VOTE AND FORGET
Recent history of democratic India clearly proves that franchise is general should be defined as “vote and forget.” The tryst with democracy for the citizen now transformed as voter starts with the announcement of elections by ECI and its conclusion at the end of counting and the declaration of results. He is exposed to couple of public meetings, some political workers / leaders coming to their homes, watching couple of them in road shows, seeing some ads and tv shows, and a dose of digital marketing right in your hands. Some goodies during the elections, right or wrong, and freebies at the end of it.
He has very clearly got the message and the harried voter also talks in the same manner, that these guys will come asking for votes and once the elections gets over everything comes to a close. The parties and their corresponding governments never talk about citizens, they only talk about the voter. Vote banks, vote bank politics, popular base, winning caste combinations, swaying of votes, vote consolidation and what not. The media plays ball into this game willfully making it democratic. Every statement made during elections and certainly every act too, generally falls under the gamut of caste, creed, race, religion, region and what not and the drama goes on election after election.
The model code of conduct is also followed besides lots of other things in practice. Either the voter out of his own will and experience believes his role to be of vote and forget, otherwise all political parties see to it, that he is forgotten. Voter is a necessary evil in the democratic scheme of things. While he is completely forgotten in reality, every political non-sense and misconceived decision making is proven right on that mandate. He ceases to have the right to express, lobby and force the government to make amends in its decisions. It seems the electorate (citizens after casting the vote) is at loggerheads with the government. Only law enforcement and other agencies talk on behalf of the govt., the people you vote for are conspicuously missing.
What is people’s role in Indian democracy? How is people’s will found out? Has it ever been translated into reality? The power play that happens on a day-to-day basis, either by way of power sharing arrangements or ongoing power tussles are not voted for, by the people, not is it constitutionally tenable in spirit. Can we work out a two- and half-year term for governments? Or pull off the rug as in a case last year by the legislators of the same party. Finding a viable meaning in the will of the legislature party and the stature of the leader staking claims, is the art which high commands are perfecting. If there will is not taken care, where does people’s will come into the picture. Not to talk of endless executive diktats where people have no role to play but they are at the receiving end. It is fun and frolic for the Indian politician while the so-called masses, languish in poverty, ill health, barely educated and in squalor. They had voted against all these.
CAN THE INDIAN DEMOCRACY RESURRECT IT’S VOTERS TO THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE AND INFLUENCE?