Basavanna the true winner

The epic battle in Karnataka, much like in the Mahabharata, has ended. In reality, more than a victory for any single party, it is a victory for Basavanna, the humanist, the true icon of Karnataka’s singular heritage of inclusivity. Despite his glorious ‘vachanas’ being hopelessly mauled by various actors in the electoral drama, the people of Karnataka have shown that they still abide by his philosophy of humanism, that goes beyond caste, creed and religion. Overall, Kannadigas have not given a majority to the unbridled and crass demagoguery unleashed by the communal forces. Kannadigas have also heeded the call of the revered centenarian, H.S. Doreswamy, the conscience-keeper of Karnataka, to ‘Save the Constitution’ by keeping the communal forces out.

The BJP, despite its improved performance, which can be attributed to the anti-incumbency factor  that seems to run in all Karnataka Assembly elections, has got only 36.2% vote share but has cornered 104 seats. The Congress’ 37.9% vote share is higher than that of the BJP, but it has managed to get only 78 seats, as a result of the faulty First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) system. The Congress, along with the JD(S)+, with its 18.8% vote share, have the moral right to form the government as their combined vote share is 56.7%  against 36.2% of the BJP.

The results show the need to change over to the Proportional Representation System of elections to give true representation to the citizens’ choices and make every vote count.

The writer is an Executive Trustee for Citizens Voluntary Initiative for City (CIVIC).


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