By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
~H. L. Mencken
It’s always amusing to watch the very politicians, who clamored and picketed on roads over inflation and prices of petrol when they were in opposition, are now silent when prices of commodities are at an all-time high.
Covid’s second wave devastated the whole country in a matter of weeks but there was always a hope of recovery but the kind of pessimism that has gripped the economy from inflation in cooking gas, food items, and fuel prices will dent the hopes of getting things back on track. Because of the pandemic, people had to tap into funds they would normally keep for the rainy day, either cashing fixed deposits or taking out money from the provident fund, these funds would go either for hospital or medical expenses or sustaining the family after job loss or closure in business. Whatever the reason but the fact that people who are already strained financially are witnessing a further drain on their savings because everyday necessities are getting expensive should be a wake-up call for any political party, the ruling party however is still, it seems, in a deep slumber.
The middle class is the backbone of the party in power, BJP’s political fortunes, whether it accepts or not, are linked to the satisfaction of this support base. The educated youth will not be easily persuaded by the WhatsApp messages proclaiming the greatness of the ruling party’s leaders. The party has to explain why we are paying more than a hundred rupees for a liter of petrol in some places, why buying cooking oil and pulses now puts an extra burden on the household budget but the party leaders remain silent and absent, just like they were during the second wave. Many students are finding it difficult to continue their studies because the schools have increased the fees or their parents have lost their source of income due to the loss of a job or business closure. Imagine the pain of a parent, if their child cannot continue his or her studies due to financial constraints. Sooner or later it will point the blame to the ruling establishment.
The thing with the talk and words are that when the reality on the ground does not match what you preach then convincing people will become all the more difficult. Taking votes and political support for granted is a mistake that has proven costly for a lot of politicians and political parties in the past; I have a gut feeling that sooner or later the high and mighty of rulers in New Delhi will come to a rude awakening in elections if things continue like this.