Saturday, 27 July 2013

My First Vote

‘A historical day of my life’ I chuckled early in the morning because I was to vote for the first time. I had received my voter’s card two years after filling its application. The time wouldn’t have mattered until I saw that my name, address and father’s name was incorrectly printed on the voter’s card.
“Hell!!!! What kind of officers do they have”, I thought

These things did not disappoint me and I left my home to cast my vote and show my democratic citizen right. My excitement was still in existence until my mother shouted from the back that I should fold the lower ends of my trousers. Oh! I had forgotten our road remains submerged in water for the entire monsoon season. Every five years the existing praadhan would have a visit to the place, make deceptive promises and soon after the elections he would wear Harry’s invisible cloak. Whenever I went out on his search, his family members said that he was not at home. Not only him but also different parties would come up walking in the knee deep water and promise to make it a highway one day. The reality was that not even a brick was dropped in fifteen years. I still crossed the water and turned towards the voting station. Thousands of posters flashed in front of my eyes on my way. The entire road was decorated with banners, flags and painted symbols.

“If only a percentage of its cost is invested for building our road, we could have walked comfortably” I thought. My thoughts were not audible to trigger the adrenaline of the unemployed party ‘karyakartas’ and hurt their sentiments. Probably, only god would have heard me; which god I really don’t know. Here god, religion and social unity have been divided by our politicians and media. Entire year they shout for the social unity among various faiths and cultures but at the time of elections our netas are busy in Brahmin-Sikh-Muslim-Dalit rallies and Sabhas whereas the media is concerned in dealing with a number of jobless analysts sitting in the A.C newsroom and pondering over religion, caste and even surname vote divisions. Their trumpets of secularism and communalism now work at their best to divide the society. I sincerely extend my support to all parties and their ideologies but always wish to have a ‘right-to-reject’ option.

I finally reached the voting booth. From a distance I could see that all invisible leaders had magically come back into sight. They were wearing white kurtas and had joined their hands in a namaskaar position, begging for votes. I had to cut a voting slip on which the advertisement of different parties flashed. Standing in the line I heard the serious discussion among other people. They had suddenly become conscious and active citizens of India and were flooding in with criticism for the leaders. ‘But they were standing to vote!’ 

One of them even came up with the idea to contest the next election. The police officer at our booth was busy with his bidi. His rusted old gun would have lead into and emergency itself when fired. A young guy in front of me was wearing a party volunteer badge and was busy looking at the female queue with his eyes fixed at a girl. After a long wait I finally gave my secret vote in the ballot box, got an ink mark on my index finger, clicked its photo, then uploaded in on Facebook and returned happily.

I know I am not a social worker who could stand to protest or sit on a hunger strike; for it would have fetched me some blows from the crazy party samarthaks and even from my parents. My family wants me to become a government officer ‘probably after that I will be rectifying the names on the voter’s card’.

I still hope for a sunrise one day. That day my voice will be at the top of the world. When? How? Where? ……Someday someone has to start.

Shiv Tiwari


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