Dear Voter 2024!


This election will be critical in terms of its worldwide impact. The election of India, the world’s largest secular and socialist democracy, cannot be understood solely in terms of the country’s socioeconomic political framework. However, it has a significant and unique stake in shaping global events.

The world is witnessing a surge in nationalism across multiple nations, resulting in a downturn in the global economy and a loss of confidence in international organizations. This decline in trust is impeding collaboration on critical issues, encompassing cross-border concerns like the emergence of neo-right-wing extremism, the incorporation of AI in nuclear proliferation, climate change, and disparities in development. Presently, there is a significant absence of global leadership capable of collaboratively working out mechanisms for addressing both transnational and intergenerational challenges effectively.

While multiple countries go for election in 2024, the backdrop of the world situation is not something encouraging. The world is ‘gridlocked in global dysfunction’, in the word of UN Secretary General Guterres. When there is a greater demand for collective action among the global leaders for peace and justice, the scope of collective  action is shrinking drastically.

Nationalism can be defined as an ideology where individuals strongly believe in the superiority of their nation over others, often based on shared ethnicity, language, religion, or culture. This belief in national superiority can lead to dangerous outcomes in the context of the increasing necessity for global sustainable development and collaborations. Nationalism can hinder international cooperation by promoting a narrow focus on one’s own nation’s interests at the expense of global unity. It may fuel conflicts, undermine trust in international institutions, and impede efforts to address transnational challenges like climate change and inequitable development that require collective action beyond national borders. In a world where interconnectedness and collaboration are crucial for addressing global issues, excessive nationalism can hinder progress towards sustainable development goals and impede the formation of effective international partnerships.

A conventional election in a country is to select a strong and dedicated leadership to manage the country. However, the objective of the election’24 has evolved into a new dimension as well. Now, it is not only about selecting the best leaders for India, but also about electing visionary leaders who can collaboratively shape the world’s future with unwavering collective conviction, while demonstrating their ability to restore peace, harmony, and inclusive development in India.

Once recognized as a consistent contributor to global leadership, India’s legitimacy and image as a significant player have diminished. The global diplomatic discourse, which once eagerly awaited India’s stance and standpoint, now regards it with skepticism and scrutiny on various parameters. This decline in India’s global influence and reputation is a cause for alarm, given the critical need for international cooperation and collaboration in addressing pressing global challenges.

Determining whether the situation arises from domestic governance shortcomings, a deficit in forward-thinking diplomacy on global matters, or a combination of both is a complex challenge. This juncture is where the Modi administration has positioned India.

The Modi regime has been persistently portraying a positive image of India to the world while at home, the federal democratic canvas is marred by the bloodstains of hatred and corruption that has gained institutional status, such as the electoral bond scheme. The media, once bold, has been reduced to a subservient role, often referred to as “Godi media.” India’s role is not merely as a supply chain for the world but as a moderator of democracies, which is an inevitable responsibility. To regain its status, India needs a strong government that can restore good governance, harmony, democracy, and freedom within its borders, as well as objectively and constructively influence the global decisions, towards peace and justice.

Dear voters of election ’24, the democratic government in India holds great significance for the future of the world. The vote in your hands carries a tremendous responsibility, as it has the power to steer the country towards a safer future amidst the darkened horizons of our democracy. Your vote can also contribute to shaping the world into a more habitable place. To fulfil this responsibility, it is crucial to consider the following critical issues:

  1. Human Resource: India’s youth population is a valuable asset, but the current government lacks a progressive and strategic approach to developing and nurturing it. To harness the potential of this demographic dividend, it is essential to liberate the youth from the shackles of illiteracy, unemployment, casteism, communalism, religious fundamentalism, and misogyny. It is our duty to vote for a political alliance that has a specific and time-bound plan for the youth’s development.
  2. Natural Resource: The Indian subcontinent is known for its globally significant ecological hotspots and rich biodiversity. However, successive governments have failed to care for and sustain these resources in a scientific and strategic manner. The current regime has further neglected this responsibility, allowing corporate houses to over-exploit natural resources in almost all river basins in India. It is our duty to ensure that we vote for an alliance with clear and robust plans to regulate corporate exploitation, protect and conserve natural resources, and develop a long-term roadmap for making river basins climate resilient.
  3. Equitable Development, Gender Justice, and Human Rights: These are the cornerstones of any democracy, and recent incidents in India have raised serious concerns about their status. Instances of violence against women, attacks on human rights, and a lack of inclusive development are on the rise. It is our duty to support political parties and alliances that have well-articulated ideas and plans for gender-balanced macro planning, inclusive development, and upholding human rights.
  4. Agriculture Sector: The agriculture sector in India is in crisis, not because of farmers or the landscape, but due to neglectful public policies and a lack of understanding of the sector’s intricacies among policy-making elites. Irrigated agriculture plays a vital role in ensuring food security, while rain-fed agriculture sustains the nutritional and livelihood security of a vast majority of the rural population. It is essential to vote for an alliance that prioritizes the needs of these two critical sections of the agriculture system and respects farmers. The alliance should also have a vision for reconnecting agriculture with local ecosystems using AI and other emerging digital tools.
  5. Majoritarianism: The current state of affairs in India is deeply concerning due to the growing acceptance of religious majoritarianism. This trend cultivates a political environment of discrimination, leading to a dangerous escalation of hatred, violence, and fatalities. The perceived sense of superiority and coordinated attempts to assert dominance and significance have made majoritarianism a looming threat to the fundamental principles of a republic and democracy. In the words of a great philosopher Vivekananda[1] who spoke in San Francisco on May 29, 1900, “If loving your own people means hating everybody else, it is the quintessence of selfishness and brutality, and the effect is that it will make you brutes.” Furthermore, the philosopher warned that organized religions were “a hundred times more evil than good, because they stop the growth of each one’s individual development.” To restore India’s legacy of harmony and solidarity, it is essential to support a political coalition that is committed to inclusive policies and initiatives.
  6. The Constitution of India: The enduring commitment of successive Indian governments to the values and spirit of the Constitution of India has been instrumental in establishing India’s reputation among world nations and global institutions. However, this reputation appears to be on the decline. Consequently, India’s space for voicing concerns on crucial global issues has been strained and narrowed. To regain its glorious reputation, it is crucial for the country to choose a political coalition that is dedicated to protecting the Constitution of the Indian Union. This alone can enable India to correct its democratic journey at home and play a historical role in influencing the global development process. Therefore, it is imperative to be resolute in choosing leaders who will protect the Indian Constitution.

The issues highlighted in these passages are critical for the vulnerable people of India and other vulnerable countries. While these are some of the fundamental factors, there may be other crucial factors that have been overlooked.

The time has come to end chaos and confusion. Failing to choose the right leaders is akin to self-destruction. This is the moment to make an informed choice, not to miss. This is the opportunity to bring about a safe and secure future for the younger generation. Let our kids and youths have a nation that guaranties joy and equitable development.  Do not miss out, dear voters.

Rajkumar– South India Volunteers Alliance-SIVA, Institute for Climate Justice Action – ICJA 

[email protected]

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