Perhaps it is this that is the magic of elections: the people of our country, in any election, whether they are corporation elections, Assembly elections or general elections of the country, become engrossed in seeing them as a ‘tamasha’ (farcical show, entertainment). They listen to the speeches of leaders as if they are some wondrous thing and after listening to the speeches do not raise any questions. They don’t pay attention either to why those questions that should be raised in corporation elections, how are they arising in the assembly elections? How are promises related to those corporation election questions made during assembly elections? And those questions which should arise in the Lok Sabha elections, how can they be solved through the legislative assemblies? But our country has become accustomed to watching a ‘tamasha’ for the last 65 years, is watching a ‘tamasha’ and will keep watching a ‘tamasha’. Perhaps people consider elections to be a form of entertainment.
Lets talk of the Lok Sabha elections. Questions related to inflation in the country, unemployment, corruption, poor education facilities, poor health facilities, poor and faulty infrastructure, development which is of no use for people have been arising since independence and in answer to these questions there was jugglery performed in every election and people saw lots of this jugglery and ‘tamasha’. People just did not focus on these questions, did not bother about what was at their root. The 2014 election too is about to become an epic, a magnificent ‘tamasha’, a farce, on a very grand scale. Nobody is asking the question that at the root of these questions there is the economic policy of the country. Economic policy decides what kind of production there will be. Which people would participate in production? Who will be in the stream of development? Where will roads be made? Where will schools be opened, where will hospitals be opened? Or will not be opened? It is economic policy that decides what percentage of people have to be brought out from the circle of poverty and what percentage of people have to be increased in the circle of poverty and brought into it. But even on economic policy, no party which wants to form a Government at the Centre opens its cards.
This time round, the conditions are even funnier. The Congress has been implementing the policy of liberalisation, a free, open economy, open market for the last 22 years. Other Governments came in between, there was the Deve Gowda’s Government, Gujral Sahib’s Government came, Atalji’s Government came, none of them raised any questions about economic policy. Everybody took forward the same economic policy. Now the Bharatiya Janata Party is saying that the policy of liberalisation is not being implemented properly by the Congress. We will implement this policy properly. That is, if the liberalisation policy was implemented by the Congress in the wrong manner, the figures with it for unemployment, for agriculture becoming uneconomical, water, forests and land going to foreign companies – all these things and the figures will register a further rise if the Bharatiya Janata Party implements the policy properly. It means that development in the country will not be for everyone, but will be there for the special few. The number of poor people in the country will increase. Crimes in the country will increase.
People are unable to understand this situation because people love not the country but themselves. It is often said that the public never gives a wrong verdict, but the public has just no option with it. If they give a verdict, what verdict can they give? When all the parties, the big parties who want to lay claim to forming the Government or the small parties who desire to be their tails, when all these parties advocate the same kind of economic policy then what verdict can the public give?
In between, some small parties sprang up like mushrooms who fought the assembly election on questions of municipality elections. People clapped in applause and said we have seen everybody now we will see them too. This is an amazing thing in our country: that we have looked at ‘them’, we have looked at ‘them’ as well, and now we will look at ‘them’ once too. Lets see, perhaps something good will happen. And after five years have passed, we beat ourselves on our heads and say ‘we were made fools of’. Who made a fool of you?
I was reading a book by Pandit Shri Ram Sharma Acharya, the Founder and Patron of All World Gayatri Pariwar (AWGP) , in which, on the basis of his experiences, he has described the psychology of the common man. He says that ours is a strange country. When we go to purchase an earthen water pot for five rupees, we tap on it and knock it at ten places to ensure that it isn’t cracked anywhere. Then we bargain and haggle for it. We go to four shops to check out, and then we buy the earthen water pot. Pandit Shri Ram Sharma further says that when an ordinary person in our country wants to marry off his sister or his daughter then he finds out in a hundred different ways what sort of a family it is into which he is thinking of marrying his sister or daughter, what kind of character they have, what is their economic situation, do they have a good or a bad reputation, and then he takes a decision about the marriage. But the people of our country are great, who give the fortunes or ‘kismet’ of the country into somebody’s hands for five years, but don’t even bother to find out whether those into whose hands they are giving the country’s kismet for five years, are they worthy of being handed over that kismet? What are their economic policies? Are their leaders perchance tainted, or criminals? After winning the election, will they even go back to the people or not?
Not only that, they don’t even ask that ‘bhai’ (brother) or ‘behen’ (sister), if we decide to vote for you, then at least promise us that you will come to us even after you’ve won. You will listen to our sorrows, our pain. And wherever a diagnosis can be made, you will at the very least make a recommendation. People don’t see whether a particular party or individual has the capacity to understand the questions that will improve the future of the country or not. We give our votes on the basis of and in the name of caste, creed, language or a traditional system and then we beat our heads.
In our country where democracy was the strongest, where there is freedom of speech, freedom of thought, it is because of our weaknesses, the weaknesses of the people of the country that those people are flourishing in the name of parties who are playing a big role in destroying democracy in this country.
It has been happening like this for the last 65 years. How I wish! If elections were held according to the Constitution, representatives of political parties would not go to Parliament, to the legislatures. With elections not being held according to the Constitution, all the representative who go to Parliament, they work like a big mafia group, like mafias in politics. After being elected they don’t care or bother about the people. They care only about increasing the sources for various kinds of money coming in. And when the Government holds a meeting to frame policies, these MPs don’t even go those meetings. Today, the scope of thinking of any of the MPs does not extend beyond his or her constituency or district whereas the scope of thinking should be the whole country.
The 2014 elections are coming and we have seen a new thing in this election. The new thing is that a few new political party have been formed which start behaving like political mafias even before they go the assembly or the Lok Sabha. Their biggest leader too speaks the same language. Their servile agent standing on their right also speaks the same language. The intellectual standing on their left also speaks the same language and even before being selected as candidates can be seen talking about staking occupation of land, taking money, cooperating in promoting the interests of one company against the interests of another company.
It is not the work of any MLA or MP that he or she should side with one particular company in a fight between two companies. But everything is possible for money. If all this is going to happen in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections too, then what is the use of this democracy? In one sentence the meaning of this is whether we have understood what independence means? Have we understood what country means? Have we understood the meaning of democracy? If we have not understood it means that there is a different sort of future standing before us. There are many countries where democracy came, but in democracy’s stead dictatorship came very soon. And there was a long fight in those countries with the forces of dictatorship and democracy is coming there again, never mind if shakily. In our country where democracy was the strongest, where there is freedom of speech, freedom of thought, it is because of our weaknesses, the weaknesses of the people of the country that those people are flourishing in the name of parties who are playing a big role in destroying democracy in this country. Come, let us think, whether we will sleep or whether at the very least we will wake up in the elections of 2014 and ensure the beginning of a new morrow.