I am writing this article not to influence your vote but to influence you to vote. It is that time of the year when all hell will break loose. The bugle sounds, the warriors march and carnage ensues. Now that we’ve got the first episode of season four of Game of Thrones out of the way, let’s talk about the General Elections of 2014. We have all been immersed, nay overwhelmed, with the gamut of information that is thrown our way every day by Arnab Goswami of Casterly Rock Times Now fame and his motley crew of henchmen reporters. We have all attempted to dissect this information so as to exercise our franchise wisely on the Day of Reckoning (for the incumbents at least) and vote in a government who, you know, actually might accomplish something or even, and this is a long stretch here, keep a clean, scams-free image while it is in power. The problem though is, this time around, it’s a no brainer… yet it isn’t. A few months ago, I was a hardcore BJP supporter. The Narendra Modi wave was lashing the Congress, destroying it by bits and pieces until it threatened to engulf it in one fell swoop. I parroted views of development, Vibrant Gujarat, a corruption-free India and whatnot. To some extent, if the BJP is voted into power at the Centre, this might be true. But the most important facet of the INC propaganda against the BJP was truly maligned and ridiculed by the educated classes. Yes, I am talking of the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat. Ordinarily, I am a person with strong views condemning communalism in any form, but for the past few months, I was so caught up with the Modi fever that I just brushed away any arguments against Modi that attacked his communal image with the same generic arguments that everybody was propounding. “The Courts have exonerated him.” Yes, a metropolitan court in Gujarat has indeed rejected Zakia Jafri’s (the petitioner) claim and let him go. This does not mean it is behind him. Zakia Jafri, after fighting a legal battle for 7 years, is probably determined to push this through the courts and will exhaust all her methods of appeal before she lets this go. Whatever the result, the shadow of communalism will always surround Mr. Modi unless he addresses it and puts it behind him.
The Congress, for the most part, has now got a self-sustaining image of corruption and bad governance. Disorder, indecisiveness and an unfortunate tendency to keep Party interests over the Nation’s has come to characterise the UPA- II. . Their choice of cabinet ministers too does not inspire confidence. The fact that they haven’t announced their Prime Ministerial candidate yet, despite propping Rahul Gandhi as the main contender, shows their lack of faith and hesitation to take the leap. But the one thing that Rahul Gandhi has, despite a weak Parliamentary record, is a clean image, untarred by any form of communalism. The Congress stands for secularism in this country, a party that does not hold any religious affiliation or ideology. And as far as the AAP goes, it is my personal belief that they require some time in the opposition before assuming any form of national leadership.
So everybody who has got a voter card, please do take out the time to go and vote for your MP or your Party, whichever combination you prefer. Even if you remain indecisive as I am, do exercise your franchise in the form of your right to reject or the symbolic NOTA option, but please do make the effort to be a citizen of your country. Remember, with rights come duties. So head out tomorrow to your registered polling station. Your vote is precious. Remember that.