“You have gone mad? Stop it!” was the reaction I received from many quarters, sometimes in less kind words, as I engaged myself in a debate ( toeing on war ) in reference to the Indian elections on Facebook. Debate sounds like a sound alternative for Status wars, as some others would call it.
So, I tried to introspect and asked myself whether I was taking it too far, or the ones taking a contrary view? I have always have had political inclinations towards a particular side, which I believe is right ;) but never was I so open about them, never did I engage in fierce war of words around them, never did I try to influence others but something changed! And this change is not just with me, this change can be seen everywhere. I remember the 2009 elections or many assembly elections post that, never was there a sea of people openly backing one side over the other, making their views known to the world. And just look at you facebook walls or twitter feeds today!
I can’t talk for everyone but atleast at a personal level, I grew up in a household where discussing your political leanings was not considered as the most intelligent choice. “People will judge you based on this” was what my mother would tell me. Others would have their reasons but the fact is, discussing your political leanings in public was never fashionable, till now!
UPA might not have done much for the nation but you have to give them one thing, they screwed us up so badly that people were willing to come out and take a stand. 2G, CWG, Coalgate, JijaG etc etc had made frustrations reach levels unseen or unheard. So, I am not surprised when my “debates” in the last few days have been centred around ( against ) AAP, because frankly for a large part of the intelligentsia – Congress is not even an option and for those that it is, are probably too embarrassed to put it out in the open.
Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP may yet not be a national phenomena, but he has played a role in redefining the political discourse in the country, he has galvanized the youth of the country in a way others have not been able to. I may not like his dharma style politics but he has enthused a large chunk of people who had given up on the country. Narendra Modi, too, has made sure the debate in this country moved on from caste/religion to national agendas like development/economy/security. He has become the messiah for those who were fed up with the appeasement politics of the last 65 years. Surprisingly, many Modi supporters don’t even like the BJP, they just believe in the man! Be it the MODIfiers or Aam Aadmis, one thing we all have to concede is that the two leaders in question – Modi & Kejriwal have sensed the mood of the nation and have brought out energy unseen in the past so many years, atleast since I have been around.
The result of this election will soon be out. Soon, the social media will see the excitement diminish that it has so grown used to, and a sense of calm will set in. But, if the next Government fails to live up the expectations, the decibel levels will rise again, people will make themselves heard and the unworthy will be shown the door.
In a democracy, difference of opinion is bound to be there, or what’s the use of having the most complex form of governance? But, for me, this election will be iconic for having made that opinion come out strongly like never before!
Left with a choice to crib silently or to press for change, we chose wisely!