“Use that Button Wisely”, says Laila Tyabjee, crafts activist, designer and social activist, based in Delhi. She has made a sharp and evocative appeal to the Delhi electorate through a facebook post yesterday
In 2014, Modi was bestriding the election arena like a colossus Santa Claus, promising us all golden futures, jobs, good governance, money in the bank, an end to corruption…. 5 years later, an increasingly shrunken and shrill Modi is not talking either past achievements or future plans. Instead he is busy fighting the ghosts of Rajiv Gandhi who died 28 years ago, and Nehru who died 56 years ago. It took four admirals yesterday (May 9), including a former Navy Chief, to rebut some of his slurs and false allegations.
Meanwhile more and more loose-mouthed BJP electoral candidates are taking advantage of a party that seems uncertain of any of its directions except majoritarianism, to put their own unbridled slant on things – one wanted Christians and Muslims to be sterilised, another Sadhvi, a terror-accused out on bail, claimed her curses had caused the death of revered police chief Hemant Karkare, and a third, a Minister, threatened that those who didn’t vote for her would be denied development benefits. Her son meanwhile said Dalits were fit only to tie his shoe laces.
Sickeningly worded flyers were circulated calling a young AAP leader with a quiet and amazing track record in turning around education in Delhi a “prostitute” of “mixed blood”. All this went un-condemned by the party and it’s leader, who was too busy shadowboxing his long dead predecessors and concocting easily verifiable false facts and figures. Adding to the unreality of things, film stars, cricketers, wrestlers, and even a society hair dresser are being fielded by all parties – page 3 glamour is considered more vote catching than socio-economic knowhow. Does this really cut ice with the public?
Other BJP worthies are calling for for a change to the Constitution. As a sign of things to come, the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, has sent a list of recommendations to the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) demanding changes in its “baseless and biased” textbooks, and the removal of English, Urdu, and Arabic words, a poem by the revolutionary poet Pash and a couplet by Mirza Ghalib, and the thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore.
As Delhi goes to vote over the weekend, the words of Lawrence Ferlinghetti reverberate:
“Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture….”
Use that button wisely, friends.