“One Won’t Do – It’s More Than Enough”: How Some People Wasted Their Votes In U.P

Posted on April 16, 2012 in Politics at Play

By Yogesh Rajput:

The recent UP elections were quite an eventful affair, with four major parties clashing head to head and SP winning all the way with a huge margin. What was surprising to see was Congress being able to win a mere 28 seats amidst the huge hype of Rahul Gandhi to lead the party all the way to victory. But then politics is all about that, you never know what can happen till the last moment. So one of my favorite reporters, Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV 24×7, went to check the ground realities of this outcome in his show, Truth vs Hype : Mutiny in Amethi.

A handful of reasons for such a big loss for Congress were found, internal disputes among party members for example, but I would point out the one which I found quite interesting. Sreenivisan asked a woman living in a rural part of Amethi as to whether Rahul Gandhi had done something beneficial for them. She replied in affirmative giving example of the self help groups (a group of 15 – 20 women who save some money in order to provide financial assistance to any villager when required) initiated by him. And then came the obvious question of to whom she voted for. Her answer: SP. Surprised? She justified her vote by saying that since most of the other villagers were voting for SP, there was no point voting for Congress as she didn’t want to waste her vote. Now this – is a very intelligent and foolish remark by her at the same time. Intelligent, because she understands the value of her vote and doesn’t want it to go in waste, and foolish, because in the end she wasted it.

A very interesting story of Akbar and Birbal, which I once read when I was a kid, goes like this. All the court men of Akbar were always trying to impress the king with huge praises in his name. One day, a court man praised the king by saying that he was so great that he should only bathe in milk. Birbal ridiculed it, but the pride of Akbar being larger than Jupiter, ordered his men to announce to all the people in the city to fill his pool with a bucket of milk each in the night so that it would be ready to take a bath in, till the morning. Consequently, everyone followed. In the morning, when Akbar went to his pool to take a bath he was surprised to see that it was still filled with water. He furiously inquired with Birbal for the disobedience. It was found that every person who came in the night to fill the pool thought that since every other person is filling it with a bucket of milk, how would it matter if he alone would fill it with a bucket of water. No one would notice. And hence the pool of water. Well, I guess that pretty much explains the headline.

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