Today the grand showdown of democracy, the 8 weeks of political fiesta, the great Indian elections started and it started from my home state Telangana. I feel extremely bad that I am not going home to cast my vote even though its my parents marriage anniversary today back home, I have told myself a thousand reasons not to move my butt from Chennai.
One of the many reasons I gave myself was I know who wins at my constituency & my single vote is not going to turn the tide. I tried to stay content with my reasoning till I got it resonated from various of my colleagues & friends in a much more harsher tone. Reasons varied from ‘I lost faith in my system’ to ‘It doesn’t matter, all are thieves’ to ‘I am a political atheist’. This made me wonder what had brought this change in these people including me? I am in no way trying to support people who doesn’t vote but simply trying to speak out loud on why are people feeling so hopeless.
This is my second general elections after I received my voting right, I had rushed home to vote for my state elections last year, but following this season of political campaigning through media & social platforms it just feels like ‘Game of Thrones’ – who ever wins, people loses.
Every politician is so obsessed with getting elected again & getting the return on investment they have already put in for elections that it had ruined our political landscape. I feel Politics is like an echo chamber, we get the leaders we deserve; When people vote by taking money they get politicians who are more adept in getting that money back, when people vote by looking at single caste & religion, they get the politicians who further increase the divide, when people don’t vote saying they don’t care about politics, they get politicians who don’t care about them.
I understand Indian Politics is complicated, with the numerous religions, hundreds of castes and with the divide more than ever in society, politicians have to piggyback on some or the other community for vote bank & appeal to them in some or the other way. I have no problem in doing that, but my problem is why does appealing to someone means suppressing others in many cases and others unnecessarily feeling threatened in other cases? We are subconsciously finding the divide among ourselves ‘Hindu & Muslim’ , ‘Upper Caste & Lower Caste’, ‘Urban & Rural’, ‘Male & Female’, ‘Rich & Poor’, the list goes on & our sold media adds oil to the fire for TRP ratings & to sensationalize things. This is giving more and more opportunity for the politicians to deflect the actual issues they have to address.
No one talks about the long-term constructive & structural changes to agriculture, health, education, industrial & rural sectors but instead give instant gratifications to prospective voters by introducing welfare schemes into a system which are muddled up with loopholes & corrupt bureaucrats in every corner. Till we drain the existing swamp & give way for more structural changes an honest taxpayer feels cheated. Getting cheated makes them lose faith on the system & stop voting, the vicious cycle continues.
Every incumbent talks about the faults of previous government & the opposition talks about the shortcoming of the current but the actual result is not the change, instead the supporters on both sides get hurt by the others comments & starting a smear campaign on social media. When do we people understand that no politician, even the PM is above the common people, they are humans as-well, they do mistakes as well. We need to encourage them when they do something genuinely good & chastise them when they are doing wrong as what they are doing is their duty as politician, nothing more or nothing less, with the money we pay as taxes at various levels. Instead we try to idealize them & they becomes gods who can never do mistakes & who ever try to raise voice against them must be up to something or simply haters. And Politicians continue to use this fame to elect their kith & kin by providing AC’s & TV’s with their party stickers in general public’s house with the money they never had right to use.
I am in my 20’s and already the political future of my country looks very grey in my eyes. As I said we get the leaders we deserve, every politician is cut from the same cloth that’s us. What we need to change is the cloth itself not the people who are emerging out of it.