Apr 11, 2014

No, don't vote...

Its that time of the decade when politicians make hefty withdrawals from their secret Swiss accounts.
Its that time of the decade when the EC will seize mind-boggling sums of money, liquor and anything else the 'people' might need.
Its that time of the decade when laptop, mixer-grinder manufacturers and other businessmen will court the politicians.
Its that time of the decade (apart from diwali) when cracker manufacturers love. Double Bonanza!
Its that time of the decade when you will hear political fiction and fables.
Its that time of the decade when manifestos will be embellished by underpaid content writers and out of job copywriters.
Its that time of the decade when roads get a fresh coat of asphalt. Feast your eyes on them while they last
Its that time of the decade when you will see your politicians up close and personal. Remember to take their autographs

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, its time for the biggest song and dance routine in the largest democracy of the planet - The Great Indian Circus.

Interestingly, this time there are a lot of things that are different.
Call it the influence of our Arab cousins, we have become disenchanted and disgruntled. 
Corruption is no longer a closet topic and depending on who your daddy is, you'll either support it or defend it.

But like in everything else, we are very hypocritical too.
Ask around and chances are you will hear not many people are willing to vote.
Why? 'Because it won't make a difference'. 

When youngsters say this, I am flummoxed. When older people say this, I am exasperated. I remember that time when I lost my school captaincy elections by just 2 votes, and I begin to tell them how every single vote counts, but I am soon drowned out by their 'voice of reason'.

We all like it when we are handed out favors, when our bosses hear our suggestions (and when they are implemented), when our landlords listen to our complaints and act on them, when our apartment associations value our inputs (and our votes), when the local grocer gives us a little extra rice for that rupee you pay because you are regular, when we are rewarded for our performance at work after having worked for it. 

So when we love all this, why do we hate voting for our country so much?
Which part of the 'Corruption, Quit India' did you not like?

While many are celebrating how 100 million voters will vote for the first time, I ask what is the rest of the billion doing? Surely, we have more than 100 million who have chosen not to participate in the democratic dance this time too. 

Vote for the general elections this year, because this is probably the only ballot that will matter. 
Your apartment association cannot fix the creaking infrastructure. 
Your say in corporate affairs will probably earn you more, but if you don't vote, you're allowing the next batch of political scumbags to loot you of every last paise that you earn.
Your grocer might like you, but unless you choose the right politician, you will end up paying more for less. 

If you are still not convinced that you need to vote, I won't force you.
Cherish these final days where you could still read and write stuff like this.
Remember the days when petrol cost you just Rs25/litre.
When you could live an entire month with just Rs 15,000....
I could go on but you get the drift, right?

Get out and vote.
This is the time of the decade when you decide how your country and everything around you will be for the next 5 years. 
Make it count. 
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