And the Election Commission of India can do nothing about it, has it grown old and become a toothless watchdog…the pet dog of the government of the day?

WHAT a sorry pass we have come to in this once brave and honorable country. In the searing heat of this year’s May election the more confused than ever dramabaazi depresses me. A friend says “I was married to a Christian who passed away, I don’t think there’s a future in India for me …I’m going back to the Middle East where there’s more peace of mind!”
I’m speechless. There is fear amongst a large section of India that if the same government returns to power life will become even more tiresome if not outright miserable. Defection in politics in India has become such a way of life that now I can no longer remember who was Congress and who was BJP rank and file. There are so many defectors from one another’s parties. Ideology and party identity get utterly lost in an election of defectors.
It’s an election where more than anything we respect money…money changes hands and hey presto, all sins of omission and commission are forgiven. Politics has been reduced to the status of a washing machine! How cool? Where is conscience or even consciousness of the larger realities of the country today where those like me, reasonably well to do, now think twice before buying a carrot for Rs10 or a mango for Rs50. BJP is synonymous with inflation as far as I am concerned, my dears. It has turned life for aam aadmi into a concentration camp.
However, the general perception is that one must vote for the BJP for it is full of crorepati and one candidate standing for the south Goa Lok Sabha election this time is a woman. We must prefer women, why? Do they make for better human beings, lest corrupt? At least they don’t go around fingering and raping innocent men!
FUNNY or not funny, the general perception and truth is every chota mota politician wants a career in politics for that’s the best place to loot the public exchequer lifelong and also tighten the screws on the 1 percent to 10 percent of the population who are wealthy beyond aam aadmi imagination, we see this flaunted in a zillion ways to impress whom – only the classes, not the masses I assure you who are not amused.
Now I hear the south Goa candidate for a change is a highly pedigreed woman from a conservative family, the impeccable woman’s role model, Pallavi Dempo. Will she speak up for the poorest of the poor in Goa? Says a friend of mine, “For God’s sake, she is a multicrorepati several times over, why would she go into politics to make money!” If not for money, for what? Power, of course.
POWER, profit and control is the oldest truth of capitalism and our so called much tarnished democracy today. It’s a vanity. If I have lots of money I must also have lots of power, for what? To do good for the poor people of the country who’re suffering and who can’t even put a decent meal on the table after 75 years of independence?
Granted, India is a very special story, it’s so vast, it’s so diverse, it’s multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-skilled…also we have such great history of religion, literature, folklore, art and craft, etcetera. India is Bharat for Lord Ram’s sake! Yet neither the successive Congress dynasty succeeded in bringing India on par with the developed countries of say the Scandinavian countries or even a Singapore. Why?

If Congress institutionalized capitalism and corruption, the BJP has further compounded it to dizzy levels and there you are – corruption is so legal tender now as one realized at the National Election Watch press conference held by Bhaskar Assoldekar of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a voluntary organization which is run by a one man warrior, has been telling us about the deteriorating quality of Goan politics and politicians for the last five years at least.
On April 29, 2024 he was briefing media folk about the election coming up in Goa May 7, and candidates rich and not so rich, criminal and not so criminal. The political affidavits are on record and online and summed up Bhaskar bab, there is an increase in voters in Goa this time and we have six politicians this time who’re crorepati several times over; amongst the 16 candidates BJP’s favorite Pallavi Dempo is richest with declared assets of Rs1,362 crore, next is Congress’ Ramakant Khalap who’s declared Rs18 crore assents and BJP’s Shripad Naik with Rs11 crore. The average per candidate in the fray is Rs87.7 crore.
The question is will Goans vote for rich candidates or rich, communal, criminal background candidates? We take the criminalization of politics for granted today. Check out for the nitty gritty of candidates fighting the elections on money power and muscle power, “Those who have money and muscle power have better chances of winning! Money power alone is no good!” Or so observed the wry Assoldekar.
Later on I asked him if we may consider UP the most criminalized state in India, or West Bengal, or Maharashtra and he smiled, that is too simplistic, you have to see in the perspective of the population of the state concerned…people think Bihar is poor but how many know it has the highest number of IAS and ICS pass outs in India? Is this not wealth of education and yet they don’t get the jobs they’re qualified to do? Can we say Bihar is the most educated state if not the wealthiest? The real problem is there have been no electoral reforms in India to improve ground realities.
I’m inclined to think that with such fixit politics today we should stop wasting money on holding elections altogether! See the same political scenarios play out again and again with the same politicians recycling themselves between two parties — and now if our naked emperors of pelf have their way we’re on our way to becoming a one party nation, one party holding sway over the country’s fate…could be we become like Russia or China or north Korea or even an Afghanistan!
Is one man rule on the cards with an army of politicians with their eyes trained in one ruthless direction? Are we going to be a Hindu nation with a difference? Think about all this before you cast your vote.
SEE how Pakistan wanted to be an Islamic state. India is surrounded by Islamic countries and some of them were part of the larger or greater Indian sub-continent…we thought we were far more superior when we chose the values of democracy and secularism for all, our Constitution was written to ensure fair play to all the people of India.
Any democracy works as long as its four pillars stand straight on the institutions of Executive, Legislature, Judiciary and Fourth Estate which is media…all of which are in jeopardy today as we can see. Post-Partition and after much vitriolic hatred and bloodshed, when Indians chose freedom to live in peace and harmony…it looks like we’re back in square one in this country, back to 1947 to undo what? As if it is possible!
On that note it’s avjo, poite verem, selamat datang, au revoir, arrivedecci, hasta la vista and vachun yeta here for now.

—Mme Butterfly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 + = 18