Tuesday, April 01, 2014
My family voted Congress. Generally. It was almost as if there was no other option. I remember in the socialist days of the 80s, the codeword was ‘Hand’. The uncles and aunts and neighbours would come back and show a hand – that they voted hand. It was almost as if there was no other option. Congress did not always win – in our locality though. The area had a large Sindhi and Gujarati population and they sent back people like Hashu Advani, Jaywantiben Mehta and Pramod Mahajan – though Gurudas Kamat did make it many a time. All in all, whatever, our family like most in our area was a solidly Congress family.
I was recently talking to some folks of this generation and I realized that the Congress kool-aid has many takers among this audience. And with the decline of the Congress – thanks to numerous corruption scandals and even communalism – these people are gravitating towards the new alternative that has come up in the market - the 49 day wonder. That set me thinking as to, who would really vote Congress?
Until this election, much of the educated class has very little to do with elections or with politics in general. The fact that they vote is itself a big thing. They see themselves as being untouched by politics - and that it will never touch them. At any rate, they have given up on getting a great deal in this country - what with reservations and no opportunity to get government jobs - which are now hardly an aspiration with this group of people. Mostly, they know that they can go anywhere with their academics and opt to reside in greener pastures.
Given this background, they are rarely 'involved viscerally' in the countries politics. (Again, I speak for the few people I know - not about a large general population). And given their penchant to stay away - they are always away from the ground politics. And that perhaps explains their choices. The Congress because it is really a lazy option and the AAP because it is an active option.
Let me explain. Like the doctor who explains to an obese patient that he should switch to an active lifestyle - and the patient switches from watching golf to watching tennis.
AAP does what this class has never done. Taken to the streets in denim. Unlike the Shiv Sena or others - who were distant to this crowd - they mostly did not identify themselves with the Shiv Sena or other parties - the AAP is people like them. And it is easy to endorse AAP - with their childish tactics - one can still retain the comfort of ones surroundings and endorse the latest activists.
Those who take the trouble of reading up, finding out, engaging with the society at large, cannot ever vote for Congress.
How can one not see through dynastic politics, while working in meritocratic organizations.
How can one vote for a party that has indulged in rampant corruption while paying taxes honestly.
How can one vote for blatantly communal policies that harms themselves - unless you tell yourself that all this does not affect your - however blindly.
And so on...
So my net conclusion is that lazy people vote Congress.