Introduction: Democracy and the Algebra of Warfare –Welfare.

Ahmad, Irfan. 2019a. “Introduction: Democracy and the Algebra of Warfare –Welfare.” In Irfan Ahmad and Pralay Kanungo (eds) The Algebra of Warfare –Welfare: A Long View of India’s 2014 Election. New Delhi: Oxford University Press: 1–54.

Abstract: The Introduction proposes a framework to understand the truth behind, as opposed to mere reality of, democratic–electoral politics. Rather than viewing the understandings of politics as a function of the state in opposition to the understandings of politics as not limited to the state, it advances the thesis that an important way to analyse democracy is to understand it as an intertwined phenomenon of warfare and welfare. This algebra of warfare-welfare is constitutive of democracy in general, including in India. To this end, the ‘Introduction’ examines important works on the 2014 Indian elections informed by ‘democratic triumphalism’. From an interdisciplinary and in-disciplinary approach, it aims to throw a pebble into the calm, muddy, unquestioned—to some even unquestionable—water of democracy to craft an alternative and democratic idea of democracy. Stressing a longue durée frame, it puts human subjectivity rather than cold statistics at the centre of our understanding of electoral democracy.

Keywords: development, Ditto theory, Gandhi, majoritarianism, Marcuse, minorities, Muslims, Modi, Nehru, Schmitt, representation