Friday, March 27, 2009

Remembering my first election...

That was long time back. But I do still remember it very clearly. Everyday we used to go to school in a bus, not a school bus but the public transport. Me and my sister, I was in third class I think. Things were very different at that time, small town, good busses, less crowded, and we used to have almost the same crowd going in that bus everyday, and most people kind of knew each other, not personally but as a fellow bus mates. 

It was election time then, and there was this guy who used to travel with us, much older, he was in college at that time. And just like that he asked me,

"Whom would you vote for if you have been given a chance to vote?"

"Congress", I said, without sligthest hesitation

"Why would you want to vote for Congress?"

"I will vote for congress because Sarojni Naidu was from Congress", I said,

We had just done one lesson in English about Sarojni Naidu and I was very impressed with her and she was from congress, some first minister or something and I don’t even remember now and that seemed logical enough to vote for Congress because she worked for congress.

But then this guy burst out laughing, and he even told one fellow old passenger who was absorbed in reading the newspaper, that we would vote for congress because Sarojni naidu was from congress. I did not quite realize then that why would he want to laugh at us for this.


"No you should vote for BJP, because they are building temples" he said,

Till then probably I had never heard of BJP, or probably had never paid any attention to it, but this was first time. And at that time all of sudden this awe of BJP was generated, because of course building temples at that time did seem a very noble deed. As kids we used to love going to temples. Whenever we used to go for cycle rides or just play, if we ever passed any temple we would make it a point to go, and try to remember and do all kinds of things in temple that we had seen mom and elders do when they went to temple, and ofcourse taking "prasad" back home. It was also a great thrill for us to discover new temples, small small ones, and then come back and report to mom, as if discovered gold.

 Anyways, but this thing about, BJP as a party who were noble and build temples stayed with me for a long long time, until much later when I grew up and started realizing that how bad and ugly these temple building business is. And I just feel sad for that college guy in the bus and for others who vote just because some party seems to be doing some outwardly noble deed like this. 

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Roy said...

well, building temples was as good a reason as sarojini naidu being in congress. hope the guy knows better now.

Pulkit said...

As a teenager, the simplistic theory I based my vote upon was that the BJP cares primarily for the Hindus and Congress for the Muslims, and since the Hindus are a majority, BJP is lesser of the two evils :). It took me many years to get over it and build an enlightened view, which has led me now to believe that the BJP might be the more menacing devil at present, esp. in light of the communal violence it has induced in the last few years.

anupreet said...

Goli I really like the way you correlate so many ideas.. I'm confused what to comment on?.. school bus, politics, cycle rides, congress, english text book, temples, prasad... too much! ;o)

My first memories of elections as an eight-year-old were entering the polling booth with my grandpa and getting the blue ink on my right-index-finger n see that dot move up as my nail grew! ;o)

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rahul said...

Well, as a tennager I used to vote for whom so ever my dad did, and so I used to say to my friends that WE( as in our whole family) support this party.

Now, times have changed and I am all game for a debate in the house :P

nice post!!

Goli said...

@Roy I hope the guy knows it better.

@pulkit I agree I have been particularly been put off by the ram sena and Varun Gandhi stuff.

@anupreet thank you, I also remember parents showing me the ink blot though I never went to the booth myself.

@anonymous What to say, I could not read it.

@future mantra : Thanks you. I liked your website too, will pass on the word.

@Rahul : hehehe :D. Funny na, the way we change over time.

The Wandering Minstrel said...

amazing post goli. and u r right. its so important to remember that its not just the individual that takes decisions but the collective behind him also matters. for example, i totally adore shashi tharoor who is contesting from kerala. but then when i think that he is from congress, i immediately have my doubts. there are great leaders in wrong parties and great leaders in small unheard of parties. and independents dont have much clout either. sometimes i wonder if the indian mind is really made for democracy...

Anonymous said...

If rahul gandhi can become a future prime ministerial candidate..if a two penny italian female can be the leader of Congress ,just because she happened to marry into the 'dynasty'..I think temples are a much more reasonable logic.Even your association with Congress was with the great leaders of the past-Congress pre -independence and post independence are miles apart

Shireena said...

Interesting blog!

Thanks for visiting mine - stop by anytime.

Take care,

Abhay Karnataki said...

unfortunately the dynasty politics players are using the gandhi name's fame to fill their pockets. hardly a deserving candidate comes up in the dynasty politics. mr. rahul says in public places that india is bigger than both us and europe! what a poor GK! if such people are going to lead the country its bound to sink.

there is no need of new temples, but atleast preservation of the present temples is necessary...! taking control over the temple funds, the government is sucking the donations of devotees for its dirty vote bank politics.