I am excited to be watching a season special drama, the Drama of Election. The election in Arunachal, as I see, is apparently full of dramas. It is well scripted and adeptly staged so much, that if one makes a movie on it, it will hit the box-office and could even earn more than Bahubali! The drama commences with the sudden ‘awakening’ of the leaders, who had remained in slumber for past four years. They try their best to appease the masses through various heroic social services in the last one year and the saddest part is that the public get reeled in or rather say fooled so easily! As the process goes on, the plot thickens. The risen leaders now have restless nights and take on the sport of lobbying for party tickets; as it is generally the sport tradition that the one who gets the party tickets win! The leaders who remained almost incognito for the last four years suddenly become all visible and advertently make themselves accessible to the public of their constituency. The drama gets more interesting towards the climax, when the election gets started.
I vividly remember how our families used to abstain from visiting each other during the election time due to their belongingness to various political parties. If I asked them for the reason, they would say that ‘Ami e doubt pelo’ meaning ‘people will doubt them’. So in order to maintain their loyalty to their respective political parties they do not visit each other until the election finds its closure. Is not it funny? Why do we allow politics to intervene into the middle of our relationships? Who is fooled? The election is becoming a game of Clan Politics. The most famous dialogue is “Apna ristheydar ko dena hay vote” as if the leader is the leader of their own family and clan. As a result, only the larger clans get in the power and the smaller clans are being supressed. How long will this system continue? A leader is not a leader of a particular clan or organisation but he/she is a leader of the whole society.
One cannot afford to ignore the central crux of the drama- money, and in some places muscle power. People become so rich in election period that they buy cars, bikes, sophisticated mobile phones etc. Even the poorest person in the village starts demanding the costly whisky/wine. One of the most misleading ideas of taking money during election is that –people reason that since they usually receive nothing due from their leaders, it is smart and even fair to take money. However, what they do not realise is that, in actual they are not taking money from their leaders; rather it is their ‘own’ due money which is being siphoned off by the corrupted leaders. Now, who is the fool or who is the one being fooled, see the twist? Eventually, the victory belongs to the one who is in power.
An ugly cycle of dramatic events keep continuing and by the time people realise its consequences it is already late and it becomes almost too hard to defeat the one who is in power. To defeat the one in power again it requires a representative who is rich and who belong to a larger clan. In such a situation, which we have all contributed to, how will potential leaders who may belong to poorer families yet good, will even think about standing up for the election? In the whole plot of this ugly cycle of election, the game losers will be the ones who belongs to the poorest sections of the society and of the smallest clans. It is unfortunate that the voters do not understand their real power. The lust for money blinds their own eyes as much as their leaders. I often say, “Those who sell their vote does have the right to criticise their leader for being corrupted.” I strongly believe that if the society stands up for “no money politics” then a good leader will eventually come out. Therefore, in a sense, the society is solely responsible for the kind of leaders we have. In the midst of this drama, a stunning action that is quite thrilling is that the leader bows down to the public! And each voter is being so-called ‘valued’. The one who is in power notices even the poorest of the poor. I think this is the best time where the people can exercise their power by kicking out the bad leader and accept the right one. Therefore, who is now more powerful- the Public or the Leaders? Your answer will decide the finale.
The drama of Election gets over and soon another interesting sub-picture starts to play out. The elected leader begin to act like a King with his close-aid who gain a special place in his kingdom. The king will divide the pieces of cake to his favourites and the ones who voted him. There is also a quarrel among his workers to get the biggest shares of the cake. However, the biggest share of cake always goes to the king himself or his favourites. Sadly, the ones who did not vote him are left out. In doing all this, the king and the people, forget that the very duty of the king is to take care of the needs of his people! He is the king of all, irrespective of who vote or not voted him. Nevertheless, being in power, he is only concerned in filling up his own tummy. Soon again, he goes to his seasonal slumber, and again in the last year of his term he will suddenly wake up and will try to appease the people again. Therefore, the ugly cycle of election goes on and on and on. However, there is a way out. I hope it is not an exaggeration if I say the holy sword of liberation lies in the hands of the people themselves to point the right person and finally break this ugly drama of election. No corrupted leader wants us to know this. Time to wake up, stand up and choose the right representatives, ‘now’. May a new drama, a drama of justice, hope, and happiness dawn on us all this coming election.
Assistant Professor (Economics),
Jomin Tayeng Government Model Degree College, Roing