The 2019 results are out. For the first time, I feel like believing that the polls were rigged. How else the mandate- and that too a massive one, went to the ruling party despite the dwindling economy, unprecedented levels of unemployment, gagged institutions, disastrous aftermath of demonetization, implementation of GST, lynching etc. I wish to believe that we are rational thinking beings, and if the polls are the real ‘janadesh(voice of the people)’, then it is something to worry about even more.
Lok Sabha elections 2019 are the strongest reflection of the pretence that we ‘Indians’ have been hiding behind since generations. We call ourselves the best; we swell with pride while preaching the world about the philosophy of ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam(the world is one family)’, when in reality we do not refrain from questioning the presence of the migrant labourers from less developed states in the metro cities(in their own country) of the more advanced states.
The hoax of secularism authorises the state as well as the people to remain quiet when members of the minority communities and disadvantaged group are lynched, raped and killed. Under the garb of democracy, we watched (hopelessly and indifferently) the opposition getting completely uprooted from the political battlefield. Democratic politics without a strong Opposition is frightening and can soon turn into a dictatorship.
How is such a vast undisputed mandate even possible? In the last five years of the Modi government, the stark inequalities in India have only worsened. The poor did receive a gas cylinder, but most of them were unable to afford a refill. The electricity indeed found it’s way to the electric poles, but not into the houses. Farmers continued to commit suicide while the Mallyas, Modis and Choksis abandoned their ‘motherland’ one after the other, robbing it and perhaps chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai! The banks could not retrieve anything from them but remained prompt in penalising the small borrowers, even pushing them to the verge of suicide. Despite all this, we the people of this sovereign nation have chosen to bestow a second term to the political party which has only made false promises.
They launched a cleanliness mission to eradicate open defecation and even built toilets but turned a blind eye to the people who risk their lives every other day to make the dream the of Swacch Bharat a reality. These people kept dying in sewers and septic tanks, while their kith and kin had their feet washed by the Prime Minister. Despite such a dismal state of affairs, if we choose to give another chance to this government, then clearly we do not understand the difference between reality and rhetoric.
The electoral decision making by the people of India has failed the test of times. Social realities were conveniently ignored and the much-celebrated unity in diversity has gone for a toss. Ironically the top echelons of the saffron party are celebrating this massive victory with the pronouncement of their adherence to the constitution. Nothing could be more ambiguous than this. Patriotism is being redefined- again in a binary, albeit of a different kind. The ‘tukde-tukde’ grandiloquence versus surgical strike; laying down of a brave officer’s life-fighting terrorism versus attribution of glory to who assassinated the stalwart recognised as the Father of the nation.
I can only sum up with the lines which I am borrowing from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, an American poet, painter, socialist activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco-
“Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
Except to praise conquerors and acclaim bully as a hero…
Pity the nation, Oh pity the people
Who allow their rights to erode And their freedoms to be washed away…
My country, tears of thee Sweet land of liberty.”