Apathy seems to be a universal malady. We are all too glad when we get a chance to indulge in some satisfying BMC-bashing over craters on roads or poor water force, crying ourselves hoarse over the civic body's lack of concern for the hapless citizens.
But the same bug of apathy unfailingly bites us on the one day that rolls round every 5 years, when we are asked by the constitution to do the one thing that makes us part of that change that we claim we want. The figures leave no room for ambiguity: in the last BMC elections held in the year 2007, only 46 per cent of the registered electorate showed up to cast their votes.
The Election Commission has quite an interesting trick up its sleeve this time. Neela Satyanarayan, the state election commissioner, clearly stated that polling will be conducted on a weekday. This is to prevent the lazy bones to turn over in bed and enjoy an extended holiday siesta, giving the booths a wide berth.
Satyanarayan is right in diagnosing the problem: laziness. This lethargy is shocking and inexplicable from the denizens of Mumbai, who wrestle their way into local trains, stand in queues at stations, weather incessant rains and inundated streets. This is, after all, touted as the city that never sleeps.
Elections are not about besmirched political parties slinging mud at each other: they're the only weapon we have, really, to playing a role in how our city develops. This paper has been at pains to reiterate the need for citizen's involvement in countering the ills plaguing our ailing city.
It's a new year. February 16 is a Thursday. Whether it is for someone, or against all contenders, cast that vote. It just involves a short walk and pressing a tiny button. Give your power another chance. Leave cynicism to the lazy bones.