Back to the Salt Mines
Editorial

Back to the Salt Mines

May 25, 2019

Even as the world was watching, the drama of the nation’s election of members for a five-year term in the 17th Lok Sabha has ended this week with the final Act of the Play, counting the votes followed by disclosing the outcome. The incumbent ruling party, having got past the winning post, is scheduled to begin its second innings to shoulder the responsibility of governing the country after going through the paces of formally putting the Members of the Cabinet in their station of duty. The euphoria of the victorious contestants in the polls to the 542 seats of the august House and the disappointment of the vanquished shall last for a while. For the team members vested with their respective portfolios, the next five years are marked by the idiom Back to the salt mines, given the din, more than orderly debates, that the House is headed for, thanks to the dissidence on various issues, expressed with high decibel harangues. The nation’s diaspora has no option except to grin and bear it all, with the media playing the role of communicator.

The Election Commission of India, as acknowledged by people in informed circles, has done a splendid job of conducting a virtually flawless election. The thousands of men and women, drawn from Government Departments, and deployed on the daunting work of enabling the 900-million-strong electorate to cast the votes as well as the law-keeping force are the unsung heroes and heroines deserving unalloyed adoration.

While those who have earned the favourable verdict of the voting millions to be their representatives are entitled to spend the next few days in celebratory mode, the rest not finding favour of the voters, particularly the seasoned vote-seekers who are in a state of shock, shall have to go back to the drawing board as it were and ponder over the factors behind their discomfiture. As for the successful contestants of some 35 political parties, as partners in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), their task is clearly cut out. Firstly, the agendas remaining unaddressed, namely jobs for the educated youth, basic necessities of life, water for drinking and agriculture figuring at the top, mitigating the hardship of farmers, reining in the rogue elements bugging society, disciplining the masses given to wayward conduct disdainfully and what have you. Nextly, resolving the well-marked problems that are a legacy from the previous administrations.

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The Opposition parties in the nation’s Parliament are entitled to dissent on various issues, but the nation’s people cannot afford to be apathetic towards their duties and responsibilities in joining hands with the Government of the day and contribute to their own welfare. As the poet wrote, “Men may come and men may go, but I go on for ever” (says the Democracy that we are).

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