Adolf Washington, special correspondent of Matters India and Smart Companion, speaks of a loving and caring philanthropist,William Booth. Booth was a compassionate preacher in England, very popular and highly respected even by the English Royalty. He was often moved to tears when he saw the plight of slum dwellers in England. Years later, during his funeral, next to the Queen came a shabbily dressed old lady to pay her last respects to William Booth. Pleasantly surprised the Queen gently asked the poor lady, “How do you know him?” The old lady began weeping and said in a choked voice, “He knew us, in our poverty, in our suffering and our pain!”
Booth and booths, what a coincidence! Booth, the hero the above anecdote, was a living person who knew and passionately loved the poor. This general election season millions of Indians will visit hundreds of thousands of booths all over the country. These election booths are mere ‘enclosed areas enabling voters to exercise their franchise privately’. But these inanimate booths represent living candidates from various political parties. These politicians have extravagantly spent tons of hard-earned money of the tax-payers in advertising themselves, their ‘achievements’ and their policies. Theirelection manifestos have promised to solve all the problems and needs of the electorate! But do these would-be “messiahs” really know the voters with their genuine needs and aspirations? After having emerged victorious at the hustings will they care to remember their tall promises vowed to the electorate, or just disregard their voters as mere gullible vote-banks? May God, the ultimate source of true power and authority, inspire the citizens to cast their precious votes for candidates who really valuethem and sincerely care to fulfill their hopes.
Bosco College of Teacher Education, Dimapur
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