2014: For Confused Electorate

Normally on Sundays, I try to contact some members close to us in extended family. Last Sunday, I happened to talk with my eldest brother-in-law in his village in Bihar. He is 80+, but 100 percent fit. He has been a teacher and as he informed, spends quite some time every day on newspaper. I happened to ask him about the election prospect in the forthcoming general election. I was surprised when he said, “Bihar still will prefer Nitish for Bihar, but for Delhi Modi will be the choice”. I fully agree with him. But will that be the view of the majority of the electorate? Can the common voters on their own appreciate that while the regional parties and leaders are fine for the state assembly, the Lok Sabha election must only provide a clear majority for one of the major political party? If it does not happen this time, India will fail to correct its economic policies to bring the growth rate and other economic parameters on the right track again, and it will have to wait for another five years to get the opportunity again.

It is now a fact that the big states such as UP, Bihar, West Bengal are getting laggard in the race of development, particularly in education and industrialisation. UP in past few decades elected either Mulayam Singh Yadav or Mayawati to run the government. Both governed the state as their personal fiefdom. Both used the ignorant electorate of a particular religion and selected castes to serve their vested interest to come in power and accumulate huge wealth for themselves and their near and dear ones. They saved the corrupt government at centre because of the fear of its sins of corruption that are still active with the investigating agencies.

Why have they not invested whole hog on educating the children of the deprived classes or in providing the sufficient skill for better employment? The reason is simple: if the children of the underprivileged get the right education and skill, their vote bank will vanish. Both want to win election for their candidates for a simple reason for getting important portfolios for themselves and their kins with all its benefits. Why do the new, even a little better educated and knowledgeable generation does not understand that and see them defeated in at least the election of Lok Sabha? How long the wrong notion of affinity of caste and community will be preferred over the national need?

It is unfortunate that both are getting the majority of the votes from the minority community that controls the winning percentage for any election. Should not they show the duo of UP the road to defeat in the national interest? Can the religion be above the nation? Many like me wish the minority to play the decisive role to elect the candidates of either of the national political parties only.

Nitish Kumar has certainly brought a lot of development in Bihar. Unfortunately, he devotes hundred percent of his time only for winning the election. None can become his second man, so in eventuality the state will again get into chaos. Nitish could have certainly devoted more time on bringing back the glory of the institutes of higher education in Bihar. Nitish would have transformed the administrative system to make it lean and efficient. Why should not he, being an engineer himself, get out of the management of those state engineering colleges if he can not make them good? But the people of Bihar must clearly eliminate the political parties of Ram Bilas Paswan and Lalu Yadav who are in business of politics to provide employment for all the off springs of the family by misguiding the downtrodden and ignorant.

The story of West Bengal is unique. One can’t hope very much there with Mamta who is set to rule West Bengal for next thirty plus years as the leftists under Jyoti Babu did. I hardly see any hope for any of the major national political parties there, as perhaps the people of West Bengal consider them as the parties of outsiders. Here again, the minority community is helping such a situation.

Election of 2014 will test the maturity of the nation. Every sane Indian must help in bringing a major national party in clear majority for forming the next government so that they do not get the excuse for policy paralysis in governance or for bringing the necessary reforms for development. Regional parties may be fine for the state assemblies but certainly not for Lok Sabha.

Will it happen? I do not know and so are millions like me.

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