Sunday, May 17, 2009

Lok Sabha Election 2009- Whose victory is it?

Iam not much of a regular news follower or an avid newspaper reader but have been glued to the news (even on radio when driving) entire of last week to know about the simple and basic principle of Indian Democracy-Elections.
Every news channel and every newspaper tried to predict and conducted exit polls and came out with their tally and said 'we will have a hung parliament,congress may win but not get support etc'. Once the results were declared,they said Congress has won and BJP lost and Left is not left with anything.
Everyone said the victory of Congress is because of party chief Sonia Gandhi,some said it is because of young leaders like Rahul Gandhi, some said it is the clean image of Dr. Singh and all the analysts had their viewpoint.
But I dont agree that this elections is a victory of Congress or loss of BJP. This election is a victory of 3 sets of people
1) The Election Commision: We had elections in 543 seats and except for some stray cases in West Bengal and Assam,there was peaceful elections everywhere with no instances of booth capturing,rigging,bribing voters or violence. Hats off to the EC for ensuring there is ample security and law & order maintained for this elections to be conducted in a free and fair manner.
Everyone criticised the Home Minister and said we cant provide security to IPL players and thus cannot protect our country but it was a sensible decision to say that my country needs free and fair election and I need to ensure that every citizen who comes out to vote is protected against both external as well as internal terrorists.
Besides providing a peaceful election this time, the EC also came out with a number of awareness campaigns and programmes asking each and every person to come out and vote.Every nook and corner of the city had billboards and posters urging people to vote and vote wisely.
2) Media: Media played a predominant role in increasing the number of new voters. Regular advertisements on TV and radio and newspaper urging people to vote. Some media persons took it on themselves to teach people some lesson who dont vote and started creating situations which emabarassed the non voters.
The media also provided information on clause 49(O). It is a different issue that people were not able to exsercise it due to executional flaws but people are aware that such a provision exists in our country and have tried to exercise it.
I would also like to include the online forums in the section of media who have definitely created a stir amongst the youth to come out and vote.Iam waiting for the election commision's detailed report and analysis of demographics of voters but am pretty sure that that 90% of the new voters are people in the age group of 18-30 who have come out and voted for the first time. It is these voters who have given that extra edge to Congress. Why congress? Currently among the youth, the entire argument is that they want to see younger faces and younger politcians and no other party has any young politician other than the Congress and thus the natural vote for Congress.
The ad campaigns had brought elections to coffee break,team meetings and kitty party discussions and turned a lot of 'I dont believe in voting' people to 'I will ensure that I get voter's card and vote next time'. That is the true sign of democracy
3)The Sardar journalist who threw the shoe: This elections might not be a direct victory for him since it supported a party that had not helped his community but it is a victory to the common man who could with his shoe get a party to change their candidate. Many of us had and have felt that we would have voted had there been a better candidate but done nothing about it. But this incident is surely a sign that people want change and will protest and demand a better candidate from their parties and the political parties will have no choice but to oblige. This election is a true victory to all those people who like the Sardarji wanted to throw a shoe or stone at a politician but were afraid to do so and thus instead of protesting withdrew and stopped voting.
The entire election is a sign that our country is becoming mature. It would take us another 40 years to get there compeletely but we have come a long way.We have movements, forums, discussions on elections and have created an environment where the people of the country decide who they want in the government. They decide who do they want to see as a candidate and it is the people of the country who are urging others to come out and vote.
This election is a victory to all those like me who have been excited about turning 18 so that they can vote. It has shown a change and positive one turning the non believers into believers. Turning the 'oh am so cool to vote' into saying 'dot hai toh hot hai' turning the 'oh voting doesnt help' to 'i will vote next time'
It is a victory to the essence of democracy where people feel they have a say and can have their way, be it in the form of choosing a non elected person as a PM or choosing employment,housing,better life and peace over religion,region and caste.
It is a lesson to the politicians that the citizens of the country are aware and mature and have enough support from media,online forums,organisations and EC to help them elect their government. So Mr Advani too bad you dint realise for the second time what the people of the country are capable of....

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