Come elections, political leaders spanning all parties and regions emerge among common masses spewing venom on their opponents, making tall claims and doling out promises for development, education, infrastructure, employment and what-not. More often than not, the candidate with the most audacious claims and the biggest pot of promises wins the constituency. But, as soon as this time of intense action for these candidates passes, there comes a long period of hibernation, with the leaders having forgotten the claims and the promises and trying their best to reap as much as possible in their stints as “representatives” of the people, minus adequate representation. Sorry though, under these circumstances, is the plight of the common man who has his expectations dashed every elections.
All of this happens due to lack of foresight by a common voter on account of his dearth of education affecting his ability to judge a promise made by a candidate and poverty, unemployment etc. factors making him pounce on every window visible for a brighter future. This said, the Election Commission becomes an equal partner to this practice, which jeopardizes people’s future and shakes their belief in the government of their region, by turning a deaf ear to the the plight of the people and remaining mute even when promises are made that are not viable under any circumstances.
All that arises out of this practice is a growing discontent and mistrust among the general masses towards the government and that is presented in terms of low turnouts in elections and a lack of interest in election process or in short another step towards the breakdown of democracy.
This callous practice must be checked at once with the support of the judiciary and the Election Commission. Laws that ensure mandatory fulfillment of promises have to be brought into place. An important role that must be played by the youth and informed literate sections is to bring out hard facts about the claims presented during elections at the earliest and present it in simple terms to the masses via media to ensure informed voting. Strict action must be taken against leaders who fail to live up to their promises.Only then can a lay man hope to achieve anything out of an active participation in the election process.
The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.