It is 2 in the morning, and as I fuss over adding some bells and whistles to this piece, Janis Joplin is trying to seduce me with her guttural and throaty “Need somebody to love”.
But my mind is elsewhere, and I am not particularly seductible tonight – neither would you be, if you were poring through 156 pages of a National Election Watch ADR report on the 2009 Maharashtra assembly elections.
And I don’t get it. I just don’t get it at all.
U.P & Maharashtra are arguably two of the most important states in India – the former on account of the electoral clout, the latter due to the sheer commercial punch it pulls. And one would expect that those in the political establishment would put their best foot forward in these two states when it came to political handling. National parties like Congress & BJP need these two states if they have any ambitions of ruling the roost - however ineptly - at the Centre.
For starters, even after factoring in the no-brainer that they appear to be blissfully uncontaminated by inconveniencing stuff like scruples and good judgment, one would still expect them to select the candidates in UP & Maharashtra scrupulously and diligently, thereby ensuring that the people of these two states are not treated with disdain, such disdain being quite evident all over the blessed nation.
But alas, I am naïve.
After having looked at the construct of the U.P assembly in the first part, which dwelt upon the extent of the rot that an obscurantist establishment and a mainstream media have failed to talk about at any meaningfully impactful length, let me now turn my gaze to Maharashtra. A state that contributes to nearly 20% of India’s GDP – yet, it is a shining example of the inverted reality whereby the best is enslaved by the worst. If you think U.P’s political history is one of enormous monstrosities, take a look at how things panned out in the 2004 & 2009 assembly elections in Maharashtra.
So, here goes…..
(Are we to believe that all these parties could not find 3000 un-tainted candidates to contest the elections? A quick check on the 2004 data, points towards no improvement on this count in 2009. Maharashtra population – 11 crores. And they can’t find 3,000 good men and women!?)
(Considering the pristine waters being poured into the funnel, as seen in the first table, is it any wonder then that what we get at the other end of the election process is any less pristine than what is reflected above?)
And what kind of serious criminal charges are we talking about here? Well, the story is pretty much the same, as was told in the last article on UP assembly. The same old usual suspects – murder, dacoity, rape, extortion, kidnapping, theft, election malpractices, culpable homicide, voluntarily causing grievous hurt using deadly weapons yada yada. I will spare you the tables and charts – just refer to the ones put up in the last piece if you are a sucker for the lofty and the gory!
(Nice profession this! Screw the economy, screw the populace – let us just grow our assets at rates which make Warren Buffet, George Soros & Jim Rogers look like bumbling fools. And yes, Independents really juice it out to the max, don’t they!)
It is time to move on, perhaps, from generalizations and the yeah-the-rot-is-everywhere-fatalism, into the domain dominated by near perfect exactitude, for there is no other way of making the political establishment listen to our faint cries of protest. The malaise appears to be dreadfully incurable as things stand, leading to arrested development of the nation as a whole, methinks. But then, information is power, and if power has to shift back into the hands of the citizens, obscurantism needs to be pummeled on the nose with free-spirited abandon, till misinformation and misrepresentation of facts lie bloodied on the road to 2014.
Next week, I will shift my gaze to assemblies from South & East India respectively. I understand that there may be a certain amount of reader fatigue setting in now (this is the 6th article I have written on this subject in the last 5 weeks), so I may just combine the two regions in one final article.