Politicians are supposed to solve problems, not aggravate them. Unfortunately, come election time and they do not hesitate to stoke controversies without regard to the consequences. Elections are due in Karnataka, so the issue of Belagavi has suddenly been brought to the fore. Maharashtra wants it to become a part of its territory based on the fact that many residents of the area speak Marathi. Linguistic chauvinism has been on the churn in both states. The matter is in the Supreme Court but this has not kept politicians from raising it in the hope of consolidating their votebanks. The irony is that both states presently have the BJP in power.
Is this responsible politics? Or, is it part of the democratic process that brings issues to the fore when required and leads to people making their opinion known through the EVMs? Regional parties of the South are using the bogey of Hindi imposition as an electoral issue. The writing of history and its interpretation has become a contentious matter. Quite a few politicians seem to be taking India’s territorial integrity and security for granted as they push their agendas, seemingly unaware that irresponsible demands can lead to dangerous consequences. Khalistani terrorism is a case in point, as are the insurgencies in the North-East. Such politicians may be treated as fringe elements but there is no shortage of misguided individuals willing to take them seriously.
It is important, therefore, for the ordinary voter to realise the importance of choices made during election time. Casting one’s vote without taking into account the entirety of the situation ultimately costs the voter the most. As such, putting the nation high on one’s list of priorities is important. Only even more fundamental issues such as human rights, the health of the planet’s environment and such like can take precedence. One needs only to look at the conditions in other parts of the world – caused by the failure to function democratically – to know how much worse the situation can become. Voters need to acquire the ability to distinguish between the politician’s personal quest for power and their own genuine interest if matters are to go in the right direction.