The Indian parliamentary election result is out at last! The marathon is over and the joy of crossing the finish line is doubled looking at the result. The day before everybody was anticipating a fractured verdict from Indian voters, where regional and other small parties would dominate the political scene. Many people were ready to watch a long political battle on television and horse-trading in the parliament. Some jittery stock market traders had envisaged Black Monday on 18th May, 2009. This was natural considering the prevalent politics and chaotic nature of functioning of the country. But, as many experts on the subject would say, there is a certain method to
· The winner takes it all, so credit goes to Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi. This election may be coming-of-age of Rahul Gandhi. He deserves all the accolades for bringing Congress back in UP. The boy is a man now! The man in the blue turban must be the happiest man. The other day Nandan Nilekani remarked that this is the win of sincerity. As the title song of Singh Is King goes, “Dil Agar Ho Sacha Rab Sab Karde Setting, Singh Is King... ” So Manmohan’s sincerity and integrity have struck chord with the voters. But the real reason I see behind the mandate is that people want a government which is neither right nor left. As a communist leader, Mohit Sen, once pointed,
· The biggest satisfaction I have from the result is the defeat of Left parties. They seem to be living in a different time, and the world has changed more than the color of the hair of some of the veteran Marxist leaders. It’s quite an achievement of Mamata Banerjee and Congress party to oust them in their own bastion,
· BJP was hoping to come back to power, but they in fact lost more seats than last time. The message is clear for them – They cannot be extreme right and they cannot win by only shouting about the non-existent issues. They should have disowned Varun Gandhi the moment his hate speech was delivered. They have to have some soft centrist leader, like Atal Behari Vajpayee, who sensed the nerve of the people of
· The most encouraging results have come from the different states. Voters in
The state of Tamilnadu has shown that LTTE’s struggle in
Mayawati has also got her rightful place in this election. She cannot fool the people every time with her much-hyped social engineering trick. Her ambition to move the elephant to the North Block in
· To term this result as the win of positives will be too simplistic view of a country like
· But what hurts the most at this point is the role, or absence of it, of media in this election. If this election was termed as “non-issue” election, the media had contributed more to it. They were busy showing how the small parties will have bargaining power, they showed shoe-hurling and politicians fighting war of words. But no body showed real issues – the condition of people at grass root level in different states, their aspirations, the hope in their eyes, and their urge for a stable, peaceful government. The media is one of pillars of democracy alongside judiciary, executive, and polity. I see other three pillars getting stronger right now but media has started becoming a weak link. In one of the post-result debates on a news channel, somebody rightly commented that the common man of this country is not going to understand even a word of their discussion. And he was dead right! Sitting in an air-conditioned news room, they will not have pulse of this country. They also need to connect to the people of this country like some of the politicians. Read Menaka Doshi’s blog for more.
· In hindsight we could have not asked for better outcome. We have a stable government now, which is pro-poor and pro-reforms. I just pray that Congress again doesn’t get bogged down by sycophancy and short-sightedness of tokenism. Also the new government has tough task to deal the extremists in the country – Naxalites and Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. Security has become important issue as
We almost forgot that we should congratulate the election commission of the country for conducting such a free and fair election in the largest democracy of the world. They deserve thumbs up – it’s not a mean task, in a diverse country like
Though, the biggest game-changer in the process was the faceless voter of the country. While we discussed endlessly about possible election outcome, he was working under sun, dreaming about a better tomorrow, for him and the coming generations. He had nothing to offer to the media in lip-service, but he made sure his vote offered this country what it really needed. He made the best choice when we feared the worst. Did I hear Jai Ho!?