election year

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Mar 2018 11:22:05

PRIME Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s appeal to his colleagues in the Government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to counter lies being spread by Opposition parties out of frustration of political failure, makes much sense in what can be called election year. For, in just about a year, the nation will go to polls to choose the next Lok Sabha, marking the end of the first five-year tenure of the Modi Government. This pre-poll period of one year is often considered as the most crucial in India’s political process. For, it is this period that everybody becomes excessively active to push his own case and to denounce the other side for non-performance. Sensing the onset of that period, the Prime Minister has urged his colleagues to defend the Government and the BJP and expose the falsehood being spread by Opposition parties which he described as frustrated entities. There is a lot of substance in the Prime Minister’s statement.

In the past some time, the nation has seen how the Opposition parties have tried to debunk and defame the Government by criticising it for anything and everything it does. The effort of the Opposition has been to paint the Government in a bad light and denounce as a massive failure. So blinded has the Opposition become by its election-oriented political agenda that it tries to debunk even the good decisions the Government takes for the overall benefit of the people. Even as the world recognises the good work done by the Modi Government, the Opposition tries to describe it as failure. For example, when the World Bank reported a certain enhancement in India’s rating on some counts, the Opposition tried to tell the people that the global agency was lying or putting forward false rating for India. That effort only stunned the people who suspected Opposition intentions.

Thus, in the coming months until the next Lok Sabha polls are finally announced and the campaign begins, the Opposition parties would be in an overly activated mode. Their effort will be to give an entirely different picture of what is happening in the Government. It is in such situations that the common people have to remain on alert so that they do not get misled by falsehood foisted by political parties on either side of the divide. This is not an easy task at all since the media also would play its role, not every time healthy, assisting this or that political outfit. Money and suspect motives, too, would play their own role in spoiling the atmosphere.

This is a bane of any electoral battle when the principal effort of every player is to indulge in propagandism that often crosses limits of decency.
There are rules and regulations to govern the conduct of political parties during elections and even otherwise. But in the rough and tumble of practical politics, those regulations are followed more in breach than not. That increases the responsibility of the people all the more to make an accurate assessment of what is right and what is wrong before casting vote.

It is also necessary to offer a word of caution to political parties against blatant falsehood just to serve petty goals. The responsibility of political parties in a country like India is immense and they must campaign sensibly without spreading lies about the other side, failing which the whole nation will be in trouble. This word is for both, the Ruling and the Opposition parties.