Of polls, promises and planks

Ramesh Pandita
As is said, the voice of the people is the voice of God and there can’t a better living example of this dictum for us than the recent Delhi Assembly elections, where people chose to hand over the reins of the state to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with almost one voice. Nobody has answer for such a kind of democratic outcome, except accepting it with humility as the beauty of democracy, which appeared even harder for those to digest, who emerged victorious in these elections.
It is almost a month since the Delhi Assembly verdict is out and much water has flown down the stream in the form of views and counter views presented by political luminaries over the unpredictable outcome. But, it looks the impact of the outcome is so huge that it has not yet stopped giving nightmares to both the losers and the winners of the election. Those who lost, are aghast, but at best could summarize it as the victory of democracy and those who won, though out of the blue, paid gratitude to electorate of Delhi with humility. Although, experts have expressed their opinions over a range of reasons which played its part in outcome, but surely were put into quandary like rest of the common masses.  And, so has the verdict given a good run to shoppers of exit poll, who surely will be questioned for their credibility next time they try to present their wild conjectures. But, the good thing about this entire post verdict maelstrom is that at the end of the day each one appears to be showing a baffled contention with the outcome with complete inability to reflect the exact mood of the electorate of  capital state.
In politics, it is an established fact, that larger the size of the victory, larger appears to be the load of responsibility. Political victories of such nature many a time consternate more a winner than a loser and they do start looking for reasons for such an unanticipated upshot. Even, many a time political parties give a relook at their election manifesto for the promises they made to befool the people. There is no denial in the fact that the AAP entered into political arena of Delhi with almost no political experience, but with much bigger promises emerged successful in canvassing the electorate of Delhi to vote them to power.
Electorate of any country is sane enough to understand the fact that no Govt. can be ever run on hollow promises with empty chest. As a canvassing tool, money is the pre-requisite to fulfill or even to run the campaign of hollow promises. And if the electorate of the country is not able to understand such political ploy, then the responsibility lies with the head which does not understand the fact that being offered the moon does not mean the moon will be delivered.  Similarly, if a party is offering everything almost free or at heavily subsidized prices doesn’t mean the party will pay such subsidies from its own pocket.
The political opportunism is so deep-rooted in Indian political setup, that people despite being ready to pay for all such services, which they avail, are termed as fools and their cooperation for paying for such services is termed as loot by the exchequer. Opportunist political parties should understand the fact, that people do not want subsidies, they want services and facilities to be extended to them and in turn they are ready to pay for such services and facilities. People at the helm should understand that they have been given the responsibility to create facilities, to bump off the existing complexities if any in the system of services and to facilitate the common masses in routine public life affairs and not to reorganize their political movement and struggle towards securing and safeguarding their political future.
Political analysts are even of the view that the electorate of the Delhi has grown more mature and cannot be any more duped by political parties in the name of flowery promises. There is no denial in the fact the vote of Delhi is against the conventional political parties and their conventional political methods, but that should never mean that conventional politics can be out rightly rejected for the sake of a change, a change which doesn’t have its own loci to stand on. I would rather term the electorate of Delhi more inordinate for the fact that they could only see the greener pastures shown to them by the party they voted to power and not the way to reach to such pastures. It appears quite hard to believe that the electorate of Delhi got so easily eroded with the bundle of promises made to them by political debutants in the name of subsidies. People have to understand this basic fact that the money being spent on subsides has to come from somewhere and surely it is not going to come from the pockets of politicians. Now the question is, how far it is acceptable that people in Delhi will consume the electricity to their contention but won’t pay for it to its eternity, despite having affordability. Free wi-fi and many more are just a few in the offing and I just hope the burden of these subsides won’t be shifted to Central exchequer to meet it out from the tax payers of the country.
The electorate of the country has to understand the fact, that politics is more based on making hollow promises, unlike the ones we make to our near and dear ones and also see to it that same are fulfilled. Be they in the shape of arranging two square meals a day for all our dependents, or other humbler promises we make on daily basis, which we know won’t cost us anything less them  our sweat.  Besides, the harsh truth is, there is no magic wand with any of the politicians, which can turn things upside down overnight. Especially in country like ours, which is deep rooted with every kind of ill practice, as such cannot be exterminated so easily the way it seems to us by far. The fact remains we can have chickens only by hatching eggs and not by smashing them, so by running out of patience is not going to serve any real good purpose. There is no need to get carried away by the hollow promises, which politicians are bound to make us every time they come seek our vote & to canvass electorate and this is where the electorate of the country has to grow more mature and observe caution while exercising their democratic franchise.  After all democracy is about respecting and valuing all those social systems, which have come into existence to help strengthen and regulate human endeavors in most desirable manner. Still more, every time we expect our elected representatives to deliver at least on basic minimum requirements, but we always end up with our worst fears coming true.
(The author is Assistant Librarian, BGSB University, Rajouri, J&K)

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