Monday, May 12, 2008

Has Democracy Won in Karnataka?

After what was predicted (and feared ) will be a very low turn out for voters in the first phase of elections in Karnataka, a refreshing 66% of the 1.73 crore electorate managed to execute their constitutional right by voting in this elections. Well! that's the good news. The bad news is though, is that the real turn out has been whopping huge in the rural areas, while the Bangalore urbans turned out in meagre numbers recording a low of 44% voter turn out. I would like to, in this post put forth a perspective which touches upon the nonchalant attitude of Bangalore urbans when it comes to voting.
The media is largely followed and appreciated by the urbans. The nation wide television termed the first phase of elections as "The Battle for Bangalore". Debates thronged in different parts of Bangalore City. Large discussions ensued the real issues concerning this elections. People claimed that the real issues were "Bangalore City Infrastructure" "BIAL airport" and "Bangalore becoming a global hub". For a moment prior to the elections, it seemed as if the issues like "Caste Politics" , "Cauvery" and "farmer suicides" will take a back seat and Bangalore will receive a fresh new life after the elections. But that, given the voter turn out in urban Bangalore, I guess is yet again going to be a remote possibility.
Bad roads and slow paced construction of flyovers and on every Bangalorean's discussion topic almost everyday. But Bangaloreans , I guess don't have a solution. Politician bashing and Government bashing although has become a fashion statement in the IT capital of India, the real people who deserve a thorough bashing are the very Bangaloreans themselves. When it was called upon them to form an identity, when it was asked upon them to become a part of a voice, when it was demanded of them that they act to solve their problems, they failed. A low voter turnout in the current situation of Bangalore is not an accident, Its a crime.
I am sure, once this election goes through and when the government is formed, democracy would have won. It would have brought forth the real issues that concern our state. It will address the problems of the real people who matter, whose problems are so grave, that they decide to exercise their franchise through voting. I wouldn't be surprised if that were the problems of the 78% of the rural voters and not the 44% of the Bangalore urbans. I wouldn't be surprised if caste reservations and farmer subsidies are on priority on the government's agenda, and not the Bangalore Metro or the flyover in Yeswantpur. And when that happens I hope the tech savvy, fashion conscious ,IT capital of the country wont have anything to complain about.


Ganesh Nayak Ullal said...

well put.

Sita said...

Read the article in the Indian Express at the link to know why the middle class chose not to vote.

Also read the blog at for the same.

Let us see if you go to caste your vote on May 16th, Friday to execute your constitutional right. Then, maybe your point will strike a chord. If you can justify for not voting (assuming that you do not vote, which I feel will be the case), so can the 78% of the urban population who have not voted.

Panduranga Kharvi said...

Democracy is a system where people every individual has the right to choose a person to blame.