Join us on a road trip through the heartland

Amar Govindarajan

May 17, 2024, 06:38 PM | Updated 06:38 PM IST

Good evening!

Dear Reader,

Every major news outlet is covering the Swati Maliwal assault episode with deadly seriousness. I'm sure you're also following the issue.

For our newsletter this evening I thought we could focus on a couple of different themes.

  • First, especially for those of us in the South, it's important to remember that large chunks of North India are yet to vote!

  • Second, consequence of above point, we're refocusing on elections - tempting as it may be to move on to a post-election mode. (It's been a long polling season but 150 seats are yet to vote!)

From a rainy Coimbatore,

Amar Govindarajan.

Went straight through the heart!

The Hridayapath Special Issue
The Hridayapath Special Issue

As the Indian heartland begins to vote, do you want to travel - even if vicariously, and try a get a sense of what the average voter thinks there?

Join us on this road trip! Banuchander, my friend and one of Swarajya's most insightful writers travelled from X to Y, writing dispatches to us everyday on what he saw.

  • The route went through some of India's poorest districts.

  • But this is not about poverty - on the contrary, we give you a sense of what has changed: development, government schemes, public mood and ground sentiment.

  • We compiled the 14 dispatches that Banu sent into a special print issue - the HRIDAYAPATH issue.

Why you should go on this trip: Beyond numbers, election rhetoric and TV studio theatrics you need a sense of how India feels this election season.

  • The travelogue/road trip dispatches is meant for informing India's best minds - jinhe naaz hain Hind par - about the heartland.

  • You want to get familiar with the social and economic landscape of this part of India.

  • Do pick up our print issue or use our app/website to read through Banu's dispatches at leisure.

How to read: We strongly recommend you read the Hridaypath special issue in print - it's the best way to enjoy Swarajya every month.

What markets may (or may not) see

(A trading terminal - file photo)
(A trading terminal - file photo)

Many have raised their eyebrows at the stock markets acting a little choppy over the last few days. Our editorial director R Jagannathan has some sound advise for them.

What may be happening. A good part of the market’s nervousness relates not to our own elections, but two global wars that show no signs of ending.

  • There are two other elections - the US and UK coming up as well and there's not a lot of good news about them.

  • Worries about US and China's economic prospectus.

How to think about the 'mahaul' about BJP's chances. Depending on which state is voting in which phase, the prospects of the BJP will ebb or flow.

  • Southern states, where BJP is weakest, voted in the first four phases (130 seats).

  • Also: this is a waveless election.

  • The BJP electoral machine is really cranking it up around the middle overs. Notice the PM's series of interviews and media appearances.

Was 2019 really any different? Was it really a “wave” election? There is a tendency to give too much importance to Pulwama and Balakot, and call it a 'wave election'.

  • Basic cake of Modi’s election offering: Jan Dhan, PM Kisan and other DBTs.

  • Mood of the electorate was in favour of giving Modi another chance, Pulwama and Balakot strikes only added to the momentum.

  • Despite demonetisation, the BJP managed to win UP assembly polls.

Why 2024 may not be different. The freebies offered by the INDI Alliance do count but the underlying theme is that Modi has done nothing wrong to deserve defeat.

  • Most women in rural areas and the middle classes see Modi as their ladder to aspirations.

  • Average voter too knows that freebies cannot last forever.

  • The opposition is mistaken to believe that the voter is driven purely by narrow selfishness.

Do read the full article by R Jagannathan here.

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