DailyPost 2595

The truism of Indian politics and democracy is that governance will happen on its own, whereas elections you have make it to happen. Making to happen means huge amount of effort, preparation, strategizing, resource mobilization and planning that is required. You still run the risk of failing at the hustings. Winning elections slowly has become the only proposition of democracy however much political parties and politicians would like us disbelieve. Their demeanor and actions in relation to governance has made it amply clear over last decades; keep calling the shots and keep making announcements, pronouncements and putting forth huge advertisements of success.

Governance for them is a well-oiled machine, where the political executive of the country and by extension whole of the political class, have to be catered to, by the governmental machinery to usher in their political agenda. How much objective and empirical governance happens in the interest of the welfare state, which we have so lovingly established and in which we seemed to have discovered the magic sauce of maximum good for maximum people. That has been convincingly belied. The issue is not what could happen, the issue is that could never have happened, given the effort and direction. It is still going on in the same direction.

The bigger issue is that the effort does not happen and the direction is oriented to votes, votes and only votes. There would be days, weeks and months in the life of the members of the political executive, when they would not have performed any governance task, but it hard to find even one day in their executive life, which would been dedicated only to governance task. Even in the worst of emergencies and exigencies they find sufficient time to spend for politics and more than that more often not, the exigency is itself politicized and the slugfest starts. How many of our leaders have gained any governance capabilities even after being in power for decades, they have been not been able to even pick up that lingo.

Where does all the time go? In politics. In politics, on which activity? The overwhelming answer would be electioneering. Electioneering was supposed to be seasonal to finally settle down for governance. Unfortunately, it has become a full-time all seasons exercise given the spread of elections, all throughout. The time dedicated by parties and leaders for electioneering has also increased now and with that all levels of leaders do electioneering for all types of elections. Media has facilitated in making the whole country immerse in the permanent festival of electioneering. If perforce sometime is free, there are enough and more work to be done, in what can be termed as passive electioneering. The question of electioneering vs governance has long been decided, governance has lost out to an extent that it has been subsumed into electioneering.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening

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