Thursday, 7 April 2011

Vote for me!

Election time in Tamil Nadu and it's the same story all over again. Promises upon promises and vows to do nothing but work tirelessly for the welfare of the state. This post has nothing to do with political affinities. It only reflects upon the sad state of affairs in our country where bribery and corruption have become an integral part of everyday life. People have been conditioned into convincing themselves that it is not wrong to demand something in return for a favour. In this case, our politicians demand our votes in return for all the "welfare measures" that they are going to implement. The run-up to the election is just a teaser of all the good things waiting. IF voted to power.

  I have to admit that I'm saddened deeply. Not just because of the state of affairs in TN but the country in its entirety. With revelations of countless scams and corruption cases being opened each day (only to remain unresolved for decades), it is quite obvious that we are not a poor country. Heck, it is a disgrace to call ourselves a "developing" nation. We could have already become a superpower, what with the resources and intellectual abundance we possess. But there is something fundamentally wrong in the way our system works. Most of us close our eyes to the flaws in its fabric. We see the frayed edges, the gaping holes in the center, yet we either choose to ignore them, or, like in most of our cases, we feel helpless. We search for avenues which will help us look for remedies to these problems and in the end, it only feels like a futile attempt to walk straight with eyes closed.

  Elections come and go but our leaders don't. They find ways to stay at the top and things remain the way they always have. Problems of bogus voting, death threats, and of course, freebies being doled out in massive generosity are the highlights of elections these days. It is truly astounding to list out the promises made, just to be voted back to power. Petty issues are given importance and the causes that truly matter remain sadly forgotten. Instead of giving out food mixers and laptops, a lot could be done to promote free education for underprivileged children and possibly, improve the existing midday meal programmes which will prove to be a positive catalyst for poor parents to send their kids to school. Money could be put into improving the infrastructure of cities and towns. Healthcare facilities could be prepped up. There is no end to listing things that could actually improve the standard of living of a state's population.

 There are some things that I just cannot understand. In a state where electricity is as unpredictable as rainfall in the Sahara, air conditioners are being promised. Laptops for students, free gold, free rice, free clothes, free bus passes, free housing, free pension- it is nauseating. People who don't have money to eat three decent meals a day cannot afford to make use of mixer-grinders and air conditioners! The absurdity of the current scenario prevailing in the state is simply overwhelming.

 As responsible citizens we are encouraged to exercise our right to vote. And use it to vote responsible leaders to power. Very few independent candidates who are qualified to make well-reasoned decisions contest in elections. In general, we do not want to enter the murky waters of politics. Not because we are apprehensive but because we think it is too hopelessly corrupt for us to actually attempt effecting a change. There is a lot of debate among the educated, responsible circles, but is there a way to find a solution to this disease that spreads like cancer with time? Can there be a revolutionary social movement that will instill some fear in our leaders and poke them into leaving their corrupt, anti-social ways? It is time we were given some answers.