With general elections round the corner, it is not just the political parties but various organisations that have voluntarily launched themselves into the election campaign. The only difference being that the former is wooing the voters to vote for themselves, and the later is making various attempts to either get voters to the booth or educating them on their franchise rights. And with each passing day, the visibility and the audability of such campaigns are increasingly getting louder. So, on the one hand it is Aamir Khan beaming on the radio – ‘aao hum apne bachchon ke sar pe haath rakh kar kasam khate hain that we will vote. Not for, but against. Against those who are against our nation’. Or on the other hand, some other campaigns are saying something like - ‘the dot on your finger is hot’. No doubt, if one has to judge on the merit of mere campaigns, full marks to their efforts and the very right, motivational and positive intent… but then the truth is that a nation cannot just run on campaigns and jingoism, particularly where criminalisation is so deeply entrenched into the political system.
Exercising adult franchise is just one aspect of the whole process of elections, but what pedigree of candidates are getting elected is not just a passing matter but perhaps an even more pertinent issue. To get a perspective on the extent of criminalisation in Indian politics, one has to understand that almost one fourth of current Parliamentarians have some kind of criminal backgrounds. And we shamefully have the entire mix of criminals present in our Parliament – starting from violent crimes like murder, attempt to murder, robbery, dacoity, kidnapping, theft and extortion, rape and other violent crimes like assault using dangerous weapons or causing grievous hurt, to petty crimes like cheating, fraud, forgery, et al, we have them all. And mind you, this is the list of those who finally make it through to our Parliament. Imagine the character of the list which an average voter has to vote upon, irrespective of any constituency. Not that every Parliamentarian is a criminal but then being in the same political party that houses criminals, does not make them any less criminals. And this is irrespective of whether it is a national or a regional party. Criminalisation in politics is ubiquitous across the nation. So, in the given environment and amidst all such overpowering campaigns, the moot question is never answered – who should the Indian voter vote for? Think for a while – does the Indian voter actually have any option to exercise his/her franchise and yet not vote a criminal to the Parliament? The answer is perhaps a big no! Almost every candidate standing for elections that most of us go to, and vote for, is an anti-national and a criminal. For some statistics, take a look at these crazy figures!!! In the last Lok Sabha, there were 120 MPs with proper charges against them!! BJP had 29, Congress had 24, SP had 11, RJD had 8, CPI(M) had seven, BSP had seven, NCP had five and CPI had two. The number of cases against them were a whopping 333!! SP led the pack with 80 cases against their MPs, followed by BSP with 43, and so on… and that is purely the ones with legal charges against them. Then there are scamsters who haven’t been caught (which includes almost every politician of this country) and the ones who have a very clean front but are actually anti India in their policies of being anti-poor!!
Therefore, one should definitely ask oneself that is the dot on your finger really hot? Or is it a big embarrassment because the dot on your finger might actually tell others that you have also voted for an anti-national criminal in all likelihood… So the question is that in this given environment, how can we make people vote, yet not vote criminals to the Parliament. To cater to this issue, we need to understand that if voting is the right for every citizen of the country, then he should also have the right of not to vote. Every ballot paper should have a provision wherein the voter can exercise his franchise of not to vote for anyone from the list ie an option which says “none of the above”. At least, this would ensure that the franchising is democratically respected, which currently stands blatantly abused. When something like this happens, it is only then that every Indian can go and vote with his head held high and proudly exercise his/her power of franchise. And that’s when the dot really becomes hot! And that’s why we must campaign for the right causes, not just slogans which sound nice...
Till then, unfortunately, even when an Aamir Khan tries his best to make people vote, and yet not for anti-nationals – that probably means that the voter might really go and vote, but on account of a lack of option, and in all probability would vote for one such criminal, anti-national to the Parliament, once again. Probably from Aamir’s own constituency he will fail to find a truly patriotic person to vote for. And that’s the big problem with India. If you don’t vote its not a great thing on pen and paper, but if you vote then in all probability you vote for an illiterate or a criminal. So is not voting an option?? Well, if you go purely by statistics then it is a fact that almost half of the educated developed world doesn’t care to vote. Not because they are non patriotic but because they are educated and realise their votes don’t bring about any change, and that’s why, when suddenly they see hope – as in someone like Barrack Obama – they go all out and vote! Assuming that we don’t have any rigging, one may actually argue that going to vote just for the heck of it is almost a crime, because that means you are making sure that not only a criminal comes to power but he comes to power with a huge confidence and support!!
Real voting, therefore, can happen only when we have the real hope that change is around the corner. Till then, we can only sit confused. Undecided whether to go and vote for criminals, or to sit at home and not vote, despite the media-created populist frenzy that voting is happening because the dot on your finger is hot!!
I strongly appeal to my readers that have the intent to vote for sure, and do try to vote (more especially if there is any chance of your vote being rigged)… but vote for someone who is really not anti-national. And if you think that’s a tough choice, and you are helpless to change the face of the nation, then go ahead and someday sooner than later, be the candidate whom people can look up to and vote for...and if you win, do live up to the promises you made and the expectations you created.. and if you can’t enter politics, at least motivate someone you trust to enter politics. That is probably the only way out and probably that should be the only campaign for this nation!! Let the educated and truly patriotic people enter politics someday soon. Let us truly be the change we want to see!
Blurb 1 : what we need to understand is if the dot on your finger is really hot, or is it just going to elect another criminal to the parliament.
Blurb 2 : let the educated and truly patriotic people enter politics and let us truly be the change that we want to see in this country.
- 19 March 2009 |