Vote against vote-bank

Updated: Feb 12, 2012, 23:50 PM IST

Perhaps the two most baffling questions occupying Indians' mind right now are – What has charged the voters suddenly, and the other big question is, UP <i>mein kya hoga?</i> Not only in UP, but voters in just concluded Punjab and Uttarakhand polls flaunted their Voter I-cards more than their PAN cards – as it is they have them less in numbers. However, the shocking and haunting turnout of <i>‘aam’</i> voters (even youths) must be troubling the gobble-minded politicos of all hues and colours – it’s both hope and despair situation for the racing-up, anxiety-ridden bloodied battlers. Loyalty and royalty, exclusive and inclusive, mobility and stratification – all have been put to the most decisive test by the erstwhile voiceless voters – it is simple this time, it’s a vote for voice – ‘I count and you can’t discount me’.
The fact is that northwards, endless outpouring of voters has silenced the ever-greedy vote-netters with their ‘deafening’ voice through EVMs. Read it, one may have to do more to understand, but do not reject or ignore. It may be an exaggerated parallel to draw, but can we say safely that for the first time, voters' percentage, life expectancy and literacy level are roughly similar. Has the voter come of age in India (find out what happens in lukewarm USA – even mammoth UP voters are showing better response), add poor Bengal and Bihar to the list and you get the message written on the wall – decode it sooner than later.
Then, what is the message from the voters' ‘spring’? Is it simply caste, community, creed and greed? Is it manifestation of just parochially conditioned stereotypes and ordained mindset? Reductionists and vested interests will like to read and entrench the ‘statistics’, but multimedia-hooked ‘global’ villagers may also be trying to tell something else, conveniently ignored for the time being but consciously to be imbibed for time to come by the stakeholders of representative democracy, modeled on first-past-the-post system.
What is bringing the voters to the booth - disenchantment with their state of being, positive assertion of their due claims, demands and expectations? We all are familiar with the phase of 'revolution of expectations' post-independence, followed by disenchantment assertions in 60s and 70s. Where are we placed? Read the voters and their vote. No doubt, they are strengthening the largest democracy but are they not expecting the ‘power’ that they are making or unmaking to deliver – and soon. It’s true that we do not have ‘recall’ or ‘reject’ provisions mid-term, but is it not a vote to note that if you want to bank upon voters, then dump and discard the indoctrination and practice of vote-banks.
In other words, rule but don't divide - rather deliver for all. Give me one voter's name who doesn’t prefer ‘development’ and ‘governance’ (take example of caste ridden Bihar voters). Why not the question - is the ‘identity’ voter turning ‘inclusive’ – ‘Identity’ voters from all sides merging in a multi-hued ocean.
From marginalized to galvanized, are they not asking for level-playing field? Read their or our 'agenda', otherwise next time the turnout will be much higher, breaking all barriers of vote-banks - voters are after all one. So, please underline - no Salman rhetoric – no Kushwaha flip-flop – no overnight dissection of state or even ‘Batla’ encounters. Peripheral voters are just demanding or asking for performance, and it's better for class political to start counting your votes, the day you take up the reins. 2014 voters will be more ‘educated’, ‘aware’, responsive and assertive.
This is 21st century vote and voters' mosaic and confluence. Construe carefully and read the writing on the wall. It is the firepower of ballot, though it may not be a bullet. Annaji, you can ‘slap’ - here is the great ballot box of adult suffrage.

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