Pune Votes, Tomorrow

So tomorrow is the day I exercise my right to vote. The day i participate in the biggest democratic process in the world. The day I decide the fate of some 36 candidates in my constituency.

The day I count as much as the illiterate-beggar-drunkard-wife beater-thief-smuggler-rapist-murderer standing next to me in the line.

I have not yet decided who I will vote for. I do not think the candidates themselves matter much anyways. They will hardly do anything to significantly improve the Pune constituency. But the parties they belong to, and the strength they will be having, that will surely matter in the topics that are most likely to affect the country at large.

The 3 major parties in the fray, Congress, BJP and the BSP have fielded candidates who are what you expect them to be. Projected as clean, austere and the best thing to happen to Pune since mankind invented the wheel. I cannot even recall who is from which party. They all look and sound the same. All promise to improve Pune’s roads, water supply, transport system, etc etc etc.

Surprisingly, nobody mentioned anything about corruption. Hmm. I wonder why.

To be fair, I did not attend any of their public rallies. I have only had time to go to their respective sites, and read their manifestos.The BJP candidate (Anil Shirole)’s site is “Under construction”. However, the Sakaal Times seems to carry quite a few articles about him and his pet peeve – Pune’s transport system. The “development” of which, quite obviously, offers tremendous scope for more corruption. The BSP’s candidate (DSK) seems to be quite lost. His manifesto is plagued with structural and grammatical errors, not to mention factual fallacies. The Congress candidate, Mr. Suresh Kalmadi, seems to have done a bit for the slum rehabiliation. But then, I did not like the way he has taken credit for many things, over which I believe he had not even a semblance of control. Including, but not limited to, how “as IOA President, got the country the 1st ever gold medal in individual event at the Beijing Olympic 2008.” Seems so honest and accurate, no?

Amongst the independents/smaller parties, I came across only one profile which caught my attention. Arun Bhatia from Peoples Guardian. A former municipal commissioner of Pune, who has been “transferred 26 times in 26 years” because of his inadequacy to keep quiet. Given “punishment postings”. Threatened.

His life story seems like a good story for a Bollywood movie.

But then, how much can 1 man do?

Tomorrow, I count as much as the illiterate-beggar-drunkard-wife beater-thief-smuggler-rapist-murderer standing next to me in the line.