The Straight Dope FAQ on Indian Elections 2014

What is UPA? What does it stand for?

  • Under­cov­er Pay­ment Agree­ment. This coali­tion is all about not let­ting any­one know who paid how much to whom for what.

Who is the UPA’s PM can­di­date?

  • They thought they had an ace in Rahul Gand­hi, but are now dis­cov­er­ing it is not an ace but a jok­er.

What is NDA?

  • NaMo Dic­ta­tor­ship Asso­ci­a­tion. This group asks NaMo crit­ics to leave the coun­try.

What is AAP?

  • Antag­o­nis­tic Agi­ta­tion Podi­um.

Is the AAP real­ly free of cor­rup­tion?

  • AAP is cor­rupt­ed by Nehru­vian social­ism, from which the coun­try has yet to recov­er after six decades.

What is a “man­i­festo”?

  • A man­i­festo is a doc­u­ment cre­at­ed to get media cov­er­age. In old­en times, a man­i­festo used to be a dec­la­ra­tion of a party’s ide­ol­o­gy and plan. Now it’s a tool to get media cov­er­age with edi­to­ri­als, columns, dis­cus­sions, and debates devot­ed to dis­sect­ing the man­i­festo, which the media, the pub­lic, and the par­ty, com­plete­ly for­gets once the elec­tion is over.

What is “sec­u­lar­ism”?

  • Sec­u­lar­ism means “secur­ing” votes. Usu­al­ly, this means attempt­ing to appease minori­ties and “secure” their votes.

What is “devel­op­ment”?

  • Devel­op­ment means devel­op­ing more slums in urban areas. This has a “kill two birds with one stone” impact.
  • It secures votes in urban areas since slum-dwellers have escaped the tyran­ny of rur­al exis­tence, and also secures votes in rur­al areas where par­ents are hap­py their young­sters have migrat­ed to the city.

What are “minori­ties”?

  • Minori­ties are a seg­ment of the Indi­an pop­u­lace who are less­er in terms of numer­i­cal pop­u­la­tion, but are greater in terms of elec­toral votes. Because the nev­er-termed “majori­ties” rarely go out and vote.

What is the “Gujarat mod­el”?

  • The Gujarat mod­el is a quan­tum mechan­i­cal exper­i­ment where the results are inde­ter­mi­nate. Depend­ing on the observ­er, results of the exper­i­ment vary. Either a Schrodinger’s cat exists or doesn’t exist in the Gujarat mod­el box. Those who say it doesn’t exist, aren’t allowed to exist either, so nobody real­ly knows.

What is the “Modi wave”?

  • A mar­ket­ing spin by the NDA to what is nor­mal­ly called anti-incum­ben­cy. Since nobody in pow­er deliv­ers, peo­ple get sick and tired after a while and choose the alter­na­tive.

What is “Eco­nom­ic Growth”?

  • Eco­nom­ic growth is grow­ing the finan­cial reserves of the par­ty so as to have suf­fi­cient funds for the next Assem­bly or Lok Sab­ha elec­tion.

What is “Inclu­sive Growth”?

  • Inclu­sive growth means you should not just grow your party’s finances, your coali­tion ally min­is­ters’ finan­cial reserves should also grow.

What is “Infra­struc­ture Growth”?

  • Infra­struc­ture growth means grow­ing the net­work of hood­lums and gang­sters in urban and rur­al areas, who can coerce large seg­ments of slum-dwellers and vil­lagers to vote for the par­ty, dis­trib­ute liquor and mon­ey in exchange for votes, etc.

Why are vot­ing days dry days?

  • So that the liquor dis­trib­uted by the par­ties has more impor­tance.

What is “women empow­er­ment”?

  • Mak­ing sure women are not raped on vot­ing day in the vicin­i­ty of the vot­ing booth.
  • Hav­ing suf­fi­cient allo­ca­tion in your elec­tion bud­get for mak­ing women-cen­tric ads, get­ting women celebri­ties to talk about the impor­tance of the women’s vote, etc.
  • Suck­ing up to pow­er­ful women politi­cians like Sonia, Mama­ta, Jay­alalitha, etc.
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