The 2019 elections are the first time I will be voting in a national election. Ever since I turned 18 I have been legitimately excited at the prospect of casting my ballot and making my voice count. But with the state of political discourse in this country worsening day by day, I find myself, for the lack of a better word, confused.
Must I vote? Will it count?
Maybe. I am not too sure
Who do I vote for?
If you asked me right now who I would vote for, the answer would be some gibberish that is more difficult to understand than Sambit Patra’s news appearances. The reason for that is simple- I cannot support any political party wholeheartedly because all of them are a bunch of well-articulated scam artists.
Call me a pessimist if you want but this is what I believe. Take any top level politician and you’ll find that he has a shady past (and yes, I said he because women politicians are as rare as good shows on Indian TVs). As if doing shady things is a rite of passage to becoming a “lawmaker”.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in student politics. Take DU’s case, for example. It is a fact that anyone gunning for a place in the student council is either a goon himself or leading an army of them.
Be it ABVP or NSUI, they will create havoc and break things and people to get what they want, instead of talking about it, like normal people.
And these goons aka ‘student politicians’ are the people who get elevated and become MLAs and party functionaries, people who actually have a say in how the country works. Should I vote for these people? I can’t bring myself to trust them to make laws when they actively break them.
If I do vote for them, I am effectively endorsing their actions and becoming complicit in their crimes.
It is because of my vote that they have the power they are misusing, and it becomes extremely difficult for me to reconcile myself with that fact.
I just don’t relate to my representative
The average age of an Indian lawmaker is over 50 years, our PM is 68, I am 20. Even on a very basic level, our concerns, world-view, instincts are totally different.
I know that 20-year-olds cannot manage the country, we can barely manage a relationship. But there has to be a focus on youth issues and a strong youth voice in politics.
Our politics is dictated by a decade old understanding of the Indian diaspora. I don’t want to talk about the Ram Mandir or how bad Nehru was, I want to talk about the reasons behind the night sweats that a job hunt causes.
I want to talk about how rampant industrialization and the industry-politician nexus is degrading the environment. I want to talk about how education is taking a backfoot in this country, how fake news is such a big problem, how the air I breathe is killing me.
These are the things I want to talk about because they matter in the long term. I would appreciate if lawmakers sat down and TALKED about it instead of disrupting parliament and waving banners to tow the party line so that they can gain brownie points.
Divide and Rule v2.0
The British left us with three things, the English language, the railways, and a foolproof strategy to stay in power- divide and rule.
See, they figured out how to keep our attention diverted. Like parents distract kids with toys, so did the British. They deepened existing fault lines and created new ones, leveraged the hate that existed deep underneath and brought it up to the surface in its ugly magnificence.
And after independence, our politicians realized that HEY! We can do that too!
Be it Rajiv Gandhi’s move in the Shah Bano case to pander to the Muslim vote or the BJP’s pivot towards hard Hindutva to pander to kattar Hindu vote or even the near constant caste politics, politicians in India have sought to play dirty divisive politics to secure vote banks.
Just a cursory look at the political discourse in the country reveals a highly polarised atmosphere that is rife with mistrust. People on the Right don’t trust people on the Left. Anyone with a leftist leaning is branded a communist (dude, do you even know the difference?) and by some metrics, even an anti-national.
Everyone on the Right is unquestionably an andh-bhakt and his/her views have to be discounted by the clique of “intellectuals” that dominate the Left.
Secularism is being anti-religion and being religious means you cannot be progressive.
So, instead of preaching a message of hope and uniting the country, we have an entire political class that is geared towards keeping us apart and staying in power.
I know that my issues are different from that of a farmer in Chhattisgarh or a salaried employee in Tamil Nadu or even my neighbor next door. I know and recognize the fact that I cannot dictate how politics works.
I can, however, tell you that I am confused. And I want to vote.
Isn’t that a travesty?
Reach the blogger at: @tanmaymay_
Image Source: Google Images
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