Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Voter’s Trek

Road to my booth

I chose to be a responsible citizen and voted today in the Delhi Assembly Elections.  At the back of my mind I could sense the smirk of George Orwell’s character in the Animal Farm, Benjamin the Donkey.  “Whoever wins, the lot of the aam animal will remain the same.”  That’s what he would say. 

My polling station was a government primary school in a village called Bhatti close to the Haryana border of Delhi.  The road offered my scooter quite a trekking experience.  Some stretches of the road looked like a paddy field recently ploughed and waiting for saplings. 

Both the Congress and the BJP were elected from my constituency in the past democratic exercises.  Nothing much has changed in the rural areas over the years except that a few more private houses have come up making the village look more like an urban slum.  That’s development for the rural folk, I guess.

Outside the booth
The election process itself might bring some temporary benefits to the folk, however.  I saw people who were intoxicated with more than politics though not only Delhi but even the satellite cities in Haryana and UP had declared dry days for 48 hours in view of the elections.  As I came out of the polling station I saw an old man (as old as me, probably, but looking much more with the stupor in his eyes and the stoop in his backbone) who was being prevented by a group advising him to erase the ink mark on his index finger before going in again.  He said he could not see any mark and looked all over both his arms which revealed many calluses apart from the usual stains that a farmer’s hands display.

Election is a festival for the common man.  For some, at least, it must be as good as a trek.  I was amused by the experience once more.
Non-political area of the village




8 comments:

  1. I loved that "aam" animal part :)

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    1. Do read Orwell's Animal Farm if you haven't already. India is becoming just that Farm.

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  2. Though the elections are in Delhi...isn't it the same or worse everywhere else?

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  3. India has always been the animal farm, sir.. right from the days of kings and queens :)
    We are strange people.. Liked your description of your experience though.. Hoping against all hopes that things would change for the better whoever wins..

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    1. AK will make a difference, Roohi. BJP can only follow Modi blindly.

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    2. I was actually wondering who you would vote for.. with BJP clearly not your choice hehehehe.. I thought might be congress as you admire Nehru.. so I know now :) I just wish AK to act more smartly and maturely with old shrewd players in the game.. Last time he lost track as well as his mind.. Hope he gets another chance and proves his mettle.. Else Indians don't waste time in labeling someone :)

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    3. Both Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi rank high in the list of my heroes. But their era is gone and I am no worshipper of the past. Indira Gandhi was the only strong leader that Congress had, but she was the female counterpart of Modi. I hated her for the Emergency. Yet I liked her for the strength of character she displayed (a quality which Mr Modi lacks). AK's inexperience can be an asset in the sense he can see things from a fresh viewpoint. It will have disadvantages too, no doubt. Still...

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