely detached.
In the great circus of life,
With the audience and the Joker, Maybe its all a dream, or maybe it’s over, When will we wake up to see things closer?
It is what it is.

A play with no players, and no god watching us over.”

Haris Khan
[email protected]

Lok Sabha Elections 2014 are here. The voting  scheduled to take place in nine phases throughout the country from April 7th,2014 to May 12th, 2014 has already started. The first phase constituting of 6 of the 543 seats being contested for, saw a voter turnout of a whooping 79.5%. The graph has of course risen and is  a healthy sign for the Mandate 2014.

A mega turn out like this could mean resentment in minds and desire for change in hearts of people. Only as the process unfolds further we shall know, whether this trend continues in the phases to come and if it leads to sustenance of current throne holders or formation of anti incumbent government. However, another aspect to attribute this turnout could be the increasing glamour quotient of election contenders  and an upsurge in technology driven promotion.

As glamour embraces politics!

Indian politics is no longer what it used to be decades ago. Nor is the image of Indian ‘neta’ same any longer. The white kurta dhoti guy with specs resting on his nose and hands resting on his round belly, wearing a Nehru jacket and a Gandhi topi atop his head ceases to exist in real and is only to be found in works of fiction.  Indian leaders today are dynamic,brand conscious,completely informed, well dressed and nowhere less as the demarcating line between politics and glamour industry is gradually disappearing.

Bollywood celebrities like Dharmendra Deol, Hema Malini and Late Sunil Dutt have been into politics for decades.  This year too,  numerous Bollywood celebrities are looking for a decent second innings in politics. Kirron Kher (BJP Chandigarh), MNS candidate Mahesh Manjrekar, Samaajwadi Party’s Kamaal Rashid Khan, BJP’s Smriti Z. Irani (from Amethi) and Paresh Rawal (from East Ahemdabad) are some of such names who’ve been a part of the glitzy industry and now wish to serve the people. In addition Congress is also fielding veteran actors such as Ravi Kishan, Aparijata Mohanty and Nagma as contenders from their party.


Also, 2014 elections witnessed an inflow of young and fresh blood into the system with numerous ticket receivers being representatives of the youth of the nation. Gul Panag (AAP Chandigarh), Babul Supriyo( BJP West Bengal),  TMC’s actor Indraneil Sengupta,  AAP’s Jaaved Jaaferi and Rashtriya Aam Party’s Rakhi Sawant are few famous people to name. The list isn’t just limited to Bollywood  but also famous sports personalities like former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif, famous footballer Baichung Bhutia and magician P.C. Sorcar Jr. are also contesting Lok Sabha 2014 polls.

As the glamour quotient of politicians is rising,  India is eventually having leaders with better personalities and perspectives. Also, the celebrities have their own fan base, which helps them  to garner support in this new arena. The goodwill of celebrities comes handy for the party too, and as people have seen them and heard of them, the celebrities eventually have an advantage over their fellow contenders who are relatively unknown. In the elections of 2014 too, some celebrity seats like Amethi shall be interesting to keep an eye on.

In Social Media’s Ambit

The Lok Sabha Elections 2014 are the first ones to come after internet, smart phones and social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter have become household names and their updates have become the topic of dinner table discussions. No matter any other industry has or has not, but politicians have very well exhausted this unique methodology to reach out to the people at relative ease and cost efficiency. All major politicians and parties have launched their Facebook pages and Twitter handles that keep the party supporters and public updated on movements and activities of their leaders.

Arvind Kejriwal, who is being considered the pioneer of this new trend, has used it smartly enough, that within few years of its formation and function, the party tops the Twitter followers list, leaving behind the traditional twin parties – INC & BJP.


 AAP tops the list in popularity ratings based on Twitter followers of the three major parties in India.         

This can be attributed to Kejriwal’s spontaneity with updates and posts, leaders’ humorous twitter conversations and patience of accepting sportingly even the negative most regards and gestures with utmost grace. He was also seen engaging in a conversation with the attacker, an auto driver Lali who allegedly slapped him in his rally. The video footage have been posted online, pictures uploaded on Facebook, indeed the best way of social media marketing.

Arvind Kejriwal tweeted a parody song made to mock his frequent staging of Dharnas, refering to it as an ‘interesting song’ on February 16th, 2014.

Numerous social media websites like Facebook & Twitter have been carrying out surveys and online opinion polls to provide insights into what voters feel.  Facebook has been showcasing leading parties and candidates status at a glance, while Twitter is running ‘#ElectionTracker2014‘. Another social media platform, Social Samosa, is carrying out another election tracking mechanism that shows politician popularity in terms of positive/negative mentions on Twitter/ Web for voters to judge

Another interesting trend observed in terms of unofficial online promotion, has been of the ‘Norinder Mudi’ memes, that combines random lines with the jingle ab ki baar, Modi sarkar. The idea has gone viral, and off late, similar memes on Arvind Kejriwal have also begun to circulate in social networking circles.

Image Courtesy: Facebook Page 'Norinder Mudi'


Not only has social media eased the way of reaching the masses, it has also led to some tiffs, jibes and cold wars among competitors. The recent Kirron Kher – Gul Panag face off on micro blogging website – Twitter has been an example of the same.

Thus in all, the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, have been different in all terms, from participation to promotion. The trend till date is encouraging, and it is hoped to continue, for Democracy is a religion, elections are the festivals, wherein everyone is supposed to celebrate and participate. Don’t merely exist, make your say count, make a difference, for there is ample information available,  in news dailies and on TV, on radios and with experienced people, and now even at  a distance of a few clicks.

Make an informed well thought upon call. I am a first timer like you, but trust me, that ink mark on my finger, I think it’ll all feel good. Happy Elections!