Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
Outlook.com
Book Review

Line-Up Where Everyone Bats

Disdaining failure, the wise Bhalla sticks his neck out and predicts the poll results. But less of economics, and sharper focus, would have helped us.

Line-Up Where Everyone Bats
Line-Up Where Everyone Bats
outlookindia.com
2019-05-17T12:33:11+05:30

Surjit Bhalla is a friend. But any­­one without that bias will also admit Surjit writes well, irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with him. His interest in both cricket and films, two themes every Indian is int­erested in, allow him to use similes/metaphors to get the reader interes­ted. (For a very long time, Surjit’s only book was on cricket.)  This book avoids cricket.  However, each of the 14 chapters, and an initial Introduction, begins with lyrics from a popular Bollywood song, reflecting Surjit’s tastes in film music.  The book is on Indian elections, from 1952 to 2019, and the author has himself been a forecaster, proved both wrong and right in the past: “Just two secrets—forecast often, and always remind people when you are right.  If I am wrong, well, life goes on, but now with an additional barrage of kind trolls (I realise that is an oxymoron, but emphasis is needed).  If right, well, we will just have to wait till the next election to go wrong.”

May 23 isn’t far away. Skipping initial chapters, what do the final chapters project for the BJP and the Con­gr­ess? Forecasts are done under different sets of assumptions and there is always a range, not a specific number.  For BJP, the range is 253 to 265. These are ‘objective’ estimates that mechanically follow the assumptions. Thereafter, there is a ‘most likely scenario’ that factors in some subjectivity, through judgement. In other words, the most likely estimate doesn’t have to be from within the range. For the BJP, Surjit’s forecast is 274. Likewise, for the Congress the range is 69 to 97 and the most likely number is 57.

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.