DailyPost 1945

The landscape is real, it is the Indian countryside that throws up the political heavyweights. When you see the visuals of the helicopters landing, people flocking to the meetings and the environment so full of banners / buntings / arches / flowers / free food, it would give you a feeling that the great Indian festival is on. In reality it is festival, fun and frolic for a few weeks, with political activity all around the place. That the physical space cannot ingest the experiential reality into elections is the most real challenge of Indian politics. There is a fact check for the social media, who has made a fact check of what our politicians say, including the party’s manifesto.

The manifesto is outside the model code of conduct, you can promise the moon. It is created out of no understanding of economics and resources and can be termed as a document, which hangs in mid air. In the whole arena of the electoral reforms the Party Manifesto, still remains an untouched document / item. It is the most critical document. There is no legality attached to it. It is not executable. For the party who wins, they keep coming back some points to it, to somehow falsely prove that they have delivered on it. It can be any collation of data, sources need not be asked and most of the time even without data, whatever is told needs to be taken as the gospel truth.

If all that were to be right, the fate of the landscape behind and people who dot it, would have been radically different. Politicians are able to paint a picture of hope or despair, depending on which side they are. Social media has taken this story to the multimedia level, with video ruling the roost. The video quality can be the farthest you can think of from the real struggle of the vast majority of Indians. To take you to the world of fancy, making the real seem unreal and the unreal as real, is the magic wand which Indian politicians are expert in. How else do you manage the myriad problems without reading, understanding and doing anything hands-on. In this near perfect drama world, the professional has no place.

Even the professionals from whatever area of expertise, who make politics as their destination, finally are forced to behave as professional politicians. Or might be they entered only when they felt that they have that trait. Can you imagine a development administrator being taken for a political campaign to prove a point? Or an economist to challenge the incumbent government’s claims and to project the opposite party’s  economic dreams, with real life moorings. But for electoral arithmetic can data driven campaigning ever happen? Can you base any AI projections? Even with farmers being in centre of the storm, and a core issue in the current elections, can agricultural experts will ever be called to validate the manifesto declarations. Can the electorate be left to battle with their health and life, or can’t epidemiologists, health care professionals and health administrators can in creating a health manifesto, the most important thing today. Which party is interested?


Sanjay Sahay

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