On Voting

25 Apr

I got my laptop home to do work but here I am, promptly at my dashboard, writing because the break has been a gap too long; a gap wherein the need to write has more than just overflowed. So yes, I had the intention of getting some work done but then life doesn’t always pan out the way we plan it, does it? Same goes with work every single time. The moment you actually get down to work after massive amounts of procrastination, an interesting fly sits on the wall and the next thing you know, you’re out there writing a post about the said fly. Yes, I’m pretty accustomed to living life that way and it kinda rocks.

The fly in today’s context are the upcoming elections we’re going to have in a couple of days. Now before I begin, and because the world has become a horrendously sensitive place where the expression of opinions calls for a disclaimer beforehand, I’m going to go ahead and actually write a disclaimer out because I have to. For the sake of peace and love because I love peace and well, I do love love too.

Disclaimer: This blog post solely represents the thoughts and opinions of the author and holds no intention of hurting, harming or influencing anybody’s beliefs or political ideologies.

I mean it.

(Somehow writing in third person gives one a higher sense of purpose, no?)

So, Karnataka is scheduled to have its elections in May, 2013. If we didn’t already know that, one would know elections were around the corner because suddenly roads, gullies, mohollas and neighbourhoods, albeit a teeny tiny number, look cleaner. If we didn’t notice that either, then one would’ve noticed the autos/vans/Maruti vans with loudspeakers attached on either side of the said vehicles droning out campaigns. If one didn’t have the misfortune of being buzzed by these rather vociferous bugs around the city, then one must have definitely seen/heard various media ads fiercely asking the public to vote for party C or party B (I’ve heard only those 2 ads so far). If you’re not the newspaper/radio and TV kinds, you may just have come across earnest party workers knocking on people’s doors, smiling their million dollar bribe smiles, handing over flyers, making small talk, touching the public’s feet whilst sneaking a peek to see whether you noticed that act of kindness, etc, etc. You get what I’m talking about. Maybe you’ve been more unfortunate and seen/heard/experienced more. I’m truly sorry about that.

The maids tell us that this year round no one offered them cash or food or clothing or electronics. Not yet. Everyone was given INR 500 last time. Saris before that. And everyone was called over to a public ground for biryani under the scorching sun. And of course, a lot of alcohol was doled out, by the gallon. Under wraps of course. Let’s see what happens next. Time will tell. Indeed.

I don’t engage in armchair philosophy. Neither do I promote or look forward to it. I have my opinions and beliefs. Opinions and beliefs about something as sensitive as religion and politics sadly stay indoors now, sometimes locked away for another era, whenever that will happen. It’s sad, but true. And today, peace comes at a price. You can keep quiet and live in peace. Or you can be vocal and become an activist by default. Or an armchair philosopher, as it were. So we all have our own way of addressing that which really stirs us. And for the first time in my life, I decided to actually express myself about something so deeply personal on this space because I guess that limit has been crossed somewhere.

As I listen to radio ads grab more airtime and more vigorously so, I feel claustrophobic almost. To add to that, we have a whole hoard of people who are also trying furiously hard to get the public to budge, to move, to make a difference; to vote. And it hit me then. Why is it so difficult to vote? Why do people not vote? Why is it such a struggle to get the people of a nation, especially the educated and urban lot so to speak, to actually go out there and make a difference? Why?

And there came the answer…when you ask people to make a choice, you’re asking them to make a choice between the devil and the deep sea. It’s no wonder people stay put and mum in their comfortable bubbles. Forcing or even urging people to vote, today, is like making an entire nation/state choose A or B; neither of which really deserve to be where they are.

When we talk about a democracy, it’s to know, understand and acknowledge that people do indeed have power at more than one level. What matters to a corrupt politician? His vote count. What feeds this vote count? The act of voting. What brings a politician/party/government to power in our democracy? People. The nation’s people. And when we’re urged to choose one bad from the other, what difference does that make? Are we here to look at the benefit of a political party or our democracy? I wonder what would happen if not one single person voted. What then? I shudder to think of the consequences. But at the same time, it makes me feel a huge sense of comeback, in a very weird but good way. Because for once, we don’t give to those who don’t deserve. I really wonder what that would feel like.

I have nothing against the act of voting. I have everything against voting for trash. Trash versus trash hasn’t gotten us anything. And I fail to understand how it’s going to get us anything in the future. I get that we need to vote; that we need to exercise our power and right to vote. But at what cost? And when will we ever realize the pit of quicksand we, the people, have dug for ourselves? Because what it looks like to me is just a big war feed, where we, like fools, have been helping one devil conquer the other devil at the cost of our cities, growth, development, future and country of course.

It’s not about a party B or C. It’s about knowing what you’re making a choice between. And so far, it’s been only about choosing a party over the other. And maybe that’s because of the eternal thing called hope some, if not all of us have that someday, things will indeed become better. Maybe that’s why those who do actually genuinely hope, go vote. Unless they’ve been bought over of course.

I’m just at a loss when I look ahead and try to examine this abyss. Because we’re so deep in it, we’ve become so darn stupid, ignorant or plain indifferent. And I don’t really know what’s worse.

 

Note: The thoughts and opinions stated above are for the purpose of expression, discussion and debate only.

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One Response to “On Voting”

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  1. A first | Babska's Journey - May 5, 2013

    […] wrote about voting not so long back. Today’s the day; today’s Karnataka’s Voting Day; today’s […]

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