Uploaded on June 19, 2023
FOLLOWING KARNATAKA ELECTIONS, WHAT SHOULD BE THE STRATEGY FOR THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam
In democracy people are the mightiest. Who will hold the supreme authority, which party will form the government are the decisions people make, but practically this is demonstrated when people exercise their intellect, they are awakened, they know their rights and the power of their vote. When people understand the power of their vote, they exercise it judiciously and entrust power to a party which shows concern for the welfare of the people, ensures peace in the country and respects the rights of the people. On the other hand, when people don’t realise what rights they have and what is the importance of their vote, this power is misused. Consequently, authority passes over to incompetent and communal people who ruin the whole country and the state. People then suffer on account of their erroneous decisions and find themselves in trouble and great difficulties. However, the best thing in democracy is that after every five years people get an opportunity to rectify their mistakes. People in Karnataka took benefit from this opportunity by rectifying the mistakes they committed in the past, showing the communal party the exit door.
Karnataka Assembly Elections were a milestone. On the one hand, politics was being directed by communalism; religion was being invoked to garner support and hatred towards Muslims was being generated to win elections; ban on hijab was imposed in the hope of getting votes in the election; masjids and awqaf property were seized to pave the way for electoral victory. This mala fide strategy didn’t work since the people of Karnataka acted with responsibility and showed great vision; they rejected the politics of polarization on the ground of religion. They rejected the plea to cast their votes on the ground of hate towards Muslims and voted for the party which entered the election fray with a secular agenda, promising employment to the people, to get rid of inflation, to discard communalism by all means and to move forward along with all others. This sensibility, electoral understanding and the resultant responsible voting altogether present an ideal strategy for which the people of Karnataka deserve accolade. The most grievous issues, such as communalism, Islamophobia, inflation, unemployment, harassment of women, trampling of human rights confront not only Karnataka but the whole country. In these circumstances, people should take a lesson from the recently held Karnataka Assembly Elections. When it comes to elections, there is need to rise above religion, sectarianism and caste; it is only then the path of progress of the state and the country can be paved smoothly. The people of Karnataka have sent a message that those who seek votes in the name of religion, they divide people; they are not concerned with the development of the state; they only spread hatred between Hindus and Muslims to get votes. Such people should not stay in power because the problems of the people are inflation, unemployment, restoration of peace, harmony, mutual friendship, fraternity, opportunities to have access to education, and restoration of women’s rights, etc.
With great zeal and strong passion the people of Karnataka have voted the Congress to power, getting a victory more than expected. Now, this is the responsibility of the ruling party and the Chief Minister that the promises made to the people are fulfilled. Restoration of peace and harmony should be taken as their priority; strict action should be taken against the troublemakers; the police department should be instructed to keep a constant vigil on communalism and provocative speeches and actions; Action should be initiated against those culprits who promote Islamophobia, hatred and vitiate general environment; restrictions should be imposed on such anti-social elements.
Karnataka is the most important state of South India where people have once again reposed confidence in Congress and have voted it to power. In the next few months, many states including Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will go for Assembly Elections, followed by the General Elections in 2024. In view of this, the Congress shall have to frame its policy. The strategy Congress developed for Karnataka can be replicated across the country and this will be an ideal position for the Congress. By fulfilling the promises made to the Karnataka people, the grand old party can gain advantage in both Assembly and General Elections. However, if the Congress shows negligence and becomes lethargic after the phenomenal Karnataka victory and fails to deliver on the promises made to the people, it would ruin the prospects of returning to power in states and at the centre; parties opposing the Congress may then launch a no-performance campaign against the Congress.
Priorities of an elected government include improving the law and order situation, ensuring justice, equality, freedom and fraternity. Measures should be undertaken to cultivate respect for law and people should be made to dread the bad consequences of their misdemeanor if they violated law; the police administration should regard the supremacy of law as their supreme concern. If the rule by Constitution is in force, people will be found in high spirit, country marches on the path of development and the whole society moves forward because the Constitution doesn’t allow discrimination; nobody fears excesses against him and is not scared of any trouble. Therefore, the basic agenda should be to take all people along, the environment of hatred between Hindus and Muslims should be brought to an end and there should herald a new era of fraternity, so the state government can go all out for development. Thus, people will come to live in peace and focus with a calm mind on their tasks; employment should be made certain, the weak and the poverty-stricken people should be given special attention. Government which takes care of the basic needs of the people is always acceptable to people who are inclined to bring back the same government in future. People are intelligent; they possess good judgement and are contemplative as well.
(The writer is General Secretary of All India Milli Council)