I remember, during one election, my father returned from polling booth. I recently had become politically enthu. My mom & I kept asking him that which party did he vote too. He said this is called ‘gupt matdaan’ which means the vote is kept secret and hence why should he share with us that which party did he vote to. We guessed that perhaps he voted BJP dude but we never became sure where did his vote go. When he was politically active, he had friends in all major parties. Most of the times, 2-3 candidates used to be his friends, even the independent ones. During elections, we always had visit from all of candidates multiple times. His friend candidates would stay at home, even those from major parties. He sometimes accompanied their caravan and when he did, he did for all of them. We always had a big box of election campaign materials at home – flags, docs, banners, pamphlets, etc. Sometimes, in childhood, I would like some of flags and would intend to put the flag in house. He always scolded me and never let me do so. I have been very close to my father and I can tell you most of things about his political, social, religious views BUT I can’t tell you which party did he vote to in which election due to the clout, confusion & secrecy he created. I compare that to now, the people of today, here on twitter and elsewhere. Everything is so widely known that you can bet on your life that which party will 1 vote to. You know it about every1 via themselves In a way, I guess, the ‘age of voters’ is dead, ‘age of supporters’ is fading fast and we are now into the ‘age of political activists’ Everyone is an activist of one political party or politician. Only thing left is, perhaps, a valid membership of the party to verify it And people are not official members due to perhaps – either they don’t know how to become or they are too lazy to do that. Just that.
End of the ‘Age of Voters’
Published in India