No stamp of approval here
The Mumbai elite have 'valid' reasons for the low voter turnout in the civic polls. V Gangadhar writes.india Updated: Feb 22, 2012 23:21 IST
The 'posh' residential areas of Mumbai once again registered an abysmally low voting percentage in what were being termed as the 'do-or-die' civic polls, which concluded recently. But the elites, who regularly make an appearance on Page 3, have 'valid' reasons to not vote:
Cuffe Parade: I am of the kind who demands a gold filling when the dentist recommends silver filling for the teeth, as I want nothing but the best. That's why, for me, the civic polls come way down the political ladder. I vote only in the Lok Sabha polls.
Marine Drive: I had no time, yaar. I had to organise a candle light march on the election day to awaken the masses. It's a different matter that I forgot why I had to awaken them. Someone said that it would be telecast live. So I had to be at the march.
Colaba: I noted that we registered the lowest polling figure yet again. Isn't it a unique record? We are tops in everything from shopping centres to restaurants to heritage buildings. And now we have topped the list of the lowest polling areas too.
Fort: I took pains to get ready to cast my vote. I even went to the beauty parlour the previous evening and ordered a new designer outfit. Imagine my surprise when I realised that the colour of the polling booth did not match the colour of my nail paint! Naturally, I had to return.
Worli: Believe it or not, I was in the queue at the polling booth for a full minute-and-a-half when I realised that the guy standing behind me accidentally rubbed his scrubby hand against mine. I was shocked. What is Mumbai coming to? I quietly returned home after buying a bottle of hand sanitiser.
Cuffe Parade: Why can't the Election Commission have different grades of booths for different kinds of people? The media recently reported that in my Jolly Maker building, a two-bed room flat was sold at the price of R2 lakh per square foot. Imagine our plight when we had to join the queue where people from the nearby Machimar slums were standing. Many of us were put off and did not vote.
Worli: How can a person be at more than two places at the same time? I was invited by two English and three regional news channels to be a panellist on debates on the civic polls. Since I had to get ready and rush to the studios, I couldn't cast my vote. I strongly feel that the Election Commission should send their representatives to our homes to take our votes.
Colaba: These election-wallahs don't understand our way of doing things. Everyday, our maids and drivers do all our work like collecting our flight tickets, booking movie tickets etc. So why can't they vote on our behalf too?
Cuffe Parade: The officers on the election duty told me that my name was not in the voters' list. Now that's an insult! After all, I am the most well-known personality in Cuffe Parade. I am in every group, committee and whatnot. How come the Election Commission dared to omit my name from the list?
Marine Drive: My new beagle arrived from Australia one day before the poll day. I trained her the entire day and even took her to the polling station. But the security guards did not allow me to take my pet inside the polling booth. What if she had died of a shock caused by the separation? After all, she is new to Mumbai.
Colaba: I don't think this kind of democracy suits people like us.
(V Gangadhar is a Mumbai-based writer. The views expressed by the author are personal.)