DailyPost 2237

Can democracy and elections become synonymous? If a country revolves only around elections, what all does the country lose out upon? Elections need to happen in a democratic nation, it provides the rights of passage to power for a political party or a combination of them, more so facilitates the creation of political executive which hops on to the seat of power. Election mandates are the most misused mandates in the history of mankind, way beyond the divine right of kings and whosoever. Given its forced super centrality of elections in the democratic process and relegation of everything else into the unseen dustbin, we can call ourselves electioneered.

The obsession with elections has taken heart, mind, spirit and conscience out of both democracy and governance. Elections have become the vision, mission, focus, goal, reality, operations and practice of political existence. It has become the validation touchstone of good, bad and ugly, also of use, misuse, disuse, of legality and criminality, of delivery and non-delivery et al. At times it has also become the validation of statesmanship, valor, behavior, and of mental tenacity, acumen and even knowledge and competence. I don’t think there is any other process which mankind invented with such multifarious and long reaching authentication, that cannot be challenged at all.

First and foremost is the frequency of the elections and what each election impacts. The second would be the types of elections – corporator to MP. Third, is the mental and administrative space of the nation this perennial activity occupies. Fourthly, what all organizations get incapacitated of their normal work, and remain fully focused on elections or conversely, the senior leadership and decision makers are missing to steer the ship for long durations. The criss-crossing of levels, today an urban local self-government election can find the national leadership of parties descending. Think of situation where state assembly elections were limited to that state units of the political parties, regional party / unit concerned, then the number of times and the duration we get electioneered would have come considerably.

If you want expertise on every aspect of elections for crowd gathering to distributing liquor, you will never run short of very able human resources. Every citizen has a fancy for elections, for most of them that is only thing they know and can talk about. Rural India the less said the better. Their mind and life have been totally hacked by decades of elections. They and their leaders would never be afflicted by Promise Paralysis. Lying is a given and electorate lapping it inconsequential. The country has been in for a long rough side while sitting in the front seats of the Roman Coliseum. The spectators and nation are the targets unknowingly. Not a single act of governance or politics can claim to be un-electioneered. From Artificial Intelligence to diplomacy, the party spokesperson knows it all. So are all the anchors. Every single election is a virus of this ongoing election pandemic. So far, there is no vaccination available.

Sanjay Sahay

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