Monday, November 5, 2012

Assembly Elections-2012

At last the elections for  the sixty eight seats of Himachal Pradesh  Legislative Assembly were held on the 4th of November peacefully – thanks to meticulous directions and instructions issued by the  Election Commission of India and the elaborate arrangements made by the state for the  smooth conduct  of this quinquennial exercise. However there is a long wait for the contesting candidates as the results will be declared only after counting takes place on  20th December.

Apart from the   massive coverage by the print and visual media , these  elections will be remembered for  the  mud slinging and the slanging game played by the parties in the fray. Somehow there was grist for every mill  and the  political  parties were on the defensive  due to scams and irregularities  unearthed at this crucial time. Many idioms, phrases and proverbs  learnt during schooldays , but long forgotten  due to disuse like  “the kettle calling the pot black” ,  “ sweep before your own door “  & “the devil quoting  scriptures “  at once came to mind .
 During the election campaign, one saw  rare ingenuity in slogans  devised by the parties ; it is another matter that the slogans  and claims  seemed   hollow in view of the ground reality . However it was interesting to see how  'dil se '  could rhyme with ' phir  se '.
  In exposing others one got exposed itself.One is left to wonder why the so called   “ star campaigners "- including film and TV stars-  from the other states  with little knowledge of the state or its problems are thrust upon the  public. They had nothing new to say or offer   except  blowing the trumpet of the party they were canvassing  for  and deriding the opposite party.   At every point  one felt that the voter had no choice  except to choose what to him or her  appeared the lesser evil.

 It was nice to read and hear about one Shyam Saran Negi   from Kalpa in  Kinnaur District  who became almost a celebrity- TV channels reporting about him and   reputed    newspapers writing articles  about him and  not without reason. He has voted in all elections held since 1952  and  though aged 96 now, age  did not  deter him and his 90 year old wife  from casting vote  and performing this important duty. One hopes that  political parties will learn lessons  for future  and  form  a  government  that is truly for , of , and by the people  and the elected representatives remain accessible to the public  -no matter if  it is the completion of “mission repeat “ or “mission delete“.