Democracy spares none - GulfToday

Democracy spares none

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.

India Elections Vote Count

Picture used for illustrative purposes.

The results of the Indian general election, announced on June 4, 2024, once again underlined the age-old belief among seasoned practitioners of democracy that those in power have to fulfil the promises, big or small, they make during electioneering. The business of statecraft is no different from any other business. Its soul is also give-and-take. All talk about serving the people makes me laugh.

In a democracy, the leaders can protect themselves against bullets, but not ballots. In other words, they are not ballot-proof.

The business of statecraft is no different from any other business.

This first struck me in high school when I used to debate seriously hoping to become a politician one day. Then deliver inflammatory speeches, trigger trouble and later work on dousing the flames sparked by the trouble consolidating my political standing. My wish remained unfulfilled.

India Election Celebrations
Picture used for illustrative purposes.

Coming back to the Indian election.

When the temperature goes below 10-degree centigrade and when some Delhiites, sitting just about 10 kilometres away from the most important house in the country, burn trash to keep themselves warm, the sight hugely disturbs those who can afford beds and blankets. Some even

decide to distribute blankets among the needy, but we all know that the real answer has to come from those who sit in the house, the members of Parliament.

That’s because they have the power to plan, access to funds and the best of skilled personnel. But if they ignore the free flaming of garbage and don’t bother to bin the pain of the underprivileged they naturally will be made to vacate their seats, which I am told are far more comfortable than other chairs because they are cushioned by authority.

A large number of contestants were unseated this time because they did little as plots of land were being acquired for urban development and the compensation given to their owners was terribly inadequate. This was reported by a leading Indian newspaper.

The other reason being given for defeat by some sitting lawmakers is the cost of living crisis.

Voter disaffection could also be blamed on healthcare facilities in small towns. Granted, too many people have to be looked after in too many places, but to a helpless and sick man this argument doesn’t really appeal. His last or only hope is his extremely powerful elected representative.    

And he is not wrong in feeling so because some legislators have won their seats for the third time. If the electorate had been unhappy with the elected then this wouldn’t have happened.

There is no doubt that the country’s international image has been given an enormous boost by the ruling party, but the majority of my countrymen live in the villages. And for them it is either their ovens burn or they burn with rage. And nothing helps us understand that better than democracy.

Well, the new lawmakers, led by an astute politician, are in. They took the oath of office on Sunday at a colourful ceremony in the presence of international leaders and celebrities. Among them were Shah Rukh Khan and Raveena Tandon.

I am sure they will ensure that no one goes hungry to bed, no one is left thirsty and everybody has the means to keep their lives going. And India remains the talking point when the wise of this world meet.


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