These elections were bitterly fought with candidates across parties carefully selected from the majority caste and religion. Every party tried to paint a rosy picture of its candidate from a particular caste or religion as politics was mixed with religion, a deadly combination, if not used wisely. Also, a section of the electorate was wary of parties that “seemingly” don't represent its religious interests.
This fear psychosis could take us down. All parties other than the BJP are perceived to be ignoring Hindu interests and vice versa. Sadly, post elections, we hardly see any attempt by any political party at initiating a dialogue across religions and communities to build trust.
The Constitutional provisions make India a ‘secular state’ on paper, but we must have political parties introducing younger political leaders, who can become role models. Going forward, we must rally to come out of the trench we have dug for ourselves, where the agenda for an election is not development or good governance, but one religion against another, all promoted by parties filled with career politicians.
The common man naively believes that the candidates will keep their poll promises, but ultimately it is the party politics, compulsions of lobbies and mysterious paymasters who dictate their decisions.
— The author is a member, Citizens’ Action Forum