Elections and the politics of appeasement

Dear Editor,
As the State Legislative Assembly Election is nearing, no doubt all the aspiring Candidates must be going through sleepless nights. All the candidates like a shopkeeper keeps their shops open with all kinds of appeasing rates. Our valuable voters goes on visiting every stalls, bargains, sell their votes at the most suitable price.
Political appeasement and luring the voters has become a cultural trend in Arunachal Pradesh. Unlike what we heard and see in the mainstream India where the politics of appeasement are based on Caste reservation, religious, linguistic and communal basis but in AP it is about materialistic and monetary appeasement. Our voters are lured and trapped with cars, bikes, ornaments and money.
Whenever the politics of appeasement takes over the principles of our ideal politics, the outcome are disastrous. We know how such illegal practices of “Cash for Votes” by our rulers and politicians have created the havoc in socio-political fabric of our society.
Every year with a succeeding government, the poor citizens has to pay the price for such political malpractices in the form of financial losses to the state, lack of development, in the form of loss to the human resources. Corruption has become a necessary evil. While the saddest part is that our political leaders are reluctant to learn anything from the past and try to bring any changes. For them remaining in power is the ultimate aim for which they never hesitate to cross all the limits. Taking undue advantage of the poor voters is the policy which our politicians always adopt.
Mizoram has many lessons to teach us. In the last Assembly election 2013, Mizoram was considered as the most peaceful and markedly “free and fair assembly election” the country has ever seen.
This could take place under the initiatives of Mizoram Peoples’ Forum (MPF) a forum constituted by the influential Mizoram Presbyterian Synod. MPF practically played a very crucial role during the 2013 State Assembly Election.
MPF had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with all the political parties in the state. The MoU was nothing but a set of rules to be followed and strictly maintain by all the political parties during the election process. It contains all the ‘Dos’ and ‘Do Not’ directives to all the political parties. The directives asked all the stakeholders to refrain from any kind of grand feasting, distribution of money or any materials to the voters by any candidate or political parties during the election. One of the directive points stipulated the political parties and candidates to make/announce an election manifesto which they could feasibly implement.
Pangngam Wangnaw,