When I read the paper today morning, it said at 2pm today, the District Collector would inaugurate the 60th National Voters Day event and thereby initiate the distribution of the Voters ID. Mom having applied 2 months ago, needed me to collect it for her.
So after a sumptuous lunch I took a lazy half hour break watching highlights of the 2nd half of last night’s Chelsea romp of Bolton.
Knowing how all inaugural functions in India start typically at +30 min Indian Stretchable Time [IST] I headed to the Boys HSS Kollam around 1430ish. The numbers were just coming in and people were settling and as usual the eminent guests yet to arrive. As I lazed around adjusting my focal lengths on objects of interest, I came across a pamphlet with the program schedule and was excited to see that among the listed guests, was a Malayalam Actor Kundara Johnny! Probably most of you don’t recall him by name but this pic will say it all. Looking the very same, I was a tad excited of having seen him at arms distance for the first time. [Din’t carry my camera as the last thing I was expecting to do was capture shots of people from the Election Commission ;)]. Was kind of odd to see him drive up here in an 80’s model Ambassador RESPECT
Eventually at 1530 when the final bell of the school rang, all the students ran out excited with the prospect of a holiday beckoning [Republic Day], and all of us who were eagerly waiting for proceedings to begin were not disappointed.
Some of the eminent guests were: Malayalam Actor Mukesh’s mom, District Collector, Olympian Suresh Babu and a student of the school who recently won the Gold Medal for the State Kalothsavam Kathakali.
One by One, each of them elaborated the beauty of democracy, the success of it in India, the power of the people and many more. It reminded me of the days while I was attending Social Science or Social Studies as it was called when I was in school.
This being a working day, as the time was passing by, almost 1500-2000 people had crowded up in the school and were waiting and waiting, desperately for the ID cards to be distributed. What irked me more was when the Kathakali female started doing it on stage for like 20min!!
At around 1700hrs, we had reached the last speaker of the day, one Mr. Jayadevan, a professor of Political Science. His opening statement was, “I am a professor of Political Science, I am not bound by protocol or hierarchy of the government. I have the freedom of speech, and the right to dissent. I can do anything I want within the purviews of the law of the land…..” and he went on about how he has been an active participant of politics right from his college days, when all of a sudden, someone vented out his frustration by walking up on stage and asking him to cut the show short and distribute the cards immediately. Such was the worrying nature in which the mob was reacting that this man who was just talking about the laws of the land etc ended up saying “ Ok I am stopping!” and he left the podium to the most rousing ovation I’d heard all evening 😉
Immediately the Electoral Commission members decided, it is in the best interest to wind up the program and distribute the cards. And that is exactly what they did, and after all the waiting for close to 3 hours, almost everyone left frustrated with some people still not having got the IDs. J
I did feel privileged to be attending the “Eshwara Prarthana” and the National Anthem in the end. In fact I don’t remember the last time I stood in a crowd and sang it.
Olympian Suresh Babu pointed one very significant thing and that was the decision of the Kerala Government to initiate Physical Education as a compulsory subject in the curriculum of schools and I personally agree with him. Think it will do a lot of good to the all round development of students and at the same time help both students and parents understand, appreciate talent and maybe even pursue a career.
- As always at a public event, lack of organization was written all over, with people turning up not being given the right guidance on the where and the what to do.
If you are an Indian, Non Resident or Resident, 18 years or more, please do apply for the voters ID, be a responsible citizen, and vote on the merit of your good judgement and not others.Put words into action and be Proud. Jai Hind