The results of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections show that democracy has triumphed in India, that is Bharat. Contrary to predictions of the prophets of doom, India has proven to the world once again that we have a robust, vibrant democracy, where the will of the electorate prevails.

People voted freely and peacefully for the candidates of their choice in the elections. It was a celebration of freedom.

The eighteenth Lok Sabha elections of 2024 assumed greater significance because an alliance of several opposition political parties, called INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), came together to fight against the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Oswald Pereira

In the results declared on June 4, 2024, the India bloc, emerged as a strong opposition alliance with 233 seats, against the NDA’s 293 seats and other parties securing 17 seats in a total strength of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. While the NDA’s share is the highest, 45 per cent in the total votes, the India bloc comes a close second at 41 per cent in the total votes.

The BJP on its own secured 240 seats, which is 32 seats short of the 272 that it would have needed to form a government on its own, with an absolute majority of 50 per cent seats. The BJP was down by 63 seats, compared to the 303 seats that it had won in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

At the time of writing, it seems unlikely that the INDIA alliance can form a government. So, the NDA will be at the helm for the third consecutive term.

The NDA then is clearly the winner of the elections.

But the opposition INDIA bloc cannot really be called the loser, because it was up against heavy odds ― or so it claims ― which may have not given the alliance a level playing field.

The new Parliament Building, in New Delhi

It is neither necessary to list these odds nor is it imperative to analyse the merits of the claims, because that would detract from the very important learning and message that the 2024 Lok Sabha election results convey.

The message: The election results are really a victory of Indian democracy. The victory is equally of the ruling NDA and the opposition INDIA bloc.

The ruling party has won because it will form the next government, which will hold the reins for the next five years. The opposition can also be considered the winner, because it has gathered enough seats, thus enough strength, to check the ruling party were it to falter in its sacred duty of serving the people and the national interests, first, before its own political agenda.

The opposition is strong and so in a better position to fulfil its duty of watchdog of democracy.

The Indian media, the mainline media, in particular, has failed as the fourth estate of the country and not really fulfilled its role as watchdog of democracy. It has been guilty of unabashed sycophancy of the ruling party.

The vigil to protect Indian democracy, ensuring that it blooms and never loses its vibrancy is not only the duty of the ruling and opposition parties, but of the people as well.

Let’s draw up a list of principles  or codes of conduct that will help in our democratic endeavours and keep our democracy ever vibrant.  As citizens, we should ensure that politicians of both the ruling and opposition parties adhere to the following principles:

Democracy is the winner in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, but only by being eternally vigilant can we ensure that the victory of Indian democracy doesn’t ever turn into defeat.

Oswald Pereira, a senior journalist, has also written eight books, including The Newsroom Mafia, Chaddi Buddies, The Krishna-Christ Connexion, How to Create Miracles in Our Daily Life and Crime Patrol: The Most Thrilling Stories. Oswald is a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and practises Kriya Yoga.

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