Indian elections

Feedback received recently, from a friend and a family member, regarding my earlier blog posts, is I am too verbose and need to use less words. I accept the challenge realizing there is a skill in succinctly talking about something that is deep and meaningful.

I mentioned in my previous post two friends of mine: Mr. and Mrs. Gandhi, who live in India, a country I know best, after my own, that I have written about in my “Outside the Camp” and “Onward and Upward” books, available as free downloads from this website. India is a land that continues to fascinate me as being a land of amazing contrasts, and is one I have visited on several occasions, and I have married a girl from a big family there. It is a country I love, having met many of its citizens on numerous visits since my first in 1983, some I still keep in contact with. Not only do I try to visit as often as I can, but in a small way I try to encourage the people I know who do things to help others, especially the poor and downtrodden.

As for my Indian friends who visit here from time to time, one of the two who met Joe Goodman confirmed his happy memories of that day they met, and added his condolences. He did say though that he can only be properly called Mr. Gandhi if the Congress party win the elections taking place right now in India. Mahatma Gandhi, seen by many as the spiritual father of India, who helped lead India in gaining independence from Great Britain (in 1947), was at one time the president of the Congress Party, which has been influenced significantly and ruled by the Nehru / Gandhi dynasty ever since.

For many Indians I know, Congress represents the voice of reason and moderation and social conservatism, and is seen as the least of all evils. The main alternative is the BJP (Hindu National) Party (some see as instrumental in oppressing Christian minorities). Not that politics is that simple as India has frequently been ruled by coalitions. Other parties include those communist in leaning, which some of my friends who see themselves as Dalits (Untouchables), or wish to support them, are attracted to, and there are a host of other political parties, often regionally based, including new groupings.

The politics of India are complex and I would soon find myself out of my depth if I were to try to elaborate. But right now the biggest democracy in the world (1.2 billion people) is holding its general election and people are already voting, and on 17th May we will know who will be ruling India. One of the darker sides of India I have been aware of ever since my first visit is how much corruption still exists and sadly this is associated to a large extent with politics.

My friend is clearly concerned regarding the outcome of the election, sensing India is at a pivotal point and humanly speaking the future looks bleak, but urging that we should pray:

  • That the country will be ruled by the people of God’s choice.
  • For God to root out corruption and other evil.
  • That the elections will take place peacefully and fairly.
  • The leaders will have wisdom from God.
  • Peace, justice and righteousness to rule the land.

It seems to me that as the UK faces local and European elections on 22nd May this is something we should pray for my own country as well as for this great land which is India.