Sunday, May 17, 2009


This year it’s truly been a voting trend against corruption, false promises, those mixing religion with politics and negative elements.

This year we’d had more youth realizing their responsibility towards the nation and coming out in large numbers to vote. Even my youngest bro took a break from his work and came all the way from Pune to vote here.

Apart from that, rural India also made a large contribution to the votes. That’s because of the various Rozgar Yognas, which helped them in recent times.

Then who did not vote and why?

Of course, the vote percentage was lower in the cities and lowest in Mumbai. The reasons for low turnout in Mumbai were various.

First of all, it was because it touched a long weekend. Elections in Mumbai and Thane were on 30th April, 2009 which was followed by 1st May (holiday due to Mararashtra Day) followed by Sat-Sun. And that too when kids have their summer vacations! Who could resist such a temptation of going out of the city?

Reason No 2 –Due to recession, many companies had not given leave to most employees and everyone was expected to be present at work. And who would want to take a chance in such recessionary times when companies are looking for slightest of reasons to sack employees?! Inspite of being a banker and having a holiday, I was expected to be at work as I work in a centralized set-up for other parts of India. Even CMS centralized operations were working full-fledged in many banks. Except a few, many had come to work without voting, hoping to leave early and vote. Getting to leave early (as early as 4 pm to reach before 5 pm) seemed a distant possibility in banks where leaving time depends on volumes, which again are unpredictable. I reprimanded a few for not voting. Everyone gave some excuse, some even about having to come to work. But me thinks all top corporate honchos also do not vote apart from not encouraging their employees to vote. There is also a suggestion – The voting hours should be extended in Cities like Mumbai, where 5 pm means completion of only half a day. The ideal voting hours for Metro cities should from 7 am to 7 pm.

Marriage season was also one reason. Most people were out of town in their gaon attending some relative’s wedding or too busy within the city for the same reason. And for many Indian women, attending to their domestic and family responsibility is more important than their responsibility to the Nation.

And the most important question is- Is the percentage given out for Voting turnout to be believed? I am asking this question because we’ve moved to Mira Road some 6-7 years back, but the new inhabitants of our RBI quarters flat in Mumbai Central called us to inform us that voting numbers of all our family members have come this year also. Now this is two elections down the line! That set my mind ticking. This means that as new voters are added, old voters names are not re-verified for existence and their names are not struck out in case they have moved out. Likewise, so many Mumbaikars have moved to far suburbs in the recent years and added themselves as voters in their new areas. Many have formed new homes after marriage. And many girls also get married and add their names in their husband’s area, whereas their name continues in their old area as well. All such people continue to be counted as two. Half the percentage gets struck off there itself.

Whatever was the reason and whether people did vote or whether they did not, the end-result is crystal clear- Congress has won as a clear majority. This means that the youth of India want a stable government and appreciate their work toward economic growth. Those who understand economy and growth will appreciate India’s sustenance even during recession. The traders, especially the exporters will appreciate how the rupee was devalued to save the falling dollar to avoid much loss to them in conversion and at the same time foreign exchange kept flowing in. The RBI Interest subventions... The intelligent man knows, how inflation is being replaced with deflation (would like to have a full-length discussion of this later). And who could think better of such and many other economic reforms than Dr Manmohan Singh, who is an economist and ex-RBI Governer himself?

People have also voted against political elements that bring religion into Politics – whether belonging to any religion. Politics should purely deal with National Betterment and Religious work should be left to the Pundits and Maulvis.

PS : People in Mumbai / Thane and many parts of Maharashtra wondered why their second finger was being dabbed (literally! No cute dots, just messy lines) with voting ink instead of their first finger. That’s because in many parts of Maharashtra (including some Mumbai suburbs), municipal by-elections were held only recently. And the first finger was used for marking with voting ink then.


sushant said...

yea da weeknd thinge did not work in der favour and also one needs to take into consideration dat temp in afternun are unbearable and thus evenin votin hours shuld be extended atleast til 2000hrs
but all in all wid all reasons it was pretty clumsy and dismal display by b'bay!

Shagufta said...

The weather was also a deterrent... by some social workers n party workers too were arranging rickshaw / car drops till the venues!

sk said...

A very interesting comment from Mr. M.J.Akbar about the results:

"The BJP might want to consider a fundamental fact about our country. India is not a secular nation because Indian Muslims want it to be secular. India is a secular nation because Indian Hindus want it to be secular."

I really liked his words and I feel it summarizes the Voting Trends and Results of 2009.

Shagufta said...

Yes SK, I'd heard that. I remember my Dad repeating the lines in appreciation.