- The elections in the country are always looked forward to for their multi-hued layers which are not only fascinating to witness but will also demand an enormous amount of comprehension to read between the lines. Each political party in the fray will envisage promises and assurances in the form of manifestos that provides ample information for the electorate to decide whom they will shower blessings eventually allowing them to come to power. Ideally speaking, every election is expected to be contested solely based on developmental issues ensuring the manifesto transforms into concrete action as also showing the electorate for having fulfilled those promises.
PC: Richard M. Ebeling
- When it is mentioned developmental in the context of elections in India, it is largely related to basic amenities like proper roads, clean drinking water, adequate electricity, health infrastructure, safety and security, education to deprived and marginal population, a semblance of law and order, tolerable corruption at different levels of government, employment opportunities, more than adequate banking system to disburse loans based on several welfare schemes, and of course, some more assurances to ensure smooth functioning of the administration fully receptive to the ideas of public. The list could be more exhaustive covering different aspects of dignified living.
- Above mentioned issues should be the guiding light for any nation, more so for a developing country like ours, which is basic as well as aspirational but finding challenges along the way to realize those everyday happenings have become a norm rather than an exception. However, rather than address these very basic requirements, our political parties blatantly indulge to overcome the deficiencies in the deliverance of promises made out with such grandeur by embracing time tested identity issues, communal conundrums, the polarization of society on religious/caste lines, and whipping up emotions to conveniently brush relevant and pressing issues under the carpet.
- Horrifyingly, we fall into this trap wittingly or unwittingly. Despite major efforts undertaken by the concerned civil society activists, the election commission, various government machinery, and people from various walks of life urging people to not fall for the cunning ways of the political machinations, offerings on a platter with sugar-coated inducements and freebies are lapped up gleefully. In the bargain, fissures so created in the society by sacrificing the all-important national interest for short-term gains of instant gratifications overwhelm genuine concerns. The resultant outcome is real developmental issues continue to be a casualty thereby losing an opportunity to carry forward the nation’s growth in an organic manner.
- The narration has not changed even now. The same set of parochial considerations are at play in some of the ensuing state assembly polls where developmental issues that should speak for themselves are given a royal go-by. Real issues are overwhelmed under the avalanche of promises, assurances, inducements, and freebies that might remain in a paper once the people make their choice at the hustings. None of the frontline political parties are averse to embrace this narrative that plays with renewed vigor in elections after elections. Get ready for another round of colorful drama which is no less than an entertainer with every conceivable ingredient added in the right mixtures.