The Village That Won’t Vote


The Village That Won’t Vote

Illustration: Akshita Monga


he district of Bahraich was once part of the historic Awadh region. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Awadh’s political influence spread over large parts of north India, and it came to be a byword for cultural and literary grandeur. The region also swept over the lush Doab and that earned it the moniker of the “granary of India”. But all it took was a couple of centuries for it to all come crashing down.

Bahraich, in northern Uttar Pradesh, borders Nepal and is one of the poorest districts in the country. It was named one of 250 most backward districts in India by a 2006 Ministry of Panchayati Raj report. In fact, so terrible are the conditions in some parts of the district, which went to vote today, that one of its villages has decided to entirely sit out the election.