Nana Chudasama’s famed hoarding on Marine Drive would have this screaming out every election: ‘The Greek dictionary meaning of an idiot — a man who does not vote’.
I haven’t been to that part of the city in the last two days to check if it’s up again, but surely that’s the message that needs to go out today as Mumbai and the region goes out to vote.
I didn’t pay as much attention to this in the last five phases of polling, but when I saw what was aired on some of the channels last night, I wondered why a wee bit of primetime wasn’t spent on goading people to step out of their homes and vote. The Times Now promos asking people to tweet their selfies while voting tomorrow is a good idea, but wasn’t enough.
One may argue that it’s not the job of news television to do what the government, election commission or political parties ought to be doing, but given that it is such a huge influencing factor in these polls, a nudge to citizens of the 117 constituencies would’ve done a world of good.
Instead what we had at 9pm were debates on the big issue of the day: the letter written by the St Xavier’s College Mumbai principal to his students. Headlines Today focused on the appearance of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. At the time I started watching the show, Thapar was talking to Shobhaa De, Ritu Kumar and Suhel Seth and there were references to Rahul G’s dimples, Modi’s short-sleeved kurtas and who would they take home to meet mum and dad.
Back to my peeve, I am not trying to suggest that it’s the social obligation of news channels to get South Mumbaiwallahs to vote. But I think the editors and channel business heads have missed a trick or two on doing their bit for the nation.
So if it’s Voting Day for you today, do go out and vote. You may not be an idiot if you don’t, but you certainly would’ve done a great degree of disservice to yourself and the people around you.