The Maharashtra elections were held yesterday. We got a holiday in Mumbai so that we could vote. Some TV reports said that about 52% of people in Mumbai voted which was up from 45 % from the parliamentary elections here (don't hold me to the numbers, but these are roughly what I remember). My home constituency, Bandra W had the lowest turnout at 42 %. Though the Bollywood Khans and Munnabhais who live here voted. If you dissect these numbers more than actually less than 52 % of those eligible voted. 52 % of those on the voters list voted. But there are many who are eligible who aren't on the list. So as a market researcher would say, one has to apply a correction figure and down weight the numbers.
In English this would mean that actually less than 52% voted.
I voted yesterday. As I did in the recent parliamentary elections. But then I am a migrant from a city where politics is religion and voting is a fact of life.
I learnt from a recent panel discussion on news that you are officially a Mumbaikar only if you have lived in Mumbai for fifteen years. I am in my tenth year and need to figure out where to register. Any suggestions? In the same talk show a custodian of the city said he would be OK if migrants came in with a job and a house to Mumbai. I guess he will be fine with me as I had asked to be transferred to Mumbai years back and had fixed a paying guest accommodation before I came in.
Voting was fairly easy ONCE you got yourself on the voter's list. That took us about two to three years. And it is not as easy as the sarcastic wise guy drinking tea on TV claims.
But once we were on the list we got our voter's slip before the last election. And this time too. Our names were given an interesting spin. But that little detail aside the slip gives you the name of the school where you have to go to vote, the room number (!) where you will vote, the timings, list of documents required... everything short of asking your meal preferences.
So we woke up at twelve. Made a round of coffee shops searching for breakfast. Bought samosas from Punjab Sweets as the coffee shops were shut. Went home home. Made coffee. Had breakfast at one PM (it was a holiday guys), drove down. Found the school. And the room number. Easily. Stood in the queue. Fifteen minutes. Pressed a button. Voted and out.
Now that's as uncomplicated as it gets.
Yes, I know, whom will you vote for, all parties are the same, nothing will happen, etc etc
But you can register a no vote, you can vote for an indy who won't win ... as someone wrote on Facebook yesterday, now that she had voted, she had earned the right to crib and rant through the year.