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If elections have been called the ‘dance of Indian democracy’, the number staged in Mewat recently could well be one of the most vulgar yet. Evidently, the Executive has done the tango with the choreographers. The question now is: will the dance break records at the box-office or will it crash?
Last week Mewat demonstrated at the hustings how a people could be swindled in front of the half-shut eyes of the world’s largest democratic state. Beyond the squeaky clean Nirvachan Sadan on Ashoka Road, the supra-institution of the electoral process flounders in muddy waters. Its grassroots representative, the presiding officer on the last polling outpost, is conceivably either a stooge of the system or just too afraid of it. Mewat stands testimony.
Even in this day and age, women did not cast their vote in Mewat. Why not? The argument forwarded by one of the ostensibly independent election observers of the Gurgaon Parliamentary constituency – after the AAP team made their complaint – was, they are politically blind. After all, through the mustard-wheat harvest season in Mewat which coincided with the elections on April 10, the women worked in the fields while the men smoked hookahs and sipped on chai discussing politics. Women harvested, tended the cattle, ran the hearths, and raised the long train of children born to them practically every other year. With a life so busy where is the time to exercise their most basic right of casting their vote?
But in fact, not only did women not vote – nor did the youth, the poor and all those placed lower in the social pecking order. And the reason is simple. They did not vote because were physically prevented from reaching the polling stations. Continue reading Democracy dies in Mewat – Should Gurgaon Elections be countermanded? Vivek Sharma