Wednesday, April 27, 2011

शिस्टाचार का महत्व

Friday, October 16, 2009

Elections and Negative Voting

Recently I had the honour of doing election duties of a Presiding Officer of a polling booth for the Maharashtra State Legislative Elections. The Election process took place exactly as expected. It was chaotic, unorganised, unprofessional, slow, very badly managed and a perfect example of how not to go about organising elections. The staff on duty was expected to take over duty on Monday morning at 0900 and get relieved form the duty on Wednesday morning at around 0100, continuous forty hours. They were expected to be awake all these forty hours, were housed in private or govt. run schools which had neither of the proper toilet or bathing facilities. The toilets were stinking, the election booths buzzing with mosquitoes and the fans hung form the ceiling and rotating as if they are drunk and are moving their heads on the beats of slow music sung by Manna Dey. Not to talk of the resting couch, the chairs provided were either plastic chairs or the wooden chairs with no couch at all. I bet your Ram Pyari (Bums) cant dare to brace these chairs for more than half an hour continuously. The hardness of wood travels up your spine and freezes it. You will have to get up and have a forced walk streaching your Ram Pyari a little backwards and giving a bow shape to your back, walking like a camel. All of us must have done that, I caught myself doing it unaware at least a dozen times. No arrangement for food or tea at all and mind you, you cant leave the polling booth and go out. As a defence person I could take all this without much of it disturbing my head. But the actual problem was communication. All the administrative staff gave instructions to us in Marathi. Nothing against the language as such but whats the use of speaking to a person if he is not able to understand what u say. This simple logic was not unfathomable to those who spoke like that but they intentionally continued to talk in Marathi. They knew Hindi and English both but preferred not to bless these languages with their tongue. Since none of us Hindi speaking person could understand Marathi, we followed instructions given to us in a English booklet. This booklet was outdated and the latest instructions were a handful of pages in Marathi. Utter confusion prevailed when it came to submitting the Statutory Papers and the Electronic Voting Machines. There is a saying in my local language, Dogri, by a famous poet Late. Sh. Denu Pai Pant. It goes like this "Hindi sadi dadi aye te Dogri sadi maa, Dadi thar Dadi aye te mau thar maa". What he meant was that Hindi is our grandmother and the local language is our mother, Both mother and grandmother have their respective places of respect and honour. Honouring the mother doesn't mean u dishonour your grandmother. I saw exactly the same happening. Those who disrespect their grand mother and say that that they are respecting their mother, bring disrespect to the whole family.
A friend of mine was so exhausted that he lay down on the cemented floor at the central pooling station when this great confusion of submitting the papers was in progress.

Not every thing was bad. I was quiet surprised to see aware and informed voters making use of a powerful weapon of negative voting or tender voting. There is a provision in our constitution that you can register you vote as tender vote. The no. of tender votes is deducted from the final total of votes for each candidate. If two candidates score 10 and 15 votes respectively and the no of tender votes is five. The final score of votes for each candidate will be 5 and 10 respectively. If there is no result after the tender voting the election is to be reordered and the candidates who has already contested are not allowed to contest again. I wish a lot more people come to know about it.

The reason for my prolonged absence form this space.

(Who the hell cares for this world)

(I am so delighted to see you)

(Come and sit with me in my umbrella)

Dear friends, I know I have been away from this space for a really long long period. But I have let u know the reason also.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Baba divided between India and Pakistan.

There is a religious place called Chamliyal, right on the Indo-pak border in Samba sector of J&K. The place is around five to six kilometers from my house. As goes the story some anti social elements beheaded baba because he used to treat villagers of various ailments with his meditation. Because of spiritual power of Babaji, his head travelled from the place where he was beheaded (now in pakistan) to the village chamliyal (now in India). The soil and water of chamliyal called shakkar and Amrit are still used by various devotees for the treatement of skin diseases.
This border post is manned by BSF and being an ex-defence officer, I had the luxuary of going right upto the border and have a peep into the pakistani villages with the telescope of BSF. My family was with me and ofcourse thrilled to see pakistan from such a close distance.

Every year a Mela is organised at this Peer Baba. Around one week before mela, firing from both sides of the border stops. On this border post, where the roar of guns is a common phenemenon, prevails the peace. On the day of Mela both sides meet and exchange Shakker and Amrit. Since my childhood I have never seen any untoward incidence happening on this religious meet of India and Pakistan. The wholy shrine may bear a deserted look on a normal day but is very crowded on the day of mela. A lot of crowd, mostly villagers from the nearby areas, collect and enjoy the feast of jalabees, Burfi, pakoras and other locally prepared items. Its a much awaited day among the locals.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What a Joke

The other day a friend of mine e-mailed me two pictures. One of them depicted Rahul Gahdhi working as a labour. He wore a spotless white payzama Kurta, sport shoes and held a blue plastic bucket over his shoulder. The labour lady working along with him wore chappels, a maroon Ghagra Choli and had a heavy load in a metallic container over her head. The Rahul Gandhi was probably trying to feel the pain of her life, or at least pretending so. He must have done that for five or ten minutes and then gone to the people telling them that he realises the difficulties of their life. He must have asked them to vote for his party and then promised them that his party will make their life easy. Its like a person trying to judge the depth of the ocean by walking a few steps in the knee deep water at the shore. The time tested trick is being played by our cruel politicians and I am sure it will work again. Mr. Gandhi if you really want to know their pains live with them in their clumsy slums, eat their tasteless food, wear their stinking cloths, use their toilets for which i have no adjective, work with them for the whole day and live this life for at least a month. You will realise the intensity of pain they suffer.
The other picture showed Mr. Karunanidhi Fasting................. fasting for four hours that started after breakfast and ended before lunch. He slept on a comfortable bed in front of two huge air conditioners with his supporters standing around him. Gandhi ji's soul must have felt happy that the definition of fasting has changed for better. He also wore the favourity dress of Indian politicians, spotless white. What a joke Mr. Karunanidhi.
Will India ever get good politicians. I hope its a cyclical process and is about to bottom out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Some photographs I would like to share

कहा जा रहे हो , मुजे भी जाना है, रुको मैं भी आता हूँ।

अरे देवानो मुजे पहचानो कहा से आया हूँ मैं कौन,
मैं हूँ , मैं हूँ, मैं हूँ, DON

Low turnout on elections

Sorry guys, I have been away from this space for a long time. The little one at home has been keeping me busy.

A lot of fuss has been created about the low turnout in polls in a place like mumbai. Just 40 percent. Well I am the one of those who has not voted this election. The reason, I am in mumbai and I have a voter id in Jammu. Around six months before I tried to register myself in the voter list in mumbai, for that I was required to get my name de listed form the voter list in Jammu first. Well going to Jammu, visiting Tehsildars' office, paying him him the bribe or to make five to ten rounds of his office for a voting right in Mumbai. Well all this, I could not afford for various reasons, well understood by those who live in my class, the educated lower middle class.
Our political leaders have come out with the idea of making voting compulsory, least aware of the fact that the system to ensure the same is not in place. We have failed in bringing those people to book who have committed heinous crimes, how are we going to deal with those who do not vote, and mind you the number of such people will he huge. The already crumbling police and legal system can fail because of this one stupid step of the government. And why should one think of this, once there are other means of ensuring the same. We have failed to learn lessons from the Income Tax Department. The tax collections grew many fold not by cracking the whip, but by making tax payment easy and by reducing the tax rates, thereby encouraging the tax payer to pay the tax.
Internet is a very powerful tool. Online voting is a wonderful Idea. Even those who are abroad can vote on the day of polling. I think this is the only way to make the educated and informed voter, which sadly has not been voting since independence, to take part in the process of government forming. We can go even a step ahead. Voting by sms. All the election commission is required to do is to tie up with the various telecoms service providers and issue a user id and a password to every voter. I know these ideas are there in the minds of those who matter, but somehow they do not want to implement, either because they want only illiterate and ignorant to vote, or the will is lacking. As I generally say, its time for us, the educated, honest, and young lot of India to join the politics and clean the filth, rather than being the mute spectators and mourn the countery's pathetic state of affairs over a cup of coffee inside the comforts of our drawing rooms.