In the coming elections the public is going to become either a football or a spectator. Standing on the roadside, if anybody tries to sell anything, starts playing the ‘damru’ ( a small two headed drum), appears dressed and decorated in a strange way, then in a short while he or she does ‘collect’ five hundred or a thousand spectators. Political parties are about to do exactly the same kind of thing with the people of the country. Now they don’t even sell dreams because they know, what is the need to befool the people of India by selling them dreams? Here, people can be made fools even by showing them a cockfight. The two main contenders for the throne of Delhi are the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Jointly, the two have turned the electoral fight in the country into a fight between two personalities. Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi.
Does Rahul Gandhi attract the youth or Narendra Modi? What are Narendra Modi’s clothes like and what are Rahul Gandhi’s clothes like? What kind of art of speaking does Narendra Modi possess and what kind of art of speaking does Rahul Gandhi possess? The elections are revolving round just these questions and in this those who should not be helping, they are thrusting themselves forward and helping. I mean the media of the country. But why blame the media alone? When the country’s public is willing and ready to tie a bandage over its own eyes, then who can open that bandage? If somebody has tied the bandage against their wishes, then only can someone else try and open that bandage.
Inflation in the country is at a peak. Corruption is steadily increasing and is increasing to such an extent that people now don’t even want to talk about it. The biggest anxiety and worry for the youth of the country is related to unemployment. But it is not a matter of concern for leaders. For the leaders, it is not even a matter of concern that when after so many years have passed after Independence, there are not enough roads in our country, not enough electricity, and the most glaring thing is that there is not enough of even the most essential necessity for living – water.
For both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, inflation, unemployment, corruption or roads, electricity and water are not matters of concern. Neither of them is saying whether or not they have a solution to these problems. In villages, the land of farmers is slipping away from their hands. Recently, a law was made on the basis of which it is being assumed that there will be some check on the sale of farmers lands. But this law has so many loop holes due to which how far this law will be able to stop the land of farmers from going into the hands of big industrialists cannot be said.
If these questions are not a matter of concern for the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, then one is not able to understand either why the people of India are not paying any attention to them. Because the people are not paying any attention to them, these questions cannot be seen ever moving in a direction where they can be solved. Instead, these questions always remain as questions. It is being said that this time in India youth in very large numbers, around about twenty crores will cast their votes. These youth can also be seen becoming spectators to the ongoing ‘tamasha’.
Does Rahul Gandhi attract the youth or Narendra Modi? What are Narendra Modi’s clothes like and what are Rahul Gandhi’s clothes like? What kind of art of speaking does Narendra Modi possess and what kind of art of speaking does Rahul Gandhi possess? The elections are revolving round just these questions and in this those who should not be helping, they are thrusting themselves forward and helping. I mean the media of the country. But why blame the media alone? When the country’s public is willing and ready to tie a bandage over its own eyes, then who can open that bandage?
If the people will not get water to drink, if the people are to be ground in this way by inflation and rising prices, then should we accept that people’s loyalty to democracy will remain intact? Now the question is that if faith in democracy evaporates, what or who will come in its place? There are only two forces which take the place of democracy. One are fascist forces and the other are dictatorial forces. Fascist forces are not present in many places in the world, but it is believed that the ground in Third World countries is quite fertile for fascist forces to germinate. In our country there are many people who believe in fascism and it is a matter of regret that the next step after communalism is fascism.
Should one believe that all the political parties in India do not think that democratic growth is necessary? There was a convention in Delhi recently on 30 October of non-Congress and non-BJP parties. This convention was held to oppose communalism, but an atmosphere was created by the newspapers that it was the beginning of the formation of a Third Front. The speeches that were made there, the way in which people explained things did not create any enthusiasm. Neither was there any elaboration on whether they had any integrated programme before them for development, and because there is no programme, to believe that the country will rally behind them, or they will be able to unite is still not very clear. The situation is that surveys are coming and the surveys are sponsored surveys. There are many surveys behind which there are vested interests, and there are many surveys behind which there is money, but despite this for the coming Lok Sabha elections, no survey is willing to give more than 160-170 seats to the BJP and the Congress is swinging between 80 to 120 seats. Then where will the remaining seats go? Wherever these remaining seats go, they point towards a danger. If apart from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, one party or several parties do not present a clear cut agenda before the people, then perhaps people will vote in a scattered manner, and then the people who will win will set up a new kind of ‘bazaar’ in the marketplace of democracy.
This means that many big new dangers are forming in front of the people of the country. If people vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party or vote for the Congress, the same economic policies will continue to be implemented which have brought the country to this pass where there is not enough potable drinking water, there are not enough roads, there is not enough electricity. Unemployment is growing. Poverty is growing. Inflation is increasing. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress party both believe in the same type of economic policy. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s allegation against the Congress party is that it did not implement properly the economic policy which can be called market based economics. The Bharatiya Janata Party claims that it will implement this economic policy properly. It means that if water cannot be obtained in adequate quantities, then now it will not be available at all. The extent to which unemployment has grown, it will grow even more now. The amount that prices have risen, they will rise even more now.
Therefore, it seems to me that those people who are talking of being against this economy, are they really against it is not clear. I believe that the public in this country has the capacity to see and feel these dangers present before the country. Many people believe that the people of this country can never make a wrong decision. We too believe that the people of the country do not ever make a wrong decision, but then when walking on a road an accident can of course take place. Care will need to be exercised to ensure that this accident does not occur while walking along the democratic road. And the people will need to make the effort that instead of the current market based economy, pressure should be built up to bring in its stead a people oriented economy.
Which party in politics will do this I do not know, but if any party in India replaces the market based economy with a promise of employment in the hands of people, ‘roti’ (bread) in their stomach, potable drinking water and distribute medicines to fulfill their needs, then perhaps it can become the biggest example of today’s ideology. The curious thing is, this is not an ideology, but when these things are just not there then what is the meaning of any ideology at all. Therefore I am saying that if, taking these things themselves as ideology, some party makes a promise, then the pressure to make that party or a similar party stand can come from the side of the public. And if the public wants it should build up that pressure, otherwise at the moment the only alternative before the public is that of chaos – an alternative which people seem to be adopting.