Democracy brings with it many pluses, some minuses, and these few minuses hold the pace of growth, betterment of lives of citizens. Delivery is easy said than done; and if it was that easy, then all political parties would have turned the pages of their election manifestos after coming to power, would have ticked the agendas accomplished and moved forward to the next promise. Will you not agree that had our political men have the clean will to change the lives of Indians, the roads we move on would not be filled with cracks, deficient/ ill-timed rainfall would not have resulted into farmers’ suicides, healthcare would have been affordable and every household would have had at least a steady shelter? And who ‘elects’ them? They aren’t rulers; they are elected to serve the community, to bridge the gap between underdevelopment and prosperity, to better the living conditions of poor, and most importantly to bring ‘sustainable’ changes. By this, I mean steps that are capable to fetch returns in the future, not like handing out laptops to all students, without checking the feasibility of the measure, and with just a motive to lure voters. You know all the answers- Is a city with water pipelines covering all households better or a city with few thousand liters of free water for houses connected to the pipeline? I just want to highlight the only weakness of ours- ‘hasty perks’, no matter how much detrimental they are for any other cluster, the society, environment or the Indian economy.
AAP’s near-clean sweep in Delhi left us with a positive message. It substantiated that no one in a democracy can have perpetual succession, change is assured, sooner or later. The same even happened in West Bengal when the CPM alliance suffered worst setback having lost to TMC after more than 30 years of continuous ruling. The BJP also scripted the same story when it won a clear mandate in Lok Sabha elections in 2014. In history, there are instances like the rise of Janata Dal and the defeat of Congress, rise of political parties like SP, BSP, AIADMK and others. But did all these deviations from continuous dominance in the hands of one group bring real betterment in our lives? We have been reading news of farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha, continuous movement of the people of Bihar and U.P. to metro cities in search of employment, gang rapes, lack of clean drinking water, sanitation and such basic necessities in almost every part of India. And this is a case when our constitution says that the actual power rests in the hands of ‘people of India’ who elect their representatives. But the irony is that we do not follow a compulsory requisite prior to electing our rulers, ‘Due Diligence’. I have borrowed this phrase from business literature, which means analyzing a venture in view of future gains or losses prior to investing. Ok tell me, will you invest in a scheme that promises ten-fold returns in a year, but says ‘severe terms and conditions apply’?
Let me now refer to some recent episodes worth noticing since we are also the ones responsible for such happenings. The Congress, accompanied with other opposition political parties in the Lok Sabha, is playing the role of an obstructer rather than an enabler. Parliamentarians do not formally meet on all days of a year; they have limited time to frame policies. A better place for them, hence, is their respective seats in the Lok Sabha during sessions and not the corridors. While even nursery students realize the vitality of discipline, legislators quite often forget their duties. Where are dialogues, meetings and other constructive measures that are capable of resolving issues which the opposition parties have with the bills proposed by the central government? Marches and protests will just kill the time you have to take forward the nation, and even though the voters rejected your way of governance, you aren’t ready to learn lessons. The AAP in Delhi promised heavenly perks to voters, but the CM, when the party was in a deep crisis of internal conflict, was taking medication for cough in Bengaluru. Within just a couple of months and after a landslide victory, Delhi rulers shifted focus to ‘AAP’ rather than the people of Delhi. When you had no viable plans in place to make Delhi a free Wi-Fi zone, why did you at all emphasized on this promise; and now you have invited suggestions on how to implement this agenda of yours from the public.
West Bengal is in the crunch of under-development, crimes and the state CM has all the blames for one person, the PM of India. Same is the case with Bihar, a place where if photographs of relatives illicitly extending help to class X board students would not have become viral on the web, this tradition would have remained unnoticed, as usual. Now, even Mr. Kejriwal is thinking of going national, just some weeks ago he promised to concentrate on Delhi rather than creating a mess again. This beautiful democracy is a witness to all these happenings, and I am sure that the makers of Indian constitution would have never imagined such a shameless state where votes are won in the name of pity bonuses to selected clusters, specially minority, where banning cow slaughter, a directive principle in the constitution, invites disapproval, where manifestos are like a dream-come-true, but subsequent five years of ruling is like a hell for same voters, and where parliamentarians just know how to oppose sincere endeavors of the ruling party. Let me now return to my question in the very first paragraph- Who ‘elects’ them? When we know the answer to this, shall we not consider ourselves liable for the suicides of Indian farmers, for gang rapes across the country, for lack of employment and drinking water and for acute corruption in all government departments?
It is time to follow that same exercise, ‘Due Diligence’, while electing our rulers. The present central government appears sincere in delivering on promises, to pave way; however, we ought to be vigilant, committed and unbiased when we cast our vote.