Art of winning elections in democracy

Posted by: Shreepal Singh

Like a painter needs brush, colors, canvas and his or her imagination to paint a beautiful portrait, political leaders in democracy need tools and imagination.

It is not the reality, but the perception of reality, that matters in democracy in deciding who will rule. It is not anybody or everybody who can create this perception to his or her liking. It needs money, a lot of money, and a team of crusaders to create this perception, like a painter needs brush, colors and canvas.

But the quantum of money alone does not decide the outcome of the game of democracy. One needs imagination to win the battle.

It is proverbially said, democracy is the rule of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a misnomer; it is a cover-up; it is a sort of lullabies. If one goes deeper into the functioning of democracy, one would find it is neither the rule of the people or by the people nor for the people.

Like a painter armed with his/her tools, a politician possessing money and man power can create a perception of reality, which reality may not be there at all.

Winning elections in democracy is an art and science. It requires three sequential elements: create perception; fine tune as you go along; and build resonance to amplify.

In democracy, those who have been instrumental in acquiring/taking away the land of farmers can very well create the perception that they are the best friends of farmers; those who have been dividing people along their religious/ethnic/regional fault-lines can very well create a perception that those very persons are the champions of peoples’ unity; those who are solely responsible for making poor people’s lives miserable can very well create the perception that the people are happy and prosperous. Such is the magic power of creating a perception.

But the creation of a perception is not enough; it is a temporary achievement. As political leaders go along during election, they need to make mid-course corrections and fine tune the momentum; it is an art and money does not count very much here. This mid-course fine tuning is to be aimed at only one goal: put your ears to the ground and listen at which point it is the resonating. It is a science; it is the science of psychology aided by physics. You get the correct frequency and you are able to amplify, without much further labor. Magic, sheer magic!

It is bitter truth that all people not alike; they think differently; they behave differently to one situation. It is human nature.

It is a bitter truth that there are religious/ethnic/regional fault lines along which people are divided in India. The best way to reconcile is to admit the reality and face it in a reasonable manner. The worst crime one can commit is: he/she knows this truth, declares it a false rumor-mongering and exploits these fault lines to his/her own political advantage.

This dismal condition of democracy today is because we are not willing and prepared to elect our political leaders through the modern process of technologically empowered electorates; we need to use information technology as soon as possible to elect our leaders; to monitor them; to recall them at a moment’s notice and elect new ones in their place.

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