The dates for Parliamentary Elections are approaching fast. With this the anxiousness, anxiety and excitement of the people and politicians are on rise. Predictions are being made about the party and candidates who will lose and those who are going to be the probable winners. Confusion is the simple word which can adequately describe the conflicting predictions and situation of the electoral turf of India.
There is no clarity in the predictions and there are no assurances that these could be relied upon. About the number of predictions there are as many as are there the number of people in the country discussing the elections. But, mainly the predictions having any scientific basis are made by some institutions and media houses in the country, and abroad.
For a large and diverse country as India is making exact predictions is next to impossible for the simple reason that the different people have different aspirations and same is true about their electoral and voting behavior. This precisely is the reason that even those predictions and conclusions which were made and conducted by using the ultramodern tools and sophisticated techniques were falsified when the result of the elections, held in the past, were declared.
In like manner the predictions that are being made, while using the same tools and techniques, seem heading towards the same outcome. The actual results are going to be different from majority of the predictions being made. Although we know this but still human curiosity makes us to listen and see what is being predicted, we know what is in these predictions and what behind them but still we watch them while being made. In them actually are the aspirations of the sample, which is only a fraction of voters, and behind them is the business and business model using human curiosity.
Additionally, the political parties sponsor some predictions so as to manipulate and modulate the voting behavior of the people in their favor. The political parties make use of another human trait where majority of the people want to go with the winners, so they vote for the party and candidates who are predicted to win the elections. Here predictions become propaganda to gain over the rivals and opponents, better you are able to convince the audience that your predictions are trustworthy, the higher are your chances of winning the election and this seems the rule.
Nevertheless, surprises remain there in a democracy and they are bound to be there in the elections of 2019. Many political analysts and experts are predicting the victory of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) convincingly. They give their reasons in support of these predictions as for example Rajdeep Sardesai in his piece featured in DailyO on 11th of February, 2019 gives ten reasons about why PM Modi is in a better position to win 2019 elections.
He states, “Elections are both a marathon and a steeplechase with many crazy jumps and hurdles along the way, so making predictions at the start of the arduous race is hazardous. And yet, let me place 10 reasons why I believe Narendra Modi is the clear front runner as of now”. In these few introductory lines of his write up he says many things succinctly. He concedes that making prediction at this stage is hazardous yet he proceeds and gives his ten reasons, perhaps suggesting that these hazards are unavoidable but inevitable to face and that is why there will always be predictions.
There are other journalists, commentators, analysts and political scientists who claim that it will not be an easy sailing for the NDA. According to them the NDA may fall well short of majority mark in the 17th Lok Sabha. Some of these predict a Congress headed coalition in the country after the 2019 Parliamentary Elections. Again these predictions can be subjected to the similar kind of criticism; they are as convincing and as unconvincing as the prediction giving edge to the NDA.
In this unreliability of the predictions, their possible failures and surprises lay the beauty of democracy. If everything goes as per the predictions democracy is bound to lose its sheen, shine and appeal. The people who make these predictions know that theirs is not the final word, so they remain guessing till the end, the politicians know how they fabricated the figures and conclusions, so they remain always engaged and the people and actual voters are not moved only by the predictions, they are bothered more about the affairs of their life and problems of their life. Anything and any politician and party they see addressing those issues is favored in the end.
In the end it comes down to the voter who decides the fate of the elections and 2019 is going to be no exception. And, it is the voter, the ruled of the country, who should eventually be the real winner. That should be the consideration of every politician who acts in purely the national interests and for the people of the country. If towards that end all the predictions fall flat that is a healthy sign.
The voters in the main should not get carried away with the predictions and prediction business. They should analyze and weigh each party and candidate on the scale of real national interests and that of the people. They should cease to be tools in the hands of politicians who manipulate everything for their personal gains. If in the end they falsify each prediction and claim that is not a problem.
2019 is a critical year for the county for it will decide the continuance, or otherwise, of some policies and trends in the Indian politics. It will also decide about push forward or undo the changes that have been made in the governance of the country in the last five years of Modi rule. Plus, it is an opportunity for the voters of the country to weigh and vote considering the performance of the incumbent government and promises made by the political parties and coalitions alongwith their degree of sincerity.
In any case and above all it should be the voter and the country that need to be the victors. Prediction, it is reiterated, will always be there and all the predictions should lead the country to the authentication of the good of the country. Predictions should be made as tools for making changes and corrections where things seem to be falling apart from the intended national objectives. Once that is done Indian voter could be said to have attained great degree of maturity and wisdom. Time is to prove that.