Dashing Hopes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 30, 2019

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Submitted: January 30, 2019

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Rampratap, a clerk in municipality, when returned home from office found his wife sad. He asked her, "Why are you so sad today? What happened?"

 

She looked at him and said with anger, "Mahesh, your son, was saying to me that he wanted to contest election."

 

"What! What was he saying?” Rampratap asked with surprised.

She lost her control and cried, "He has gone mad. He is going to be leader. Someone somewhere put such a crazy idea into his mind."

 

"And he is following that foolish idea." Rampratap interrupted his wife. He hit his hand on forehead with frustration.

 

She said with tears in eyes, "Prevent him from doing so."

 

Mahesh was a young, educated and idealistic man. After completing his college studies he had been seeking a job for five years but was unableto find it for wide spread problem of unemployment.  Being unemployed he had a crisis of confidence and anger for the system.

 

 

 

"What does make you to think of standing for election?" Rampratap asked Mahesh.

 

Mahesh said calmly, "I want to serve my nation and society."

 

His father looked at him with anger and said, "What! Service to nation! Service to nation and you! Never. You can't serve even yourself and your parents and are going to serve the nation. Are you cracking a joke? Leave this service to nation and society and mind your career."

 

Mahesh said persuasively, "Now politics is my career. In spite of trying hard I can't get a job and now I am going to cross the age limit for getting a good job, so I decided to join politics."

 

 

Ramprasad said suggestively, "listen to me. I have a plan to set up a grocery shop for you. If you are not interested in grocery, I can set up a medicine shop for you. You are not born for politics. Politics is for goons and mean people. You are well educated and belong to reputed family. Give up that idea of joining politics."

 

Mahesh said, "But father, politics is not always for bad people. There are many educated and good leaders are in politics. If all the good people keep away from politics, the nation and society will fall in the hands of bad people."

 

 

 

Being emotional Rampratap said, "You are right my son but you are my only son and if something wrong happens to you in politics, what will I do. As parents we want you to live peacefully and happily."

 

Mahesh said, "Father, think of those parents whose sons serve in army. If one thinks of only oneself, who will come forward for the nation."

 

Rampratap said, "I had never seen an honest leader in my life. An honest person like you has no place in politics. Think twice before joining politics."

 

 

Mahesh was determined end to become a politician. He turned a deaf ear to his father's advice.

 

His relatives tried to persuade him to give up the idea of joining politics but he was not ready to listen to anyone.

 

 

 

Since no political party was ready to make him its candidate, he stood for election as a independent candidate. He began his election campaign with confidence. His friends and some other people came forward to provide him with money and man power. His popularity began to increase day by day. Within a few days he posed a big challenge to Vikram Singh, the candidate for the ruling party.

 

Vikram Singh was an old player in the game of politics. In the beginning of his career he was just a goon working for local politicians. Working for them he began taking interest in politics. And using his muscle power and political connections he soon become a MLA. He was popular with party workers and public. He was the first choice of high command.

 

For Vikram Singh, Caste was the biggest factor that could help him in winning election. First he was convinced of his winning. His vote bank can't cheat him. He was also distributing money to lure public to vote him. But Mahesh spoiled his game. Anti incumbency was another factor that caused the victory of Mahesh in the election. Mahesh won the election by very narrow margin. Accepting defeat in the election was very hard for Vikram Singh. He said to his supporters, "Winning election is easy but to run the system is very hard."

 

Now the hard time for Mahesh began. The situation was not as good as he thought.

 There was deep rooted corruption all over the system as if it was a part of our culture.

 

So he began his work as MLA. But nobody was ready to corporate him for he was not a MLA of ruling political party. 

 

After some day a group of contractors came to him to decide his commission in contracts. He came to know from that contractor that the former MLA used to take bribe from contractors to allot them contracts. Mahesh refused to take commission from them. To his surprise, instead of being happy, contractors got unhappy and angry with him. His assistant suggested him to take money from them, if they wanted to give, because they are used to the game of giving and taking. This event was his first experience about Indian system. It was just a bit of what was going to be happening to him.

 

 

"People of the city are not happy with your working," Ramlal, well known social worker from the city said to him at a meeting. Mahesh looked at him with surprise. As for as Mahesh could thought, public should be satisfied with his work.

He asked Ramlal, "What made you to think so?"

 

Ramlal answered, "Some people are saying about you that you are you are partial to you supporters."

 

"How can they say so?" Mahesh asked being assertive. 

 

Ramlal replied, "Listen to me, you are new to politics. You have a lot to learn. Some contractors of the city are blaming you of exerting pressure on officers to give contracts to your supporters and relatives."

Mahesh cried with anger, "It is lie."

"Calm down, Mahesh. Don't angry with me. I am your well wisher. I know you are right but public don't know whether you are right or wrong," Ramlal said.

 

Both of them remained silent for a while and then Ramlal said, "You alone can't change the system. You had better to go with system."

Mahesh said, "I have come in politics to change the system. I know that I alone can't change the system, but I can initiate the changes in the system. I think I am not alone in the society who thinks so. There are several people having similar thinking. We need only to bring them together and start a movement."

 

  At this Ramlal stared at him and said, "Many people like you come in politics and lose in the sea of corruption in the system and society." After pausing for a while he said, "If you want to play for a long time in the politics, keep your ideals aside and do as other politicians and public do."

 

Mahesh was not agreed with the view of Ramlal. Till now one thing was clear to him that he was going to trapped in dirty social and political system.

 

After some days media began to cry over him. He was convicted of corruption in allotment of contracts. Vikram Singh and some other leaders, who were waiting for a chance against him, waged a war against him. They lured contractors to go on a hunger strike against him. And soon the workers of ruling party began agitation against him. And soon all those people who disliked him for any reason, began to join the movements against him.

 

Here Vikram Singh along with his supporters was exerting pressure on government for Mahesh's removal.

 

 

 

Mahesh was sad over what was happening. The truth of society was before him. Despite being honest, he was being treated as a dishonest man. Even those who know him well were silent.

 

 

 

 

Seeing him sad and disappointed, his mother said to him, "what I had feared is happening to you. I always told you not to join politics but you never heard me." She began to weep.

 

 

He tried to contact with some journalists to give his clarification on the matter. But no journalist was ready for it. Media was partial to ruling party. As per Ramlal the media was paid to go against Mahesh.

 

 

One day he was contacted by a national leader of ruling party, named Raja Saheb to discuss on the issue.

 

His meeting with that national leader was organized at a famous five star hotel. He was taken in a luxuries suite where along with that leader Vikram Singh and Ramlal were present.

Besides them a beautiful young lady too was present, who was serving liqueur to them. She was daughter of a famous millionaire businessman of the city. Mahesh was surprised to see her in this role.

After brief introduction Raja Saheb came to the point and said to Mahesh, "You had better to give resignation."

 

Mahesh said with determination, "There is no question arises of my giving resignation."

 

Raja Saheb said, "Look Mahesh, you are criticized heavily for what you have done. You should resign on moral basis."

 

Mahesh said with anger, "all the blames are false."

 

  "Who knows the truth? Mahesh, public don't know anything. Public knows what is said by big and famous leaders, what is published by print media, shown by electronic media. Truth is suppressed by the noise made by our media and rented people. You are alone in this clutter. You will lose in this darkness of falsehood."

 

Mahesh fall in dilemma. He asked for some time to take decision on the issue of resignation. Now he was under pressure.

 

 That evening when Mahesh was taking tea with his father.

Ramlal came to meet him. Mahesh welcomed him. As his father turned to go to next room, Ramlal said, "Please, stay here with us. I want also to talk with you."

 

At this Mahesh asked to him, "what made you to come here to me?"

 

"What is your decision? Our Sahab want you to take your decision as soon as possible." Ramlal asked without beating about the bush.

 Mahesh answered with determination, "I have no intention to give resignation."

 

Ramlal looked at him for a moment and said, "our Raja Sahab does not take no for an answer. Think twice on your decision."

 

 

His father looked at him. Ramlal said, "Be practical. Don't pick up a quarrel with Raja Saheb. He has an attractive offer for you. He is ready to give you a price for giving resignation. You had better to take money and give resignation. Otherwise an inquiry commission can be set up against you."

 

  His father said, "Ramlal is right. Inquiry commission will give its findings against you and you will have to suffer a lot. It is a golden chance for you to get rid of the problem you have taken."

 

 

Ramlal said to Rampratap in low voice, " Raja Sahab can use muscle power. So think again on the matter with cool mind. I will again visit you after two days."

 

 

Mahesh has understood one thing so far that he alone cannot change the tendency of the society. There were two options before him; fight or flee. Fight means prove false before public and ready to die and flee means freedom from all the responsibility to nation and society and a licence to live in society.

 

After a week all breathed a sigh of relief when Mahesh gave his resignation. After giving resignation he immigrated to America and where he was living a happy life there.


© Copyright 2020 Sumit Kumar Arora. All rights reserved.

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