Sunday, December 08, 2013

Semi Final and voter wisdom

At  4pm on a Sunday the Indian electorate has delivered a verdict.
About Delhi first. While I have been a fan of idealism, the cynic in me has often despaired and wondered wether the times in which we live will has any place for any idealism. The electorate has shown that idealism is not dead and given a choice they have with some caution given encouragement to a green horn Aam Aadmi Party. The fact that more people voted in this election than ever before, first time voters came out with a fresh mind and one in three voted for Aam Aadmi Party is an important pointer. When going to vote, voters vote on issues affecting them and express either their happiness and give a positive vote or vote against the dispensation which they perceive as corrupt and bad and chose the other option. So is it only a question of changing horses and the voter be damned?  In this context the emergence of AAP presented an alternative pro people option. The major difference is that without being right or left there has to be alternative which puts people and nation above all considerations. The voter has seen such hopes and promises being dashed in the past and therefore hesitated to vote for the dispensation which is seen as a "not likely to win". This to my mind seems to be the reason for AAP not getting past the winning post. While I am delighted with this result and hope for India's democracy, I would like to sound a note of caution. The most important thing for AAP is to remember that they must never compromise on means to achieve an end result, however laudable it may seem. They must shun communism and casteism which for long have undermined Indian democracy.

About the other states, the BJP has reason to celebrate as they have decimated the weak and ineffective Congress. I also feel that their decision to project Modi has significantly contributed to the magnitude of their victory. Along with that I feel that the real message given by the voter to the BJP in MP is that quiet good governance without playing the communal can also yield rich electoral dividends. The same message but with some riders holds true for Chhatissgarh. Can Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh be given credit for achieving this result? I think the voter in these two instances rewarded good governance with victory. In Rajasthan a corrupt ineffective inefficient government was punished unequivocally by the people and a chastened former CM has been given another chance.The lesson for the Congress is that laurels of past, minority appeasement, populism and dole cannot be a substitute for performance and good governance.

My hope for the future is that the momentum of Delhi will spill over to the Lok Sabha election and the voter who sincerely believe in a real alternative will take courage and make the pro people choices.

Dr Vispi Jokhi