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The real issues are missing in polls

The real issues are missing in polls
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By: Lalit Garg

The third phase of Lok Sabha elections has been completed; as the elections are progressing, the layers of tainted character of politicians and poll candidates are being exposed, in the process.

There was a time when people used to follow the conduct of country’s leaders in public life. Leaders were also concerned about their image and reputation in the society. But in recent years, leaders of many satraps’ families have also entered politics, who in their pursuit of power, kept aside all the morals and decorum.

Recently, the serious allegations made against Prajwal Revanna, MP of Janata Dal (Secular) from Hassan seat in Karnataka, of misconduct with hundreds of women, have shown the nadir point of degradation in politics.

Moreover, the Enforcement Department, which is investigating an old case in Ranchi, has recovered Rs 39 crore in cash from the house of a servant working at the house of private secretary of Jharkhand government minister Alamgir Alam.

This election involving leaders and tainted candidates tainted with sexual harassment, misconduct, corruption and treason is a serious question on democracy. Our politics is becoming a tragedy. The politicians started doing everything for power and in this race they forgot the ideals of politics, this is why the poison of inequalities and inconsistencies is mixed in the atmosphere of the country, and there is no hope of light from anywhere.

We are afraid of the politically corrupt, of those who glorify crime, of those who misuse power, of those who put the unity and integrity of the country at stake, and of those who tear down women’s dignity through sexual harassment and misconduct.

The country is faced with a complex mix of sorrow, pain and insensitivity; problems are scary and horrifying in new masks. A lot has changed in the society, including–values, thoughts, life-style, architecture, and a lot more. The election process is increasingly becoming very expensive. Being honest is a vice in today’s politics.

Taking action against crime has become a sin. Taking interest in religion and spirituality has come to be considered communal. Exposing any irregularity is considered prejudice. Speaking the truth falls into the category of ego-feeding. Candor is impractical. Not supporting corruption is not recognizing the time. It is necessary to discuss these and such basic questions in the context of elections.

After all, for how long will these new definitions being coined in the name of political interests continue to push the society and nation in deplorable directions? How long will our country and our society remain forgotten in the name of the strong storm of evolution? In this grand show of elections, the talk of reform, morality, values and principles is not being heard anywhere? There is no light visible anywhere. It is a very dark and dense night. There is neither self-confidence, nor moral strength.

This great sacrifice of elections organized for building a great and strong India is today becoming ‘Mahabharata’. How this undertaking of establishing values and standards is becoming a medium to hollow out democracy is a matter of deep concern and contemplation. A naked dance of character devaluation, economic anomalies and giving support to disparities has started taking place in the elections and every party is displaying its strength in it with great enthusiasm.

It is not only about election donations, but also about donations received from foreign countries. Today the question is very big, and that is how to protect Indian politics from direct foreign influence. The allegations against Aam Aadmi Party of taking huge sums of money from alleged anti-India foreign powers are a challenge to our entire electoral system.

Have the people associated with the ruling party, or the opposition parties, or the newly emerging political contenders, and those who talk about ideals, ever given any feeling through their actions that they should be considered as politicians who have risen above limited vested interests? Here the names of the leaders are not that important, nor is the political party important, what is important is the fact that this kind of Kupmandu leadership can overall make the politics of the country shallow.

The kind of moral integrity that is required for positive politics and the kind of maturity that is required from politicians for this, the lack of it in the entire opposition parties is creating a painful situation. And we are the ones who are engaged in creating such leaders!

Elections are considered the beginning of the democratic process, but today elections have become a mockery of democracy. The methods adopted in elections are contrary to the basic idea of democracy. The fault of putting it at the crossroads lies much more with the political parties and leaders than with the public, who have weakened it greatly by making it a medium to fulfill personal and party interests.

Today these parties, these people have lost the ability to take it out of the current quagmire. Only Kauravas and Pandavas were not affected in the battle of Mahabharata. The sparks of that war had reached far and wide. It is clearly visible that even in this Mahabharata, the so-called anarchist political and economic forces are trying to show their influence, which will have far-reaching consequences. In these circumstances, such an effort is now necessary in which intentions of those who wrote the new story of ‘Mahabharata’ in the name of ‘Great India’ are identified. India needs leaders with Arjun’s concentration. If necessary, it is not wrong to attack the top leadership for wrong conduct.

It is true that today there is no dearth of such parties in the country, which are formed not on the basis of policy, but on the sick ambitions of the individual, but such parties also talk about policies. The discrepancy between words and actions should be a matter of concern for a democratic system.

Although, in reaching the golden age of independence, our political parties have not presented such examples of policies and ideals which indicate that the democratic system is strong and healthy, yet there has always been an expectation that policies and morality will be there somewhere near; will play any role in deciding the direction of our politics. Even though it was a misunderstanding, it was true. Now there doesn’t even seem to be a chance to maintain such a happy understanding.

But today is the opportunity to ask the question: when will policies become the basis of our politics? It is also important to ask– when will opportunism be considered a crime in politics? It is an irony in itself that talking about politics based on principles and policies seems strange today. It is true that a person’s thoughts can change at any time, but on what basis can it be said that changing thoughts like clothes every day is right? The truth is that today in our politics the very definition of right and wrong has changed – everything that serves political interests becomes right and everything that is related to the interests of the common man becomes wrong. What kind of democracy is being created in which the ‘people’ themselves are disappearing?

(The author is a writer, journalist and a columnist. He hails from New Delhi)

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