Voting in the 6th and the second last phase of the 2019 general elections concluded yesterday. The parliamentary constituency I am a registered voter for, went through the process in this phase.

I chose not to use my right to vote.

I did it as I believe that the most critical issues being faced right now have not been addressed by any political party. Also, given the quality of the “choice” of candidates presented to us is mostly a scenario of “damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t”.

So if I am stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, and disaster is imminent, I’d rather have luck choose my fate instead of having to do so in the 40degree plus heat.

Regardless. I am by no means of infallible intellect and could have made the wrong decision. So here I list out my reasons for not voting in the 2019 general elections of India, and would very much like to have decent rebuttals from the readers, if they feel that I have erred.

Reason #1 – No Word On Environmental Degradation.

Climate change due to environmental degradation is probably THE biggest challenge that all living beings are facing as of now.

The concentration of CO2 in the air is at unsustainable levels, the food chain has been disrupted due to extensive extinction and reduction in species, the oceans are being acidified and are full of plastic and availability of potable water has been plummeting year on year.

It was believed earlier that the coming generations would face global famines, water wars, mass migration due to rising ocean levels and the heat.

However that’s no longer true, because the calamities will hit us in full force within the decade or so. And that’s applicable to everyone born in the 70s and onward.

To sustain ourselves in livable conditions is no longer an issue of personal consumption. Ditching plastic straws for paper ones are like band-aid dressings for stab wounds. They no longer suffice.

What we need are IMMEDIATE and URGENT policy changes and their effective implementation. What we need is regulation of corporate and industrial practices as THEY are the biggest polluters and cause of environmental stress. We need large scale campaigns to educate the population about the threats that they face, so as to garner support for measures that WILL hurt everyday consumption.

However none of the political parties are talking about it. In fact, the current ruling dispensation in Haryana tried its best to remove the legal protection of the Aravali green belt in order to please the builder lobby. The Himachal Pradesh government has decimated the mountains with the thoughtless expansion of the Kalka-Shimla highway.

Instead of talk about saving us from the upcoming catastrophe, our political class is hell bent upon accelerating our downward journey into living hell.

We lose, and will increasingly lose more people to natural calamity, than to proxy wars.

I wish I could vote for someone who’d stand for that as a burning issue.

Reason #2 – The Widening Economic Gap

The nature of business has changed. With increasing automation it takes a whole lot lesser people to produce higher revenues. Profits remaining the same, the amount is being distributed among fewer and fewer people with every passing year.

For example, if it took 200 people to produce product X before automation, it now takes 20. Of which maybe 10 are in management and get far better increases in wages than the remaining 10. So basically 180 people are now unemployed, 10 are earning borderline sustainable incomes, while the top 2 to 5 people are pocketing most of the profits (or investor money as their companies make losses).

Also, the nature of industry has also changed. A whole lot of it is now related to entertainment and virtual services instead of products. Instagram, for example had about 600 employees and an ad revenue of $7 billion in 2018. That’s about Rs. 1,40,64,53,00,000. And if we divide it by 600 that’s about Rs. 23,44,08,833 per person annually.

Agreed that it’s not profit and not all of it is distributed equally, but you can imagine how much money a few people are making in comparison to what a majority of people are making. People have been fighting for a minimum wage of Rs. 15,000 per month, and these are employed people. Imagine the state of the unemployed and the partially-employed. These are the people who make a majority of the population.

Not that I have anything against automation or the tech industry. In fact I am a supporter of it. But coupled with increasing population, it is a heady mixture for disaster.

Let alone have an idea about solving this issue, our politicians probably don’t even understand it.

Farm incomes have collapsed and prices of packaged goods have increased because for the poor class the primary consumption is of the former (and they can afford to pay only that much) and for the moneyed is the latter (where corporations screw the farmers as well as the consumers in order to maximize profits).

All this put together is a recipe for a class war when resources become scarce and money starts chasing even the basic necessities like water and clean air (oxygen canisters anyone?).

Reason #3 – Population Control.

We already have fewer jobs and lesser resources. Instead of finding ways to increase efficiency of consumption and sustainable production, what do we do? We add more human beings.

More mouths to feed and more people to have the same small pool of resources to divide amongst. Additional carbon load on the planet due to higher consumption. Additional crime because there isn’t enough to go around.

Human beings are penny wise and pound foolish. We do not have the capability to think long term because we’re too caught up with solving our day to day problems.

We also are depressingly optimistic, fatalistic and religious. And that’s why we keep our reproductive systems well lubricated (no pun intended) and running seamlessly. In fact some of the smartest and best educated people I know have two, or even three kids!

Que Sera Sera.

But then if we are sheep, isn’t it mandatory for the shepherds to be wise and guide us in the right direction?

Problem is, that we don’t have shepherds. We have wolves leading us. Their only motive is to suck as much blood out of our systems, for possibly as long as they can. We are just another resource for them. And the concept of smarter sheep who know the art of self-preservation isn’t so palatable to the wolves.

They will continue to allow, in fact even encourage us to multiply mindlessly to produce more political power for them. Political power that straight up translates into money when they shape up laws that favors the corporations and their leaders to save on taxes (that could fund welfare), along with increasing their consumer base.

But have you ever thought what’ll happen when the last drop of water is drunk and the last leaf drops from the tree?

The top class would have escaped to a haven created and sustained by fewer people, more resources, and protected by a big border wall with big guns.

If you have any doubts, look at the US. The leader of our cherished capitalistic dream.

So

I didn’t vote. Because no one is talking about the biggest issues that face us. They only talk about fake bravado, untenable sops, and radar blocking clouds.

And honestly none of that matters enough, for me to torture myself in the 40 degree heat.