Unity in Diversity: Democracy and Manifestos in the 2014 Indian Elections.

Ahmad, Irfan. 2019. “Unity in Diversity: Democracy and Manifestos in the 2014 Indian Elections.” 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: 309–33.

Abstract: This chapter analyses the manifestos of three political parties: AAP, BJP, and the Congress. Paying attention to their texts and visual symbolism, it argues that there were more similarities than differences among them. The discussion on similarity is organized under three headings: (a) Economy, Development, Religion; (b) Social Groups; and (c) International Relations and Security. The next section delineates minor differences unable to reflect dissensus, the core of the political for Rancière. It concludes with observations on the prevalent views that elections offer freedom of choice to show their limits, structural and theoretical. Following Rancière, it is argued that elections and their manifestos institute policies that inscribe the world differently as opposed to politics, which beckons to a possible different world.

Keywords: Allende, Assam, Chile, democracy, Congress, de-democratization, development, freedom of choice, Kejriwal, Modi, Rancière, security