The dance of democracy, as the media likes to call the election, is picking up tempo like never before. Out of nine phases 5 phases are already over and the biggest phase is on Wednesday when people of 121 constituencies will cast their vote. More than half of India has already used its franchisee. To stand and cheer from the sidelines isn’t fun. You have to come in the fray to see the thrill of the biggest festival of Democracy. I started voting before it became ‘cool’ and people take selfie of ‘inked’ finger and upload it on Facebook, Twitter and started broadcasting it on Whatsapp. I’ve already voted in two general and two assembly elections and three corporation elections. And I’ve always voted for the grand old party. This time, Election Commission has added another ‘hathyar’ ‘NOTA’ to the EVM machine. I am little bit disappointed with the government. It has messed up, and it messed up royally. And I’m not even talking about the multimillion scams, though they cannot be forgiven.
After a long time in January, I visited my native place in Uttar Pradesh. It used to take less than 2 hours to drive down from Allahabad city to village but this time it has taken more than three hours. There is no other option but to take that road. The celebrated road has turned into a potholed road with endless jams and exorbitant toll.
I met women who benefited from MNREGA. They went with their knitting pins and wool, sat for a whole day and received 40 rupees each. The middlemen took the remaining 60. No work was done. Why settle for 40 when you can make 100, I asked. They said nobody would give them the full amount and if they went looking for work to a city, the expenses would shoot and they wouldn’t even save 40. This was a more profitable proposition. Middleman ‘parampara’ is one of the oldest cultures in our country. Even government is infected with this ‘Middleman’ disease. Government has taken no precaution to cure this disease. We had seen numerous scams in UPA I and UPA II, you people are aware of it hence I’m not mentioning it here.
Not for everyone though. The construction projects were falling way behind schedule because of MNREGA. The labourers who came from villages don’t turn up for job because they get free money in their village, once a builder informed me. Also the capital was drying up, the market was sluggish.
I am sure many people have benefited from this government’s schemes. But, I am not one of them. As a tax payer and in balance, I feel the schemes and the scams cost me too much. I agree that too many factors were at play, many beyond the control of the government. But I don’t like the idea of my money being used to pay people who were being made unproductive so that I pay more money. Sounds convoluted? It is. Let’s see what happens on May 16. Though, I’m disappointed but still will cast my vote on April 24 and you should also exercise your franchisee for better government.