More than 2 lac voters’ names were missing from Mumbai Voters List! The EC apologized but the question is- Is this per chance or a ‘simple’ mistake of EC or a planned conspiracy? If the latter is true, which sounds to be true, then next question is- Are old election days being revisited which were not free and fair?
— Shikha Gupta (@sHikha_Jgd) April 25, 2014
There have been many sting operations, investigations and exposures that seriously belittle the claim of free and fair elections, like, Operation Lok Sabha, Operation Prime Minister etc. Media manipulation is well documented and known to the mass and now even the poll survey has lost its meaning due its manipulation for money. By now, this has become so common that people have stopped worrying about media’s manipulation, democracy and its foundation that are the elections. Remember the exposure of the NSA by E Joseph Snowden, not far in past? There was a huge uproar and even hundreds of EU and USA cities saw massive protests but now USA openly advocates surveillance of world citizens and their leaders in name of security!
Is it a Torch? Is it a Broom?
Now, another point of rigging the election is manipulation of the voters’ choice in voting centers. In the Delhi Vidhan Sabha election, there was an independent candidate whose symbol was a torch with light in such fashion that it resembled the broom, the AAP symbol. That person was not known to the people yet polled more than 4500 votes and AAP candidate from Matiala VS lost by less than 3500 votes. On 10 April, West Delhi had 3 Jarnail Singh, 2 as independent whom people had never heard of during campaigning. Their symbols were a torch and a shuttle cork, resembling the broom of AAP, at no 13 and 14 and as part of booth management group. I came across voters who voted for them instead of AAP erroneously and later nothing could be done except regrets.
Modern Day Rigging
I am not talking of bogus voting, though that has also taken place and even shown in media and is known to people. Modern day election rigging is different than what we witnessed pre T Session era when booths were captured and few persons were casting entire votes on gun point. Now, the call center era is in, where big political parties hire paid trolls to do Photoshop, distort facts in their favor, pay the media to alter poll survey, confuse voters in booth polls by various tricks, shadow candidates to offset few hundreds to thousands votes in the name of caste/religion and even do bogus voting in favor of their masters. I must add, Rs 300-500 and liquor is distributed among poor voters to cast their votes to the desired candidates and that is very effective. The last method is used widely to get crowd to ‘listen’ to their ‘loved’ leaders.
— Inquirer Group (@inquirerdotnet) April 10, 2014
If one hears the media, he comes across the filthy and inflammatory statements of leaders, like Ramdev, Vinay Katiyar, Vasundhara Raje, Digvijay Singh, Akbaruddin Owaisi, etc. Such statements are pre planned and delivered to excite their paid goons or even some sycophants who replicate them in social media and physically in the streets. The attack on AAP members are testimony of this. The by-product of such tactics to garner votes is yet to be seen, but in past they had been fruitful to some extent, sadly. This culture is on rise due lack of proper law, like JLPB and support by the state and its machinery.
Yet, let us say our voters have matured and are able to separate grains from huge piles of chaff, are able to decide on the right party and right candidate and goes to the polling booth and finally casts his vote as desired. Then what? UP overwhelmingly voted for SP and the government was formed and media was gaga about the young CM, but very shortly the dream was shattered. Akhilesh Yadav may blame the opposition for his failure to deliver but the end result was that the smart and matured voter was duped eventually!
All the World is a Stage
So finally, is there anything like free and fair elections? Definitely not. Whatever is happening and whatever is being exposed, do not match. What we come to know may not even be tip of the ice berg but positively enough to understand that the present democracy is not for people but for the moneyed class and their agents, where 10,000 Crore or more is being spent by a single party to lure voters. The election, campaign, media, etc, etc is a showcase to prove that democracy exists in India. Present day voters are tricked into participating in the election process once in 5 years and the same old exploitation machine continues its work there after. In reality, the corporates continue growing; but the people’s miseries remain same. More than 10 Crore child laborers, 8 Crore homeless and faceless people, 2 Crore women and girls selling their bodies to sustain themselves, etc is a clear indication of failure of democracy and the market economy. And now fake elections and pro corporates state and its machinery has ensured that democracy is for the corporates and is run by them through proxy!
— CBC News (@CBCNews) April 8, 2014
Lastly, AAP is leading the mass and progressive forces for revolution through parliamentary election. But having seen and experienced the Delhi episode, where it fell short of majority, one of the reason being distortion of electoral process, and had to resign later as the state machinery ‘revolted’ against the people’s government, one must take cognizance of such unfair and manipulated elections. Even after mass support, victory may not be assured and after making government, it may face Salvador Allende’s path in Chile: murder of revolution!
By KK Singh