Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Election erection

I love the election time in India. The plethora of parties parading through streets with cavalcades of cars, begging for the vote; the whole ambiance of country seems like as if a kumbh mela was happening all around. Amazingly diverse and eclectic, the parties try hardest to buy votes. Its ver well known, observed and heard of that parties hand out 2 things usually in the slums as that is a huge electorate, and reltively easy to appease - almost every election i've read in the news of another politician cauhgt handing out liquor and cash to the slums. The handouts are huge for parties in backward states where most people dwell in slums. Theres even reports of politicians using ambulances or private cars to ferry cash around to the slums while hiding it from the scrutiny of media and cops!!
Its known as a celebration of democracy, although i beg to differ a little, as the indians dont really elect the "leader", they elect parties. And thats exactly where the fallacy of indian democracy lies. How can one expect a diversified party forming a coalition with countless other smaller parties will ever get to resolving or focusing on the national issues; i.e. since the politics is so utterly local, it is actually unrealistic (naieve i think) to expect the party to cater to actual national issues.
But people, the electorate - 700 million strong - also does have unrealistic expectations from the politicians. I always hear people complaining about their respective MP (similar to senator in US) not attending to the common and excruciating problems of electricity and water etc. People need to understand that the MP's arent supposed to take over civic projects, but actually make national decisions about education, healthcare, defence etc. It was also pathetic to see that the government of india has alarmingly been absent from doing nothing as well - the government sits for an average of 20 days in a year during the past few years!! Anyways the people will always blame the corrupt politicians (i think the masses of india are corrupt as well as incidents such as tax evasion and theft of utilities is brazenly common.
So you see its a vicious circle - a circle of apathy- politicians dont care about issues, and people dont care about the politicians. And thats the dangerous of all in my opinion; when people actually accept and even promote corruption, assimilation, hypocrisy or exploitation as just a part of life, that is when the masses are actually responsible for their own demise. I would love to blame the politicians too, but first we have to stop over looking the problems and actually become proactive ourselves in holding the politicians more accountable. That requires the people becoming and demanding accountability - but also being transparent themselves.
In the end, I have concluded that it is due to this vicious reciprocation of obliviousness between the electorate and the politicians that the country, in so many words, is fuckt. Cynical? yes Pessimistic? yes But its the reality. Ive tried to bring myself to actually hope for something better, but i realized that hope doesnt go too far, especially in a seemingly chaotic place like india (yes it is chaotic. i wish i had another word. I must mention that it is this controlled chaos that makes me love india even more). So im going to do what everyone in india seems to be content with - live as you want to, and the rest? baaki sab bhagwan key haath mein, as people in india often remark when asked about the future of the country.

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