If an Indian believes that it is the Parliament elctions which are important and not the ASSEMBLY Elections, then he is greatly mistaken. To put it in perspective, ASSEMBLY ELECTION means, ELECTIONS for the Goverment authorized by the Constitution of India to Legislate on issues mentioned at List 2 and List 3 to the SEVENTH SCHEDULE to the Constitution. But somewhere in the JINGOISM propagated in the name of Nationalism, our Indian folks have been led to believe that the Assembly elections are not of much consequence.
True development of a State (which is the basic building block of the Nation) depends on the Policies formulated, implemented and relentlessly pursued by the State. Each State of India has inherent advantages as well as challenges, for example Kerala as a state has always had a slew of cash crops and copious rains have kept the state fertile, but the challenge is HOW TO MAKE THE PEOPLE OF KERALA A PART OF THE WORKFORCE OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE and INITIATIVE? Let us contrast Kerala with Rajasthan which has severe shortage of rains and land which is uncultivable 9 months a year. In Rajasthan water is the scarecest and thereby CONSERVATION is in-built in their system. Kerala may fight for water with Thamizh Nadu, but the vegetation which one could see in Kerala gives one a feeling of the Amazon forest. That is Kerala. With 93% literacy and surrounded by plenty, the denizens of Kerala have built an “attitude” of SELF RESPECT. The first question which comes to the mind of a Keralite is WHY SHOULD I DO IT AND WHO BENEFITS MOST FROM ANY PROPOSED ACTIVITY. This leads to a lot of historical questions, like WHERE is he from? WHO is his father? WHAT is his caste? Is he a COMMUNIST? Does he believe in God? etc.. This preliminary screening by the literate leads to prejudoiced conclusions and hence their “attitube” could be downright NEGATIVE. KERALITES love their LAND, naturally as it is fertile and fetches cash even if one doesn’t do anything much with the land. A kind of lazy agrarian attitude.
Rajasthan people’s challenges makew them more hard working. One could find a certain eagerness to make things better for everyone. But the literacy levels are not comparable with Kerala. They keep their habits spartan, which is the beginning of CONSERVATION, which has finally led them to save money and identify hard working people and lend them money and in turn get their returns.
Another typical state is Thamizh Nadu, where people are skilled and hard working, but their challenge is their attitude of being ENTERPRISE AVERSE. They may start a hospital- if he is a physician /surgeon, but they would never ever build an ENTERPRISE without being skilled in that area. There may be business houses like TVS, AMALGAMATIONS GROUP which have huge market share in their line of business, but like ROME those were not BUILT IN A DAY. They have been sustained thru generations of relentless hardwork. As a people, Thamizhans do not want to take risks which COULD GO BAD. They contribute to the blossoming of the MANUFACTURING SECTOR, as they are assured of their INCOME from their skills and a regular life with enough time for family and entertainment. As a State having 69,000 temples, they are fatalistic in the outcome, buit rational in their social intercourse.
So each State government has to build its own set of priorities . And therefore ASSEMBLY elections are the backbone of the NATION. The issues wich are mentioned in LIST 1 of the VII Schedule are regulated, monitored by The Central Goverment, but no IMPETUS is provided the Central Government with relation to the subject matters which fall in List 1. For example there are no melas for becoming research fellows or scientists in Space Technology, there are no advertisements for educating people on patents etc.. Persons of their own initiative reach those areas. A person who manufactures a central excisable product learns it by accident and starts paying Central Excise duty. Such is SERVICE TAX etc etc. The Central Goverment does not have to educate people to enter into areas which fall within List 1. But the State subjects are opportunities which are propagated by the State and people in a state are educated therein. Therefore the State elections have a deeper impact on the day-to-day lives of its people.
With WELFARE STATE being given a different meaning by the political parties, even the freebies form a part of the governance. The Central government may grant loan waivers to farmers etc., but it is the State Government which gives TVs at 0 cost, rice at a rupee a liko, free noon meal to kids at school etc. These actual deliveries which reach the population of a state are palpable. That is why we have the elections for a state which show that power is truly with the states when it comes to the development of the state.
The fight between the DMK Alliance and the AIDMK Alliance has reached a feverish pitch and the Election Commision is finding the goings on in the State of Thamizh Nadu curiouser and curiouser!