Should the suggestions on an intention to implement a One Nation One Election (ONOE) be compared to an experience with a similar motive of the not so recent past of this nation – the events of the 70s? Perhaps it should, because that experience wounded the nation and though the nation has convalesce from that wound there is every need for the present government to avoid anything that reminds us of those days, and since the government is cognisant of those events they have steered off that track and chosen the sensible approach to ONOE – public comments and views, therefore I will put in my personal views on this delicate matter, because I was around then. The wisest have always believed that in politics one must take a closer look before commenting and acting against the fruition or decay of any idea that one seeks to implement.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is performing considerably well on the progress and development front wherever it holds sway. I will not cite examples for the simple reason that space is limited. That being said, the state of affairs in Meghalaya are precisely the opposite as there is invaluable evidence of the irresistible corruption that holds sway over government, religion, schools, hospitals…you name it. We can never underestimate the fatality that has crept out of democracy and into the culture of our people. Perhaps the only remedy to this is ONOE. Let us proceed to discover how.
What I will try to express herein is commended to those whose burden is going to be the heaviest should ONOE come to fruition – Politicians and government employees. Politicians and government employees are not mere individuals whose consolation is only to make an earning from the positions they hold, their duty as politicians and government employees is for the present good and the future good of the people because whether they know it or not they create the society, and if what they are creating is an immoral society, it is our duty to reset the agenda, and we failed miserably at that – we couldn’t, but someone must. What is the use of a Lokayukta or an Anti Corruption Branch when that which is revered as its superior is absurd, harmful and a crime against itself – a denial of everything good? ONOE is our only hope.
To abstain from offering a negative opinion of the implementation of ONOE is as much a sign of the lack of sincerity on our part as a sign of the seriousness of those that are so eager to implement it, having in their mind the real and secretive goal they are focused on; which I might add is not plainly evident to us just now; but in all fairness Politicians and government employees suspect it is not something fair, which is not surprising. With this will to say what is in our hearts, everyone is investigating into the wide ranging elements inherent in something as veiled as the ONOE. ONOE is not just a one line track to everything good or bad, there is always two sides, and if possible let us for all that our opinions are worth, hope that something good comes out of all this because we need something good – society’s gone too bad.
Let us examine another very relevant aspect of the matter; it is not only obvious that the ruling Party wants absolute power in the country, why should it not? Hasn’t it always been the plan of every Party to rule without opposition and to make a nation of upright citizens? In fact shouldn’t it be the wish of every Party, nay, every person to make India into a State with upright citizens, shouldn’t we want the same for our Tribal character and our Christian character? Of course we do but how do we go about it and can we if we were given the opportunity? The answer is that the Prime Minister believes he can and so he sets a policy in motion.
Having stated that the country has progressed under the policies of the present Government, and to this moment I hold onto that fact firmly (and if it will be believed) not only from my point of view, but for the most part from the point of view of the greater majority in the country, then why is there this doubt in the Central government seeking to introduce ONOE at this point in time, that is the million dollar question. The answer to this is that those that are benefiting from the present corrupt dispensation are opposed to this idea and they are the most vociferous when spreading fear and doubt against ONOE. We are by nature pessimistic when it comes to government; we Khasi-Pnar even more so, and so the detractors hold sway for now.
To get to a fair answer on the above we need to look at this more calmly and more wisely, from a vantage point that is not available to our average politician – they find such things meaningless and beyond comprehension. This idea of ONOE is not really something new…the Congress Party was the biggest benefactor from it, but there were inherent problems and it was discontinued. Therefore it is right to examine ONOE with cynicism because there are more that mistrust it than those in its favour. Let us now act like nervous children threatened by a stern teacher. It is obvious that ONOE could set in the establishment of a single Party holding the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and the Presidency once again, and in essence a single person holding all powerhouses and the people are being led to believe that that person will make India into a “One Religion State.”
To this I retort, the Congress Party once held all three and saw what became of the Party when it implemented measures to suit its agenda only! Therefore if anyone thinks that the Ruling Party is that dumb – think again – and don’t underestimate the man at the helm of affairs now. Everything went terribly wrong for the Congress Party in the 70s – everything will go terribly again if anything closely similar to that event is entertained now and the Prime Minister knows that all too well. No, a “One Religion State” is not his goal. Then what is?
The fact is that the Prime Minister has an advantage that the then leader of the Congress didn’t have…he has no family to promote, no vested interest to focus on, and till date there is nothing that anyone can hold against him. His sole concern is the nation and he, like many of us, is alarmed that the character has declined drastically in some states. He knows it is only a waste of time to indulge in dialectics…dialectics will not restore that character we have lost; his only weapon is action. And ONOE is that policy of action. Action brought in the GST, and every other change that has come since he came to power. He leaves the talking to the opposition.
And for the Opposition, dialectics is their last ditch weapon…they have no other weapon left and now they will start braying that the PM and his Party will galvanise India into an imaginary Hindu State; is there such a thing because what his admirers see is that his goal is the attainment of a morally upright State? Their tactics cannot be branded with sufficient contempt. We were once emancipated spirits in that we disdained those that lied and corrupted but what we have now, especially in Meghalaya, is invaluable evidence that our rabbis of morality are in reality rabbis of immorality and the PM and his Party must act against them.
Let us, in conclusion, admit that people forget that the final argument in politics is about progress, development and character as the ultimate good, in its place we are confronted with bigots and artificial saints these days. The reality is that here the most conscious arrogance of the politician is “wealth is good,” nothing else is. They have introduced a culture of corruption and now everything is essentially the product of that corruption. With rare exceptions, that which is lacking in India, and especially in Meghalaya, is the first prerequisite of politics – an identifiable “upright” politician. This PM is the only one who has taught the corrupt a lesson, and hopefully with ONOE he will get to teach them a still greater lesson, by getting rid of the hurdles that protect them from the Central investigation agencies.
The election to Parliament is near, and every indication is that the ruling Party is returning to power with a thumping majority. Whom we vote from Meghalaya shall determine whether we forgo or grab this opportunity, and I only hope that we do not vote with open eyes for our own impoverishment. Will we elect one from the ruling Party – the winning Party or will we once again elect one whose very essence is to negate and deny us everything good?