Elections in India are a pompous and grand affair, an event no less than any festival, it is a celebration of democracy, a reminder that jolts every citizen awake and reminds them of the power they hold over those in power. As speeches laden with promises of equality and progress soak the nation in political fervour, it becomes pertinent to put these purple promises under critical scrutiny, especially in light of the Assembly Elections 2022.
In Uttar Pradesh, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra launched the 'pink manifesto' with the slogan "ladki hu lad sakti hu" in wake of the 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections. Priyanka commented that "As on date, less than 14% representatives in Lok Sabha and state assemblies are women." As as step towards gender equality, Congress has announced to reserve 40% of its tickets for women candidates and also promised to provide electric scooters and smart phones to girls who passed class 12 and claimed that it will increase the honorarium of ASHAs in the state to Rs. 10,000. While BJP has started taking suggestions for 'Sankalp Patra' where leaders are meeting sections of the society with a postcard to take their suggestion.
There are myriad of issues that must be focused on immediately lest the sitaution gets even worse, considering the world is going through a pandemic and Covid-19 has batttered Asia's third largest economy pushing India into a serious job crisis. Unemployment is at an all time high today, with a whopping unemployment rate of 7%. India is undergoing a serious job crisis and as recorded by Kaushik Basu, former chief economist of the World Bank, the situation is even worse than the big economic crisis of 1991 when the country did not have enough dollars to pay for imports.
As alarming as it is, unemployment isn't the only issue that demands immediate attention. Crimes against women saw over 61% rise in 2021 planting a deep seed of fear and anxiety in the hearts of Indian women. The data states that rape cases saw an increase of 43% from 580 till June 15 last year to 833 this year, molestation jumped by 39% from 733 to 1,022, kidnapping of women from 46 to 159, and dowry deaths from 47 to 56.
Caste based atrocities are on the rise as well. The Covid Pandemic years saw a rise in violence against Dalits and tribals. Official Statistics revealed that crimes against Dalits and Tribals increased by 9.3% in the year 2021, shattering the farce of the equal Indian society.
Turning a blind eye to these statistics that clearly show that the path India is headed on is dark and bleak, politicians today chose to indulge in vehement attacks and blame games that shift responsibility from one shoulder to another, often in the process, dropping all the weight on the Indian population and crushing them even further. The upcoming assembly elections bring with them a lot of promises, to what extent will they be acted on, only time will tell.