As a first-time voter, looking at political parties and their leaders, I was personally impressed with AAP. I found its campaign refreshing and the leaders seemed genuine, but I feel that they have slipped. It’s the same with other political parties. The Congress talks about development and the youth, as does the BJP. It seems that anyone who comes to power does the same thing.
However, I am sure that I don’t want the BJP. I don’t identify with its ideology, the communal slant that it has. I wouldn’t want a leader who had some role in the death of thousands of people in the 2002 riots to lead the country. But there have also been riots in the past as well as in Muzaffarnagar, so no one really appeals to me.
We need development, but development doesn’t mean creating industry at the cost of people — taking land from the tribals and giving it to corporates. There has to be a balance, a holistic approach. We need to improve education, health and living standards in the country if we want to progress, and not just setting up factories.
Not only is holistic development very important, but we also need to have a more transparent political system. I’m not just talking about transparency with regard to corruption. The entire system needs to be more open, we have the right to know what is going on. For example, during the Telangana debate in the Lower House, Lok Sabha TV stopped broadcasting the proceedings saying that there was a technical problem, but I am not so sure.
I think my vote definitely matters. People used to think “why should we vote, our vote doesn’t count”, but the Delhi Assembly election showed that every vote counts and there is a new-found desire to be involved in the political process. All said and done, I don’t trust any leader. Maybe in the future someone would come to the forefront whom I would trust. I might go in for NOTA, but for the time being, I am going to wait and watch.
As told to Avalok Langer