Saturday, October 5, 2013

How positive is negative voting?

Appeared in TFW on Oct 3
Don’t underestimate the power of a common man! A dapper Shah Rukh Khan sprawling his hands delivers, arousing the nation. And now, the Supreme Court has seconded it. Wow!

Indians will receive a revised set of MCQs this time around. Laymen who were leaning against their armrests tired of Namo crackers and Gandhi bombshells sighing over the cacophony of all the wannabes sat up excited on hearing the Supreme Court order offering them each a baton. Grabbing it hard, they are prepared to hit them, nail them or simply ignore them all. 

But unlike students who get marked right in case the answer is NOTA, will the adults get away with the tick?

The wrong candidates may not get to occupy the coveted seat they lobbied for. But what happens if the majority of the electorate decides to opt for none? 

A right tick, in this case, may prove costly to laymen – to the very lot who fought for the privilege to exercise the freedom of choice. Those who stand tested in this general elections will be them as much as the politicians.

The fear is there. One reason why we heard cautious comments from the political class on the court order.

If only Bollywood reels took over real life! The power of a common man has hitherto only flickered selectively, shone brightly randomly and disappeared constantly in regular pre-determined patterns.

The deeds of politicians have always been mightier than the collective power of the entire nation. Scandals one bigger than the previous bombed and disappeared into thin air.  Issues snowballing into crucial intensity weathered into sobriety by seasoned hands. 
Election-time agendas and all-year through debates for the betterment of the aam admi have been the only winners. Empty promises – the power of the elected class – have always been unleashed without mercy.

The common man is tired. They need a spotless government – one devoid of any corrupt person. After more than six-long decades here’s the chance for that.

But consider a scenario where none gets elected; okay, let’s be more realistic – where none gathers a majority to form a government – then? If the common man were to exercise his powers rightly,  then the scenario will be far from being imaginary – considering the current crop of wannabe leaders.

The flip side of NOTA will then be a hole in the tax-payers’ pockets. But the tamasha will continue. Just like Bollywood, our elected class will keep us entertained  for the next five years. Do we have the nerve to withstand that? Well, old habits die hard… Practice makes perfect…

Chuck the adages!

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