Monday, 14 April 2014

The Illusion of an Enlightened Populace

Election time is here again and though it will be my first time at casting the ballot, I’ve seen many an election since I started getting a sense what it’s all about. And I’ve seen a lot in these few years, it’s actually hard not to. One would have to be totally cut off from the real world to not notice what happens in India when the pan-Indian ‘Musical-Chair’ game begins.

I notice nothing different this time around. Maybe it’s early to say so, maybe it isn’t, but from what I’ve managed to gather from here and there, it seems that our beloved khadi-dhoti mantris are up to no good as usual. They haven’t changed their tactics one bit and what’s more, they’re all adopting the Gujarat Election campaign module – dividing people on communal lines. Yay! Good old religious divide; it never ceases to amaze me.

Image Courtesy: Google Images.

Now I know that India is a multi-cultural society that can never live in peace and harmony, which was the main reason to divide the sub-continent into two nations, but seriously, it is 2014, not 1950. One might think that living in such a large cauldron of cultures and traditions, the people might have decided to finally mingle together to make a Superpower-ed soup, but no, that hasn’t seemed to happen yet. And this is not my perception; it is that of our uneducated but sincerely experienced and seasoned politicians who still think that telling the masses that it was ‘only’ Muslim soldiers who won the Kargil war for India will ensure them the minority vote bank.

But that is just one example, allow me to state another. So this guy who rides a Bicycle in the most crime-ridden state of India, run by his son; says that rapists should not be hung because boys make mistakes. It is their ‘hot blood’ that gets to them I suppose. I don’t mean to malign the name of an entire state but when a politician campaigns against the death penalty for rapists in a state where it is wildly rampant, one begins to wonder about how this guy is planning to win an election. If you’re going to get votes by forgiving rapists, and the next time around God-forbid murderers, it does say something about the state you’re campaigning in.

And so it is that the largest democracy in the world goes to the polls amongst strong and decisive campaigning by everyone: Parties who do not have suitable candidates, parties who have only one candidate, parties who have too many candidates and parties whose candidates resign and sit on the road, because that’s what the common people of India do.

Best of luck India! Sigh!