Hello everyone! Eligible and planning to be a part of the festival of democracy. Your city, Delhi, writes you an exclusive letter ahead of the election day on 8th February. Sharing facts and a lot of her sentiments, this is her Dil ki Baat straight from the heart. Read on!
To all my lovely people,
Politics. Propaganda. Protests. Power. These 4Ps summarize my current state in your democratic setup. And you thought 4Ps only existed in the famous marketing mix model. Well, a lot of song and dance is happening on my streets. And why not? It is the election frenzy, witnessed precisely every five years. Unlike your other festivals, this one at least gets those who aspire to warm up one of my 70 assembly seats to meet, greet, plead, as well as entertain you through various ways and means.
Just heard that yesterday, some of you relished gur and moong phali ki patti. Not to mention the other goodies and the golden promises which have come your way in the past few days. Don’t get astonished; my eyes and ears are everywhere! Enjoy till it lasts because most of these people will not show their faces again, whether elected or dejected. You see, this is how politics is scripted in our country.
Let me share with you an irony. I have no lack of workforce and people who can make me look and feel better. A Union Territory, officially known as the National Capital Territory of (NCT), I am adorned with a 70-member assembly and a lieutenant governor. And if that wasn’t enough, the nation’s supreme ministers (The Prime and The Home) still hold my reins for many issues and terrains! Privileged and special one may think, but I am a case of a confused identity with accountability going to nil!
A case in point: My Right to Breathe! How amidst AQI soaring new levels of toxicity last year, the political apathy towards me dropped abysmally low. I feel nostalgic. Things weren’t this bad always. Once upon a time, I had everything. I was irresistible and beautiful, full of life with freshness in air and water. I embraced everyone who needed me. But in return, I got neglect and apathy. When my neighbouring cousins burnt stubble, I bore the brunt while everyone in the leadership played their favourite game of passing the buck—even the weather Gods weren’t spared! But only Indra, the rain God helped.
It has been the season of protests for me. From Jantar Mantar at my centre to JNU in the southwest, Seelampur in East and Jamia to Shaheen Bagh in the southeast. I have witnessed some unforeseen levels this term. Women, youth, children and men all have been at the forefront of several pluralistic protests—all rightful, peaceful and non-violent. But the recent shooting incidents have left me scarred. I am still recovering from what happened last week in my circumference. I feel sad; I am in tears.
Who should I blame? There is already enough blame-game everywhere. The commerce minister, instead of being involved in budget discussions, spews venom, uses hateful jingles to brainwash the people. The one in charge of the Home asks you to press the vote button hard enough that shivers go down the veins of silent protestors braving the chilly and stormy weather.
Instead of putting their brains into writing thoughtful manifestos and speaking about development, it is hate and negativity being thrown all around in the name of elections. And the worst is calling it an election between those who belong to India and others from Pakistan. Phew! Such propaganda mired with the divisive hues of political rhetoric.
My responsible people, well, all isn’t lost. I still feel hopeful and positive. I have seen unprecedented development in education and health in the last few years. My heart swells with pride when I see the fundamental right of my children being respected with better schools, facilities and curriculum. They are learning and weaving beautiful and vivid dreams. My sister states are enquiring and are desperate to implement the model with their children. There is a focus on health and good governance, safety and respect for women.
A lot has been done and needs momentum to reach new heights and greater scale. I know you are intelligent and discreet. You will use your good sense of judgement. Vote for my true essence, remember what you say, ‘Delhi dilliwallon ki hai’. There should be no place for the hate mongers, for anyone with selfish agenda, trying to create fissures amongst you for any reason.
With rights come duties. How I wish I could handhold you and show you the light. Vote you must, but not on the communal dimension but with the agenda of development. Inspect manifestos, hold those you vote accountable, don’t forget your rights, including the Right To Information, question and seek answers, and yes, show anger and protest for the cause in a rightful manner. Isn’t that the spirit of democracy?
Wishing us the very best. Hoping to meet you again on the other side of the elections!