Has the Aam Aadmi Movement overtaken the age-old and very effective “Daru” Factor?

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I heard it from my father. “Beta! Elections are won 2 days before the polls”. Obviously, I never took that phrase seriously. Intricacies pertaining to election campaigns never bothered me as I was never a direct beneficiary of this entire process of obliging the unsure(s). And so is the case with the blind-folded urban middle-class population of Delhi. Believe it or not – the game of last 2 days before polls can create a very tricky situation – something of which the aam aadmi movement should be beware.

Some 12 million of Delhi’s 18 million population are eligible to vote. Roughly half of that population lives in slums and un-authorised colonies, and a sizeable number of them are migrant workers. 16 constituencies are dominated by migrants from Bihar and UP, 17 have a sizeable proportion from Punjab, 11 constituencies are dominated by Jats and Gujjars and 27 constituencies are a mixed type. About 22% of voters today are Poorvanchalis.

Use of liquor is blatant and so open – wonder if EC reads these headlines

Now let us concentrate on those 50% living in slums and un-authorised colonies. This is the most vulnerable set of voters who can make or break the fate of any political party during elections. To worsen the situation further, voters from the urban strata of the society do not actively participate in the voting process. Only 4 out of 10 eligible voters (from the middle and upper-middle class segment) cast their votes. This indirectly creates a vote divide and thus the poll results are inadvertently ruled by the most vulnerable set of voters – “The urban poor”

So here is the “Eureka!” moment. Delhi’s fate is more or less being written by a group we consider to be the weaker section of the society. This section is easily manipulatable and mostly uninformed about their rights. This situation is supremely ironical as the said section also suffers the most by electing a lame government. The slum-dweller is both — the strongest and the weakest link in Delhi Elections.

The solution to this problem would require a lot of hard work to close these leaks. Two points must be addressed:

1. Convince the relatively “rich” strata of our society to exercise their vote. We will somehow have to link “voting” with “prestige” in order to make them vote. Simple!

2. NGOs along with the help of the election commission should:
a) Try and educate the slum dwellers about the demerits of selling their votes.
b) Keep a close watch on the slums and unauthorized colonies during elections. Strict patrolling and zero tolerance for law breakers is the key to success.

At my end, I have tried to work on “educating the uniformed” part of this problem in past few months. For the last 3 months I have been talking to a lot of people from the poor section of our society. Most of them are the jhadu-wallas, the auto-wallas, and the kaam-wallis that have been considered sitting ducks by all political parties since ages.

Here is the summary of what can be inferred from all the conversations I had with them:

Most females said, “Babuji. Hamare vote ki kya keemat hai? Bus party waale chunav se ek raat pehle apna truck bhej dete hai. Hamara aadmi jisko vote dene ko kehta hai hum toh ussi ko vote dete hai.” (Sir, what’s the value of our vote? Parties send a truck full of goodies one night before the elections and we vote for the candidate suggested by our husbands!)

But the males quoted something astonishingly different this time, “Sir. Iss baar chunav daru par nahi chalega! Aaj tak humein koi farak nahi padhta tha. Jo bhi paisa aur daru deta tha hum toh ussi ko vote dete they. Lekin ab nahi. Iss baar chalegi Jhadu! Hamara vote itna bhi bikau nahi hai sir. Uparwale ko bhi shakal dikhani hai kabhi.” (Sir, this time we aren’t going to vote for liquor. Till now it didn’t matter. We used to vote for the one who used to give us money and liquor. But not now! This time only Aam Aadmi Party. Our vote is not so cheap sir.)

Their answers have been pleasantly surprising. I never thought that people with such limited time and resources will ever understand the intricacies of politics. Ideally, they should because politics impacts them the most – but earning livelihood takes over all other priorities and lack of education makes this section especially prone to manipulation. But in 2013, somethings different is happening, maybe the aam aadmi movement’s voice is changing something this time. It’s giving the weak sections of our society HOPE. Their conviction to vote in favour of a clean political party has restored even my broken faith in politics.

The mandate is crystal clear. The “poor common man” is also looking for an alternative this time and has risen from their erstwhile state of hopelessness. They don’t want to go with the downtrodden age-old tactic of voting for liquor. And when the lower strata of the society start speaking this way, outcome is bound to be overwhelming!

Everybody is pushing hard to make this long overdue change happen
– including Mr. Gupta by donating his autorickshaw’s adspace.

8th December, 2013 is going to be a memorable day in the history of Indian politics. Mr. Gupta (an auto driver and a proud AAP supporter) and many others like him are eagerly waiting for the day when the fate of this city will be decided. They are doing their bit. The onus is on you now.

Delhi, let’s make it happen

Written by Varun Tangri >>

An observer of Indian politics - look forward to see the recent aam aadmi movement making concrete changes in the way this country functions.

Name

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Indian Exponent: Has the Aam Aadmi Movement overtaken the age-old and very effective “Daru” Factor?
Has the Aam Aadmi Movement overtaken the age-old and very effective “Daru” Factor?
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