The Last Days of Manmohan
Project info

In 2014, India was obsessed with a foregone conclusion - voting out a beleaguered old prime minister, paving the way for a new challenger in Delhi. It was the most politically charged times since 1951, '65, '71, '77, '84, '99, or '04 (depending on your political leanings). The whole country of 814 million eligible voters was galvanised to come out and cast their vote in record numbers. Consequently, the 2014 general elections was the most expensive in the world (estimated at $5 billion) after the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, when too the stakes were huge.

Frustrated by a highly-compromised Indian media, which made it impossible to trust what was being said or shown on TV, I packed my bags and set off on a political backpacking trip across the country. I wanted to witness first-hand India's ruling class in action and their relationship with the people.

In my new stint as a political photographer from a fictitious magazine, I went about my quest for what democracy looked like and smelt like on the ground. Bluffing my way into party offices and campaigns, I sought out moments of vulnerability of those loveable bastards—our politicians—and got myself a front row seat in the theatre of electoral frenzy.

The momentum generated during the general elections continued well into a series of regional elections that followed. I wish to continue this personal project over the term of this incumbent government that is promising to irreversibly change the nature of polity and governance in India as we know it, for better or for worse.