It's rather apt that the Congress bought the rights to use "Jai Ho" as their slogan, considering that as little as a year ago they were considered underdogs, if not slumdogs. That they managed to go from being dependent on Amar Singh to being free of Laloo Yadav shows some good sense on theri part as well as that of the Indian voter. Their win of 200+ seats ensures that for a while at least, India will have a stable government not beholden to regional satraps and kingmakers. Journos, pundits and bloggers are already at pains to explain this reversal of fortune for the UPA. Here's my own two cents:
- If there was one thing that the debacle of Sarah Palin made clear, it was that obvious pandering to a base isn't very well recieved, especially when said pander-candidate is otherwise an out and out trainwreck. The BJP should have realised this with Varun Gandhi. To give the devil his due, he's won his Pilibhit seat. But in failing to put a leash on this obnoxious little Rottweiler, the BJP of Atal Behari Vajpayee, Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha has lost its way.
- If there was another thing that the 2008 US Presidential Elections made clear, it was that people do not appreciate a one-cure-fits-all slogan, least of all during a financial crisis. As with "Cut taxes" and "Bomb Iran", "Restore POTA", "Build a Ram Mandir" and "Fuck Muslims in general" pretty much wrecked it for the BJP with just about anyone who thought before voting. They had one good idea (National I-cards) on their one good issue (National security). But neither idea nor issue were given much voice, screwing it big time for the party.
- Nearly 50 years after Nehru and 30 years after Indira, the blessed Gandhi name still carries weight with the Indian janata, especially in UP. Varun Gandhi was tolerated because of his last name and won his Pilibhit seat too. Rahul Gandhi managed to manuoeuvre his last name so as to keep his Amethi seat and up the number of Congress seats in UP to 20. He and Mayawati were two people expected to come into their own at this point. He managed to exceed expectations, unlike Mayawati whose party took a major hit
- Against all odds, writer, UN diplomat and all-round pompous ass Shashi Tharoor has won his seat in Thiruvananthapuram. There's hope for the over educated English-speaking people of India yet.