December 10, 2013

An Insurgent Prevails in Delhi

Samanth Subramanian, The New Yorker

The Associated Press

Delhi is too hard-bitten a city to shock easily, but it reeled on Sunday morning, as the votes were tallied for the state-assembly election held last week. The upstart Aam Aadmi Party, barely a year old and still starry-eyed about the transformative power of politics, was expected to be little more than a minor nuisance for its two larger rivals. The Indian National Congress, which has ruled Delhi for fifteen years (and has run the country at the head of a coalition since 2004), and the Bharatiya Janata Party were masters of the dark art of voter mobilization. Their systems of patronage had been entrenched for decades. An idealist upstart like the A.A.P., which was founded to carry forward the agenda of a checkmated anti-corruption campaign, wasn’t supposed to stand any chance at...

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