Musings on election and universal adult franchise
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns, Top Stories

Musings on election and universal adult franchise

March 2, 2023

Time has come for people of Karnataka to choose a Government of their choice after five years. The State Assembly elections are expected around May 2023, this year. The election is almost at our doorsteps though the Election Commission has not yet announced the calendar of events.

As expected, we see heightened resurgence of political activities from the three major political parties of our State,  namely the Congress, BJP and JD(S). All the three parties seemed to be in an aggressive mode to defeat the other and capture power with absolute majority. It is obvious to all the three parties the handicap in forming alliances when no party gets absolute majority.

As we know, the present BJP Government itself was born as a result of the caesarian surgery on the Congress-JD(S) alliance Government (with H.D. Kumaraswamy of the JD-S as the Chief Minister). This alliance collapsed, it is perceived by some political pundits, at the altar of one Congress leader despite the alliance was formed as per the directions of the Congress High Command at Delhi which for its own reason, had turned a Nelson’s eye on the development ! During  the coalition Government with H.D. Kumaraswamy of JD(S) as the CM, he was the head of the so-called ‘Samanvaya’ Committee to co-ordinate the two coalition party MLAs sans any political power.

A situation was created where those MLAs of the ruling coalition, who caused the collapse of the Congress-JD(S) alliance Government by resigning, should either get elected as BJP candidates in the by-election or the State should go for fresh elections. Fortunately for the people of Karnataka, BJP won and formed the Government. The Congress leader, who allegedly master-minded this political topsy-turvy, became the Leader of the Opposition enjoying the power and pelf that went with it.

Both the Congress High Command at Delhi and the JD(S) in Karnataka were left high and dry, lost in the limbo of this great political masterstroke that even Chanakya and Machiavelli would not have imagined, much less executed with such surgical precision. Let it be.

Looking at the aggressive way these three parties are working to influence and win voters, one gets the feeling the history of 2018 election may be repeated. But this time round the coalition would be between BJP and JD(S), with BJP forgiving (but not forgetting) the betrayal by JD(S) in  the 2006  coalition Government where H.D. Kumaraswamy reneged and did not hand over CM’s post to BJP’s B.S. Yediyurappa as per their coalition agreement. In the words of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, H.D. Kumaraswamy simply did not follow the Coalition Dharma.

Well, this time, if a similar coalition becomes inevitable the BJP might claim to have its candidate to be the CM during the first half and thereafter the JD(S). Those who do not learn lessons from the past history are bound to repeat it and perish. BJP has indeed learnt its lessons. Looking at the way BJP under the triumvirate — Modi, Shah and Nadda — formed the Governments in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, it would succeed in Karnataka in case of a fragmented mandate. Therefore, the answer to the question, ‘Who next in Karnataka?’ the answer is BJP. This answer is based on the ground reality as it exists today with the ruling party BJP doling out sops and the Opposition Congress and JD(S), promising similar sops — freebies, money, concessions, commissions etc.

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Mahatma Gandhi said that politics without principles is a sin. Sadly today we find all the politicians swimming in the cesspool of sin. Sin and win. Winning is the mantra. Winning by means fair or foul. Win at any cost. After all, the world belongs to the winner. In Democracy, elections are held not on the hallowed principle of Olympic Games which says that what is important is not to win but to participate. But fighting well is very essential. Likewise, if we want to secure our Democracy, then we must ensure that our electoral politics is rooted on the sublime principles enunciated in the Olympic Games. One of its heads had rightly said that “In all times of our distress, and in our triumphs too, the game is more than the players of the game and the ship is more than the crew.” Therefore, like the game and the ship, Democracy (that guarantees liberty, equality and fraternity among all                                                              the people) must be considered as more than the political parties and politicians and the people should vote with responsibility even while succumbing to corruption.

Our Democracy was described in the early sixties by Prof. John Kenneth Galbraith, the American Ambassador in India, as a ‘functioning anarchy.’ It continues to be so even in this 75th year of our freedom. So the question arises whether we are properly represented by deserving people — MPs and MLAs. David Selbourne, British political philosopher and a journalist says, ‘Indians may have a vote but they are not represented.’ Let us hope that this reality is reversed in the future elections and every Indian is thus well represented.

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Our Constitution grants voting right to all adult citizens. It is called universal adult franchise where even a daily wage earner with no property, education and shelter has a right to vote and choose his representative, the ruler. Only those who, for reasons, are declared by law as barred from                         voting, cannot vote.

By casting vote people express their will and the will of the people is the basis for the authority of a Government. In Democracy, election is the battleground where the contending political parties fight to establish their authority to form a Government and rule the people. Therefore, it is important to vote for a candidate who is more interested in public service than in private gain.

In the past, we have seen adult franchise making our Democracy dependant on money and crime, on religion and caste. It is so even today. We have seen politicians taking advantage of poverty and religion of adults from the poor sections of the people. Election Commission seems unable to remedy this evil, so also the existing laws of the land. This evil found its fertile ground in 1969 when Indira Gandhi split the Congress and the roots of election malpractices spread deep and wide. Since then this evil has manifested itself in a variety of forms — crony capitalism, telephone tapping, bribing the voters, intimidation and even violence. A new political culture sat pretty over Indian Democracy and India’s development suffered giving room to social disharmony.

Therefore, we the voters of India are warned. One vote has one value, but it is an invaluable vote that will decide the voter’s and country’s destiny and future. It is also a secret vote. That should give the voter the courage and confidence to give his vote to a good candidate irrespective of his caste, creed, wealth or even the political party. If the voter is a supporter of a political party but the candidate of that party is unworthy, then the voter must choose either NOTA  (None Of The Above) by pressing the NOTA button or choose the best among the rest irrespective of the party. Only then political parties will give tickets to deserving persons to contest the poll.

Jai Hind

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4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Musings on election and universal adult franchise”

  1. Raampur Ka Laxman!! says:

    “Looking at the way BJP under the triumvirate — Modi, Shah and Nadda — formed the Governments in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, it would succeed in Karnataka in case of a fragmented mandate. Therefore, the answer to the question, ‘Who next in Karnataka?’ the answer is BJP”
    The usual biased nonsense from Mr Ganapathy who considers Narendra Modi, the wife deseter as the beacon of light! While accusing the Congress of dynastic rule of Gandhis, he sounds a hypocrite when he ignores the dynastic Modi who demanded special treatment for his brother Prahlad Modi’s family for their minor injuries sustained near Mysore, Amit Shah has a son Jay Shah who is nicknamed ‘ second Sanjay Gandhi’, as Jay Shah is the king in Gajarat running that state without being elected-he is so powerful in Gujarat that the state government is merely subjugated by him, and ofocurse the fat Nadda-Dhadda in Kannad, the Hindi Fanatic scoundrel.
    Ganaothy ofocurse ignores the 40% Commission government headed by the BJP Bommai. Narendraa Modi ridiculed the 10% Congreess Government of Mysore, but his Party is leading a 40% government.
    Mr Ganapathy’s analyses lack reality, based on myths and conjectures and he is far removed from what really is happening in Mysore. and in Karnataka. A lover of Mercedes cars, plane travels , and propensity to visit places like Munich to take part in their OKtoberFest-a beer drinking festivsal, to burn his cash, Mtr Ganapathy is hardly the neutral observer and analyser of the political scene in Karnataka. He should gracefully retire.

  2. Sam says:

    If people are wondering why BJP is winning, this may provide some clues. Definitely Modi is not the one who is responsible for Bjp winning
    https://youtu.be/TT-HolbE5R4

  3. Sam says:

    Hey @Sam
    You have copied my name. I am the IT Techie working in the Bay area of San Francisco, and know all about Indian politics.
    You are just a dim witted copy cat who is so ignorant that you think Modi is not responsible for the BJP winning, and produce a link which is a total crap Before Modi, the last BJP government was by Vajapayee which fizzled out,.

  4. Rao Bhamidimarri says:

    The Old Mr Ganapathy , an ardent admirer of Narendra Modi, keeps quiet when the BBC Programme shows Modi to be watching when masses of Muslims were killed when he was the CM of Gujarat.
    The otgerday, Mr Ganapathy boasted to know RKNarayan, but on closer analysis, he had met the author perhaps a couple of times in his house. RK Narayan in his Yavagiri days , did not care for ordinary Mysoreans or a small paper owner like Mr Ganapathy-he was more interested in rich North Indians and Westerners.
    Mr Ganapthy’s analysis of Congress and BJP is riddled with myths and misconceptions and his reasoning is skewed in a way that brings the BJP in a better light than Congress, even though The BJP government of Karanataka is arguably the most corrupt in the state’s history. But Mr Ganapathy wants the support of BJP MLAs and MPs like Simha, who he thinks is a future leader of India-which makes one question his sanity! As the BJP is a Hindi Belt party, and will never accept a leader from South India.
    If Congress and JD (S) play their cards right, they can unseat this corrupt BJP government of Bommai. Yedi, the RSS Cheddi is being investigatted for corruption.
    Modi is ore inclined to agree to the wshes of the Tamil Nadu CM in the Meke Datu Kaveri project case, and with Kerala CM win the proposal of a underground railway tunnel under the Bandipur forest. He has already agree to the request of the Keralite businessmen resident in the UAE for the non-stop UAE-Mysore route when Mysore airport is able to receive the medium haul A320/730 passenger jet liners. These businessmen are suspected of smuggling gold into Kerala now. Persuaded by the Tamil Nadu CM Modi has introduced the new Chennai-Mysore Express , to help Tamils settled in Bangalore and to facilitate Tamils settling in Mysore. Look at this Express’s schedule, which makes this clear.
    Bt keep reading Mr Ganapathy’s mythical analyses!

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