AFP PHOTO
AFP PHOTO

Avengers: Endgame has broken all records across the globe, however, I am not sure about the response on other planets. It held out the possibility of being transported back in time. Somebody asked me where would I like to be transported if I could. It made me reflect on my (lack of) knowledge of history, derision for Nazis and I straightaway reached for the Ramrajya. Nazis

In those times, we only had dynastic rule, until a new conqueror came along, sometimes after centuries. As has been chronicled by our ancestors and we have read in the holy books, the time is synonymous with peace, trust, harmony and compassion. Ravana, tradition has it, tried to turn the tide but love, determination and brotherhood were victorious.

What brought us to democracy is the British rule. They realised that the rulers of 400 years ago were not efficient. While leaving India in 1947, they left us as they had found us — a divided India. Our leaders were passionate about the hard-earned freedom and told us it belonged to each and every one of us. There’s democracy for you.

There was the ‘Purushottam’ — Ram. Then there were those who handed over the reigns to the British. And then we have those we choose, every five years or so, more or less. Our choice matters. We have to be careful in weighing our options.

Well, in democracy, we don’t have a ruler, we have a server. The Hindi translation of Prime Minister is Pradhan Sevak, a person who is the head of all the other sevaks. Mr Narendra Modi also called himself our pradhan sevak and then chose to categorise himself as a chowkidar.

We, the people have to take the responsibility of choosing who would be the best sevak for us. Jean-Paul Sartre had rightly observed that we are condemned to be free. We are condemned to choose. He further said, to not choose is also a choice that we make. Each of our choices come with repercussions and we are doomed for the next five years with a particular sevak. We have to go through this existential dilemma every five years and 2019 is one of those.

Like it used to be in school, when the class teacher would ask, ‘Who wants to be the class monitor?’ And we had to choose one from those nominated. We had to choose one out of five, no more.  Here, we have parties and their ideologies. We may or may not agree with all of the ideals of a party, all we can do is weigh which one will create less problems for us in next five years.

The voting is done and the results will be trickling in after you have read this. We will know the face of the person who will represent our nation in the world, who will be the arbiter of our conduct for the next five years and who will give the opposition a chance to lure the nation towards change after five years.

Modi has made himself popular in last five years. He implemented, whether you like it or not, demonetisation, GST, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and several other progressive ideas. He told us his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ but did not want to answer any of ours at his one and only press conference in his entire tenure.

He shot down satellites in space, oversaw the eradication of 300 terrorists after the Pulwama attack and finally, took a break in Kedarnath for m(o)ditation.  Sushma Swaraj said she did not want to contest the Lok Sabha elections and Nitin Gadkari is the choice of the youth. Both have been trolled on Twitter for various reasons.

N Chandrababu Naidu is hellbent on making an alliance. He is the most optimistic about the Bharatiya Janata Party losing and is making all-out efforts to be in the good books of all the parties. He has the experience of successful chief ministership.

But he also doubted the functioning of Electronic Voting Machines. The Election Commission was not happy with that. He had exited the NDA for lack of funds but has failed to deliver much in his current tenure. Farmers in Andhra Pradesh are in great distress.

Sharad Pawar is a choice that the Mahagathbandan can make, to play safe. He has been criticised for not contesting the Lok Sabha elections.  Mamata Banerjee is the person who had banned the CBI from West Bengal. She decides who should talk to her subjects on her land. She let ‘goondacracy’ happen during the elections in her state. By hook or by crook, she wants the gaddi. What will she do with it?

Mayawati cannot decide which party she should support. She has publicly bashed Narendra Modi and the ideals of the BJP. But she has also turned her back to Opposition parties by not showing up for the post-poll meeting. Victory is necessary, the rest can rest.

The nation needs someone with character; not just a name and not just an ideology. A person who is unbiased, who has knowledge and acceptance of history, understanding of philosophy, a vision for uplifting the living standards of the common people, one who emphasises education, can express his own opinion and can implement the necessary steps for public welfare. So, have we chosen our king? Or must I ask which colour you like — orange or green? Today we will turn over a new leaf.

Pragya Jain is an educationist. Views are personal.