By Toki Blah
The Election Commission has now confirmed Feb 27, 2023 as the date for Meghalaya Assembly elections. That frantic search for candidates by political parties; the equally frantic attempts by politicians eager to find parties who will offer them a ticket; those ridiculous identification attempts of who is a winnable candidate ( the one with the loot and ready to buy votes with it) and the one who is a certain loser ( the one who enters politics depending more on wit and a desire to serve ) are over. The list of contesting candidates is out. The flawed and corrupt political system that Meghalaya politics has chosen to follow still believes that “Winnability” is the only genuine DNA of a candidate. Unfortunately even after 50 years of statehood, the electorate refuses to question this distorted political logic that impacts on the lives of us all.
The State President of a prominent party (which expects to achieve single majority) mockingly declared, that those without money should not waste their time contesting as they have little chance of winning. The reaction to this blasphemous statement was dead silence. It says it all. Period! Our established political parties see nothing beyond capturing power. There is no sense of purpose; no desire to serve; no vision to lead; nothing at all. The whole strategy of the present system is based on the belief that “Fool the people during elections; capture power; form a Government and then do whatever you like”. It seems to be the sole purpose of politics and everyone, the people themselves seem to agree on this. So a group of us have decided to also jump into the election fray. But we have decided to tell the people the facts of life; if we win, prepare them what they are in for; in short tell the electorate the Truth and nothing but the truth. It’s never been done before but what the heck. The whole world is changing so why not a change in political strategy too.
Therefore the party we are about to form has decided that the motto of our party shall be “Honesty is the Best Policy.” Nothing shall be concealed or hidden from the public and the electorate. Keeping up with the Party motto , the Party shall have no manifesto simply because of the fact that manifestoes for the last 50 years have only been printed on meaningless coloured pamphlets to make pious declarations that no one has any intention of keeping. Our party shall never deceive the people and so we shall desist from printed manifestoes. Past elections have always heard and witnessed devout declarations of love for the state and the jaitbynriew and that if people are elected and returned to power they will ensure a wondrous and beautiful vision for all of us especially our future generations. Our party shall say nothing of the sort nor associate ourselves with any rosy picture of the future. Our party has decided that we shall have nothing to do with vision building nor with any promises for the future. We shall only live for the present only and leave the stupid future to its own fate. The party has complete confidence that its candidates and the party cadre itself will remain true to this true profile of Meghalaya politics.
Did I hear someone ask the name of the party? Oh yes we do have a name for our party, how silly of me and I seek your forgiveness for this oversight. So Ladies and Gentlemen, we have the pleasure of declaring the formation of The All Nonsense Party (ANP) which swears to live up to its name. Once the party is formed we shall be approaching the Election Commission and if possible request them to bestow the party with the Zero symbol. Once we receive this objective we shall then proceed vigorously on a massive membership drive. With the honesty we promise and the honest candidates we will put up, we expect thousands to join us. Actually we are apprehensive of other parties envying us when they see the multitudes rush in with their support but what a pleasure it shall be to see these thousands upon thousands of All Nonsense Party members march in procession shouting “We want Zero. No Zero no rest”! What a wonderful beginning for the party and what a breathtaking future that will be for Meghalaya.
At this stage I want the reader to close his eyes and imagine how exquisitely exciting the All Nonsense Party campaigning will be. It would be a sight to behold and to remember. People on bikes, in buses and trucks , in cars and vehicles of all description; men, women and children shouting themselves hoarse “Vote for Nonsense . Vote for Nonsense”. It will simply reflect the stark reality of what has been happening for the last 50 years but at least it will be an honest reflection.
But enough of that. Let’s get down to brass-tacks. The All Nonsense Party needs to tell and enlighten the electorate what they will do and how they intend to serve if they are elected to power. Please note that in keeping with the spirit of our motto, we have left the word “serve” as a vague verb , but let me tell you in secret that service will certainly not be for the stupid electorate that voted us to power . They can jolly well look after themselves. We have first to think of ourselves, our families, our relatives and favorite chamchas. So service to them first. They get first preference for government contract jobs and government supplies will be reserved for them. We can address public interest later and offer the public the left overs. For this purpose the All Nonsense Party will come up with a cabinet as no other party has ever done. First and foremost we will have a powerful Home Minister who will not bother himself with the Police Act, IPC , CrPC etc., and any other similar nonsense. His job will be very simple – how to use the police to facilitate illegal transport of coal and in the process also make money for the party and of course for us too. Period! Honesty as I said will be our policy and as the All Nonsense Party sees no relation between education and job availability, education will be left to rot in the mess it is in already . Why waste time in reviving a dead issue. Instead in our steadfast resolution to provide for our unemployable educated youth , the ANP will turn all MLA constituencies into districts. Hurrah for the 60 districts! This will bring governance closer to the people while at the same time also create hundreds of jobs for people who will have nothing to do except twiddle their thumbs. They can drink tea, gamble or play computer games all day long for all we care.
The ANP is deeply concerned with rural development and with rural poverty. However it also recognizes that Agriculture is too much of a headache to bother our poor Ministers who most probably would mostly be Matric failed. So instead of promoting agriculture the party will encourage the people to go in for charcoal burning. The state is endowed with so much natural resources. We have coal, limestone, forests, river sand, granite and boulders together with uranium. There is a huge market for all of this. So the state shall encourage the maximum exploitation of all the above. Let’s finish off everything within the next five years. Meghalaya will be turned into a wasteland, but why worry? The future will take care of itself and if Meghalaya is no longer livable, the wealth we have made for ourselves will ensure that at least our rich families can migrate to Mumbai, Bangaluru or Timbuktu.
Urban Development will receive top priority. Roads and traffic will of course be left in the pitiable condition they are in. No funds for them, but we will bring in huge investments for shopping malls and gambling casinos. Shillong will become the smartest of all cities. Do I hear gasps of horror? But look, from the very start we had made it amply clear that the ANP shall not be bothered with governance as we know it. It’s too much of a bother so governance of the state will not be handled by the elected government but will be outsourced to pressure groups who seem to be so well prepared and knowledgeable on the subject. The ANP will do nothing for the state and its people. So please don’t fault us simply because we are telling you the truth and simply facilitating and accelerating the collapse of Meghalaya.
So instead of voting for others who will do it surreptitiously and in a sly and furtive manner, we are simply appealing to the electorate to vote for The All Nonsense Party who will do it in open transparency. It’s as simple as that. Please vote for Honest Nonsense.