DailyPost 2421

Come elections and this term or word comes into circulation as if it is the official currency of the day. Everything is brought into its ambit. It is a snow cover on everything that happens for five years and with one stroke of solid sunlight it is bound to melt away. The beauty of this whole exercise is the consensus it brings with itself; the incumbent ruling party, the opposing parties, media-lock, stock and barrel, strategists, civil society voices, think tanks, NGOs and what not. Might the most important stakeholder, the electorate / voters don’t believe in this theory but their decision of change is nearly always draped into this camouflage by all those who have a voice in the public domain.

So, the question arises, what is anti-incumbency? By my understanding of things, it is the fatigue of power which the ruling party carries on its head. Conversely, the voter wants change for no rhyme or reason and in always in mood to throw away a ruling party out of power for fun. Illogical and absurd as it may be, it presupposes that the work done during the five years are of no value. Or if we put in other words, the promises not seen through are of no consequential value, and it is the nature and DNA of Indian electorate to chase away incumbent ruling parties.

Leave aside the fatigue of power for whatever it means, the billion-dollar question is where does the electorate fatigue come from? This is the reason for governments being thrown out of power. You can also say that when governments cross their limits to an extent it goes beyond the level of perseverance of the people, they take a call, to show them the door. India has fairly tolerant electorate and generally are ready to take reasonable amount of wrong doing in their stride, then what is this level of perseverance? We can have an offhand example; a level of corruption which makes the life of common man miserable and governance non-functional.

The doublespeak is so visible between the reality and the proclamations, becomes difficult to handle for the electorate to handle. It is like a slap on their face. What the government says is only right and rest everything said and done is wrong is a philosophy that cannot ice. It is tried over and over again at their own peril. Most of the times the state is visibly against the people, which electorate would take it and for what? Creating issues for political existence and gathering paid workers / people to prove their worth, is abhorred by people beyond a point. We have full time politicians but we don’t have full time electorate, otherwise they would have taught them a lesson on a daily basis. Then our endless problems of unemployment and poverty, which gets aggravated in crisis situations, or because of governmental indifference bringing people of the verge of recklessness. Is this anti-incumbency?

Sanjay Sahay

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