This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is Scale. Today, the Capital of India went to polls. My vote—a small drop in the big ocean of voters—is my interpretation of the challenge.
On my way back home after work, a colleague asked me whom I was going to vote for. I thought for a little while, and replied “I don’t know.” And to be honest, I wasn’t sure even at the time I actually pressed the button.
In the run up to the Delhi Elections, several thoughts—all disconnected, but deeply disturbing—have been going around in my head. Facts and perceptions created by different media, rampant hypocrisy and boot-licking…
One party has ruled for decades and divided the country ruthlessly, making hideous amount of money at the expense of taxpayer’s money. And the other party which has replaced it, drips with arrogance and testosterone (not to mention more criminals).
Indian politics is brutal, and severely patriarchal. Those who work for the welfare of the people often end up being penalised. A Chief Minister who transformed Delhi and was re-elected twice, became a sacrificial lamb as her own party let her down miserably. The mismanagement of the head of the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games was entirely forgotten, as a certain bureaucrat singled out the CM for a smear campaign. In case I haven’t said it before, the Commonwealth Games in 2010 were a huge success—those who focus on scams probably never saw the Opening Ceremony, nor attended any sporting event of the Games. And Delhi is just about as unsafe, as any other part of the country. It’s just that other places don’t get so much media attention. After a 49-day stint, the muffler man hopefully realised that making tall claims and staging protests against corruption is one thing, running a Government is quite another.
Two thousand kilometres away, a similar story unfolded. Within a few months of emerging as the third largest party in the general elections, the party head was handed out an exemplary punishment, effectively ending her political career. Scams and scandals of Members of Parliament of the previous Government, of course, have been completely forgotten.
While the Congress is still living in a son-inherits-father’s-throne mentality, the royal son-in-law’s shady businesses are blindly ignored (anyone else noticing a pattern here?). The BJP, on the other hand, is trying to paint a false reality by glossing over women empowerment to please the American President. Their Chief Ministerial candidate admittedly commands a superstar presence. At least she used to. But by exploiting her popularity for political mileage, her image has probably taken a dip, and I only wonder if she is going to become another sacrificial lamb.
In such a scenario, is there anyone worth voting for? The enthusiasm with which Delhi voted 14 months ago faded by the time the General Elections came. A glimmer of hope vanished within months. And today, it seems, Delhi is back to its old ways, with voters becoming indifferent.
With these thoughts in my head, I went out to vote. Neither this blog post, nor my opinion is probably going to make much of a difference to anyone. And my vote is definitely not going to change Indian politics… But a tiny part of me (0.000001% to be precise) has a little bit of hope. A hope that the collective power of votes may shift attitudes. Whether or not that happens, we will soon find out.
Update: It turns out, I was quite wrong about voter indifference. The people of Delhi came out in large numbers to vote. More than 8.9 million people voted—the largest number of Delhiites to have ever voted for any election in Delhi. And the verdict was an unprecedented sweep by a party wielding a broom!
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are entirely personal. I am not affiliated to any political party, nor is this post intended to spread any form of hatred directed towards any one person/party.