Essay on The Scene Outside a Polling Station

“The people take part in (participate in) election rallies or programmes if their leaders are popular.”

Elections to our local bodies like local councils and to the provincial and national assemblies are well known to most of us. We also know how badly our “elected” assemblies failed to perform their functions. Instead of giving a proper democratic set-up and constitution to the country, we went on staging the show of elections just to befool the people. The candidates to the elected bodies made every possible effort (left no stone unturned) to win the elections. I happened to attend and witness an election rally or meeting quite recently. It was a scene outside a polling station as well.

When I saw the candidate speaking to the audience, I felt attracted towards the rally. All manner of people, poor and middle-class men, and women and children were standing around the dais (Wit) talking together and listening to the speaker. The speaker was a famous public leader of great importance. He belonged to a well-known party. When I was within hearing distance of him, he was shouting aloud in favor of democracy, equality, and justice. One hearer asked him how much land and wealth he himself possessed. He answered loudly that whatever he had was for the poor. I asked why he had not donated a part of his savings or capital to any hospital, college or school. He could not give a reply to this question.

The speaker declared that if he got elected to the National Assembly, he would start a very effective village uplift programme. He would help in opening schools in villages on a large scale. He would make arrangements for the setting up of hospitals and dispensaries in villages and towns to provide cheap education and medical treatment. Then he said that he would oppose the government if it imposed heavy taxes on the people.

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When the speaker said that he would distribute much of his own lands among poor farmers, there was a lot of clapping and shouting. Then when he said that he would work for a break-up of the feudal or “jagirdari” system, the people stood up in joy. Later, I found to my great shock, that after the above candidate’s election to the Assembly, this elected member kept none of his promises. Rather, he occupied some public property.

The above election rally was outwardly a great success. All the people present in it decided inwardly and openly to vote for the candidate who spoke the loudest and made the tallest promises for their progress. I returned thinking how very exciting it was to become politically popular and socially active, in fact, to cheat the people.

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