There are many issues that are always revolving around an election. Firstly, whenever an election comes up, no matter if it’s a municipal or a state assembly or a panchayat election there is a lot of talk amongst the common people about the elements like money, caste and religious based voting. I don’t think this year’s elections (16th Lok Sabha & Assembly elections in 7 states) will be any different. The major issues are :
1. Cash for Votes :
The issue of money exchanging hands between the voters and the party workers campaigning for a contestant has become a prevalent practise in our system and is very much an open secret. One may not find this practise in the urban areas but this the ground reality in the rural areas, small towns and villages. The senior politicians and the new aged highly educated politicians are equally to be blamed for this set up of a bad precedent, thereby mocking the true meaning of the word ‘Democracy’. There have been been reports of unaccounted cash being seized regularly but this practise never stops and most of this wrongdoing gets swept under the rug.
2. Fake Voters :
The issue of fake voting is a longstanding one. The voter ID registration process is not really transparent and clean and almost everyone can get the voter ID card by the process that is being followed. The people are brought to the polling booths by an arranged transport system, in few cases they are even lured by providing them with alcohol. Recently on a social media network, a woman from Bangalore came up with a post saying there were many Bangladeshi citizens in her locality, who migrated to India hardly an year ago and were applying for the voter ID cards on the basis of having the Aadhar and the PAN cards. Such migrants are encouraged in every possible way by appeasing them with jobs, shelter and subsidies by the Government that seeks their support during an election. It’s a baffling fact that the Aadhar and PAN card holders need not be Indians and based on those cards they are being considered for the provision of a voter ID card. This just cannot happen without any support and external pressure from the people in power, who are good at making things happen behind the scenes with no fear of law and clearly suggesting that political mileage is what they are interested in by increasing their votebank tally. All such fake voters, who do not even connect to the basic concepts of India contribute significantly in the outcome of the polls.
3. Vote Banks :
Votebank politics for me is the cheapest way one would think of coming to power. ‘Unity in Diversity’ , a motto which India brags about but there’s a massive division in the Indian society amongst many people, thanks mainly to the countless castes, languages and various religions. No matter how much one denies this, it’s the actual reality of the scenario right from the backward regions to the urban Thakurs, Rajputs, Jats of northern India to the Reddy, Gowda and Iyer communities down south. The politicians go to the electorate and make irresponsibly inflammatory speeches to seek votes in the name of caste and religion and that is where the fuel is added to the fire. It’s like business asusual for them where they can stoop to new low levels just to gain power and run their show of strength. I feel, the parties which are the self certified guardians of the concept of ‘Secularism’ in India, which accuse other parties of polarising the votes for political gains are the real wreckers of this society by disrupting the little communal harmony and by building a communalised and polarised atmosphere around the elections.