Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

India Election: Disgust for Politicians and So-Called Democracy

Posted by n3wday on July 27, 2009

indian-election1This article was published in People’s Truth bulletin #6.

‘Elections’ Show Disgust for the Bourgeoisie Politicians and the so-called Democracy

As the third phase of polling gets over the main news is the lack of interest in voting and the disgust displayed by the masses for the political system. In Mumbai as much as 59% stayed away from voting. In UP barely 45% voted. In Kashmir the voter turnout was a mere 20%. In the earlier phases the voter turnout was not much different. In the first phase which was held in most of the naxalite areas the boycott of the elections by the Maoists made major news and was even more widely covered than the elections itself. Not only the people in the Maoist area but reports came in from almost all corners of the country of people of whole areas boycotting the polls over their local demands or going to the booth and registering their non-voting. Not even all the lure of money, muscle power, caste and religious equations could get people to the ballot box. The high percentages polling shown to have taken place in some Maoist areas were due to pre-planned rigging. In Mumbai, slum-dwellers reported that the one month before the elections was a boon for them – Rs.100 to attend a political rally, Rs.100 a day to sit at a pandal, Rs.500 to oversee an election booth, etc. Never can ordinary slum-dweller earn so much, yet Dharavi (reportedly the biggest slum in Asia) recorded barely 38% voting.
What was astounding was that such a low voter turnout happened in spite of a massive propaganda blitz calling on people to vote. Such a high profile campaign was never conducted on this scale roping in NGOs, business houses, media barons, film stars and cricketers. In fact on the date of the third round of voting the Times of India and other leading daily carried a front page letter by the editor in bold to call on the people to vote. Also on voting day the parties provided free auto rides and numerous other incentives to vote for them. Even religious bodies, especially of the minorities were roped in to issue edicts to their followers to vote. The Darul Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa directing the Muslims to vote and apex bodies of various Christian churches also called upon their followers to vote. Yet in spite of all this there was a miserable turn-out.

This enraged most of the parties and the Shiv Sena and BJP riled against the people of the country for staying away and demanded in fascist style that voting be made compulsory. Instead of looking at themselves and their false promises and corrupt means they put the blame on the masses. This will anger the masses even more.

The fact of the matter is that none of the parliamentary parties had any agenda for the people. What in the campaign did they have for the rural populace that has been facing excruciating poverty with suicides increasing by the day? What do they have for the lakhs and lakhs being thrown out of jobs due to the present crisis? What do they have for the middle classes that are facing more and more insecurities? All parties have no other actual policy but only promote the money bags and further open the doors for imperialist loot. The very cause of the crisis and the massive job losses is because they have tied the Indian economy more and more to the chariot wheels of the imperialists, particularly the US. And now the crisis in those countries is only deepening affecting the people of India. But in this situation while the people suffer through job losses big business continues with its increasing profits as indicated by the last quarter results.

Besides, today it has become very clear as candidates from all the parties even in their declared assets (forget the huge black money they all have) are crorepatis (billionaires) who have made their wealth through milking the state and serving big-business in Satyam style. And people are no fools, they knew well that all these billionaire contestants are in the race only to further enrich themselves and the people’s will not change by voting one or the other. Their apathy for this system is growing day by day resulting in the continual decrease in the percentage of votes polled. As and when the people at large gain more knowledge about the alternate people’s democracy emerging in the Dandakaranya- Bihar – Jharkhand areas they are sure to take that path – The path of a true participatory people’s democracy.

The entire media went out of its way to propagate that the Maoists are threatening the people to impose their poll boycott call. This is the same old vilification campaign the media has been running at the behest of the ruling classes at every election time for decades. Strange as it may seem to any honest citizen, the media all over these years could not present a single person who was punished by the Maoists solely for voting in the elections! The purpose of the boycott call given by the Maoists is to make people understand that what is taking place is not a real democracy but a fake democracy. And that what they need to do is to fight for a real democracy – a new democratic society- a government structure of the type that exists in embryonic form in Dandakaranya. Besides the people in most parts of the country do not require much convincing as they can see the criminals who stand for elections with their pockets full of black money.

In the Dandakaranya area the people themselves run their own affairs practicing the truest form of people’s democracy and the Janatana Sarkars (organs of people’s political power) elected at gram sabhas(village general body meeting) . This is the real democracy that all in the country should support and help build. The people of the country have two choices – either the ‘democracy’ of the money bags and for the moneybags (of course in the name of the people) or genuine democracy for the people and by the people. The choice is yours!!!

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