The choices we make

first_imgThe polls are not far. A subtle realisation of the same exists in the sub-conscience. For a democracy, general elections are more or less a festival. The entire mood of the country changes with the political parties rising from their slumber to proactively advocate either their novel offerings or abject criticism of the current incumbency. The mandate drives the politicos to great extent, sometimes breaking their personal threshold, in order to ascertain that the public is familiarised with their agenda. While the opposition parties carve lucrative sops to capitalise on the shortcomings of the retiring regime, the ruling party graces the opportunity of being in power by spreading its wings and taking the highest flight ever in the entire period hoping it will yield them tremendously. That is natural. The stated behaviour is rather expected. Polls draw out the eclipsed sincerity of the politicos which, otherwise, is expected across the incumbency. Democracy gets to experience permissiveness in all aspects with the people’s voices being heard, development ideas being circulated with full force, lacunae being rampantly tended to, a populist budget and an equally populist manifesto – a range of things presented in the national interest. Such work ethics, otherwise, can catapult any democracy into a fast-progressing one. Alas, that is not how affairs are once the polls culminate and the results provide new incumbency. In between the two extreme ends of the continuum lie the people who, by and large, acknowledge their choice by accepting whatever fraction of the promises have been delivered while simultaneously preparing for another mandate. In thought, our hopes are always aligned towards a choice that yields us more but in reality, it is more like a choice which will hurt us less. Time and again, polls have tinkered our curiosity over what all might be in store for the country, for us, once our choice assumes office. The high hopes with which the public mandate constituted the 16th Lok Sabha, after a long spell of the UPA government, certainly unpacked a series of surprises for us – beneficial or not is subject to perspectives. Fast forwarding to the final days of the current government’s term, a similar disappointment seems to exist in the minds of people as it did back in 2014. Plagued with inconsistencies in its decisions – Rafale, demonetisation, GST, a collective of ambitious schemes, et al – has not augured well for the ruling NDA. Yet, their appetite for pleasing the public seems larger than ever. With one eye on the Lok Sabha polls scheduled this summer, Union Cabinet and Cabinet Committee of External Affairs (CCEA) have jointly undertaken an astonishing 96 decisions in a fortnight pertaining to all sections of society. Farmers, youth, poor, ex-servicemen, central govt. Employees, weaker sections, the decisions are to ascertain that the people don’t repent their mandate five years ago. Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Cabinet and CCEA approved a series of projects which spark the development engine of the country in full swing or at least look to do so. 50 new Kendriya Vidyalayas to enhance student enrolment and raise employment opportunity – after being heavily condemned for the pertaining unemployment that has plagued the nation. Three of six metro corridors planned under Phase IV cleared with a project outlay of Rs 24,948 crore – with AAP unhappy over the remaining three which were not approved. Rs 31,600 crore for proposals on investment in 4 power projects likely to be operational by 2023-24. Approval of an ordinance on the changed reservation policy for faculty recruitment in universities and colleges. The list may run down to feature a lot of projects and policy alterations that have been approved in what may be the last meeting of the Union Cabinet. A comprehensive look at it is enough to answer the questions of why, or more precisely, why now. Had these projects and other developments being approved earlier, the need for such hasty decisions would not have been there. And, the public would not have brewed discontent, to whichever extent, in the first place. The massive outlay for development seldom neutralises the controversies that the Centre’s facing, yet an attempt has been made nevertheless, as expected. Discussions would rather not spark over what has been done now since all these projects will be the responsibility of the next government. What the discussions may instead constitute is whether the current government is deserving of another term based on the general attitude evident across their term. Almost everyone knows, thanks to media for those who still couldn’t, the reason behind the Centre’s rampant approval of projects. In such a situation, the existing discontent must be channelised to decide if the other choices are better or not. It is, seemingly, a choice between the lesser evil after all.last_img

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