The Indian Voter’s Predicament

The Indian voter is selfish. Very selfish in fact. The voter in the village jumps at the promise of free power. The day labourer is willing to trade his vote for a bottle of whisky. Even in day-to-day life, take the case of the urban office-goer who is delighted to get a discount on his bus ride by letting the conductor pocket the ticket money. Does he complain about corruption? Of course he does, when it inconveniences him. But when paying a bribe gives him returns many times bigger than the bribe itself, he says it’s just an integral part of being Indian.

So where is the AAP’s anti-corruption pitch leading to? Is this about reforming the government or reforming the society? Arvind Kejriwal has always shown keenness to conduct opinion polls to link his decisions to what the people want. He should probably also conduct a nationwide poll to find out how many people actually want to see India as a corruption-free nation.

Leaving scepticism aside and taking the cause more seriously, the voter now faces a dilemma as to who to vote. We’re talking here of ‘smart’ voters or the ‘twitter generation’, who seem to know their facts and are keen to debate their thoughts on social media and be part of shaping the mandate.

None of them is even talking about Congess after their young leader lost it on national television. But for the emergence of AAP, Narendra Modi would have scaled the peak effortlessly, thanks to 10 years of high profile scams. While Modi projects himself as ‘the one who will save India from rotting’, newcomer Kejriwal is quick in convincing the masses and corporates that Modi is simply lying about all his achievements in Gujarat. To be fair to Kejriwal, let’s say everyone believes he’s right and Modi is a liar, then will the voters choose to elect AAP?

They are clearly unable to decide. They are over-educated with facts. The equations (except for the last one) are simply not getting balanced.

Vote for Modi = History of AB Vajpayee’s glory + Claims of Gujarat’s development (really?) + Prime minister who can give great speeches (or simply Prime minister who can speak)2002 riotsScared Muslimsprospective MLAs facing criminal charges 

Vote for Kejriwal = Honesty + Hope for corruption free IndiaLack of numbers to win electionFear of hung parliament due to split of BJP votes Likelihood of economy tanking as a result of hung parliament

Vote for Gandhi = Why?

To simplify the definition of this crisis, India is faced with a situation where sacrifices have to be made. There is no escape from sacrifice, so India must choose between:

1. Sacrificing stability for honesty: Vote for AAP and prevent both BJP and AAP from getting a majority. AAP is unlikely to get a majority in Lok Sabha anyway as they are contesting in a little over 300 constituencies. Biggest loser will be jobs and economy unless NDA forms a government. Gain can be expected only in 2019 unless there is a re-election mid-way.

2. Sacrificing honesty for economy: Elect Narendra Modi. Corruption is not going to be as bad as in UPA 2, but it will continue to affect the common man in some measure. Containment of inflation will happen to some extent. Economy will be stable. Freedom of expression might come under attack. In simple words, we might become a little like China.

Now, please exercise your right to sacrifice.

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