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Kerela Elections 2011- from my eyes

In diary, kerala, News, Politics, Writing on April 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Read Part 1 : Here 

Part 2

Kerela Elections 2011

It happens once in months (more precisely years 🙂 for me) that I wake up in Brahma muhurta (early square morning). Sages used to wake up at this time of the period for ablution in the ancient periods. Practiced still now in case of kumbh melas  and in Islam and many other religions. But my intention was to get things done when the bathrooms are still clean. 😛

At this hour, I always have a delightful scene of the morning Star. It was so bright and beautiful. A lone star shining brightly in the dark sky. I always cherish this moment.

The D-day began with checking the electronic voting machine [EVM] for the last time. I inquired from the locals, have they used EVM in earlier polls. They replied positively and I felt kind of relief.  The things which I felt must be new for this poll was the use of SMS service for intimation of steps carried out at polling stations to the central command.  The very first thing that we carried out was the Mock Poll. Three agents, from the major parties, were asked to poll in random and the final votes were tallied from machine. I guess, this is being done to satisfy their doubts about the EVM. What happens sometime is that the candidates often put blame on mechanical failures for their loss. This mock poll, in presence of their agents, shall help to clear any doubt they have about the EVM.

While we’re testing EVMs, I could see two Old men waiting in the queue to cast their vote, well ahead of time. Vote, a powerful weapon in the hands of common people. It’s double-edged sword. If cast for the right person makes the next 5 years fruitful otherwise a hell. I felt, youths are still not aware of their rights yet. As very few of them came and that too in late afternoon. Ladies were the most conscious of the lot, with more than 50% of the casted votes came from the women.

  • The first 5 hours saw a brisk polling. Almost 50% of the votes were casted by 1200 hours. But then by 1700 hours, sadly the total votes casted was only 62%.
  • Voter ID card was still the main identity card, hope by next elections, AADHAAR (unique identification number or UID) replaces Voter Id.
  • We had a form for Blind voters, sadly none of them turned up. I am confused about how a blind voter shall vote without any aide. And if an aide is there then guess what, it’s not a secret ballot any more.
When the clock struck 1700 hours, the EVMs were ‘Closed’ and sealed off. The polling was peacefully over, but the day wasn’t.
We started back for the center. Collecting people from other centers we reached center by 1830 hours. Then began the real fight of the day. It was submission time. Everyone wanted to do away with their EVMs and papers first. Lucky us, we were second in number. We finished the paper work and submitted the ballot. Relieved, we celebrated our day long journey with Pepsi/Lemon Soda 🙂  .
I got in touch with my other office colleagues and by 2300 hours I was Home. 🙂  Home Sweet Home
Well, this was an awesome experience for me. A small insight on basics of this vast process. Lets see, what people have in store for their future. During this period I came across an SMS which went like this:-
“April 1st, you get fooled for One day, 11 days later be careful, otherwise you will be fooled for 5 long years.”
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Kerela Elections 2011- from my eyes

In diary, kerala, Writing on April 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

part 1

Kerala and Tamil Nadu people have their judgement sealed in the strong rooms of electoral offices across states. Behind this goes a dedicated  hard work of thousands of officials who run this process. For the first time i could feel their pain, as I was the part of the process. My maiden journey through this electoral process had its ups and downs.

With the rising sun on the horizon, I embarked on my journey, well it was my first experience. Early morning, Me and my colleague set out for Reception Center (that’s what they called it). It took us one hour of biking through the long winding road to reach our destination. All through out this adventurous ride I had mised my bike. I thought, I would drive my bike here someday.

We reached the center well ahead of time and by that time it was all chaos. People searching for their team mates  and their booth numbers. I accidentally called on my team lead and met some other guy instead. He was short and stout with hairs half gone and half cared like a treasure. I began to follow him. Then my team lead called me and asked , “dude where are you?” I said, “right behind you”. “but i can’t see you, come to PS no. 150”. I then realised I was following the wrong person. Running to the place he mentioned, I met my team lead. Now this was Original person 😀 No mistake this time. In fact when I was following the other guy, I had my doubts. Coz, the person who I had to follow was some lecturer in Engineering college and the guy I was following didn’t look by any way like a lecturer. When I saw him I thought, he must be some time pass lecturer. Any way, four of us gathered at the place assigned and then began the long arduous wait. At around 1200 hrs we collected our materials and sorted it out. Checked and checked again and cross checked again. I observed, everything in the list was mentioned slightly higher than what actually was given to us. Bloody middle men!

Our team and 5 other teams were given a bus, police enforcement per booth and a route officer. After all the teams were done with their cross checking we were led to our destinations. It wasn’t far from the town, only 10 km from the station. lucky us! we were alongside the main road and had few hotels to satiate our empty stomach. Fortunately the center we were assigned had all basic amenities clean toilets, bathroom, running water. What more one needs! The only bad thing was, we were not suppose to use our mobile phones and since there were no plug points, my mobile was already dead by the time we reached the center.

Then began another struggle. There were no electric connection and the Village officer and the welfare team were on the blame game, shedding their responsibility. “Sir, how do you suppose me to look after 40 polling stations?” WTH ! Why did you take the responsibility then, I thought. Any way after the pass the buck story, He arranged for the lighting minus the fan. We then set to arrange the classroom like a polling booth and arranged all the papers required to submit. Then followed the dinner at a nearby dhaba. The cartoon sheets, which I brought from the center, came handy as our bed. We spent the night gazing stars. It was an awesome night. Clear sky, bright moon and the thousands of twinkling stars made us oblivious of the miseries of the day.

PS. Day 2 in next post

Choice is yours

In kerala, Life, rants, Thoughts on February 13, 2011 at 12:26 am

 

“Beware! mallus are not much of friend, They can back stab”

That was a statement once made by my mallu friend (Born in Kerala brought up in Karnataka). I dismissed it outright, I knew many of mallu friends who were not actually of this type. By this type I mean, a smooth talker who can stab you in back at first opportunity s\he gets.

However, recently I had been through a situation when I recalled his warning. A friend turned to foe or it seems to me so at least. I would not know the reason of change of his behavior and nor I’m interested to know.

Learning never stops at any age. Once a colleague of mine laughed at me for some reason. I remarked “Either you can laugh or you can Learn, Choice is yours“. Later pondering over the impromptu statement I made, I felt. That’s the crux of the miseries of the world. Choice of yours. Often your own experiences give you a choice, either you cry over it or learn from it and move on. What matters the most is the choice you make.

Today’s Topic at Daily Post.

Have you lied about your age?

Does age determines your mental capacity? People grow old and still be a child and sometime a young child has a knowledge that even old men of 80s would not believe. I don’t remember any particular incident where I lied about my age.

Let there be Light…

In Bihar, News, rants on February 11, 2011 at 1:14 am

Story about Bhagalpur and the electricity hasn’t changed much in these years. The power crisis in the silk city is as grave as it used to be decades back, when I was there. The city in particular, barely saw the bulb glowing for continuous 4 hours a day. And it continues to be the same, despite the much talked about development agenda of a neo Chief Minister. This government seems to be more pathetic because the very Own Deputy CM is elected by the same people of Bhagalpur.

The new development that we heard long back is the NTPC‘s new Power station coming up at Badh, the largest in the country. 5 years have gone by but the station is still incomplete. Kahalgaon continues to be the sole station generating power. Bihar gets a fraction of the electricity produced by it. Center has no answer for this and Nitish raises this issue of step brotherly treatment by center.

The recent acute power shortage has hit the entire state, not only Bhagalpur but Purnia, Saharsha, Begusarai, Muzzafarpur and others also. Reason being, the derailment of wagon carrying coal to Kahalgaon Thermal Station. Now, who is responsible for the upkeep of railways? Aren’t public paying Taxes? Why this negligence? It’s time Public servants (with public servants I mean elected Politicians be at center or state or in Govt or in opposition) get their facts straight. NO WORK-NO VOTE.

My suggestion, Don’t be complacent, if you are sitting MLA or MP. If you can’t work, that place is not for you. There are millions waiting, Seat is up for Grab Mr. Minister

Let there be Light…

TOI Article on Acute Power Shortage

Turnaround of Indian State could serve as Model

A Trip down the Memory lane

In Bihar, Life, Pictures, Travel, Video, Writing on February 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

My Purpose

Every trip you undertake always has a purpose. Be it for fun or a quick visit to your hometown or for adventure  and so on and on. I had one such trip, I would like to share it with you.

It was chilly December of 2008, I made a trip with few of my friends and our guru. Winter was  in its prime in North India. River Koshi had created havoc in most of the northern districts of Bihar. Koshi is often called ‘Sorrow of Bihar‘ for the havoc it creates every year. Millions of lives are affected every year. People lose their homes, their cattle even their agricultural land to River Koshi.

The team decided to visit the nearest flood affected area in Madhepura District. Since the bridge connecting Purnea and Madhepura was broken, we sent the truck load of relief materials a day ahead on Saturday. Students of batulda, who are present across India, helped to create fund. And materials like old clothes were sent to our place, from where it had to be distributed to affected areas.  On chilling Sunday morning, we embarked on a journey for shram-daan, the least we could do.

Bihar Districts

Image via Wikipedia

 

It was barely visible outside, but the cab driver was on its full flow. He belonged to the same village we were going to.

We had to leave the cab on this side of river.  We took a boat ride to other side. Another cab was already there.

 

Boat ride across the river

There was another bridge broken which Indian Army had fixed, within 24 hours of it being broken.

Few more Pictures will tell you the Story. Check out the Slide show.

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That day I had a feeling of satisfaction. The whole group enjoyed the process and while we were returning everyone had a wonderful smile on their faces. Check out this video, I shot while returning.

Please Note:

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