ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Electoral Politics in the Time of Change

India's Third Electoral System, 1989-99

The popular reading of the last decade of electoral politics is of a rapid decline and impending collapse of Indian democracy. This essay attempts to contest this all too familiar view from above without yielding to the temptation of building its mirror-immage. The changing outcome of the electoral game in this decade is seen here as the reflection of a fundamental transformation in the terrain of politics which in turn is anchored in the process of social change. The voters choose differently in this decade, for, the structure of choice inherent in elections has undergone a change. Yet the choice often turns out to be far from the act of sovereignty that the fiction of liberal democracy makes it out to be.

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