Need For Clean Elections



If the representative you vote for is on the basis of his or her financial strength, then do not worry. You deserve a corrupt government – a government which will loot all your rights.

Many honest and sincere candidates have been elected in this country in the past history. However, there is a drastic decline in the ratio of such people today.  It is getting more and more accepted that money can buy votes – directly or indirectly.

When the candidate Narendra Modi stood for elections for a seat in the Parliament, thousands of crores flowed.  Promises were also liberal, which could not be executed. The promises during the economic game of demonitisation were also quite liberal. Nothing could be fulfilled. Millions suffered and over 150 died standing in queues. Their families did not even compensation, tragedy which happened due to the sudden policy of the Government. The tragedy is that when a person can mobilize money, even the seasoned leaders inside the same party would keep quiet. Instead of receiving 15 lakhs each from the black money from the Swiss Banks for the poor Indians, we are witnessing a game of the looters of high levels of public money, leaving this country right under the nose of the Central Government. It is hard to believe that people like Lalit Modi could leave with IPL money and Nirav Modi could leave with the money from the Punjab National Bank without the blessings of the existing power lobbies of the central government. The loot was huge.  Something like this should have been predictable when somebody invests thousands of crores for a seat in Indian Parliament.

But an interesting move is taking place in Meghalaya today, a state which is facing elections soon. There is a campaign for Clean Elections by an organization called ABAM, a church organization belonging to the Ao tribe. Though the campaign for Clean Elections started in 1972, it gathered momentum only in recent times.  Their door to door campaign is providing some hope to this nation. It is high time that such campaigns become a national force. While Congress is assuring that if BJP comes to power in Meghalaya their food rights would be curtailed, BJP is trying to prove that they are not against Christians. It appears that the Adivasi Christians of Meghalaya have not met the Adivasi Christians of Kandhamal yet.

The bribe for a vote in Meghalaya that is offered today as per the reports, is between Rs. 1000 to 10,000. According to an NGO called Youth Net, in the Assembly Elections of 2013, 33 candidates spent less than Rs. 1 crore and one got elected.  Eleven candidates spent more than Rs. 20 crores and eight of them got elected. This was reported in the Indian Express by H Khogen Singh. What has to be assumed is that more and people are being elected in terms of their financial capacity in the business of elections, rather than their involvement in social work and social concerns. The result is a drastic drainage of Indian democracy.  Whether the campaign for Clean Elections will succeed in Meghalaya is yet to be seen.  But it is certainly providing a direction to the electorate in India.

With the coming elections at a national level, unless people refuse to vote for candidates on the basis of their financial strength and choose governance strictly on the basis of the work, credibility and social performance, we are bound to end up as fools. And to achieve this cause, much wider campaigns at a national level will have to begin immediately. So, beware of big money in election campaigns. It only means loss of livelihood for the electorate.  Experiences can always become a beginning for learning.

K.P Sasi is a film maker, writer, activist and cartoonist. He can be reached at [email protected]


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K P Sasi

K.P. Sasi is a film maker, cartoonist, writer and an activist

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