Voters don't forgive - GulfToday

Voters don't forgive

Shaadaab S. Bakht


Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.


People attend a political rally in New Delhi.


Promises win power, performance its perpetuation. The ruling Indian dispensation would have done well to remember that in the interest of the country, the party and those forsaken by destiny and abandoned by politicians. But it didn’t because power sedates reason. I have been a terribly unhappy believer of that time-tested reality. My thoughts often see me grimacing about that unfortunate side of power. Therefore, the outfit heavily sedated by its victory at the Centre and in 19 states in 2014, boasted that it was ready to rule for half a century from panchayats to Parliament in a Congress-free India. It took its voters for granted.

And instead of concrete measures to help the poor it took to window-dressing and, of course, focused on non-economic issues like the imposition of Hindutva, symbolised by the party’s original strength — the pledge to construct the Ram temple in Ayodhya — and the protection of the cow, sacred to Hindus.

As debt-ridden farmers committed suicide news platforms got busy releasing photos stressing the value of yoga.  

The cow is indeed sacred for millions, and we must respect that, but to establish that sacredness through murderous action on the strength of numbers is unpardonable...

But the victors forgot that tummy on a matted floor, posterior and head skywards followed by a deep breath neither quenches thirst nor satiates hunger.

It conveniently ignored the fact that a starving man and a thirsty child find it hard to breathe. Leave alone deeply.

Again, in the name of flushing out black money it launched a demonetisation campaign, which turned out to be a horror for the common man. It made people stand in lines for hours to exchange currency notes, which were legally earned. It was funny because billionaires with illegal wealth merrily fled the country. Moreover, it is impossible to get rid of black money in the above manner because it’s always a flow and never a stock.

And, of course, the ruling group’s emphasis on resurrecting the cow’s holy status also used up huge parts of its precious elected time.

Incidents of mob lynchings by cow vigilante groups, enjoying the party’s membership, has spiked, with 44 people killed in cow-related attacks between May 2015 and December last year, says Human Rights Watch.

The cow is indeed sacred for millions, and we must respect that, but to establish that sacredness through murderous action on the strength of numbers is unpardonable and goes against the ethos of a nation founded on values.   

The outfit dared to ignore the age-old path to national progress that always wound through potable water (West Bengal, a non-ruling party state, has scrapped the water tax), affordable food (Tamil Nadu, a non-ruling party state, has floated subsidised canteens), safe homes, cheap clothes and sound education. The defiance could turn its summer too hot to remain sedated.

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