This short piece was written approximately thirty years ago, maybe in 1992, when my sons were just becoming adults and elections were just over. This seems so complete in itself that I do not feel like adding anything to it!
It is merely wishful thinking to put elections well and truly behind us for the stipulated period of five years. My sons have become eligible adults, as far as voting is concerned. How am I to make them aware of the importance of voting in a democratic country, with the lack of faith shown by quite a vast portion of electorate? Ever since I became eligible for voting I have tried to utilise this right as a citizen of India. Try as I might, I cannot remember if my parents ever told me or related the necessity of voting even once.
My parents were regular voters. It evokes such pleasant memories. Elections were predictably held at an interval of five years, barring incidents like sudden demise of Prime Ministers. My father would welcome the candidates in our home and offer tea.
The D-day was a big event for us sisters. It was one of the rare occasions when my mother would accompany my father for an outing. Not knowing then, the disastrous effect to economy and sociopolitical life I used to wish that election would be held more often. My parents would return home smiling, with hot kachoris for us, neither was a frequent happening in our childhood. The taste and pleasure of those way-side kachoris still lingers.
I wonder still, whether it is those kachoris, my parents’ smile or the mystery they created around the necessity of secret ballot, which made me and my sisters religious voters. I have none of those to offer to my sons, not even the stability which I got from my parents, inspite of their frequent bickering. The frequent eating out will hardly give them the relishment of those kachoris; their parents are divorced; and there isn’t any mystery shrouding the ballots with so much exposure.
My parents had a stable environment and a future they hoped they could look forward to. Where from can today’s parents create an aura of stability and what future do they offer to the coming generations?
Maybe, my very Indian optimism, that whatever happens, happens for the best, gets induced and reaches my sons by the time they make major decisions.
Even though the present government has been chosen through elections, they will still have to prove themselves, for the next generation and the existing one, to come forward and elect them.