Last phase of Votes and Kolkata..a city that is very much political! The Red Fort is a bygone past now, TMCP following their footsteps, and BJP trying to accumulate as much seats as they can!

“12 May aapnar din, doley doley vote din, podmoful shoriye rekhey jora fule vote din” (12th May is your day, abandon the Lotus symbol and vote for Trinamool Congress”) –is, but an oft heard slogan, at least it was, during this tenure of pre-poll days. Delivering this soulful cacophony out of your audible boundary, requires a huge amount of logic, patience and time. And I have come to the conclusion: We Indians have a lot of time, to nourish our idiosyncratic vibes and even patiently endure the nonsensical and autocratic ‘hot hotheadedness’ of our cheer leaders (read political leaders).

Mamata Banerjee Vote Puja at Kolkata

Mamata Banerjee: Our Beloved Didi

Heat has been the watchword. Temperature rising! Heated debates, hotshot celebrities making their grand foray into politics (I wonder is Politics still the last resort of the scoundrels?) and the hot topic of the past-booth rigging saga continues! I often wonder at the situation at Bengal! Can Bengal ever have a ‘Shantipurno Vote”? (Peaceful election) The answer my friend is blowing in the wind….

2511e4cc81b9bde90ce6ba19b5333a69 Vote Puja at Kolkata

Vote Procedure in Full Swing. Image Source: IANS

Many acquaintances that I have acquired of late are NOT VOTING! “kakey vote debo?” (whom to vote) they discussed and confided in me that they will go for NOTA! I am quite apprehensive that a lot of votes would get wasted this way. Just one week before, I had an argument with a BJP supporter in my area. “Modi kintu ashchey. Songey achish to?” (This time its Modi time. Hope you are with us.” I could have remained silent and maintain the environmental peace. Yet something struck me-a song that I often sing to lull my secular senses! “This land is your land; this land is my land…” How can I ever forget 2002 Godhra? It has been tattooed on my brain and the fossil denies withering away with time. So, I had replied with what I wanted to. “Not Sure.”

The heated argument started and the person concerned was quite adamant to make me understand that Modi has been given a clean chit from the Supreme Court. I just told him: Best of Luck! And my Aside: Let Time decide! Though I was quite irritated at his choice of words, I had my full sympathy with him and his party. The BJP has a grass root presence in West Bengal and this election is their sure shot chance to fill up their pockets and the void. And with the Saradha Scam stamped on Trinamool and the Supreme Court asking for a CBI enquiry, TMCP is indeed in a tight corner!

I just don’t understand why a Tsunami force like AAP has not put candidates at Bengal apart from Mudar Patherya and Alok Chaturvedi ; at least a lot of my ‘apolitical acquaintances’  would have a choice to vote-provided that they have a strong base of educated politicians!

As I Voted

Yet with a demure smile and an ever hopeful heart I went to Vote as i wanted to become a part of this landmark election in India. The huge line of bong, non bong, mixed bong voters was conclusive of the fact that a lot of voters have turned up braving the summer temperature and a lack of choice! I met an acquaintance, a local dada who informed me of Belgachia -that has been a witness to a filthy poll-pressurised morning. The local TMCP goons had called up the voters and threatened them not to venture out for their democratic right. It made me procrastinate- is TMCP following the footsteps of the CPIM and recreating history? Then I must admit Mamata Banerjee is a good student and a follower of the Left Front!  Are they walking the same wrong path? Then beware!- as they say “Janta maaf nehi karegi!” While I was having the discussion, I even noticed the BJP supporters- all decked up in saffron Punjabi! What a way to advertise even on the D’ Day! And what I surely did not miss was the smile of confidence and glow of glory on their faces. Perhaps this is the result of their ‘hard work’ that they had put up with Mr. Modi starting his campaign at Social Media from 2011!

IN07 ELECTION WB 11450f Vote Puja at Kolkata

Vote Puja

The presence of the CRPF jawans was literally alarming! And they were strict enough, not to allow any hanky panky outside or inside. I was quite amused and bemused by the scenario: there was a dearth of seriousness in the voters. They were more interested in knowing the whereabouts of the neighbours! A voter who seemed to have acquired her voting (sweet 18) age was in her jeans and kurti and too excited to maintain silence. She made sure that the indelible ink mark did not ruin her newly applied nail polish! Vanities of this globe! Again, just beside me a youthful melodramatic boy was ruefully singing: “Sokoli Tomari Iccha, Icchamoyee Tara tumi” (Everything is your wish O Lord, it is you who make the world go round)! I am sure, even Ekta kapoor serials don’t have such apt situational songs!  Vote puja! Ahh thats the term apt for the essence of the procedure of election at Kolkata. It looked like a picnic that would prevail throughout the day. Peace! My mind read out: Peace! At least Kolkata has not become Keshpur!


Yet when I came back home and switched on the television to have a glimpse of the Vote Ceremony, I was shocked to see that the TMCP goons attacked CPIM voters at Haroa. Bullet use had been rampant, 4 injured and a lot fled. What an irony! The CPIM voters were already homeless and just attempted in veil to retreat -only to cast their vote! But it seems the ruling party, currently a god like figure had some other different plans for them! Even in Sodepur, a pregnant woman was kicked in her belly as she went to cast her democratic right. Is it insecurity that is making the TMCP indulge in such planned violence? Has it come down to such mockery of democracy ascertained by the Vote bank politics that the fate of the 479 candidates rests on gunman-ship, threatening and character assassination of the opponents? I kept on repeating to myself – the fact: Free, Fair and peaceful election at Bengal is either a myth or a fairy tale!

By Adrita Dey Ghatak

Also See: Ganga and the Ganglord
 Heat and Dust of the 2014 Election

Picture Courtesy: Hindusthan Times
Video Courtesy: ABP Ananda

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