Here comes the election time in my part of the world, when we flock to the designated booths to vote our representatives for the next 5 years. The all too familiar visual would be a flock of middle aged men queuing up in the election booths waiting to cast their votes. The camera would pan on to a college campus where the new-gen kids would be munching, dreaming, flirting, laughing and chatting unmindful of the great democratic process around them.
The TV anchor would ask them: ‘Why didn’t you cast your vote?’ ‘I have no clue about politics’ (This is the ‘cool’ statement of the day. A line borrowed from the film star interviews) ‘I hate politics and politicians. They are too corrupt’ ‘They ought to bring in youth. There is a lack of fresh ideas’
Only an average 30% of votes are cast in India. Do I hear any alarm bells? In short the 30% decide the running of country. It makes the task quite easy for the politicians. They need to concentrate only on the 30%.
Another irony in the Indian political scenario is the variety we get to choose from. We scoff at USA for their two party system. But are we getting any variety for the last few years. Every single time the election boils down to a 3 horse race (maximum). Where then is the ability to exercise the ‘judicious vote’?
Our system is so badly designed that the winner takes it all and loser will have to grumble and fret till the next chance come. There is no space for the loser except to make a cacophony. As long as a party is out of power the greater the probability to get extinct.
So the opposition will have to check out the possibilities to make a comeback to the corridors of power. In the race there’s no good or bad, evil or righteous. Hence the corrupt system called election has been churning out the corrupt politicians for decades. Whether you like it or not, the ‘judicious’ vote can only make a miniscule and irrelevant change in the scenario.
The ecstasy of a newly formed government soon diminishes as the electorate soon finds out that it’s the old wine in the new bottle. The same old corruption comes back in the new form and the common man waits for another 5 years for the ‘change’. The bitter pill we have to learn to gulp down is the bloody common man has no say in his governance except for one second in every 5 years.
I was recently invited to a group in Facebook. It had some header like ‘Election is the costliest day…..’. I was very rightly confused on the purpose of the group and hence asked them if the group is meant to persuade the users to boycott the election. There were different replies from different people. I soon realized that no one there had any clue on why they were here.
The group was started by an ‘enlightened’ MBA graduate from some IIM. Everyone called him ‘Sir’. It’s quite surprising that inspite of the huge pay packets offered our IIMs have produced the ‘enlightened’ ones who are hell bent on eradicating our country of all ills. We have an IIM in our company. He always starts his sentence with ‘When I were in IIM….’
So the ‘Sir’ comes out of his hibernation to enlighten us ‘Please donot be bribed by cheap gifts from candidates’
I asked him, ‘Do you think the people who are vulnerable to cheap gifts have joined Facebook’. The hardcore reality is that the disparity between the upper and lower middle class have so widened in our society. Our basic needs and aspirations have so differed that it would be stupidity to think on the same platform.
Now here comes the hard question: ‘How do we choose a credible candidate?’ The average voter wouldn’t do a case study on him. He most probably would skim through the most popular channels or the popular newspapers. So how to win the hearts and minds? Buy a television, buy a newspaper or atleast pay them some money. This is exactly what every one are doing now!
In short, you vote or not, you are very well damned!