First general elections that I have faint memories of were 1971 Loksabha elections that are best remembered for landslide victory for a breakaway congress led by Indira. I was very young- may be in class 2nd or 3rd but the festivities associated with elections caught my fancy as a child. There were meetings in which parties would generously distribute flags and metal batches bearing party symbol. Collecting these party batches as memorabilia was a favourite pastime of children. Of course, Bollywood has always been a national obsession and I didn’t remain untouched by it and the thought of seeing film stars in person generated unprecedented euphoria. I distinctly remember a meeting addressed by then very young and super handsome Dilip Kumar. Crowds had simply gone berserk to catch a glimpse of their favourite thespian. And there were other speakers of excellent oratorical skills. Most prominent of them was youthful Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who subsequently led the destiny of this nation with great distinction, whose oratory would keep audiences spellbound for hours. He interspersed his speech with anecdotes laden with rustic humour.
And then I followed consecutive elections, each strengthening the democratic fabric of this great country. Elections were highlighted by serious issues, great leaders, good orators, celebrities and the right earnestness they deserved but there was seldom bitterness, violence and rowdiness. Leaders were gracious enough to accept the verdict with humility and assured the elected Government of all the cooperation in driving the national agenda for next 5 years. There was no acrimony, enmity or aversion.
The provocation for this blog came from the current round of elections being held in 4 states where the acrimony, bitterness and aversion seem to have touched all time high. Let’s restore the grace and associated festivity of elections – objective of all parties and leaders ultimately is to take India ahead of all other countries. If objective is same and is so noble why then this acrimony?
7 thoughts on “Elections- then and now”
When i was in my school days, always used to go with father for this so called important day. It was so calm & peaceful then , which i always miss when i find the heated atmosphre around each polling booth for sheer enemity and bitterness amongst the party workers these days. Strange !!!
Very nicely penned sir as always
You are right Sir. I also collected Metal batches and flags of Party in childhood. I saw booth those days were attractive at specific places seldom with violence.
Our memories are alike
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Sir, I also remember having seen those metal badges collected by my Dad during his earlier days.
He used to keep it like some priced possession and upon seeing it, when I used to ask him why he has collected them, he used to say he has memories associated with them.
Our memories are alike
Rightly penned down Sir , the situation has become bad to worst and the best example is West Bengal where there’s total breakdown of law and order situation , Many innocents have lost their lives which is totally unforgiving . Is this a Democracy where EC has to take stock of the situation again and again and give a reprimand. Pathetic state of affairs ….We don’t want such kind of elections .