This man from the Indian state of Rajasthan has voted and he shows us with the ink mark on his finger. His state had been governed by Congress representatives since 2008 , but that party has been resoundingly defeated in the election this week.
Just a quick lesson on political parties in the world’s largest democracy. Congress has been in power since Independence from Britain in 1947. This party was started and formed by “elite, educated, and English speaking Indians who could meet and mix with the British during their rule. The ruling party is Gandhi /Nehru family members of the founding elite. The queen mother of the party currently is Sonia Gandhi and I read somewhere that she doesn’t even speak Hindi , the unofficial Indian language, but always speaks English. Her son, Rahul, was the unofficial candidate of Congress for Prime Minister next year. That is until today’s vote count.
The winner in four of the five states where votes have been counted ( one will be announced on Monday) is the BJP of Mr. Modi who is the terribly strong and successful leader from Gujurat. He has set the Gujurat model of business success and the world is watching. He is also a man from a poor family who is educated in India, not from England. There is another candidate who did well in Delhi today, Arvind Kejriwal from the AAP or Common Man’s Party. I have had several bloggers talk to me about him. He has termed this, “the election fought on honesty” and his followers carry and sweep with brooms when they campaigned in poor , illiterate neighborhoods. People would remember and identify with the broom to “sweep the rascals out!” I personally think that having the AAP party nipping at Mr. Modi’s heels as an opposition party will be advantageous in keeping him mindful that he will be Prime Minister of all of India including the 138.000.000 Muslim Indians. This is a concern of many during the accusations from the 2002 riots in Gujurat. Power does often become terribly seductive and balances are always a good thing, in my mind.
The public in India are angry over the lack of services, corruption and complacency of the Indian elite political leaders. Mr. Modi who is a dynamic speaker has repeatedly called Rahul Ghandi the prince or heir apparent to continually stir the boiling pot. The turn-out of this election was over 70% in each of the states. The Indians put Americans to shame in this regard. Indian people take this privilege of democracy very seriously. In Katherine Boo’s book on the slums in Mumbai, she told of Indian people saying, “on this day, we are equals with the rich….one man, one vote.” You can see from the pictures, the very long, orderly lines of Indian people waiting to vote. This year there were more women waiting to exercise their vote than ever before.
Ironically, this quote from the present Prime Minister, Dr. Singh shows he is very clear about the Indian situation and the dreams and wants of the people. Sadly, he was not willing or able to act on them.
” Economic growth, social changes, and political empowerment have brought in their wake the new aspirations of an entirely new generation of Indians. This has contributed to growing impatience for faster growth and even better quality of life. These aspirations and ambitions are exerting pressure on government to deliver more, to perform better, to be more transparent, and more efficient . A revolution of rising expectations is underway.”
Namaste. . . . .This Is Incredible India !
Images from Google Images. . . . Public Domain