Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mumbai voters drive everyone crazy

Ever since the third phase of polling ended, the Indian media has given the whole country a migraine wondering why the people of Mumbai HATE democracy. They have been meditating on their favourite tarot card while wondering why the people of Mumbai didn't vote for the status quo. And to cure their insomnia, instead of counting sheep, they've been interviewing imaginary people who did not vote to get to the bottom of this eternal quandary.

Now, some people have been able to get over the shock and come up with their own theories on how to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.

One of the brilliant ideas (brilliant for ideas pulled out of people's asses) is to make voting compulsory.

I think it's an idea whose time has come. Not because it's the best way to get voters out -- we'd much rather they came out on their own -- but because Indian democracy will be seriously damaged if turnouts continue to fall at this rate.

Silly me! I thought the basic pillar of democracy was that one does not make decisions for other people! In a participatory democracy, isn't participation voluntary? Just like consensual, pre-marital sex ? Free will. Isn't that one of the principles of democracy? But what do I know, I never paid attention during civics class.

This reminds me of another country which has compulsory voting.

That's right. The "Democratic" Republic of Korea. Where, in a reality show, if you get eliminated, you are actually killed and your remains stuffed into individual Peking rolls and sold to unsuspecting tourists as a 'delicacy'. Stellar company, people. Stellar company.

We're already half-way there anyway. We did have our own version of a Dear Leader at one time.

Isn't it great that we nipped nepotism and dynastic politics in the bud? Two cheers for Indian democracy, baby!

Hip Hip, Hu......cough cough.

And then there is Vir Sanghvi. Always expect him to come up with the most inane observation ever.

If you think back on these claims and assurances, you will realize that not one of these statements was backed by any empirical evidence. Most of us believed them only because they were reported in the media again and again. We were told by relatively prominent Bombay socialites (but significantly, not by any politicians) that the mood of the city had changed. And we took them at their word.

What the low turnout figures tell us is not that Bombay has failed India. In fact, the city has reacted in exactly the same way that responds to every election. What they really tell us is this: we listened to the wrong people. We wasted our time believing socialites, admen, midgets on the fringes of journalism, small-time actors and busybodies who made grandiose political statements each time they got onto TV or wrote guest columns in newspapers.

Isn't that the problem?

Gee, I wonder why women more than sixty years old who write novels which exhibit awkward sex (not that I have ever read any of those books. Please, I'd rather die of the swine flu.) do not represent the mainstream. You know what one of the problems of the media is? They keep looking at people who are can "represent" other people in a totally non-hip-hop way. Anybody who claims to represent any demographic, well, is a fool. And anyone who believes them, an even bigger fool.

I sincerely say that on behalf of people everywhere.

One thing about Vir Sanghvi. He thinks everyone else besides Vir Sanghvi is an elitist.

Dude, you wrote a book about FOOD. How is that not being an elitist?

As for the people who didn't vote, the following picture is a perfect metaphor for what they want to say.


Stray said...


Just wanted to let u know that I cudn't read the post 'cos the colour of the alphabets against the black background strains my eyes. Cud you kindly change either of them colours, please?

Whilst at it, cud you also change your underwear too - assuming you're wearing any? (Just doing my bit for the environment in this life-time)

sudeep said...

You really havn't paid attention to civics classes. It says "with every right is associated a duty...".

Please note that I so not support "compulsary voting" but people enjoying their "constitutional rights" and skipping "constitutional duties" is not good as well.

RukmaniRam said...

why are the bachchans dressed in white?

Over Rated said...

@Stray: Stay away from my underwear. Only a privileged 'few' get access to it.

Except of course, the Bai.

@Sudeep: Well, I agree it isn't good, but one can't use force to make people do what they don't want to. It's not like voting is going to change anything.

@RR: They must be mourning something?

Indian John Doe said...

Good point about democracy and voting...making it compulsory will go against democracy...

On your comment about Bai are you talking about Sakku Bai ;)