Finally, the polls for the Assam Legislative Assembly are round the corner as the 5-year tenure of the present state government headed by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal draws towards its end. Election time in India is marked by the entire atmosphere polluted by seas of lies, falsehood, political crookedness and dupery laid out with pompous celebration on beds of venomous thorns unnoticeably camouflaged with a thick cover of aromatizing flower layers by various parties and politicians to woo the electorate.
Mud-slinging, libel, backstabbing and disparagement of political rivals to the point of washing dirty linen in public amidst slander and counter-slander seemingly become the order of the day. This time is conspicuous by the unravelling of loathsome, obnoxious, foul, nasty and life-threatening situations like mass violence, group clashes, arson, killings and such nauseating developments becoming a common phenomenon.
While being referred to as “sare jahan se accha”, with the hard belief by the country simpleton and the political scoundrels to befool the commoners, the latter take to digging deep and massive graves as an election approach to bury all truth and whatever little honesty that is still left in the body politic of the nation as politicians race against each other to win the polls.
With money power, obviously of the blackest kind, having openly being made into the life-force of any election in India by our opportunist political big-wigs, news, views and a good deal of decisions at the ground level openly controlled and manipulated by money power.
The most despicable strategy that many parties and politicians adopt in the run-up to the polls is the ‘match-fixing’ game involving crores of rupees. The electorate is fully duped as to who is on which side while a purchased contestant is, in reality, playing the role of a vote-cutter to make his moneyed master the winner. This has most sadly come to stay as an accepted and election strategy among so-called ‘respected’ election planners and strategists of various parties.
Such nasty mantra being cast with the use of money power as a game-changer has not only come to stay but to a significant extent has become acceptable even to a sizable segment of the society. It is to such a bottomless pit that politics and a section of our ‘respectable’ society have stooped to.
While politically and from the administrative standpoint, almost as a rule, democracy in our country, unfortunately, has to bear the brunt of the fascist strategy and draconian action let loose against the people by the powers that be, at the electoral level its status is gradually being reduced to that of a puppet in the hands of money power and draconian suppression let loose by some political heavyweights generally belonging to the ruling lot.
It is most unfortunate to see the principles of democracy falling by the wayside like impotent elements while the grave-diggers of democracy glee. Still worse, amidst this rotten state of affairs, a bunch of anti-people political demons, rollicking in wealth and displaying contemptuous disregard towards voters’ power, have been successful in moulding our mindsets because of our weaknesses.
The scenario is not just a reflection of the decadence that has set in but more of our entire political spectrum fast rotting and the degeneration that has engulfed our society. As prior to the fall of Rome, if the dynamics of history are to be referred to, it was total degeneration in the society caused by its wealth that finally caused the fall of the mighty Roman empire.
With the wolfish pangs of materialism having poisoned even our basic human values, a significant section of the society has not only fallen easy prey to black money power but also shamelessly boasts of rollicking and decaying in such sinister black holes of ill-gotten wealth. And most unblushingly we have the audacity to call our country the land of Gautama Buddha, the Enlightened One.
With elections in India having almost become synonymous with money power of the blackest order, conspicuously marked by intimidation, threats, violence, killings, harvest time for mafia dons and the like, as Assam heads towards the poll day barely two months or so away, the socio-political milieu is fast on its way to be disturbed, chaotic, murky, frightening and in some cases even life-threatening. In fact, such a horrendous situation where peace suffers the darkest of the eclipse could be on the cards for Assam and may have already made inroads, courtesy money power, with waves of floods loaded chock-a-block with mountains of crispy currency notes seemingly already underway.
With the backdrop certain of turning increasingly gruesome and appalling with poll monsters of different hue enforcing their money, muscle and even gun power at times to manipulate the election landscape, it is anybody’s guess as to the quantum of violence to ensue and as to how much every vote to be cast would be self-conscious determined and how many more to be guided by some emerging unholy axis.
As of now, the 2021 Assam election seems to be heading for the multi-cornered contest in virtually all constituencies. Too many parties, too many rebel candidates belonging to different parties, too many independent candidates, too many dummy candidates to split votes are very much likely to be in the fray. While an election is a heyday period for many parties and independent candidates to reap in crores, it may be a certainty that the upcoming Assam polls may witness many candidates working as vote-cutters for a hefty price. This may again be one of the reasons for the mushroom growth of political parties in Assam in recent times.
In this respect, it is the big parties with massive money power who set the vote-cutting game rolling to win polls. The latest on this count is the Bihar polls marked by vote-cutters being highly successful to wallop the mahagathbandhan led by the RJD to fall by the wayside. The question arises if the voters of Assam are matured enough to understand the sinister vote-cutting strategy when they even failed to apprehend in the 2019 polls the coming of CAA.
Vote-cutting is not the only strategy in the unholy electoral gamut. As has already pointed out, intimidation, violence, killings, dupery, letting loose of communal frenzy are, to name a few are some of the other game-plans in the armory of the ‘master’ poll planners of the big parties.
Again, while the three farm laws enacted by the Parliament have taken several parts of the country by storm, virtually all the parties of Assam, including those who claim to be ‘Assamese chauvinistic’ and have floated new ‘regional’ parties have maintained indifferent attitude towards the new farm laws despite eighty-plus percent people of the state being dependent on agriculture and related profession.
Will these parties speak on their stony silence towards the new farm laws? Are the new farm laws fully acceptable to our parties? Who would explain to the farmers on the acceptability or non-acceptability of the new laws?