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Indian Elections!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This was a post return prior to the elections. Due to connectivity issues, I am uploading it now. The elections are over by now and the result is also declared. Will soon come up with a post on the post – poll scenario. Take this as a pre – poll scenario. Thanks.

With all the media focus on voting, I was sure many young voters would queue for voting at the booths. Nevertheless, the things turned otherwise. We have one of the least voter turn – out this election. If this trend is considered, the time is not so far, when we have some narcissist taking over the country and there would be no elections! Bal Thackeray put it saying, voting should be compulsory as if political manipulations would not stop if we go to the other extreme of making voting compulsory.


Image Credit: The Hindu Business Line

Image Credit: The Hindu Business Line

It is quite a sad fact to say but the governance and the kind of politicians we get is an outcome of the thinking of public. In a democracy, the government is a direct output of the wish of the public. It is after all rule of the people. It is, we, ourselves to blame for the apathy, anarchy that has quite groped in. At some 65% literacy and at 50% people living below at $2 per day, is it a surprise to see what a banana republic India is? This is a common problem ailing the III World democracies. Nevertheless, what we should be thankful for is that people have elected politicians quite wisely despite all this. India has not seen any military coup; India has not seen any dictator overthrowing power (except for Indira Gandhi’s 22 months) and serious attempts to overthrow democracy at present are negligible. In the long term, democracy always pays. If one looks at the journey of the Far Eastern nations, and how they come up after their independence from absolute poverty, no one would stop giving the credit to democracy. It is a thousand times better option than a monarchy, for any monarchy has high unemployment. Look at the unemployment statistics of any Arab country, from Tunisia to Jordan, and even Iran (which happens to be a Persian country and not Arab), the official unemployment figures there aren’t less than 10%, whereas the real figure is always higher than what the data these monarchies provide.


As far as Indian elections go, there are two main contestants. Congress and the BJP. Third Front or other parasites do not have any chance to take over. Polls until now show that results favor Congress. Well, that is a good sign. It is the lesser evil of the two. Lesser evil, but still evil.


Both parties have their own strengths. Congress has some good economists like P. Chidambaram, Manmohan Singh (who is likely to become the PM again), Montek Singh Ahluwalia of the Planning Commission, Sheila Dikshit in Delhi, and there is this recent addition of Shashi Tharoor that is very likely to work in favor of Congress. This party’s strength lies in the fact that they have shown good economic stability even in times of recession, controlled inflation, and a decent growth. The single biggest impressive thing that this govt. did was the Indo – US Nuclear Deal. Manmohan has a wise brain and has the guts to talk tough things at times. There is no person better than him who would give India a good stance, geopolitically. On Mahmoud Ahmedijenad’s visit, he clearly taunted on Bush saying, ‘no one advise on two of the world’s ancient civilizations’, when Bush was dictating terms to India, whereas he had kindly said to George Bush before that ‘India loves you’. He had the audacity to stand very firm on Indo – US Nuclear Deal despite all the petty opposition from Communists and Advani. He signed the Nuclear Deal and was bold enough not to visit Iran for an Iran – Pakistan – India pipeline that Iran is very curious to go for with India. The proposed IPI would go from Baluchistan in south – West Pakistan and no other information is required further. When almost no country of all the countries from OIC was not of any help to India, post 26/11 and were passively in support of Pakistan, he came out with a statement, ‘the entire civilized world is in threat from terrorism’.


Where this Govt. lacks is on many fronts. It is a pseudo – secular government, there is no doubt about it, but still a better choice than communal Advani. The border with Bangladesh needs to be sealed urgently. There entry into India has caused many a bomb blasts, especially all those that we see happening in Assam, North East, the growing slums of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Mumbai and various other issues. But, a smooth entry in India with Rs. 5000 that gives them Indian citizenship ensures vote bank for Congress. Even Manmohan Singh did not take any tough measure for this. It is true that his stance on terrorism is soft, but the use of more technology emphasized by him would surely give out good returns over time. It is not an easy task to manage a banana republic ands a billion plus country.


Regarding BJP, there are not many good prospects, as Advani is the proposed PM. Had it been Modi, well, the whole of young India was sure to vote him up. There are many pseudo – liberals in India, that is a problem with Indian youth, but all of them would certainly vote for him if one sees the tremendous change that he has demonstrated in Gujarat. Right from cutting the funding of terrorism without harassing people, every step hat he took is admirable. Something like Vibrant Gujarat at the India level would make great sense. Suhel Seth was one of his most ardent critiques, but his change of opinion is worth noting. His Financial Times article is revealing in this regards. Modi had clearly said in an interview that if he is found guilty in Godhra incident, he should be hanged to death. Delhi would not have stopped hanging him were he to be guilty, but you never know the truth. He has shown a good turn around, even gave order to raze some 1000 temples in Gujarat, and distanced himself from VHP after the incident. There is no looking back for him since then.


BJP has a very good record of accomplishment if we consider their regime of 1998 – 2004. India started to boom truly in that time. Their infrastructure projects were pioneering. All their proposed projects literally stopped under INC, and 2007 was termed the slowest year for all infrastructure projects across India. Under the BJP – Shiv Sena state of MH, a completely new Mumbai – Pune expressway was built on state expenditure. A proposal for Mumbai – Nagpur maglev train would have took off had it been there for the second term. The real reason why they lost is only urban focus.


BJP’s stand as a political party may be centrist with right – wing affiliations, but their leaders at present are pathetic. If control of the nation is given to Advani, he is bound to destroy the nation in the best possible manner. Playing the Ayodhya card has cost BJP very badly. It is time they should understand that divisive politics, communal politics has no place in Indian public’s priority.


What an average person needs is more than $2 per day.


A good thing about leaders of all non – Congress leaders, is that they have toiled to come this far, that toil may include rapes, assassinations, murders, etc. but nevertheless they weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth. In case of INC, we find half – monarchy of the Gandhi – Nehru dynasty. Now, that must stop. People like Man Mohan Singh should be given another chance, rather than any Gandhi.


The manifestos of various parties had economic growth on their agenda even at the state level, like, someone of Andhra Pradesh who revamped Hyderabad (a long time back), Modi of Gujarat, and all ministers in MH and even the new dictator Raj Thackeray promises the same for voters in Mumbai. That on one hand, and what one would find happening in other part of the nation is a party promising ‘removal of English and computers in government offices’, only to keep the region backwards forever. This was said by some party in the state of UP, the most highly populated state. This will only add fuel to the fire for others in MH, Goa, Assam and Delhi for the voice they have raised against hordes of Bhaiyyas entering in.


Populist measures need a break when the public is highly illiterate, uneducated, and does not know what is good for them. With India’s literacy and middle – classes growing, let us hope that the new majority of voters push the politicians towards newer issues that would benefit all.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Friday, May 22, 2009 5:47 pm

    Well, first of all, i am commenting after a long time. Apologies for that.
    Regarding the post, i think an important name is missing: Rahul Gandhi. He could be termed as the architect of Congress’s victory. Supposedly, there was quite a “discussion” on he being the PM. But, finally, Congress, since the beginning of its election campaign, had “advertised” on Manmohan Singh to be the PM… again. I would have been greatly happy if Rahul was actually made the PM. Ameya, I would have loved to hear your take on this. Like the issue of certain regions being backward and hopes of their development seeming foggy, i would like to present an issue of extreme scarcity of youth in our country’s politics. All old people seem to have glued to their identity of being a political leader (i don’t understand on what terms are they called a “leader”). Limits crossed when even bollywood actors enter parties at an age when they should sit home playing with their grand-children. According to me, along with capable leaders like Modi and Manmohan Singh, young leaders are much needed in today’s political arena. It would surely cause country’s development.
    And finally about Ameya’ writing, this was another interesting and informative piece of writing by him. Its always a pleasure to listen to Ameya’s thoughts and viewpoints.

  2. Saturday, May 23, 2009 10:00 am

    Kedar, no need for the apologies, feel free to visit anytime and comment anytime. As such, I do not know much about Rahul Gandhi. He may be a good one, a young candidate but I would always give one star more to Manmohan. MMS is better suited as the PM though Rahul is also a good guy from all what I heard about him.

    As for the regional development irregularities’ issue that you have pointed out, I do not have any hopes regarding the BIMARU states for the next 10 years at least. When people have even elected a party that says ‘no English, no computers’, what can be done? You can see film stars often win in backward states. When the literacy level is low in some states, and people are uneducated, the output is also not going to be good naturally.
    I do think that somewhere the regional politics in south Indian states and western (Gujarat, MH, Goa) is not ugly. Development is given a priority at least.

    Yes, we have very few young leaders, but reservation is certainly not an option!  (I am sure our politicians will consider this choice of giving some reservation to youth) The young ones who come now should bring something new with them; we do not want repetition of all that we have seen until date.

    And thanks for the last line. Keep visiting. I don’t post frequently though these days though! Thanks.

  3. Rowan permalink
    Friday, May 29, 2009 6:54 am


    I’m afraid most of that went stright over my head, what with not being Indian and all. Still, it’s always good to learn.


  4. Friday, May 29, 2009 8:24 pm

    Rowan, welcome! Yup, it is quite natural as you you would have seen so many new names and political parties and all our shitty politics! I also used some complex political terms as well. And ye, it is always good to learn!! 🙂 That’s all I can say!


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