The Model Code of ‘Misconduct’

Elections in India are a cesspool of populism, intimidation, bank rolls and last but not the least of religious overtones. While I was in school, I remember the then Chief Election Commissioner, T.N. Seshan, wielding a wand that would turn any errant politician into a subservient frog if he/she transgressed the model code of conduct. The fear was so palpable that the it was almost a spectacle to observe the reprimand meted out to those who made a mockery out of the code. Today, the reality is stranger than fiction.

Cut to the Monk who sold his Safari, Yogi Adityanath, who roams about in a cavalcade of sycophants and followers disillusioned by his own role as the CM of Uttar Pradesh. He blatantly invoked religious sentiments to garner votes and did not burn his fingers because the Election Commission in a self-professed proclamation to the Supreme Court has rendered itself as toothless and hapless. Imagine having an agency that is supposed to uphold the electoral integrity of the country admitting to being unbale to perform what it was tasked to do. Nothing could be sadder. Nothing could undermine the sanctity of the democratic system so feebly.

The Prime Minister of the country too did not help matters and perhaps served as an inspiration to his sidekicks when he too included the armed forces and Mission Shakti as a subtle ploy to induce votes.

But the larger issue is the maltreatment of sacred agencies that were once revered and trusted to do their jobs and in turn the democratic bearings of the electoral juggernaut were kept firmly in place. The system of focusing on the work of the candidate was more pertinent than his selective targeting of issues to receive votes.

Once the elections are over and the winners are out, everyone will forget the violations that took place and will once again get embroiled in the circus of our politicians clamouring to disunite and disown what they stood for during campaigning.