Daily Post 1494
ELECTIONEERING FOR WHOM?
Campaigning, reaching to the masses, explaining them the manifesto, prove to be one among them, showing your 5 year marks card or detailing your promise and for once make the masses feel that they are in the center of the Indian democracy. What is electioneering? If elections have the sanctity constitutionally mandated to them, then the only way to maintain it and make it robust is to have a structured format of political campaigning. Code of conduct is primarily limited to liquor, money, vehicles and publicity material. It is difficult to understand that if this is our understanding of conduct. The intemperate language used quite a few times is a mockery of what this great country stands for.
Unfortunately, it is being accepted as the mainstream language, good worthwhile language would be out of place. The passion shown with wrong voice modulation, crying hoarse, verbal dual, uselessly engaging with the othe leader / masses and self certification is helping nobody. Elections is not a marriage or a festival, it is an officially mandated task for all the stakeholders. Till the last citizen, the Election Commission reigns supreme. When there is a law, rule, protocol and SOP for everything, why not for electioneering. Every single detail has be worked out, how much they travel, what they talk, what language they use, a general format of the speeches etc.
It costs the country, the tax payers – direct and indirect taxes. The money cannot be squandered where there is not return on investment. Not only that the political executive leaves his job and gets fully involved in the campaigning. Are they on leave? They all have their official work, whatever has been assigned to them as a ministerial responsibility or heading any organisation, committee or commission etc. The Election Commission needs to be fact finding organisation too. No lies should be allowed to spoken. But what facts the candidates speak should not be out of their scrutiny. Otherwise, this no holds barred campaign is not going to cease.
Number of meetings, more usage of the digital medium, cutting down costs both of conducting the elections and also of the political parties should be on the radar. A fact find finding team with validation powers comprising of experts would do yeomen service to the nation. Election Commission can think of giving ratings, as the credit ratings on different parameters of electioneering. A sane, well meaning electioneering would be the foundation stone for a matured entry into the portals of power, a responsible one too. The approach to COVID-19 in the election extravaganza of Bihar, does not speak very high of any of the stakeholders. Let’s give a rethink and elevate elections to a 21st century democratic level.
ELECTIONEERING IS A BAROMETER OF OUR DEMOCRATIC AMBITIONS.