Thursday, May 1, 2014

Democrats and the Tea cups

                       Democrats and the Tea cups
Departure of Duronto from Howrah was postponed by two hours but I was not bored. Som Basu, an old friend of mine, co-passenger of Duronto in the same compartment nearly pulled me to a tea-shop within walking distance.
Initially I was reluctant to go but later on found this as a unique experience not to be missed.  This shop is unlike any other tea shop, more of a Tea parlor than a so-called tea-shop.
Basu visits here frequently and suggested to take seat in the two sitter small table just behind the big nine sitter big table. He said that we can nicely spend our time here by listening to others and by enjoying the wide variety of tea and snacks.
He assured “Sip your tea and eavesdrop on the debates from the adjoining tables. I bet, these  Chai-pe-Charchas   are much more interesting and decent than most of the TV news-traders shows.”
As soon as our order of a big pot of Darjeeling tea arrived, another waiter ushered a small group of three persons to the central nine-seater table and whispered something.
The eldest of the three nodded approvingly and ordered cutting tea and Pakoda.
My friend knew them briefly from his previous sessions of eavesdropping. He continued, “They are a small group, from various walks of life, profession, and age. But almost every evening they sit here for tea and chit chat.”
A waiter was pointing at the nine-sitter table to three young men and spotting them the elderly man said, “Here comes the ‘Ab ke bar’, ‘Mody’ ,‘Sarkar’
My friend whispered “The extreme left one is Akbar, but they call him ‘ab ke bar’ ; a lawyer, the middle one, ‘Mody’ owns a grocery shop; flanked by a freelance journalist, ‘Sarkar’.”
“We were stranded by the election campaign procession for the tomorrow’s Maidan rally.”
Sarkar said, “Once I asked about thousand such people at random. A little over twenty percent were party-loyals. The rest either came to see Kolkata with free train ride or were forced to join.”
Mody said, “These strength-showing big meetings deceive the common people to think that this party has huge supporters.”
The elderly said, “Many times we behave like the herd of sheep. We see where others are going and follow that. We do not ask even a single follower why to vote for the candidate or party he is voting for.”
Finishing his tea, Akbar (Aab ki Bar) said, “Tell me, why these election campaign meetings are necessary? If a Party’s community development work has benefited people then people know about it.”
 Sarkar said “Does it mean that despite the beneficiary actions made by the Party or the candidate, so many people were either ignorant or could not taste the benefits?”
A person by the side of the elderly man said, “Have all of you noticed the minimum requirements for a person to stand as M.P or MLA? The person should be of minimum 25 years of age without any criminal background or under trial cases.”
Mody said, “Election Commission never even asks the candidates to show any proven past or current record of  any social works.
The elderly man said, “Funnily enough, the eligibility rules do not debar a candidate who is not even in the Voter list of the area.”
Media man Sarkar said, “I have attended many such election meetings and rallies like the tomorrow’s one in Maidan. Two-third of their speech remains engaged with criticism of the opposition party or the candidate from that party, the rest is full of promises in future tense but nothing about what already they did.”
Elderly man said, “If election commission can debar a candidate with criminal record, then why not for a candidate without any experience in public service. How can we entrust such a person to represent us who is just a famous singer or actor or a dedicated to the Political party but has no track record of service to public.”
Mody said, “There are MPs or MLAs who do not even attend the sessions of Parliament or Assembly. They are seldom seen in their constituency after wining in the election.”
Sarkar Said, “Clearly, these persons have gone to Parliament not to serve the people but to satisfy their greed for money and power. EC should ban these candidates from re-contesting. Once this is done then only a person dedicated to the service of people would go to Parliament and the entire dirty scenario shall change.”
Elderly man signaled the waiter for one more round of tea and we overheard from another table “The wheel is now rolling. The heat of corruption is too much on common public and they wont tolerate this anymore.”
A baritone voice said, “The cleaning action by broom has just started. May be at present, persons leading such movements are green in politics and tact.”
His friend sipping tea at the opposite table said, “ This Jharu movement is a bright child with teething troubles. Moment the teeth come out properly then all these corrupt people are bound to bear the deep biting scars. Janta maaf nahi karegi inko.
With hurried steps we were about to reach Platform Nine of Howrah station. Small groups surrounding tea stalls were having sips of tea and suggesting each other the best time for poling. They were trying to optimize the two constraints “long queue” and “heat.”
Unlike yesteryear s, more and more people are determined to cast their vote and nobody can glare their eyes with false promises. Democracy is now close to “by the people, for the people and of the people.”   


Mridula said...

Amen to your last line.

Maniparna Sengupta Majumder said...

Hope this would really the people , of the people , for the people..

Subhorup Dasgupta said...

Loved the post. I do agree that the increased polling percentages are indicative of a more vigorous will of the people. In a democracy, that will has to be honored. Going by the unending reports of money and liquor, one cannot but help about how genuine that will is though.

Indrani said...

I like how you wove all 3 characters in the write up. I hope more genuine voters make it to the polling booth.

Ananya Tales said...

Have I told you I totally enjoy reading your blogs and so I am happily nominating you for Quintet of RAdiance award, pls check the details here

Rajrupa Gupta said...

Amen. "Democracy is now close to “by the people, for the people and of the people.”"

sovikaot said...

Superb piece of blog.... proud of u Pishe

Pradip Biswas said...

Thank you all @ Mridula, Maniparna, Sbhorup, Indrani, Ananya, Rajrupa, sovikaot.

Kokila Gupta said...

Liked the post... specially the names.and by the time I am posting my comment the verdict is already out. I am glad that the number of votes cast has increased. Atleast in our area.