Keeping pace with the increasingly oppressive temperature which is evidently getting worse with each passing year, the heat is truly on for the upcoming Lok sabha election which is just over a fortnight away. With the candidature for the various contesting parties having finalized, most of the public in the state have made their decision, some more openly than others.
This time around, there is obviously a perceptible change in the way people approach the ‘Election Festival’ in that the candidates are less vocal and are more subdued in their approach towards canvassing support of the public. Is it that they have really and truly lost the plot and are playing safe by keeping mum rather than invite the wrath and scorn of the ever increasingly unforgettable and unforgiving public who now have the means and the temerity to dig out empty promises and lies at the swipe of a finger on their smartphones? Or is it that they have shifted their gameplan to harness the power of the internet and are funding exorbitant amount of money without a trace to shore up proxy supporters to try and sway public opinion- a ploy not unfamiliar with the citizens of the nation?
Whatever the truth may turn out to be, one thing that is felt absent by all and sundry is the ‘Manifesto’ or ‘Pledge’ or ‘Promises’ or whatever else one might term it- the list of expressed necessities the candidates and the party is set out to fulfill. Rather than focusing on the future of the state and the country by raising issues and topics which the parties and candidates feel deserves attention and prioritization, there is a growing trend for self-declared supporters or idolaters as some had declared themselves, to delve into the past of the candidates and comparing the legal and criminal records. No doubt, such revelations are useful in considering the choice of right candidates but also can, and are often misleading to say the least. Such a growing trend also points to a submissive mentality of having forced to choose a lesser evil rather than viewing the election as an opportunity to make a resounding statement and to exercise the best gift of democracy. The sad reality is that the people in our state as is like the vast majority of others in almost every state does not see the whole process much beyond certain personal benefits and are willing to exchange or give up their suffrage for meagre financial gains.
In this connected digital world of today, it is easy to sway or be swayed by various inputs and social media contents. We need to consider the pros and cons in a very objective manner taking into consideration the ability for individuals to handle various pressures and challenges and their response to the same. This should be viewed as a golden opportunity for the public to rectify the wrongs perpetrated by the representatives and serve as an example that the aspirations and needs of the common people cannot be ignored nor abused. But for that to happen, we the people need to exercise our suffrage with utmost care and respect. Let us all realize our worth and act accordingly. We are the source of power and if there is anyone to blame for the stupid and self-centred people winning elections, it is ourselves. It is almost too late to make another mistake that will haunt us for the next half-decade and probably the rest of our lives.
Our acts rather than our words will determine if our society as a whole is matured enough to warrant passing judgment on our leaders. Notwithstanding the plethora of promises and rosy pictures of a better future being peddled by the political parties in their bid to woo the voters which has come into significance during such times, it will ultimately be the decision of the public to retrospect, deliberate and act on our own decisions. And the time to act is now.
Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]