Posted in Personal Stories

The Great Indian Election

ballot box

The Great Indian Election is here..

In this frenzied extravaganza which promises a lot of drama while it lasts, commitments are made, countless castles constructed in the air, and political marriages and breakups are the order of the day. It is interesting to observe the politicians battling to out-do and out-shout one another, and for once sweating it out under the sun. It is quite a spectacle to watch – their infinite talent in using vile and abusive insults, and the deft transformations from fire breathing dragons to paragons of virtue within minutes!! It is one time when we get to see our Ministers weather all odds, difficulties, threats and potential shoe-snipers to get their message across to the electorate. The mass media is in a tizzy, and every movement in the election battle is fervently analysed and furiously debated. Caste equations are laid out, and bar graphs are drawn.. Exit polls run everywhere, and there is an all important question in limelight – What does the Indian voter want?

All the attention and importance zooms on to the poor and unprivileged millions, who can now, for a brief moment, bask in their position of power. Millions are spent in campaigns to woo the voters who will decide India’s destiny for the next five years. It is the moment of reckoning for a government which will be formed – “By the People, Of the People and For the People”. It is a time of transition and uncertainty, when the fortune of the country is in charted by a “billion nameless votes” and politics is a hot topic of deliberation everywhere.

Mostly, I have noticed that whenever we have a discussion about the elections and the future of the country, almost all debates end on a pessimistic note. There is a general perception that the ones voted to the echelons of power will inevitably be corrupt and morally defunct. In a sense, sincere and committed individuals will never be able to win elections. Surely, the democratic process in India has a lot of flaws, and that’s the reason why we might never really choose the best candidates for the top posts. Yet, I wonder if such cynicism will really do us any good? I found this quote in today’s newspaper, echoing the same sentiments –
“We have a habit of complaining. It’s my habit too… But we avoid taking the initiative for a better future” – PRIYANKA GANDHI

Indeed, the Indian election is the most massive democratic exercise in the world, and the right to equality and franchise is a privilege which Indians dreamt of only seventy years ago!. Also, it’s not an understatement when I say that thousands of Indians laid down their lives for precisely this moment – to be able to choose the future of their country. The power to determine your own destiny is a very coveted prize, and we are lucky to have the fortune to use it… At least, the best we can do is be proactive and think positive.

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