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Shed Complacency


So, the final bugle has been sounded! There will be no quarter given, if ever it was the norm. Every little advantage will be sought, as is obvious from the lamentations that have started already, be it with regard to the seven phase election in West Bengal, or the ‘clash’ of the timing with Ramzan. And the people’s desire that they have better public representatives this time around will be fulfilled to some extent, and betrayed, as usual, in other ways. Everybody can only hope that people will have worked out the selection criteria from past experience – successes and failures – and a better idea of what they want.
The hurdles, of course, will be the same old ones, as well as new ones that have emerged from the perception battle being fought on social media. People will be sought to be herded on the basis of caste, creed, personal peeves, insecurities, prejudices, etc., by those who have perfected the art of negativity. As always and everywhere, the doers find it more difficult to drum up support, simply because their prescription involves taking responsibility. In a culture where people have been encouraged to just ‘take’ sops before and during elections, it would be hard to inculcate the discipline necessary to not be influenced by petty and immediate interests.
It is also a fact that never has India needed a discerning electorate more than at the present. One can only hope that the events of the past nearly five years will have added to the maturity of the people to the extent that they understand the needs of the nation and be willing even to accept the possible sacrifices it might require. As always, there is particular hope from the first time voters, because they represent a new generation that has an even greater stake in the future, and a deeper understanding of what that future requires. It is important that the necessary improvement takes place in the selection process – as has always happened during every general election. If there is anything the past five years have taught us is the fact that India cannot continue in the miserable ways that were the norm in the past. Change is imperative at every level – there can be no going back to the complacent belief that socialist tokenism will meet the needs of the people. Even flawed delivery will do, because it provides experience and the knowledge to make improvements. Without delivery, however, there can be no hope. India should go with the doers, rather than the talkers, because it cannot afford to be complacent anymore.