Didn’t vote? Don’t complain!

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Elections
Tags: , , ,

We complain about the problems in our city but head for the hills to enjoy an extended weekend when its time to vote. We crib the year round about being f*****d over by our elected representatives but when the time comes for us to elect a better person we disappear. That is the story of the Indian voter. So they don’t really have the right to complain about the sorry state of affairs they encounter every day. They deserve it.

Look at the polling percentage in the Pune Municipal Corporation elections – just around 51 per cent. That means out of a supposedly eligible vote bank of 25.58 lakhs just a little over 13 lakhs voted. Were were the rest?

There was so much of anger and frustration that was being aimed at the civic authorities in the recent months that one would have expected the public to give a fitting reply to the corporators who were busy looting the tax-payers’ money. But unfortunately, what we have witnessed is a appalling indifference by the citizens towards the problems in the city – despite the best efforts of the NGOs who actively encouraged people to come out of their homes and exercise their franchise.

The apathy of the voter towards the civic polls also speaks volumes for the quality of those who are contesting the elections and the feeling that people’s voices are anyway not heard after the elections, so why bother.

Logistically speaking the civic elections in Pune this time have been a mess. I met voters who told me they found their names in wards they hadn’t stayed in for over a decade instead of their present residence. A gentleman who lived in a huge bungalow found his name in some slum far away! My wife’s name was missing and my aunt’s name was mentioned incorrectly, but my late mother who expired in 2003 was on the list. I wonder where and how she would have cast her vote.

What is strange was that I found my name among voters in Salunke Vihar, when I had moved out of there in 1998! What is surprising is that in the last two elections for the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, our names were correctly listed, so what happened this time? Did the PMC pick up some defunct list from the early 1990s to use?

It is also shocking that for a civic body that carried out a census of the city’s population two years ago going door-to-door getting details of each family, it never bothered to use those updated records. They made government school teachers undertake this task and spent so much money on such a pointless useless exercise? These are some of the questions that we need to ask our newly elected representatives.

Unfortunately, once the elections are over and a new bunch of corporators take over the reins of the civic body, these uncomfortable questions are conveniently brushed under the carpet – till the next time.

Then look at Mumbai. Those guys make we want to laugh. They hold candle-light vigils and swear “Enough is Enough” every time there is a terrorist strike there and the twitterati, glitterati and the dumboratis all get on TV to rave and rant about being screwed by the political class. Come the big day and their best chance to get back at the political class, is squandered.

That’s one reason why I have very little sympathy for the people in Mumbai who complain about the problems in their city. Let’s see whether the 53 per cent in Pune and the 48 per cent in Mumbai that voted, can make it a better, more liveable city for everyone, including those who didn’t bother.

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Comments
  1. krishna says:

    not only in Mumbai, anywhere it is, if you cant do your bit, you have got whatsoever no right to blame the other side for them not doing their bit
    you not playing yo part doesn’t ofcoz make their “not doing” the same right….. but rights and duties go hand in hand…

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