Sob, sob! Poor me! Everyone else is to blame!

On April 25, 2014, DNA reported that “The Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai were marred by deletion of names from the voters’ list. Names of at least 2 lakh people were missing. Similar things had also happened in Pune.”

According to another DNA report on May 6, 2014, “Yesteryear actor and movie producer Amol Palekar and his wife Sandhya Gokhale have moved the Bombay High Court over their names being deleted from the electoral rolls in Pune, because of which they could not cast their votes.”

On May 7, 2014, The Indian Express reported that, “Hearing a bunch of petitions in connection with the deletion of names from the final voter lists of Mumbai and Pune, the Bombay High Court … said, ‘There was a remedy available to raise an objection. Let us assume there was a mistake, but the final voters’ list was published on January 31. …… Can you find fault with the Election Commission (EC) when citizens do not even read the final voters’ list?’”

Times of India had reported on March 6, 2014 that “Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath … clarified that though the electoral rolls … had been updated and published by all the states, the missing voters can still hope to make it to the rolls.

“The commission has directed that special camps be organized in all polling stations (on March 9)…in over 9 lakh premises, where booth level officer (BLO) will be available with a copy of the electoral roll displayed on the notice board and requisite number of Form 6 (for voter registration),” said Sampath.

The special camps were conducted on Sunday, March 9. All eligible voters whose names were missing from the voters’ list could apply for enrolment. My name, my family members’ names and the names of some of my neighbours were missing from the list. We attended the very well-organised special camp in our polling station and submitted the Form 6 with supporting documents. Each person had to spend only around 30 minutes.

One week before polling, our Voter ID details were put up on the Election Commission website. We voted using the Form 6 counterfoil, the Voter ID details and an Identity Proof.

If we could do this, why couldn’t Mr. Amol Palekar, Ms. Sandhya Gokhale and others do the same? Instead of crying over spilt milk, they could have easily ensured that the milk did not spill.

But, then, to quote former Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha, “It is perhaps our national character to blame everyone else except ourselves.”

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13 thoughts on “Sob, sob! Poor me! Everyone else is to blame!

    • Yes. As I stated, in this case, a little bit of effort would have solved each voter’s problem. They didn’t put in this effort. Now, they’re putting in effort, time and money to make a noise. Probably, nothing will come out of their current effort.

  1. I blame myself a lot– but it isn’t important to blame oneself (and one definitely shouldn’t blame others when one is at fault), but to figure out what went wrong and make sure the problem does not recur.

    • Absolutely!
      In this case, the Election Commission had offered a simple and effective solution to voters whose names were not on the Voters List. It was the duty of every voter to check if his/her name was on the list. This could be done online.

  2. Hey Pro, I am really, really glad to read this post! I can write (or rather my husband can write) at least a 2000-word (or longer) post on all the challenges we had to face to get our voters’ slip and to have our names on the list in this rather small rural part of Tamil Nadu. But he persisted and got it done (of course my regular wifely prodding and pressuring helped 🙂 ) So the system works if we try with the best intention and stop blaming, I totally agree. We called, talked to village level, district level and many other officers. But you know what the best part was – the most prompt responding system every time we submitted a complaint via the EC’s website. Their online system works, and it worked very well for us, because it was through that we finally got the work done. And it was surely a privilege to cast our votes 🙂

    • Beloo, your experience in a rural area shows why the complaints of people living in urban areas like Mumbai and Pune sound hollow.
      Though it is not perfect (who is?), the Election Commission is one body for which I have very high respect.

  3. Cribbing ought to be declared the national pastime and taking action is on the last rung of our to-do list. I was disappointed to know that many missed out on voting due to missing names. But yes, they ought to have checked their names in the rolls and taken corrective action.

  4. It indeed is a special trait in the people of my country. Blame everyone else without even pondering to think if we ourselves are at fault or not. I believe it is genetically induced.

  5. so very true .. its now in our DNA tooo.. everone is at fault other than me , so we dont need to do anything .. let others do 🙂

  6. We are famous for blaming our country and comparing it with other countries. But the country is us. We don’t like to take any step to improve it anywhere. As you said others are at fault always!
    Good that you took some action to get yourself in the voter list and went and voted. Many of us just look for a loophole to avoid standing in the queue to vote, esp. educated people.

  7. I find the Municipal Corporation guys quite amicable. Half the problem is, people expect things to arrive in their laps with zero effort. I remember getting my Voters ID in 15 days flat. The guy came home and took a photo of me for the photo ID – and asked me to contact the office after 15 days. I did – and when I got there, he asked me if I wanted any changes – I could check details on the computer screen (of course they spelt my name wrong). Corrected and issued!

    Complaining is like a snowball. 🙂 Nobody wants to make any effort.

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