gujarat elections

My view on the recently held gujarat elections. I have tried my best not to make this a political story but a general observation of the entire process, from what we got to know through the visual and print media. Comments/criticisms welcome

Elections – the hallmark of a democracy – a decision making process but the interesting aspect is that the consensus reached here is on a massive scale, often that of crores of individuals. Being the largest democracy, elections in India are unique because of the sheer numbers, the diversity in the population, the whole process of conducting the elections and for other reasons also. The election in Gujarat is not an exception to this but there is more to it.

Gujarat is a fore runner in India for quite a number of issues. Be it the father of our nation or the success of co-operative farming (AMUL) or IIM –A, Gujarat is always on the top and it is a state with high Human Development Index as compared to other states. A prosperous state which has had some of the trying circumstances in the past in the form of both natural calamities and man made calamities. This coupled with the fact that the election in this state would influence the direction in which the national politics should head in the future, made the election technically very important.

Campaigning for the elections was expected to be the most controversial part of this election and it dint prove to be a wrong proposition. It is evident that the fight is between the 2 major parties with different ideological orientations. Fighting elections on the basis of ideology is not new but there was something qualitatively different in this case. The political organizations were indulging in abusing or ridiculing the other based on some incidents in the past. Hardly there was any mention about the administrative or such lapses of the present government and what will the opposing force do to rectify it, if granted a chance to be in power and the ruling party too dint touch this aspect. The accusations have gone to a more personal level than being targeted at the larger organization. It was more like a race to capitalize on the unfortunate incidents of the past, trying to give it a political colour which would suit the present situation. Invariably all the political forces have such dark incidents to their credit and one wonders who is trying to prove whom as right or wrong.

Media – the 4th pillar of democracy, as it is popularly known as, but what we are experiencing might make us re-think the logic behind calling it so. The controller of elections has clearly stated that all campaigning must end 48 hours before. The basic idea behind this is that the voter should not be influenced by anything and must cast a vote with a free mind. This logic has been grossly violated with the advent of the so called 24X7 tv news channels, each of which claims itself to be the best. Every party has one such channel on its side or every channel has one party to side with. One particular channel claimed that it has found discrepancies in the voters’ list and somebody had developed a special algorithm which would find the duplicate voters in the master list and this program was telecast the day before the elections and the flaw was blamed at a particular group. Is this not influencing the voter? And not to forget the exit poll drama when there is a second phase of polling remaining.

The election commission of India did a commendable job when it comes to organizing the polling and conducting it without any untoward incidents. The model code of conduct issued by the election commission is an attempt to regulate the contestants from wrongly influencing people. Nevertheless, our politicians are shrewd enough to find ways and means to bend everything, without violating the rules but still manage to do what is prohibited in the rules. Despite being a constitutional body and being bestowed with all powers to ensure free and fair elections, but the ground reality is that the EC largely remains a passive force.


All said and done but the elections are over and people have given their verdict. The ruling chief minister managed to prove that he is still good enough and popular amongst the people and at the helm of affair once more. All the drama has been finally put to rest only to return after 5 years with a different form but same nature. The story of Himachal Pradesh elections has just begun and that will be yet another interesting thing to observe.

6 Comments:

Ali-Asad said...

I guess presiding over a massacre isn't enough to get you kicked out of politics in Gujarat. Oh well...

suren said...

well... politics was not what i wanted to discuss here........... both the sides would have a reason good enough to justify their standpoint... my point was about the how the whole process went about !

DEEPESH said...

Great work buddy.. I like the way you present things.. So professional.. Have to learn a lot from you..

Ali-Asad said...

thanks for the comment. I didn't intend for my blog to be all about elections but that's how things have gone so far. we'll see what happens...

Ragamalika, Malik, Rags, wateva! said...

Where the Guj and Himachal elections leave the Congress is a different story altogether...

suren said...

sure it is.. it should be interesting for the parliament election is just around the corner