Many decades from now, my fondest memories of elections in my youth will be that of the indelible ink mark on the fingers of conscientious people littering my Facebook newsfeed. According to the Election Commission, the polling rate in the 2014 elections is the greatest in the history of independent India. Before you sing loud hosannas to the voter who carries a part of the Indian society on his shoulders, remember: voters are like adolescent boys. It is dangerous to give them what they crave.
There is nothing more dangerous than asking an adolescent boy whether he loves his girlfriend. He might swear he will go to the ends of the world for his love, because deep down, he knows his plan will never get off the ground. The adolescent girl is far more reticent because she will ditch him and marry someone else when she grows up, which will be soon. The adolescent boy votes with his heart. For him, love is “near”, marriage is “far”. He is a visionary, but he is also a deluded hypocrite. But the adolescent girl votes with her feet because her vote is, after all, decisive. For her, love is “far”, marriage is “near”.
But then, it is impossible to give voters what they profess to like without aggressing against them, as it is impossible to give the teenage boy what he “craves” without aggressing against the girl. The aggression might as well be worth it if that is what they genuinely want. But, what if it is not? Of course, the difference is that unlike the teenage boys, the sanest among us learn to live with what the average voter chose when he was knocked out of his wits.