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Indian Elections: the greatest show on earth

On May 16, India will announce the results of its parliamentary elections. One day before, Passport will hold a Correspondent Call with GlobalPost’s New Delhi correspondent, Jason Overdorf to discuss the anticipated results.

The call will occur at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, May 15. To participate, please:


a) E-mail us ( by Friday at 9 a.m. with your Passport username and the number from which you will be calling. The call is open to the first 100 Passport members.


b) In your e-mail, please feel free to suggest questions. Let us know if you want us to ask the questions (anonymously or using your name), or if you would like to ask them yourself. Time permitting, we will open the call up to additional questions after an initial Q & A period. Remember, the call will be recorded and posted on Passport.


c) At 10 a.m. Eastern time on May 15, dial 978-964-0049. When you hear the voice prompt, enter the following code: 309799#. That will enable you to join the call.


India’s election is democracy’s biggest event ever. It has spanned an entire month. Over 700 million voters chose from 30 different parties. Covering the spectacle for GlobalPost, Overdorf described “a campaign season that saw candidates climbing trees, hefting dumbbells, and delivering vitriolic speeches to draw attention…. Election officials transported electronic voting machines across mountain creek beds on horseback, while candidates rolled up to file their nomination papers in imported luxury cars, rickshaws, horse-drawn carriages — even riding atop a funeral bier shouldered by supporters. It is little wonder that local reporters have taken to calling India's elections ‘the greatest show on earth.’”



The elections occur at a sensitive time on the sub-continent. Mumbai is nursing the wounds of last year’s terror attacks. The army is fighting simmering conflicts with Maoist rebels and Kashmiri separatists. And the Obama administration is stepping up its battle against extremists across the border in Pakistan.



Overdorf will discuss how this historic election will affect the country and its nascent economic miracle. A resident of India since 2002, Overdorf has spent 15 years in Asia, and has published articles in Newsweek, the Asian Wall Street Journal and the Atlantic Monthly. (Read more about Overdorf here.)