Election Fog blinding all?
Too many cooks spoil the soup! Who is cooking up the next national government? BJP, Congress, a conglomeration of parties called third or federal front? What if a hung assembly? Let not any one waste his precious vote for a corrupt or criminal candidate, come what may.
dr. james kottoor
It looks an election fog has descended on the country suddenly obliterating clear vision to the multitude of voters to see and judge the real face of parties and candidates posing as saviours and seeking their vote.
Most confused are the first time voters eager to vote and can’t decide whom to. For the rest, the vast majority had an experience of one to 60 years of voting. Once bitten twice shy! So these latter sections seem to be telling to themselves: “Enough is enough, none of the major cheats -- definitely not the Congress or BJP, two sides literally of the same coin especially in corruption and loot -- not even the Left which has no national presence to speak of.”
It is at this time a flickering light appeared in the form of AAP. It grew into a dazzling shooting star promising heaven in the capital only to disappear in 39 days. The thrust of its appeal and appearance was and still is: its all out war on corruption from top to bottom, starting at high level executives in government and big business in the country to low level police and petty officers at gram panchayath; its total transparency in the collection and use of public funds; its simple life style to identify with the poor shorn of “lal batti” and similar perks and privileges and its readiness to consult the general public to take or change major policy decisions; its fast action on 19 poll promises it made; the elaborate process it goes through in selecting only honest and corruption free candidates as office bearers and most of all its unmistakable body language and facial expressions conveying their vision, mission and conviction regarding what they say and do.
AAP Delhi Experiment
Its short lived rule of Delhi was both exemplary and questionable, exemplary when it instilled fear and trembling in all bribe takers, fast when it cut the rates of water and current bills, did away with security and “Lal Batti” all of which prompted critics, even opponents to imitate, in spite of their minor draw backs. But equally shocking was instances of a law minister, Somanath Barathi, breaking law in a midnight raid of an alleged hive of drugs and prostitution and Kejriwal’s firm refusal to sack him for this and other alleged misdeeds; Kejri’s own failure to respond to a RTI query even after one month; his calling himself or acting like “an anarchist” in word and deed; rebellion in his own party which forced him to suspend one; resignation of one of the founding members as well as quitting of a few new comers who got disappointed and many a slip between the cup and the lip in the “God-sent” party.
All was not hanky dory with the Aam Aadmi party. But the euphoria created fails to die down or go away as the general public is ready to see many failings as part of teething problems of a nascent idealist party trying to position itself without experience and organized structure. In the process it has sent out an unmistakable signal that with public support an alternative clean politics is surely possible in India and this perception is growing strength and spreading like wild fire. But with only 3 more weeks left for voting, time is against AAP to grow into its own. Is it ever possible to reduce the gestation period of a pregnancy just conceived from 9 to 3 months? What it can do in the given situation at best is to run helter-skelter and become a spoil-sport to thwart the crooked designs of traditional parties and help come up a new government led by any of the regional satraps -- call it Federal Front or Third Party -- but without the major parties, even without their outside support, and therefore incapable of completing even half the term in office.
Field days for AAP
This would be the filed-days for the AAP to work out a clearly thought out acceptable national platform explaining its domestic and foreign policy on which to run on and capture power with majority vote to implement its people’s rule from gram panchayat upwards and not from top to bottom. At the first attempt AAP succeeded to taste blood (victory?) at local level in Delhi. Coming elections is going to be a testing ground for their national appeal and ambition only. So wait they must, for a third possible chance after a possible collapse of a rickety government going to be propped up soon and its eventual downfall due to internal contradictions, to make an all round organised effort to come to power at its third attempt.
It is this looming mortal threat of being wiped out from the election scene that is sending chilling shivers up the spines of both BJP and Congress. To ward against it both the parties, with any amount of unaccounted money stashed away for electioneering, with themselves, with their cronies or abroad have unleashed an advertising blitz to make their ugly, dirty, despicably stinking faces look like the most desirable sweet heart seeking the hand of the electorate, -- yes you the voters -- solely to make you believe, they are doing it to make you healthy, wealthy, prosperous and happy for the rest of your life. Just think of the crores they have set apart to give a face lift to either Rahul or Modi to make them appear just the opposite of what they really are, the ugliest beauty queens you have ever seen.
In spite of all this, for the congress it looks they are almost resigned to sit in the opposition. For the BJP, torn apart by internal and external dissensions and remote controlled by RSS, it is question of maintaining the appeal of a one-man show Modi has arrogantly appropriated for himself in spite of having far better qualified leaders with pan Indian acceptability in his own party, but are forced to keep silent for the sake of projecting a non-existent unity. This shining-leader for a shining-India tomorrow is being embellished with the help also of any number opinion pollsters and media men, ready to play the role of a paid piper. Some eleven pollsters have already been branded as bogus.
Next PM: Who, Central Poll Issue?
The game plan is to deceive the illiterate voters. Who should be the next PM of India? It is Narendra Modi and none other, they have decided. Therefore their clarion call is: vote for BJP to enthrone Modi. Should this be the central poll issue? Is the coming election going to be an American model Presidential race? What are the gigantic problems plaguing India today?
Are they not the cancer of all round corruption eating into the vitals of the nation from head to foot? Giving tickets to criminals and crore-pthies preferring win-ability to morality? Crony capitalism looting the nation to benefit Big business and ruling party? Money power and muscle power in electioneering? Nepotism and dynastic rule across all parties? Voting decided by communalism, casteism, classism, regionalism and linguism and never by nationalism, idea of being an Indian first? Total lack of a new election manifesto explaining how the factions fighting for power at the centre are going to bring down shooting prices for house hold items? Basic amenities for the poor, homeless and illiterates? No jobs for the millions coming out of our universities and so are forced to seek greener pastures abroad, and for the semiskilled or unskilled ready to take up any work for livelihood but can’t find? Reigning in looters of natural resources of the country in the name of development? Improving infrastructure with good roads and railways to transport agricultural and industrial products from affluent regions to scare areas? Have any of the parties – national or regional, or even the upstart AAP – placed before the electorate a blue print, a better alternative on how they are going to tackle and solve these burning issues?
So in the worst scenario, the coming elections could be a usual ritual the so called Indian Democracy indulges in every five years for the sole benefit of the ruling class. How to make it the best scenario for the people? The only silver linings on the horizon which may lead to it, are the signals of a combined effort of three sections in the country to highlight the real truth for those blinded by election fog: 1. The social media – twitter and face book -- not monopolized yet by anyone so far, 2. The honest and transparent functioning of the AAP, though not totally free from infiltrators with aam aadmi cap, 3. Concerted campaign by word of mouth by thinking sections to enthrone a short term government sans an untrustworthy Congress or BJP.
What India Richly Deserves
In spite of it all if the coming election is going to be focused fully on leadership issue, India richly deserves a man with an all embracing universal vision; a man with humble, selfless mission to serve and uplift the poorest of the poor first; a man of conviction of the need for national unity, that we all have to hang together to avoid being hung separately; a man of decisive action ready to put at risk even his own life and honour for the sake of a united nation. Vision, mission, conviction and action are the key words that should guide him.
Conversely India definitely does not need a man, a regional satrap for that matter, so conceited and full of himself that he cannot see anyone better than himself even in his own party though there is no dearth of better deserving ones than himself there; a man who thinks it a weakness to admit mistakes and worse still to apologize for past blunders (to err and correct oneself is human for ordinary mortals); a man who wants his diktats to be last word on all matters regarding development of a nation with such diversity from region to region.
Leadership is for the humble and unassuming in the normal course of events. Like the shadow it chases the one who runs away from it, but it scoots away from the one who rushes greedy to grab it. The minimum any one can and must do is to make sure he/she votes in this coming election, but never for one known to be corrupt or convicted. Let that vote be used either to weed out or arrest an arrogant self appointed selfish leader in his route or better, to promote a leader par excellence with vision, mission, conviction and action in the service of the whole nation.
The writer can be contacted at:firstname.lastname@example.org,
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