16 October 2019 04:06 AM

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RASHMI OBEROI | 10 DECEMBER, 2018

Political Shenanigans

When each politician is worse than the other!


Ahead of the 2019 polls, as usual, Indian politics is never short of drama.

The general elections are gaining momentum and all eyes are on us once again. But while it might be a welcome reprieve for some, the tumult of power grabs, attempted bribes, and shady deals reveal the increasingly delicate state of India’s democracy. When the largest electoral population in the world votes, it unfortunately comes with a large share of theatrics.

The world is watching... And what do we have to show... A bunch of politicians reducing the seriousness of the polls to nothing but a melodramatic show full of tomfoolery and absolutely bizarre unethical behaviour amidst the frantic campaigning.

We have candidates calling each other names, abusing, retorting and bringing each other down. Political parties digging up dirt on each other... Spewing venom... Mudslinging and what have you. It’s pathetic to watch the news these days. Every news channel is taking delight in highlighting all the shenanigans and repeating the very same news all day long till you actually feel like throwing the remote at the television screen in disgust.

There is not one political leader who has shown restraint or even a remote form of dignity or self-respect. I can only say that one is worse than the other. Have our politicians forgotten what poise is or the general guidelines on etiquettes and behaviour? I think they are all manner less and insensitive and definitely don’t deserve to be a leader of this country or a leader of any sort for that matter.

I speak for my generation and myself... None of the candidates are deserving of being placed on a pedestal where we can look up to them and let’s just forget about even revering them. It’s all about false promises and lies. And are these people the ones who will take forward our country to becoming a better nation?

Shouldn’t “NOTA” be a good option for change but it seems to have lost all ground where as it should be an option that has a legal standing and with a positive effect on the voting process.

The bitter battles going on have gained attention while other important events have been side-lined...pushed on the backburner. The social sites are abuzz with anger but only by those concerned about where our nation is headed. Are the citizens just being taken for granted from all fronts? These are pertinent questions that need an answer as discontentment brews in every corner.

Then we have political party leaders gaining mileage by politicising religion and gender equality. Is sensitivity a forgotten emotion? Within minutes there are ‘spokespersons’ from the parties adding their own two bits without a care about the real issue. I am amused by the so-called representatives who literally pop up within seconds to clarify exactly what they meant or did not mean. Absolutely ludicrous!

I hang my head in shame today. Is humanity doomed? Our country is being torn apart by a bunch of nincompoops. I hope and pray that sense prevails and we are able to move ahead in a saner fashion without all the melodrama in the next few months.

Arguably the biggest loser in all this is Indian democracy. The millions being spent on campaigns and the millions more pledged to would-be defectors reveal that all the talk about cleaning up money in politics is merely doublespeak. And regardless of which side wins, the voters today are left asking: Does it really matter?

As many as 35% of newly elected legislators across parties face at least one pending criminal case, while 24% have been accused in a criminal case of a serious nature that would warrant real jail time. The country’s 2019 general election - like previous contests will be the largest democratic exercise in world history. More than 850 million voters will be eligible to help determine which political party or alliance will form the government and, in turn, who will serve as prime minister.

Electoral outcomes are notoriously difficult to predict in India’s fragmented, hypercompetitive democracy as we live in an era of fractured political mandates.

(Illustration by Surendra, Courtesy The Hindu)

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