Can a change in Indian electoral system be achieved?

Change is inevitable in any sector. The very object of Indian electoral system is about to moulder due to the exasperating practices followed by the politicians to win the game of elections. From one end, everyone pleads for the limpidness in government and from the other end the majority of the people never dither to accept the enthralling gifts offered to them in variety of ways by the contestants.

The present day Indian society, the prevailing political system in it and the increased corruption in the country, for sure, exact in the offing change in the whole electoral system. But, how can such a change are achieved? Can it be achieved in a short span of time?

Surely, a change can be brought in the minds of the voters or the so called society. The only means of achieving such a change is through effective communication. Communication is the life blood of every commotion in our day to day lives and with communication even a complex thing becomes simpler.

So much of research work has been done in the field of communication and the most eminent professors of communication Prof Arvind Singhal along with his mentor Everett M Roggers have given wide promotion to the concept called E-E concept. E-E stands for the Entertainment- Education. The most can be achieved when the masses are educated in an entertainment oriented milieu. Such an education aimed for patterning the pulses of the voters will surely achieve the desired change in the Indian electoral system. Nevertheless, the change may not be instantaneous as such, but the change will be for sure.

The Satmass Media (a word coined by the author) channels can be better utilised for the very purpose of educating the masses on the subject issue. Satellite Television is very effective among the rural masses. This medium best suits among all other media. So, the better utilisation of this medium can be done. For all this to happen, a detailed plan is to be chalked out. Eminent personalities from all walks of societies should come forward for such an unavoidable change and design the sketch accordingly. The media channels should own the responsibility and campaign collectively for such a change. In such a scenario, surely a dramatic change in Indian Electoral System will be achieved.


Indian polls: Independent contenders are the untrained ropewalkers

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.

Indian polls a mere encashment of sentiments

Plurality is the nature of Indian societies. Nevertheless, all Indians have matchless qualities when it comes to the affair of sentiment. Around the world, Indians are recognised as the syrupy people for high levels of emotional sentiments they have intrinsically. This becomes the crucial factor and plays a vital game as far as elections in India are concerned. Elections in India revolve around money, mostly. So, in India, it is wisely and aptly said as money politics.

Any politician irrespective of his stature and the party he belongs to need to spend so much of amount in various types to lure the people. Such luring is intended for the encashment of sentiments. It means the politicians try to catch hold of the inclination of the voters so as to make the voters think that they have taken something from the politician for which they should give something in return.

Situation become complex when all the contenders try to lure the people in a similar way. What turns fundamental in such a case is the comparison of indebting. What is meant by comparison of indebting here is nothing but the intensity of sentiments a voter has for one politician over the other. For example two contenders aspiring to gain a victory in the polls may lure a particular voter with Rs 500 and Rs 1000, respectively. The voter will surely think of voting for the politician who paid him more (if all other conditions like belonging to his/her community etc are otherwise fulfilled).

Encashment of sentiments of the voters is wisely done by the politicians. The game is won by the one who knows the impulse of the voters better than the other. So the actual contest is not on the ballot paper. It is outside settlement in a befitting way. Thus Indian polls are nothing but a mere encashment of sentiments.


Has state bifurcation played a blind game in AP?

An imperative decision of state bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh has a great impact in the alarming elections in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh making these elections very special. The politics in either state have been revolving around only issue – state bifurcation. Every stakeholder wants to get benefitted through state bifurcation in Telangana; conversely, when it comes to Seemandhra, no party wants to own the blame. This is a case of mere an exception that has ever seen by the voters of Andhra Pradesh.

The political equations of the state have been changing every now and then. There is no guarantee for the happenings till the time the polls are completed and the diktat is finalised. In Seemandhra, sometimes the wind blows in favour of YSR Congress Party and sometimes wind blows in favour of Telugu Desam Party. Similarly, in Telangana, the wind blows in favour of TRS sometime and in favour of Congress Party sometime.

Even it is not the case wherein the exit poll surveys can be relied upon for what one exit poll survey says is exactly contradicted by the other similar survey conducted by some other body or organisation. Surely, this introduces a misgiving into the picture if these are paid exit poll surveys. There is a great possibility for this as every political party wants to win the psychological impulse of the masses to lean towards their own political party. Whatsoever the case may be, state bifurcation has been playing the hidden blind game for quite some time for sure. Nevertheless, this alone is not the ruling factor in the polls, but a dominant factor for sure.

Do we Indians have a right to blame politicians?

The contemporary India has been adversely affected by the so called corruption and has been spreading length and breadth of the entire nation like the cancer syndrome. We often blame the politicians for the corruption. Are the politicians solely responsible for the prevailing situation? Don’t we have any share in this? Surely, politicians are not alone the stakeholders in corruption.

The Constitution of Republic of India defines ours as a democratic nation which is defined as of the people, for the people and by the people. Also, the election system followed in our country is such a beautiful arrangement that we people have the power to choose our own leader to represent our own constituency.

Conversely, franchising votes in India is governed by so many factors for Indian societies are very complex in nature. For that matter, a person who wants to contest in polls with a factual intention to serve the people will never get elected to the legislative institutions, if he does not satisfy various undefined conditions such as: belonging to the same caste of the majority of the populace from where he/she intends to represent; luring people with gifts and money, spending so much on campaigning etc.

It’s a matter of simple logic. How could a person who spends so much of money that amounts to crores of rupees towards elections will be honest enough to serve the people. Can we have a right to blame him if we accept his short-term hand-outs in any form to get a win for him in elections? Definitely, the answer is we cannot. The choice lies within us to choose between the good and bad leaders.

In this case, it is not even the political party an individual belongs to is to be looked at. It is not necessary that all leaders belonging to one particular party must be very honest. Generalisation cannot be done in this case regarding the goodness of the parties.

Just think and be prepared to blame the politicians for their wrong doing – for that we need to change our own attitude on priority!!

Lessons to be learnt from soldiers of Indian Armed Forces

The nation as a whole is nonviolent and makes everybody enjoy their own lives. Have you ever thought of the reasons behind such a wonderful life of enjoyed by all of us which are free from all sort of security related worries? It is just because of the diligent efforts put in by the Indian Armed Forces. They strive round the clock to safeguard our boundaries, our skies and our oceans. The result is of course known to everyone!!??

Here are few things which every individual can adopt from the great qualities uniquely possessed by an unknown soldier from any or all the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force):
  •          The value of discipline in every walk of life
  •          A thirst for adventure
  •         Fortitude to achieve set goals
  •          Practicing Unity in Diversity at all instances
  •          The true value of friendship
  •         Patriotic zeal
  •          Sacrificing for a purpose
  •          High standards of professionalism
  •          Maintaining one’s own integrity while expecting the same from others
  •         A positive attitude at all times
  •          Dependable in times of need

Can political parties abide by their manifestoes

Manifestoes become very vital for the campaigning to each and every political party. They are the most important starting places to lure the public before elections. There is no doubt that every political party carries out a research work before they formulate and bring out their party manifesto. They consider all those issues which obviously fetch them more number of votes. The entire thing revolves around the only issue – alluring the voters to get more number of votes.

If we clearly go through the party manifestoes, almost every manifesto shows heaven in the palm. The question that arises here is whether the promises made in the party manifestoes can be really fulfilled? May be yes and may no. The promises made by any political party in their manifestoes are not unattainable. They can be achieved. Nevertheless, such an act requires not only an able leadership, but also the team work accompanied with true spirit.

The contemporary politics are revolving around one particular leader from any given party. In my opinion every party has good leaders and bad leaders. It is the individual and his aspirations that run the show and not the political parties they belong to. For that matter, a person with true vision can do more justice than any political party as a whole could do. A local leader can truly do miracles by better utilizing the constitutional development funds alone. For everything what matters is a superior plan.

We have the evidences that many leaders failed to utilize the constitutional development fund allocated to their respective constituencies. A good example for the same is Sachin Tendulkar, who failed to utilize the funds allotted to his chosen area of development. Many similar examples can be quoted in this context.

In a democratic country like India, both the ruling and opposition parties are equally important. If the ruling party is to be considered as the stuff, the opposition party should become the container. Both are equally responsible to run the show. It is not necessary that all the decisions taken by the ruling government are required to be criticised by the opposition parties, as most of the decisions could have been taken in a similar way if the same opposition party could have been in power. Similarly, all those issues countered by the opposition party may not be considered as mere criticize. A thought can be given by the ruling party whether there is any truth hidden in the matter brought out by the opposition parties.

In the present day scenario, there are only coalition governments. Such governments need to pacify every constituent party, before they take any fundamental decision. In such circumstances, it is not possible for any political party to take wise decisions boldly by the major constituents as the same is occupied by some sort of hidden fear.

So much is said during the election campaigning by the politicians. However, not even a small portion of their own manifestoes is implemented by most of the political parties. All that matters is the dedication to do the things. If the political parties move with such an attitude both in letter and spirit, it is not very difficult to achieve the desired results. Yes, political parties can abide by their manifestoes, if they adopt true ideologies. The entire thing is the matter of an intrinsic issue and not purely extrinsic.

Present-day politics Vs body of voters

The looming elections in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are very special as they are just following an imperative decision of state bifurcation. The politics in either state have been revolving around only issue – state bifurcation. The same political party which claims that the separate statehood for Telangana was because of their own party puts forward another version in other region. This situation is almost applicable to every party with the only exception of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), for it is confined only to Telangana region. The clear examination gives the factual indication that every political party has been equally entrapped in the mesh of state bifurcation in some or other way.

Apart from this, political parties like TDP joined hands with BJP. Bharatiya Janata Party was poised over the issue that they would be winning more number of seats in Telangana region. Nevertheless, joining hands with Telugu Desam Party has surely diluted their chances of winning polls in Telangana region, as most of the people of Telangana region consider that the Telugu Desam Party supremo has strived till the last minute to his best to stop state bifurcation. Not only the alliance between the two parties has diminished the chances of BJP winning more number of seats in Telangana, but also has ignited fire in either party cadre. The dissident leaders have filed nominations as rebels in the polls. Most of them have not even withdrawn their papers. For sure such rebel candidates would pose a question mark on the winning chances of the candidate nominated by either party. Similar to this case, such situation is unbridled among Congress-CPI alliance too.

More so, the political parties have kept aside even the basic norms of politics during the campaigning for looming elections. None other than the Chief Election Commissioner has opined recently that he had never ever seen such nose-dive politics in his entire career. Such is the present day situation of state politics.

From the other end the media channels in the form of exit polls have been coming out with varied versions of statistics. In any survey, the sample chosen for the study will play a vital role in arriving at the unbiased results. For any research work validity and reliability become two crucial factors. Both these crucial factors are questioned by the different results emerged out of the exit poll surveys.

From the other end, so much excitement is created by the social media. The netizens want a change in the live politics. Nevertheless, most of them want themselves just to be onlookers of change. There is no doubt that change is inevitable and it will happen for sure. Even so, such a change is possible only through participatory communication. Vote is a vital weapon that could decide the future of any country. But, in the established situation a vote is auctioned by the individuals (many not be generalised) for meagre amount. Has any individual who auctions his vote for money a right to question his elected leader regarding the development issues. Corruption begins from home and nowhere else. A need of the hour is to put forward the true spirit of participatory communication through the power of vote by all the folks. For a reformed society, there is a need for every voter to get himself/herself reformed.  Is it not a valid point? Just think, before you vote!!

Can’t Bhadrachalam be saved?

A study conducted by the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS) let slips the fact that Polavaram irrigation project through its storage waters of the project on the Godavari River will surely dip the temple town of Bhadrachalam provided the storage exceeds the limit of 36L cusec at a level of 140 feet height.

With this study based report, the people of Bhadrachalam have been fuming over the government who didn’t bother to listen to the people’s woes in allocating the villages to Seemandhra (residual Andhra Pradesh). As many as 3L tribal people will get affected with the decision taken by the centre, apart from inundating the temple town Bhadrachalam itself.

Bhadrachalam, the temple town draws historical heritage, culture and the sentiments of most of the people who are associated with it. Therefore, it is most likely that there will be a strong opposition from the people of Residual Andhra Pradesh as well for Polavaram project in the prevailing design pattern, apart from the just round the corner threat from Telangana.

According to the ibid study report, in 1986 the spillway project Polavaram has been designed for the flood of 36L cusecs is the first of its kind in the last 500 years. If at all the dam level is maintained at 140ft from Mean Sea Level (MSL) at Polavaram, it will make the Bhadrachalam at 186ft MSL.

Reports reveal the fact that during the recent floods that hit the state, the MSL at Bhadrachalam was 180ft and the town was almost submerged. If so was the case in the normal set-up, what would happen if Polavaram project gets realized in the existing design pattern.

Prevention is better than cure. To keep up the good fortitude and protect the sentiments of the people, an imminent action is solicited at apposite level to preserve the temple town Bhadrachalam as well as the tribal people being affected.