To Cover or Not To Cover: The Relative Absence of Indian Election Coverage on PTR

A close friend and erstwhile Roti Passer asked me why we have so little coverage of the Indian elections so far.  On some further thought, my response is: 

1) We do have some;

2) I am quite proud that we have far more coverage on the war/conflict/genocide/dramatic changes in the situation in Sri Lanka and to some extent SWAT thanks to ks;

3) Sri Lanka, SWAT, Nepal, Pakistan, regional, state, or local issues in India, and detail are all more interesting in that as you hardly find much coverage on that - e.g. the Maldives are storing money to move their entire population in the event of rising oceans;

4) the recent issue on our blog that's related to India and that I wish we had written more on was the two year anniversary of the imprisonment of Binayak Sen; and

5) we have little on Bangladesh of note and only slightly more on Nepal; dalit issues are practically absent, as are minority rights in South Asian countries in general; more explicitly gender-conscious perspectives, issues related to South Asia and South Asians in various diasporas like Malaysia, Burma, France, Mauritius, and a lot of other states.

And of course, what is implicit in all this is that we are understaffed, which is sort of unsurprising since no one actually gets paid, allowing us to write whatever we want within the general framework of the blog's values :)  More on the understaffing bit later on...but for now, let me say that -plug warning :)- your involvement is more than's crucial!  Please register to post tidbits and news items. :)

With all that said, if someone has some links to state-by-state analysis of the last Lok Sabha and the results of this election, I would be extremely interested in seeing them.  Given how rapidly the media narrative has emerged about what the election means, I would actually want to know the particular places that Congress did better than anyone anticipated, where BJP did worse than anticipated, and what the particular dynamics were that led to the collapse of BSP in Uttar Pradesh (there is some coverage on this), why DMK managed to win in Tamil Nadu, what the electoral dynamics in Andhra Pradesh were like; and some substantiation or refutal on the idea that CPI(M) lost in West Bengal because of Nandigram and Singhur and some explanation for why they lost elsewhere; and unexplored issues elsewhere.  If anyone has points on any of these that are relevant and helpful, I would be grateful if you would share, either in the comments or by posting news items or tidbits.

Other suggestions for improvement are, as always, welcome.  Thanks!

By: on 18 May 2009