I’ve been following the US Presidential elections quite closely ever since it was a face-off between Hillary and Obama, through today, when Obama has made history by becoming the first Afro-American President. And I couldn’t help but keep comparing this election to a typical Indian Prime Ministerial Election.
There are striking similarities and differences between the 2 election processes (which are reserved for a different blog) but there are things that strike me which are a doom for India and helps explain why America is a superpower.
When Hillary lost to Obama, she accepted defeat and suspended her (and her husband’s) full support to him. Likewise McCain’s first speech’s gist is in quote “It’s natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again”** On the contrary, when Sharad Pawar was not made the Prime Ministerial candidate by CWC, he split and made a new party. Also, we see more than required walk-outs in our parliament just because it had been introduced by the other table. Basically, Indian politicians are afraid to accept defeat (read cry-babies) and get into a blame-game or obstructing any good to happen to India during the others potitical term.
So everybody, here we’re talking about the difference in the maturity level of the Politicians. or should I say difference in maturity of Political system, as such.
Another significant difference in the 2 political systems is that there is a personality and that personality’s ideals and agendas people vote for. People assess who is more capable of making a balanced decision in a time of crisis. In India, when we vote, normally we vote for a party, not knowing who is going to sit in the Prime Minister’s chair. So, there’s no personality or ideology to look up to. And a person you might have wanted the least on the Prime Minister’s chair ends up on it. Basically, the Indians are kept in the blind and the country can be recklessly run by anyone who has the political backing.
Third difference is that when I vote for a party, my vote ends up in the pocket of someone I didn’t want to see in power because of the alliances and cabinet sharing, and guess what no decisions are made because the 2 alliances have different ideology. In the US, if one votes for Democrats, the elected democrat votes for the Democratic candidate only. Doing otherwise is punishable in 24 states and is end of career everywhere else.
Here’s another one – Despite the striking similarity between our caste system and racism in America, nowhere did we hear or find anyone speaking about race in his election campaign. And we have seen a history with a Black president in the seat with a popular majority. Had Obama asked for one vote because he was Black, he would have lost with a clean sweep from McCain. Cut! India – an old BSP election slogan goes – “Tilak, Tarazoo aur Talwaar, inko maare joote chaar” (Brahmans, Vaisyas and Kshatriya should be beaten up with shoes). The British taught us to divide and rule… and that’s what our politicians have been doing by dividing people over caste, language, religion, state.
The good news is that there can be some reforms in the Indian election system to fix these problem, BUT, surprise!!! surprise!!! where is the political will? They don’t want to fix something they have been using for years to manipulate the Indian masses.
The fact is that we are living in Pseudo Democracy, where we are made to believe that we are in a democracy, but everything around us is well manipulated by all politics that I admire each one of them for their contribution in maintaining this cloud of democracy over the minds of a billion people.
** source – McCain vows to help Obama (www.reuters.com)