Why Mumbai’s voters went missing

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Yusuf, May 3, 2009.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

    Mar 24, 2009
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    Why Mumbai?s voters went missing - The Siege Within - MJ Akbar - Columnists - Opinion - The Times of India
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    MJ Akbar is making the cardinal mistake to sugggest that the Muslims vote en mass or en bloc for a party. This is a myth propagated by the media and the politicians who wish to psyche the Muslim to think that they are different from the rest of the country. It is also a myth that Muslims alone are the ones who live in slums and are poor.

    One of the reasons why Muslims are perceived as the poor is because this country is North centric. It is felt that North India is the sole barometer of Indian psyche and public perception and I am surprised that Akbar, who is a Calcutta boy, should also be subscribing to this view; but then he now lives in Delhi. The Muslims in North India are mostly the artisans, since those who were of the feudal or the white collared class left for Pakistan and became the Mohajirs. The feudal had the money to re-establish themselves while the white collared realised that if they went to Pakistan, they would get jobs and since it was a new country, it would require a new bureaucracy and so automatically such white collared people would be elevated in rank than what they were having in India. This was more so, since the Punjabi Pakistani or the others who were from the area that became Pakistan, were not the white collar material and instead were the feudal or military material with little interest in administrative salaried jobs.

    In so far as the idea of having Muslim parties, it is interesting. However, it will only help the BJP since it will only polarise the votes on religious lines. The Muslim parties will continue to be marginal players and will be in coalitions. The same has been so in Kerela and they have hardly been able to empower the Muslims! It is only the major political parties of a Coalition who dictate the terms.

    As far as the poor turnout in Mumbai, if indeed it was poor, it is too naïve to feel that it was because the Muslims did not vote. While it maybe correct to feel that the Muslims did not have the 2004 angst and were indifferent to the 2009 electoral process, it is also true that a large majority of non Muslims were equally apathetical since this election really has no emotive or critical issues that encourage people to exercise the right to vote. Manmohan Singh meekly moves around and he does have a distinct whine even when he is happy. He is also seen as a PM who is merely warming the seat for Rahul Gandhi (Manmohan has said it in so many words in an interview with CNN IBN) and taking orders from the real Head of policy making. On the there hand, Advani is perceived as yet another commonplace politician with hardly any aura or charisma essential for a PM. Therefore, what is the choice?

    Indians are cautious people by psyche. They prefer a middle path. Therefore, those parties which appear aggressive in caste or communal slants are natural ‘no – no’. It is only those who are adherents of such caste or communal tendencies who are their core groups. Thus, the rationale for BJP, Mayawati, Lalloo, Paswan and their ilk.

    The total disillusionment and even disgust with the Congress Party and the desire not to encourage casteism is one of the reasons why the BJP has come into the limelight but only as a partner in an alliance with other parties, which will keep their core agenda under check. The BJP has realised the futility of the religious line and hence are seen to be distancing themselves from their roots.

    So, it appears that Indians are deliberately conniving to have a hung Parliament where every party is kept in check and no agendas allowed to roll into action!

    Given such a scenario, why blame voter apathy?

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