On the midnight of 14th and 15th August 1947, two nations which share a blood relationship got independence and started their journey toward fulfilling the hope of the millions of people who were suppressed and oppressed socially as well as economically by their colonial masters. Both of these nations was having very much in common, ranging from political background of the leaders, functioning and working style of bureaucracy and even the ethos and the ideology of the armed forced as both has shared the same colonial legacy for around 90 year officially and 190 years unofficially. In fact when British left there very many factors which was very much in favour of our western neighbour like most fertile land in western Punjab, a very good cotton producing area in eastern Pakistan and a good industrial base to process that cotton. From that front we were on receiving side as we lost around 55% of the agriculture rich Punjab provenance and a major cotton producing area. But after 69 years of independence here is where these two nation stands today :
Image courtesy : http://statisticstimes.com
The wide difference b/w the lines in the graph can compel anyone to wonder on how that could be possible for twins nation, but a closer look at the political history of both these countries can help to clear the air. It is true that both started their journey at same time but the way they carried forwarded made all the difference.
Whereas, India right from the beginning emphasised on building processes and institution at the same time our neighbour was busy with war planning and strengthing military hand with all might.Later on the same military toppled the political bosses and democracy in the Pakistant went for a silent death. Since indepence it has seen many military coup and it’s institutions were taken on free ride for personal gains. On the other hand by sticking tightly to best democratic principles and firm belief in segregation of power between different organs, India continued it’s silent progressive march toward building deep rooted democracy setup and mindset among the masses. Except the gloomy period of emergency when democracy was murdered by oldest political party there has not been a single case of institutional or government outreach against the limit prescribed in the Indian constitution. Mrs. Gandhi and congress party paid heavy prize for unnecessary oppression of the institutions and was taken to shores by people’s anger in post emergency ballot. This was the first time congress really got challenged on the national level and that might have been one of the reason for the current situation as emergency acted as a breeding ground for new political leaders who later on challenged congress hegemony.
The current verdict in UP and a massive mandate to BJP is becoming indigestive to some of the political class and instead of introspecting the reason for losses these folks are going after unnecessary arguments like EVM tempering. Indian Election commission has proven it’s impartiality and worth time and again by conducting multiple elections across the length and breadth of this nation. The 2004 LS election where Congress emerged as single largest party against the popular perception and belief that NDA will be reelected, was conducted by same EC using the same EVM machines. During that time was there any leader from opposition which blamed their defeat on the Election Commission and EVM tempering ? Mr. Atal Bihari accepted the defeat with folded hands and promised to introspect the reasons behind same. BJP again lost LS election in 2009 and then too no one questioned the sanctity of the supreme Election body.
In 2015 a 2 year old party single handedly decimated the two national parties in nation capital with a never seen verdict against all odds. Had that been possible without the independence and apolitical nature of our institutions ? Does anyone questioned on how can a new party win almost all seats and there must be something fishy with the way EVM might have functioned? Mr. Kejriwal even raised the concerned about the safety of the EVM before counting and have never uttered a word on same subject after the votes were counted and historic mandate was given to him.
Being in power can give you a sense of strength but humility with which you accept other’s victory and your defeat define your character. Rather than going after irrational logic like possibility of EVM tempering it makes more sense to look within and work on bridging the gaps between people and parties. Doing political drama and even asking to go back to a regressive step like paper based ballot in the upcoming Delhi MCD elections is something totally uncalled for, specially from a startup party like AAP which has reaped the benefit of institution impartially and independence like no one else. Such statements from elected leaders not only impact the spirit of our institutions , impact the ethos of democracy but also give negative signals to outside world about our world revered institutes.
our forefathers has build our constitution and institutions with utmost planing and care and it is a result of their foresightedness that you and me are breathing freely in a democratic and secular India. They have put in power in institution rather than putting it in individuals as later will vanish with time but it will be the former, which will stand firm in difficult times and will act like a beacon for upcoming generations.Sooner our politicians understand this better it will for their parties or otherwise God knows another UP could be in offing in 2019 !