Get ready for the bitterest, most cold-blooded elections – By T J S George

This is going to be the make or break election. It will either make the idea of India viable, or it will break it completely. The ruling dispensation knows that if they don’t win this time, they won’t win for a long time. And if they win, they’ll make sure they don’t lose again. Get ready for the bitterest, most cold-blooded election in the history of our democracy.

Early symptoms of the power play were already on show. In a short span of 30 days the prime minister declared open 157 projects, from an airport in Sikkim to a highway in Kanyakumari. They were all publicised in ways seldom seen in our country before. And most of them were crowned by no-holds-barred election speeches. Even the inauguration of the National War Memorial in Delhi saw the PM attacking Congress’s dynastic leadership. The Election Commission helpfully waited until the ground was prepared by all these shows and speeches.…

That excitement will be kept at high pitch during the voting weeks ahead. Is that the best for us? A kind of answer was given by a 19th century American columnist named Peter Dunne. He wrote: “A man who expects to train lobsters to fly in a year is called a lunatic. But a man who thinks that men can be turned into angels by an election is called a reformer and remains at large.” Beware of reformers.