…and why I will vote for it anyway
The upcoming general elections will be the first time I’ll be eligible to vote. The last time they were held, I was 17, one year short of being eligible for franchise, but I never thought the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) needed extra votes. However, as the results were declared, I watched in frustration as the Congress (Indian National Congress, shortened to Congress) and its allies went past the BJP. The frustration changed to annoyance when the Left front (read Communists; yes, we still have communists in India, clinging on to their obsolete ideals) lent outside support to the Congress and helped them form the goverment. And this was followed by disgust after the drama over who’d take 7, Race Course Road. This time though, I wonder why I’m still favouring the BJP.
The recent events must have cast a huge question mark over the credibility of the BJP. Firstly, they have a rift between the party general secretary and the party president. I mean, it’s not a rift between two party workers in Chhattisgarh; it is a rift between Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh. Worse, their Prime Ministerial candidate (and heir-apparent to A.B. Vajpayee) L.K. Advani says there is no internal friction. Three bigwigs walking totally out of sync. How can you expect this group of people to perform if elected to power?
And then there’s the saffron factor. Varun Gandhi was supposedly the BJP’s counter to Rahul Gandhi, though the former was never given a fraction of the spotlight which the Congress gave to their prince-in-waiting Rahul. Now, Varun is well on its way to join the fundamentalistic faction of his party, the one which is rapidly losing the support of our generation, not so much because of its anti-Muslim ideology, but because of its inefficiency. Despite repeated attempts by the moderate section of the party to distance itself from the hardline stance, they have failed. This is clearly visible in the way the party initially was disapproving of Varun’s near-fanatic statements a few days ago, but has now thrown its weight behind him. Almost enough for me to declare my vote is up for grabs.
However, when I look to the other side, I find the Congress has even bigger flaws. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an erudite, experienced and honorable man no doubt, is probably the weakest person to head the Executive. Meek and soft, he has always lacked the kind of aggressive confidence Vajpayee exuded even when his knees were literally crumbling under him. Still, I expected him and his Finance Minister, the equally skilled P. Chidambaram, to form a very stable partnership and keep the Indian economy booming, but they failed there too. Of course, they were held down by the omnipresent Left who sometimes almost made the entire Government look like socialists. They even tried to pin down the Civilian Nuclear Deal with the US, because oh, your Government stand because of our support, so you cannot strike a deal with Capitalist pigs. Thankfully, the deal went through, a great leap forward in our quest for self-sufficiency in energy, though I doubt what hidden clauses it contained.
Then came 26/11, the details of which I shall exclude here. The Congress, and sadly, many Indians, believe that we won the post-26/11 pseudo-war. But we have not. Pakistan has successfully diverted attention away from the Mumbai attack by instigating the failed rebellion in Bangladesh (which queerly happened as soon as the pro-India Sheikh Hasina formed the government there), and by creating a false state of turmoil within its own borders. Pakistan did not concede anything, and all India achieved was a temporary international pressure on it. Ask Sonia Gandhi and she’ll tell you it’s even bigger than Kargil ’99. Of course, she is the Congress party’s HRH (her royal highness, if you missed it). Mahatma Gandhi never ruled India, but his lesser descendants are definitely ‘the’ dynasty in Indian politics. And HRH Rahul Gandhi will soon take the baton from the Queen Mother.
But one thing for which I will never forgive the Congress is the implementation of the second wave of reservations for the so-called backward classes. Many of these backward people can be seen dangling gold watches and carrying around laptops but hey, they’re backward because they’ll vote for the party who fooled them by reserving seats in higher education while not doing anything for primary education. As part of the academia, I cannot find a more blatant insult to the intellectual capital of the country than this. I know the BJP, in the shape it is right now, is not fit to rule my country, but it is still far better than the Congress. You decide whom you wish to choose.
Exercising the fundamental right to vote the fundamental duty of every citizen.
Go to jaagore.com to find out how you can register to vote. Its easy and simple, so do it.