Lessons From Indian Elections

Before you ask, I do not have any. But, election season is the best time to get a front row seat for the show on human behavior and psychology.

Now that polls are over, it is time for all to draw lessons from the mandate. It is the best time to witness hindsight bias in action. Media will lead the onslaught with a cacophony of op-eds – lessons from the election, advice to Modi, why we got the mood of the nation wrong, what Modi should be doing in the next five years, where Rahul went wrong, etc.

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“Skin in the Game” and “Accountability” are best seen during these times. People who say one thing before the election write diametrically opposite words post-election. Renowned journalists who claimed this to be a waveless election, post-result write wordy articles on why the Modi wave was intense this time. Nevermind the fact that these are the same people who got the 2014 polls wrong too. The best part is, these personalities will soon start advising in television debates on what the government should be doing in the next five years to win over people’s hearts.

The thing I find fascinating is no one holds these individuals accountable to what they wrote before elections; no one questions their credibility and so-called expertise.

I believe it is almost impossible to predict the future, but what we can do is observe the broad trends; the trends should be the guide to the future. Yogi Berra captures it best:

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.

The idea that the future is unpredictable is undermined every day by the ease with which the past is explained.

The above quote is from Daniel Kahneman; this should be the major takeaway from any massive upheaval.

PS: Contrary to the above, some people believe that the future is predictable; there are projects too on this.

Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

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