Looking into the number of nominations received and the actual number of contenders in the fray for the ongoing polls in India reveals the fact that in some constituencies, the Election Commission had to supply as many as three EVMs as a single Electronic Voting Machine can accommodate only 16 contenders whereas the actual number of candidates are more and more. Because of more number of candidates in the fray, the circumstances disembarked so.
Do these independent candidates really contest to win was a question that was constantly bothering me. During my study, I found a few facts. Let it be a candidate who is nominated by any political party or the independent candidate, what matters is how far he will be able to pacify the people that enhances the winning chances of any candidate.
By now, most of the Indian voters have arrived at a conclusion that no politician would ever do anything for them. They consider all politicians the same who are good for nothing. Therefore, the voters never prophesy any benefit through their elected leaders. With this very thought, they look for the well-timed and on the spot benefit in the form of receiving some gifts either in monetary form or otherwise.
Coming back to the case of independent contestants, they fall in various categories. The major categories are:
- Intention to do good to the people with their experience gained through years
- Getting publicity
- To split votes to diminish the winning chances of other candidate
- Checking the fortune
A very negligible percentage of people, mostly scholarly people would like to vie in the polls as the independent candidates, so that, if they get victory they can do better things to the people irrespective of how small the populace he/she may represent. But, truly electing such candidates has an advantage over electing a dishonest person who is universally hopeless. For sure, the experience gained by such scholarly people through years will be very useful to the societies in its development.
Second to mention in this category is the publicity gainers. They are aware that they would never win the fight. Nevertheless, they contest the polls so that people would start identifying him, thereafter. Such publicity gainers are the majority among independent contenders.
The third category of independents is those who are in the fray purely to help some other candidate by splitting votes of his opponent. For example Indian elections depend on much number of external factors such as community, caste and so on and so forth. A candidate belonging to one particular party may deliberately ask someone from the same community of his strong opponent to fight the polls as an independent, so that, few votes can be diverted against his opponent. Such cases are also high in number.
Last, but not least to mention is the independent candidates who believe in self and want to check their fortune. Though they are very few in number, they take the entire affair very seriously and strive hard to win the game.
In conclusion, whatsoever may be the category of an independent candidate he belongs to, the journey of the independents is not superior to the feat of an untrained ropewalker. Nobody ever knows what would happen. Such will be the tension.