The verdict is out – Bengalis are not passionate only when it comes to discussing politics, they vote passionately as well.
West Bengal registered close to 70% turn-out during this election, one of the highest in the country. Though the choice they had was pretty limited – basically a call between the Communist Party & Mamata Banerjee, and no ‘No Voting’ option on the EVM - they still went out & voted.
I was SHOCKED to hear that Mumbai registered only 46% voter turnout. For all that anger against politicians following 26/11, the fervent appeals by public personalities to the people, especially the youth, to go out & vote, the candlelight vigils at the Gateway, the marches on Marine Drive, the public outcry against citizens who do not vote – Mumbai registered one of the lowest voter turnouts. So what was all that noise about?
I agree our options were dismal. The list of competing candidates was bad across constituencies, not to mention most have criminal cases pending against them. Parties have been fielding the same candidates for the past hundred years! There is a severe dearth of young, dynamic, clean politicians to lead a youthful & vibrant India.
BUT we have got to choose the best from amongst what is available to us – the one who is likely to be the least regressive, the one who is likely to bring the least harm to society & our country. Expecting a positive change would be too hopeful and optimistic at this point of time. We aren't there yet. Therefore, we've got to choose someone who will do the least damage.
OR we should join the fray. South Mumbai did have some atypical candidates like Meera Sanyal who asked themselves the question "If not me, then who??". That's the same question that we need to ask ourselves when it comes to voting. "If not us, then who??"
For all the promises that Mumbai made post 26/11, they blew their chance! Let’s wait and see what India did.