From where the hell did they invent the phrase of a candidate "losing his/her deposit", "jamaanat jabt" if they fail to win an election?
I think it relates directly from from the practice of spending huge amounts of money to get elected, and corruption after getting elected. The candidates have to "deposit" a large amount of money, taking a lot from funders. With every deposit, there's a recovery, gains to be made, through corruption, through swindling money meant for public expenditure, if he/she gets elected. If the candidate fails to win the election, there is no scope of making these gains now, and so they lose the deposit.
The implication sent across is that there is something massive to lose if you don't win an election. Like, say your property if you're deeply in debt. Or, your life if you're deeply in debt to criminals. This would be accurate only if the candidate is corrupt and is pumping in money into his/her campaign with a direct intention of making a fortune from it, as if it's an investment.
And so it felt strange to read articles that talked of an honest party's /independent candidate losing their deposit.
What deposit? They haven't made any deposit.
The money spent in the campaign of an honest candidate is publicly donated money. And it is spent with the intention of campaigning for an election, not making a fortune. There is no threat of what horrible thing will happen if the election is lost. If the candidate loses the election, then it's just an election lost this time around. That's it; it doesn't signify the candidate losing anything major.
So, regarding the whole Kejriwal Vs Modi contest in Varanasi, I'd say this:
If Arvind Kejriwal loses this one, then he doesn't lose any deposit; he doesn't lose anything in that context.