By now, if your eyes haven’t glazed over yet, you would know in excruciating detail why Sheila won and Vasundhara lost. The talking heads that have been telling us just the opposite till a day before have had 24 hours to jaw-jaw their way through profound new political insights that unfailingly emerge only after the last ballot is counted. This begs the question: if anyone can be sure of a political outcome would he be practising the dismal science of predicting it? But for now, with the voter having laid bare his prefrontal cortex, it’s back to hours and hours of blinding perspicacity on the squawk box and comment pages.
On the face of it, ‘morning-after’ political punditry, does not look too daunting. A vocabulary of half-a-dozen — caste, anti-incumbency, inflation, TINA, secular, bijli-sadak-paani, inclusiveness — can see one through most situations. Top it up with selective amnesia and strong mandibles and a new guru is born. The trick is to always look ahead, never back on past mistakes. With practice, one can master the fine art of saying nothing at all in 3,000 words. If the politician can do it, why not the pundit?
Very entertaining for the rest of us if political forecasting comes wrapped in the statutory warning: It’s about as reliable as fairness cream adverts. So, do you know for sure why Sheila won and Vasundhara lost?