LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
» » India

Election diary: From the interiors of Haryana

Rashi Mathur

Updated: October 22, 2014, 12:47 PM IST
facebook Twitter skype whatsapp
From the first rays of the sun up to the midnight with moon high up in the sky, all in 40 hours we covered nearly 600 kilometres during our long sojourn into the interiors of Haryana. Election season is no less than a festival in India. From colourful banners to folk music, the atmosphere gives you the essence of the real India.

As me and my colleague went out to report for the Haryana Assembly elections, we had a list of eight constituencies to cover.

Crossing the roads, highways and farms, we reached our first destination, a small town in the hinterlands of Haryana - Jind. With roadshows and public gatherings, Jind was gearing up to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a massive election rally in the district. The PM came, stayed for a while and stole the show, leaving behind a trail of scattered pieces of the preparations that had been put in place for over a week by the workers to make the event a grand success.

Meeting people at the ground gives you a real sense of the issues facing the constituency. While we read and write about the issues of lack of development and illiteracy day in and day out, it is a different experience all together to face it head on.

From Jind to Narnaund, Hisar, Rohtak, Garhi Sampla Kiloi and Mahendragarh, the entire belt faces an acute shortage of electricity and water. Living in a metro city, one often doesn't realise the importance of something as basic as electricity supply.

However, speaking to people in the interiors makes you feel blessed to have access to the basic amenities of life. The faces of villagers, who have had to deal with scarce power or water for years, beam with hope and happiness as they say that they are elated with three hours of electricity supply that they get everyday now.

But three hours of electricity out of the 24 hours in a day!

The happiness on their faces is infectious yet alarming. Infectious as people know how to smile even in the face of hardships they face and alarming because at a time when people are praising India for reaching Mars, we are still battling to provide our people with the most basic requirements which is their birth right.

Illiteracy, say residents, has been an inseparable part of state. However, they also claim that the situation has improved manifold with children, boys and girls alike, being sent to schools and colleges to complete their studies.

Meanwhile, the spurt of technology, by all means, has touched the lives in the villages too. Being an agriculture driven land, people show us how they have started to use internet to find solutions. "It isn't easy to fool us anymore," they say as they proudly tell us how they use 3G connections on their phones.

Traveling through the state, while one couldn't count even a single street light across many districts, you could easily lose count of the innumerable liquor shops or "desi daru addas" on the streets.

As we moved towards Gurgaon - popularly known as the cyber city - what seemed evident was an apparent distinction between life on either side of the national highway. While there are highrises and cyber hubs on one side, the other side still houses several underdeveloped villages.

But one thing which is common throughout Gurgaon is the traffic problem. Residents claim that the situation everyday at peak hours is such that they get stuck in jams for over two to three hours. Tired of the everyday issues, several corporates working in the city joined hands to work towards solving the simplest of problems which are proving to be a hindrance when it comes to naming Gurgaon as one of the top rated cities in the country.

While we were coming to the end of our journey, people across the state were making up their minds on who to vote for. What seemed obvious was that at the ground level, it's not the names of the parties or their election symbols which counts but it is the political leaders which matter to them the most.

Now that a new government has been elected, it is time that the leaders at the helm of the state pay heed to the needs and desires of the thousands out there who have voted for them with a hope that the successors will provide them and their children with a future that is bright and promising.
First Published: October 22, 2014, 12:47 PM IST

Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results