Abstract

This paper explains why elections are popular in India and why voter turnouts have remained stable. The evidence presented here shows that voters consider the electoral process itself as important, as this allows for the performative expression of the core ideals of democracy, citizenship, duty and rights, equality, cooperation, imagination of a common good-values that are otherwise wholly missing from polity the rest of the time. It is precisely because of its absence in daily life that people feel the urge to embrace and celebrate these values when they are available during elections. Elections therefore emerge as aesthetic and ritual moments that allow for the inversion of the rules of normal social life. The resulting communitas creates a heightened awareness of what is missing in everyday hierarchical life, while simultaneously providing a glimpse of democracy's ideals of egalitarianism and cooperation.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1944-768X
Print ISSN
0037-783X
Pages
pp. 75-98
Launched on MUSE
2014-04-30
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.