It is that time of the tenure in the five states of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, that the polity is curdled, and out come the goodies – material and otherwise – to woo the electorate. This is that time of the tenure when the common man is made to feel like King! And Queen!! The time when, actually, the King comes to your doorstep to enquire if all’s well . . .
Each state has its own way of wooing the voters, just like how it has its own, unique set of problems or issues. The colour of the parties, too, varies from left to right of the whole spectrum – not as extreme as one would imagine, though – as does the ideology of each them. But, yes, each has to deal with some kind of extremism, and then some. Both internal and external.
And, talking of ideology, it does not necessarily differ from just party to party, but like chameleons, it changes from time to time with each party, too. If one fought the right the last time around, it fights the left this time. Ultimately, it is the voting citizen who gets punched from all sides.
Much like the issues. Newer ones, or the same ones like the last time around, but with a twist. Some rival-inflicted, some by the nature. Each issue is seen as something that has been pounded upon with vengeance. Be it by a rogue-rival or by the nature. Or just laxity.
Then there are many mini-games within the big one. One such is the blame-game. None is spared. Even God! Cyclones, floods, etc., can be deemed as act of God. But flyover? Floods in Chennai? Poor God . . .
If an economy can be measured by the issues that hound the rivals, then India would be at the top –many pop up around this season – the poll season, that is – when issues are made out of non-issues, and the real ones forgotten conveniently. Only, corruption is common across the regions and parties.
There are floods, refugees and migrants (not political!), prohibition of liquor, et al that make noise during the rallies. All die a silent death soon after the polls. The parties dole out goodies with the party emblems etched on them, that may not even live till the next election. Migrant natives make it a point to head home to get the goodies – vote or not.
There have been democracies – big and small – worldwide that try to emulate the election story of India – a success story at that. Through a few decades since, the Election Commission of India (ECI) – the body that oversees the whole process – has been consistently getting the thumbs up each time the electorate gets its finger marked. And providing it with the logistical support has been the security forces of the country, which invariably puts its hands up to be counted, whose sleepless nights extend much after the day the counting of votes happen. And many of which don’t get to vote!
Come 19 May 2016, India might have a different colour on its corners!