Dear politicians and candidates,
I am a 70-year-old voter. As my hair turns white, and wrinkles begin to form on my face – I have started to realise that each wrinkle means a different perspective of this prospering nation. My wife died 10 years ago. She was a politician. When she was on deathbed her last words put a responsibility on my shoulders to ensure that her position would not be misused after she died. She had witnessed her near and dear politician colleagues falling into the trap of corruption, but she always emphasized that there were many aspiring and progressive politicians as well. She often complained “not all politicians are the same”. She was very disturbed by the wrong image formed in the people’s minds, and the trust that the citizens keep losing in their leaders. I ask you 10 years later, has anything changed? Have you changed?
It is true that playing a game of words, you sway voters and the common people with your sheer empty promises, and when you get elected to the seat you may or may not efficiently work to look up to all of them.
The future of the whole country lies in your hands. You all are our leaders, symbols of hope, listeners of the impoverished, and helping hands to the traumatised.
The public anticipates that you will do the quality of work, which may not have been done there through years.
You influence and light up the hopes of many of your supporters.
However, our hope has now wilted: today ‘s scenario delineates how the good gets easily overpowered by the corrupt and evil. Although the world has seen arrogant, unscrupulous politicians there have also been great visionaries like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mahatma Gandhi, Barack Obama who despite travelling a common political journey with political misfits, had a common struggle to find a prominent position, to voice their ideas. Yes, they struggled but they preserved their faithfulness to their aspirations to some extent and succeeded in making a change they had envisioned.
Politics is thus, not about forgetting the golden aspirations you once had before entering politics, moulding yourself to a changing set of circumstances, and then ultimately taking “convenient” routes of corruption, hypocrisy thereafter.
Politics is a medium to initiate change. I wonder whether politicians and officers took their posts to bring a change or to be changed? Back then when I turned 18, I was so excited to give a vote in the elections. But now as the years pass by, I have seen that elections no longer produce the same appeal among our hearts, no longer mean a sense of pride and responsibility that this time we would make a better choice. Some have even lost hope that any politician, be it of the ruling or the opposition will listen to us, once got elected. “All politicians are the same” people say.
“They play politics, we just have to vote for a bit better one”, a shared feeling among many voters.
“So, do people of this generation need to feel more confident in their representatives?”
This is a question that perchance only you can answer best We have seen more than once the discontent of people and even the frustration of leaders. Having had a companion of the same profession, I now realised why this happens – our lack of acceptance towards dissent.
But, being a representative is not just about enforcing your aspirations, is it?
It is like having vowed yourself in a wedlock to a job, where you will have to get used to dissent, protests, defamation against you. But when you, politicians will actually connect to people like a listener, and understand their uncertainties, no sooner people’s fear will soon diminish, and trust will refinish.
The nation necessitates a leader who talks on substantive issues. Who talks about ‘their’ issues? Not ‘world class issues’, but the most important ones that affect them severely like gender inequality, poverty and many more.
So, even if the leaders address masses of people, standing on a higher stage and overlook the people in height, they should not overlook the uncertainties. Rather they should listen to the people in any possible way; be it dissent or acceptance. After all in independent India and all democracies around the globe, an individual is called to be the most important person of the country, right?
Now, there is an urgency , to switch to the idea of ‘by the people for the people and with the people’, be it an easy or hard walk. It is not late. The aam janta (common people) has always been dealt with as ‘common’, why not make them feel unique by taking note of what they seek?
We do not ask you to be fluent, we do not require you beautifully dressed, we just desire a charismatic, self-regulated, confident representative.
In the coming elections and thereafter too, I can just hope that the politicians and leaders become a compass for the drooped hopes and desires of the aam janta!
~ An optimistic voter