Sunday, December 16, 2012

Voter's Dilemma

Given the current political atmosphere in the country, I find the above title apt to describe the mindset of a citizen who genuinely understands the value of his vote and wants to cast it for the most appropriate candidate. But seeing the double-speak and flip-flops of the political leaders and their parties, he finds it hard to decide who is right and who is wrong.
Take the current hot topic - FDI. BJP when it was last in power wanted to introduce FDI under the “India Shining” theme and the Congress (then in opposition) was against it as it felt it would hurt the nation. Now few years later, Congress is going all out to portray FDI as another wave of much needed economic reforms after 1991. And the main opposition party BJP now finds it a recipe for disaster. It is intriguing to see how in a few years the same policy changed its possible impact.

With these things at the back of my mind, I personally found the arguments, the data presented for the FDI debate in the Parliament extremely hollow. It is then no doubt that the credibility of our policy makers is going down in the eyes of an average citizen. Unfortunately, this is what is giving strength to the voices who lament our democratic system. It looks like the political parties’ ideologies stand on a shallow ground. What they might oppose today, is what they will fight for tomorrow – subject to political calculations. It takes no rocket science to know that a nation progresses only when its leaders have a proper vision with a firm belief in an ideology.

But, what seems to be in force now is Populism. Populism is the new common ideology for all. Though morphine in the short-term, it turns out as lacunae in the long run. A perfect example for this is the Indian Railways. It is appalling to note the dilapidated state it is in with its fares not been increased for close to eight years. This is a very obvious logic that for a business entity to be viable its earnings need to increase in proportion to the inflation. What rationale is behind the stagnant fares is something no one wants to answer to.

There are many such issues related to the people of this country which are decided keeping the political arithmetic in mind. But the more far-reaching decision has to be taken by the voter who on seeing the irresponsible behavior of the polity is in more doubt than ever as to who to vote for.