of toffees, balloons and tea parties

These elections look more and more like the Mad hatter's Tea Party with toffees and balloons. This is what elections have come too. Toffees and Balloons and a tea party! This is what it has come down to: slandering and more slandering. And let us not forget the sprinkling's of 'off with their heads'!  We are really in wonderland or rather its very antonym: dread sea! The whole show is absurd. They are now even borrowing catchy lines from popular TV ads to make their point! I wonder what we can expect next.

Though I agree with one of the star campaigners that these elections are or should be for the heart of India, my take is somewhat different.

In the past decade or so I have seen, felt, fallen in love and embraced the heart of India. The heart of India is the slum kid who smiles, the little child who begs at a red light, the millions who survive despite every politician and do so with rare dignity and courage. Th heart of India is the desperate mother who ferrets rat holes to ensure that she does not have to once again lull a her hungry child to sleep, it is the mother who sprinkles large amount of chillies on the family's only meal to ensure that they drink so much water that next meal can be skipped. The heart of India is the young boy whose eyes glinted with joy when I told him this morning that maybe we would be starting sports activities in on the neglected grounds of his school, the heart of India lies in the vegetable vendor calls out in my street in the sweltering heat or the bone chilling cold. The heart of India lies in the millions who find ingenious ways to earn a living even if it means being hounded by cops and officials who claim their right on part of his meagre earnings. The heart of India lies in the woman who sits at her door step late in the evening waiting for her man to come back with the day's earnings and hoping he will not stop by the watering hole; the heart of India lies in my little Radha who sleeps in a hole with her brittle bones hoping that she will survive one more day without a fracture. I could go on but I guess you get the picture.

Why should I not be enraged when one of the aspiring PM candidate whose party has been in power for the best part of Independent India, states in a speech after more than 6 decades: Our top three priorities after the elections are "free medicines and free hospitalisation by law, a roof for everyone, and pension to all senior citizens. Does it take 60+ years to realise that everyone needs a roof on their heads and access to basic health care not to forget schools. What the hell were you doing till now.

 I have being watching  a TV programme called Election Yatra, were reporters visit remote areas and interview ordinary people and politicians and ask them to share their views. Yesterday they visited Uttar Pradesh. Should you wish to watch it here is the link. I was shocked to find out about a village that in its late found wisdom has decided not to vote this time. The reason is that every aspiring candidate from any and every party promised them a road and never fulfilled their promise. They actually never came back. This time NO ONE has visited this remote and lost village. You may wonder why a simple road is so crucial. Let me enlighten you. During the rains, the mud road - if one may call it so - gets flooded and the village turns into an island. Children cannot go to school and in an emergency you cannot reach the hospital in time. Two people from the same family died last year as they could not reach help in time. So this time first ROAD then VOTE. Maybe the real meaning of democracy is finally filtering down. The village is called Nada and the district is Etawah. The story is some 8 minutes into the programme. I forgot too mention that the village has a hand water pump that never functioned.

To me it is shocking that the constituencies of the top politicians look the most neglected. One would have expected the opposite and thought they would be models of development. I am at a total loss to find out the reason for the neglect. I am talking of constituencies who have diligently voted one family back for years. I hope they too get the message this time.

The probable winning candidate for the top post of the country has till now scared me. I know the country needs a kind of a  dictator but a benign one and I am a little weary of how power may alter all good intentions. I was however comforted to hear in his latest interview that he will not be vindictive. On cleaning politics this is what he said: What is the solution? That political parties do not give tickets to such people? But frankly, such a situation is not feasible just now. I am determined that candidates, MPs from whichever party, including the BJP, against who cases are already lodged, I will request the Supreme Court to dispose of their cases within a year’s time. So that if they are guilty, they go to jail and vacate the seat for a non-criminal. Makes sense and I hope that he will stand by his words and do just that.

I would like to know though what he will do to ensure that every child has access to quality education we as a country would not have to bear the shame of watching 5000 children die everyday of malnutrition.

And hove all, what he will do for what I call the heart of India.