Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Voter's Dilemma

Some time back Devi made a comment. She said, " India is a land of past glory, present uncertainty and future mayhem." What made her make such a sorry statement is not totally unjustifiable.

We were talking about elections. The country is currently reeling under two spells. The heat spell and the election spell . Anyone and everyone who is some kind of a celebrity is jumping into canvassing and campaigning for some party or the other. But how do we , the totally confused electorate, place our votes amidst this plethora of contestants ? Will they deliver at all? I was strangely reminded of George Eliot's words , " An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry."

Only during election time do we see our politicians making patriotic outbursts and rave promises . Although their credibility may stand on flimsy grounds, none shirks from giving hopes, however high, however false. The louder the claim, the more dangerous - as most of them are a pack of thugs. Some are verbally volcanic, some poetic and a few yet too downright arrogant. In skills of oratory we do have quite a handful of leaders who indeed are blessed with the gift of the gab. But the point is, how can this particular skill deliver our nation? How do we choose from this jamboree of specimens ? I for one , along with Devi, did not know a single party that was taint-free, honest, bold, firm and could steer us to our cherished idyll.

To dispense my confusion I decided to visit some sites like , , and I did a study of these sites back to back. Yet I confess I was none the least enlightened in any singular upright man. I was aware that our country had a history of promising men- but promising men with a difference. They drew a line for themselves. A line that demarcated their duty before and after elections. Before election they showed great fervour, zest and vibrance. And after the ordeal of elections was over they became like 'deceitful jades' and sunk in the trial.

I remembered some famous words again. This time Adolph Hitler's : SOONER A CAMEL WILL PASS THROUGH A NEEDLE THAN A GREAT MAN DISCOVERED THROUGH ELECTION. ( I must mention here that although I am not exactly a great fan of Hitler, this quote of his caught my imagination to a great extent ! ).

"Is election required at all ?" Devi pondered loudly. "I mean look at the amount of money that is spent. Don't you think if all the money were to be utilised in the right channels most of our problems would have been solved automatically , without any leader to boot ? How money is drained to the gutter ! " She moaned pathetically.I then told her that notwithstanding all her good intentions, election was essential in a democracy.

After some sigh, a long pause and then a frown that spread to her temple, she remarked with effort, "India is a land of past glory, present uncertainty and future mayhem."