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What is expected of the ‘common man’ in India? That they will strictly adhere to a fixed flowchart of life all through the years they will get to live, right from their birth. If their life spans are carefully examined then a more or less fixed pattern can be observed in almost all the cases in all age groups as if they are all run by a set of some pre-programmed algorithm which follows certain iterations just about flawlessly, barring a few bug-like exceptions in the form of some occasional surprises and challenges that life throws from time to time.

Education, Occupation, Marriage, Family & Frustration, Some intermittent phases of celebration; this is the normal course of life resembling that of a meandering stream originating and terminating as it is destined to do.

Then where is the place of politics & elections in the life of the so called ‘common man’ of India? The first thing that comes in mind: ‘Do we even need those in our lives’?

Now it doesn’t matter whether one like it or not. It is an absolute requirement. Elections give us leaders who frame the policies and laws for us. Without these laws humankind will plunge into the darkness of anarchy. It is prevailing from ancient times and has stood the test of time. That is why elections are often called celebrations of democracy. Leaders have glorified and glamorized elections for ages with their unique speeches, which reverberated all across the world and united masses of people transcending all barriers of caste, creed and religion. The proclamation to emancipate masses from all their worries, miseries and grief by great leaders has time and again filled the hearts of common people with renewed hope. And with this hope came trust and faith and they chose leaders to form Governments in which they surrendered themselves as one does with God.

In India too, much have been achieved by these elections. It has given the nation ‘Unity in Diversity’, a common goal for all to live and let live in peace, accordance and mutual respect. Violations or attempts to disrupt the rhythmic flow of harmonious existence have been strongly dealt with and nipped in the bud by elected leaders who rose to the occasions each time to defend the integrity and sovereignty of our motherland whenever situation demanded. Without a set up of well established administrative machinery, functioning strategically and systematically under a stable Government and its leaders, democratically elected by the entire nation, this couldn’t have been achieved so effectively and a huge nation like India most likely would have been severed and fragmented into pieces long back and history would have repeated itself once again.

So, denial or disapproval of elections and the entire system involved with it by any person will be nothing short of some queer eccentricity.

Only a fool will denigrate or belittle the importance of elections.

Problem starts only when shabby politics engulf this system anywhere in the world. The sole objective of the plebiscite is marred then and the idea of an ideal regime under some able and just leaders is shattered. Instead of heroic leaders whom we envisage as harbingers of a prosperous future, we get quite the antithesis; we now have the crafty politicians playing with our trust, our fate.

That is when it seems that a mockery has been made of the electoral system which was otherwise designed to work in our favour. Politics and politicians replace leadership and leaders. Everything is politicised and well being of common people takes a back seat. And that particular country’s progress towards prosperity is thwarted. All over the world this same picture prevails. Elections which should have brought forth some messiah instead turns out to be a hoax and at the end politicians are catapulted to the centre stage much to our dismay. The rule of politicians starts then.

Of course, there are quite a few politicians who keep up to their oath of defending the constitution & upholding people’s rights, law and order of the states or institutions. They remain loyal and truthful to the people’s mandate and never compromise their uprightness.

But sadly the number of such politicians is negligibly small. Instead what we get is quite unfortunate and regrettable.

Some may have the right intent but they will then surely lack in something else; maybe he will be mired in some illusive utopian vision that will lead to nowhere and only add to the predicaments of all the people involved in the long run. Add to that their arrogance, sometimes frivolity. The common people end up landing in a perilous quagmire.

The nation seems to be faltering and awaiting doomsday.

Just think how does it feel when the news channels expose the stories of potbellied politicians and their corruptions, scams. When public money is laundered, we remain mute spectators and witness those accused politicians getting exonerated every time with consummate ease, as if they were all saints and only some invisible ghosts were probably party to such misappropriation of funds.

Under such deceitful politicians everything, every institution suffers. Health, Education, Economy all start to tumble down like a pack of cards and the nation burns.

If Google data is to be trusted then one has to agree that huge money is spent for these elections. Some figures suggest that during last parliament elections in India expenses on different accounts collectively amounted to about 60,000 crores of rupees. During last American Presidential Elections, expenses skyrocketed and reached staggering heights. A whopping amount of approximately 14 billion US Dollars were spent. Such unimaginable burden on the exchequer; common people like us cannot even comprehend how big a number these are! Now what good these are for if the people continue to suffer! In India many voters cast their vote trying desperately to choose between the bad and worse! Isn’t that some shitty stuff? Situations have been like this for many years now. Accepting something bad as okay or tolerable over something even worse has become the new normal for people in recent times in almost every corner of the world. This is where politics has led us to. This is what the treacherous souls in the garb of politicians have inflicted upon our mindset.

Earlier when we used to see some massive construction project or any developmental work taking place we used to be happy and praise the Govt. for its initiatives. Today the scene is very different. You see a bridge being built these days and the first thing by all likelihood you do is pray to the almighty to keep you at a safe distance from it on the day it collapses. Because you believe it is inevitably going to happen, thanks to the substandard quality of work which is an indirect outcome of the corruption involved with the projects. Our faith and confidence is so shaken these days that most of us mistrust even the best of deals which government has to offer. Politics have given us a free ride to the world of paranoia, scepticism, dilemma, disbelief, despair and hopelessness.

But something has to be done to fix it. And it has to be done by us. There are still a large number of wise people in our country who abstain from voting citing different reasons. It is time that they realise that their votes matter; in fact it matters the most. The great philosopher Plato once said:

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

So opting out from voting is not a protest but it is abject surrendering. If we really want politics to be cleansed of all the dirt and blemishes that it has acquired for all this time, we must reignite the power to change that is still hidden somewhere inside us. For the unscrupulous politicians, there will always be a safe vault of votes accumulated by extending inducements, bribery, undue benefits to some immoral group of people. But that can be outnumbered and outweighed if all the responsible citizens take the pledge to vote wisely. Only then can we stand a chance to survive and prosper as a proud nation!

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