john oliver on india’s elections

he really nailed iti think comedy is the new journalism
and if anything, journalism needs to be more court-jester like


God bless democracy

A few pics there of India’s first elections in 1951-1952, as well as some lessons. First, the country became independent in 1947, with the British handing off power to Nehru and Jinnah and other British-educated lawyers — so the country had a pretty functional constitutional framework and legal system by the time it was let out of the Queen’s dominion.

The first elections were five years or so later, and these pics show that MOCK elections were held first, because you can’t take people who have never been asked who they wanted to be ruled over by for 6,000 years, and expect them to get the idea the next day.

People got excited about the mock elections, and although the socialist-liberal party (now a typical third-way/globalist party, really) is about to get its ass kicked by the right-wing Hindu nationalist (also corporatist, really) party — but I am very proud of almost 70 years of democracy.

It’s not pretty right now. The ideals of the founding people of the country are all but dead. But looking at these pictures of masses of people, eager to tell their government what they have to say. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful.


Sukumar Sen, India’s first election commissioner, in a 1951 photo. General elections to the first Lok Sabha after independence were held between 25 October 1951 and 21 February 1952. Photos: Hindustan Times


Mock elections in Nangloi, near Delhi, on 2 September, 1951.


Mock elections in Nangloi, near Delhi, on 2 September, 1951. The voter turnout in the election was 45.7% as most voters exercised their right for the first time.


Vijyalakshmi Pandit addresses a pre-election meeting at Roshanara Road, Delhi, on 29 December, 1951.


Women voters queue up for voting in Narela (Delhi) during the first general elections. The first votes in this election were cast in Chini in Himachal Pradesh on 25 October 1951.