Saturday, 19 April 2014

It seriously happens only in India!

A democracy is vivid and variegated. It has colors of its own and it breeds through the people whom it vests itself in. We have traditionally been associated with being the phenomenon of a democratic propagation wherein the world looks upon us for examples of how to manage a complex system. The recent mention of encomiums all over the world for the Election Commission's comprehensive planning is a testimony to that. We serve as a genuine example of how a nation gets out of its dungeons and plights and uses democracy as a tool to soar and scale new heights. We did it all, we chose governments and we uprooted many. We made the country run at our behest for long, but these elections makes me feel skeptic about the concept of a "free and fair" election which supposedly is at the heart of every democracy, Maybe for the first time, or maybe for times immemorial for all that I know, our opinions have got influenced to such an extent and to such a scale, that the elections would be everything but "free and fair", and maybe that's something that happens only in India. 

An election fought on superficial agendas

More than agendas, these elections are fought on contrived notions and age old vendettas. Yes, we've voted for communalism or secularism before and we've even voted for ardent Luddites. However, never before was the core agenda ignored or overlooked as much as it has been this time. Listen to the speeches and listen to the expectations, you'll hear about infrastructure, you'll hear about extirpation of corruption and you'll hear about promises of extensions of existing social schemes. Best of the lot, parties soliciting votes on ideologies. Yes, these issues are pertinent but where are the issues on which the very performance of a country is rated. No one talks about education, no one talks about scientific development, no one talks about developing villages, no one talks about defense and national integrity and no one talks about health. Issues that were supposed to be the base for policy foundation, have been subjugated by the ones on which we vote, how doltish of us!

An election fought between 3 heroes

Yes, we voted for individuals before, yes we voted for their aura. Yes, we sought more of individual appeal than the veracity of an ideology and yes, parties have tried to market their agenda through a handful of doyens. However, these elections assume a rather vertiginous position when it comes to voting for the face of the national candidate than on the face of the nation. An ideology cannot be defined in words anymore, it is now defined in pictures of a party's PM candidate. Be it the communication, be it the taglines or be it the vogue that a party uses to further its stronghold, everything is based on what the party's PM candidate does on the rostrum. These elections are no longer about choosing 544 members of the parliament, they're about choosing one amongst the three who pretend to be clairvoyants claiming to be the harbingers of prosperity. 
And we nincompoops buy that.

An election fought on a virtual battlefield 

While a majority of people remain evasive to technology, the youth deems it too domineering and too ebullient to ignore. We use social media to influence and to get influenced and although that maybe because its affable, but we become too blind to look anywhere else. We've created a world of our own, virtual reality as they call, and every and anything in this world is adjudicated as either true or false, irrespective of whether it exists in the real world or not. No one bothers to check whether a real world counterpart of a claim or a comment made on social networks is available or not. We're too apathetic to do that. We're too confident about this modern mode and the suzerainty we gave it. And hence we come to live in a world that is a veil over the truth and we, like imbeciles, keep debating on the truth and applicability while that thing may or may not exist at all. Gone are the genuine political discourses where we debated and deliberated on ideologies. Now we have these arguments and counter arguments, with a few more charlatans buttressing our case with their own comments and untested links and pictures, and with no one winning at the end. We, in fact, are so confident and rapturous about our beliefs, that we feel free to share them with insouciance and gain solace in seeing others adopt them, and feel like vituperating or repudiating those who don't. But that's all there is to discussing our opinions, which now means forcing them down the throat of others via argument or via garroting. 

 While I'm not at all impressed by what is going on, we surely have more people voting. And although these people shall vote with a logic bereft of any ingenuity, we surely will be lesser indolent than those in the past. We're for the first time maybe, celebrating elections as a fete. We're using voting as a means to aplomb and we're celebrating the indelible ink like a virtue to die for. We're happy that we've voted and we're all praise for those who did and we have tirades for those who didn't. Despite being taught about the wonders of our constitution all across the ages, it took so long for us to feel pompous about it. It's good but maybe even that's a thing that can happen only in India.