Saturday, April 14, 2007

Democracy Version 2.0


It is probably the human nature or democratic sDemocracy Version 2.0 Betaystem, which makes us to do it in the easiest way possible, no matter whether it is good or bad; and then to blame it in later stages when we find that it has gone not the way we wanted. I am talking about voting power.

Weeks ago we had institute level election for the post of student representatives for vice-president, sport heads, social-and-cultural events heads and many other. The process was supposed to be like candidates prove their validity (basic criterion like semesters cleared, eligibility for candidateship etc.) then candidates go campaigning about their ideas and meet students (voters) to clarify their doubts and take feedback, then a fair election is conducted by ‘the system.’

However, this is not exactly what happens in reality. In last five years at IIT Kharagpur, I’ve realized campaigns are meant only for first year students, who are kept in separate hostel for first year and are most unpredictable. So, what about rest of 90 percent of population, you may ask. The answer is that their votes are fixed. From second year onwards students are shifted permanently in senior hostels (they are equally distributed in six hostels) and each hostel has some “pally” with few other hostels. It is a quid-pro-quo system where some hostel heads talk to each other about ‘which post’s candidate from which hostel’ and shooo; the magic has been done; now, no campaign for senior hostels and all concentration on dumb-bombs, that is first years.

So, we do all kind of stuffs, parties and provide all kind of unrealistic offers and dreams (almost same as our real life Neta ji does.) to get the maximum out of them. And on the D day, each hostel resident is informed by hostel's stud guys (except 1st year hostel students) to vote for the pallied candidates of the hostel. Residents (second year and onwards students) are informed to vote to number 2 for VP, no. 1 for G.Sec. sports, no. 4 for this, number 2 for that and so on; which is the serial numbers of ‘pallied’ candidates of that hostel on the voting sheet.

Mostly, we think, what’s the problem, after all no candidate met me, I know no one's plan and I don’t like attending soap-boxes where they put their proposal, and seniors and previous post holders ask as unrealistic and out of context question as Indian Police ask to an innocent when they have to prove him guilty. Thinking this, one comes to the conclusion that choosing a donkey instead of the other makes no alteration in the situation; and anyway, they all are nothing but a number to a non-stud guy.

So, here I am, no.2 for VP checked, no. 1 for GSec checked and no. X for Y checked – never caring about their name.

Result, almost, gets clear days before the election. It is the candidate of hostel-X wins because hostel X has pally with hostel A, B, C and D while candidate of hostel-Y looses as hostel has pally with E and F only. Moreover candidates of hostels A, B, C and D also win because of pally among them and pally with hostel X.

Same story goes for hostel student representative election with one minor modification in pally, now pally is among different wings of the hostel instead of pally among different hostels. And so the neat and clean arrangement goes undisturbed forever.

Probably, weak student representation in the institute is one of the ill-effect of this tradition of voting system. So, now, our VP can arrange cheap laptops for us but he cannot put a strong protest for heavy student intake in the institute which is causing rapture of infrastructure at every seam.

On a second thought I find we are a part of mistake too, but we prefer living in cozy rooms than knowing and if possible, making a change in the system.

© Copyrighted Nishant Neeraj. Ask before quote.

Disclaimer: Writer is a free thinker and the script is his personal view.

Genre: Real story based, Drama, Fun, Documentary
Type: Personal View
Language: English
Category: For ALL age group
Place and Time: IIT Kharagpur. April 14, 2007. 07:58 in evening


Vivek Choudhary said...

grreat writing..
ekdum sach hai .. ya sala vp hall ka banta hai insti ka koi maa baap hi nahi hai.. placement late shuru ho..CL 9:50 mein band ho jaye...mess mein workers kam hai unse inhe koi load nahi hai... ek single room mein do jaanwar ki tarah student rahte hai usse bhi load nahi hai .. load hai agar netaji mein ek stage pe ek sec k baad ek kagaj ka tukda gira hua hai... srsly.. IITians hone pe inko sharm bhi nahi aati hai.. .

maxi said...

good entry !

that's why i always vote opposite of htever has been told :)

Anonymous said...

nishant, your post is well understood by all people................very well explained.

Anonymous said...

this time around the "pally" didnt work totally.

Anonymous said... not only a liberal thinker....he is also a great writer...great naishe...well done!!!

Nishant Neeraj said...

To i-said-it: Perhaps, this is a wake up call for strong student reprentation. VP and Secys either do not have power or lack courage when it comes to take a stand against dictatorial decisions of upper authorities.

To Ashish: Thank you. Althoigh ou have a cool trick, it is surely not a solution. :)

To Raghu Ram Prasad: Thank you. That's what my motive was.

To Anonymous1: It is a good sign. But still no one came to our wing with his/her agenda!

To Anonymous2: Thank you. Thank you. :)

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