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I Find Exit Polls Hard To Believe, Will Wait For May 23

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Until the results are out on May 23, I am not going to believe the numbers given out by exit polls. Not that I believe in the conspiracy theory that the elections are rigged, or that the EVMs have been manipulated. I don't believe this data because the reality, as I see it, looks different. I may be wrong or I may have missed noticing when India changed so drastically. Real data has to convince me.

I accept that in the last five years this country has changed to some extent. It has become more "Hindu" than ever. Hindus in the earlier era were shy of flaunting their Hindu identity, but not anymore. This, I feel, is the real "contribution" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If LK Advani should be credited with igniting thoughts among a section of Hindus that despite being in an overwhelming majority, they were the discriminated lot, Modi has turned that feeling into winning currency.

Muslims are no longer the only vote bank. There is a bigger Hindu vote bank and it has made the Muslim vote bank almost irrelevant. The prejudice against Muslims among a section of Hindus - Mahatma Gandhi referred to it in his book Hind Swaraj in 1909 - has turned into a new muscular identity. Prejudice has taken concrete shape. Like political Islam, it has crystalised into a Political Hindu.

The poll of exit polls predicts 302 seats for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, 122 for the Congress-led UPA and 118 for "non-aligned" parties

But the bigger question is - has this political Hindu acquired such a vast proportion that its economic personality has become a non-entity? That it does not matter if sons and daughters are not getting jobs or that their buying power has diminished in last few years and they cannot go out and buy things........