Last week, I was chatting with Shady when the topic of The Elections came up. He asked me if I had exercised my new found right to vote, and I answered in the negative ( I haven't got my voters ID yet).
We then got into a discussion about politics in general and the depressingly low turnout in Mumbai South. Most people call it a lot of things, apathy, laziness, the aloofness of the upper class and whatnot. The truth is, it's more of an intelligent man's dilemma.
The number of people living in Bombay with a reasonable income and level of Education is extremely low, when compared to the number of people in the Lower Income or Illiterate bracket. Thus, as the masses are to be pacified, the educated minority feels no need to vote. Besides, even if he's old enough, considered fit to vote, educated and equipped with a Voters ID, who is he going to vote for anyway?
Lets be rational here, there are technically two sides to governance in India. The Right Wingers, with extreme views and a general attitude of Intolerance to most minority denominations. 12 Attacks on churches in 3 states in the last year itself, all of those states under BJP's governance.
Then There's the secular side (Congress). While it may be argued that they are intelligent and can probably do wonders for the country, too many cases have been reported where they have siphoned funds to their own accounts, scammed the crap out of the general populace, that sorta thing.
So that's a decision between a Cunning Scammer or a Dangerous Fanatic. Aren't we spoilt for choice.
Then the Third Front, a confused mess of a coalition with so many contrasting ideologies in one place, their mutually repulsive forces can only be overcome with the prospects of money and power. So much for beliefs.
Independent Candidates? Great locally maybe, but not worth a lot on a national scale.
Small parties like the PPI? maybe if they had a few thousand more candidates being fielded. Of course, as the size of the parties increase, the more people there are who may be susceptible to more base behaviour, no matter how pure the partys declared intentions may be...
49-0 is an even worse option. Unless a vast majority of the people choose the option, it's just as good as not voting at all.
Maybe five years later things might change. Then again, maybe we'll be riding flying pigs then...
P.S.- Just got news that Congress won. Well at least they won't run around setting people on fire...