Written by Rajlaxmi Singh, a grade 8 student
If someone had told me 4 years ago, COVID-19 would become a pandemic, I would’ve brushed it off and called the person crazy. Better yet, I would’ve laughed at their face. Yet, today, COVID-19 has changed our lives. For better or worse? That’s the only thing left to find out.
Similarly, if someone told me two [or more] years back, that my father would resign from his job and contest the elections, I would’ve laughed at their face. Yet the moment my father handed in his VRS, I knew, things had taken a turn for the better or worse.
Time does change everything, indeed. Till a year back, I was taking vows to stay away from politics and avoid it as much as possible. Yet, the elections come around, and I was running from one village to another, asking for votes, talking in the favour of the party from which he got his ticket, the same party which the entire nation once questioned.
It’s ironic how much we think we know about something, while sitting on the sidelines, and when we finally enter the field, we realize the play is totally different! Politics seems easy from a bird’s eye view, but in reality, it’s quite the opposite!
Ah! Campaigning is a very path to a whirlpool of tiredness, hopes, adrenaline rushes, and drowning in the waves of addiction to politics.
To this day, my father complains about the elections being tiring, but it is evident, each moment was enjoyed and will be cherished for years.
Nervousness was another thing felt. Sure, I have given speeches in front of students, teachers, and parents, but in a village, in front of people with high expectations? Never.
When I visited my first village in the constituency, I saw many women sitting down on a mat, while the party workers assured the women that help would be given. Feeling the need to tell the old woman that my father wouldn’t give up on them, I walked up to the old woman and said, ‘Dadi, your problems will be solved. Vote for my father, and I give my word, the solution to your problems will be delivered to your doorstep.’
Seeing her smile, made me realize how much these few sentences meant to them. For them, these small things held significance and they wanted someone to listen to their problems. These words were enough for her to give me her blessings and wish me a long life.
Next came another village, around some 10-20 kms away, where we were led to another gathering of women, children, and teenagers. First, the organizers were introduced to us, and then I was invited to give a speech.
I stood up and felt my palms getting clammy. After introducing myself, I why voting for the party was a must as mentioned by me. This was continued by how the party’s top leaders led the nation to a higher level with an honest and sincere thought process and mindset.
The speech ended with reassurances that problems would be heard, resolved and the solution completed. Ending with a ‘Jai Bharat Maa Ki!’, I realized, the nervousness that once almost drowned me was nowhere in sight. Once again, I saw hope in the eyes of the public in front of me.
Hope for a brighter future and hope for a solution to their problems.
Sitting for another 20-30 minutes, their problems were noted down, and promises to see to their troubles were made.
That day I realized that politics wasn’t a bad thing. It was more about how the power that came with politics was handled. A late-night talk with my mother led her to tell me one thing I will cherish for the ages to come. ‘No party can ever be bad. Only people in a party can be bad.’
Till now, what all was done was described. Yet what was not done, was a wave larger.
Given that finals, graded tasks, and tests were around the corner, I could only go for campaigning for a short while, and for the major part of the month, had to stay at home while I saw everyone else go around, helping my father.
After searching for the root of this newfound sapling of unease, I realized it was helplessness and hopelessness. Helpless, since I couldn’t go out again, due to COVID-19 and finals. Hopeless, since I began overthinking whether I would get the opportunity to help my father again.
When my father had his rally, with the CM, it was live-streamed online and was HUGE! I remember thinking to myself, “What kind of days have come? I have resorted to watching my father on a Facebook Livestream!” I saw him very less, as compared to what it was like when he was in the bureaucracy, when I saw him almost every day, all day long.
On the day of the counting, we started off with a bad start. Losing the first three rounds, desperation showed itself. From the fourth round, we picked up. Yet, given that the party had always lost in the rural belt, during the previous elections, I had low hopes. Yet, at the end of the rural rounds, we were leading by 28K+ votes! Something that had never happened in that constituency by our party before. The city, being faithful to the party, voted majorly for us. This led to my father winning by a margin of 56K+ votes, a first in the entire Janapada!
Celebrations were in full swing, and by the end of the day, we were all tired. A small gathering for my father’s birthday, took place the very night of the counting, where we ate, cut a cake at midnight, as a celebration for my father’s birthday, and returned home late at night.
On the day after counting, my father’s birthday took place. People from villages and cities throughout the constituency gathered at our house for wishing my father. Various leaders, officials, friends, and family, all came down. The day was one well spent, yet tiring. I must’ve talked to at least 500 people!
Overall, easily said, the elections, regardless of how much of a whirlwind they were, were such that could never be forgotten.
As we celebrate a year of my dad being in politics, there was one thing I learned. Change is imminent. It all comes down to our adaptability as humans.
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