I feel more enthusiastic to cast my vote as I grow older: when I was young, I was too cynical to take the trouble.
Today was polling day in
– the fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly elections, 2011. My wife and I checked out with neighbours that there was a big crowd at our designated polling centre in the early morning, so we turned up there at about 11:30, hoping that the blazing and sultry heat would discourage a lot of people from turning up. We were not disappointed, and we were lucky too, for there were two long queues at the other booth, whereas ours was deserted, so we were in and out within five minutes flat. Durgapur
I was deeply satisfied and not a little proud to see how quietly and efficiently the whole show was being conducted. Three cheers for the Election Commission! I sighed to think, for the umpteenth time, that things can be done very well indeed in this country whenever the administration makes up its mind to do so. Shall we ever see the day when everything runs smoothly and speedily like that, every kind of public service that goes into making a great country?
Now I am watching talking heads pontificating on TV, and catching up on the unraveling news. Barring stray untoward incidents, things seem to be going equally quietly and smoothly everywhere. One noteworthy thing is that the voter turnout is likely to be very high. It is heartening to know that the real common man (and woman – women are highly visible at all the booths) still pins so much hope on the electoral process. I hope, for the long-term welfare of this country, that our ‘leaders’, regardless of their party affiliations, learn to take the faith reposed in them more seriously: our people have been betrayed too often for too long…
One thing that I have been missing on TV is that young voters (those in their 20s) are not being interviewed at length anywhere. Is it because the news channels have a blind spot, or because the young generation doesn’t count, not having any coherent and articulate political views of their own at all? If the latter is true, what a shame!