The Voting Dilemma

Finally the dates are out. On 24th April, all of us in Mumbai should be taking time off and visiting the polling booths to cast our votes. I have written earlier about our “right to not-vote”, but given the NOTA (none of the above) option, it makes sense, to at the least, visit the polling booths and then tick that option, rather than not to vote at all.

The problem of who to vote for still remains. And try as I might, I am not able to figure this out. I envy those with strong convictions who have no doubts about the people they are supporting…people like a brother-in-law of mine, an AAP activist, who will go out of his way to make sure that the AAP wins…or my college friend who I met recently with her brother-in-law, who has no doubt that the only person to support is Mr. Modi and by extension, the BJP, given the fact that of all the three Prime Ministerial candidates, he appears to be the only one standing for progress and development, which apparently our country strongly needs.

One thing though is sure. No one I know off is even remotely thinking of voting for the Congress. Even if the most appropriate candidate in the local electoral ward turns out to be a Congress party representative, unless the circumstances are really unusual, I cannot think of voting for the Congress at all. That party has had its chance and has screwed things up so badly in the last five years that there is no question of bringing it to power. I don’t understand why the party leaders don’t see the writing on the wall and take a break this time instead of continuing to pump in atrocious amounts of money in billboard, print and television advertisements that are just not going to work.

The AAP to me is the spoiler party, currently looking to win a few seats from across the country, just enough that will allow it entry into the Lok Sabha and eventually a larger role in future elections. I somehow find the AAP and its politics and candidates a little too strident, a little too righteous and a little too fuzzy, to want to support them at this point in time.

That brings us to the supposed front-runner, Mr. Modi and the BJP. I just cannot shake-off my discomfort with the BJP in general and Mr. Modi in particular. I have expressed similar sentiments in the past and have been lucky not to have been a target of the pro-Modi social media mafia, but as the days go by, as the gaffes, bluffs and blunders at various rallies and in various speeches continue to pile-up, I can’t help but wonder about his true agenda. I am not convinced about the development theory in Gujarat and I don’t believe that his pro-Hindu, anti-Muslim views would have changed overnight.

But…

  • I will not vote for the Congress.
  • I don’t think it makes any sense to vote for the AAP.
  • I don’t think anyone should vote for a regional party at all.
  • That in a sense leaves us with no choice. Either we then cast a vote for the BJP and endorse Mr. Modi becoming the PM and give him and the party a chance and then hope that all their promises come true…
  • Or, cast a NOTA vote.

For me, Mr. Modi versus NOTA is what this election is coming down to and at this point in time I can’t seem to figure out what to do.

15 Comments

  • i do agree with u that congress has messed up the image bcos of corruption charges but bjp is no different in that sense so AAP IS RIGHT CHOICE N MR.KEJRIWAL IS TRULY A MAN TO WATCH FOR INDIA,he is truly brilliant the way he has tackled modi n cong both. but no doubt today india is a grt country bcos of cong only,no one can deny this fact!

  • dipali wrote:

    mr.kejriwal was given a chance to prove himself but obviously he has failed to live upto expectations.He will achieve nothing by blaming everyone except himself.He should be able to show the solutions to problems instead of causing chaos.At present his plan seems to be to just stopping Mr.Mody instead of improving the state of affairs.There have not been any communal violence in Gujrat in last 12 years inspite of provocations.And I think there is nothing wrong in being prohindu in Hindustan!Like Dr bhavin,I too am not sure whome to vote for,but it is definitely not going to be conress for sure!

  • H.L. Chulani wrote:

    Simple- NOTA. That way even if NaMo becomes PM you did not play part in electing a fascist!

  • raymond fernandes wrote:

    Well written article on the dilemma faced by most of us Indian on how to vote in the coming elections.. Agree the Congress and the UPA as a whole have ruled themselves out due to their patronage of humongous levels of corruption, inept governance and general insensitivity to the sufferings of the people.
    The BJP – and especially Modi are a very worrying factor – for some inexplicable reason find it hard to not fear Modi as a person – and to think he might be chief officer of the ship i’m currently sailing in sends unexplained shivers down my spine – the rest of the clan well might jsut be a flip side of the Congress coin..
    The AAP – new entrants with no history to fall back on – mainly consists of educated young professionals and or people of integrity in the main – people who have suffered under the scourge of our political system since the past 66 odd years – people with no political experience but people i can relate with.. people who for no other reason but their sincerity of purpose inspire a certain confidence..My vote is for the AAP.. win or lose it’s a vote for my conscience.

  • V.Subramanian wrote:

    The fresh perpective,unconventional politics,promise to sweep away corruption by a group of educated and intelligent people,had us believe that we have arrived at “Harry Potter’s land”.The excitement evoporated after the first few days of AAP government at Delhi.Even with the present tariff regime,most electricity boards and power generating companies in the public sectos are on the verge of bankruptcy. After 6 motnhs of coming to power, both Jayalalitha and Mamta had to increase the tariffs by more than 20% in their respective states.
    That Discoms are making more than 50% profits or the cost of producing gas by RIL or ONGC is just 1$ per cubic meter,are outrageous presumptions.One can send even Mayawati as the pricipal negotiator to the WTO but one cannot drill eany economic sense into Kejriwal .Governance is not a 50 day crash course.Starved for publicity they have been indulging in stunts and shoot and scoot policies without any substantive agenda and action plans.Rooting out corruption cannot be the only agenda and Jan-lokpal cannot be the panacea for all eveils. They have clearly flattered to deceive.With experience and building up of grass root organisation AAP can mature into a political party ripe enough to govern the country may be 10 years from now.
    Till then we have only one option.
    There is no point in wasting one’s vote by pressing the NOTA,just for statistical records.

  • Chandrashekar wrote:

    I agree with Devdee. India today can be termed as a almost developed country, and with very strong economics and growth. This has been possible because of the Congress years. I do agree that for the last five years the Congress did not pursue further, whatever the reasons – coalition politics or whatever. If they had sacked/ suspended Kalmadi, Raja and the others immediately on getting notice of their corruption they would have saved face. If the Govt had fallen due to withdrawal of support by partners due to hard stand, the Congress would have bounced back much stronger. Manmohan Singh is a very efficient and honest man. God knows what sealed his mouth and made him un-responsive.

    But no Modi under any circuymstances. Every time he gives a speech it is always me, my and I. You can imagine what will happen if he gets unbridled power- nothing but frightening. I feel in thevpresent stage, Congress needs to take a back seat and come back with clean and efficient people. That leaves the kichdi and AAP. AAp can at least be given a chance, hoping that they would have learnt the lessons during their short rule of Delhi. But mind you over the years they are also going to be filled with power hungry and corrupt persons. But unless we give a chance how will we know? If they don’t tackle corruption, they will be kicked out

  • laxman wrote:

    AK of AAP is a man with som emission-to uproot corruption and give a transparent admn.BJP is a good alternative to Cong.However there is infighting within rank and file and interference by RSS.Cong has lost all credibility and RaGa can not change the position even if he comes to power.
    Modi is assertive and he means what he says.If people in the country and his political foes are criticizing,I would like to ask how he won assembly elec in Gujarat for three cons terms and made dev of the state in all areas within a span of 5 to 6 years.
    If Modi is authoritative,so too was late Mrs.Gandhi.In INDIAN politics the PM irrespective of the party should be like a dictatoe and not like MM singh a stooge in the hands of party prez or a slave to council of ministers.
    Whether people vote for AAP/BJP/CONG/Other Reg parties,the chronoc issues/vexed problems of our country will haunt any Govt/PM for years to come as Democracy and democratic values are LOST
    Security/Education/Jobs/Insurance/State re-organisation/investment in Healthcare/Agri growth/Judicial system etc are the burning issues to be resolved.
    But a hung and truncated result will emerge after 2014 poll.

  • Sundaram wrote:

    I am a die-hard follower of Congress, but even I am disgusted the way they ruled / misruled, freely exploiting the common man and misuse of the public funds. AAP is too new and believes only in raking up negatives of others instead of any positive impression. Nor am I a follower of Modi or BJP! But NOTA option…………mmmmmmmmmmmm! May be give NAMO a try! What a choice for us poor Indians! God (not Godmen in partic. political Godmen) save our India!

  • S.P.KAMAT wrote:

    I fully agree with you.

  • Rohit Gosalia wrote:

    Let us remember Mahabharat – Balaram is classic example of NOTA – which serves no purpose. As good or as bad as NO VOTING. If one doesn’t play decision making role – it is probably more harmful. Krishna made a judgement between Pandavas and Kauravas. In present day Politics it is BJP and Congress. One has to make choice. If one is frightened of Mody coming to Power – remember it is more frightening to see RaGa or AK in power. Running away from Decision making is typically intellectuals’ way of decision making power. Recently saw a slogan very apt in present situation “The irony of our country is Intellectuals are full of doubts and Fools are extremely confident”. No wonder Congress as well as BJP both use the same slogan Vote for Congress and you will get RaGa as PM!! Make a choice – don’t just drift away.

  • ARmaity wrote:

    Thanks for the informative article.
    Best wishes to the people of India.

  • Yes, we really are in a dilemma. AAP had its chance and it chickened out. Governance is different from strident slogans.
    Congress, I object to. they had many many years and did create a mess and I do not approve of this dynasty thing. dont they have anyone else?
    Mody seem to be the best bet. at least he has no one to “Jeb garam karke deno ko.” and [people in Gujarat are happy.

  • Was a bit reluctant to post my views on politics. But what the heck. Why not?

    Yes like most Indians disappointed with the Congress who messed up their chances for another term. Not worth spelling out.
    But very much troubled with the old man who is supposed to be clean, but did not have the gumption to resign instead of letting things slide to such depths (gutter level)
    He should have taken tips from the late PM Shashtri who resigned as Railway minister when there was a major accident during his tenure. And the most recent case of the Naval Chief Joshi, who also packed in for the Sub and Frigate failures.
    He cannot be absolved for the failure to control his team, whatsoever the state of affairs prevalent.
    Had Mr Murthy run his set up in this manner Infosys would never have been what it is today.
    Like the private sector we should have these characters accountable. They should be thrown out immediately, instead of them pulling the Country down.

    As far as Modi is concerned. Even if we have have a 100 Modi’s. There will never be a change unless we ourselves change for the better. Else he will have to become a hitler to change the system.

    Yes be compassionate with our fellowmen/women. Be civil and disciplined not only at home but outside as well………

    Just one thought about the guys/gals we are likely to get (we have no choice) who will run this Lovely Country for 5 years or more.
    Their credentials NIL: They have nothing to offer us, except talk ill about their opponents. They all are sailing in the same boat.
    Like someone said. God save us (India)

  • Tough choice, isn’t it? But if NOTA leads to someone other than Modi, who are crossed out in your list in effect it means choosing one of them even though you definitely don’t want to. Hence what is left as the only rational step [even though not a whole hearted one] is to vote for Modi. Go with the lesser evil, I suppose!

  • aam admi wrote:

    AAP rocks ! AAP is the future.Dont judge them based on delhi they didnt get majority.See the candidates profile and good intentions.No party can even come close.

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