Friday, April 04, 2014

Mission CleanUp 2014

The world’s largest democracy will participate in its biggest festival – the General Elections – over the next few weeks. While the outgoing Government has an unenviable record of high inflation, policy paralysis, and numerous scams, the 15th Lok Sabha was also the worst performing in the history of independent India. In this grim situation, these elections present an opportunity to restore the sanctity of the institution of Parliament; and the power to do so lies in the hands of the political parties and the people of India.

For our constituency, we have a list of candidates to pick from. This list is the first opportunity to test the legitimacy of the tall promises that parties and their leaders have made. Did the assertion of ‘zero tolerance to corruption’ get validated by rejection of tainted leaders? Did the promise of ‘good governance’ translate into a clean and committed candidate? If yes, you are fortunate to have narrowed down to the worthy options. If no, then you realize the credibility of the promises and can avoid getting fooled into them.

Political parties have made another set of choices, contained in a document called Election Manifesto explaining their ‘vision’ for the future. If one’s ideas resonate with a political party’s proposed direction, it is natural to develop a liking for the particular party. However, if the party’s candidate is not clean, it would be better to not vote for the person and grant legitimacy to his/her claims of public support. It would be a service to both the country and the party. The country will be spared of another shady legislator, and the party’s agenda would be saved from being usurped by the few with foul intentions. Given the centralized decision-making process and lack of internal democracy across Indian political parties, the elections are the only opportunity available to the party supporters to send a message to the party leadership about the unacceptability of tainted individuals as party candidates.

The parties have already expressed their choices through their candidates and manifestos. Now, it is our turn to make a choice. Make an informed one. Vote responsibly. Vote for the better candidates. Jai Hind!

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