AUTHOR: Jaiveer Singh
(Alumnus of The Lawrence School ,Sanawar)
Before anyone can make any assumption as to ascertain my political ideology, I would want to make it absolutely clear that this is an article not supporting the incumbent ruling party or opposing it, but rather an analysis of the factors which have helped the current dispensation remain in office with an increased mandate for yet another 5 years.
We might praise or criticise the current government on the various legislations it has brought into force during its tenure and its consistence propagation of an ideology which has been given various names, but only to differ from the side they come from. I intend to take the reader, through the course of my article across the various stages of psychological certainty which an average Indian goes through to make up his/her mind to go to the ballot and press the Lotus symbol.
Despite the various drawbacks of the incumbent government, why did the voter again go in its favour in 2019? Well, the answer to that is simple. The average voter did not see any feasible competition to Mr. Modi’s personality and power and thus the choice for him was clear. In a democracy, we choose the best from what we have been offered. It is impossible and impractical to hope and wait for a day when a candidate is expected across all sections of society and is flawless, in all political senses. In a democracy, this type of utopia should not, and frankly, can never exist. The beauty of democracy is difference of opinion and therefore, it is this competition, which actually strengthens democracy.
Let us talk about who clearly won the confidence of the voters in 2019. If you ask me personally, as an average Indian, whenever I go to vote, I take a risk. The risk which we are talking about here is our prediction as to who will run the country better for the next 5 years. Whenever we choose any candidate, we take a risk of giving the future 5 years of the Nation in his/her hands. Now, what is it which made the voters feel that the risk of giving 5 more years to Mr. Modi is the least?
Again reverting to my average Indian hypothesis, even after all the odds that this government might have, I would still go and vote for it as it satisfies the basic conscious of every Indian, that is has a vision, a leader, and the will to implement its vision.
Talking of the 2019 scenario, we could all see that the opposition was busy fixing its own house, and to a great extent, they failed at that too. Why do you think a voter will go and vote for a haphazard non-ideological coalition when it has a choice to vote for a sitting stable government. In this light, the choice for the voter was absolutely clear.
Let me remind all those people who call the incumbent dispensation autocratic and an enemy of democracy, after imposing the drastic emergency of 1975, Indira Gandhi did lose the next election of 1997 due to her non-democratic nature, but within a matter of 2 years, the Janata Party alliance broke down and lost support from its partners whose primary aim was to oust Indira Gandhi in 1997. The public was frustrated and again brought back Mrs. Gandhi to power in 1980, thus preferring her stable government over an unstable, non-ideological facade of governance. From this, it becomes absolutely clear that the Indian voter will not take the risk to oust an incumbent stable government until and unless it is given a strong alternative and not an ideological mix up, as in 2019.
Looking at the way forward, the only party which has the capacity to challenge the dominance of BJP at a national level is the INC. However, this party seems to be more concerned with the dominance of the ‘Gandhi Dynasty’ within and does little to improve the overall Congress at grassroots. Let me say this in the most clear terms possible, India will not accept a leader who simply does not seem to be serious or interested in the responsibility people of his party want him to take. Till the time Congress remains under a non-potential dynasty, which has clearly lost its competency, it can never challenge the humongous organisational structure and election management as practised by the ruling party.
I want to say to those liberals who day in and day out critics the ruling party, if you truly want to make a difference and bring about a change, you need to understand the nature of Indian Politics and the fear which is instilled in the minds of the common Indian to vote for some other party. The best way forward for such liberals would be to raise serious questions on the working of the Congress as till the time the Indian voter does not see a viable alternative, it is extremely hard to believe that it will take that big a risk to change the status-quo, even in 2024!
In the end, I would like to leave you all with a thought. Will you rather want to live in an India which at least has something known as a stable democratically elected Executive or under the rule of a rubber stamp President, which in the absence of a stable Executive, would have the constitutional responsibility to maintain status quo without progress? I think the choice here is ampiclear…