Saturday, April 1, 2023

Political rhetoric

A politically active society plays a critical role in deepening and sustaining democracy through participating in elections. In other words it means that the consent of the governed is the most fundamental concept of democracy, which is created to guarantee fundamental human rights and most importantly hold the government accountable to the people. It is a natural corollary, therefore, that the elections must be apparently and in substance genuinely democratic which has a direct bearing on the quality of and the fairness in campaigns. It infers also that a realistic consensus on common standards by the contesting political parties is a pre requisite for qualifying election campaigns to be fair to a larger extent. We know how our freedom fighters braved all sorts of humps, obstacles and faced repression only with a hope to breathe in a free independent, vibrant India aspiring to have the best form of government where all citizens play a meaningful role under the umbrella of democracy. It was envisaged by visionary leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Dr. Rajindra Prasad, Dr. Ambedkar, Sardar Patel and all those who saw the historic transition from foreign yoke to freedom that democracy was the best option for our country which could ultimately mean the power of the people, the same power over the elected representatives alone could sustain our hard earned democracy. The backbone of the parliamentary system is the political parties and there is no ambiguity about admitting the stark fact that the political parties have undergone a process of decay in our country during the last three to four decades. Under democratic set up, each candidate and each contesting political party are within their constitutional right to go in for campaigning to educate, impress and convince the voters the reasons as to why vote should be cast for him or her or for the particular political party. During the period between the elections, the voters have practically no control over their elected representatives, a reality which in most of the cases, go against the interests of the voters which becomes a valid ground for the citizen voter aspiring to exercising the right to recall. This aspect is central to the whole issue and again the ball being in the court of the elected representatives, such a right being allowed to be enjoyed by the voter appears a remote possibility. It is, however, beyond any doubt that the legislature must remain one of the main pillars of the Parliamentary democracy as its status cannot be compromised or endangered but it is equally imperative that the public opinion can and should mould and influence it. Who can account for huge consignments of liquor bottles and wads of currency notes being seized by and at the instance of the Election Commission of India in the states going to the poll from next month? Now take the level of debates and the quality of rhetoric during election campaigning. All sorts of blames, accusations, cowing down one another’s opponents with the apparition of having done “nothing” for the poor, etc. are weakening the roots of democracy and making elections look though compulsorily but as an exercise in futility and a wave of cynicism and frustration is engulfing the people at large which speaks in itself about the lower voter turn over in most of the cases in the past elections. Our children are undernourished and most of them starting their physical “growth” by taking adulterated stuffs posing a serious question about the future health of our citizen of tomorrow. Why are all talking about who did nothing and all done by “me alone or by my party alone”? Who will address the real issues and not invent newer and novel ways to attract societies on vote banks of castes, communities, and religions? Clearly it appears political infighting and accusations on irrelevant issues are driving people away from the system, a fact very few can openly admit but all otherwise staunchly believes in.