The Dance of Indian Democracy

Posted: April 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have wanted to write this blog for a long time now, not only because I
haven’t written anything for almost half a year now, but also because it is
the ‘in thing’ right now…General Elections of the greatest democracy in the
world.

So is this going to be a multi part blog entry which lasts through the
length of the current elections…hmm..maybe yes…that’s what I’ll try, but I
haven’t been very successful in such endeavors earlier, so I wont bank on
it.

How did it all start for me? Well, it all began with these ad campaigns
that almost all tv and radio channels are carrying these days. With a
special reference to an imaginary ‘Mr. Pappu’, these advertisements have
had a huge impact, not only on me but on a whole lot of other folks who
like me would have never felt the need to go out and exercise their right
to vote. The impact was very much visible when I went to the mini
secretariat of Gurgaon to get my name registered for voting. Loads of
people had turned up that day to get their names in the electoral roll
(half of them must have been lazy bums like me, coz it was the last day of
registration). There were disappointments though, mostly because the “babu
log” operating the mini secretariat had close to “no” arrangements for the
increasing number of people eager to register themselves. They were doing
their jobs of course, but it looked as if they had never anticipated the
power of internet and TV campaigns; and they looked horribly under prepared
that day.

After struggling through an uncontrollable queue of enthusiastic first time
voters I was able to get to the front, only to realize that the dude
collecting the papers did not like my proof of address document. Well this
is how that lovely conversation went:

Dude: This is all you have as your address proof
Me: Yes, it was listed as a proof on the “Internet”(all this while
thinking, no I have my bloody house as well, come see for yourself)
Dude: Na, na…ye nahi chalega
Me: Kyoon boss, kya problem hai, “Internet” par to yahi likha tha
Dude: (totally bugged by me using “internet” twice within 2 minutes) Ye
internet wale kuch bhi likh dete hain; are Sharma ji..dekhiye ye chalega
kya…
Sharma Ji: Na, na…kuch aur ho to lao
Me: Abhi aapne meri wife ka yahi document accept kiya hai
Dude: Achha…kar liya kya…oho…chalo de do..par naam aayega nahi..humen kya
Me: Theek hai boss (What a relief)

Two things that I noticed from this sweet conversation above:
1. The dude was not happy with “Internet”, either because the sudden
surge of people trying to get themselves registered for voting
created extra work for him, or maybe because I had put “Internet’s”
word before his, and how can he be wrong.
2. The campaigns played an important part in making the people realize
the importance of voting, but for obvious reasons, they had absolutely no
control over how government machinery works.

I am still not sure whether my name would be there in the new voters list, partly because the dude at the secretariat did not ooze confidence about my chances, but also because the new list hasn’t been released as yet. Either ways, i think i did my best to vote this time around…if the system takes its course i should be voting pretty soon…and i’ll definitely cover that experience in the blog…
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