Friday, April 24, 2009

But Pappu doesn't vote because... पर पप्पु वोट नही करता क्युंकि...

.. Because when the voter enumeration is done, all the villages are covered diligently, and all the flats are left out as diligently.. my entire condominium of 900+ flats was left flat out of the Pulse Polio campaign, and of the voter enumeration. Then i checked the voter lists of Gurgaon online.. (the link doesnt work any more) ... For the village, there were at least thousands of entries. The number was a few hundreds for all the condominiums in the area. Its as if these voters did not exist!

Then, we took the brave step of trying to enter our name in the Voter rolls. The first step, of course, was Jaago Re. Jaagore told us that the voter rolls will open on Jan 10 2009. We found out that the number of the RO listed on the website is wrong. The correct no. is 0124-2224047.
The place is in the Mini Secretariat, Gurgaon.

When we called in January, we were told that the rolls are closed till February. When we called in February, no one picked up the phone. One day, someone picked up the phone, and when we said "Voter roll mein naam jama karanaa hai" (need to enrol as a voter) the voice on the other end said "To karaiye. idhar aa ke form de do." (come here and give the form).

So off we went, with all the paperwork that the Jaago website had told us about, with two copies of the whole thing (you never know)

At the office, the "relevant person" was in a meeting. No clue when he will be back.
"The voter rolls are already closed. We cannot accept any more applications."
When we pointed to them that the Jaagore website and the ECI website indicates that voter roll correction is in progress, they said "Speak to the sir. As far as we know, it is closed. It was open in January." (Jaw dropped)

Another person said "But this form is all wrong. You need 2 copies each."
Smiling we said "But we have 2 copies each."
"You have not attached that English form. " He proceeds to take out a form. On top of the form, right in the header, is the word "Optional" . We point that out to him, and tell him that that form is for the Photo ID card. we just want our names in the voter rolls.
"Nahi, hum is form ke bina nahi le sakte hain." (No we cannot accept this form without the English form)

So we waited for about 2 hours. The relevant person did not come back from the meeting.

After that, we tried to get in touch with Jaagore. For all their weekly emails telling us that we should go out and enrol the whole family, not one response to our weekly emails asking them for help in raising this issue. We were denied an entry in the voter rolls. They refused to even take our forms!

In case you are wondering whether this is a one person story, its not. Quite a few of us faced this while trying to register as voters for the LS elections. Story after story later, I m convinced that this is a deliberate effort to keep educated voters at bay. Someone does not want us to vote if our names are not there already. Officials whose job it is to do door to door enumeration of voters cover thousands of voters in villages and skip all the thousands who do not live in the village.

Pappu doesnt vote because..


Saadia said...

So typical of our governments. Ironic that the only civic duty everybody can perform is off limits...

adi said...

it is so achingly sad bcos i have been through this
hav no option but to laugh and cry and dont know what is what
that is why the mulayams buil their manifesto on eradicating computers and english language teaching...that is why the lalus keep a state in darkness for 15 long years... and that is why comuunists manage to hold sway over a supposedly intellectual state for 25 years
THIS is their strategy.

anyways, leave the trivial things, there is a contest that i think u can enter and win $200. check my post of today.

BK Chowla said...

I could not agree more.I have been trying to get my voter ID shifted to Gurgaon for the last one and a half year without success.I have gone through this exercise at sector 14 etc.I have not had success,and like me there are so many in hundereds in our condiminum.If you find an answer,please do let me know

D said...

Oh well, now I can say UP is better of than some states as far as this goes.

On a more serious note though, this is deplorable. I do know also of instances when there were more than a 100 names registered on the voter's list as living in the same house no.! All forged, of course!

Impossibilities become possible when it comes to our democratic system.

Mayz said...

since they alrdy said u cant...y didnt u slap em...afterall now u had nothin to lose...

i did that once to a electricity dept guy who asked for bribe...

he asked for 1000...i gave him 2000 n told him d extra 1000 is for d medical treatment he wud need when i'll beat him in d evenin

Manish Raj said...

: )

Ordinary Guy said...

:) i admire the effort taken!!!!!

How do we know said...

Hi Saadia: :-) so true.

Hi Adi: i saw that post before u pointed me there.. me more of a reader than writer on that subject :-) And am HUGELY flattered that you think i even stand a shot at that prize ;-)

Hi Mr. Chowla: The only answer i see is to talk about it at public fora. Am also thinking of filing a RTI application. Would u be interested?

Hi D: Yes, in any country, paperwork can prove anything.

Hi Mayz: ROTFL!! Maza aa gaya ye padh kar.. and then what did the poor guy do?

Hi Manish: Long time! And a lovely post over at ur blog.

Hi Ajit: Effort hi effort, no result. :-(

Think Tank said...

same prob..yaar inhe voter i card dene mein kya prob hai ..main 2 waise bhi 49-0 use karne wali hun :P

Prasad N said...

so much for asking urban educated, reform minded individuals to come out of their cocoon and vote for change. I wonder why all this can not be done online? When I can transfer money online why the form and the vote itself cannot be cast online?

Creations said...

looking at these problems dont feel like voting. Who will improve the system. the babau attitude has to change. Pls advice how the system can be rectified.

my space said...

Mera Bharat Mahan !!

How do we know said...

Hi Farah: ha ha ha.. apparently ppl in Mumbai did just that.

Hi Prasaad: All this cannot be done online because for that, a HUGE infrastructure investment has to be made. But hopefully, some day..

Hi Creations: I still maintain that its very VERY imp for ppl like us to go out and vote.

Hi my space: koi baat nahi.. as the other says, bakre ki ma kab tak khair manayegi.. how long will they keep us out of the voter rolls?

Indian Homemaker said...

This is true for everywhere. I had blogged about filling forms for a number of my friends online and also via JagoRe, they faced the same problems, they were told the last date for registration was over somewhere in November-December... and many who had spent hours standing in queues never got registered either, not even one of them.

Gopinath's "Artickles" said...

Nice post. There is no method to this read my post on the voter ID travails here

Of course read my other posts too!

Mampi said...

so unfortunate...