As the calendar page turns to August, it’s officially the beginning of the end for 2018. Independence Day, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali and before you know, you are planning Christmas parties and New year getaways. Also Halloween somewhere in between for those who are on Instagram, Twitter and 100ft road Bangalore.
For India as a country, 2019 is a big year as the nation faces its general elections. Like the previous general elections, we can expect memes, mud-slinging between leaders, and maybe the unearthing of a few scams as well. Overall, prime-time news is going to be way more exciting than any Netflix series. Season-II of Modi elections is as awaited as GoT season 8.
Winter came to Westeros but Indians are still awaiting “Ache Din”. The narrative set during last elections as the dawn of a new era has been unfulfilled for pretty much the entire populous irrespective of political ideology or narrative. However, Prime Minister Modi is not to blame for the same. He has done his bit to set India on a path of glory. However, the path to glory for the nation is a long and rather arduous one much like the pothole-ridden roads of Mumbai, a city which never gets treated like the prodigal son of the nation.
Neither socialist Nehru nor capitalist Modi could deliver on their promise of glory to the nation. Perhaps the key to India’s glory days lies not in the pocket of one leader or one party. Maybe we need a blended ideology led by an effective leader to set the nation on the path of success. Socialism no longer means Marxism, capitalism does not always have to translate to profit mongering corrupt businessmen. These narratives are archaic and around the world, we see examples of how countries have redefined such stereotypes. For example, universal healthcare, affordable education and social security are apter present-day adjectives for socialism. Similarly, technology, communication and renewable energy are all born out of capitalist business nations.
As Indians gear up to watch more hugs, winks and new slogans, as elections move away from polling booth to WhatsApp groups, perhaps we need to rethink whether contest between two parties is the best-suited solution for us. India is a vast and diverse nation that demands a parliamentary form of government and not a presidential form of democracy. Let’s ensure that the political narrative for 2019 general elections is not between two personas. It has to be between many parties and many political ideologies. We need more representation from regional parties and marginalized political opinions. The strongest democracies are those where weakest voices are heard.
In the past, as a nation, we have not had success with third front governments. However, despite being coalition governments, both UPA and NDA have had successful five-year terms. Perhaps the lesson to be drawn from this is to look beyond the obvious choices. Let’s ensure that upcoming elections are not between two leaders. When you cast your vote make sure your voice and immediate concerns are addressed by the leader who gets your vote. If potholes, water crisis and women’s safety are an issue for you, then cast your vote to those who solve them. Give your local issues a voice at a national platform, only then can your day-to-day lives can get better.