Thursday, May 21, 2009

My mama won the election!!!

As the Congress-DMK discussions for berths continue, the mandate is clear. The Congress led UPA has been voted back to power. The people of India have shown that they are eager for a stability and sensibility which they have got very less of in the past two decades. Lalu Prasad Yadav added an extra berth inside trains in India only to lose his own berth in the cabinet. (I wonder whether they will do away with this extra berth concept inside trains. Many have confessed that it is quite annoying). CNN-IBN and NDTV are telling us that they won the elections because they came close to predicting the results.

In all this fervor of hectic activity and claims I have to make a confession of my own. One, I did not write a blog on mother's day. (I could be excused because I did not get hold of a computer to type in a blog post and I was also internet-less for a week in between). Two, my mother, like many mothers in Kerala and I am sure all over India, predicted who would win this election.

Now I don’t know whether all the mothers in this land said the Congress would win because they were fed up with the other parties, or whether they had an inclination for the Congress right from the beginning or whether the likes of Rahul, Priyanka and Tharoor did the trick! (I did read an article which predicted a good chance for Shashi Tharoor because women in Kerala also vote for good looking men! :) I can’t vouch for that, but it’s what I read).

As I asked many families in Kerala who they voted for, the women (mostly mothers) would always show me the hand (not literally). “Congress ke hath garibo (mahilaom: women) ke sath.” Meaning that the Congress symbol of the hand would be with them and they would be with the hand. Hand in glove maybe! This gave me some pointers as to who would this election. But I still thought that this election would be a humdinger. I was proved wrong... by my mother. Happy belated mother's day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Don’t count me out!!!

Come May 16, 2009 and we will know the outcome of one of the most exhaustive exercises in the world; the Indian elections. Television news channels in all languages are already in the heat of things, predicting which alliance will have the numbers and how the two top alliances are cozying up with smaller parties to make a claim to government formation. All the top leaders and the wannabee’s have already covered up their fifteen minutes of fame and are still going strong.

The electronic voting machines which were in use this time will speed up the results and in many places clear winners will be announced by noon or just afterwards. The big fight has thus led to the big count. Going through the remaining hours is painful for some and thrilling for others.

But what does this mean for the ordinary citizen? Are we going to get stability, good governance, development, pro-poor programs, and equality for the oppressed? Or are we going to be counted out of the equation? Political party’s who asked for our mandate with specific promises will be seen aligning with party’s who were their opponents before the elections. After dividing the people in the name of caste and religion, soon different alliances will shake hands and make up to give a so called stability to our country.

What then is stability and development and what is helping the ordinary citizen of India? Is it lying to us, mis-using and mis-guiding us, dividing us and then ruling over what remains of us? This election should not be about getting counted out of the equation, rather it should be about getting counted in. Our leaders have to know that the Indian public is not a grouping that can be twisted and turned to their fancy. In this way the fight (election) is not over for the people of India!