Monday, May 12, 2008

Right to Complain

So, first phase of elections happened here, and, according to all reports, the voter turnout was pretty bad in Bangalore Urban; around the 44% mark apparently. Possible reasons for this, according to the media:
  • General apathy
  • No clear front-runner
and so on.
And ya, there were a lot more reasons that have been listed across all channels.

Among the numerous election ads on the radios, the one that grabbed my attention was this: “Vote now. Else, shut up for the next 5 years!” Obviously, a very impressive attempt at guilt-tripping the voters.

But still, I felt somewhat hollow when I heard this. The hollowness persisted even after reading about the abysmal turnouts. I was confused … because, I should have been angry. But nope, I just couldn’t muster up any sort of rage against this apathy. So, I began to wonder why.

And just like all always, my thoughts went in all sorts of directions, and what is being written here is one such thread of rambling.

“Shut up for the next 5 years!” “Shut up …”! Hmm … the point here is simple. The next time you complain about the government, remember that YOU had a hand in picking it, and hence, if you abstained then, you have no ground to stand on now. Fair enough.

But, is the government really the only entity that is at fault?
(Oh, before that, that there is something “at fault” in our city, state, country, etc. is beyond doubt. But, for the sake of my lack of knowledge, I shall just stick to Bangalore and its problems for now.)

On a tangent, the Bangalore Police has this hoarding saying, “Are you a driver who follows the rules? Are you a Smiling Driver?” And whenever I see that, I want to scream, “Not at all!!! I follow every bloody rule! And the only thing that gives me is a stressful life! No smiles. No nothing!” The rage that I am engulfed in when I am on the road is slowly reaching levels that I am not sure I can get rid off.

And this is the rage that I was hoping would hit me earlier. But, the realisation that I have come to accept is this – it doesn’t matter one bit who our leaders are. As long as we, as citizens, do not perform the simplest of tasks, there is nothing that any supreme power can do to save us.

And, the scary part of the current scenario where people want to do things just to accelerate their progress in life/traffic/career/etc. is that no one seems to feel the guilt. A simple case in point: The other day, at the Sankaralinga Pandian Hotel signal, it’s red. Of course, vehicles from my side continue to ignore it as there is no vehicle “using” the rightful green. But then comes this Activa who has take a right-turn and rightfully, but no one stops. Finally, running out of patience, he just pushes his bike into the path of an incoming auto. And, what does the auto-driver do? Gets out and shouts at the Activa driver! After that incident, even “sheepish guilty” would be an acceptable option to me … but I didn’t see it then, and don’t see it in the future.

And so, that’s where I stand. My rage for people’s apathy to the government is negligible. My rage for people’s apathy to people is at a scary level. And I am fine with that … completely at peace with my rage.

After having spent years controlling the rage, I’m fed up, and have finally (and inevitably, I should add) reached the stage where I need to vent it out as and when it bubbles out.


At 8:09 AM, Blogger DhiOnlyOne said...

Firstly, good to see you rambling. Reminds me of the old Chilli :-)
About the anarchy all around, I guess we become immune to it over time. It is sad, causes further rage, but that is how it has become

At 1:38 AM, Blogger Akshai said...

Incidentally in stark contrast, Bangalore rural had a voter turnout of 72.5%. I suppose cynicism among urban voters towards politicians has reached new heights!!
Btw...good to see you blogging again.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The converse seems to be implicitly assumed by most people - that casting a vote is the only way for them to participate in a democracy. Yes, that is sad.

Somehow, this post felt so un-you da.


At 1:38 PM, Blogger Pavitra said...

have no wise comments...
just happy that you are back to blogging :-))))

At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, i have gone through this many times, This has nothing to do with Elections, voting, democracy, but this is sad.

At 12:04 AM, Anonymous the devil said...

Lets assume, a person cheated in his 12th std exams, cheated his way through college, got into ISB through influence or something.

Now there is a job interview for a very fancied firm, who gets the first call, The ISB cheat dude against a Manipal MBA dude or if you want to even it up an ISB cheat dude against a ISB honest dude....

The odds of getting the call are 50 or more ...

Hence he is ahead of the pack, his sins of yester years are never heard of... and he is living the dream...

My assumption, guys who do the "lesser of the sins" i guess just feel , if i do it and dont get caught , then i'm ahead of the pack...

Which means they will continue to do so , because the end result if successful is a happy one ...

On the voting thing ... here's my take... My vote is not going to influence my life in any significant way , so might as well not waste time on the action or the hope... and continue to live life to its fullest ...

Dont start lecturing me when we meet

At 1:00 AM, Anonymous the devil said...

A strange observation.
Dhimant says its the old you
eV says its so un-you ...

What are you ???

At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This thread is probably dead, but when have I ever let that bother me :)

The devil's argument is a combo of:
1. People have a flexible moral compass
2. That is not always wrong or worthy of our condemnation
3. Ends justify the means

2 is kyna implicit while 3 is a corrolary of 1. The root of the argument is 1.

So what happens to a society with a moral compass that is freewheeling at an individual-level? Well, some would say that is the definition of freedom - the right to set their compass at any level that pleases their own self. Is this the ideal state?

Not in my opinion. A freedom not respected is a freedom abdicated. One has got to respect the freedoms provided to him by the society. And if you've been given the freedom to choose your MLA, what business do you have preventing your index finger from its rightful meeting with the EVM? If you're too frustrated, use your middle finger to vote :)


At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yes, the reason I consider this post un-Chilli-ish:

He always has strong opinions and expresses them forcefully. But even if these are strongly negative comments, behind them all, there is a glint of hope in his eyes that seem to acknowledge that this frustration is but a drop in an ocean or a passing phase. In other words, there is hope in spite of whatever it is that he cribs about. I dont find that glint in this post - instead there is a combination of helplessness and hopelessness.

To provide an analogy from a movie I've not seen yet, this post was a lot more Ambi-ish than the supposedly Anniyan Chilli. :)


At 5:18 AM, Blogger Pramod said...

On the shutting-up part.... iam actually not sure when to shut-up. Should i shut-up for not having voted and then be responsible for the apathy or should i shut-up and not complain for having elected the candidate of my choice and continue to see the apathy. its actually a tough call.. :(

At 10:21 AM, Blogger workhard said...

Nice post, i like reading your blog, interesting

BPO work from home


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