Votes: who doesn’t want them? But then, the bigger question is that how far the politicians are willing to go for votes? Most of the times, the political parties use a person, situation or cause to whet public against the ruling government. We saw a similar situation occurring in Rajasthan, in case of Zafar Khan’s death. ‘Pratapgarh lynching’, a term innovated by the ‘elite’ journalists in Delhi, caused quite a stir in Rajasthan, with all political parties attempting to redeem this opportunity to build their vote banks for the upcoming state assembly elections in 2018.
Till 15th of June, the media and the opposition were unaware of the ‘sad, unhygienic conditions’ in Jagwas Kachchi Basti, Pratapgarh. Following a tweet made by the CM, sympathy started pouring in for Zafar Khan, who was allegedly murdered to death by irresponsible civic officials on duty. Facing a shameful defeat in 2013 Rajasthan elections and 2017 Dholpur by polls, former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and PCC chief Sachin Pilot, the rising star of Congress, expressed serious concern over ‘government’s apathy towards the people of Rajasthan’.
Those who’re pointing out at ‘distressing law and order conditions in Rajasthan’ are the same people who failed to fulfill their promises, prior to the 2013 Rajasthan state assembly elections. This didn’t stop them from promoting minority rights, in the aims of drawing votes out of this situation. Soon, the ‘Justice for Zafar Khan’ campaign turned out to be a “Gain votes in the name of Zafar Khan as he’s a Muslim” campaign. Different parties strongly criticized the ruling BJP and advocated human rights, in the hopes of gaining votes.
Rajasthan Congress’s election campaigning was limited to just social media networks. The leaders didn’t even bother to visit Jagwas Kachchi Basti, fearing the wrath of the residents, who led an oppressed life, under the Congress rule. On the other hand, the CPI (Communist Party of India) general secretary Mr. Dipankar Bhattacharya attended a series of event in Rajasthan, where he criticized the civic officials and sought justice for the Basti members.
This makes us wonder where they were in the last four years. Why didn’t they fight to create better opportunities in education, agriculture, and public sectors? With 2018 Rajasthan assembly elections shifting near, many leaders and parties sprung to grab this opportunity to bag Muslim votes. The dual nature of Indian politics is really disheartening. The death of a man was reduced to a cheap publicity stunt, a means to gain votes by the parties that are ‘concerned about the welfare of the residents’—an eye-opening truth for the people of Rajasthan. Now, it’s up to us to choose a visionary leader with a futuristic vision or an opportunist politician who’s ‘all words and no action’.