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A personal take on various topics

India Votes 2009 : Options for the Deeply Cynical

So we have elections coming up soon, and I start wondering. Great, there is the drive for online petitions, voter enrollment and a general push to a jaagore. Its nice to know we are all waking up in even more numbers. But there is a problem. Its a rude wakeup. A blissful icy dream protected by ignorance and disinterest is suddenly a raging inferno of cynicism searching for a target with the hopeless realisation that there is no one to blame and probably no one who is blameless. So having woken up, and finding a vote to spare, how does one use it ? And what are the options ?
  1. You have a favourite political party.  It could be accused of pandering to one or more of populism, communalism, communism, regionalism, casteism. So what if its leaders come grace your TV screens every news night and indulge with their peers in ‘barkism and bitism’. You rest your hopes in the party and you vote for its candidate. The great thing about it is often one vote can buy you so many isms. The difficulty is that many of the leaders put their rivals down rather than India up. You can’t get Indianism. Its tough to get truism. Even though I don’t expect it, its virtually impossible to get altruism. Ho Hum.
  2. You have a favourite candidate who you believe is honest, incorruptible, dedicated and probably even skilful enough to survive the rough and the tumble should he make the grade. The problem is that he may even do great at the hustings, but just may not have what it takes to reach the winning post first. Any vote cast here seems like a vote squandered
  3. Use the 49-O protest vote. The trouble with that is it makes no practical difference between that and not going to the polling booth at all. Sure it is an explicit protest vs. an implicit protest, but is the distinction really important ? I can’t quite buy it.
  4. Don’t vote at all. Seems attractive, but I don’t consider being fatalistic as a virtue even when the chips are down.
Amongst these choices “2” seems to be the least unattractive. But a more dominant feeling seems to be the need to hear a ‘lori’ n go back to sleep hoping that jaagore might just have been a dream. Note : This post is not to encourage you to not vote. I will vote. It is just to indicate that voting requires votability, a sorely missing commodity at the moment.

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