The language of anti-incumbency and its impact on elections. It highlights how the focus on anti-incumbency shifts attention away from the key issues that matter to people.
Psephologists are using the term 'anti-incumbency' to explain events during the electoral season
This term is being used without fully understanding its meaning or implications
The focus on anti-incumbency shifts attention away from the important issues that matter to people
The language of anti-incumbency normalizes discontent and fails to address the underlying reasons for people's unhappiness with their governments
If the Congress had won in Rajasthan, the debate would have been about breaking the trend of anti-incumbency
The term 'pro-incumbency' could be argued based on the results in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
The article discusses the power of a certain political party in winning a large number of seats in Madhya Pradesh despite a not-so-good governance track record.
It questions why issues of mis-governance did not matter and how they were made to not matter.
The article suggests that the displacement of focus on social development contributes to what it calls 'electoral autocracy'.
The language of anti-incumbency is described as a technocratic one that simplifies complex processes for the media and digital images.
The article argues that policy preferences and differences between political parties have become marginal, leading to quantification as the only method to make sense of differences.
The concept of 'choicelessness' for the electorate is converted into a language of 'averages', 'patterns', and 'pro- and anti-incumbency'.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as a powerful electoral machine.
The BJP is able to address issues through last minute mobilization and campaigning.
The party's strategy includes organization, money, and a high-decibel campaign.
The BJP's organizational power allows it to subvert social power dynamics and divide social groups.
The party normalizes discontent and criminalizes dissent.
These processes are later analyzed as either pro or anti-incumbency.
Electoral mobilisation has turned elections into a spectacle, overshadowing the impact on social ethics and collective trust.
Election analysts and psephologists expect last-minute magic from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tilt votes in BJP's favor, regardless of the party's governance performance.
In Karnataka, Modi tried to divert attention from the BJP's corruption and social apathy issues by misinterpreting a debate on Bajrang Bali as Bajrang Dal and claiming that Congress wanted to secede Karnataka from India.
In Gujarat, previous elections saw baseless discourse about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a former Vice-President taking 'supari' from across the border against Modi.
Such baseless discourse undermines trust necessary for a functional democracy and replaces deliberation with conspiracy, converting social issues into a discourse on securitisation.
Electoral battles have become like a war zone and a zero-sum game.
Last minute pressure and drama shift the focus from issues to entertainment.
Elections are now based on speed, scale, and organizational efficiency rather than issues.
Psephology and electoral analysis are used as techniques of power dynamics rather than reflection and deliberation.
Exit polls often go wrong, but the discussion focuses on anti-incumbency and averages.
Critical debate and reflection are ignored.
There has been a disappearance of issues that were once part of public discourse in India.
Issues such as poverty levels and the Below Poverty Line (BPL) have been replaced by discussions on GDP growth rates.
The working conditions of migrants in the informal sector became visible during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Death itself became invisible during the pandemic.
Technocratic invisibilisation has led to hyper-nationalism and the idea of becoming a vishwaguru.
The increasing trend of Indians illegally entering the United States and the implications of this issue. It provides data on the number of illegal Indian migrants, the border-wise distribution, and the demographic breakdown.
U.S. officials encountered close to 1 lakh illegal Indian migrants this year
The trend of Indians trying to enter the U.S. illegally has been seen in the last four years
The number of Indian illegal migrants stopped by U.S. border authorities was little over 1,500 a decade ago
The number increased marginally in the following years but remained below 10,000 till 2019
Since 2020, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of Indians trying to cross the border illegally, with the figure touching 96,917 in 2023
The surge in illegal migrants gains prominence as the U.S. presidential elections are scheduled next year
Illegal border crossings is one of the top issues for U.S. voters
Donald Trump has blamed Joe Biden for reversing many of his immigration-related policies.
Most illegal border crossings in the US are reported from the southwest border with Mexico.
However, there has been an increase in the number of undocumented Indian migrants choosing to enter the US through the northern border with Canada.
The number of undocumented Indians entering through the northern border has increased from less than 100 in 2014 to over 30,000 in 2023.
This almost matches the number of Indians trying to enter from the southwest border.
Despite the increase, the share of Indians in the total number of illegal migrants is still nominal.
The majority of illegal migrants trying to enter the US are from Mexico.
However, the share of Mexican migrants has seen a drop in recent years.
India accounts for only 3% of all illegal migrants trying to cross the US border.
Trump-era policy led to the separation of over 5,000 children from their parents who tried to migrate illegally
Majority of Indians apprehended at the border are single adults
Spike in the number of minors from India trying to cross the border
Accompanied Indian minors increased from 9 in 2020 to 261 in 2023
Unaccompanied children from India attempting to cross increased from 219 in 2020 to 730 in 2023
Federal judge prohibited separation of minors from families for eight more years, calling it "simply cruel"