Vikram Karve

karve.wordpress.com · Apr 22, 2019

Humor – Elections – Voting Day in Girinagar

Election Days are here.

The Lok Sabha Elections are being held in 7 phases from 11 April 2019 to 19 May 2019.

The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May 2019 and the results will be declared on the same day.

Tomorrow – 23 April 2019 – is Voting Day in Pune.

This reminds me of a story that happened long ago on Voting Day in Girinagar.

Dear Reader – this story took place many years ago – and things have changed for the better – and now – voters exercise much more thought and diligence – and apply their minds before voting – so – take this story with a pinch of salt and have a laugh…

ELECTION DAY IN GIRINAGAR
Fiction Short Story

A Humorous Spoof By Vikram Karve

ELECTION DAY IN GIRINAGAR – A Spoof By Vikram Karve

This story happened many years ago when I lived at a place called Girinagar near Pune.

“I want the day off…” Sushila, our maid, asked my wife.

“Why…?” my wife asked her.

“We have to vote. Today is election day…” she said.

“That’s good…” I said.

I was quite surprised at Sushila’s eagerness to vote – because Sushila was totally illiterate.

Yes – she lived just a few kilometres away from a modern city like Pune

Pune is known for being an educated and intelelctual city (Pune is called the “Oxford of the East”).

Yet – like so many others – Sushila was illiterate – she could not read or write.

But her keenness to vote indicated the vibrancy of our democracy.

“Who are you going to vote for…?” I asked, in jest.

Sushil described an Election Symbol – “XXX” – and she said: “I am going to vote for “XXX” symbol…”

An Election Symbol is a standardised symbol allocated to each political party. Symbols are used by political parties in their campaigning. The Election Symbols are printed on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)/Ballot Papers where voters must make a mark to vote for the political party of their choice. Their purpose of Election Symbols is to facilitate voting by illiterate people – who cannot read the political parties’ names on EVMs/ballot papers (like Sushila – the protagonist of this story)

“I am going to vote for “XXX” symbol…” Sushila said.

“But why…? What is the reason you want to vote for “XXX” symbol…” I asked her, curious.

WE have decided…” Sushila said.

The sobriquet “WE” meant her husband.

Apparently – her husband had gone for a “meeting” – and – in the “meeting” – it was decided that the entire neighbourhood will vote for XXX symbol.

“So you vote for “XXX” symbol every time…” I asked her.

“No – last time we all voted for “YYY” symbol…” she said.

“Why…? Why did you vote for “YYY” symbol in the last election…” I asked her.

“Because “WE” had decided…” she said.

Of course – Sushila did not know anything about the ideology of the political parties to which the symbols “XXX” and “YYY” belonged.

In fact – I doubt she knew the names of the political parties representing “XXX” and “YYY” symbols.

It was none of her business.

Before every election – it was the men who had a “meeting”.

At that “meeting” – it was the men who decided who to vote for in the election.

And – the women dutifully complied.

(Of course – the men had a “leader” who guided them in these matters)

Like Sushila’s husband – most of the men in that area were “drunkards” who lived off their wives’ earnings.

But all that did not matter.

In the patriarchal society that prevailed – the women dutifully obeyed their men – even if the men were good-for-nothing “drunkards”.

There were 7 voters in Sushila’s family – she, her husband, her two sons and two daughters-in-law, and unmarried daughter.

So – all 7 voters in Sushila’s family would be voting for the symbol “XXX” – as had been “decided” at the “meeting” of the menfolk of the neighbourhood.

Added up – it was quite a large number of votes in the locality – and since they all of them voted “en-bloc” for a certain “symbol” – it was quite a sizeable “votebank”.

A few more such solid “vote-banks” could ensure victory in the election – as the victory of the “XXX” candidate proved later.

Around 3 PM in the afternoon – we saw Sushila standing near our gate.

“Have you voted…?” I asked her.

“No…” she said.

“Voting time will be over soon. Why didn’t you vote in the morning…?” I said.

“They haven’t come to take us for voting…” she said.

“They haven’t come to take you for voting…! What do you mean…?” I asked.

A friend of mine had come over and he was hearing the conversation.

He said to me:

“Don’t you know…? Someone has to come and take them to the polling booth in a vehicle. And then – they have to be given some “inducement” to vote. Around here – the “incentive” is mostly a bottle of liquor for the men – these guys and their families will vote only after the men are given a bottle of liquor.”

After some time – I saw a van arrive near our gate.

The van had come to take all them for voting.

And so – they all went to cast their votes in the election.

EPILOGUE

In the evening – we saw Sushila’s husband and her sons lurching in a drunken manner on the road.

We observed that most of the men were drunk that evening – after consuming the liquor being distributed freely on election day – as an “incentive” for them to vote.

It was obvious that liquor was flowing freely on election day

(though strictly speaking – election day was a “dry day”)

At night – when Sushila came to work – we saw tears in her eyes.

She said that her husband and her sons were totally drunk – after drinking all the free liquor distributed on election day.

Sushila’s husband had thrashed her – he had bashed her up – as he always did when he was drunk.

And now – one of her drunk sons had beaten up his young wife too.

My wife said to Sushila:

“See what you did…? You voted for the person who gave liquor to your husband and sons. And – what did you get in return for your vote…? Your husband got drunk and he beat you up – and – your drunk son beat up his wife. In fact – most of you women must have voted for those who are causing you more harm than good…”

What an irony…!!!

Why did Sushila vote for someone who caused her more harm than good…?

Yes – why do people vote for someone who causes them more harm than good…?

That is the “moot question” of democracy.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Link to my source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2019/03/election-humor-election-day-in-girinagar.html

Extract from my Article WOMEN’S VOTEBANK – A Distant Dream? first Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in this blog on Dec 1, 2013, at 12/01/2013 07:03:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/12/womens-votebank-distant-dream.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/humor-in-democracy-election-day-in.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/girinagar-memories-election-day.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2018/05/election-day-in-girinagar-humor-in.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/03/24/how-to-vote-election-day-a-story/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/humor-in-democracy-election-day-in.html

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