Join historian and biographer Patrick French on Stepwell, the Ahmedabad University podcast, as he talks to eminent scholars from around the world, covering a broad range of topics and perspectives that challenge and transform conventional views.
On Thursday, the BJP-led government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept back to power for a second consecutive term. This episode of Stepwell, which was recorded on 20th April while polling was still on, provides an insight into why the 2019 general election was radically different from any other. In the episode, Patrick French talks to Mukulika Banerjee, the Director of the South Asia Centre at the LSE, about why Indians come out to vote (5:37) and why voting itself could be seen as a reinforcement of formal citizenship (9:59). Banerjee discusses EVMs and ways the voting system could be improved (13:05), how political parties have used and misused booth-wise polling data (17:05) and why the 2019 elections were radically different for multiple reasons, including WhatsApp and electoral bonds (18:30). Using her observations in the field, Mukulika accurately predicts why the BJP would make substantial gains in West Bengal (24:10). Finally, they dissect whether India is part of a global trend of rising populist nationalism that can be seen in other liberal democracies such as the USA and UK. (28:10)
You can follow us and leave us feedback on Facebook and Twitter @expresspodcasts, or send us an email at email@example.com. If you like this show, please subscribe and leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts, so other people can find us. You can also find us on https://indianexpress.com/audio/.