We the people of Jammu and Kashmir have once again started feeling the heat of impending elections both local and general. The right to vote granted by the constitution of India has started raising our hopes of forming responsive Governments and also at the same time it warns us to be more careful this time so that we do not fall prey to political manoeuvers. We all know that our mandate was underutilized last time ignoring general interests of the masses. Political parties have started aligning their moves to win the elections at our cost. It is also an established fact that we voters get chance once in five year to elect our leaders. The fallacy of the democracy lies in the number system i.e. party with majority forms the Government. It therefore implies that we are made to help in formation of party Government rather than National/State Government. This encourages the political class to forget Aam Admi after making him to use his right to franchise once in five years. The basic needs of the voters are therefore of least concern to them. Our right to franchise empowers them to rule us as per their choice leaving aside their manifestoes. As usual their election manifestoes will speak loudly about uninterrupted power supply, potable water to all of us, free health services, free education to our children in Government run school and colleges with equal opportunity to seek remunerative jobs, regular supply of raw inputs and fertilizers to farmers, competitive markets for farmer to sell their produce, good industrial environment so on and so forth. This all will melt away like snow of the season. Let us resolve this time that we would vote a party who had at least fulfilled few of their election promises. How do we conclude and choose a party out of the present lot. Looking at the track record of State/Central political parties, none qualifies the above scale.A common man on the street does not want to live life of a parasite with given subsidies and reservations. He is looking for an equal opportunity to earn and live honorable life. He is looking for a political set up who can assure him a minimum five basic facilities like electricity at affordable rate, regular supply of potable water, free and easily approachable health services, education for his children in Government run schools and colleges, an opportunity to earn either through job or enable him to generate self-employment. I wish we may get someone out of the present lot.
Let us look at the other side of the coin. Once we exercise our franchise in favour of any leader, do we have any corrective recourse in case he fails to standby his electoral promises? Of course, there is no provision to audit the performance of any leader/political party at any level, nil option to recall the non-performer.
As a voter we expect political class to display self-discipline besides responding to their inner self as we all come from the same human breed who usually takes shelter in the shade of lies to cover his failing from others but not from himself. It therefore guides us to go by examples. We also expect political parties in power to provide an interactive platform to its voters so that they feel part of the process. Hence, the relation between the voter and the leader plays a significant role. A conscious citizen would like to assist the Government in framing public friendly policies and not allow them to drive political mileage out of this process of governance. Aam Admi hands over his power of attorney in the form of vote to politicians to enable them to form a responsive Government so that he may feel the presence of said Government set up at his door step. Our democracy is maturing day by day and gaining strength to guide all stakeholders to perform in the desired manner so that the larger public interest is fulfilled at the end of the day. Jai Bharat, Jai Hind.
(The author is former Wing Commander)