The family that votes together…


… (hopefully) keeps the country together.

It’s been a long, bitter and frankly, the most disgusting election campaign I’ve witnessed. We did what we could – by voting. Here’s hoping for harmony, unity and peace of mind.

Vote’s up!

Voted

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.

Voted

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.

Further reading:
Meet India’s newly elected
Sheila Dixit’s letter to PM
Women’s political representation lagging in India

Here we go again!


We hereby declare the 2014 Great Indian Political Circus, open
We hereby declare the 2014 Great Indian Political Circus, open
Love it, or hate it, you can’t ignore it. Television, radio, newspaper, bus shelters, street lights, auto-rickshaws, WhatsApp, pamphlets, door-to-door, stadia, SMS, loudspeakers – and I’m sure even the kitchen sink at a restaurant!!

The air’s heavy, the street’s are full of political discourses. Complete strangers debating in hallways.

The world watches as the largest democracy begins it largest ever electoral exercise. Today, my dear friends, we decide the future of country. Go on! Show off you ink-stained index finger.

I did my part!


image

Campaign Season


The elections for the municipal corporation were held today. Where there are elections, there is bound to be campaigning. So I too have jumped into the campaign mode. Albeit, of a different kind.

This year, as part of an internal competition, students were asked to make short films under various categories. I too was encouraged to participate.

I had no clue as to  what I should do. But since the staff members wanted me to participate, I searched the internet world for some inspiration. After several days of wandering, out of sheer desperation, I decided to settle for a biography. It wasn’t the most original of ideas, and it wasn’t very interesting, but it was something. After discussing it with our teacher, I picked up the registration form and headed home.

The evening had set in, and I was sitting next to the window of the local bus. As the wind blew across my face, something happened. All of a sudden words streamed into my head. In a matter of a few minutes, I had a concept, a story, and even a vague picture in my mind.

I submitted my form on the very last day of the registration and over the next 4 weeks I set about executing it. And so, I am proud to present to you, Mr Paper.

This is an advertisement for a fictitious company named Papyres. The spelling mistake is intentional. I had intended it to be Papyrus, but after I had almost completed the animation, I searched, and found out that it was a real company. So I had to change it.

That brings me to the disclaimer – this video is a purely creative venture and not made for any commercial purposes.

So what does all this have to do with campaigning? Well, this video was short-listed for the viewers’ choice award. Yippee 😀 So now I have to get people to ‘like’ this video on Facebook. Being one of the rare breed of people not having such an account, I decided to post it here. So if anyone accidentally stumbles on to this blog, I hope you have a look at the video. Liking is not compulsory, but I do hope you enjoy it. I, for sure, enjoyed making it. 🙂

* * *

For those interested in ‘liking’ it on Facebook, it is posted on this page:

https://www.facebook.com/Competition.WideAngle2012/posts/411233848887855?ref=notif&notif_t=share_reply

Update: The competition ended in the video being nominated for the award. It was showcased during the cultural programme and award ceremony :). The response on the facebook page was overwhelming and I have a lot of people to thank for that! Thanks everyone! 🙂

PS. The above link no longer exists.