Opinion: Maintain a united vigil until May 23, protect democracy at all costs

Written by Vidya Bhushan Rawat | Published on: May 21, 2019

India needs a government of unity. I hope all the parties will realise that the challenge now is much bigger. Democracy is under severe threat. All other issues can be debated later but it is time to protect democracy.

 
Democracy
 
As the hold of the media and private gangs continues on Indian democracy, the only way is for the people to stand up and resist. With the massive manipulations of the media and market, it is now clear that attempt was to demoralise the cadres and workers of the political parties and make honest officers succumb.
 
There are disturbing reports of an attempt to open the Strong Rooms and push the EVMs. The Election Commission must explain as what is happening and why so many reports are now emerging from various parts of the country of their compromise. It must explain why it gave a four days gap when the last vote was polled. When the polling culminated on 19th, why did the election commission take the extraordinary time of four days for counting and allowing the market and media manipulators to play mayhem with people's aspiration and build up a false narrative.
 
The nation is in a serious crisis. Democracy is at risk because of those who want power at any cost. Unfortunately, our institutions have let us down. At the moment, people should maintain vigil at the respected counting centres. We know bigger things are going to happen on counting day and I can bet that while exit polls came out within two hours after the voting was finished, the real counting may take hours.
 
Even on the counting day, media will play games and they have already built a narrative that the opposition is complaining because it is losing or has lost. Big frauds are being invited on TV channels and are discussing an issue which is hypothetical. We can understand that the exit polls, if done honestly, can show you a trend but why so much enthusiasm to discuss things based on that. Why can’t the media wait till until the 23rd?
 
India needs a government of unity. I hope all the parties will realise that the challenge now is much bigger. Democracy is under severe threat. All other issues can be debated later but it is time to protect democracy. We hope that officials entrusted to do the job will do it honestly and in the greater interest of democracy. India as a nation will lose if the democratic process is subverted and the duty to protect it is not merely of those who are guarding strong rooms and the counting centres; but also activists, writers, authors, public intellectuals, government officials, police persons need to ensure fairness and report malpractices or maladministration.
 
Election Commission would do well to speak to the media and explain things categorically. Those in the media, if they like to be seen with the people, should report all these incidents and be vigilant everywhere.