Elections 2009: We Can’t Look Forward Because We Look Back

As both the major national political parties sounded the bugle for the forthcoming elections over the weekend, it was depressing to see none of the them articulate a vision for India going forward. None of them is saying why we should elect them and what’s different about them. We keep going back in time even as the need of the hour is to look ahead and put forth a vision with clear deliverables of what we can expect from them in the next five years.

As a friend put it, the parties seem to want to fight the 2009 elections based on what happened in 2002 (Gujarat), 1992 (Ayodhya), 1984 (Punjab) and 1975 (Emergency). What about 2014? No one even seems to be thinking about that. We cannot look forward to the future because we keep looking back to the past.

Maybe this is a reflection of what India wants. I doubt it. India’s people want to look ahead, but our polity and policies hark back to the past. If one party invokes Gandhi, the other invokes Nehru and Indira. We still have time to alter the agenda for the elections. And I hope the discussion will be about next 5 years rather than previous 60. Because India deserves better.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.