Elections are just around the corner, the news waves are filled with election news, the newspapers carry huge advertisements issued by political parties, huge banners can be found across cities and towns asking people to vote for development , progress, peace and strong leadership, pollsters are publishing numerous opinion polls every day, but will all of this excitement lead to anything concrete for my people? Will the roads be fixed? Will toilets be built? Will education get proper funding? Will crime reduce? I’ll leave these questions for you to answer.
Let me however spell out certain ground rules, I trust you will follow these in the days to come-
First off don’t try to divide us, we are one people and we live in one country, for your petty political gains don’t give out hate-filled and radical statements, do not divide us based on religion, language or caste, you’re supposed to unite us, not divide us. Does an united India scare you?
Secondly, don’t give us fake promises which you can never keep up to, it’s easy to promise us the moon, but sometimes you forget the fact that we aren’t four-year-old kids who you can fool, we can see through your lies. Talking about promises, please read your election manifesto before you release them, manifestos aren’t documents you release just to get votes, these are documents you need to follow once you’re in power, you’re supposed to fulfill the schemes you promise, you can’t just announce them with a lot of fanfare and then forget about them.
Thirdly don’t use cheap means to win elections. It may be easy to win a couple of thousand votes by distributing free alcohol and food, but in the long run these things destroy our country, these unfair and sick moves will only lead to my country becoming more corrupt. Instead try to win votes through fair means, use your work, your voice, your volunteers, your elocution skills and your manifesto to convince people to vote for you, work hard and campaign well, always remember, the youth of this country are watching- we may not talk a lot, but trust me we are watching every single move of yours.
Fourthly, don’t bother knocking on my door once in five years if I haven’t seen you do any work in the previous five years, I want you to be visible, I want to see you on the ground, I want to see you working hard, I want you to be efficient and caring, don’t ask me for my vote if you have spent the last five years sitting in your palatial bungalows, eating my money and using government privileges, if you’ve hit the snooze button for five years and you’ve suddenly woken up during the elections, you’re a part of the problem and we won’t waste our precious votes on you.
Next up, don’t you dare use violence, threats and muscle power to win elections, India is a country which admires peace and non-violence. Why should innocent people be killed and hurt simply for you to win an election? India doesn’t deserve violent and crude politicians, we deserve more compassionate leaders who will guide us and inspire us. Let me also add that if you have a criminal record or if you’ve been involved in a crime, it’s actually shameful that you even have to courage to come out and ask for our votes. How can we have strong laws and regulations when our own lawmakers are lawbreakers?
I also want you to remember that this country is governed by a Constitution, you are morally and legally responsible to the Constitution of this country, don’t give out careless and harmful remarks which tarnish our Constitution. We need leaders who will follow the Constitution, not leaders who will put the Constitution on an elephant and sing praises to it, but not actually follow it or even read it.
Always remember to shed your elitist and privileged attitude, no matter who you are or how much power you have, the Indian people will always have more power than you, don’t do silly things like hurting a toll booth attendant simply because he asked you to pay for using the road which was built with public funds, don’t skip security lines at airports and use extravagant VIP privileges, don’t demand to be treated specially, you aren’t deities to which we need to come with offerings!
Remember the greatest and most powerful leaders of the world have always been the ones with the most humility and grace.
I could keep listing out more things I want to change, but I will stop with a few more small ones- don’t hinder our day-to-day movement for your political road shows and rallies, why should ambulances be stopped or why should school buses be made to wait simply so that you can parade your supporters around and chest thump about yourselves?
Be environmentally conscious, don’t overdo the tacky banners and posters, don’t litter our cities with party leaflets and hand slips, clean up after your rallies and don’t use loudspeakers at 11 in the night, trust me- hell hath no fury like a sleepy 19-year-old woken up by political jingles.
Like always, I send my best wishes to you all, I will responsibly go and vote for the best candidate (I will stand in the line at the polling booth unlike many of you who will barge into it)
Remember the fact that we are many and you are few, the Constitution begins with ‘We the people of India’ it doesn’t begin with ‘I, the great, chest thumping, super awesome Politician’
My loyalty to my country has urged me to write this letter to all of you, I hope this election will see some changes in your behaviour, I hope you all have a great time campaigning, remember we are watching- every single and small move of yours.
The youth of India
Do share this and comment your opinions below!