Democritically Yours

I have voted! Here is my finger selfie. #VoteIndia #Elections
This nation don’t need dynasty it need dynamics #Namo _/\_ Respect!
2 out of 1 child is Hungry #Pappu LOL

I started writing this post before the elections, before the results left India and parts of the world awed. While news channels globally scrambled daily for months on end to say something new, something catchy and awe inspiring, perhaps the most memorable was ” The world’s largest democracy goes to vote.” ” The greatest number of humans in the history of civilization are expected to vote this May in India.” While the world largely ignores Indian politics this time a few odd international networks did us the courtesy of a 2-5 minute long coverage. As the victory of a Namo led BJP seemed eminent in the cacophony that were the exit polls, the world responded. US was quick to declare that the embargo on Modi would lift automatically with his elevation to the head of State. They had welcomed oil bearing dictators and shook hands with African leaders who had risen on millions of unwilling shoulders, mostly dead ones. My generation, my friends saw our first national election this summer. Our own version of the superbowl, the IPL got sidelined with shocking ease, conversations of jobs, booze and the opposite gender had to make space for politics and the vote.

BJP candidate campaign for Lok Sabha Election in Bangalore

India was and is still enamored, with the idea of democracy. Modi may have won due to a huge number of reasons whether it be due to his efforts or that of his opposition, this is the first time social media was so alive with something nearly everyone had despised, politics. It was not only the young that found their voice online, people across ages and genders found themselves sharing, liking and posting about a politician and after a decade of memes, jokes and rants these were finally expressions of support. To generate a sense of pride in the common man so that he or she becomes verbal in his or her support, that has what made Modi popular. He developed Gujarat ,say those when asked as to why they’d support this man. There is a lot of money to be made betting against the notion that even a few million knew what good has been done in Gujarat. Development if measurable is not a concern for most citizens. Ours is not a country of excess, it shall take decades for that. We still have 1 out of five people struggling for regular food and water. So if you were a diligent watcher of local news you may have seen scrawny villagers praising some random neta or the other.

First water used to come only 2 hours a day in the summer, netaji  has installed more hand pumps so we have water 4 hours now. There used to be so much dust as the road was not proper, he has made tar patches in between and promised cement roads next time. Electricity has also improved now it comes every day for 10 hours in winter and 5 in summer. Netaji is great, we shall always vote for him.

2014 – 1947 = ?, 67. For the last 67 years, the promises to the people of this nation have not changed. The quintessential roti, kapda, makaan ( food, cloth, housing) still remain the promise of the vote seeker. Basic infrastructure in an age where I am writing this on a 15 Mbps connection. Do you know of any other profession where such inability to deliver would be tolerated? One can reason about the scale, the population, the problems but when you give it more than half a century I think the laundry list of excuses should run out, but then you discover that it is a circular one. You can take a donkey only so far with a carrot on a stick but perhaps you can take the junta in a democratic nation further. I can almost hear Sir Humphrey Appleby say :

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Government is not about keeping promises, its about finding excuses for why they can’t be kept.

But then perhaps we shall have lesser excuses this time than usual for ‘we’ have given someone a clear mandate. So clear that we forgot to appoint an opposition. The wave of enthusiasm that has carried many of the 1.25 billion which Modi keeps quoting, reminds me of another. That of the Obama election where “Yes We Can” instead of “Ache Din ane wale hai” (Good days are about to come) echoed across the world. We may be late to the party of social media, icon driven, image bolstering and patriotism reviving elections but we brought more people than ever before. While for the want of a better term the news channels christened the elections of 2014 as Presidential the more obvious statements remain unspoken. The majority voted for Modi, not the BJP, not the NDA. There was a time that just the name of Indira Gandhi or others of the Gandhi pariwar could win an entire election, this time the scenario wasn’t too different. Our country like other democracies has voted for one leader. Ask the common man or woman or the Internet crusader of his MP. Ask them who is the person they voted for Was it the party? Was it the PM candidate or was it the local goon who had the highest chance of winning on a ticket riding on the tide driven by Modi’s gravitational pull. 1 out of 3 new MPs have been rumored to have criminal records, was it just a question of numbers or the right kind of numbers?

An MNS candidate in Pune works very hard for the development and upkeep of the region which he shall stand from. He is local lad, a man of great commitment and perhaps the best candidate in decades for the area. He however has one handicap, he couldn’t afford the price of a BJP ticket this election. Despite his deeds of public service he did not make it to the seats of power. A man whose commitment and ability to work has been witnessed by his people and yet he is ignored for his alliances lie a little too far from the saffron hashtag. What the actual, Aaam Admi  has wanted have been basic civic amenities, things which his MP has to fight for and work with along with MLAs. The MP is that man in the central queue who shall spread out his arms to fight for the slice of the national pie. You may have given Modi the mandate but don’t expect the flooding of your roads to cease anytime soon. If leaders were actually interested in public welfare then even a coalition government could do wonders, they’d argue about the means but not the ends. We could have sent the right men irrespective of their affiliations. For 10 years one government made a pig’s breakfast out of this nation’s economy.But we voters are extremely forgiving. Mistakes five to ten years old are easily forgotten. When at the end of the Modi tenure, we might find ourselves faced with the more presentable of the 2 of Indira’s grandchildren. Desh ki Beti : And we will vote for her for our love for the frying pan is only ever replaced for a desire for fire. You still know its a democracy and not a rotating oligarchy for you can write posts like this.

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