There were very explicit detailing of the reasons on why the educated middle class should vote. One of them was it is the only way the vote-bank politics (here it's a euphemism for buying of poor voters by politicians) can be smashed. The messages even worked out clear numbers saying how the educated middle class easily outnumber the poor in Bangalore city; and how we really have a say; how we -- by taking a conscientious decision -- can dictate the state of Bangalore. These messages, in fact, just stopped short of telling all of us whom we should vote for.
So, on polling day, Saturday, I expected a huge carnival of the youth brigade, long queues of computer software engineers and other professionals. All that crowd -- what we refer to as the jing-bang crowd -- that we are used to seeing on M G Road and Brigade Road; I thought they would have all enthusiastically jogged, trekked or picnicked their way the nearest polling booth; buzzed each other on the fun they were having. After all, it is they -- we all actually -- who are the victims of bad politics.
Ultimately, it turned out that -- forget voting for the right candidate -- few even turned up to vote.
There are umpteen theories doing the rounds on why very few turned up. I don't think we need to commission a scientific study to know the reason -- cynicism and indifference to politics and politicians must surely be among the most common reason. Politics is low on priority for many people. If someone thought that majority are Bangaloreans will put off every things else to make sure they voted, then they were -- (and are?) -- mistaken.
Why politics is so low on priority levels?
1) We have taken democracy in India for granted.
2) Politics and politicians aren't worth our time and attention.
3) Politicians hardly inspire.
4) Why we must cover up for politicians' failures?
5) Politicians aren't visible.
6) Good politics is desirable, but bad politics doesn't matter.
But then why did I vote on Saturday?
Even though I very much agree with the half a dozen reasons that have been mentioned above, on polling day, I told myself, I must vote. We are blessed to be in India, a democratic country where we all have absolute freedom to choose the ruler. It's completely beside the point that our rulers aren't up to the mark. Politics and politicians in India need a complete makeover.
I voted because in the political arrangement of democracy my job is the easiest -- to vote; I didn't want to fare poorer than the politicians.