Thursday, May 1, 2014

Elections 2014 - The Age of 'Selfies' People

There was a time when our people and leaders looked down upon selfish people. We have come a long way. Now we have adopted the idea of being selfish in every nuance of the word. Typically we have also adopted the misspelled variant of the same - the selfie - and are advertising our selfiesness all over. To vote is to selfie.

I know many who have expressed the lack of forethought in not taking a selfie after the act but then, wait another five years fellows. Google will go and vote for you. It surely knows who you voted for based on all the careless tracks you have left behind and all that it has inferred.

But that's not the real story. The real story is of me and my elections. For long I have been wondering how to prepare and  vote responsible. Even selfishly (the right spelling) because I hate the other selfie (because I look even more like an idiot in those). Any vote has to be selfish I guess and loaded with a what's in it for me and for my country. I looked for candidates and their information, I searched the net, I discussed here and thee, overheard here and there, laughed at the lack of awareness and knowledge at most people and finally on D Day came down to this conclusion.

I probably know about only 3-4 candidates finally of the 30 of Loksabha candidates and 2-3 in the Assembly candidates. Most, even those who were infinitely smarter then me gadget and social media-wise, were surprised to know that I knew a couple more candidates than they did. I could count on my fingers the parties I knew that were contesting and to a far lesser number, the candidates. Where I liked the candidate, I liked not the party performance and where I liked the party, I liked not the candidate. It finally almost came down to an elimination.

All independents were those I never knew of heard of. Why were they contesting at all? All the heavies were known and few gave reason for comfort. It finally came down to the big four or five. And sadly, it was not a choice between two great worthies, even with so many candidates, at both Lok Sabha and Assembly level, as it used to be sometime ago, but a case of elimination and seeing who is left behind. I certainly did not want to choose the most eligible button, the NOTA, though it seemed rather tempting. How are we to progress if our choice comes down to this?

As we stood in the queue, I realised that something had changed over the years. Earlier people would stream in at 10 or so and the early hours would be less crowded. Now at 730, with our new found zeal, the crowd was a hundred long, all wondering what to carry, whether their names were appearing, why the queue was slow etc. From 745 am to 915 am we plodded about in the queue. In sharp contrast Shobhs went at 1 pm and was out in five minutes. There were two gentlemen wearing AAP caps in the queue and were roundly chastised and made to put the same in their pockets. Some carried mobiles.

Today I see many fingers on the facebook, inked, people smiling as if they have been to war and won us famous victories. I saw a story of how one person struggled to find the name and polling station and bravely voted despite the hurdles. I saw news of Modi, our future PM could-be, with a selfie and a lotus and an FIR, Ditto with Naidu who blurted out the secret of whom he voted for. How can anyone prove that he voted for anyone is my question despite what he says. I saw news of Chiranjeevi pacifying Raja Karthik who asked the politician to join the queue and the mega star did join the queue - all done nicely and civilly. Except for some uncivil clapping by our enthusiastic population who are always ready to clap for something or the other and some mega wars on facebook about why Chiranjeevi should have been allowed to vote. It's probably simpler if we have a VIP box and charge a lakh a person. The state could make some money that way and we'd be all spared of this.

I am mostly impressed by Digvijay Singh who was at the bottom of my pile of credible politicians because he is generally making completely illogical statements. Very creative man mind you, because there is no connection between anything two lines he says. But he has got a girlfriend Ms. Amrita Rai, who is very good looking and this has improved his credibility vastly in my opinion. He should have been promoted as the PM candidate for the Congress. He is not a bad looking guy, talks as much nonsense as any capable leader can and has passions. A good looking PM with a good looking spouse is the need of the hour and Diggi could have provided not just many hours of entertainment with his utterings but also provided a sight for sore eyes whenever foreign dignitaries arrived. Diggi also manfully agreed to marry which was very smart of him and which will win him many votes. I am now an unabashed fan of Diggi and will propose his name for PM.

Another thought I had was that since most leaders don't seem to be doing anything anyway, they could at least look good. It might give us some relief.  

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