Right to Dole

Harashankar Adhikari

The modern Indian looks to Government for aid in everything. —Rabindranath Tagore

Voting right (only prominent visible democratic right) of people of India has been transformed into the right to dole. Each and every political party promises to dole to the voters if this particular political party comes into the power or is able to form government. Today's commitment of government for development, progress, safety and security is seen in form of magnitude of dole. There is little or hardly any commitment to make society of justice and equity via sustainable development. The political parties never think to take any real initiative of progress and development without dole. They fail to create that culture of self responsibility of betterment of country as a whole. Each political party is involved in 'competitive populism' through various initiatives of dole to the voters making more dependent and opportunist while corrupting the administration even at the lower level. Dole is declared for backward like special categories, but it is being enjoyed by almost all of the supporters of the ruling political party irrespective of their economic status.

The political parties of India have rightly realised the psychology of voters and they have considerably injected the culture of dole for vote. Dole is always a significant tool for the underprivileged. It is this measure which primarily works in favour of larger interest so far as all-round/wholesome development is concerned for facilitating a society of justice and equity. It intends to cover special categories of population.

In India, dole is used as a tool of division/segregation among voters. It is a machinery to facilitate a particular political party based interest group. It makes people dependent on the political party (ruling government). The voters would more concern about their individual gain, and they would not interfere in government policy and programme. The political parties whimsically publicise about dole to turn voters' head and it helps to easily purchase votes. It has become a slogan for all - 'Dole for the vote' & 'Vote for getting dole'.

i)    Now 'Kanyasree' is not only for the girls of special categories (underprivileged). Each and every girl of West Bengal may avail it. It is the pocket money for the girls of the well-off families for their votes. Interestingly, they will not feel shy to take it because it is their right.
ii)   'Rupasree' is not  only for marriage of poor girls. A girl of the well-off family gets this benefit because she votes to the ruling political party.
iii)  The voters who have well-structured shelter get the dole for making another shelter because they vote to the ruling party.
iv)  A couple of above 75 years old of a well-off family is seeking for old age pension while they live in comfort under care and attention of their off-springs who are well-established and well-settled because they vote to the ruling party. They have the right to access this benefit whether it is justified or not. They argue that they also vote to the particular party like many others. If many others could get it, why they are not. Even, some elderly voters of better off position enjoy the benefit of MGNEGRA without any work, only for their votes to the ruling political party.

This psychology of voters is promoted intentionally and deliberately by the political parties. Dole as relief, compensation or reparation has broken the self-governance, mutual respect and social interaction among the people of India. The political parties have no liability and responsibility to lead national progress by the people of their own realisation and effort. They think that the dole would facilitate national goal for better nation. Thus, these political parties, when in power, never think how to meet the most challenging crisis like unemployment.
Right to dole is only a medium of dominance and dependence. Voters hardly think of self-respect.

Vol. 51, No.19, Nov 11 - 17, 2018