Campaign to vote: Illusion or Farce?

With elections round the corner all we hear these days is about the importance of our vote. With campaigns like “Jaago re” and “Lead India” we sure hope that we can get an improved government this time. All these campaigns claim to be reaching a number of people, if you happen to be a member on Facebook, you can see new initiatives of Lead India Campaign each day. The latest campaign is the one asking people to prevent criminals like Salim (the character from Slumdog Millionaire) from being born. Jaago Re, primarily, targetted at the youth and first time voters, has also made a good impact over the television. So this time we will vote and elect the best person as our minister.


Or is it that we are just assuming too many things here. Are we hallucinating about the “GOOD” government that we will get in this election or are we just running away from the big reality. I feel, and it is just my opinion, that all these campaigns are farce and do nothing to influence anyone, not even the youth that they claim to be the founding stone of the empire.


Let’s take few examples to illustrate my point of view. More then 30% of Indian population lives below the poverty line and by poverty line I mean those people who survive on less than 1 dollar per day. So we should just forget about influencing these 30% people through such campaigns. Practically, even 2 dollars per day is not sufficient these days to eat and survive and another 15% people fall in this category. So that makes it 45% of people who will not be interested in which government comes and which goes. How are we tapping these 45% people? By facebook? By Jaago re campaign? The truth is that these people are not being targeted. And sadly these are the people who need to know about the benefits of having a good government.


Now let’s take a look at the educated class of the country and for that let’s go to one of the premier institutes of the country: Jawaharlal Nehru University.


Recently a highly reputed professor of the institute had filed a case against a woman stating that she had used the word “Ansari” against his name. His argument was that the word was meant for a lower caste and as such the woman had defamed him by attaching the word to his name. And surprisingly the professor teaches sociology in the Institute. Just imagine what kind of impact he must be having on today’s youth. One walk across the campus can make you realise that the youth is involved in such dirty politics. Assuming that these people would be helping India in getting a great leader is just preposterous.


Now let’s talk about youth who wants to vote. What are the choices available to them? He has to choose from the pool of people contesting election from his area. What if all the people are not capable enough to be a leader? What will the INDIAN YOUTH do at this situation? He has to vote as all these campaigns have been asking him, but for whom?


Let’s also take a look at people who don’t want to vote, which by any count are more than the ones who want to vote (count me in this category only). Even if I elect a very nice person from my constituency what will be the benefit? One single person cannot do anything in a country where we have more than 500 members of Parliament.


Then there is a major crop of youth which lives outside their own cities. Will these campaigns influence them to return to their city for a day just to cast their important vote? The only reason that can motivate them would have been good leaders and not these campaigns.


I know it all seems too negative for a lot of people’s liking, but I like being realistic. All the campaigns that we have seen (vote, vote for good people, vote for educated people) are not going to bring any change in our society.


The real change would be seen only if the youth decide to get into politics without any previously flashed agenda of a major party. But the point is, who will do that? Politics is a dark and stinky pit where no one wants to enter. All we can do is try to choose the best one from the available lot. The real change would be there only when we get youth politicians, which sadly will not happen anytime soon.


I really like Rahul Bose’s ideology. He makes sense whenever he speaks on television. But will he enter into politics to help India? The answer is no, and no one else would also think about taking such drastic steps.


And the sad part is these campaigns make people think that they are making changes while they are not. Will there be any difference if 100% people vote in the election and same government comes to power which had won when only 50% of the people voted? There would be none. Moreover there will be more discontent among people.


Right now we don’t need to hear speeches about how important our vote is. I already know that. I say “give me a right candidate and I will vote, else I won’t”. Is there any solution to my problem?


With majority of the Indian youth busy with drugs, sex and parties, it doesn’t look like they are even bothered with which government comes to power. The youth can cry when things go wrong, but will not take a step to make a change. Sadly, this is the truth. People who want to vote don’t have the right candidates. And for people who don’t want to vote, election doesn’t matter at all.


Another major flaw in these campaigns is the methodology they have adopted. Internet and television is not the most suitable channel of spreading the propaganda as it is a partial medium. If efforts are made to visit slums and rural areas things might change, but not without that.


A campaign regarding ‘finding suitable candidates’ would have been much better than a campaign asking people to vote.


And if the youth really wants to make a change then sacrifices would be needed from them. Entry into politics can be the first step. Without this, all the efforts and hue and cry about importance of vote won’t matter.


The bigger question is who will risk everything for a lost cause, for a lost country?

Pradyuman Singh Rawat

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