Schrödinger’s cat confused as losers rejoice, victors distraught in historic Indian elections

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is back with his party the BJP getting 240 seats, 32 shy of a majority on its own.

The recently concluded Indian General elections were truly historic. Almost a billion humans were eligible to vote in the largest democratic elections ever held in the world and over 640 million exercised their right to chose their government.

The incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made history as he became only the second PM of India to lead a Government for the third straight time. The only other PM who achieved this feat was India’s first, Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1962, over half a century ago.

India is the world’s largest secular, liberal, democracy and in Indian elections till the votes are counted no one can say with certainty who will win. We at The Australia Today kept reiterating this fact in our coverage of the elections.

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Most opinion and exit polls were giving the ruling BJP a majority on their own comfortably like in 2014 and 2019, which would be well over 272 seats in the 543 seat Parliament, and the BJP led National Democratic alliance (NDA) a thumping majority (average of around 350 seats). In short it was estimated that Mr Modi will be back as the PM of India.

And that is what has happened. Prime Minister Modi is back. The results were not as great for the BJP as the polls indicated but nevertheless they were good enough for them to get back in power. The BJP finally got 240 seats, 32 shy of a majority on its own. The NDA got 293.

NDA Meeting in New Delhi; Image Source: x @BJP4India
NDA Meeting in New Delhi; Image Source: x @BJP4India

While this number may not look that great compared to the BJPs’ last two performances in general elections but if you were to really analyse these figures this is the third best performance for any party in Indian General elections in 40 years.

The opposition I.N.D.I alliance, which comprised of many regional parties and the principle opposition party Congress, got 234 seats. So the BJP has gotten more seats on its own then the entire opposition put together. No doubt the Congress has done way better than anyone expected but at 99 seats this is the third worst performance by the Congress since India’s independence and the third straight loss for the grand old party of India in general elections

However, in what may be an unprecedented event since the dawn of human civilisation, after a hat-trick of wins, there was a sense of doom and gloom among supporters of Mr Modi and the BJP while there was a triumphant and jubilant mood in the Congress camp after a hat-trick of losses!

This tweet by BJP National Spokesperson Shezad Poonawalla sums up the sentiment at the BJP camp.

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While this is a tweet from the Congress party.

Stretching the theory of half glass full optimism to extreme proportions, the Congress really has set an example of how not to let any number of defeats pull you down. There is something for all of us to learn here. On the other hand BJP and its supporters must give up their, if I don’t score a 100%, I am a loser syndrome (a common syndrome found in very high performing students in India).

These reactions could potentially pose a challenge for any AI programme that were to analyse data on Indian elections in the digital space and surely Schrödinger’s cat would be as confused about these reactions as it would be about its own existence.

One positive outcome of these elections though is that EVMs (Electronic Voting Machine) have performed to perfection. Before these elections whenever the BJP won the EVMs were accused of not working properly or being hacked and when the opposition parties won they apparently worked perfectly all right. But in these elections even though the BJP has won it seems the EVMs have worked without a hitch. The opposition has not yet made an issue of it. Such is their sense of joy.

What remains to be seen is who has the last laugh given these election results, Prime Minister Modi, de facto leader of the Congress party Rahul Gandhi or Schrödinger’s cat!

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