Has Mumbai Lost It?

This Saturday, I read this interesting article in The Economic Times ‘Yeh hain Mumbai meri jaan’. It talked about the never-say-die spirit that Mumbai is famous for in the whole world. It is the spirit that Mumbaikars showed during 2005 floods, the train blasts, and more recently during the terror attack in November 2008. The solidarity, that Mumbai people showed by rallying around, literally stunned the entire world. This gesture of solidarity showed our togetherness and unity as a society, as a city, and as a country. It was surprising to see that spirit missing on the most important day of every citizen, the Lok-Sabha elections. In spite of running the major campaigns to pull the voters to the voting booths, the Mumbai voters didn’t turn up to vote. The preliminary reports show that barely 41.24% of the voters cast their vote, lowest since 1977. The drastically low turnout shows how much do we care about our own future. It also shows how much do we care about the development of the city and the welfare of the nation. The apathy of Mumbai voters proves one thing that I’ve always contemplated about our people: ‘The tendency to opt for short terms gains on the cost of long term benefits’. I’ve always doubted that the biggest reason behind the failure of country is the fascination of our people for the short term gains. We people are NOT CAPABLE of thinking about long term consequences of anything in life or maybe we don’t want to think. We just want quick and short lived gains. Unfortunately, Mumbai voters have proved it. After the November 2008 terror attack, I was expecting the voter turnout in the Lok-Sabha elections to be the highest in Mumbai. But the Mumbai voters proved me horribly wrong. The Election Day meant a holiday, which combined with the holiday on Friday (Maharashtra Day) and the weekend, resulted in a long holiday of four days and the opportunity for a family outing. They might remember this holiday for a couple of weeks or months, but the harm they have done to their future by not voting will prove way costlier and will be felt for next 5 years at least. Mumbai has always set a great example for other cities with its never-say-die spirit but this time it has set a wrong example. Mumbai has disappointed everyone who believed in the spirit of this city. They say Mumbai never sleeps. It does, on the day of elections.

~ by pankajsingla9 on May 2, 2009.

One Response to “Has Mumbai Lost It?”

  1. […] Pankaj Singla blames the low voting turnout on the long […]

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