The Prime Minister was not a candidate in the four states that have elected new assemblies, three of them having plumped for his party.
Democracy is alive and still kicking in the veins of Indians, more so for Kolkatans. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had famously said during his recent US trip: “Democracy runs in the DNA of India. India is the mother of democracy. It is in our spirit and veins.” With the ‘dance of democracy’ being enacted for close to a month and on Sunday, many of the Kolkata-based voters were left disappointed.
The clamour for central forces, violence in certain districts and villagers at many pockets reporting fear in going out to vote, has sullied the image of democracy. But, despite the circus around the voting process and the run up to it, people have not lost faith in the spirit of democracy. Banker Sumit Nandi, still feels strongly for the process. “I have faith.
Organizational functionaries are being misused by the authorities for their own benefit. The Centre and the state both equally are to be blamed for this. In our 75 years of democracy, we have failed to achieve a proper system to run it. The system should run on its own and not be influenced by the political dispensation. But there is no such intention from any government towards this,” the SBI officer said.
Oncologist Sayan Paul feels what we are watching on television is a mockery of democracy. “Still I have faith. It is just that it is not being properly implemented, the process is not right. With technology this violence can be avoided. Poll violence is a law and order issue and it has nothing to do with democracy. We do not have any civil society organization which can talk about the nonviolent election process.
There is no point in exercising this process, spending so much money on it.” Though many blamed the media for only highlighting the violence, they still reposed their faith in the democratic process. “The ruling party and the opposition, both should see that the elections at every stage be held with clean intentions and with more responsibility.
Unfortunately, that does not happen. The people in the rural areas are more aware of their rights but their voices are shut by the politicians who would call them hooligans and looters. Whatever is happening is not at all acceptable,” said school teacher Shraddha Oza.
Optimistic Dr Sayan Paul added, “I am hopeful that one day there would be resistance to this violence, which is done for the vested interests of a few and it would stop.”