…. “It’s truly the greatest show on earth, an ode to a diverse and democratic ethos, where 700 million plus of humanity vote providing their small part in directing their ancient civilization into the future…” so went the New York Times in a recent edition on India’s just held Parliamentary elections ; words that go to make us proud as Indians and speak of the way the world feels about the idea of India.
The Indian voter has come a long way since the country voted in the incipient days of the democracy and if the ever increasing voter turnouts in successive elections are any indication, it can certainly be said that the man in the street has grown keener by the day to have his say in deciding who should run his country for next five years.
Another factor that has contributed to the people of India participating overwhelmingly in the recent elections and has markedly influenced the voter’s choice while pressing the EVM button is the all pervasive digital revolution that has swept across every segment of the country’s population . No wonder social media like Whatsapp having attained a hitherto unseen spread in close to every nook of the country the average Indian voter is today far better informed than before.
It is for these reasons that having made its mark with the highest ever participation from the people , the 2019 Parliamentary elections have also possibly stood out in India’s electoral history for some of the political messages it has managed to send out to the country’s polity and politicians alike. Leaving aside the dissections and debates over the cause – effect analyses of which there would be many , here are some of the takeaways that the writer feels are likely to bear upon the public discourse and narratives around India’s electoral politics hereon in the aftermath of Elections 2019 :
First , having shaken off their inhibitions and acceptance, people across caste and religion do now consider their dignity and self-pride too precious a possession to be trifled with by anyone for his/her caste calculation or communal arithmetic.
Second, twenty first century India has come a long way on the ever webbing highway of information technology. Today’s self respecting youth are no more interested in freebies and what they really aspire for are ways and means to chart out their own path so they could live their dreams in their own terms , and with honour and integrity .
Third, the definition of jobs and their erudite statistics as are discussed and debated inside TV studios may not necessarily be in sync with what the average youth from the Indian suburbia feels about the ways and means that he has no qualms to try out for a decent , dignified living.
Fourth, respecting the elderly and those given a place of honour by the people of this country through a democratic process is something that the average Indian still believes in , being a part and parcel of our traditional culture that still is prevalent in our society especially in rural India .
Fifth, as the country’s ever increasing number of read, educated and ambitious new generation youth are mostly not much in the know of the previous political regimes and individuals or their hitherto contributions to it’s rise and progress if any , they view, assess and rate political parties and their leaders purely by the yardstick of commitment and performance and as such may not necessarily take them at face value while appraising their announcements and promises made before the country. In other words, they are more inclined to rate them on their concrete political views , ideology and vision to offer – as also their personal way of life bereft of any sense of entitlement rather than their legacy.
Sixth, whatever way you look at or interpret it, the general feeling of a nationalistic pride is something the average Indian always loves to steadfastly hold to heart and therefore is here to stay .
Seventh, people in India are now wise and mature enough to have learnt the art and chemistry of seeing, assessing and voting in State and Parliament elections differently and in a way that they feel is imperative for the nation’s overall good .
Eighth, people have become discerning and smart enough to be able to read you and see through those hackneyed ‘ism’s of caste and religion that you have been trying to project yourself as a champion of by flaunting the same old tutelary hat that you have been wearing for far too long.
And a nugget of scientific wisdom to end with : One , in elections chemistry works out better than arithmetic and Two, Newton’s third Law also applies equally to electoral politics in India : Every effort at polarization is bound to produce a counter polarization of equal measure !!