Before enlarging on the topic of this column, what is meant by the terms ‘they’ and ‘us’ is made clear at the outset. The growing number of vote-seekers, salivating with dreams of pampering the electorate to cast their votes for a win in polls of various Legislative bodies, are ‘they’ and the also growing numbers of the land’s people eligible to exercise their right to vote and getting willingly ensnared at regular intervals are ‘us’. While both numbers are rising steeply year after year, given a) Increase in the number of political parties as well as activists, majority of whom comprise the country’s youth and b) Addition to the number of voters as a result of people crossing the age norm for eligibility to vote, the ideal of governing the nation and its multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-faith, multi-ethnic, multi-this and multi-that without disruption of life has clearly got clouded amidst the deafening cacophony of the politicos who have once again embarked on their game of sounding the poll bugle, ahead of the election to the nation’s highest Legislative body, Lok Sabha, due in a few months from now.
The effort and expenditure (of public funds) that go with the conduct of election on a national scale would be worth of both but for the fact that nearly one-third of the electorate keep away from the polling booths, and more importantly, the flock of vote-seekers who make it to the Legislative bodies are those with undesirable profiles, barring a few exceptions.
Call it a paradox or whatever, the land’s people who express their dismay at the rapidly deteriorating law and order scene across the country far outnumber those who are obligingly cooperating with the politicos of the day but yet prefer to remain mute witness to the goings on in their land. The vote-seekers of Karnataka have just demonstrated the validity of the Churchill quote that there are no permanent friends or permanent foes in politics, but there are only permanent interests. Even unlettered people know what these permanent interests of the politicos are. For the benefit of the innocent among the land’s people, it may be made explicit that the permanent interest is to get rich quick by syphoning off public funds in the name of development.
‘They’ are ganging up to continue with their game of fooling the electorate. It is worse than to be naive to suggest that the millions of voters, namely ‘us’, put their heads together and beat the politicos in their own game. The idiom: If you don’t hang together, you shall be hanged individually, says it all.