DailyPost 2566

Indian democracy has been replete with ways and means to cajole, impress, persuade and even dole out to voters, if need be, legally or illegally, from even prior to the announcement of elections till deep in the running term of an elected government. The name of the game is to be on the right side of the voters, mentally and emotionally and rule the roost. India can be termed as a least effort democracy. It is presumed that if you are once ensconced in the seat of power, rest would automatically happen. This thought is farthest from reality.

The cost benefit analysis should run in favor of politics. When the whole political class is fully engrossed in managing the media and politics, then where is the time for anything else. What is the answer then? It can only be what was famously known as the freebies. Freebies of different types during the course of elections are against the election code of conduct. But it is on offer as well know. Anything after that of the same nature out of government money consistently is a scheme; can be of any weird variety. You should only have the capability to sell. That is the reason we have FMCG type advertisements of governments now.

Cash freebies have now become the order of the day. Presumably, no leakage, has been declared as ultimate marvel of governance. Water and electricity are coming for free and things keep on getting added the list. Now these are known as guarantees in the new language of Indian democracy. If that is done, your job is done. You get an excellent marksheet. Crores have been spent by governments to make it known to the people about what has been done through a tool known as advertisement? What about the quality of education and that of health care? The HDI, the SDGs and endless parameters on which the population, growth and quality of the country has been mapped. Far away from the socio – tech – infra – eco growth, we have the beneficiary growth.

A new category of human beings, beneficiaries as they are called, have become a part of democratic parlance. It is made known to them that their so called livable existence is due to benefits provided by a certain government. In return it is expected that they pledge their votes. It is the same with every political party. The beauty of the whole game is to find out the real beneficiary? The much-touted beneficiaries are at the receiving end of Indian democracy, for the all the failings it has, and the real beneficiaries are politicians, political parties and the political class. With little or no effort, they run a paternalistic democratic set up, distribute largesse and doles out of taxes paid on hard earned money, as a result of toil and rigor. There is no effort of the political class, and it can be done by the simplest of software.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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