This has been a mammoth election with the country focused on a need for change in many directions. The results show that the people do, indeed, want change and have turned to Narendra Modi to deliver this. His history of improvement in Gujarat is what has drawn people to him, in the hope that the same improvements can be made in the rest of the country. But what of the rest of the parties? They are too many, with too many confusing names, for people outside of India to want to take notice; but from my perspective here there are two points I would like to make.
This election is for representatives to the National Government, electing representatives to the State Legislature takes place at a different time – a little like the American elections for Congress and the House of Representatives. The vote count is, therefore, a reflection of a party’s success (or lack of it) throughout the whole of India. The outgoing Congress Party managed to gain only 40 seats out of the 543 contested. Modi’s party has taken 282, giving him a clear mandate to rule.
Interestingly, the AIADMK party of Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, which only stood in this state, won a massive 37 out of the 39 seats for Tamil Nadu. That means that the Tamil Nadu ruling party is third place in numbers of seats won over the whole country (Modi’s BJP 285, Congress 44, AIADMK 37). This puts Jayalalitha in a very strong position in the central government, which could be very beneficial for Tamil Nadu as a whole.
Today is a day of celebration in India. But when the celebrations are over, let’s hope that the new government can deliver the kind of policies that India needs right now. With an overall majority for the first time in many years, that now seems more of a hope than a dream!
The wild elephants are still in the area, but not too close to Lakeside.
The forest rangers say that they have just come looking for food and water, but in yesterdays Hindu newspaper environmentalists say that part of the problem is the destruction of elephant habitat and ‘elephant corridors’ in the Reserve Forest, which is forcing them to change their range.
Let me just emphasise: RESERVE FOREST, set up as a protection for wildlife and a buffer zone between them and humans. Why is human encroachment allowed? I would hate to think that people turn a blind eye for money. Or maybe there are just not enough people to enforce the law – if so there are plenty of poor local people who might be glad of such paid employment.
I do hope that this is not another case of India neglecting her wildlife for selfish reasons.
For the first time ever, elephants have come over the Palani Hills to our valley in search of water and food. Five elephants visited over the weekend. The crowds of local people made them nervous so we kept our distance!