I was never interested in politics. It’s a dirty business. One vote won’t make a difference. Saare chor hain…the sense of dismissal was absolute.
But I am looking forward to the coming election. There is only one explanation – I have grown up and matured. No matter how powerful the urge to refrain from this politics business, elections are important. You are not being asked to clean public toilets, teach slum kids, start a foundation or adopt a child. Definitely, voting is the most convenient public service.
I understand, waking up in the morning and standing in an endless queue, exposed to the weather, is no one’s idea of a perfect holiday. But the queues are not any more testing than the ones at Big Bazaar on a Wednesday. Ironically, voting percentages are high where the queues are the longest – in the rural areas. For us city folks, the travel sites offer long weekend deals to get out of town on those days.
Now, that was alright till this election. But this one is crucial. The Congress is down on its heels. Narendra Modi will soon become a candidate for prime ministership. There is no viable third front. The rightful morchas and citizen activism has stalled at an unresolved middle point. The worst thing that one can do under the conditions is to show apathy.
Don’t come out on the streets, we don’t quite need a twitter revolution yet. But you need to wake up. If you have been up, you need to raise your hands and demand to be counted. No matter how dysfunctional our political system is, when people demand something it is delivered. There is a delay, sometimes, a significant one. But governments have come around to deliver under pressure.
This election, be the pressure. Both on the netas and people around you. Talk about the election, ask your friends who they are supporting, re-sensitize the ones who have divorced politics, make it a dinner time topic, introduce your children to the nation’s politics, do whatever it takes. But, please do. These things take time, and now is the time to start.