Road to Parliament not so Rosy

Shahid Lone

It is said of statistics that what they reveal is interesting, but what they hide is crucial. Much the same can be said of the present debate on Lok Saha elections today. Different parties in the line are proposing various reforms if they come into power but a majority of the masses are still drawn on regional, caste based, religion based and finally party based affiliations. While these innovations are interesting and generally positive for the parties like BJP and congress but what they fail to mention or address is much more crucial and revealing. The government papers and election commission ‘s response resolutely refuse to tackle the central issue of what it is that political parties do and whether it is done in a suitably legitimate way. For all the sound and fury of constitutional engagement, the main antagonists share a deep and disturbing assumption that judicial power has and will continue to be exercised in a non political, objective and neutral manner.

The elections ushered in a new era in the country’s politics, marking the beginning of the first phase in the reconfiguration of the party system. While the BJP on one hand is heavily backing on the Modi wave but at the same time it has been affected by the brazen statements of the local leaders on communal lines. On the other hand with congress is facing a fury of allegations on mixing the politics with religion. Congress is in alliance with Samajwadi party in UP and the statements coming from Samajawadi party leaders there, are totally unacceptable to whole nation and when congress was asked to prove its stand on the statements and take immediate actions to all this it responded by arguing that there is a legal framework for it and election commission will deal with it accordingly and it is not in the party’s hands.

The horizon of future however may place these elections in a different light and bring out significance denied to us by our proximity. In fact it might indicate that without much noise or drama, quietly and almost casually, these elections have provided the first full view of post congress polity. It is a compels picture as compared to the previous elections almost sweeped by the congress. With the rise of AAP on the screen, there e is a lot that will happen in remaining phases. But that is what makes it precisely more valuable .What appears like a mess needs to be recognized as a new pattern.

It is implicit that it is the tendency of political parties to highlight those issues, ideas and programmes that fetch maximum electoral dividends in terms of votes. Congress is opposing the BJP for its Hindutva policy while the latter is accusing the former for bad governance, scandals, etc,. With the active part of social media in the elections and masses becoming aware and starting to care for better future of the country and in need of a change in nation, it would be a hard toiling battle for both the main political parties in India. Indians have forgotten to believe opinion polls since AAP sweeped Delhi elections and ended the influential congress leader Shiela Dixit’s regime in the national capital. Therefore not only Indian masses and political pundits but the world is curiously waiting for the results of the massive elections. Let us see which way the wind blows. Will the nation see Abb Ki Baar……..Modi Sarkar or from Manmohan to Rahul Baba or Mulayam’s third front, remains to be seen.

It’s the time when statisticians and political pundits have geared up and started framing their opinions about the fate of the parties and persons associated with them, I firmly hold this opinion that people today want definite results and the actual change at ground level. Words in today’s era do not in any way work. There is a general consensus about the politicians in India that “you can’t fool all the people all the time”. This year the election commission has deployed around 11 million plus personnel to make it sure that world’s largest democratic exercise goes off without a hitch.

The world’s biggest carnival of democracy is at its highest ebb. I have always considered India as the miracle on the name of democracy’ a nation where almost three quarters of people depend on agriculture and among them two quarter live below poverty line. In every sense it’s a carnival. With almost 814.5 million people going to vote in this election. With every passing phase the mercury will be rising and a new hope for the better India will surely be written on the 16th may.

The general elections are leaving its marks on the global world as well and imaginations are getting teased like nothing else. Going by the latest buzz in global journalism world there are 150- 200 correspondents who are crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country and trying to figure out the outcome of world’s most watched elections. These elections will also have a healthy impact on the economic sector of the nation with the unconfirmed sources saying that about 500-800 million rupees are ready to enter Indian market if BJP comes in power.

Nonetheless we must keep our fingers crossed because history has a habit that it repeats itself. With Mr Modi as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate on one hand saying that it will sweep the elections and win people’s mandate and on the other hand congress vice president Rahul Gandhi saying that BJP’s India shining scheme is just a phobia which will not help their Hindutva ideology. The blame game is one and voters too perplexed at the whole scene of electioneering theater. While Congress is known for keeping calm and playing the game in a safe mode, the discourse seems like a twist with Aam Admi Party in the scenario as well. It may not be an exaggeration to say that the country’s fiercely argumentative and vibrant democracy will see a definite change within a month or two but the big questions remains that will the people’s promises be met at the end?

Politicians need to focus on development and forget the vicious cards of communalism, casteism, sectarianism, cult politics, etc,. Youth of this country are well informed now and the conscious of them will hardly identify themselves with communal politics. Divisive and personality based politics must go if we seriously want to see the nation progressing. While Congress needs a serious introspection, BJP needs an inclusive voice for the development of all Indians. Of the Conflict ridden zones of India; the parties need a clear vision and sincerity to solve the long pending issues. At least the Vajpayee Ji’s legacy needs to be institutionalized and Kashmir needs a serious healing touch rather than punches on 370,denial of AFSPA revocation, Continuing killings and HR violations. The new establishment will definitely wear a crown of thorns to set things right in incredible India.

(Shahid Lone is a doctoral candidate at Jamia Millia Islamia. Views expressed are personal.)

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